FOREWORD<br />STRATEGIC PLANNING USING THE WAYS OF KNOWING THROUGH THE REALMS OF MEANING<br />By<br />Queinnise Miller<br ...
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
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National FORUM Journals - William Allan Kritsonis, PhD

  1. 1. FOREWORD<br />STRATEGIC PLANNING USING THE WAYS OF KNOWING THROUGH THE REALMS OF MEANING<br />By<br />Queinnise Miller<br /> PhD Student in Educational Leadership, Cohort 5 - PVAMU<br />About the Issue <br />The year 2004 marked the inception of the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program in the Whitlowe R. Green College of Education at Prairie View A&M University. Since then over 32 educational professionals have graduated and joined the academy of Doctors of Philosophy in Educational Leadership. As the program grows each year new cohorts of educational professionals are established, and the future of research becomes brighter. This special issue contains the thoughts and theories based on research of Cohort 5, as it relates to strategic planning as a theoretical framework by utilizing the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (2007) by Dr. William Allan Kritsonis. These articles were a partial requirement for a course in the doctoral program taught by Professor Kritsonis. <br />In the first article, Queinnise Miller explores professional learning communities while taking a look at how they impact school improvement and their place in strategic planning in education. In the second article, Rosnisha Stevenson discusses ways school districts can meet one of their goals on their campus improvement plan and increase their standardized test scores by using the six realms of meaning in the classrooms. In the third article, Carmelita Thompson discusses ways in which strategic planning implemented by utilizing the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (Kritsonis, 2007) creates a high performing educational organization. In the fourth article, Barbara Thompson discusses significant aspects of the six realms of meaning as it relates to strategic planning in instructional leadership. In the fifth article, Kashan Ishaq discusses how school leaders’ understanding of the six realms of meaning can be strategically integrated in solving the educational problems of today and improving the schools of tomorrow. The sixth article, Christine Lewis discusses ways our educational leaders in public schools can incorporate the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (Kritsonis 2007) to take strategic planning from the modernism age to postmodernism age to improve our nation’s educational system. In the seventh article, Tyrus Doctor discusses strategies used within our current school environment, while implementing postmodern thinking. In the eight article, David Palmer shows the linkage between the realms of meaning and strategic planning and to show how symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics and synoptics has an under pinning value to the planning that is required for successful schools. In the ninth article, Sheri Miller-Williams introduces the concept of systems thinking and suggest two frameworks that could work to support comprehensive school reform. In the tenth article, Simone Gardiner discusses how postmodernism and the realms of meaning can be implemented in students’ learning with the use of strategic planning. In the eleventh and final article, Demetria Diggs apprises educators of how incorporating the six realms from the Ways of Knowing Tthrough the Realms of Meaning (Kritsonis, 2007), into school improvement and strategic plans to yield avant-garde results for all educational stakeholders. <br /> Cohort 5 at PVAMU sincerely appreciates the opportunity to publish in the National FORUM of Applied Educational Research Journal. We thank the National Policy Board representing all National FORUM Journals for their confidence in our work. To be published as doctoral students in a national refereed journal is professionally rewarding. We thank our professor Dr. William Allan Kritsonis for providing outstanding mentorship in guiding us in our writing pursuits. <br />Queinnise Miller<br />PhD Student in Educational Leadership – Cohort 5<br />Prairie View A&M University<br />Teacher<br />Alief Independent School District <br />National FORUM of Applied Educational Research Journal<br />Volume 23, Numbers 1&2 2009-2010<br />Issue Distribution and Circulation (Approximations)<br />Issue Distribution Libraries…………………………….. 948<br /> Association of College and Research Libraries……… 383<br />Deans, College of Education ……………………………. 396<br />NCATE Accredited Institutions………………………… 632<br />Selected Professors………………………………………. 1,289<br />State Superintendents…………………………………… 52<br />Editors of National, Regional, State Journals…………. 95<br />School Superintendents/Principals/Supervisors……….. 2,005<br />Bureaus of Educational Research Services……………. 243<br />Conference Distribution………………………………… 279<br />National Organizations…………………………………. 104<br />International Distribution/Worldwide………………… 641 <br /> 2,839<br />Implementation of The Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning as a Conceptual Framework in Professional Leaning Communities as they Impact/Influence Strategic Planning in Education<br />Queinnise Miller<br />PhD Student in Educational Leadership<br />Whitlowe R. Green College of Education<br />Prairie View A&M University<br />Teacher<br />Alief Independent School District<br />Houston, Texas<br />William Allan Kritsonis, PhD<br />Professor<br />PhD Program in Educational Leadership<br />Hall of Honor (2008)<br />William H. Parker Leadership Academy<br />Whitlowe R. Green College of Education<br />Prairie View A&M University<br />Member of the Texas A&M University System<br />Prairie View, Texas<br />Visiting Lecturer (2005)<br />Oxford Round Table<br />University of Oxford, Oxford England<br />Distinguished Alumnus (2004)<br />College of Education and Professional Studies<br />Central Washington University<br />ABSTRACT<br />To move toward educational excellence leaders, teachers, and district administrators must be strategic in planning for instructional success. As this planning takes place, I believe that the concept of Professional Leaning Communities (PLC) should occupy a large space in a school strategic plan for success. Strategic planning should be viewed as “Strategic Thinking” about what is working and what standards, if any, should be set in a undetermined and constant changing educational system. This task requires a large amount of communication between all stakeholders involved in the education of our children. The majority of this communication can be done though the power of professional learning communities. A crucial element to this success is the implementation of the six realms of meaning.<br />Introduction<br />Unprecedented change is taking place in schools all over the world. Schools are increasingly being managed like businesses. Without effective strategic planning principals will be involved in crisis management (Van der Linde, 2001). As schools engage in strategic planning, professional learning communities should be heavily depended on to help districts move from infancy to maturity in their quality of instructional and overall educational success. By using the Kritsonis’ 2003 Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning as a guide for professional learning communities this will increase the success of professional learning communities and their impact on strategic planning. <br />Purpose of the Article<br />The purpose of this article is to explore professional learning communities while taking a look at how they impact school improvement and their place in strategic planning in education. This article will address how the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (Kritsonis, 2003) is implemented in the core of professional learning communities. By utilizing the six realms in professional learning communities, leaders and teachers will be able to achieve the highest excellence possible in educational achievement. <br />Professional Learning Communities<br />Professional Learning Communities (PLC) have over the last few years been almost a house hold name among educators of all levels. In fact, the term has been used so ubiquitously that it is in danger of losing all meaning (Daufour, 2004). Each word of the phrase "professional learning community" has been chosen purposefully. <br />Dufour and Eaker state:<br />A "professional" is someone with expertise in a specialized field……...."Learning" suggests ongoing action and perpetual curiosity….. In a professional learning community, educators create an environment that fosters mutual cooperation, emotional support, personal growth as they work together to achieve what they cannot accomplish alone (as cited in Thomas, Gregg, and Niska, 2004). <br />Most all professional learning communities follow the same protocol. Within each community the teacher as well as leaders is encouraged to pursue personal and professional development, integrating it as part of their regular job responsibilities. Alief ISD is an example of this, by implementing PLC time into the school week by creating a weekly early release day for students and utilizing that extra hour for mandated time for teachers to be in their specified professional learning community. Within professional learning communities, leaders have incorporated professional development by asking teachers to discuss and share differing classroom application. From those interactions, teachers are enhancing their professional knowledge in a more informal approach to professional development. True professional learning communities follow different protocols to evoke dialogue between team members. In some professional development settings, teachers are asked to read books or educational articles as a catalyst to encourage reflection, inquiry, and sharing. Individual and team judgment is valued more than rules, policies, forms, and procedures. Most importantly, everyone is encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and development and this is considered to be a norm of the school's culture (Thompson, 2004). <br />These concepts of professional leaning communities may sound simple to implement, this is not always the case. Implementing professional learning communitiesis challenging. For starters, they require a deep cultural change within the school ( Honawar, 2008). <br />How Professional Learning Communities Impact School Improvement<br />There are cascades of strategies, theories, district initiatives, and many other ideas to improve student learning. Teacher collaboration is hailed as one of the most effective ways to improve student learning (Honawar, 2008). This can be debatable like most things in education are. According to Thomas, Gregg, and Niska (2004), many K-12 school are working to become professional learning communities in the hope that student learning will improve when adults commit themselves to talking collaboratively about teaching and learning and then take action that will improve student learning and achievement. Other leaders in the field such as Mike Schmoker (2004) believe that “…the most promising strategy for sustained, substantive school improvement is building the capacity of school personnel to function as a professional learning community” (pg. 424). <br />For former superintendent Richard DuFour (2004) in Educational Leadership, attributes the successes and record gains in his near Chicago school district to goal oriented collaborative teams. DuFour believed that collaborative teams were the engine behind each schools improvement efforts. <br />Mike Schmoker said:<br />In the nearby but less advantaged Chicago Public Schools, those with strong professional learning communities were four times more likely to be improving academically than schools with weaker professional communities. We can no longer afford to be innocent of the fact that “collaboration” improves performance (pg. 431). Such simple effort — teachers teaching one another the practice of teaching — leads to what has to be one of the most salient lists of benefits in educational literature:<br />Higher-quality solutions to instructional problems,<br />Increased confidence among faculty,<br />Increased ability to support one another’s strengths and to accommodate weaknesses,<br />More systematic assistance to beginning teachers, and<br />The ability to examine an expanded pool of ideas, methods, and materials (pg. 430).