Overview of the Program
The “TAMAM Capacity Building Program” is the first research-based design that the TAMAM Steering Team generated and refined through iterative cycles of inquiry and action. The program aims at building leadership capacity among lead teams of practitioners at schools while setting the stage for building broad based leadership capacity encompassing students, parents, and partners from the larger community. Implementation of the program spans over 3-4 years and follows an evolving plan approach which facilitates customization of the program to the unique conditions and sociocultural context of educational institutions.
Design of the Capacity Building Program:
- A set of guiding principles essential to lead sustainable school-based improvement: the eleven TAMAM Pillars.
- Targeted outcomes at the individual, team, and institution levels.
- Strategies to train and guide educators built around a job-embedded process on leading school-based improvement: the TAMAM School Improvement Journey.
- Evaluation framework with criteria and tools to evaluate impact.
A. Guiding Principles
The TAMAM Pillars are eleven research-based principles found to be essential for leading change in educational institutions in the Arab context. They encompass a combination of theoretical knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to enhance the performance of educational practitioners and increase their commitment to lead and sustain school-based improvement at their institutions. The TAMAM Pillars constitute the foundation for deriving the targeted outcomes as well as the strategies used to support and guide the lead teams’ continuous professional learning.
B. Targeted Outcomes
At the conclusion of the TAMAM Capacity Building Program, lead team members acquire competencies essential to lead sustainable school-based improvement. These competencies mirror TAMAM pillars and include knowledge and skills and attitudes that prepare practitioners to enact the professional norms of reflective dialogue and practice, inquiry, evidence-based decisions, decisions and actions driven by needs, de-privatization of practice, systematic documented practice, evolving design planning, professional collaboration, participative leadership for continuous improvement, mentoring approach and job-embedded experiential learning. Lead teams also acquire the knowledge and skills to implement a strategy which they can always use to initiate and lead improvement initiatives. Finally, they also develop positive attitudes towards change that strengthen their motivation for leading school improvement.
At the institutional level, the TAMAM Capacity Building Program triggers structural and normative changes that foster the school’s organizational learning and development, resulting in self-renewing schools that are flexible in structure, adaptive to change and innovative.
C. Strategies to Train and Guide Educators in Leading School-based Improvement:
The TAMAM School Improvement Journey is a job-embedded, cyclical process that allows lead teams to initiate, plan, implement, monitor and evaluate an innovative improvement project of their choice with a collectively chosen focus that aligns with their school’s vision and mission. This journey consists of a series of stations that entail selecting a focus, designing an intervention for improvement, planning and implementing the intervention, monitoring its implementation and then evaluating its impact.
This journey concludes with practitioners reflecting on the impact of the improvement initiative and then taking action in their school to introduce the necessary organizational changes in order to institutionalize this improvement. The last station in the journey sets the stage to initiate a second cycle of improvement where more teams are involved in professional learning towards building school’s capacity for leading change.
Throughout the journey, TAMAM coaches guide and support the lead team members to acquire the TAMAM Competencies skills and attitudes needed to increase their commitment to lead and sustain reform and change at their institutions.
In addition, TAMAM coaches continuously monitor the lead teams’ progress, offering a balance of support and challenge to facilitate their professional learning. They also negotiate with the school’s administration to provide supportive conditions that ensure sustainability of the lead team’s engagement in TAMAM activities and development of their commitment towards leading school improvement long after the gradual withdrawal of the coaches.
D. Evaluation Framework with Tools and Criteria to Evaluate Impact:
The TAMAM Capacity Building Program offers criteria and a set of tools to collect baseline and monitoring data used to examine the growth in professional learning of lead teams. The programalso involves extensive documentation and includes an evaluation research plan that uses existing data and tools to collect additional data for evaluating the targeted outcomes and impact.
The TAMAM Capacity Building Program is detailed and documented in the Resource Book that is designed to support TAMAM coaches while planning for their coaching activities to build leadership capacity of school teams in the different countries.