How Leaders Can Grow a Culture for Active and Inclusive Engagement: Focusing on CO-CREATION

In this stressful school year due to COVID, worries about student achievement, and general health of school families, how can we collectively identify the most critical issues or problems that require a deeper level of dialogue and possible action?  (Note: Co-Creation is one of the four attributes of personalized learning).

When we invite staff members to assume a significant design role in the development of an idea, challenge, problem, or inquiry they are more likely to commit to engagement. Designing the process follows the same principles as what we refer to as “backward design”. We work with staff to develop a challenge, problem, or idea, clarify why we are addressing this problem, what our goals will be and how we will know if we are successful in reaching the desired results.

The following are some self-coaching questions and actions you might consider as you co-create a plan for addressing a critical issue or problem.


  • To what extent do I provide choice for staff in WHAT they can pursue (e.g., question, topic, or idea)
  • To what extent do I provide choice for staff in HOW they can pursue it (e.g., attending to questions of equity and inclusiveness when they collaborate, consulting outside expertise, seeking out and using resources)?
  • To what extent do I provide choice to staff for HOW they demonstrate learning (e.g., selection of forms for performance, public vs. private audience)?
  • To what extent do I provide the opportunity for staff to develop checkpoints and monitor progress in relation to their goals?
  • To what extent do I create exhibitions for staff performances or products that focus on what they learned — about the topic and about themselves?


Introduce to and model Habits of Mind with staff, specifically Questioning and Problem Posing; Creating, Imagining and Innovating, and Taking Responsible Risks.

Envision what the school might look like 5 years from now to develop a shared vision.

Looking to dig deeper? Download our Framework that combines the four attributes of personalized learning with Habits of Mind!

More on the Four Attributes:


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