<br />I believe that an unknown author said it best, “I cannot improve my craft in isolation from others.”<br />The Role Professional Learning Communities have in Strategic Planning<br />For some people, the term strategic planning brings to mind a disciplined and thoughtful process that links the values, mission, and goals of a school system with a set of coherent strategies and tasks designed to achieve those goals (Reeves, 2007). According to Weindling (1997) strategic planning "is a means for establishing and maintaining a sense of direction when the future has become more and more difficult to predict" (as sited in Van der Linde, 2001, pg. 536). <br />Professional learning communities embodies this process and allows for a triangulation of planning, goal setting, and result evaluation. Communication is the element that makes strategic planning such a success. Through professional leaning communities, this element of communication is evident as teachers begin to talk and create communities that focus on the specific needs of a campus, department, or classroom. <br />Implementing “Symbolics” in Professional Learning Communities<br />The first realm of meaning is symbolics. “These meanings are contained in arbitrary symbolic structures, with socially accepted rules of formation and transformation, created as instruments for the expression and communication of any meaning whatsoever (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 11).<br />Professional Learning Communities use communication as the backbone in which its purpose is fulfilled. Within professional learning communities this first realm is evident with the “ordinary language” that is required for effective communication to take place. In all professional learning communities there is a discourse employed in the everyday speech and writing of education. Without the knowledge of this language and the knowledge of its meaning, educators within these communities cannot make progress in their journey to student improvement. A person knows a language only if he understands its meanings (Kritsonis, 2003, p.109). Gamble (2008) postulates that teachers must learn the vocabulary and apply the concepts of a PLC. They must talk the talk and walk the walk in lesson preparation and lesson presentations. Teachers must model the dynamics by stating clearly the objectives to the students, and make frequent use of formative assessments, using graphic organizers whenever possible. The use of graphic organizers is the implementation of symbols, which according to Kritsonis comprise another of the outer faces of language. These symbols are spoken sounds or written marks that convey the meaning to be communicated (Kritsonis, 2007). <br />The realm of symbolics expresses that different languages reflect multiple ways of organizing experiences. This is implemented in professional learning communities, by the collaboration effort between teachers as they share experiences and together organize and plan for future classroom experiences. Ordinary language presupposes a fund of common understandings about the world and a body of shareable experiences (Kritsonis, 2007, pg. 110). The common understanding and shareable experiences of classroom instruction among educators is what should be built on in professional learning communities. Educators strengthen one another by sharing with others their victories and their failures. It is only through these symbolic <br />interactions of language can schools begin the ever so needed dialogue of what is working in our schools. <br />The Implementation of “Empirics” in Professional Learning Communities<br />The second realm empirics, includes the sciences of the physical world, of living things, and of man. These sciences provide factual descriptions, generalizations, and theoretical formulations and explanations that are based upon observation and experimentation in the world of matter, life, mind, and society (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). <br /> <br />As educators collect and analyze data from students to produce better results they are functioning in the empirical realm. <br />The educators involved in professional learning communities essentially become scientific researcher for what is effective and what is not effective in the instructional setting. By becoming researchers their scientific inquiry is aimed at bringing some order and intelligibility out of what appears to be a miscellaneous and unrelated profusion of phenomena (Kritsonis, 2007). Gamble (2004) suggest that schools develop a professional library by researching the great "movers" in the field (i.e., Dufour, Hord, Martin-Kniep, Sergiovanni, and others). Acquire materials by these authors and get them into circulation. <br />As teachers gather data, it is important for them to remember that principles, generalizations, and laws are not directly inferred from data of observation and observations do not test the truth or falsity of hypotheses, but rather their scope and limitations. By being aware of these limitations identified by observation, educators are able to put in place future interventions for those students affected by those limitations. <br />The Implementation of “Esthetics” in Professional Learning Communities<br />“The third realm, esthetics, contains the various arts, such as music, the visual arts, the arts of movement, and literature” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). Esthetics looks at not only knowledge in a mathematical and empirical manner, but explores understanding that may be used for the arts and other non-empirical fields. Often students cannot be calculated in a scientific manner. There are beauties that occur in the learning of all students that can only be understood in the wholeness of the student both empirically and non-empirically. Each individual student is like a fragile art piece. Each work of art contains its own meaning and speaks for itself (p.279). By understanding the whole student and the varieties present in each student, professional learning communities can have a more holistic view and dialogue on what is working for different pieces of beautiful artwork. <br />It is important for educators to consistently take into consideration the differences and beauty that every student processes. Professional learning communities are a good platform for this to occur being that they are able to share experiences and assess students from differing paradigms. <br />The Implementation of “Synnoetics” in Professional Learning Communities<br />The fourth realm is synnoetics. Synnoetics refers to meanings in which a person has direct insight into other beings (or oneself) as concrete wholes existing in relation (Kritsonis, 2007). Engagement is a crucial part in having an effective professional learning community. It is the engagement between team members within the professional learning community as well as the engagement between the teacher and the student that drives the collaboration effort that in turn promotes student achievement. Kritsonis (2007) says that synnoetic meaning requires engagement and that there is no such thing as absolutely solitary existence. The very concept of isolation has significance only against a background of other from whom one is separated (Kritsonis, 2007). People may differ about how to ensure “quality,” but most would agree that quality teachers know how to craft engaging and effective learning experiences, despite constant changes in student populations. They need to be knowledgeable and they need to know how to use their knowledge. Ongoing professional learning simply must be integral to their work (Wood, 2007). Educators are charged with not only educating students academically, yet also, helping them gain self knowledge and guide them in how to use both their academic knowledge as well as their self knowledge. One goal of professional learning communities is to help teachers also gain knowledge of teaching practices as well as a personal knowledge about who they are and the roles they play as educators in a school. While professional developments are great avenues for this task, most time smaller professional learning communities can be more effective. Kritsonis (2007) posits that personal knowledge is not always developed though formal instruction. <br />The Implementation of “Ethics” in Professional Learning Communities<br />Ethics, according to Dr. William A. Kritsonis, is that which “includes moral meanings that express obligation rather than fact, perceptual form, or awareness of relation” (Kritsonis, 2007, pg. 13). Morality, according to Kritsonis, is simply that “which reflects inter-subjective<br />understanding. Morality has to do with personal conduct that is based on free, responsible, deliberate decision” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). As educators ethics and morality should be the ordinary language and the business of everyone. Each day parents entrust us with the lives and futures of their children. Any act or decision made for our students from the smallest of them such as school materials used to the biggest such as assessment choices should be the most moral and ethical one. Gamble (2008) suggest that one should become an instructional leader in your school by advocating, in theory and practice, one of the "best practices" models called a professional learning community. <br />According to Kritsonis, ethical considerations enter into every department of ordinary life. Therefore, education cannot and will not escape the responsibility of ethics, or right actions, against students. By forming professional learning communities, teachers should ensure and hold each other accountable for ethical behavior toward students. The improvement of conduct depends upon the habit, in making each decision, of bringing into consciousness a range of different possibilities from among which a selection can be made (Kritsonis, 2007). This is the essence of what a professional learning community should do. <br />The Implementation of “Synoptics” in Professional Learning Communities<br />Synoptics refers “to meanings that are comprehensively integrative” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). Synoptics covers the realms of “history, philosophy, and religion” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). Professional learning communities implement this realm of meaning with its integrative characteristics of guiding, teaching, and learning as educators. <br />In professional learning communities, educators must also look at the history of what has been successful in obtaining student achievement for all students. By looking at the past, educators are able to better chart their path to the future. Along with looking at the past, professional learning communities should frequently reference the vision that the school is attempting to bring to realization. At the very least, faith refers to an ideal and a hope for maximum completeness, depth, and integrity of vision (Kritsonis, 2008). <br />The synoptic view addresses the entire range of all that is encompassed in the expressible education experiences. Fidelity must be given to a data-driven curriculum, to clear and specific objectives, and to a mindset of deep purpose for meaningful planning and collaboration. The focus must be to move students, as well as faculty, into truly becoming lifelong learners (Gamble, 2007).<br />Concluding Remarks<br />In conclusion strategic planning is imperative for school leaders to obtain gains in student achievement. <br />Doug Reeves (2007) stated:<br />School leaders should embrace the importance of strategy by developing plans that are focused and brief and that provide consistent monitoring and evaluation. Most important, the teachers and leaders who implement strategic plans should begin the process with the confidence that their professional practices truly influence student achievement. (pg. 87)<br />This process can and will be enhanced through quality professional learning communities where teachers and leaders can begin effective and action oriented dialogue about student achievement and what works and what is not working in classrooms all across the nation. The continued implementation of the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning will produce more coherent results when seeking holistic achievement of students. <br />References<br />Bonstingl, J. (2009, January). Strategic planning during tough times. Leadership, 38(3), 8-10. Retrieved July 8, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.