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Medium 9781475815122

Stewardship as a Sense-Making Model of Leadership: Illuminating the Behaviors and Practices of Effective School Principals in Challenging Public School Contexts

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Sophia Marsh Masewicz

Linda Vogel

Stewardship as a Sense-Making Model of Leadership: Illuminating the Behaviors and Practices of Effective School Principals in Challenging Public School Contexts

ABSTRACT: This mixed methods study explored the behaviors and practices of effective school principals in challenging public school contexts. Participating in the study were principals and teachers from four schools serving high-minority and high-poverty students in an urban district that demonstrated high student growth as designated by the Colorado Growth Model (Colorado Department of Education, 2007). Findings of the nature, values, and beliefs of effective principals in challenging public school contexts around actions as a tenacious leader, collective efficacy, personal mastery, and critical theorist led to the development of a grounded theory of stewardship as a sense-making model of school leadership.

Public schools have played a major role in our democracy as institutions for the common good (Fullan, 2003). The nation has turned to public schools to address the social or economic crises of our nation. Confidence in the ability of public schools to provide a world-class education to all students has significantly declined (DuFour & Eaker, 1998). The excellence movement of the 1980s, the restructuring movement of the 1990s, and the current reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (No Child Left Behind Act of 2001) have failed to produce the results that citizens demand. We are at another crossroad in public education. The success of public schools will have a direct effect on the social cohesion of our country, the distribution of wealth, and the nation’s ability to compete in a global economy. Economic, social, and global conditions demand new skills of all students.

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Medium 9781936763191

CHAPTER 2: Generating Enhanced Reflective Learning

Casey Reason Solution Tree Press ePub


Generating Enhanced Reflective Learning

The new economy and the new world of work are all about learning. As you know, you cannot survive in any profession unless you’re able to engage and learn new things. To that end, the success of school is most directly driven by the development of individual and team learning capacities (DuFour, DuFour, & Eaker, 2008). Furthermore, a school with a lot of learning resources will be even more effective if it is well led. The purpose of this chapter is to present a key concept that revolves around the ability to enhance and improve the learning power in your school: generating enhanced reflective learning power. You’ll also be introduced to several leadership strategies that support the development of this key concept.

Before we get into the definition of this leadership concept, we need to spend a moment talking about learning power. I deliberately use the term power in this context to describe the flexible and, indeed, expandable force that exists within all of us, within every group, and yes, within your school as a whole to learn new things and to apply that learning. If you believe in successful collaboration, you recognize that there is more learning power in a well-connected cohesive group than one that obviously hasn’t invested in appropriate group processes. Certain schools are able to respond to challenges and demonstrate their learning power better than others by being able to problem solve and find resolutions faster. Being a leader who conceptualizes learning as a fluid force in your organization will help remind you to consistently lead in a way that allows you to maximize this power.

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Medium 9781934009451

8 Implications for Practice

Anthony Muhammad Solution Tree Press ePub

When analyzing organizations, especially schools, it becomes clear that meaningful and productive growth is primarily a function of the cohesion of human resources. Technical or structural changes can certainly aid this process, but if the human factors are not healthy, growth and transformation become very difficult. This book has made a case for understanding why schools have such a difficult time changing when members of the culture cannot accept new paradigms that do not mesh with the traditional operation of schools.

Unfortunately, many school leaders find themselves underprepared to deal with all of the diverse aspects of school leadership, especially as it pertains to developing a healthy school culture (DuFour, 2001). This chapter will focus on practical methods that both administrators and teachers can use to loosen the grip of their Fundamentalists, overcome staff division, and focus the school on its primary purpose: student learning.

The schools I studied that were able to create and maintain a healthy school culture had some similar traits. They were all able to eliminate human distractions and call their colleagues to a higher, more professional purpose. This chapter will focus on three areas for action within schools and school systems:

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Medium 9781935249955

Chapter 2: Teaching Mathematics

McREL Solution Tree Press ePub

Learning and teaching mathematics are complex, active processes. Teachers constantly make decisions as they facilitate an environment in which students are active learners. They also must undertake long-term planning to connect daily efforts to the broader education of each student. At the same time, teachers share responsibility for their students’ successes with other parts of the educational community, including their colleagues, their institutions, and the policies of the educational system.

