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Medium 9780596101640

Hack #16. Identify Unexpected Relationships

Bruce Frey O'Reilly Media ePub

If you want to verify whether a relationship you have observed between two variables is real, you have a variety of statistical tools available. A problem arises, though, when you have measured these variables without much precision, using categorical measurement. The solution is a two-way chi-square test, which, among other things, can be used to make unsubstantiated assumptions about the characteristics of people you have just met.

"Identify Unexpected Outcomes" [Hack #15] used the one-way chi-square test to make police scheduling decisions based on whether equal numbers of crimes were committed at different times of day. That tool works well to solve any analytical problem when:

The data is at the categorical level of measurement (e.g., gender, political party, ethnicity).

You want to determine whether there is a greater frequency of scores in certain categories than would be expected by chance.

You face another common analytic problem when you're curious to know whether two categorical variables are related to each other. Relationships between categorical variables can be examined with the handy two-way chi-square test.

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Medium 9781475811742

Gender and Perceptions: Females as Secondary Principals

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Kathleen Nogay

Robert J. Beebe

Gender and Perceptions: Females as Secondary Principals

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of teachers and supervisors toward the principal leadership behaviors of female secondary principals in Ohio. Principal self-perceptions were also included to complete the study. The literature shows that women continue to be underrepresented in a field in which the majority of professionals are women; therefore the reasons for underrepresentation warrant investigation. Although women are beginning to move into such ranks more frequently, line administrative positions continue to be dominated by males, and few women hold the positions of high school principal and school district superintendent, positions which continue to be particularly resistant to the advancement of females.

Random selected school districts in Ohio were involved in this investigation, the participants of which completed a copy of Philip Hallinger’s Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS), a scale which afforded the opportunity to compare the perceptions of superordinates, principals, and subordinates. The results indicated significant differences between principal gender and the responses of others on most of the subscales of the PIMRS. The mean subscale results were much higher for female principals than for male principals as well. The conclusions of this study indicate that there is significant difference in perceptions of principal leadership behavior regarding gender. Principals also judge their own leadership behavior significantly different based on gender.

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Medium 9781934009604

8: Proactive Behavioral Strategies

Kim Davis Solution Tree Press ePub

Most schools have guidelines that are specifically geared to “behavior management.” Faculty and school administration receive annual handbooks that explain the rules of behavior, as well as what to do in the case of disruption and unwanted conduct. Not only that, but many classrooms have their own additional rules. But encouraging positive behaviors involves more than rules. It involves a shift of attention and energy. Lovett’s statement that “our energies are better put to eliminate the need for difficult behavior than in trying simplistically to eliminate the behavior itself” (1996, p. 94) summarizes this philosophy.

How adults communicate with children sets the expectation for the behaviors we see and experience in different environments. What we do, what we say, and how we interact make a difference. The measures that we can take to support positive behavior are seldom written into faculty handbooks.

Proactive behavioral approaches are simple, straightforward ways that a teacher and school staff can work together to help students learn not only the academics, but also the behaviors necessary to engage in the learning and social environment that defines school. To implement these approaches successfully, the education team must work together and be consistent in all techniques. This can be challenging in some instances, but it is vital that the team stick together and stay on course with the supports they create.

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Medium 9781475811957

Stress in School Administration: Coping Tips for Principals



ABSTRACT: With the need for rapid school reform amid changes in socioeconomic and political situations, evidence abounds that today’s school principals operate in a stress-strained environment. Participants of this study identified at least a form of stress on the job. More than 96% claimed to have experienced work-related stress at a level they believed was affecting their mental and physical health, work habits, and productivity. With continuous frustrations and challenges, many principals are thinking of quitting or seeking early retirement. The seven major stress factors identified were unpleasant relationships and people conflicts, time constraints and related issues, crises in the school, challenging policy demands and overwhelming mandates, budgetary constraints and related issues, fear of failure, and negative publicity and dealing with media. Coping tips were explicated from the perspectives of behavioral modification cues, physical exercises, relaxation techniques, professional help, and medical care. Through interviews with 52 principals in Connecticut for about 2.5 years, this article brings to the fore various causes of stress in school administration as well as some coping techniques for principals. Implications for school districts, enhanced leadership preparation practices, and further research are also discussed.