<br />DuFour, R. (2004, May). What Is a Professional Learning Community?. Educational Leadership, 61(6), 6. Retrieved July 7, 2009, from MAS Ultra - School Edition database.<br />Gamble, J. (2008, March). Professional learning communities. School Library Media Activities Monthly, 24(7), 17-17. Retrieved July 8, 2009, from MasterFILE Premier database.<br />Honawar, V. (2008, April 2). 'Working smarter by working together. Education Week, 27(31), 25-27. Retrieved July 8, 2009, from MasterFILE Premier database.<br />Kritsonis, W. (2007). Ways of knowing through the realms of meaning. Houston, TX:<br />National Forum Journals.<br />Nebgen, M. (1991, April). The key to success in strategic planning is communication. Educational Leadership, 48(7), 26. Retrieved July 8, 2009, from Middle Search Plus database.<br />Reeves, D. (2007, December). Making strategic planning work. Educational Leadership, 65(4), 86. Retrieved July 8, 2009, from Middle Search Plus database.<br />Schmoker, M. (2004, February 1). Tipping point: From feckless reform to substantive instructional improvement. Phi Delta Kappan, 85(6), 424. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ700581) Retrieved July 7, 2009, from ERIC database.<br />Thompson, S., Gregg, L., & Niska, J. (2004, November). Professional learning communities, leadership, and student learning. Research in Middle Level Education Online, 28(1), 35-54. Retrieved July 8, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.<br />Van der Linde, D. (2001, Spring2001). Strategic quality planning for teachers in the new millennium. Education, 121(3), 535. Retrieved July 8, 2009, from MasterFILE Premier database.<br />Wood, D. (2007, September). Professional learning communities: Teachers, knowledge, and knowing. Theory Into Practice, 46(4), 281-290. Retrieved July 8, 2009, from doi:10.1080/00405840701593865<br />A Lens of the Six Realms of Meaning in Improving a Campus’ Standardized Test Scores through Team Teaching and Strategic Planning<br />Rosnisha D. Stevenson<br />PhD Student in Educational Leadership<br />College of Education<br />Prairie View A&M University<br />English Teacher<br />Mayde Creek High School<br />Katy Independent School District<br />Houston, Texas<br />William Allan Kritsonis, PhD<br />Professor<br />PhD Program in Educational Leadership<br />Prairie View A&M University<br />Member of the Texas A&M University System<br />William H. Parker Leadership Academy Hall of Honor (2008)<br />Prairie View A&M University<br />Visiting Lecturer (2005)<br />Oxford Round Table<br />University of Oxford, Oxford England<br />Distinguished Alumnus (2004)<br />Central Washington University<br />College of Education and Professional Studies<br />ABSTRACT<br />This article will seek to utilize Dr. William Allan Kritsonis’ book Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (2007) as a framework to improve a campuses standardize test scores, more specifically, their TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) scores. Many campuses have an improvement plan, also known as a Campus Improvement Plan, which strives to improve many aspects on their campus, but mostly their standardized test scores. Utilizing the six realms of meaning outlined by Dr. William A. Kritsonis, symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics and synoptics in their team planning, schools can better prepare their students on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.<br />Introduction<br />School districts around the world develop individual Campus Improvement Plans on each campus in the district yearly based on ways they can improve their campus and make it better for the school, the students, teachers, parents and the community. One major component in schools in the state of Texas is the TAKS test or the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills standardized test is a test that school children take in the state of Texas yearly. Students in Texas take this test in all grades, but have key grades where they must pass the test in order to either move on to the next grade level or graduate from high school. Students enrolled in Elementary Schools across the state of Texas must pass the standardize TAKS test in order to move on to the fourth and sixth grade. <br />Eleventh grade students take the exit level test and most pass all five parts of the test, Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science in order to graduate. The students who are unsuccessful in obtaining a score of 2100, passing, on all five parts are given several more opportunities to pass before it is time for their senior class to walk across the stage and graduate; students who do not successfully complete the TAKS test are not permitted to graduate. This has grown to be a monumental task for schools across the state and a tremendous disappointment for the students who do not pass the test. Districts are faced with the age old question and problem of, how to reach out to the students in Texas to make them successful on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. School districts and schools throughout the state are always looking for innovative and new ways to improve the students test scores and the schools and districts accountability rating, which is based largely on these test scores. <br />The fundamental task of any educational institution is to determine the manner of defining and organizing its curriculum. At the outset the obvious fact is that there is more to learn, more to teach, and more to put in the curriculum than time available presents the educators with hard choices. (Kritsonis, 2007, p. v)<br />Through the strategic planning in team meetings throughout the various departments in a school and faculty meetings, the school can come up with ideas on how to incorporate the realms of meaning in their classrooms to assist each teacher with improving the education of their students, which will ultimately lead to an improvement on standardize test scores. Teaching teams on the school campus must involve a teacher from every discipline in order for the team to be complete. The teams must consist of someone from each of the following departments (if present) on the campus, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Career Technology, Fine Arts, Health/Physical Education and Technology Application. There should be at least one teacher from each discipline representing their respective subject area during these team meetings. <br />Each campus must find a way to meet their mission statement, which is the guiding line for each school and gives them insight of what is needed on their campus improvement plan to improve their school. “An educational institution or school system claiming to be purposive must make some attempt to classify, codify, and integrate the knowledge base it has selected to become part of its curriculum” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. v). Schools can achieve this goal through The Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning by Dr. William Allan Kritsonis.<br />Purpose of the Article<br />The purpose of this article is to discuss ways school districts can meet one of their goals on their campus improvement plan, increasing their standardized test scores, using the six realms of meaning in the classrooms. This article will focus on ways teachers can strategically plan in their team meetings and staff developments and ways to improve learning in the classroom based on the realms of meaning. Utilizing the realms of meaning will help schools, teachers and students reach the goals they have set in their Campus Improvement Plan and their Mission Statement. School districts around the country are faced with accountability ratings and state mandated assessments, which plays a large role in the funding that schools receive. <br />“Research have recognized the complexities and formidable tasks associated with mandated accountability efforts, particularly in light of the new demands for increased testing, public reporting of results, and opportunities for parents to exercise choice options out of failing schools in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001” (Houle, 2006, p. 144). With this increasing pressure from the state and on the national level, school districts are forced to come up with new and innovative ways to improve student standardized test scores, mainly student scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test. Schools can reach the goals outlined in their Campus Improvement Plan and receive their accountability ratings through constant planning in team meetings and staff/professional developments; coming up with ways to reach out to students to assist them in learning and improving their test scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test.<br />Symbolics<br />The first realm, symbolics, “comprises ordinary language, mathematics, and various types of nondiscursive symbolic forms, such as gestures, rituals, rhythmic patterns, and the like” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 11). The realm of symbolics is something that should be discussed and planned out during team meetings and staff development because it encompasses variables that are important to obtain and understand in order for students to be successful on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. Symbolics is a realm that can be successfully utilized in all subject areas in public schools. Symbols are visual representations or visual aides that are common and known by almost everyone around, which can be as simple as your everyday traffic signs to the basic symbols used to govern the daily operations of schools that students are familiar with. These basic symbols, everyday language, etc… can be taught in all disciplines. Teachers getting together and collaborating with one another can ensure that these symbols are being taught in all classes and are universal amongst the disciplines through teachers getting together in team meetings. Professional Learning Communities, also known as PLC’s, have been successful in recent years in adding student success. “Scholarship on professional learning communities indicates that change is more likely to be effective and enduring when those responsible for its implementation are included in a shared decision-making process” (Scriber, Sawyer, Watson and Myers, 2007, p. 71).<br />It is imperative that each subject area is on one accord and is speaking a universal language when instructing students. Speaking this universal language to students within a school will ensure that the students are well prepared and equipped for recognizing the language, symbols, etc… when they view the information on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, ultimately improving their success rate.<br />Empirics<br />The second realm empirics, <br />“includes the science of the physical world, of living things, and of man. These sciences provide factual descriptions, generalizations, and theoretical formulations and explanations that are based upon observation and experimentation in the world of matter, life, mind, and society. They express meanings as probable empirical truths framed in accordance with certain rules of evidence and verification and making use of specified systems of analytic abstraction.” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12)<br />Empirics deal with the sciences in everyday life. The second realm focuses on the subject areas of physical science, biology, physics, psychology, and the social sciences. The second realm relies on factual information and educators must deal with and present all of the facts to the students that they teach. Teachers must gather information that is true and accurate in order to reach and teach their students to be successful on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test.