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ICER2007 The 1st International Conference on Educational Reform 2007
November 9-11, 2007 Mahasarakham University, THAILAND
Using ACREATE© to enhance Organizational Ethos
TSOI Mun Fie*
Thosapol Arreenich**
Organizational ethos as the climate or culture is recognized as an integral part of a
learning organization. However, in this aspect, it is not uncommon for educators and
administrators to assume that organizational ethos will develop either on its own
accord or through various activities and meetings be it formal or informal. As such,
this paper provides insights on using ACREATE© model comprising 7 stages to
enhance organizational ethos in a learning institution.
ACREATE© model being process-based is developed from studies on leadership
within a cooperative setting, for example, distributed-actions theory of leadership; on
cooperative learning such as group investigation; and on metacognition involving
reflective awareness, metacognitive knowledge and self-regulatory learning (Tsoi et
al., 2001, 2002, 2003). An invited seminar conducted for Faculty staff, Faculty of
Education, Chiang Rai Rajabhat University and participants of the Faculty’s
Graduate program in Educational Administration will be used to illustrate
ACREATE© model as a viable alternative to enhance organizational ethos in the
context of a learning institution essentially comprising 3 components: (a) caring
environment, (b) learning environment, and (c) community. Feedback has indicated
positive and desirable outcomes. On the whole, there has been sharing of opinions
and ideas, helping of one another, interpreting, and interacting meaningfully in the
instructional tasks embedded in ACREATE© model.
effectively from their varied experiences
1. Introduction on social interactions and discourse in a
In a learning organization, it is not
uncommon for educators and As such, the role of the educator
administrators to assume that the and administrator would need to change
organizational climate will evolve either from the traditional role of ‘information
on its own accord or through many transmitter’ to that of a challenging role
different activities and meetings be it of guiding and facilitating the
formal or informal. Also, it is again collaborating process. Also, the
common to assume that in the organizational climate or culture of the
organization, people would have organization so called the organization
acquired the ability to think actively and ethos needs to be re-looked.
reflectively as well as to cooperate
*Natural Sciences and Science Education, National Institute of Education,
Nanyang Technological University, Republic of Singapore
**Faculty of Education, Chiang Rai Rajabhat University, Thailand
E-mail: [email protected]
ICER2007 The 1st International Conference on Educational Reform 2007
November 9-11, 2007 Mahasarakham University, THAILAND
Hence, a pedagogical framework (Use the task & maintenance leadership
for effective cooperative group work, actions survey)
active thinking for the person as well as
reflective thinking would be needed. It Stage 2: Creating a cooperative &
would also need to be process-based. trusting climate.
With this in mind, ACREATE© model, (Use suitable cooperative structures)
an inquiry-based cooperative reflective
model could be used. The model is
Stage 3: Realising plans.
derived from studies on leadership
(Determine sub-topics and plan the
within a cooperative setting, for
example, distributed-actions theory of investigations)
leadership; cooperative learning, for
example, group investigation; and on
metacognition (Schraw, 1994) involving Stage 4: Exploring investigations.
reflective awareness, metacognitive (Carry out the investigations and plan
knowledge and self-regulatory learning the presentations)
(Brown, 1987).
Stage 5: Assessing and evaluating.
Group investigation, a group and (Make presentations and evaluate
learner-centered cooperative learning projects)
method provides a social context for
learning (Sharan & Sharan, 1994). Stage 6: Thinking through the processes.
Besides, metacognition plays an (Reflect and use metacognitive
essential role during the learning process strategies)
where learners need to be aware of their
own thinking and sensitive to feedback.
Stage 7: Enhancing using other
Distributed-actions theory of strategies.
leadership involves leadership in (Use other appropriate strategies to
completing a task as well as maintaining promote the acquisition of skills and
effective collaborative relationships. In values during the learning process)
this paper, we provide insights on
ACREATE© model in terms of the stages 2.1 Stage 1 Analyzing leadership
and the learning processes involved actions
which are delivered in an interactive
Generally, groups of learners have
seminar to the Faculty staff, Faculty of
at least two essential objectives, namely,
Education, Chiang Rai Rajabhat
University and participants of the to complete a task as well as to maintain
Faculty’s Graduate program in effective collaborative relationships
Educational Administration. within the group. As such, the
distributed-actions theory of leadership
2. ACREATE© Model place emphasis on certain functions that
need to be done if a group is to meet
Basically, the modeling and these two objectives.
applying ACREATE© model to enhance
organization ethos involves the The theory defines leadership as the
following 7 stages: performance of acts that help the group
to complete its task and to maintain
Stage 1: Analyzing leadership actions. effective working relationships among
ICER2007 The 1st International Conference on Educational Reform 2007
November 9-11, 2007 Mahasarakham University, THAILAND
its members (Johnson et al., 1992). To learners, staff as well as parents are
be task effective, members are required recognized and valued. There is self-
to engage in the task-leadership actions discipline, self-esteem and respect and
of contributing, asking for, concern for others. Collaborative and
summarizing, and coordinating the cooperative relationships are present. A
information. As for maintenance- good sense of trust is prevalent
leadership actions, members need to throughout.
encourage one another to participate, The learning environment is
relieve tension where appropriate, provided to cater to diverse talents,
facilitate communication among interests and needs so that learners can
themselves, etc. Therefore, analyzing the realize their potential and are
individual leadership actions may
responsible for own learning. Learners
improve the effectiveness of the group
are encouraged to contribute positively
be it the management or the educators as
to not only the organization but also the
part of enhancing the organization ethos.
