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Medium 9781475811452

Making Educational Leadership “Educational”

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: Educational leadership preparation and practice typically concentrate on managerial exigencies at the neglect of definitive functions of the institution of schooling. Educational leadership, however, is truly “educational” when its processes focus on fostering student learning of a worthwhile curriculum and when these processes are themselves educative. This article aims to inform current efforts to reform educational leadership preparation by drawing from historic sources and sources outside the conventional educational administration literature and by highlighting the neglect of the curriculum imperative in such recent efforts. Recent attention to the educational dimension of school leadership by the educational leadership community should be pursued further through collaboration among academic specializations and advocacy by professional organizations in the field of education.

What makes educational leadership “educational”? What distinguishes educational leadership from generic leadership? What distinguishes it from leadership in other areas of endeavor? The obviousness of these questions—and their answers—obscures their importance. For if educational leadership cannot credibly be distinguished from other forms of leadership, say, business leadership or military leadership, then colleges of education and departments of educational leadership have no special claim on the preparation of educational leaders. The retired corporate CEOs and retreaded military officers increasingly touted by politicians and policymakers may as well take charge of our schools. What, then, makes educational leadership “educational”?

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Medium 9781942496076

Chapter 5: The Future of Teaching and Learning

Will Richardson Solution Tree Press ePub

It’s easy to conclude that our freedom to learn on our own terms means we in education should singularly focus on developing kids as powerful autodidacts who can teach themselves anything from Minecraft to microorganisms. To be honest, I lean toward that quite a bit. Obviously, I still believe that schools and teachers have a huge role in the learning lives of our kids, but in my view, children are autodidacts out of the womb. But almost by design, schools systemically take away their agency over learning and, in the process, reduce engagement and enthusiasm for it.

That’s got to change. As Cathy Davidson and David Theo Goldberg (2010) write in The Future of Thinking:

The future of conventional learning institutions is past—it’s over—unless those directing the course of our learning institutions realize, now and urgently, the necessity of fundamental and foundational change. Most fundamental to such a change is the understanding that participatory learning is about a process and not always a final product. (pp. 14–15)

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Medium 9781936764167

Chapter 1 Using Collaborative Teams for English Language Arts

Fisher, Douglas; Frey, Nancy Solution Tree Press ePub


• To what extent does your team understand the conceptual shifts represented in the Common Core State Standards for English language arts?

• How often are informational texts used in instruction across the day?

• To what extent do teachers at your school use complex texts?

• Do students routinely discuss and develop texts that feature opinions and evidence?

• To what extent do teachers at your school focus on speaking and listening activities?

• In what ways do teachers at your school develop academic vocabulary and language?

A team of first-grade teachers is meeting to discuss the results of a common formative assessment it had recently administered. Teachers had previously agreed on a pacing guide for their unit focused on informational texts and had discussed the various ways that they would teach the unit. Unlike most previous state standards, the Common Core require an integrated approach to lesson development in which teachers build students’ competence in multiple standards simultaneously. As an example, the teachers’ three-week unit had its primary focus on the Reading Standards for Informational Text at the first-grade level (RI.1; NGA & CCSSO, 2010a).

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Medium 9781576750674

7. Learning to Solve Problems and Make Decisions: Using Mental Models for Learning

Davis, James R. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

HOW DO YOU REACT when someone gives you a problem? Try this one (Fixx, 1978)1:

If you have black socks and brown socks in your drawer—mixed in a ratio of four to five, how many socks will you have to take out to make sure of having a pair of the same color?

Are you eager for the challenge posed by a problem? Do you know how to approach problems? Does a chapter that begins like this make you want to turn to the next chapter?

Problems—big and small—are everywhere. In the workplace they arise from things that go wrong, but they are also embedded in opportunities. A problem is a question proposed for solution or discussion—usually a matter involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty. Most problem solving and decision making gets complicated. Usually several considerations enter the picture at once, and it becomes difficult to keep them straight. You can feel like a juggler trying to keep all the tenpins in the air, or a circus performer trying to spin a dozen plates at once. Such an act “boggles the mind,” we say, and to boggle, the dictionary tells us, is to alarm, astound, shock, or stagger. So the mind must find some alternative to getting boggled. Psychologists call this boggling cognitive overload. The mind needs some system for dealing with the complexity posed by problem solving and decision making. This is why we turn to mental models.

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Medium 9781935542773

Chapter 4 Challenge Bell-Shaped Grade Distributions

Thomas R. Guskey Solution Tree Press ePub


Challenge Bell-Shaped Grade Distributions

Many of us can remember being in classrooms where our performance was judged against that of our peers. A grade of C did not mean you had reached step 3 in a five-step process to mastery or proficiency. It meant “average” or “in the middle of the class.” Similarly, a high grade did not necessarily represent excellent learning. It simply meant that you did better than most of the other students in your class (Guskey, 2011). The goodness of your performance was not determined by specific criteria that were made explicit by your teacher. Instead, it was based on how your performance stacked up against the performance of your classmates. This process of assigning grades based on a student’s relative standing among classmates is referred to as normative-based grading, or more familiarly as grading on the curve.

