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Medium 9781935249207

2 Making Improvements That Matter

White, Stephen Solution Tree Press ePub


Making Improvements That Matter

T he pathology of American schools is that they know how to change. They know how to change promiscuously and at the drop of a hat. What schools do not know how to do is to improve, to engage in sustained and continuous progress toward a performance goal over time.

—Richard Elmore

SEPTEMBER 18, 3:00 P.M. The school improvement leadership team was made up of extraordinary educators, and the September update was a celebration of a focused effort across KCHS to implement each item on the action plan: increasing the emphasis on explaining reasoning in mathematics; making activities, remediation, and mentoring as accessible and inclusive as possible for the entire student body; and advancing the rigor, thinking, and quality of academic performance in reading and language arts, especially for at-risk students. Everything appeared to be on track. Driven by the data from table 1.1 (page 7), Kelly County High School’s thirty-first annual school improvement plan was beginning to take shape with developed goals for math, reading/language arts, and student well-being.

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Medium 9781475824032

Brokering Instructional Improvement Through Response to Intervention

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT : The reauthorization of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 spurred sweeping changes for how special education students are identified in the United States. The act encourages schools to use response to intervention (RTI) as a new method for identifying special education students. As schools implement RTI, the principal becomes a key figure in determining its success. Based on the competing values framework (Cameron, Quinn, Degraff, & Thakor, 2006) as an analysis tool, this study examines how principals brokered organizational changes through the implementation of RTI.

A s principals grapple with the increased demands on instruction exerted by increasing accountability standards, response to intervention (RTI)—a comprehensive student remediation policy—may be a vehicle of change that principals can use to broker significant instructional and organizational improvements with teachers within schools. When new polices are implemented in schools, principals act as a “policy brokers” to bring teachers, administrators, and support staff together to build understanding and support (Sabatier, 1997). In this study, principals used RTI as leverage for change that led to transforming organization structures and instructional methods with the intention of increasing student learning. In this article, I demonstrate how principals were able to create instructional change, build momentum, and define RTI within their schools through a series of transactions with various stakeholders via the implementation of RTI.

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Medium 9780253115560

9. How to Succeed without Really Trying

Herman B Wells Indiana University Press ePub

DURING MY PERIOD in the university presidency, the National Association of State Universities (NASU) was a very active and useful organization. The members of the group had developed through the years a considerable camaraderie and a confidence in each other that enabled them to exchange important information freely and confidentially. So their meetings were held in high regard by the presidents. The final session of the spring meeting in New York City, the most important each year, was usually in a lighthearted vein and consisted of a dinner at the University Club followed by the valedictory of one of NASU'S members. Since college presidents spend their lives making and listening to speeches, the task of speaking to such a jaded group under any circumstance is not easy. To speak to them after they have had cocktails and an excellent four- or five-course dinner with two wines is a challenge indeed.

Some time after I announced that I would be stepping out of the Indiana University presidency on July I, I was asked by the president of the association, Ray Olpin, to be the speaker for the spring meeting on May 7, 1962. Knowing the hazards, I found it difficult to dream up a format, much less the content, for my talk, but, as I related in the speech, I eventually jotted down some notes that served for the occasion. The notes took the form of “Maxims for a Young College President, or How to Succeed without Really Trying,” paraphrasing the title of a popular show on Broadway at that time, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. My remarks were recorded even though they had been conceived, not as a speech, but rather as a bit of entertainment to mark my last dinner with the group. However, the maxims were then published in the Transactions and Proceedings of NASU, discovered by others, and republished from time to time, including a much more sedate version in the prestigious Educational Record of the American Council on Education. Since that time there have been many requests for copies of the transcription, and some of the maxims have been used by others with or without attribution. Because of this continuing interest, I looked at the text to judge whether or not the maxims still held in light of all that has happened since 1962. If so, they might bear repeating. The comments had represented a wholly personal point of view, intended only as a semiserious rule-of-thumb. Seen from my present vantage point, a few of the maxims seem to need additional comments. These follow the text of the transcript.

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Medium 9781945349096

1 Building a Positive Culture for Messaging

William D. Parker Solution Tree Press ePub


Building a Positive Culture for Messaging

The less people know, the more they yell.

—Seth Godin

When I was a boy, I loved lying on the front porch at night. With no streetlights or neighbors, our West Tennessee farmhouse was enveloped in darkness, surrounded by swampy creeks and woods, accompanied by the sound of crickets and the serenade of spring frogs. The blanket of stars above me was a thick, mesmerizing maze of constellations. My dad went through a phase of interest in telescopes, so sometimes we took turns looking for planets or peering at the moon.

