McDonald, Mohr, Dichter, & McDonald Power of Protocols, Facilitating
McDonald, J.P., Mohr, N., Dichter, A., & McDonald, E.C. (2003). The power of protocols: An
educator’s guide to better practice. New York: NY, Teachers College Press.
The book begins with a rationale for using protocols and engaging in facilitative leadership. The last three chapters (Ch. 3-5) list and describe a variety of protocols for the reader’s use.
Chapter 2: Facilitating (PD, CHANGE THEORY)
• “Facilitating is about promoting participation, ensuring equity, and building trust (p. 15).”
• Facilitators must be “appointed” either formally or informally.
• The Facilitator’s Core Tasks
o Promoting participation
o Ensuring equity
• Facilitators must “make room for dissidence, (sic) and may even stretch colleagues’ capacity for learning from it (p.17).”
o Building Trust
• “Educators educating themselves rely on each other’s honesty, insight, and experience (p.17).”
• “They invite the collective experience of the group to serve as the arbiter of their own growth (p.18).”
• The Facilitator’s Moves
• “Preparing educators to give and get sensitive feedback is not a lightweight distraction or lure (p.18).”
• Just like with teaching, a little initial investment can pay off in the end, saving the extra time spent in the beginning.
• Should always consist of, at the bare minimum: introductions, context review, and norm-setting.
• Introductions serve to get everyone to speak and for everyone to learn something about someone else.
o Intervening and Closing
• Facilitators’ participation varies and usually depends on the requirements of the individual protocol as well as the nature of each individual session.
• “Intervening moves try to preserve or revise the learning process, while closing moves try to ensure the learning itself carries over into the educators’ ordinary work life (p. 21).”
• Three very helpful questions (p. 21):
• What? What have I learned about the topic that brought this group together?
• So what? What difference does it seem to make?
• Now what? What steps can I take to make the most of what I have learned?
• Types of Brief Protocols
o Reflection on a Word
o All-Purpose Go-Round
• Types of Longer Openers
o Fears and Hopes
o Setting Norms
o Diversity Rounds
o Marvin’s Model