Curving Grades

Most teachers, students, and parents have a general understanding of what grading on the curve means. But in practice, this phrase can have a variety of meanings depending on the context (Wall, 1987).

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Medium 9781942496397

Appendix A: Completed Classification of Triangles Chart

Juli K. Dixon Solution Tree Press ePub
Medium 9781942496571

7 The Imperative of a Collaborative Culture

Richard DuFour Solution Tree Press ePub


The Imperative of a Collaborative Culture

In every decade since the 1970s, researchers have concluded that one of the major obstacles to substantive school improvement in the United States is the long-standing tradition of teacher isolation. Since 1971, psychologist Seymour Sarason (1996) has reported that because teachers rarely have contact with one another, they “are psychologically alone even though they are in a densely populated setting” and that they adapt to being alone by creating a culture of individuals concerned about himself or herself rather than a culture of group concerned with the pursuit of the profession’s best practices (p. 133). In his 1975 book, Dan Lortie describes how the isolation of classroom teachers prevents them from developing and sharing knowledge of their craft.

The 1980s brought John Goodlad’s (1984) analysis of the work of teachers and his conclusion that teacher autonomy and isolation cause them to make decisions on curriculum, assessment, and instruction without the benefit of input from colleagues. Susan Rosenholtz (1986) notes two distinctly different school cultures: one in which collaboration, continuous improvement, and shared learning were the norm and the other in which autonomy and privatization left the question of quality teaching up to individual teachers to pursue according to their very different perspectives of quality.

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Medium 9781475811438

Schools as Learning Communities: Unpacking the Concept

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: Because the term “learning community” has been used with increasing frequency to describe schools, this article synthesizes theoretical and empirical research to describe learning community as a construct. The overall purpose is to describe a viable lens through which schools can be viewed in a meaningful manner. First, a summary of the effective schools’ model is used to explain the evolution of learning communities. The construct is then described in terms of three broad dimensions: cognitive, affective, and ideological. A summary with suggestions for future research is provided.

In 1996 the National Association of Secondary School Principals issued a report describing their vision of high schools for the 21st century. In this document, nine purposes for high schools are listed, the first of which states, “High school is, above all else, a learning community” (p. 8). Within the past decade, the term “learning community” has been used with increasing frequency to describe a good school (Beck, 1996; Bryk & Driscoll, 1988; Bulach, Brown, & Potter, 1998; Myers & Simpson, 1998; Oxley, 1997; Sergiovanni, 1992; Watkins & Marsick, 1999). As the language used to describe a concept greatly influences the underlying assumptions, as well as the general understanding of the concept, it is imperative to explore the evolution of the term “learning community” and how it manifests itself in the reality of public schools. Unpacking this concept is an important step in discerning whether this term engenders a more comprehensive view of a good school than previous terms, namely, the “effective schools” model.

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Medium 9780253006127

2 Providing Access

Robin K Morgan Indiana University Press ePub



It was the first day of a two semester class in anatomy and physiology. We had finished the tour around the room, with a quick introduction and description of personal goals. During the break, several students stopped with questions or comments, but one woman waited patiently until all others had left the room and then said, “I just wanted you to know that I am eligible for student services, but I don’t want to be treated any differently from the others. The only reason that I am telling you is because if I work hard enough I can make a C in this class. I just don’t want you to think that my C is not because I am not trying.”

Upon reflection, I decided to develop “voiceover” PowerPoint slides as a way of meeting the needs of not only this student, but also other students who may have difficulty learning the material at the quick pace set in my classes. To create a “voiceover” PowerPoint slide, I simply recorded myself as a I explained complicated concepts on each of my PowerPoint slides and briefly discussed how we would use the material covered in the PowerPoint slides in class to develop a deeper understanding of the material. After I distributed my “voiceover” PowerPoint slides to the class, this student stopped again during break. “Oh, thank you. It is exactly how I learn. I hear your voice, see the picture or words and have time to write it on paper.”

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Medium 9781475819595

Twitter and Teacher Education: Exploring Teacher, Social, and Cognitive Presence in Professional Use of Social Media

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: Social media has been well reported for its benefit to connect individuals globally while communicating new knowledge. In the context of teacher education, however, it is underutilized and rarely researched to investigate pedagogical decisions and impact. This article shares how preservice teachers in their second year of undergraduate studies explored use of Twitter for professional links. The case demonstrates how it is possible to integrate Twitter into teacher education studies through careful planning of teacher, cognitive, and social presence while illuminating how the co-construction of knowledge through 140-character tweets supports productive, rational, and reflective thinking for preservice teachers. Of particular focus is how the preservice teachers accessed Twitter to support their lived experiences of becoming a teacher while participating in practicum in school or educational settings where theory and practice connections are made.

