Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Model of Change

The Challenge of Change: Growth Through Inquiry at the Western Massachusetts Writing Project

Summary: Authors Susan Connell Biggs, Kevin Hodgson, and Bruce Penniman describe the inquiry approach their site took in responding to both planned and unplanned change at their writing project site. Their account chronicles the creation of a site structure that places the work of the site at the center, providing stability for the site in the midst of changing circumstances. Processes detailed in the monograph will be useful to any local site.

Between 1999 and 2003 the Western Massachusetts Writing Project lost its founding co-director and two-thirds of its funding, and the founding director announced his retirement. These events threatened the very existence of the site.

The authors recount the process of focused inquiry that led to a reorganization of the site, and describe the new structures created to ensure its sustainability.

These structures include shared and rotating leadership, a mentoring task force system that allows for greater access to leadership, website redesign, more purposeful programming, and an ongoing inquiry into the needs, work, and identity of the site. (From nwp.org)

To read more, download the monograph here.