<br />With this realm of meaning, educators can evaluate the data received from the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills to evaluate where their students stand and where improvement is needed. <br />The reading of measuring instruments is in principle the most simple and certain of operations. It requires only the ability to perceive the position of a pointer on a scale. Being exactly defined and demanding only the most elemental sensory capacities, physical measurements yield data on which agreement by all observers is possible, subject only to errors of measurement that can be progressively reduced by refinement of instruments and repeated observations. (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 181)<br />Schools gather and evaluate important TAKS data on their students to access where they need to go from there or to examine the numbers that they have projected in their Campus Improvement Plan for the school on their TAKS test. District and the individual school accountability ratings play a major role in the validity of the school and the district. President George W. Bush introduced the No Child Left Behind Act to everyone, placing an extreme amount of pressure on schools and school districts, forcing them to look at the data and essentially come up with a new game plan. <br />The “No Child Left Behind Act” (NCLB) became a law in 2001. No Child Left Behind has added a new dimension to test based educational accountability systems. Features of state and No Child Left Behind accountability are discusses with an emphasis on questions of the validity of inferences that are made about school quality. It is concluded that none of the current approaches to test-based accountability support causal inferences about school quality. It is also shown that tracking progress toward the important goal of closing gaps in achievement requires more than just monitoring changes in the percentages of students who are proficient. (Linn, 2007, p. 5)<br />Campuses and individual teaching teams get together on a regular basis to look at the data to formulate a plan to improve student test scores on school wide basis. Evaluating the data will give teaching teams the information needed for the areas where improvement is needed, providing them with pertinent information that they can use in all disciplines to assist students on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test. Empirics is an important realm that is valid for evaluating the data for student success. <br />Esthetics<br />Esthetics “contains the various arts, such as music, the visual arts, the arts of movement, and literature. Meanings in this realm are concerned with the contemplative perception of particular significant things as unique objectifications of ideated subjectives” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). Through a school’s Campus Improvement Plan and Mission Statement, schools can look at innovative and creative ways to motivate and stimulate student success in more creative and artistic ways. “Humans teach their children the arts to help them achieve what we consider a well-rounded education, exposing them to new and interesting forms of sensory satisfaction (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 284). Expressiveness lies above and beyond the art, music and physical education classes. Although students are encouraged to express their artistic ways in the arts classes, they are also encouraged to express themselves artistically in other classes.<br />Writing is one of the major components on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Test. Writing is an area that can be extended to all subject areas in a school, having students express themselves creatively through their writing skills. “Teachers allow students to spend large amounts of time developing their talents. Teachers encourage student’s expressiveness in order that they may gain confidence and appreciation” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 290). In team meetings, educators may get together to plan ways to assist students with their writing and their creativity. Students may write in all subject areas, expressing themselves and preparing themselves for the writing portion on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test, which is an area that many students struggle with on the test. Students are sometimes not fully able to express themselves creatively on the test, allowing them to become successful and pass the writing portion of the test. “A work of art’s meaning consists in what its organized materials uniquely express” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 302). By having students practice their writing over and in all subject matters; the students become use to the universal language, symbolics, which is needed in order for them to become better writers. When their writing and creativity is practiced in every subject, and taught in the same way that was established in the teacher’s team meeting, they become use to it and their writing creativity becomes second nature to them. By practicing these symbols and the arts of literature and written expression in all discipline areas, student success rates will soar. <br />Literature is the art in which language is the medium of esthetic expression. The subject matter of literary study is the individual literary work. To understand literature it must be studied intrinsically to discover the unique patterns of sound, rhythm, meter, and semantic figuration as they are used in the creation of singular unitary compositions. Extrinsic factors may also add valuable insights, but only as they are employed to illuminate the inherent structure of each work itself. (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 362)<br />With literature and writing being one of the major components of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills that students often struggle with, getting together in these team meetings will put the great minds of educators together to come up with a viable plan with making improvements on this part of the test. “Literature is not intended to be translated literally. As an art, it is meant to have esthetic qualities that invoke thought and intellectually stimulate the reader or listener, even to entertain” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 368). Students struggle with comprehending what they have read and then have trouble translating it into a written expression. <br />To understand literature, a student must see beyond editing and factual representation. Literature generally exhibits use of images, symbols, metaphors, analogy, double vision, and myth. Can one then say that any works of writing that exhibits these traits is to be considered literature and therefore, a work of art? (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 374)<br />It all boils down to educators utilizing all six of the realms, as they intertwine together in some form or fashion. When educators work together, student success is the only possible and plausible outcome when used properly throughout all disciplines. <br />Synnoetics<br />The fourth realm, synnoetics, “embraces what Michael Polanyi calls ‘personal knowledge’ and Martin Buber the ‘I-Thou’ relation. This personal or relational knowledge is concrete, direct, and existential. It may apply to persons, to oneself, or even to things” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). It is important with this realm that educators enforce to their students the importance of being responsible for their own actions and taking some responsibility for the choices they make with their education.<br />Personal knowledge is gained by not only understanding the self, but understanding how others, whom one considers significant, sees one as well. If the people that one considers important shun him or her, then he/she is likely to accept himself/herself as important. Teachers often see this in children and are concerned about the student’s self esteem. (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 400)<br />Once students are taught by their parents and teachers to take responsibility for the actions that they make, it will only strengthen the student all around, making them more conscious of their actions and their education. Getting the students on board with their education only simplifies what educators have set out to accomplish and making them more aware of what it is that they need in order to achieve success in life.<br />Ethics<br />The fifth realm, “ethics, includes moral meanings that express obligation rather than fact, perceptual form or awareness of relation. In contrast with sciences, which are concerned with abstract cognitive understanding, to the arts, which express idealized esthetic perceptions, and to personal knowledge, which reflects inter-subjective understanding, morality has to do with personal conduct that is based on free, responsible, deliberate decision” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). This realm is another important realm to teach students in relation to their education as well. Teachers must teach students about academic dishonesty and how to be ethically moral in life. There have been numerous cases about students, as well as teachers, who have exhibited immoral ethics when it comes to the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test. <br />While it should be very obvious to people that laws are laws and that people must conform to them for the good of society, many people rationalize an excuse to break the “little” laws. What obligation does the teacher have to set an example of total moral adherence to students? How should people react to a teacher who sits in the back of the room at a faculty meeting complaining about the students who talk in class while the principal is addressing the faculty? (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 450)<br />It is important that every teacher stresses to each and every one of the students that they teach the importance of honesty. We as teachers must lead by example. All teachers and the school must be on one accord when it comes to academic dishonesty. A school will not be unified if one teacher allows students to be dishonest without any consequences and another teacher punishes the student for it, where is the justice in that and what is it teaching our students?<br />Guilt is a normal human emotion. Most people inherently try to do what they believe is right and are consciously aware of it when they do not. When people do wrong and are punished for it, society generally believes they deserve it. If an existing rule is broken and the child is not punished, what does the child learn about society’s moral convictions or about the importance of the rule? (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 468)<br />One factor that schools are placed with the responsibility of is educating and ensuring that they are producing citizens that are respectable and honest citizens in society. Teaching teams, along with the entire campus, getting together and deciding on what they will and will not tolerate from students is an important thing to do. Students work more effectively when there is consistency throughout, when they can be reassured that all teachers are going to tolerate or not tolerate the same things in every single class. Students spend much of their day with their teachers, so teachers do in fact, have a great influence on the students they teach and can help them make the right decisions in being ethically moral students and citizens in society.