Understanding Our Professional Development Center’s Theory of Action

Here at Eagle Rock School, our Professional Development Center owes much of its success to the fact that we take seriously our charge of having an impact on student engagement in high schools on a national basis. Ours is a small team with four national facilitators, and as a result, we are spread rather thin considering our nationwide parameters.

As a result, we don’t crisscross the country in an effort to persuade other schools to do things our way — even though our own school’s processes have been incredibly successful, especially where re-engaging the unengaged has been concerned. Instead, we concentrate on working with educators who agree that they have “something” that they want to improve upon with respect to their own schools’ engagement with its students. And once we’re in accord, we surface the assets of the target school or organization and help them create an implementation plan around their particular assets.

In other words, we teach educators and administrators how to cook with the ingredients already in their kitchen.

To do this, we’ve developed a ‘hedgehog’ — a single-minded and focused strategy that we successfully use ourselves and urge other educational institutions to employ. And before we go further, a brief description of this concept is in order.

Identifying your hedgehog is a notion that was popularized by Jim Collins in his best-selling book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t. The concept envisions a Continue reading…