The NCTM’s Principles and Standards for School Mathematics outlines theoretical and practical knowledge and understandings about mathematics, how children acquire mathematics content, and mathematics teaching techniques that facilitate each child’s learning. Effective professional development moves teachers toward the goals spelled out in these professional standards for teaching mathematics. Because a teacher’s classroom decisions affect each student’s achievement, teachers need to avail themselves of strategies as varied as their students’ educational needs.

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Medium 9781934009543

Chapter 5 RTI and Problem Solving

Wiliam N. Bender Solution Tree Press ePub

Two trains departed Philadelphia at 12:00 pm and were traveling 965 miles to St. Louis, Missouri. Train A was carrying 1,622 passengers and 53 tons of cargo. Train B was carrying 2,612 passengers and 29 tons of cargo. If train A traveled at 53 miles per hour and train B traveled 7 miles per hour faster than train A, what time will each train arrive?

In mathematics, story problems (also known as word problems) have long been used to connect skills and content with student experience, values, and emotion. Story problems tend to strengthen student engagement in the learning experience. Given the vast options for personalization, stories are effective means for introducing mathematics concepts and for enhancing students’ understanding of concepts by increasing their motivation to solve problems.

Story problems capitalize on the research-supported concept of building upon students’ prior knowledge in order to increase learning (Askew, 2002; Swan, 2002). In addition to engaging students emotionally and cognitively, the best story problems challenge students to connect the skills they learn in the classroom to real-world situations. Story problems can encourage complex problem-solving skills or simply increase the enjoyment and fun of mathematics.

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Medium 9781475819502

Utilizing Self-Assessment and Supervisors’ Assessment to Enrich Understanding of Teacher Candidates’ Performance in the Field

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub



ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to add to the literature on the use of self-assessment in the preparation of teacher candidates. It focused on teacher candidates’ performance in field placements by examining self-assessments and field evaluations conducted by their supervisors. The findings indicated that utilizing various forms of assessment is essential. Consistencies and differences between supervisors’ rating and candidates’ self-assessments provided information regarding how teacher candidates develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for teaching.

In education and psychology, self-assessment has become a prominent tool. Self-assessment can be defined as “an appraisal by an individual of his or her work or learning process” (O’Malley & Valdez Pierce, 1996, p. 240). Researchers contend that self-assessment promotes an “interactive environment” that supports learning and has the potential to increase students’ motivation for learning (Kusnic & Finley, 1993). This process is especially important for teacher candidates who must learn to constantly assess their own progress and that of their students and use this information to inform their instructional practices (Bransford, Derry, Berliner, Hammerness, & Beckett, 2005; Kusnic & Finley, 1993; Newfield, 1980; Nitko, 2004; Rolheiser & Ross, 2001; Routman, 2005). In teacher education, research on self-assessment often overlaps with research on reflection, and reflection is considered a critical part of teacher development (Bransford et al., 2005). Struyk and McCoy (1993) assert that engaging in self-assessment allows preservice teachers to identify their strengths and weakness and prioritize areas that need improvement rather than attempting unsuccessfully to tackle everything at once. The difference between reflection and self-assessment seems to be in the focus: “People use reflection when there is the expectation or desire to gain insights about themselves by reflecting, while they use self-assessment to improve future performance by identifying strengths and areas of improvement” (Desjarlais & Smith, 2011, p. 10).

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Medium 9781475816709

International Exchange as a Transformative Learning Experience: A Case Study

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Sheena Choi

Michael Slaubaugh

Ae-Sook Kim

ABSTRACT: This study examines the role of international exchange programs on the transformative learning of English-speaking students. A student exchange program at a South Korean university is used for this case study. It explores how learning experiences are translated by participants onto their perceptions about the host country. An analysis of a pre- and postsurvey suggests that transformative learning of the students is reflected in two overarching themes: (1) intercultural understanding and (2) global perspectives. Through their participation in the program, students developed a deeper understanding of their own and the host country’s cultures and an enhanced appreciation for broadening their global perspectives. This study concludes that international exchange programs have a fundamental importance in educating students to become global citizens and leaders.

