Ideas evolve daily. Some live briefly, some lay dormant, but others grow. They become a vision: This is what [my students, my school, my business, my world] would look like as a result of this idea. Soon, strategy becomes critical for moving ideology to practicality, and eventually, measurable objectives are developed to measure evidence of vision fulfillment.
Every school has a vision statement that is constantly challenged by political, scientific, donor, curricular influencers and more. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to help align strategies and objectives for a missional integrity that flourish under scrutiny and testing. Working with a qualified, effective individual is critical. Here are 15 questions to ask before hiring an educational consultant:
- Does the consultant show genuine interest in your school’s vision?
- Does the consultant have expertise in an area you perceive as needing attention?
- What certification, experience, and other valid indicators of expertise does the consultant possess?
- Is the consultant up-to-date on research related to the topic being addressed?
- Does the consultant’s approach and/or program help your school better align its mission and practices?
- Does the consultant’s approach and/or program increase the intentionality with which teachers make instructional decisions?
- Is the consultant multi-disciplinary in his/her research and development? Is the approach/program constructed on a sufficient base of diverse but related fields?
- Does the consultant hold and promote a holistic view of the learner? Does he/she view the learner as more than empty vessels to be filled?
- Does the consultant plan to follow up and does he/she welcome after-event inquiries and requests?
- Does the consultant use methods and tools that he/she encourages teachers to utilize?
- Does the consultant’s approach/program benefit teachers and students in all desired grade levels and disciplines?
- Does the consultant’s approach/program help teachers learn why and not just what to do?
- Does the consultant’s approach/program have enough practical application, not just head knowledge, for teachers?
- Does the consultant’s approach/program help teachers understand how to foster learning more effectively? Are solutions offered and not just problems identified?
- Has the consultant pursued and been granted graduate credit status through an accredited institution for his/her program?
The consultation process is a relationship; vision focuses the effort and willingness fosters development and growth. Make an informed decision to be sure your ideas—your vision—will thrive and flourish.
I really like your tip to ask the question about how the educational consultant you are looking at views the learners. I think the best way to have this question answered is to go and meet with the consultant and learn about them and see how they interact with others. That way, you can get an idea of how this behavior would transfer over to students and be able to benefit them.