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Medium 9781936764327

Chapter 1 Building Shared Knowledge

Nicholas Jay Myers Solution Tree Press ePub

Becoming a professional learning community has helped improve the quality of teaching and learning in our school and helped us support the notion that all children can learn. We have created a culture of “ours” instead of “mine” when it comes to students. Teachers are committed to working collaboratively to help students succeed. We have created systems of consistency and accountability. We are collectively making better decisions for students because we are working together.


District 54’s road to improvement began during the fall of 2005. Superintendent Ed Rafferty believed passionately that the PLC at Work model—developed and advocated by Richard DuFour, Robert Eaker, and Rebecca DuFour—held the promise of bringing about significant and sustained school improvement across the district. Ed shares the four key variables that contributed to his confidence in the PLC framework:

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Medium 9781475819533

Disciplinary Literacy Pedagogy Development of STEM Preservice Teachers

R&L Education ePub


ABSTRACT: The paradigm of content area literacy instruction is shifting from a view of literacy as generalizable across the curriculum to a disciplinary perspective of literacies specific to the specialized language, text structures, and habits of thinking within particular subject areas. Preservice STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teachers must be knowledgeable in their content fields and possess competence in pedagogical practices that allow them to scaffold their students’ literacy growth within these disciplines. This study examined how infusing a disciplinary literacy project into a content area literacy course affected preservice secondary science and mathematics teachers’ disciplinary literacy pedagogy and practice. The findings of this study suggest that structured inquiry into disciplinary communities enhances preservice teachers’ understanding of disciplinary literacy development, but this knowledge is not easily transferred into classroom instruction. Implications for future research on disciplinary literacy models and preservice teacher preparation are discussed.

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Medium 9780874213256


Barre Toelken Utah State University Press ePub

IN CHAPTER 3, “THE FOLK PERFORMANCE,” WE CONCENTRATED ON THAT IDEN tifiable, often carefully developed, pose that relates a performer to an audience when a traditional expression takes place. Now we move to focus on the event itself: When did it start? How and why did it come about? What were its principal parts? And when did it end? Essentially, a traditional event is a discrete set of actions and expressions that are motivated and directed more by group taste and demand than by the private idiosyncrasies of an individual. Life is full of events; some of them are folk performances.

Anthropologists are inclined to study all recurrent events in a culture (religious holidays, quilting bees, football games) because they all provide valuable data about the culture, its workings, and its tastes. Folklorists, on the other hand, are likely to concentrate on those traditional events in smaller, more cohesive groups within the larger society in which the performance is the realization or the conscious transmission of culturally important ideas.

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Medium 9781475819083

Power through Partnership: The Urban Network for the Improvement of Teacher Education (UNITE)

R&L Education ePub

Moreen Travis Carvan, Urban Network to Improve Teacher Education, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Amanda Nolen, The Holmes Partnership, Baylor University

Robert Yinger, The Holmes Partnership, Baylor University


The Urban Network for the Improvement of Teacher Education (UNITE) was created to address the notion that teachers need to be specifically prepared to teach in urban settings based upon the understanding that teaching and learning in urban schools is qualitatively different than that experienced in other contexts. This network emergedfrom the work of The Holmes Partnership carrying forth the concept of partnership as a vehicle for education reform. UNITE identified four areas where transformation was needed: a) the culture of colleges, b) the quality of instruction, c) the programs for preparing teachers for urban contexts, and d) working relationships with urban elementaiy andsecondaiy schools (Howey, 1992). This article documents the evolution of this national network as a strategy to address the complex issues in urban education.

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Medium 9781935543640

Section Three: Communicating With Difficult Students

Lee Canter Solution Tree Press ePub

Difficult students can be argumentative, confrontational, critical, angry, verbally abusive, sullen, insulting, and rude. When you’re on the receiving end of this behavior, it’s all too easy to react emotionally and respond with anger or irritation.

These responses will not build trust or enhance your relationship with the student, nor will they help the student to comply.

Communicating with a difficult student requires planning and specific skills. You need to know how to avoid reactive responses, and how to focus your energies on helping the student make better behavioral choices.

The communication skills presented in this section of Succeeding With Difficult Students will help you break through the barriers that stand in the way of effective communication. They will also ensure that all of your interactions with students are directed toward building trusting, positive relationships.

Chapter 10

Defusing Confrontations

Chapter 11

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Medium 9781936763931


Gayle Gregory Solution Tree Press ePub

As educational practitioners, authors, and consultants who have dedicated their careers to the professional advancement of educators, we know this to be true: response to intervention (RTI) is our best hope in providing every student with the additional time and support needed to succeed in school. The research and evidence supporting our claim is both comprehensive and compelling. In perhaps the most extensive study of the factors that impact student learning, John Hattie’s (2012) meta-analysis, based on over eighty thousand studies and one hundred million students worldwide, finds that RTI ranks second in the most effective influences, inside or outside of school, that can increase student performance. When implemented well, RTI has the power to help students improve multiple grade levels in a year (Hattie, 2012). Imagine for a moment the practical ramifications of these findings.

