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Chapter 7: Creating a Positive School and Classroom Climate

Crystal Kuykendall Solution Tree Press ePub

I have come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate, my daily mood that makes the weather . . .

—Haim Ginott (1969)

If you have ever experienced genuine “emotional warmth” or felt “emotionally cold”—regardless of what the thermostat says—you’ll understand that climate is not always contingent on temperature. Most assuredly, how we feel emotionally in a particular physical setting is determined not only by room appearance (colors, lighting, arrangement of furniture) but also by the relationships and interactions of the individuals in that particular setting.

All of us, especially children, respond emotionally to our physical surroundings. While colors have been shown to evoke certain feelings and emotions in adults, it is also true that colors and other physical elements have a strong impact on moods and behavior in children. A good school climate can generate enthusiasm, clarify values, build confidence, and strengthen relationships. Through the school and classroom climate, students are often inspired, nurtured, supported, and comforted. A negative school climate can foster hostility, alienation, underachievement, and hopelessness. Teachers and administrators must make certain that the classroom and school climates neither stifle student growth nor destroy student confidence. Since climate is determined not only by physical appearance, but also by human interaction and the prevailing conditions affecting activities, school officials must make sure schools and classrooms incorporate climate conditions and variables conducive to student and teacher success.

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Instructional Cohorts and Learning: Ironic Uses of a Social System

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

JOE F. DONALDSON

JAY PAREDES SCRIBNER

ABSTRACT: This research explored the organizational nature of cohorts with particular focus on the relation between structural factors. including conventions, culture, power, and unintended learning. An in-depth case study of a cohort project team of educational leadership students led to identification of four major themes. Students employed a product-centered orientation that blurred distinctions between learning and performance. This orientation was a consequence of recipes for action appropriated by students from other institutions, conditions of action (including deadlines imposed by instructors), and structural rules the team constructed to guide its work. Implications for instructional practice are identified.

The instructional cohort has gained in popularity in the delivery of programs preparing educational leaders (Barnett, Basom, Yerkes, & Norris, 2000; Basom, Yerkes, Norris, & Barnett, 1996). Cohorts appeal to adult learners by providing lucid program structures, supportive peer groups, and high-quality contact with instructors (Norris & Barnett, 1994; Reynolds & Hebert, 1998; Yerkes, Basom, Norris, & Barnett, 1995). Cohorts also appeal to faculty and educational leadership programs as a means to effectively and efficiently organize students and instructors for teaching and learning (Barnett et al., 2000; Norris & Barnett, 1994).

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The Educational–Industrial Complex in Comparative Perspective . . . Robert Maranto, Dirk Van Raemdonck, and Alexandra Vasile

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

The Educational–Industrial Complex in Comparative Perspective

Robert Maranto

Dirk C. van Raemdonck

Alexandra Vasile

ABSTRACT: Prior work has defined the Educational–Industrial Complex (EIC) as an interlocking set of public and private institutions which operate mainly to serve children and taxpayers, but also in part as budget maximizers. We test hypotheses about EIC growth using (mainly) cross-sectional data from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations. Findings indicate that, as per capita wealth and unionization grow, nations spend relatively more on education and schools have a higher staff to student ratio (lower class size). Time series data indicate that cross-nationally, class size falls over time.

KEYWORDS: budget maximizing bureaucracy, class size, comparative education policy, comparative educational expenditure, teachers unions

Introduction: Education’s Political–Institutional Settings

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5 Addressing Issues of Safety and Security

Kenneth C. Williams Solution Tree Press ePub

CHAPTER 5

If education is important to us, then a safe learning environment must occur in all of our schools so that children feel safe, comfortable, and prepared to learn.

—J. ARGON

While serious incidents of crime and violence in schools are rare, the possibility that they could occur cannot be ignored. Events of the late 1990s and 2000s have demonstrated that these crimes do not discriminate; schools in suburban and rural areas are just as likely to fall victim to violent acts as those in large, urban areas. The principal has a key leadership role in creating and maintaining a safe learning environment for students and staff. School leaders must plan for the worst and take a proactive approach to dealing with the possibility of violence or other crises at their schools.

Much of what has been discussed in the previous chapters can be viewed as ways to guard against violent acts by members of the school community. Students who view the school as a caring place for learning are simply much less likely to engage in inappropriate and violent behavior. Kevin Dwyer, David Osher, and Cynthia Warger (1998) recommend that by understanding what leads to violence and how school leaders and teachers can prevent violence effectively, leaders can make their schools safer. If everyone in the school community—administrators, teachers, families, students, support staff, and community members—identify warning signs early, students can get the help they need to prevent violence from occurring.

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Appendix A

Bill Barnes Solution Tree Press PDF

Appendix A

Reproducibles

169

17 0 |

REPRODUCIBLE

Action Plan

Use the following action plan to outline your team’s vision for teaching and learning mathematics.

District:                

Mathematics Leadership Team:                 

Goals:                               

The Mathematics

Leadership Key or Characteristic

We Are

Developing

Strategy or

Action Steps

Person or Group

Responsible for

Monitoring and

Completing the

Action Step

Target Date or

Timeline

Evidence of

Effectiveness

Activating the Vision © 2016 Solution Tree Press • SolutionTree.com

Visit go.SolutionTree.com/leadership to download this free reproducible.

| 17 1

REPRODUCIBLE

Planning Template for Change

Instructional Vision

Step Considerations

Plan for Professional

Learning

Phase 1: Preparation

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