This study examines the role of international experience in the transformative learning of students who participated in an international exchange program. Daly (2011) and Altbach (2008) emphasize that individuals, institutions, and countries have a great deal of motivation to develop intercultural understanding and competencies because of the global economy and knowledge-based production. Corresponding to these needs, universities around the world have devised strategies and programs to help their students be prepared to work effectively in an increasingly globally interconnected economy and society (Daly, 2011).

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Medium 9781052684103

Educational Policy in a Media-Driven Age: The Rise of PRolicy



ABSTRACT: This article analyzes the rise of PRolicy (Public Relations public policy), as it relates to educational policy, by examining the first Reagan administration and its use of media manipulation to shape public perceptions of its educational policy agendas. The article explores how PRolicy shapes both educational policy and strengthens borders and uses the legacy of the first Reagan administration as an example that continues to affect current educational policy. The article concludes with a discussion of PRolicy and implications for educational policy researchers, teachers, and administrators.

We are trying to mold public opinion by marketing strategies.

—Reagan Administration Advisor Bill Henkel (Smith, 1988, p. 418)

It has become quite the academic vogue to examine the boundaries that divide students and U.S. society along lines of race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. This exploration is undertaken in hopes of improving educational and administrative practices to facilitate better outcomes for those students who have been historically deemed as “other.” Educators are now supposed to “teach to transgress” (hooks, 1994) and “cross borders” (Giroux, 1992) in the quest of ensuring that public education becomes a liberating tonic for historically disenfranchised groups (Lugg, 1997).

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Medium 9781943874378

Chapter 10 Implementing the Professional Learning Community Process Districtwide

Richard DuFour Solution Tree Press ePub

Superintendent Matt Ditka prided himself as a take-charge, action-oriented leader who wanted the very best for all of the schools in the Dunning-Kruger School District. When he identified a powerful concept or program that he felt would improve the district, he was determined to do whatever was necessary to introduce it to educators in every school.

Ditka was particularly enthused about the professional learning community concept after attending an institute on the topic. He was convinced that it offered the most promising strategy for sustained and substantive improvement for the schools in his district, and he resolved to make implementation of the concept a districtwide initiative. He provided the board of education with information about PLCs and persuaded the board to adopt a goal to implement the concept throughout the district. He also was able to win board approval for funding to train the principals and teacher leaders from every school to ensure they had the knowledge, skills, and tools to bring the PLC process to life in their schools. He purchased books on the PLC process for each member of the central office cabinet and every principal, and he encouraged them to visit schools that had been identified as model PLCs.

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Medium 9781936765324

Chapter One Managing Information in the 21st Century

William M. Ferriter Solution Tree Press ePub

One key point often forgotten in conversations about teaching in a digital world is that the core instructional techniques of most classrooms remain unchanged. Students are still crafting written reports and position statements on topics of personal interest and global importance; powerful conversations still give students the opportunity to polish foundational beliefs; teachers still continue to expose students to the content of their curricula in the hopes of challenging preconceived notions; hands-on experiences are still an essential component of engaging classrooms; and information still stands at the center of meaningful learning experiences.

That’s where the similarities between learning yesterday and today end, though. While the students of previous generations interacted with information by poking through card catalogs, manageable handfuls of books from the local library, or sets of encyclopedias purchased one volume at a time from the local grocery store, iGeners are surrounded by seas of online content. Considering that Google had indexed thirty trillion unique URLs on the Internet by March of 2013, it is easy to see how too much information can become a serious problem for iGeners (Koetsier, 2013).

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Medium 9780983302032

Chapter Three: Respecting the Emotional Brain

David A. Sousa Triple Nickel Press ePub

Emotions have taught mankind to reason.


SHALL I STAY, OR SHALL I QUIT? THAT WAS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT questions I have had to consider in my career. Do I follow my head and stay in this CEO position, or do I follow my gut and get out? Have you ever been in that situation? If so, you know about those sleepless nights when the pros and cons of such a life-changing move are racing through your brain. The cerebral conflict can be disquieting and exhausting. It is especially daunting when logic screams out to stay and there is no other job waiting for you. Quitting means the end of a salary, along with the important benefits and perquisites that go with it. I had to decide between my rational brain’s need for security and my emotional brain’s urge to say, “Screw it! Leave!”

