School-Wide Consultation

schoolwide Students need the support of committed adults if they are to understand and pursue good work . It is always inspiring to see diverse constituents (e.g. teachers, coaches, parents, and administrators) come together and get on the same page about communicating a message of ethical, engaging, and excellent when they talk with students about their current commitments, future careers, and life goals. Participants in school-wide efforts never fail to commend the opportunity to articulate their personal goals, beliefs, and responsibilities, and to consider what success means to students, to fellow teachers, and to parents.

Consultations work best when a key group of individuals - your community's GoodWork champions - initiates and stewards a school-wide effort. Involving representatives from different areas of your school allows us to consider the best points of entry for your initiative, who to get involved and how, possible obstacles, and ways to communicate about GoodWork that respect cultural differences in your organization. A champion team might include some combination of classroom teachers (from representative academic divisions), academic administrators, student support staff, coaches, activity advisors, and/or parents.

Our goals for school-wide consultations are to get community members thinking about GoodWork ideas and to equip committed adults with tools and knowledge to promote good work among students. Because every school is different, our consultation process will explore your particular mission, culture, and needs to craft a plan that works for your setting. Prior school-wide consultations have resulted in diverse approaches including:

  • seminars or full-day retreats for faculty and/or staff;
  • grade-level or departmental good work days;
  • student focus groups and reflective sessions;
  • individual consultations with teacher or administrators;
  • town meetings involving varied combinations of parents, students, and faculty;
  • parent discussion groups;
  • thematic efforts organized around a generative topic like honesty or success ; and
  • dissemination and analysis of value sorts and/or surveys about good work.

We encourage you to read the following to learn more about school-wide efforts and invite you to contact us to discuss the potential for a GoodWork intiative in your community.

  • Barendsen and Fischman, The GoodWork Toolkit: From Theory to Practice, in Gardner, Responsibility at Work
  • Wendy Fischman, Howard Gardner, GoodWork Paper 59 - : An overview of our efforts in education including examples of the Toolkit in action.
  • Honesty Committee to address the question, Why be honest? ( download pdf ): An article from a student newspaper chronicling one school's initiative around GoodWork and Honesty.
  • GoodWork at Colby College, Sandy Maisel ( download pdf )
  • GoodWork Day at Noble and Greenough School, Agenda ( download pdf )