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Medium 9781475811438


JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Guest Editor: Carolyn S. Carr

This is the final article in a four-part series. The first three parts appeared in previous issues of the Journal of School Leadership.


ABSTRACT: This article reviews the concepts of witnessing and advocacy as they inform and disrupt both the practice and the teaching of educational leadership. Since power relations are always a part of social interactions, educators need to attend to the ways those power relations affect teaching and learning. The article suggests that witnesses look for evidence of harmful bias in their schools and work to find remedies; witnesses identify biases in themselves and strive to ensure that those biases do not impede teaching and learning; witnesses listen when evidence of harmful bias is brought to them and work collaboratively to find remedies; witnesses articulate both problems and solutions related to bias, using their roles to fulfill the broader purpose of education; and witnesses see the powerful role of education in either perpetuating or challenging biases.

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Medium 9781936764006

Chapter 3 Implementing the Common Core Mathematics Content in Your Curriculum

Kanold, Timothy D. Solution Tree Press ePub


Chapter 2 presented a strong argument for designing the transition to the CCSS through the window of teacher and student engagement in the Mathematical Practices (see appendix A, page 159). This makes a lot of sense as you consider the mathematics content of the CCSS. What’s the content? How does this content differ from what you are now teaching or have previously taught? Are there particular learning standards that require additional focus? What about topics that appeared to be a struggle for your students last year or throughout your career? These “in my room with my kids” concerns are legitimate at every grade level.

This chapter provides a number of analysis tools for examining your classroom, school, or district implementation of the content domains and expectations of the Common Core State Standards. As you work collaboratively with colleagues, you will be able to address and become conversant with the paradigm shift less is more. The Common Core standards require you to shift to less (fewer standards) is more (opportunity to dig deeper with understanding) at each grade level in your school.

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Medium 9781935542780

5 Addressing Issues of Safety and Security

Kenneth C. Williams Solution Tree Press ePub


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.


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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Medium 9781475833201

975 The Roles of Teacher Leaders in Guiding PLCs Focused on Disciplinary Literacy

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub




The Roles of Teacher Leaders in Guiding PLCs Focused on Disciplinary Literacy

ABSTRACT: This study investigates the experiences of teacher leaders working to facilitate professional learning communities (PLCs) focused on inquiry into disciplinary literacy at the high school level. Specifically, we examine the moves that team leaders made to preserve focus and learning within their PLCs and how participants experienced their leadership. We found that the teacher leaders in this study established structures and routines for their PLCs to work productively together and that their facilitation was crucial for the success of inquiry, and thus for participants’ professional learning and growth.

KEY WORDS: Teacher Leadership, Disciplinary Literacy, Professional Learning Communities, Inquiry, Professional Learning

As accountability pressures increase and new requirements for instruction shift with the widespread adoption of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), many educators continue to look to professional learning communities (PLCs) as a primary learning mechanism to bring their practice in line with standards. Some see PLCs as an ideal model for collaborative professional learning (Talbert, 2010), while others point to the sense of collective responsibility that is built through participation in a PLC (Harris & Muijs, 2002; Servage, 2008). While PLCs, which provide regular opportunities for groups of teachers to work together on improving practice, theoretically present many possibilities for improving teacher and student learning, the on-the-ground experience of participants engaged in PLCs often does not live up to these ideals, particularly if the professional learning model is imposed top-down (Fairman & Mackenzie, 2012; Talbert, 2010). Because participants are rarely taught how to work collaboratively or provided with ongoing guidance for how to best facilitate and utilize PLC time together, many teachers in PLCs struggle to collaborate effectively. Instead, teachers can often be seen working independently while in the same space, or focusing on logistical matters rather than problems of practice (Hargreaves & Dennis, 2009; Neil & Johnston, 2005; Supovitz, 2002; Talbert, 2010; Troen & Boles, 2012).