A student entering third grade at a first-grade reading level could, with effective RTI support, be approaching grade level by the end of the year.

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Medium 9781936765300

Chapter 1: Why Creativity Is Vital

Reeves, Douglas Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 1

Why Creativity Is Vital

Sir Ken Robinson’s writing (2014) and wildly popular YouTube videos (thirty million hits and counting) make clear the importance of creativity for the future of the planet. Creativity is the first priority in talent selection by the Global CEO Study (Lombardo & Roddy, 2010), finishing higher in that survey than integrity and global thinking. Creativity is foundational to human progress, scientific endeavors, and educational success. In the best synthesis of the international evidence, Heather Hammond and colleagues (2013) and John Hattie (2012) find durable positive relationships between creativity and student achievement and conclude that successful nurturing of creativity depends on feedback that is accurate and active.

The fundamental question is this: Why do so many people enthusiastically watch a Ken Robinson video and devour research about creativity and achievement and then do absolutely nothing about what they learned? This book explores the challenges of creativity and offers practical advice for educators, school leaders, and policymakers. It is not enough to acknowledge that creativity is important; we must first understand why creativity presents such a challenge, particularly in an educational environment.

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Medium 9780253018830

5 So Now What?

Karen Manarin Indiana University Press ePub

WE CONCLUDE WITH our own “What?” “So What?” and “Now What?” reflection on lessons learned through this inquiry into critical reading; we also consider the purposes of undergraduate education. This inquiry has challenged many of our assumptions about how students read and what we are doing in the classroom. In response we have changed many aspects of our courses. These changes range from redesigning assignments and rubrics to reconceptualizing courses. Change, however, cannot be limited to individual faculty practice if it is to be effective. We suggest strategies for increasing impact as we try to move from collaborative inquiry to individual and ultimately collective action. Collective action doesn’t mean we all have to agree on everything, which is important to remember when trying to implement change in the academy.

We were reminded of how little we actually know about the learning that occurs in our classrooms; we carefully plan particular learning opportunities, but so often our vision of what should be happening does not match what is actually occurring. That is the opportunity of, indeed the imperative for, the scholarship of teaching and learning. By carefully and systematically gathering information, paying attention to the particular context, placing the inquiry in a larger context of scholarship, and reflecting upon our assumptions, we can see glimpses of what is, what works, and what might be.1 We learned much about what our students were able to do and where, perhaps even why, they sometimes struggle.

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Medium 9781936765034

Chapter Three Avoiding Reality Wars

Laura Lipton Solution Tree Press ePub


Avoiding Reality Wars

Our ways of viewing the world both empower and trap us. These mental maps have a profound influence on what we see, how we see, and how we make sense of things. While they help us make sense, they also impair our capacity for open-minded exploration. The caution is that we do not let our preferences become our prescriptions. Well-structured data-based investigations reduce certainty, promoting a spirit of inquiry as groups engage in framing problems and seeking solutions. As former U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan has said, “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts” (Greenspan, 2007, p. 95).

Mental models are tenacious and often remain hidden from view. This tendency to stubbornly hold on to unexplored perspectives and beliefs is compounded by the social, emotional, and cognitive complexity of working in groups. Skillful application of the collaborative learning cycle keeps groups and group members open to surprise, producing purposeful uncertainty and conscious curiosity.

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Medium 9781936763580

Chapter 3 | Personal Matter: Personality Traits

Yong Zhao Solution Tree Press ePub

Dr. Daisy Zhang-Negrerie, PhD, received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Calvin College, and PhD in physical organic chemistry from the University of Chicago.

After being a university professor for fifteen years, during which she received tenure, multiple awards for teaching excellence, and the Fulbright Scholar Award, Dr. Zhang-Negrerie switched her research efforts to education in the areas of teaching methodology and curriculum development. She decided to implement what she believed should be taught, as well as how it should be taught, in a high school setting. Currently, Dr. Zhang-Negrerie teaches at Concordia International School Shanghai. There, she developed special classes such as Origami and Math, Learn to Design (where students produced innovative products including a nonconventional 3D, spiral-shaped periodic table), and a unique AP Calculus curriculum incorporating interdisciplinary exercises such as poetry, design, and art. Some of her students’ poetry and artwork can be found in her most recent books, From Tangency to Truth: An Intersection of Math, Poetry, and Art and Metaphorical Poems from a Calculus Classroom.

