Adaptive Schools – Website Review
EDU 713 – Fall 2010

Descriptive Overview
The website is directed towards helping teachers and administrators learn to work in a group setting with a goal of producing great gains in student achievement. A description of adaptive schools is given and some insight is given on the positive effects of team work versus individual work in the area of school improvement.
The site focuses on collaboration and a team effort in the area of school improvement and student success. Five components in creating a collaborative culture that are mentioned and built upon are: shared norms and values, collective focus on student learning, collaboration, deprivatized practice, and reflective dialogue. These five attributes were published in 1996 in the American Educational Research Journal. This website offers readings, publications, links to other sites, resources, and seminars to promote team efforts and collaboration within schools.
The site gives an introduction and peaks your curiosity about team work and a collaborative approach to school improvement. Seminars that promote a collaborative team environment are promoted and several websites and books are listed for more in depth readings and research.
Narrative Evaluation
One page is dedicated to introducing the authors and founders of Adaptive Schools. Three of the four contributing authors of the site have background knowledge in education. Dr. Robert Garmston is Professor Emeritus, school of education, at California State University, Sacramento. He is a former teacher, principal, and superintendent, and has also published several books and articles. Michael Dolcemascolo holds degrees in Philosophy and English, a M.A. in cultural symbol systems, and a C.A.S. in educational administration. Carolyn McKanders taught for 28 years and held the title of counselor and staff development specialist. She also has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling and Education. The fourth author of the site, Bruce Wellman, is an author and co-author, as well as co-director of a consulting firm that works with school systems and other organizations doing presentations on collaborative groups.
The authors clearly state their credentials and qualifications and clearly provide all contact information. Information is provided for each individual author as well as for the organization Center for Adaptive Schools.
The topics on the site are briefly mentioned and have very little elaboration. Overall the site promotes seminars and training events to help educators learn how to more effectively collaborate and work as teams.
A simple exercise is given on one of the pages. The exercise is broken down into intentions, focusing questions, and a reflection section. The exercise is simple and could be implemented during a team meeting in any school.
The site provided relevant outside links. One of the links that was given is Habits of Mind. Habits of Mind is currently being used in the school I teach at in Wake County. Another link was to This site is part of the National Staff Development Council. These sites all promote collaboration and a team effort.
The site was originally published in 2003 and is complete. Since the original publication date the site has been updated. Each page has been revised and the date of the update is posted on each individual page. The dates for upcoming is also current, and there are upcoming events listed for the end of September and October of 2010.
The information provided is somewhat of the current trend but is proving to be timeless as schools and businesses consistently and constantly continue to move towards and promote better collaboration and team work.
The site is an introduction to a newer and more effective way to reach a goal of school improvement and academic success for students. The site promotes seminars and readings that encourage the use of collaboration and a team approach to teaching and school improvement. The site provides relevant information and a bibliography to back up the practice that it promotes.
The information provided on the site and the resources were reliable. The five components in creating a collaborative culture that were mentioned earlier were published in a well known academic journal. The five components also relate to topics that have been discussed in class and the readings we have completed for this course. The information provided on the site goes hand in hand with other research I have read in this area. The rules for grammar, spelling, and composition were followed and a reference list and bibliography were provided.

Design and Navigability
The website has the site name as a header for each page. The sidebar can be used to navigate through each page on the site and can be used to return to the home page. The fonts and colors are easy to read on all of the pages and the links provided on each page work properly. The site was easy to navigate and the design was neat and orderly.
I would recommend this site to teachers and/or administrators who want to promote collaboration and team effort within their school. I would also recommend this site to my fellow graduate students who want more information on the research that backs the ideas of teams and collaboration. The site provided a variety of readings that may be beneficial to professionals in the world of education. I am personally curious and want to check out a few of the books. I am also interested in speaking with someone who attended one of the seminars. I would like to hear their feedback and insight on the topics discussed in the seminar.