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Problem-Solving Plan

Problem: Poor Performance in Language Arts in Kelsey Elementary School Kelsey Elementary School is experiencing a problem in its language arts section of the curriculum, the school did not meet the required scores for the subject last year and thus there is need to devise a plan that will enable the attainment of the score. The Language Arts Compliance Team seems to be stuck on the best instructional method to adopt that will see the school achieving the required score, as the new leader to the Language Arts Compliance Team the responsibility lies wholly on my shoulders.

The Language Arts Compliance Team consists of seven members with me (the leader) included, naturally and professionally all these people subscribe to different notions and philosophies about the best approach to adopt in regards to early child education, this is confirmed by the profile information of all the six teachers (members of the Language Arts Compliance Team).

To some extend each teachers philosophies are correct and workable, but sometimes these philosophies may be inappropriate and therefore the need to adjust them. For instance, whereas Annemarie and Justin subscribes to the notion that bringing play and real world examples to the classroom may are the best methods of improving performance in Language Arts, Ronald and Eartha asserts that the approach may not be appropriate for learners beyond second grade.

Ronald and Renee subscribe to the encouragement and involvement approach, however, they seem to differ on the best way to facilitate their approach with Ronald, who also has a wide experience in early childhood education stressing that his reasoning is the best, with Renee, who draws her mentorship from Ronald not sure on the best way to facilitate her approach and thus seems frustrated.

Eartha’s approach has been termed as unsympathetic and unreasonable by other teachers’ despites her consistent reminder to them that they need to set high expectations for the learners. Sherlene has consistently avoided the Language Arts Compliance Team meetings despite her being notified of the meetings in advance, as expected her absence has not been taken lightly by other members and they have pointed that she is the cause of the current stalemate. [Kelsey Elementary School, teachers Profile, 2009]

In light of this information I am therefore persuaded to make a conclusion that the core barriers to creativity and lack of communications towards the common goal that the team is working to achieve are; (1) subscription to different philosophies of instructional giving; (2) rigidity on the part of the teachers (members of the Language Arts Compliance Team); (3) Shirlene’s consistent failure to attend the team meetings, and; (4) there is no faith and trust among the teachers, every one seems to lay too much confidence in his/ her method of instruction giving.

The problem at hand demands that a valid and reliable instruction giving approach be devised; this new approach should be based on the recommended professional methods that recognize the centrality of the learner in the process of learning. Going by the teachers profiles it is clear that some of the teachers subscribes to such approaches, this is confirmed by the good performance in some grades such as; kindergarten, second, third, and five.

Therefore, it is wise to conclude that the solution to the problem is with the teachers, but they do not seem to agree on the best approach to adopt, each continue to cling on his/ her own and therefore this bars creativity and communication. [Goldstein & Levin, 1987] My approach to this problem will be guided by the reasoning that, problem solving is a complex exercise that requires thinking and high-order cognitive processes that involves modulation and control of more routine or fundamental skills.

[Goldstein & Levin, 1987] As such therefore, I will seek to create and sustain an atmosphere that will enable each member of the team to feel appreciated and respected, this will in turn help to enhance freeness and openness on the part of teammates and at long last creativity and proper communication will be enhanced.

To achieve this, I will distribute various tasks that need to carried out as part of the problem solving process equally to all team mates, this will lead to a situation whereby all the teachers worthwhile skills and talents that are relevant to the problem at hand are fully utilized, this will be a sure way of increasing the outcomes, creativity and even the teachers morale.

For instance I will personally talk to Shirlene into attending the teams meetings as her contribution will be highly required and also she has a task perform in the problem solving, then I will involve all the team members to professionally lead Ronald and Renee into arriving at a consensus about their shared approach. We will then together analyze Annemarie and Justin approach in view of highlighting its flaws and strong areas, and lastly we will amicably revisit Eartha’s approach and identify its strong areas.

I will then lead the team members into arriving at a consensus on the best attributes to incorporate in the solution package based on each members approach. By doing this I will be tapping all the professional and experience creativity that the team members hold and therefore the solutions implementation will be easy as each member will feel that his/ her contributions were duly considered. [Thomas & John: chap. 9]

My approach to the problem will take the “DECIDE” format, this will enable me to “Define” the goal i. e. (to meet the required score in Language Arts subject) of the Language Arts Compliance Team and therefore understand the problem i. e. (last years poor performance in Language Arts) better, and I will also “Examine” the constraints that are currently preventing the achievement of the goal i. e. (1. subscription to different approaches of instructional giving in Language Arts; 2. lack of professionalism e. g. fourth grade teacher – Shirlene, and; 3. lack of commonality in instructional giving processes – some classes/ grades are performing well while others are not).

After the examination of the constraints I will “Consider” any possible alternatives that can lead into a solution to the problem or the constraints i. e. (1. incorporate the best traits of each teachers instruction giving approach or 2. choose one of the approaches suggested by one of the team members), this will be followed by the making of an “Initial” decision in regards to the best alternative or a set of alternatives whose combination can lead to a solution to the problem i. e.

(chose the best solution, in this case the one that incorporates the best traits of each teachers instruction giving approach). I will then “Develop” a plan of action that will help in the implementation of the decision made i. e. (may decide to have the school principle inspects and enforces the new resolution or even leave it to the teachers since they actively participated in the arriving at the consensus -solution), the final step will be measuring the effects of the decision made and implemented and therefore we will rely on the results of the standardized test score to “Evaluate” the decision.

[Thomas & John: chap. 9] References: Thomas E. Harris and John C. Sherblon (2008); Small Group and Team Communication, Fourth Edition, Published by Allyn & Bacon, accessed on February 24, 2009 Goldstein F. C. , & Levin H. S. (1987); Disorders of reasoning and problem-solving ability; In M. Meier, A. Benton & L. Diller (Eds), Neuropsychological rehabilitation; London: Taylor & Francis Group, accessed on February 24, 2009 Kelsey Elementary School, Teachers Profiles, available at; http://ecampus. phoenix. edu, accessed on February 24, 2009

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