<br />An idea of what human life can be and ought to be is consistent with the facts of human experience and with the persistent visions of universality, truth, beauty, love, duty, and integrity that have come down in moral traditions of humankind. It states a goal, based on the study of human potentialities, by which the consequences of actions may be assessed, and consequently provides a solid ground for moral decisions. On this foundation a defensible and productive theory of morals can be established – a theory to which the entire educative endeavor is seen as a moral enterprise aimed at the consummation of human life through the increase in meaning in all its realms. (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 476)<br />Synoptics<br />Synoptics is the sixth realm of meaning. Synoptics “refers to meanings that are comprehensively integrative. This realm includes history, religion, and philosophy. These disciplines combine empirical, esthetic, and synnoetic meaning into coherent wholes (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). This realm is another realm that is used in a variety of subjects in the education field. There is a saying that says “you must know where you came from before you know where you are going”. Educators must teach kids about the past, so that they will not repeat past mistakes, but make greater strides in life. “Much of people’s understanding of history is based on interpretations of the written or spoken stories of the past, in some cases hundreds or thousands of years ago. Every story has two sides, or more, and the side of the story that is accepted and passed on is generally that of the victor” (Kritsonis, 2007, pg. 498). We not only teach our students what we have learned but we also work as a group to focus on what we have learned from the past. Through our staff/professional developments and team meetings, we look at ways that we can improve the school for the betterment of the student’s success. Focusing on what was successful in the past and moving towards a post modern approach in the way we develop Campus Improvement Plans, is what is in the best interest of our students. Times have changed, the students have changed and as educators, we have to embrace change for the success of the students we <br />Concluding Remarks<br />In conclusion, student success on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test is based largely on the way teacher teams can successfully relay the much needed information to the students. <br />The nature of teams in shared governance structures—the fact that teams can organize to either find or solve problems—has important implications for the creative leadership capacity of individual teams. Thus, structures and social dynamics of distributed <br />leadership must be attended to and not taken for granted. Implications include (a) conceptualizing leadership in terms of interaction, (b) needing to help teachers become aware of conversational dynamics that lead to or subvert effective collaboration, and (c) needing to help principals become more aware of their role in helping to establish clarity of purpose and appropriate levels of autonomy, so that teams may engage in work that leads to effective and innovative problem-finding and problem-solving activities. (Scribner, Sawyer, Watson, Myers, 2007, p. 67)<br />Through getting together as a team, in teaching teams and at staff developments, educators can instill in students the tools needed to make them successful in school and in life by utilizing the six realms of meaning in their instruction.<br />References<br />Bohte, J. (2001). School bureaucracy and student performance on a local level. Public <br />Administration Review, 61, 92-99. <br />Harris, A. (2004). Distributed leadership and school improvement: leading or misleading? <br />Educational Management Administration Leadership, 32, 11–24.<br />Houle, J.C. (2006). Professional development for urban principals in underperforming schools. <br />Educational and Urban Society, 38, 142–159.<br />Kritsonis, W. (2007). Ways of knowing through the realms of meaning. Houston, TX:<br />National Forum Journals.<br />Linn, R. L. (2007). Validity of inferences from test-based educational<br />accountability systems. J. Peers Evaluation Education, 19, 5–15. <br />Muijs, D. & Harris, A. (2007). Teacher leadership in (In) action. Educational Management <br />Administration and Leadership, 35, 111-134. <br /> Peterson, S. A. (1999). School district central office power and student performance. <br />School Psychology International, 20, 376-387. <br />Scribner, J.P., Sawyer, R.K., Watson, S.T., & Myers, V.L. (2007). Teacher teams and <br />distributed leadership: a study of group discourse and collaboration. Educational Administration Quarterly. 43, 67–100.<br />Implementing the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning to Strategic Planning in K-12<br />Carmelita Thompson<br />PhD Student in Educational Leadership<br />College of Education<br />Prairie View A & M University<br />Educational Diagnostician<br />Bellville Independent School District<br />Bellville, Texas<br />William Allan Kritsonis, PhD<br />Professor and Faculty Mentor<br />PhD Program in Educational Leadership<br />Prairie View A & M University<br />Member of the Texas A & M University System<br />Visiting Lecturer (2005)<br />Oxford Round Table<br />University of Oxford, Oxford, England<br />Distinguished Alumnus (2004)<br />Central Washington University<br />College of Education and Professional Studies<br />________________________________________________________________________<br />ABSTRACT<br />The educational environment has become increasingly complex, demanding, and multidimensional. The No Child Left Behind Act has expanded the federal role in education and increased accountability for achievement results. Academic achievement is the cornerstone of the educational organization. Strategic planning, implemented using Dr. William A. Kritsonis’ Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (2007), can align the educational organization’s thinking to ensure stability, establish priorities, and achieve long term academic success. <br />________________________________________________________________________<br />Introduction<br />The Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (Kritsonis, 2007) offers a pragmatic framework to strategic planning that will move educational organizations in innovative directions. An educational organization must implement Dr. Kritsonis’ (2007) six fundamental patterns of meaning designated respectively as symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics in strategic planning. Strategic planning is the process in which an educational organization determines its current status, envisions its long-term goals, makes projections for the future, and develops strategies to achieve those future aspirations. Strategic planning must be flexible and practical and yet serve as a guide to implement programs to evaluate the educational organizations progress. A strategic plan intertwining the six fundamental patterns of the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (Kritsonis, 2007) constructs innovative analytical and critical thinking that will improve and enhance the performance of educational organizations.<br />Purpose of the Article<br />The purpose of this article is to discuss ways in which strategic planning implemented by utilizing the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (Kritsonis, 2007) creates a high performing educational organization. Skilled strategic planning makes a current assessment of needs, develops the educational organization’s future thinking, builds commitment, and serves as the guiding document for the educational organization. Effective strategic planning includes articulating the educational organization’s vision, mission, and values to set a course for future aspirations.<br />The First Realm:  Symbolics<br />The first realm of meaning is symbolics.  Dr. Kritsonis (2007) states that ordinary language such as gestures, rituals, and rhythmic patterns allow people to communicate on a personal level. Effective leadership is the cornerstone of an educational environment. Eaker and Gonzalez write about learning leaders, <br />They create systems and processes to engage collaborative teams of teachers in 1) clarifying the essential knowledge and skills students are to acquire for every course, grade level and unit of every instruction 2) developing frequent common assessments to monitor each student’s learning on a timely basis, and 3) implementing a school-wide plan of intervention to guarantee students receive additional time and support for learning as soon as they experience difficulty. (Eaker & Gonzalez, 2007, p. 6)<br />The leader’s ability to articulate the educational organization’s vision, mission, and values to propel the organization into its preferred future is essential. A vision statement is a description upon which the organization aspires. It emphasizes where the educational organization will be at a specific time in the future. The organizational mission supports the vision and it describes the purpose of the organization. The organizational values state the organization’s intentions and the organization’s core priorities in the organization’s culture. <br />Implementing the strategic plan requires the use of symbolics. The vision must be clearly communicated within the educational organization. The vision needs to capture the present status of the educational organization, and serve to guide the direction of the organization. As a means of setting a central goal that the educational organization will aspire to reach, the vision helps to provide a focus for the mission of the organization. The vision should resonate with every member of the educational organization. The educational organization must clearly communicate its expectations so that members are able to perform effectively. The strategic planning is effective when it energizes and engages the educational organization. This information is clearly communicated so the educational organization works as a collective body to be successful. The educational organization’s mission is a precise description of the organization’s purpose. It clearly and succinctly describes the business of the organization. Each member of the educational organization should be able to verbally express the organization’s mission. Value statements define how people are expected to interact within the organization. The organization’s values are used to evaluate the organization’s policies and actions. Effective organizations identify and develop clear and concise shared values so that members of the organization understand expectations. The vision, mission, and values must give the educational organization spirit. The spirit will ignite the educational organization into action.<br />The Second Realm:  Empirics<br />The second realm of meaning is empirics. Empirics encompass facts and <br />discovering the truth. Dr. Kritsonis says, “These sciences provide factual descriptions, generalizations, and theoretical formulations and explanations that are based upon observation and experimentation in the world of matter, life, mind, and society” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). According to Dr. Kritsonis (2007), science is concerned with matters of fact and facts refer to data of observation. Educational data collection is vital for strategic planning in educational organizations.<br />Strategic planning, with an emphasis on empirics, provides an understanding of the design of the educational organization’s assessment of needs, finances, and it allows the organization to set specific data-driven priorities. The educational organization is obligated to be data driven to aide accountability within the organization. It is essential to the strategic planning of an educational organization to conduct a continuum of critical analysis of the system, policy formulation and appraisal, management and monitoring, and evaluation. Gathering data and analysis of the current situation of the organization and the critical issues pertaining to the organization’s status and functioning is required in an educational organization. The strategic planning process requires a multi-method approach in gathering comprehensive data. These multi-method approaches include standardized testing, observation, surveys, interviews, document collection, and other formal and informal measures of organizational status. Findings and remedial options are formulated to provide policy orientations. As the system is analyzed, future direction can be established. Specific programs may be developed or resources may be mobilized based upon the information obtained through the data analysis. A continuum of monitoring, review, and analysis takes places. The learning leadership understands that the organization must continually change (Eaker & Gonzalez, 2007). The more data educational organizations collect, the more effectively the organization can improve. Assessment is required to constantly improve the strategic planning and ensure the execution of the educational organization’s vision. <br />The Third Realm:  Esthetics<br />  Esthetics contains the various arts, such as music, the visual arts, the arts of movement, and literature (Kritsonis, 2007). Esthetics, art, is the recognition of