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Courageous conversations worth having


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Presented by Carroll Wetzel Wilkinson at The Innovative Library Classroom 2014 conference at Radford University

Published in: Education
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Courageous conversations worth having

  1. 1. ( TO ST R E N GT H E N I N ST RU C T I O N P R AC T I C E ) Courageous Conversations Worth Having:
  2. 2. Innovative Library Classroom Conference  Radford University  May 13, 2014  Carroll Wetzel Wilkinson  WVU, Director of Instruction and Information Literacy  West Virginia University Libraries
  3. 3. Learning outcomes for this session  See courageous conversations in a new way.  Use the technique of starting conversations about instructional subjects that matter to you.  Contribute to your organization's workplace climate for instruction in a positive manner.  Enrich your own teaching practice.
  4. 4. What’s the Context?  “ Any form of organizational change redesign is planning that begins with a comprehensive inquiry, analysis and dialogue of an organization’s positive core, that involves multiple stakeholders and then links this knowledge to the organization’s strategic change agenda and priorities.” -definition of positive change from Cooperrider’s Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution in Change, 2005.
  5. 5. Why Talk about Conversations at a Library Instruction Innovation Conference? You Another instruction librarian
  6. 6. Getting Views in Balance Your perspectives Another perspective
  7. 7. Definitions of a courageous conversation  Heifetz et al. 2009, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership “a dialogue that is designed to resolve competing priorities and beliefs while preserving relationships”
  8. 8. Courage has a relationship to vulnerability  Brean Brown takes on the myths of vulnerability in her book entitled: Daring Greatly.
  9. 9. Another important perspective  Chapter VI “Learning in Community: The Conversation of Colleagues” in The Courage to Teach, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, California, 1998. “If we want to grow in our practice, we have two primary places to go: the inner ground from which good teaching comes and to the community of fellow teachers from whom we can learn more about ourselves and our craft.” (p.141.)
  10. 10. A few of Palmer’s questions  Does this person take teaching seriously as signified by his or her involvement in conversations about it?  What kind of process does this person go through in designing a course [or lesson]?  Does this person attempt to help colleagues with issues in their teaching?  How does this person handle critical moments (learning moments that open up or shut down depending on how they are handled) in the classroom?
  11. 11. Another relevant definition  “Courage is a pattern of constructive opposition, in which in an individual stands against social forces in order to remedy duress in the organization.” Worline, Monica. C. “ Courage in Organizations: an Integrative Review of the Difficult Virtue.” Chapter 23 of The Oxford handbook of positive organizational scholarship /Kim S Cameron; Gretchen M Spreitzer. New York ; Oxford : Oxford University Press. P304-315.
  12. 12. Understanding courageous conversations  More about Worline  David Whyte
  13. 13. Quick work environment assessment questions  Do the instruction librarians in your library get together to talk about instruction periodically?  What is the climate for those talks? Welcoming, respectful, encouraging, or other?  When someone needs help in teaching, what happens?  In your library, what’s the norm for expressions of emotions about teaching?
  14. 14. Examples of conversation topics (stuff we’d like to talk about, but we hesitate)  Real reactions to the assessment of instruction by librarians, both positive and negative.  Frustration with the lack of impact on student learning through one shots.  Frustration with some librarians’ attitudes toward instruction.  Giving up one shots and substituting a new instructional model  Our reactions to the new framework for information literacy……
  15. 15. The challenge of authenticity: the link between authentic conversations and change
  16. 16. BRAINSTORM
  17. 17. Practice with others
  18. 18. Great obstacles, small victories
  19. 19. Conclusions  Each of us can start change by talking authentically to another teaching librarian about something that really matters to us in teaching.  Courageous conversations are the connective tissue of growth and change in any context.  Innovation needs to be nurtured and encouraged so we don’t box ourselves into habit and repetition.  The new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education calls for teaching with ideas…it’s a great time to start talking holistically, and bravely, about library instruction innovation!
  20. 20. References  Brown, Breann. Daring greatly: how the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead. Gotham Books/Penguin, New York, 2012.  Heifetz, Ronald et al. The practice of adaptive leadership: tools and tactics for changing your organization and the world. Cambridge Leadership Associates, 2009.  Palmer, Parker. The courage to teach: exploring the inner landscape of a teachers’ life. Jossey-Bass Inc. San Francisco, California, 1998.  Whyte, David David Whyte on courageous conversation. courageous-conversa_eaj1hqw2.html  Worline, Monica C. Courage in Organizations: An integrative review of the “difficult virtue.”In The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship (Oxford Library of Psychology) by Kim S. Cameron and Gretchen M. Spreitzer, 2011. (Chapter 23, p304-315.)
  21. 21. Thank You! Carroll Wetzel Wilkinson West Virginia University Libraries