Understanding Diverse Perspectives
DIverse Perspectives Within the SOT
Understanding diverse perspectives is crucial to the success of SOTs, as consensus building and shared decision making are most effective when all members are appreciated and heard.
In order to understand diverse perspectives and ensure all members of the SOT feel valued, Teams should:
- Create an environment of trust and respect.
- Ensure everyone has an opportunity to speak.
- Address all ideas and concerns.
- Allow processing and response time.
- Ask for clarification.
Teams should think of ways these guidelines can be incorporated into their norms so that the Team always operates with these in mind.
Diverse Perspectives Among School Stakeholders
Beyond a consideration of how Teams will embrace diverse perspectives among themselves, they must consider how they will gather input from various stakeholders in their school and how that information will be used to make decisions that benefit students.
Watch the videos below to hear firsthand why having opportunities to provide input is important for students, school staff, and parents.
Schools should have many strategies to ensure all perspectives are heard. Other stakeholder groups, such as PACs or grade level teams, should continue to operate to inform the School Organizational Team’s work and other school decision making. Principals may also choose to ask other members of the school community to come to School Organizational Team meetings to present or share their perspective. The School Organizational Team should be only one of multiple structures to include stakeholder input.
Guiding questions regarding valuing diverse perspectives can be found on the "Reflection and Planning Guide," provided below in English and Spanish. This guide can be used by Teams to reflect on their experiences and plan ahead. Teams should consider the way input is currently gathered from stakeholders, and come up with a plan to ensure that they have actionable ways to gather and consider input.