3 Suggestions to build social capital

By Devin Vodicka There are many benefits of working in teams. Teams typically outperform individuals when the tasks being done require multiple skills, judgment and experience. Teams are flexible and responsive to changing events. This is particularly important during times of rapid change when multiple perspectives help to inform a more comprehensive and informed understandingContinue reading “3 Suggestions to build social capital”

Everybody has the potential to be a servant leader

By Devin Vodicka Servant leadership was a concept originally popularized by Robert Greenleaf after he read Siddhartha, which led him to insights regarding the influence of “servants” who exerted strong influence and leadership. In addition to being in service to others, my view is that servant leadership also exists in service to shared values. WhileContinue reading “Everybody has the potential to be a servant leader”

Reflect and Learn Together: Take a moment to ask for input

By Devin Vodicka One of my favorite books is Peter Senge’s “Schools That Learn.” In the text he suggests that schools should embrace the principles of learning organizations where individuals connect and learn from one another.  Many of the concepts are consistent with our experiences of being part of high-performing teams where we are willingContinue reading “Reflect and Learn Together: Take a moment to ask for input”

How might we prioritize the investment of stimulus dollars to promote and improve relationships?

By Devin Vodicka  We know from experience and from the research that strong relationships are foundational for student success.  Consider this excerpt from a recent paper that I was fortunate to co-author along with Kristin Gagnier (Director of Dissemination, Education, and Translation at the Science of Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University) and Sabba QuidwaiContinue reading “How might we prioritize the investment of stimulus dollars to promote and improve relationships?”

Two strategies to manage complex change

By Devin Vodicka  Complex change is the new constant.  As leaders, we hope to help our teams, organizations, and communities to thoughtfully and skillfully adapt and adjust for the benefit of our learners.  When we are at our best, managing change can feel almost effortless, leading to growth and success.  In my experience these effectiveContinue reading “Two strategies to manage complex change”

How might learner-centered systems promote relationships and teamwork?

By Devin Vodicka  Relationships are at the heart of leadership and learning.  The ways in which we interact with one another are foundational to any learning experience.  Listening to learners, demonstrating compassion, being responsive to their needs, and thoughtfully co-designing with and for learners to develop their capabilities are critical elements of learner-centered education.   StrongContinue reading “How might learner-centered systems promote relationships and teamwork?”

How does a leader know when to focus on process or outcomes?

By Devin Vodicka At the end of the day, leaders can hold people accountable for process or outcomes but not both. Confusing when to orient to process and when to hold to outcomes leads to frustration.  Diagnosing the situation as a technical problem or adaptive challenge determines the best approach.  The satisfaction of feeling successfulContinue reading “How does a leader know when to focus on process or outcomes?”

Increasing workplace flexibility means that schools can’t become more rigid

By Devin Vodicka A casual review of school and district vision and mission statements makes it clear that we hope to prepare students for the future.  While there is enduring wisdom in the idea that we should provide study in a broad set of academic disciplines to help students develop metacognition and lifelong learning skills,Continue reading “Increasing workplace flexibility means that schools can’t become more rigid”

The connection between anti-racism and learner-centered education

Devin Vodicka As a teenager growing up in a small-town in the foothills of Northern California, I remember being shocked watching the beating of Rodney King. I was even more astonished when those white policemen who had administered the beating were found not guilty, leading to riots and mass unrest.  When I was an undergraduateContinue reading “The connection between anti-racism and learner-centered education”

Add one person to triple social connectedness

Devin Vodicka Relationships are foundational for leadership. Trust and connectedness are associated with positive outcomes, including improvements in student achievement. According to Bryk and Schneider, “Strong relational trust also makes it more likely that reform initiatives will diffuse broadly across the school because trust reduces the sense of risk associated with change.” Trust is soContinue reading “Add one person to triple social connectedness”