the beauty of the aforementioned and it is unique to each person. “The term ‘visual arts’ designates the fields of painting, drawing, graphic arts, sculpture, and architecture, in which the artist shapes tangible materials into objects of esthetic importance” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 299). Physical education, health, and recreational activities are all closely interrelated resources for the enrichment of the individual persons and in the life of society (Kritsonis, 2007). Dr. Kritsonis (2007) says that health means wholeness which may be regarded as personal wholeness. <br />It is essential that strategic planning of an educational organization include a commitment to the development of the whole child. The educational organization is obligated to encourage and enable students to become responsible and actively engaged members of society. An educational organization should build a community of children who are valued and nurtured learners. Educational organizations must consider students well-being and incorporate social, economic, and health concepts into strategic planning. The complexity of well-being makes esthetics an important component in strategic planning. The academic achievement of students should support their exploration of perspectives and cultures from around the globe. The educational organization must be prepared to create citizens who are broadly and deeply educated, who can think critically, be creative, communicate across cultures, and apply the knowledge they acquire to the global society. <br />The educational organization need to include the arts in its strategic plan. It is imperative that educational organizations make meaningful connections across academic disciplines and everyday life. The arts can reinforce skills that connect learning to the real world. The additional positive effects of art education on student learning include attendance, communication, and critical thinking. Art education also requires discipline and skill which carries over into the community. A study conducted by Allen, Edmonson, and Fisher (2009) revealed art to benefit students’ verbal and linguistic skills. Allen, Edmonson, and Fisher’s findings were, <br />The nature of fine arts classes was to help students better demonstrate ideas, <br />feelings, and emotions through expressive use of their body and creative skills. This training could be beneficial to students in the form of written expression through TAKS writing and also help students in the reading portion of the TAKS. (Allen, Edmonson, & Fisher, 2009, p. 47)<br />The Fourth Realm:  Synnoetic<br />The fourth realm is synnoetics.  Dr. Kritsonis describes synnoetics as “…meanings in which a person has direct insight into other beings (or oneself) as concrete wholes existing in relation” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 393).  Synnoetics can easily be ascribed to strategic planning. It is imperative that an educational organization understand its present position to understand its future aspirations. Critical analyses of the educational organization’s internal and external environments provide information to assess the organization’s current needs and needs for future planning. The heart of strategic planning is flexibility and ongoing evaluation of both the strategic plan and the planning process to ensure the organization’s success. Dr. Kritsonis clearly states, “A person is a being who both remembers and anticipates. He is related not only to himself as present, but also as past and as future” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 397). This statement can be applied to the educational organization as well. The educational organization must have knowledge of itself to provide the best educational opportunities today, tomorrow, and into the future. The educational organization must gain a historical perspective to determine how previous perceptions influenced current initiatives. The educational organization must also understand the external environment, the global market, to meet the needs of students and prepare them for global challenges.<br />The Fifth Realm:  Ethics<br />             The fifth realm is ethics. According to Dr. Kritsonis, “The essence of ethical meanings, or of moral knowledge, is right deliberate action, that is, what a person out to voluntarily do” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 443). An educational organization must incorporate ethics in its strategic planning. The educational organization must establish policies or codes of conduct. Steven Bowman (2008) explains that the best way to describe ethics is by utilizing the following four words: rights, obligations, fairness and integrity. He goes on to say that these words have energies underlying them that seem to get at the basis of ethical considerations.<br />Ethical standards are important to ensure that the educational organization operates within the law and is viewed by the public as an ethical organization of learning. Codes of ethics within educational organization are necessary for promoting ethical teaching practices. The educational organizational must conduct a continuum of evaluation to promote ethical standards within the organization. Ethics provide justification for the actions that occur within the organization. Ethics provide the base upon which the vision, mission, and values are created. <br />Some other important ethical codes that are addressed in educational organizations are honesty, integrity, and respect. These beliefs are the very foundation of culture and civilization.  The educational organizations must encourage students to collaborate across disciplines and learn the viewpoints and contributions of others. This combination of depth in learning fosters critical thinking skills, creativity, integrity, responsibility, and ethics.<br />The Sixth Realm:  Synoptics<br />             <br />Synoptics is the sixth realm. Dr. Kritsonis says this about synoptics, “This term comprises meanings having an integrative function, uniting meanings from all realms into a unified perspective that is, providing a “single vision” on “synopsis” of meanings” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 483). Dr. Kritsonis relates that history is concerned with the understanding of past events. The historian must describe, order, and interpret events (Kritsonis, 2007). Understanding the past of the educational organization is a basic premise for strategic planning. By reviewing the organization’s history, the strategic planning builds upon past accomplishments or failures to broaden the organization’s reach. This type of planning builds a bold and aggressive educational organization to keep pace with social, economic, and demographic trends with proactive performance measures that gauge organizational success.<br />The educational organization’s strategic planning method should include a thorough analysis of the organization’s history and current situation. The educational organization must review important milestones to determine their influences on the organization. Effective strategic planning requires the educational organization to visualize the organization’s future status by looking back at its past history. It is necessary for educational organizations to be committed to being more responsive to society. Educational organizations are obligated to provide educational services required by present and future citizens to make the contributions needed to sustain society. The educational organization will meet these obligations by properly utilizing resources provided by taxpayers. Although Miech is skeptical about strategic planning in education, he writes, “Strategic planning can also play an important public relations role in education. For example, strategic planning in education can help improve school-community relations by involving parents and community members in the formal strategic planning process” (Miech, 1995, section 8). The strategic plan can bridge the gap between the schools and the community. The strategic plan also includes the educational organizations commitment to providing access to a broad range of educational services.<br />Concluding Remarks<br />In conclusion, education is a focal point for American society today. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, signed into law by President Bush in 2002, is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (Education Week, 2004). The No Child Left Behind Act has expanded the federal government’s role in education. This came about because of the wide concern about the state of education. This legislation is expected to target every public school in America. At the core of the No Child Left Behind Act are a number of provisions designed to ensure broad gains in student achievement and to hold states and schools more accountable for student progress (Education Week, 2004). <br />The need for effective strategic planning is critical for all educational organizations. The constant challenges in education and pressures of student achievement will be guided by a well-developed strategic plan that serves as an integral part of day-to-day leadership and future aspirations in educational organizations. Dr. Kritsonis’ Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (2007) provides a pragmatic framework that connects strategic planning to the six realms of meaning. The six realms provide the foundations for strategic planning that will be vision, mission, and value driven which will create a successful educational organization. The strategic planning aligns the organization with the environment and explores perspectives and cultures from around the globe to achieve long-term stability. Strategic planning is an ongoing process. Strategic planning in an educational organization will provide a framework to support high-quality, student-focused education. <br />References<br />Allen, S., Edmonson, S. L., & Fisher, A. (2009). The value of fine arts education: <br />A student-centered analysis. National Forum of Educational Administration and <br />Supervision Journal, 25(3), 28-49.<br />Bowman, S. (2008). Embedding ethics into strategic planning. Retrieved on July 5, <br />2009, from http:// www.conscious-governance.com/strategic.html<br />Eaker, R. & Gonzalez, D. (2007). Leading in professional learning communities. <br />National Forum of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal, 24(1), 6-13.<br />Education Week. (2004, September). No child left behind. Retrieved on July 6, 2009, <br />from http://www.edweek.org/rc/issues/no-child-left-behind/<br />Kritsonis, W. (2007). Ways of knowing through the realms of meaning. Houston, TX: <br />National Forum Press.<br />Miech, E. J. (1995). The rise and fall of strategic planning and strategic planning in <br />education. Retreived on July 5, 2009, from http://www.hepg.org/her/abstract/310<br />Making National, State, District and Local Plans Work Using the<br />Six Realms of Meaning as it Relates to Strategic Planning in Educational Leadership<br />Barbara A. Thompson, M.S.<br />PhD Student in Educational Leadership<br />College of Education<br />Prairie View A&M University<br />Administrative Assistant<br />College of Engineering Graduate Affairs and Research<br />William Allan Kritsonis, Ph.D.<br />Professor and Faculty Member<br />PhD Program in Educational Leadership<br />Prairie View A&M University<br />Member of the Texas A&M University System<br />Visiting Lecturer (2005)<br />Oxford Round Table<br />University of Oxford, Oxford England<br />Distinguished Alumnus (2004)<br />Central Washington University <br />College of Education and Professional Studies<br />July 25, 2009<br />ABSTRACT<br />The curriculum for general education based on the idea of realms of meaning or logical patterns or structures bring a variety of meanings in knowledge and disciplined understanding. Curriculums adjusted for differences in culture, situations, learning levels, aptitudes, and the amount of enthusiasm brings consistency and unity in the learning experience (Kritsonis, 2007). No one plan is best for every teacher and for all students in all situations. Good teaching lies in guided discipline.