2.2 Stage 2 Creating a cooperative &
trusting climate As for the community, it is
important to have a two-way, free-flow
As we are involving educators and communication among students, staff
leaders as learners in cooperative group and the community. Opportunities for
work, it is important to use a range of involvement and initiative in shared
cooperative methods to set the decision-making need to be provided
cooperative tone as well as a trusting and the wider community need to be
environment. Cooperative methods used reached out with sincerity too. In this
could be, for example, Roundtable, case, the general problem posed is
Round robin, Think-pair-share, Think- related to organization ethos and can be
pair-square, Jigsaw, 3-1 technique, 1- in any of the three components as
stay-2-stray, etc. It is vital that mentioned.
components of cooperative learning
such as positive interdependence, The processes involved in this stage
individual accountability, face-to-face include:
interaction, and social interaction are • Looking for different options
ensured (Johnson et al., 1992). • Connecting educator’s or
leader’s own knowledge or
2.3 Stage 3 Realizing plans experience to the problem or
The investigation is planned and • Generating questions or ideas
realised with the help of the facilitator. • Grouping or sorting of
Appropriate cooperative methods may questions
be used to elicit responses to the general • Determining subtopics
problem posed. Organization ethos as • Selecting subtopic for
the climate or culture of the organization investigation
in the context of the learning institution • Choosing the questions by
essentially comprises three components: group consensus to be
(a) caring environment, (b) learning answered. Sometimes, more
environment, and (c) community. In the questions may arise.
caring environment, individuality of
ICER2007 The 1st International Conference on Educational Reform 2007
November 9-11, 2007 Mahasarakham University, THAILAND
• Determining the relevant • Evaluating factual knowledge
resources needed
• Dividing the work and 2.6 Stage 6 Thinking through the
assigning roles processes
2.4 Stage 4 Exploring investigations This stage involves metacognitive
process in which the educators and
The plan of investigation is carried leaders as learners will be aware of their
out and the way to present the findings own thinking as well as learning in area
is discussed. of self-regulatory learning. The
The process includes: facilitator needs to go through the 2
• Finding information from a checklists, Figure 1.Regulatory
variety of resources Checklist and Figure 2. Learning
• Comparing & evaluating how Process Checklist (adapted from Sharan
relevant & useful are the & Sharan, 1994) in terms of the
resources rationale and the heuristics involved.
• Explaining, refining knowledge The learning process includes:
to group members and • Reflecting on performance as
generalising information an investigator in areas of
• Formulating answers to the generating questions,
questions that need to be locating and choosing
answered relevant resources, analysing
• Identifying the main idea and and explaining the findings
conclusions of findings • Reflecting on contributions
• Explaining, comparing & as a group member in the
evaluating findings areas of individual
• Deciding how to present findings accountability, social
& how each group member interaction, and participation
contribute to the presentation in group presentation as in
planning how to present and
2.5 Stage 5 Assessing & evaluating making the presentation
• Regulating learning process
This is where presentations to the using the Regulatory
class are made and the final projects are checklist (RC) (King, 1991)
evaluated. Sometimes, in the beginning
the criteria of evaluating the presentation 2.7 Stage 7 Enhancing using other
need to be worked with the educators. strategies
The learning process includes:
• Evaluating the clarity, appeal and This is an important and essential
relevance of other presentations stage as it calls for being a reflective
educator. It is similar to what we call
• Establishing new connections
‘Cognitive Coaching’ (Costa &
between subtopics
Garmston, 2002). The facilitator reflects
• Demonstrating appropriate use of
on the entire activity and thinks of other
relevant resources and
alternatives to improve the learning
meaningful use of knowledge
process as well as to evaluate learners’
constructed during the process of
work or performance. Facilitator carries
ICER2007 The 1st International Conference on Educational Reform 2007
November 9-11, 2007 Mahasarakham University, THAILAND
out the procedure by asking questions In this context, the constructivist
such as (a) What are the success paradigm for the instructional design
indicators? i.e. How would you know if (Bednar, et al., 1995) may consist of the
you are successful in applying following components: (a) learning is
ACREATE© to enhance the organization personal discovery based on insight; (b)
ethos; (b) What did you learn from your type of learning is problem solving; (c)
activity and your interaction with the instructional strategies are provided for
educators and leaders as learners?; (c) active, cooperative and reflective
How are you going to apply what you learner; (d) media strategy is a
have learnt in your future activities? responsive and cooperative learning
environment; and (e) the key concept is
3. DISCUSSION AND autotelic principle (intrinsic motivation).
For effective modeling and applying
Generally, the possible use of of ACREATE© model, the facilitator
ACREATE© model to enhance needs to understand the nature of
organization ethos has been well distributed-actions theory of leadership
received by the participants. Verbal as one of the possible ways to improve
feedback has indicated positive and an individual leadership skills and the
desirable outcomes. Throughout the effectiveness of a group, the processes
session, opinions and ideas have been and essential components of cooperative
shared. There has been sufficient learning and the various cooperative
meaningful interaction in various learning methods, metacognitive
instructional tasks, for example, the processes as well as what it means to be
task-maintenance leadership actions a reflective educator. Besides, the
worksheet, demonstration and facilitator needs also to assess the
application of different cooperative learners' ability to plan and study
structures, and the activity “find- together, choose the relevant authentic
someone-who…”, etc. This may mean problem, think through possible
that the participants have interpreted questions about the problem, and locate
information in the context of their own a variety of resources. There is also a
experiences. In other words, there need to be aware of the time constraints
should be ample opportunities to allow involved. Nonetheless, the modeling and
participants as learners to assume roles applying of ACREATE© model to a
and interact with others, present learning organization has the potential to
problems to be solved, emphasise serve as a viable alternative to enhance
intrinsic awards, embed in a realistic and the organization ethos.
practical setting, involve the participant
in goal setting and encourage multiple
ICER2007 The 1st International Conference on Educational Reform 2007
November 9-11, 2007 Mahasarakham University, THAILAND
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