Did you know that only one side of the moon is visible from the Earth? Because of the Earth’s orbit and the moon’s speed of rotation while orbiting, we never see the other side of the moon. Just like we only see one side of the moon, all of us operate in contexts that no one else is able to see. This is especially true of leaders.

So, as leaders, how do we communicate as effectively and thoroughly as we can while accepting that sometimes misunderstandings still exist? How do we set a foundation for effective communication in our schools?

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Medium 9781475819069

Questions Beyond Context: Facilitating Intentional, Autonomous Rehearsal, Practice, and Application

R&L Education ePub

Patricia L. Hardre, University of Iowa


Teachers face the dual challenges of teaching domain content and facilitating students’ learning-to-learn strategy development. Inquiry can be scaffolded through open-ended questions that support autonomous learning and challenge students to interact with the content in thoughtful, personally meaningful ways. This approach takes questions beyond the immediate context and helps students develop their own relevant cognitive connections. A framework, sample questions, and class management recommendations are offered to help teachers apply this approach to their classrooms.

Challenged to produce capable students and lifelong learners, upper elementary and secondary teachers face the dual challenges of teaching domain content and facilitating students’ learning-to-learn strategy development. These goals may seem to demand discrete strategies and separate allocations of precious teacher energy and instructional time. However, research with upper elementary and secondary students across disciplines and types of learning environments demonstrates the effectiveness of supporting students’ autonomous inquiry in order to enhance motivation and engagement for school-based tasks, and promote self-directed thinking about their learning. Low academic motivation and lack of autonomy in learning emerge in the upper elementary years for most students, and tend to become more pronounced through their educational careers, without intervention. Autonomous inquiry at levels relevant and appropriate for learners can be scaffolded through using open-ended questions that challenge students to connect with the content in thoughtful, personally meaningful ways.

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Medium 9781475836776

Instructional Leadership Practices among Principals in Israeli and US Jewish Schools

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Instructional Leadership Practices among Principals in Israeli and US Jewish Schools

Jeffrey Glanz

Haim Shaked

Chanina Rabinowitz

Shmuel Shenhav

Rachel Zaretsky

ABSTRACT: Extant research indicates that principals are expected to serve as instructional leaders. Instructional leadership practices of principals in Israeli and US Jewish schools have, until recently, been unexplored. Therefore, this mixed-methodological study explores instructional leadership perceptions and behaviors among Israeli and US principals. Data, via questionnaires and interviews, were collected from 90 principals from each country. Findings suggest that US principals demonstrated significantly higher levels of instructional leadership. In both groups, women principals demonstrated higher levels of instructional leadership. Our interviews provided unique insights leading to our suggestions for ways of promoting greater attention to instructional leadership by principals of both countries.

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Medium 9780991374878

Chapter 1 Research and Theory

Robert J. Marzano Marzano Research ePub

Motivation and inspiration both contribute to an individual’s personal drive or desire to do something. As such, the motivation and inspiration of students is a topic of discussion among educators at all levels. Over the years, there has been a chorus of calls to recognize the positive effects of motivating and inspiring students in the classroom. Consider the following statements about the need for motivation and inspiration.

“Good teachers can inspire students, and effective teachers continue to hone this skill by improving their understanding of student psychology and the culture of the classroom and school” (Colwell & Hewitt, 2016, p. 5).

“In a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities. Inspiration may sometimes be overlooked because of its elusive nature. . . . But as recent research shows, inspiration can be activated, captured, and manipulated, and it has a major effect on important life outcomes” (Kaufman, 2011).

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Medium 9780253350787

7. Listener

Estelle R. Jorgensen Indiana University Press ePub




Musicians work primarily with sounds that are instrumental and vocal, acoustic and electronically generated, composed, improvised, and performed, and heard in live and recorded performances, where music is both the focus of and ancillary to social events. It is important, therefore, to think about the various ways in which these sounds are heard. Irrespective of the musical tradition, people around the world make various sorts of sounds in a host of different ways and these sounds are employed as accompaniments for dances; in religious rituals, political rallies, and family gatherings; and in other musical events in which they are the focus of attention. Since we are dealing primarily with sounds, a primary focus of our teaching needs to be on how to help our students hear them intelligently.

