Stages of group development
There are five stages of group development. In order of their sequence, these stages are; forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning (Tuckman, & Jensen, 1977). The team formed by the Wood Foundation, the school district and the National Coalition for Parental Involvement in Education (NCPIE) is in the forming stage. At this stage, the individual members to make up the team come together. This is supported by the mention that, “the development team will consist of three individuals”. This stage characterized by safe and patterned behavior from the members. They have a desire for acceptance and need to know that the group is safe. In this case, the member forming the development committee act to avoid controversy and serious feeling are avoided. For instance, Victoria Adams, Duane Hardy, and Mason Dupree all state their stands in ways they find fit to improve student outcomes. Each of them uses a tone that shows openness to workable solutions at hand. They use statements such as “We don’t want to shut anyone outI wouldn’t mind” among others.
An understanding of the stages of group development could help the education team to prepare adequately for the next stages. They can prepare on how to overcome the second stage (storming) which is characterized by competition and conflict in personal views and relationships (Rickards & Moger, 1999). Setting up “house-keeping rules” establishes boundaries of dos and don’ts. Knowledge of the stages could help the team to prepare for conflict avoidance and resolution. Moreover, knowledge of the developmental stages could help the team to anticipate for norms in addition to setting up ways to evaluate performance and lastly prepare for adjournment.
Primary and secondary problems
The primary problems in the schools are truancy among students, low student performance, and crime. These problems bring about high staff burn out and high staff turnover as teachers are turned off by the harsh realities in the classrooms. “many of the best and brightest are the most likely to leave for schools that aren’t as troubled” (cases study).
The Woodson Foundation should have understood about individual membership in teams in order to have built group processes that were supportive of her groups' goals. The foundation could have established the points of conflict with representatives from the other groups. Woodson Foundation is concerned with the provision of funds and the management of the same. As such, it can present to the team a person who best understands its organizational culture, values, and role in the promotion of education in the district. Moreover, the person should understand group dynamics and one who has high interpersonal and communication skills. A member with these attributes ensures that the organization’s goals and values are reflected in the outcome of the team’s deliberations.
The two most plausible solutions to solve the primary problems are retraining of teachers in handling of students and the increment of student-teacher cohesiveness and communication. The teachers should be trained on disciplinary issues so that they are able to approach students in a knowledgeable manner and are able to hand truant students. Secondly, students can be trained and guided to communicate their concerns with their teachers in a friendly, proactive environment that emphasizes on student concerns.
What would you advise as a strategy for managing diversity issues for program leaders?
The first solution should entail a brainstorming session in which all team members state the problems that affect performance in schools. Prior to the brainstorming, members should select leaders through consensus or by voting, whichever is retains the cohesiveness of the group. The members should state the current, long-term, the anticipated, as well as all the secondary problems to poor student behavior. They should seek consensus they come up with the objectives and where consensus is elusive, they can vote on possible objectives. The realization of common problems forms an objective basis for the members to reason and come up with the main objective for the team. Common goals should rally the members to avoid personal and organizational differences for the achievement of team goals.
Tuckman, B. & Jensen, M. (1977) Stages of Small Group Development. Group and Organizational Studies, 2, 419-427.
Rickards, T., & Moger,S.T., (1999) Handbook for creative team leaders, Aldershot, Hants: Gower