by Michael Lees, Director at the International School of Havana
27 members of the ISHavana learning community along with three visiting teachers from the American School of Guatemala took part in the Adaptive School Seminar at the International School of Havana, Cuba from March 4th to March 7th.
The aim of the seminar, run by Thinking Collaborative’s Doreen Miori-Merola, was to ‘develop our collective identity and capacity as collaborators, inquirers and leaders in complex systems’. In practical terms, this involves growing the capacity in schools and organisations to structure successful meetings and increase the efficacy of the various groups, teams and task forces in a complex structure like a school.
Teaching staff and board members spent their time exploring and developing their skills in areas such as meditative questioning, norms of collaboration, paraphrasing and the differences between dialogue and discussion. As a result, everyone left the seminar with a robust toolkit and set of foundation principles for adapting the way we collaborate in our organisations, resulting in more effective decisions and actions.
Attendees were unanimously delighted with Doreen at the helm, whose mixture of experience, humour and profound understanding of collaborative work in educational settings made for a fascinating four days. Those members of the group who had participated in Thinking Collaborative’s Cognitive Coaching seminar in 2019 with Doreen found that they were able to extend and connect their learning across both areas.
The International School of Havana is looking forward to welcoming more of our international colleagues in the near future for some more outstanding professional development.