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Medium 9781936764600

Chapter 5. Leading for Global Competence: A Schoolwide Approach

Heidi Hayes Jacobs Solution Tree Press ePub

By Brandon L. Wiley

If you had to close your eyes and picture what success in schools should look, sound, and feel like, what would you envision? Would you picture students from different cultures working collaboratively, speaking multiple languages, and overcoming barriers of time and geography to accomplish their goals? Would you see students self-aware, self-motivated, and flexible in their thinking? Perhaps you would see students who are sensitive to the needs of others, who take action to solve complex problems and have a natural disposition to make the world a better place? Students like Eliza, a graduating senior at the Denver Center for International Studies, who shared the following:

It is undeniable that the globally-focused education I received has prepared me for the challenges I will face both in college and eventually in my career. There are not enough people in the world today who are passionate about enacting global change and have the facilities and capabilities to do so. Going to my school taught me that it is not enough to simply understand world issues, you have to take action to rectify them. (Personal communication, E. Cummings, 2013)

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Medium 9781475811445

Acknowledgment of Guest Reviewers for Volume 13

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Many thanks to the following scholars who graciously and expertly served as guest reviewers for the Journal of School Leadership during the past volume year.

Chuck Achilles

Richard Andrews

Judy Alston

Randy Averso

Jo Roberts Blase

Joseph Blase

Lars Björk

William Cunningham

Michael Dantley

Gini Doolittle

Jane Fleenor

Frances Fowler

Paul Goldman

Steven Gross

William Kritek

Sharon Kruse

Kaetlyn Lad

Gerardo Lopez

Jean Madsen

Joseph Murphy

Jerry Natkin

Diana Pounder

Carolyn Riehl

James Rinehart

Carolyn Shields

Jacqueline Stefkovich

John Tarter

Megan Tschannen-Moran

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Medium 9781936764488

2 Cultivating an Open Heart

Laura Weaver Solution Tree Press ePub

My teaching philosophy was born from my own negative experience. When I was in school I was treated as if I were not intelligent, as if I were less than. The islands in the sea of public education were the teachers who cared—who shared not only emotion but authentic belief in my ability. Those teachers who made a difference saw intelligence and believed I was intelligent, and then their behavior matched that belief.

—Principal, Colorado High School


When you are in the classroom, what behaviors and experiences tend to open your heart? Which ones tend to close your heart?

Cultivating an open heart refers to the capacity to express warmth, compassion, care, authenticity, and, at times, vulnerability with students and colleagues. It also refers to the ways we intentionally foster meaningful connections with and amongst our students and create culturally responsive classrooms where all students feel welcome and included. These are the kinds of learning environments where students can safely open their hearts and minds to learning and growth.

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Medium 9781943874101

Chapter 5: The Innovation Argument

Scott McLeod Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 5

The Innovation Argument

Schools usually are nice places. The people who work in them are friendly, and most of them care about kids and are trying to do right by the students and families that they serve. What’s more, they’re often doing this despite being underfunded, under-resourced, and underappreciated. In other words, they are making genuine and sincere attempts to prepare our youth for their futures.

Despite this goodwill, it’s hard to think of environments in which timely innovation takes more of a back seat than in schools. The old joke is that if Rip Van Winkle fell asleep one hundred years ago and woke up today, he would be bewildered by all of the changes that have occurred. But then he’d walk into a classroom and feel instantly at home.

As noted in chapter 4 (page 21), much of the lack of innovation among students has to do with schools’ overwhelming emphasis on compliance. Teachers and administrators’ relentless efforts to control young people in every aspect of their school lives exact a terrible toll on students’ willingness to think outside the box. When hundreds of millions of students get told exactly what to do every minute of every school day for thirteen years—and when they’re punished for noncompliance—we should not be surprised that few are willing to take risks, try new things, or think in uncharted directions. The seventeen-year-old boy who is still required to raise his hand and ask to go to the bathroom isn’t going to push the limits of his learning environment. The eight-year-old girl who has already internalized that there is one right answer isn’t going to spend much time searching for divergent processes or solutions. Just as it’s difficult to prepare high-level thinkers in low-level know-ledge environments, it’s also a challenge to prepare innovators in compliance-heavy learning spaces. In this chapter, we’ll examine key skills necessary for innovation, the types of environments that foster innovation, and the need for teachers to have choice and flexibility in their instruction in order to develop innovative thinkers.

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Medium 9781936765539

Six Fluency

Patricia M. Cunningham Solution Tree Press ePub

Sometimes in order to understand what something is, you have to understand what it is not. To experience what it feels like to read without fluency, read the following paragraph aloud without first reading it to yourself. When you have finished reading it, cover it and then summarize what you read aloud.


If you paused to figure out several of the words, and if your phrasing and expression were not very smooth, you experienced what it feels like to be able to read something accurately, but not fluently. If your summary lacked important information, you experienced the detrimental effects of a lack of fluency on comprehension. If you are beginning to develop a headache, you have experienced what a painful task reading can be to readers who lack fluency.

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