<br />Introduction<br />The role of the school administration team is most often associated with educational leadership. Leadership roles can be enacted by all stakeholders within the school community, including the student population (Levin, 1998; Wallin, 2003). The six realms of meaning (Kritsonis, 2007) cover the range of possible meanings and comprise the basic competencies that general education should develop in every person. A philosophical theory of the curriculum for general education based on the idea of logical patterns in disciplined understanding is presented in Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning. There are patterns or structures in knowledge and an understanding of these typical forms is essential for the guidance of teaching, learning, and constructing the curriculum (Kritsonis, 2007). The various patterns of knowledge are varieties of meaning, and the learning of these patterns is the clue to the effective realization of essential humanness through the curriculum of general education (Kritsonis, 2007). <br />Purpose of the Article<br />The purpose of this article is to discuss significant aspects of the six realms of meaning as it relates to strategic planning in educational leadership. <br />Planning Initiatives<br />The six realms of meaning are viewed as six fundamental patterns of meaning (Kritsonis, 2007). These patterns are sequential and provide the foundation for all meanings that enter the human experience and emerge from an analysis of possible distinctive modes of human understanding. The patterns are symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics (Kritsonis, 2007). <br />The entire school or organization’s future is at stake in strategic planning (Center for Organizational Development and Leadership, 2007). Strategic planning in educational leadership determines where a school is going over the next year or more and how it's going to get there (McNamara, 2008). A postmodern approach for academic and administrative departments would be to implement plans and strategies that are narrowly focused and vital to their future. A plan too broad would allow for planning initiatives to go amiss from the correct course of focus or persons could get stuck and not be able to move forward (Center for School or Organizational Development and Leadership, 2007). A framework for strategic planning of higher education centered on leadership, communication, and assessment is predictive of making national, state, district and local plans work (Center for School or Organizational Development and Leadership, 2007). Steps in the framework according to McNamara (2008) would include the following:<br />mission, vision and value statements<br />collaborators and beneficiaries<br />environmental review<br />goals<br />strategies and action plans<br />plan creation<br />outcomes and achievements<br />If a person is to achieve the highest excellence in anything at all, the basic realms are required (Kritsonis, 2007). The six realms bring meaning in knowledge and disciplined understanding to the development of the complete person. The controlling idea of general education for the development of complete persons emerges from a philosophy of man and his ways of knowing (Kritsonis, 2007). In the first realm of symbolics, a complete person should be skilled in everyday language with the use of speech, symbol, and gesture, able to study math and learn one to two foreign languages. The second realm of empirics would allow the student to study several of the social sciences such as Physical Science, Biology, Psychology, and Social Science (Kritsonis, 2007). Among the four disciplines in the third realm of esthetics, music, art, literature and the arts of movement in physical education could be studied. “Literature is one of the best sources of insight into personality and culture” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 366). The student would be factually well informed, capable of creating and appreciating objects of esthetic significance. The first three realms require detachment as the knower (Kritsonis, 2007). The knower stands apart from what he knows. This view is held by the modernist. The modernist divorces the knower (English, 2003).<br />In the fourth realm of synnoetics, the student could gain personal insight through working with skilled guidance counselors or thorough a social activity. The student is endowed with a rich and disciplined life in relation to self and others. Synnoetics requires active participation and engagement (Kritsonis, 2007). To know and to be are one and the same in personal existence. Ethics or moral knowledge is the fifth realm where a student is able to make wise decisions and to judge between right and wrong. His moral conduct is a universal responsibility (Kritsonis, 2007). It is what ought to be done and it is right action. The sixth realm of synoptics, the student would possess an integral outlook of which epistemology - the theory of knowledge, and metaphysics - what is real, are the primary basis for its function.<br />The First Realm: Symbolics<br />The six realms follow in sequential order. The first realm is symbolics. Ordinary language, mathematics, and various types of nondiscursive symbolic forms are in the first realm. Ordinary language means the forms of discourse employed in everyday speech and writing. One uses language to communicate. A person can be defined by his understanding of language and how well he communicates it. Kritsonis (2007) stated that the chief method of acquiring knowledge of a language is to observe its use in daily life. Nondiscursive symbolic forms are gestures, rituals, expression of feelings, facial expressions, signals, values, insights into the domains of personal knowledge, manners and customs, dreams, myths, and rhythmic patterns. A complete person expresses and communicates using his or her skills in speech, symbols, and bodily gestures. Speech is defined as an intellectual activity. Symbols in relation to the meanings being expressed, constitutes its vocabulary. In order for an individual to understand <br />math, the symbols and functions must be understood. Systems of mathematics are designed to achieve complete precision in meaning and rigor in reasoning (Kritsonis, 2007). Discursive language refers to language used in customary speech for communicating ideas.<br />The scope of curriculum in general education allows each person’s participation in the meaning of the social whole of the educational community (Kritsonis, 2007). Integrity and the <br />need to be learned in certain essentials would allow for leadership that defines roles and responsibilities essential to the effectiveness of the strategic plan. Board members, community leaders, teachers, parents and students actively participate in creating and organizing guiding principles for continuous effective leadership, communication, and assessment. <br />Students will interact with college instructors, peers, cooperating teachers, and schools. Any deficiencies would be attributed to the planning process and not to the plan itself (Center for School or Organizational Development and Leadership, 2007). Shortcomings in leadership, communication, or assessment can often be attributed to breakdowns in the process whether it is communication, understanding of language (a bilingual individual would be a valuable interpreter), or personal knowledge. Communication skills will be displayed through speaking, writing, and class experience.<br />Successful communication requires attention to each group that is likely to be affected by the planning process and the plan’s goals (Center for School or Organizational Development and Leadership, 2007). This would allow for easier adaptation and commitment to change by all persons because all the participants are deeply involved in the developmental process. This broader-based ownership in which participants feel valued and involved makes it easier to commit to change (Lindsey, Robins and Terrell, 2003).<br />Lindsey, Robins and Terrell (2003) stated in their book, Cultural Proficiency, A Handbook for School Professionals, that what is required in a strategic plan is informed and dedicated staff that are committed and involved in leadership. They take time to think, reflect, assess, decide, and change, and actively participate in work sessions where the educational community is contributing distinctive ideas, beliefs, feelings, and perceptions. To monitor a plan’s progress and assess it outcomes, ongoing attention to assessment is necessary (Center for School or Organizational Development and Leadership, 2007). These appraisals for assessment provide guidance for developing pre-planning strategies. They allow for monitoring the planning process and judging whether a plan’s activities and strategies are successful in fulfilling the school or organization’s goals (Center for School or Organizational Development and Leadership, 2007). <br />Strategic planning, according to Center for School or Organizational Development and Leadership (2007), can include conducting a review of the school or organization’s political, social, economic and technical environment. In an initial review, an analysis of the school or organization can be completed. The planning phase can look at factors that are driving forces in the environment, strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats regarding the school or organization. The mission, vision and value statements are updated as needed. The Center for School or Organizational Development and Leadership (2007) suggests that an environment that has a diverse leadership team fostering readiness and receptivity and has an understanding of decision making processes and boundaries would aid creating successful plans for schools and <br />organizations. Sizing up previous plan’s successes on current efforts helps to keep a historical perspective on efforts of change.<br />Mission statements are brief written descriptions of the purpose of the school (McNamara, 2008). The mission statement is a specific purpose statement that is part of the overall mission statement. The value and vision statements are part of the mission statement. Vision statements are usually a compelling description of how the school or organization will or should operate at some point in the future and of how customers or clients are benefiting from the school or organization's products and services. Value statements suggest how people ought to act in the world with integrity, honesty, and respect as well as list the overall priorities in how the <br />school will operate. For example, an overview of a sample basic strategic planning model (McNamara, 2006) can be described as a basic model that would be used by schools or organizations that are very small, busy and inexperienced in strategic planning. The planning would be carried out by top level administrators and executives. <br />The basic strategic planning process according to McNamara (2006) would include the following steps: (1) Identify the purpose of the school or organization, which is also called the mission statement. The statement should describe what student or employee needs are intended to be met and with what services. The mission statement can change through the years as the school or organization changes to society’s needs. (2) Select goals that must be reached in order to accomplish the mission. These goals would address major issues facing the school or organization. (3) Identify the specific approaches or strategies to implement to reach the goals. In this step, the external and internal environments of the school or organization are examined closely. Steps to strengthen financial management can also be addressed. (4) Identify specific action plans or functions of each department to on how each strategy would be implemented. At this stage committees can be organized to monitor if objectives are met. (5) Monitoring and updating the plan is the final step in this plan. Reflection by planners is conducted to see to what extent the goals and objectives are being met and if the action plans are being implemented. At this stage feedback is important. A school or organization may generate a survey addressing school or organization satisfaction (McNamara, 2006).