Building Cultures: A foundational element
Culture is intangible, but it's essential: you can walk into a school and know immediately whether you want to be there or not. The same thing goes for building a culture in any educational organization. Michael Fullan states that educational leaders should prioritize culture over everything else. One way to establish common goals and build on a common purpose is dedicating time to retreats. Many times learning and team building happen as an "add-on" to the day and retreats carve out protected time so that all other learning can build on this experience.
Retreat Themes and Topics of Learning
Taking time away from the normal school routine for professional learning and team building is critical in building human capacity and strengthening culture in an organization. I have personally participated, planned and led educational retreats for the past 22 years. Brain research supports learning experiences in a retreat setting as they provide focused time to learn, and produce renewed energy. Uniting the events of the retreat with a theme provides novelty to the learning event.
Brain Research: We all like shiny new things, whether it's a new gadget, new city, or new job. In fact, our brains are made to be attracted to novelty-- and it turns out that it could actually improve our memory and learning capacity.
Retreat Topics and Themes: