Caffarella’s (2002) discussion of the importance of naming your personal beliefs rang a few bells for me. She states that “rarely do people involved in program planning fully articulate their personal beliefs about program planning, sometimes even to themselves; yet a system of beliefs guides their actions” (39).

We had a new administrator at our school last year and she implemented a visioning process where we were asked to state individually, by department, and as a staff our beliefs about learning, and the role of teachers and our school in the community. There was initially some resistance from people who felt that this might be just one more pet project but I think there was buy-in by most of us at the end.

It is a surprisingly powerful process to articulate what you think is important. Once it it out there, the onus is on you to act in ways that support your beliefs. You also open yourself up to criticism from people who may disagree with you and cause you to question your own beliefs or actions.

Very interesting!

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