I was the superintendent of a small, upper-middle-class school district in the northeast. Everything went well the first two years. Parents were pleased with new courses that were academically more challenging. Teachers were energized over the revised professional development program that focused on long-term, job-embedded training rather than on irrelevant one-hour sessions. Students were happy with new state-of-the-art computers in the schools. The central office support staff were eager to transfer reports, records, and data from paper to computers. To accommodate the increasing student population, the community approved a bond issue to expand all of the schools. Things were really humming.

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Medium 9781936764891

7 Getting Started and Getting Better

Aiustin Buffum Solution Tree Press ePub

What if a school committed to intervening as early as possible for students experiencing difficulty in learning and behaving, to proactively supporting students in a timely manner with targeted supports, and to building such commitments into the very fabric of the school and the way educators go about their daily business?

RTI at Work represents our concerted, collective, coordinated efforts to systematize support for all students. With RTI at Work, in correlation with the PLC at WorkTM process and PBIS, educators structure their collaborative time and school schedules to ensure that all students receive the time and support needed to learn at high levels—to graduate ready for college or a skilled career.

As we conclude this book, we want to revisit our five students and reflect on how interventions and instructional approaches have worked for them. A quick review of each student, his or her needs at each tier, and the plans that were enacted will connect us back to the goal identified at the beginning of this book: that we view our efforts on behalf of students needing academic and behavior interventions as an opportunity for discovery rather than as a dilemma.

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Medium 9781879639768

Chapter 3: Exercises to Improve Analytical Thinking

Langrehr, John Solution Tree Press PDF




Exercises 1 through 12 helped you to organize things better in your mental filing cabinet. Exercises 13 through 16 will help you do more than think about whole things—you will think about their parts and how they are related, or connected, to each other. This is called analytical thinking.

Two things can be related to each other because they have the same use, color, shape, material, and so on. You learned this in exercise 6. In exercises 8 and 9, you learned how you sometimes store things in your brain in an order or sequence. For example, we often store things in our mental filing cabinet by size or time. In exercise 14, you will see how we often order things in terms of their parts. You have to analyze, or figure out, how the parts are changing in a sequence.

Analytical thinking is more than just organizing things in your brain.

It is like being a mental detective—you have to figure out certain features and then use these features to solve a problem.

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Medium 9781936764167

Chapter 3: Providing Physical Support

Boogren, Tina H. Marzano Research ePub

Chapter 3


Beginning teachers want to start the year off well. They feel excited about meeting their students and using the lessons they created in their teaching methods classes. However, many beginning teachers worry about the logistics of starting off the year on the right foot: “How should I set up the classroom? Where is the library? What is the process for getting a substitute teacher?” These teachers, when confronted with a new environment, are excited to start yet lack the physical resources and logistical knowledge to effectively navigate the first few months of school.

As explained in chapter 2, a beginning teacher whose concerns mainly involve materials and logistical issues needs physical support. Physical support involves helping a beginning teacher with school processes and procedures such as arranging furniture, understanding paperwork systems, and obtaining materials for specific units and lessons. When a mentor offers physical support, he or she helps ensure that the beginning teacher starts off on the right foot. Without an organized classroom, adequate supplies, and an understanding of the school’s existing logistical practices, a new teacher begins the year on unstable ground.

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Medium 9781934009741

Chapter 6 Making Critical Thinking Matter

James Bellanca Solution Tree Press ePub

Making Critical Thinking Matter

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.

—Martin Luther King Jr.

Critical thinking is one of the preeminent skills called for by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Most state and national content standards contain the process standards for critical and creative thinking. By identifying the thinking process embedded in a content standard, teachers can target the appropriate thinking skills to include in an enriched learning project’s instructional plan. Using the three phases of learning, this chapter explains various approaches to help students learn and use these thinking skills in instructional frameworks.

Geometry and calculus teacher Vernoy Johnson asserted that he never taught mathematics. “I teach thinking,” he said. “I teach students how to think mathematically. Sharp thinking is the essence of mathematical thinking and problem solving.”

Vernoy’s favorite instructional tool was the journal. “Journals allow us to talk to ourselves without anyone believing we are crazy. In a thinker’s journal, you can play with numbers or solve complex problems or do whatever you want so that you understand what your world is about in mathematical terms. That means you can also draw your own geometric shapes, quicken your mind, and shape how you think. The best mathematicians were great thinkers.”

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