Shaping Departmental Community: Engaging Individualism and Collegiality in Pursuit of Shared Purpose.Report as inadecuate

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Efforts to reform educational administration programs depend on the ability of faculty members to develop shared purpose and understanding. This paper describes the experiences of nine faculty members in a department of educational administration in a large midwestern university, who, in seeking to transform their preparation program, transformed departmental relationships. It identifies the critical dimensions of departmental transformation and describes the results as implemented in new models of program purpose, design, teaching, research, and assessment. Data were collected through structured interviews and reviews of critical-incident reports, personal reflective statements, and narrative writings. Data indicate that the change process resulted in: (1) an increased sense of faculty ownership; (2) deepened interpersonal understanding and regard; (3) an enhanced sense of participation in collaborative learning community, which deepened professionalism and enhanced performance; (4) an expanded awareness of individual interests and increased willingness to shared resources and ideas; (5) the articulation of a shared desire to become less traditional; (6) transformation of program design, teaching methods, and assessment models; and (7) an increase in instances of collaboration. In conclusion, deliberate action informed by research and fueled by shared commitment can shape new departmental norms, values, and purpose. Departmental community building can lead to higher levels of professional development and new standards of program excellence. Contains 10 references. (LMI)

Descriptors: Administrator Education, Collegiality, Educational Administration, Faculty Development, Group Unity, Higher Education, Interprofessional Relationship, Organizational Communication, Organizational Development

Author: Geltner, Beverley B.; Ditzhazy, Helene R.


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