Thinking about music as a primarily sonic phenomenon is only one of the ways in which we may understand it.1 Still, I want to tease out this idea to show its richness for music teachers. I acknowledge that this view of music is a Western idea that has come to have quite specific connotations in our time. In antiquity and in some cultures today, what we think of in the West as music was and still is so integrated with other arts such as dance, poetry, and drama that it is hard to disentangle it from these other things. So much so, that some cultures do not have a word for what we in the West think of as music.2 Still, as Susanne Langer notes, the distinctiveness of the individual arts is an ancient idea.3 Benefits flow from this specialization since artists of all sorts are able to focus on their specialties and develop high levels of skill in relatively focused endeavors. And since an art form has arisen around sonic phenomena, these are legitimate subjects of our attention and listening.

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Medium 9781936765300

Chapter 4: How Educators and Leaders Can Encourage Creativity

Reeves, Douglas Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 4

How Educators and Leaders Can Encourage Creativity

As the evidence in chapter 1 makes clear, creativity is essential for students, workers, educators, and leaders not only in the creative arts but also in every domain, including education, business, health care, technology, and the nonprofit world. The primary challenge is how to transform our creative aspirations into practical actions. In chapter 3, we suggested practices and attitudes to be avoided. Now we come to powerful practices that encourage creativity. One of the most powerful practices that teachers and leaders can implement to promote creativity is providing feedback that is timely, accurate, and specific (Hattie, 2012; Hattie & Yates, 2014). This chapter offers a systematic way in which to offer this feedback, not only during classroom activities explicitly described to engender creativity but also during almost all activities. When feedback improves, student performance improves, which not only leads to improved creativity but also improved academic performance across the board. We have identified eight dimensions for providing effective feedback through creativity assessment.

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Medium 9781475820539

Using Teaching Cases to Foster a Culturally Responsive Literacy Pedagogy

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Using Teaching Cases to Foster a Culturally Responsive Literacy Pedagogy

AnnMarie Alberton Gunn
Nancy L. Williams

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to describe the perceptions of a professor who used teaching cases that featured literacy and diversity issues in a course entitled Early and Emergent Literacy. The participants of this study are a literacy professor and the preservice teachers (n = 20) enrolled in the course. Interviews, a researcher reflective journal, a professor-kept journal, and nonparticipant observation notes were used to unfold the lived experiences of the participants throughout one semester. The use of teaching cases that feature diversity and literacy issues were shown to be an effective tool for fostering a culturally responsive literacy pedagogy. Recommendations and implications are discussed for teacher educators.

As literacy professors responsible for teacher preparation, we have held a long-standing interest in the inclusion of culturally responsive instruction, and we agree with Villegas and Lucas’s (2002) advocacy for a vision for teaching and learning in a diverse society. However, we recognize several converging factors that often place culturally responsive instruction along the margins of standard teacher preparation curriculum. First, our preservice teacher population mirrors the general population of elementary school teachers: predominately White, Christian, monolingual heterosexuals from middle-class backgrounds (Banks, 2006; Sleeter, 2001). These cultural elements are dissimilar to the lived experiences and cultural characteristics of the diverse students they teach. Teachers who have limited knowledge of the “funds of knowledge” (Gonzalez, Moll, & Amanti, 2005) that students bring to the classroom face challenges in designing effective and culturally relevant instruction for all students (Pang & Park, 2011). Additionally, many literacy textbooks for preservice teachers do not typically mention diversity until the final chapter, almost as an afterthought. Finally, the emphasis on high-stakes testing and mandated curriculum often focuses on the educational product rather than the process, with rewards for success and punishment for failure (Nichols & Berliner, 2008).

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Medium 9781475837513

Starting at the Beginning

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Starting at the Beginning

An Intuitive Choice for Classroom Management

Justin D. Garwood, Alene H. Harris, and Jonathan K. Tomick

ABSTRACT: Teachers’ actions in the first 3 days of school set the stage for student success throughout the academic year. Classroom management continues to be one of the more pressing concerns for both preservice and in-service teachers. Recent research in classroom management has identified evidence-based practices, but the research-to-practice gap remains. This study reports on the implementation of a research-based classroom management professional development program focused on the beginning of the school year. To increase teacher buy-in and fidelity of implementation, 22 teachers were trained to deliver the program in their respective schools within a southeastern school district. Results of survey data from 347 teachers suggest that teachers made changes in their approach to starting the school year and that these changes were associated with increased teacher efficacy and fewer off-task and disruptive student behaviors. Implications for professional development and teacher education are discussed.

