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The CBAM: A Model of the People Development Process

Read Me First
What is the CBAM Stages of Concern Model?
Linking the Stages of Concern and the "Bridge"
What Happens When a Person's Individual Learning Needs Are NOT Met?
The Main Obstacle to Development
The Primary Goal of All Professional Development Activities
Using the CBAM Stages of Concern to Structure Needs Assessment & Program Evaluation
Predicted CBAM Results You Can Expect to Achieve
Using the CBAM & Data to Plan & Provide Program Level Staff Development & Individual Mentoring
MORE Cautions - The Assessment of Perceived Needs is Tricky.

Read Me First

The information you are about to read is somewhat complex and lengthy. Do not allow any impatience on your part to effect your openness to learning and using this information. It can be the most powerful tool you will ever learn for achieving success in your mentoring or any other professional growth programming effort. I promise!

If you asked me, "What is the one most important thing to know in planning professional growth programs, I would answer, "The CBAM Stages of Concern"! This is so because the Stages of Concern model is the best tool I ever ever used for planning professional development activity to address the individual needs of people. If your mentoring or other professional growth activity is designed to help people develop, you need to design the activity based on a model of development. Here is the one I'd recommend.

What is the CBAM Stages of Concern Model?
The CONCERNS-BASED ADOPTION MODEL (CBAM) is a very well-researched model which describes how people develop as they learn about an innovation and the stages of that process. Actually, the CBAM is a complex, multi-part system, of which the "Stages of Concern" is but one part. However, it is the one part which the author most prefers and with which he has the most successful experiences.

In fact, the author has used the Stages of Concern hundreds of times for planning mentoring and other staff development programs and activities of every imaginable kind since 1986 when he first was trained on the CBAM model. He can state with confidence that you will be very successful if you base professional development needs assessment and program and mentor activity planning on the CBAM stages of concern.

The CBAM was developed at the University of Texas - Austin. If you would like to read about the CBAM and learn how to use the whole model, consider obtaining the book ñTaking Charge of Changeî, which was published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) at www.ascd.org and written by Shirley Hord, Gene Hall, et. al. (1987)

Reference to the adjacent figure shows that the Stages of Concern defines human learning and development as going through 7 stages, during which a person's focus or concern shifts in rather predictable ways. To understand this process, start at the bottom of the image with "awareness" and read up each step plus the statement(s) next to each step. Those statements are similar to what people may say when they are concerned about an innovation at that level of development.

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