<br />The Second Realm: Empirics<br />The second realm of empirics would allow the student to study several of the social sciences such as Physical Science, Biology, Psychology, and Social Science (Kritsonis, 2007). These sciences provide factual descriptions, generalizations, and theoretical formulations and explanations as it relates to the physical world, of living things, and of man. It requires ordinary language and mathematics for their expression. These sciences are based upon observation and experimentation in the world as it pertains to matter, life, mind and society. This realm includes abstract cognition. The postmodern approach believes that science is one way to go about seeking truths (English, 2003). This belief is not always superior to other forms of knowing. Truths are constructed and tested in many ways including logic and intuition. These truths are anything but very temporary understandings that can be modified over and over again (Kritsonis, 2007). In a strategic plan for educational leadership, field experiences include observation in public schools. Meta cognition skills include students will review and analyze research and summarize the thoughts of other researchers as well as analyze their research findings. <br />The Third Realm: Esthetics<br />Among the four disciplines in the third realm of esthetics to be studied by the student are music, art, literature and the arts of movement in physical education. Kritsonis (2007) stated one of the best sources of insight in personality and culture is literature. The student would be factually well informed, capable of creating and appreciating objects of esthetic significance. The esthetic realm causes delight in the observer. It deals with the contemplative perceptions of particular significant things such as forms of modern art, forms of movement (ballet, modern <br />dance) and other possibilities of esthetics forms provided by new artistic forms (rap music) and freedom of expression. These things are unique objectifications of ideated subjectivities (Kritsonis, 2007). School beautification projects, school uniforms, enrichment programs and vision and mission statements strategically posted around school help to beautify school sites and ultimately enhance the learning environment. The beautification process can be applied to organizations as well.<br />The Fourth Realm: Synnoetics<br />In the fourth realm of synnoetics, the student could gain personal insight through working with skilled guidance counselors or thorough a social activity (Kritsonis, 2007). The student is endowed with a rich and disciplined life in relation to self and others. Synnoetics requires active participation and engagement. To know and to be are one and the same in personal existence. Kritsonis (2007) stated that synnoetics signifies direct awareness or relational insight. This fourth realm encompasses our relationships with other people, what one knows and how to reply to it. It embraces personal knowledge (Michael Polany) and the I-Thou (Martin Buber) relationship. In meaningful relations, knowledge objective world is intimately bound to the eyes of the beholder, his politics, culture, language and conceptual affective awareness state, i.e. consciousness. The knower and the known are inseparable (English, 2003). <br />Team building, decision making, goal setting, conflict resolution and diversity awareness reveal relationships to other people and should be addressed in a strategic plan. Identifying critical stakeholders, skill of members, pros and cons of making a choice and having a process to deal with different opinions are key skill sets. Clarifying issues, seeing the other person’s perspective, identifying common ground, identifying what can be changed and what cannot be changed are essential in plan creating and school or organization. Highly controlled social mechanisms give way to threatening intimate personal relations and being true to self. A growing need and emphasis is needed on the personal dimensions of understanding.<br />The Fifth Realm: Ethics<br />Ethics or moral knowledge is the fifth realm where a student is able to make wise decisions and to judge between right and wrong. His moral conduct is a universal responsibility (Kritsonis, 2007). His decisions are based on what ought to be done and it is right action. “With enlarged powers and wider possibilities of choice, the importance of moral concern increases” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 649). Ethics includes moral knowledge and moral meanings and expresses <br />an awareness of relation, perceptual form and obligation rather than fact. Morality deals with personal conduct based on free, responsible, deliberate decision. The post modern approaches preserved one’s ability to exercise choice over one’s personhood, outlook on life, sexual orientation, continued existence, thought processes and basic integrity as a unique human being. Empirical knowledge is needed to understand that factual knowledge is an important resource in the improvement of understanding in personal relations and morals. This knowledge is necessary in making wise decisions. These decisions are based on consideration of alternatives and the prediction of consequences. “Moral decision presupposes a free and integral self-in-relation, and becoming a person depends upon making moral choices” (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 592).<br />The Sixth Realm: Synoptics<br />The sixth realm of synoptics is where the student would possess an integral outlook of which epistemology - the theory of knowledge, and metaphysics - what is real, are the primary basis for its function. Meanings in the sixth realms are comprehensively integrative and include history, religion, and philosophy. Empirical truths, esthetic (beauty), and synnoetic (personal knowledge) meanings are coherent wholes in this realm. Man is revealed by the choices he has made in the context of his given circumstance. The postmodern approach considers that human diversity and difference are beneficial to the pursuit of modern truths and are a threat to governance, authority or rule. Any threat to diversity would be to veer toward antidemocratic persuasion. Feyerabend (1999) and his view on epistemological anarchism believed that there was no view too absurd or immoral that he refused to consider or act up and no method was indispensable. As people are faced with change, the requirement for the perspectives of history, a larger vision of faith, and the critical comprehension afforded by philosophical reflection are needed more than ever (Kritsonis, 2007).<br />Concluding Remarks<br />In conclusion, there are patterns or structures in knowledge and an understanding of these typical forms is essential for the guidance of teaching, learning, and constructing the curriculum. The purpose of this essay is to discuss significant aspects of the six realms of meaning as it relates to strategic planning in educational leadership. The six realms of meaning are viewed as six fundamental patterns of meaning (Kritsonis, 2007). These patterns are sequential and provide the foundation for all meanings that enter the human experience and emerge from an analysis of possible distinctive modes of human understanding. The patterns are symbolics, empirics, esthetics, synnoetics, ethics, and synoptics. The various patterns of knowledge are varieties of meaning, and the learning of these patterns is the clue to the effective realization of essential humanness through the curriculum of general education of the complete person (Kritsonis, 2007).<br /> The entire school or organization’s future is at stake in strategic planning (Center for Organizational Development and Leadership, 2007). A postmodern approach for academic and administrative departments would be to implement plans and strategies that are narrowly focused and vital to their future. Strategic planning in educational leadership determines where a school <br />is going over the next year or more and how it's going to get there (McNamara, 2008). A plan too broad would allow for planning initiatives to go amiss from the correct course of focus or persons could get stuck and not be able to move forward (Center for School or Organizational Development and Leadership, 2007). Logically, unless project leaders are successful in creating a commitment to the initiative, a plan that’s impressive on paper may fail to achieve its goals (Center for School or Organizational Development and Leadership, 2007). Without careful communication, planning, school or organizational change is likely to meet with resistance by colleagues. The epistemological concern of fostering a culture of continuous assessment is imperative in fulfilling goals in educational leadership. Success in solving the problems of life (Kritsonis, 2007) is best achieved by those whose imaginations are kindled. <br />Kritsonis said, <br />A human being is in essence a creature who creates, discovers, enjoys, perceives, and acts on meaning. These meanings are of six general kinds: symbolic, empirical, esthetic, synnoetic, ethical, and synoptic. The educator can seize the opportunity to battle such areas as fragmentation, surfeit, and transience of knowledge, by showing what kinds of knowledge are required for full understanding and how the essential elements may be distinguished from the unessential ones in the selection of instruction materials. (2007, p.74)<br />The six realms of meaning as it relates to strategic planning in educational leadership are indicative of making national, state, district and local plans work for the success of all students to achieve goals in scholarly disciplines.<br />References<br />Center for School or Organizational Development and Leadership (2007). Strategic planning in higher education: A guide for leaders. [Brochure]. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.<br />English, F. W. (2003). The postmodern challenge to the theory and practice of <br />educational administration. Springfield, Ill: Charles C. Thomas.<br />Feyerabend, P. (1999). Theses on anarchism. In M. Motterlini (ed.) For and against <br />method (pp.113-118). Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago Press. <br />Kritsonis, W. (2007). Ways of knowing through the realms of meaning. Houston, TX: <br />National Forum Press.<br />Levin, B. (1998). The educational requirement for democracy. Curriculum Inquiry, 28, <br />57-79. <br />Lindsey, R. B., Robins, K. N., & Terrell, R. D. (2003). Cultural proficiency: A manual <br />for school leaders (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.<br />McNamara, C. (2006). Basic overview of various strategic planning models. In <br />Free Management Library. Retrieved July 10, 2009 from http://www.managementhelp.org/plan_dec/str_plan/models.htm<br />McNamara, C. (2008). Basic description of strategic planning. In Free <br />Management Library. Retrieved July 10, 2009 from http://www.managementhelp.org/plan_dec/str_plan/models.htm<br />Wallin, D. (2003). Student leadership and democratic schools: A case study. National <br />Association of Secondary School Principals NASSP Bulletin, 87, 55-78.<br />School Leadership that Makes a Difference: A Sociological Perspective of Effective Strategic Planning and Integrating Realms of Meaning into School Improvement<br />Kashan Ishaq, M.Ed.<br />PhD Program Student in Educational Leadership<br />College of Education<br />Prairie View A&M University<br />Principal<br />Iman Academy SW – Private SACS Accredited School<br />Houston, TX<br />William Allan Kritsonis, PhD<br />Professor<br />PhD Program in Educational Leadership<br />Member of the Texas A&M University System<br />Visiting lecturer (2005)<br />Oxford Round Table<br />University of Oxford, Oxford, England<br />Distinguished Alumnus (2004)<br />Central Washing University<br />College of Education and Professional Studies<br />________________________________________________________________________ABSTRACT<br />The leader of the school with an embraced philosophy and understanding of the six realms of meaning (Symbolics, Empirics, Esthetics, Synnoetics, Ethics and Synoptics) can lead the educational system of the school towards the direction of celebrating the success of the children attending the school. Kritsonis states: “World-Wide, people are aware of the need for the most effective possible educational system if we are to meet the challenges and demands of life in a highly precarious and rapidly changing world” (Kritsonis 2007, p.vii).<br />________________________________________________________________________<br />Introduction<br />Schools where all stakeholders are

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