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Medium 9781942496298

Chapter 5 Capturing the Power of Collaborative Teaming

Eaker, Robert Solution Tree Press ePub

Interdependence is what organizations are all about. Productivity, performance, and innovation result from joint action, not just individual efforts and behavior.

—Jeffery Pfeffer and Robert Sutton

If university leaders really mean it (and this is a huge if) when they proclaim that enhancing student success is the core of their mission, they must realize that they can only successfully accomplish this in significant and systemic ways within a collaborative culture. Traditional assumptions about and approaches to collaboration in most universities make their attempts woefully inadequate. To make a significant impact on student success, university leaders must break free from the traditional isolation of most institutions of higher education and instead rely on high-performing collaborative teams as the organizing principle and cultural norm.

A significant disconnect exists between the generally accepted belief that meaningful collaboration is (or should be) normal and the actual day-to-day reality of individual isolation. This is especially true in the culture of most large public universities. Peter Magolda (2005) observes, “The extreme ideal of egalitarian exchange, while an espoused model for collaboration, is unlikely to represent an enacted model for collaboration” (p. 19). Most people, including university employees, believe that universities function as highly collaborative cultures. Yet, close examination reveals a strikingly different reality.

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Medium 9781942496397

Chapter 3 Addition and Subtraction Using Counting Strategies

Juli K. Dixon Solution Tree Press ePub

This chapter connects your understanding of number concepts and word problem structures with the operations of addition and subtraction using counting strategies. In the following pages, you will consider how to develop understanding of the concepts of addition and subtraction. The addition and subtraction learning progression begins with learners using strategies to solve real-world problems. We then blend the use of these strategies with the learning of facts to develop a deep meaning for fluency.

Our initial task for you provides a context for the addition of two two-digit addends (see figure 3.1).

Jamila has a total of 28 playing cards in her set. Jocelyn has 37 playing cards in her set. If the girls combine their two sets, how many playing cards would be in the combined set?

Figure 3.1: Adding two two-digit addends task.

What strategies can be used to solve the problem in figure 3.1? Make a list of different ways to solve the problem, and provide a brief description for each strategy. What was the first strategy you considered? Did you begin by using the standard algorithm? Other strategies demonstrate how to make sense of the task in meaningful ways, including the modeling of place value. The use of concrete materials such as base ten blocks can aid in representing the place value connection (see figure 3.2).

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Medium 9781936764167

Chapter 2 Implementing the Common Core State Standards for Reading

Fisher, Douglas; Frey, Nancy Solution Tree Press ePub


• To what extent does your team understand the Reading standards: What is familiar? What is new? What may be challenging for students? What may be challenging for teachers?

• Examine current texts being used in grades K–2 and assess them qualitatively and for reader and task demands. Which ones work? Which ones should be used in another grade or eliminated altogether?

• How do K–2 teachers at your school teach the foundational reading skills?

Tom Allen’s kindergarten students are learning about transportation and text structures. Mr. Allen introduces Truck (Crews, 1980), a wordless book that describes a truck as it travels from a loading dock through the city to make a delivery of bicycles. Some words are included as part of the illustrations. However, words are not used to provide the main information of the text. Mr. Allen is using this informational text to develop his students’ understanding of text structure and beginning, middle, and end. The students must use their visual analysis skills, as the illustrations are crucial to detecting the story structure. “It is giving me a great way to introduce a sequence of events, before they even realize it. I want them to develop their understanding that things occur in a specific order,” Mr. Allen says.

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Medium 9781475811834

Wisdom and Compassion in Democratic Leadership: Perceptions of the Bodhisattva Ideal

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Leslie McClain

Rose Ylimaki

Michael P. Ford

Wisdom and Compassion in Democratic Leadership: Perceptions of the Bodhisattva Ideal

ABSTRACT: At the heart of democratic leadership rests a deep respect for what it means to be human, the cultivation of the common good, and the need to act according to one’s own direction. If democratic leadership aims to create an environment in which people are encouraged and supported in “aspiring to truths about the world” (Woods, 2005, p. xvi), then wisdom and compassion must be critical components of such leadership. Through qualitative study, we interviewed administrators and teachers for their perceptions about wisdom and compassion as related to democratic leadership in schools. Such expressions have not been characterized and discussed in the mainstream educational leadership literature; however, they have been documented for centuries across philosophies and religions, including the Mahayana Buddhist teachings of the six virtues of the Bodhisattva, the awakened spiritual leader. The purpose of this article is to explore, through extant literature and empirical research findings, administrators’ and teacher leaders’ perceptions of wisdom and compassion as being relevant and essential to democratic educational leadership.

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