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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Human Capital

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


July 11, 2016

Human Capital includes individual raw talent and experience. It is the teacher who is highly committed and talented that joins a staff or faculty. These “stars” bring with them myriad talents from content knowledge to pedagogy to passion. They are like the “stand-out athlete” on a team who has not led the team to a championship. It is about how smart or talented one individual in a system can be.

Questions from the Cognitive Coaching sm Planning Map that focus on the States of Mind of Craftsmanship, Consciousness, and Efficacy work to mediate the star’s increased performance, feelings of efficacy, sense of mastery, and autonomy.

Questions to mediate human capital:

• What will guide your decisions about _______? (Consciousness)

• As you consider yourself in your workplace, what are your greatest strengths? (Consciousness, Efficacy)

• Are you more likely to demonstrate those strengths in some settings more than others? (Consciousness)

• What criteria might you use to decide _______? (Craftsmanship)

• What might be some strategies you have used before that were effective? (Efficacy)

• Over what factors might you have the most control? (Efficacy)

• What might you want to be sure to do well? How might you know you’re doing it? (Efficacy)

• What personal skills or processes might you want to perfect in this session? How might you know you’ve done this? (Craftsmanship)

• What key indicators might be most critical to your goals as a professional? (Consciousness)

• Consider a person with whom you work closely. What might s/he say about your strengths? (Flexibility)

• What might be an area that is less of a strength for you? (Consciousness)

• What might you need to do to be the best prepared you can be for this lesson? (Consciousness, Craftsmanship)

Through Adaptive Schools, human capital is enhanced when individuals learn the Norms of Collaboration and begin to implement them in their personal and professional lives. In particular, when individuals in the system learn to “presume positive intentions” or “pay attention to themselves and others” there can be a shift from the ego centric to the allocentric or even macro centric perceptual positions. The individual star staff member might even start to balance his or her participation and make intentional choices about when to integrate and when to assert. The individual starts to move beyond the limited self-view of the world to one where others are considered and valued.

However, it is clear that having one or two human capital stars is not enough to improve more global student achievement and reach the school’s potential. Human Capital needs to be complemented by Social Capital.

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