Twitter is one type of social media that allows for a combination of personal publishing and communication with a new type of real-time interaction. This allows for opportunities in immediate, anytime/anywhere feedback (Dunlap & Lowenthal, 2009; Lemon, 2013b; Rodens, 2011; Sinnappan & Zutshi, 2011). “Learning opportunities” (Wenger, White, & Smith, 2009, p. 9) are present with participation, while the richness that can be attained between the distinction of active and passive members is varied. Twitter participation is about dialogue—two-way and, at times, including multiple-voice discussions—that brings people together to discover and share information in an online space (Reuben, 2011; Solis, 2008). For the teacher education field, Twitter is an attractive option to support peer-to-peer interactions, student–teacher interactions, and global–student interactions about education, specific disciplines within education, and pedagogical approaches to support learning of young people. Currently, however, Twitter is under-utilized as a way to support online dialogue for preservice teachers (Lemon, 2013a, 2013b, 2014a, 2014b; Lemon, Thorneycroft, Jones, & Forner, 2012; Pestridge, 2014; Poore, 2012).

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Medium 9781934009727

School Improvement Audit 4 Engage Parents, Communities, and Schools to Work as Partners

Robert Barr Solution Tree Press ePub

No one ever explained to me how important it was to keep my kids in the same school. As a single mom, my kids and I move around a lot. I never worried about it because there is always a school wherever we live. But the principal explained how much learning is lost moving from one teacher to another teacher in a different school. They even asked me to sign a contract promising that I would do everything possible to keep the kids in her school.

—Parent, Arizona

While parent and family involvement are as old as public education, traditionally they have been focused on elementary schools or on athletics at the high school level. But the family and school relationship has grown far beyond the traditional PTA meeting and fund-raising efforts. Beginning in the 1970s, poor and minority parents have shown increasing interest—even demanded—to have a greater role in the education of their children. School reform efforts by Robert Slavin and the Success for All Foundation (www.successforall.net) and James Comer’s School Development Program (www.med.yale.edu/comer/) have demonstrated the positive impact of extensive parent involvement in the education of their children. Both of these programs used school advisory teams and parent education and communication.

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Medium 9781942496076

Appendix: Reading List

Will Richardson Solution Tree Press ePub

And What Do You Mean by Learning? by Seymour Sarason (2004)

The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students Through Digital Learning by James Paul Gee (2013)

The Book of Learning and Forgetting by Frank Smith (1998)

The Children’s Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer by Seymour Papert (1993)

Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich (2000)

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto (1992)

Experience and Education by John Dewey (1938)

How Children Learn by John Holt (1967)

Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager (2013)

Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas by Seymour Papert (1993)

A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown (2011)

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Medium 9781932127300

Chapter 7: Exploring State Department of Education Grant Applications

Beverly Brown Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 7

Exploring State Department of Education Grant Applications

AS AN EDUCATOR, MOST OF YOUR GRANT WRITING PROJECTS will be related to your district, school, or classroom needs. Once you have mastered corporate and foundation grant proposals, the logical progression is to begin exploring your state department of education’s competitive grant funding opportunities. This chapter focuses on the technical aspects of state-level grant applications.


You just received your first state department of education grant application. There are 30 or more pages of instructions. Where do you start? Begin by looking at the basic components and requirements of all state-level education grant applications.

Introduction and background. This section of the grant application provides information on the federal legislative act that led to the grant funding opportunity. Your state department of education has either received a significantly large formula grant allocation or it has applied for and received a competitive grant award from the U.S. Department of Education. Federal grants awarded through a state agency are referred to as pass-through funding. This section also tells you what types of activities the act is authorized to fund. Pay attention to any wording in boldface. When the state agency boldfaces or italicizes a phrase or sentence, this indicates the material is of critical importance. Most importantly, this section tells you your state’s funding allocation, or the amount of money available for regranting through the competitive grant application process. Regranting means to “grant again.” The process is as follows: Congress allocates funds to federal agencies. Federal agencies keep some of the money for administrative expenses, and either through a formula allocation or competitive grantmaking, Congress passes these monies through (pass-through) to State Education Agencies (SEAs). In turn, the SEAs keep a portion of the federal monies for administrative expenses. The remaining monies are regranted through either formula allocations or competitive grantmaking to Local Education Agencies (LEAs), also known as school districts.

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Medium 9780795317217

Chapter 4. The Rule of Knowledge Transfer

Matthew Murdoch and Treion Muller FranklinCovey RosettaBooks, LLC ePub

Making the move online can be challenging. But with the right resources, tools, and rules, you will be the spark that ignites your virtual training. We have provided a few action plans from the book that will help you in the transition from live to virtual training.

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Medium 9781936763214

Appendix A Text Features and Structures

Maria Espino Calderon Solution Tree Press ePub

The reproducibles in this section help ELs complete peer summaries and writing assignments and participate in class discussions. Students can carry these in their folders or tape them to their desks or tables when they work in teams. Some teachers also like to laminate them and put them in bins where all students can access them during discussions and writing activities.

Text Structure

Tier Two Words and Phrases
(Also known as signal or transition words)


•Denotes a specific topic and its attributes

•Rich and descriptive details support main ideas

above, across, all, also, appears to be, as an example, behind, below, beside, by observing, characteristics are, for example, for instance, in addition, in back of, in front of, it means, most, most important, near, on top of, looks like, over, some, such as, to the left or right

Sequence and Process

•Provides information and events in a specific order

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