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Medium 9781935542933

Chapter 8: Leading School-Based and Virtual Teams

Richard DuFour Solution Tree Press ePub

What kind of leadership is most effective in supporting educators as they use technology to create and strengthen both school-based and virtual teams? There is a tendency in the United States to think of leadership as a rare quality that allows extraordinary individuals to use their exceptional charisma and indomitable will to help ordinary people overcome their limitations. According to this image of leadership, a leader is a rare breed possessed of skills far beyond those of the general population. Leaders are the visionary entrepreneurs (Steve Jobs), the brilliant military tacticians (George Patton), and the legendary athletes (Michael Jordan) who single-handedly account for the success of their enterprise. This image of leadership is prevalent in education as well with tales of turnaround principals who save failing schools through their individual efforts.

According to this narrative, leaders don’t just have the answer to the problem; they are the answer to the problem. This is, once again, classic Taylorism at work. The person at the top of the organizational chart identifies the one best way to solve a problem, and all others do what they are told.

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Medium 9780874218442

7. Fieldwork and Ethnography

Martha Sims Utah State University Press ePub

As much fun as we find reading about folklore to be, nothing can compare to the opportunity to do one's own ethnographic research, exploring a group and the creative ways in which its members communicate with each other. Ethnography is the process of studying and learning about groups of people, as well as the written description and analysis of those observations. It is through ethnographic research and the written descriptions of their findings in the field that folklorists share their ideas.

From the early days of the discipline, folklorists have gone into the field to study the songs, stories, objects, behaviors, and beliefs of the cultural groups about which they have written. Folklorists don't necessarily have to go far away to gather information. Much contemporary folklore research takes place within local communities. The “field” is wherever folklore occurs: it could be a class-room, a locker room, or even your family's kitchen.

When a folklorist decides to go into the field, there are two levels of the field-work experience to think about. There are the practical elements of research—the who, what, where, when, and how. And there are the more philosophical aspects of research: What relationship should the researcher have with consultants? How should the folklorist work with consultants and the information collected from them? What will the folklorist do to recognize the collaborative nature of field-work and interpretation and ensure respect for folklorist-consultant relationships, as well as for the texts and those who share and perform them? Where and when will the interpretations be shared with the consultants and others? Finally, how can all of this be presented effectively in the written ethnography?

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Medium 9781936763351

Chapter 2 Dispositions: Critical Pathways for Deeper Learning

James A Bellanca Solution Tree Press ePub

Chapter 2

Dispositions: Critical Pathways for Deeper Learning

Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick

What makes learning “deeper”? Is it adding content to an already overcrowded curriculum? Is it giving more time to learning by extending the school day or school year? Is it deliberately ensuring that instructional strategies are used to develop students’ understanding? Is it posing questions to cause students to think at higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy? Is it ensuring that students justify their answers by citing evidence and references from the text? Is it making the curriculum more interdisciplinary? Is it “toughening” the achievement tests to measure a student’s increasing depth of understanding of the content being taught? Perhaps it is all the above. It is clear that something more is needed.

We must all think anew about the important outcomes of education as we prepare students for a vastly different future than that we have known in the past. The first task is to identify what we believe to be the critical dispositions of deeper learners and then suggest ways to design instructional and assessment strategies intended to cultivate the growth of deeper learners over time. This will require a reframing of our mental maps about what education is for, what the attributes of deeper learners are, and what needs to go on in dispositionally oriented schools and classrooms. It will require a new language with which we communicate about educational purposes, assessments of student progress, and excellence in teaching and learning.

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Medium 9781936763993

Appendix B: Glossary

Heather Frizielle Solution Tree Press ePub

Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

The Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy. These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade level. The standards were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, regardless of where they live. (NGA & CCSSO, n.d.a)

Common formative assessment. Assessments for learning administered to all students in the same grade level or course several times during a unit of study, semester, or year. Participating teachers collaboratively design items, and results are analyzed in collaborative teams in order to differentiate instruction (Ainsworth & Viegut, 2006).

Discrepancy model. The IQ-achievement discrepancy model is:

The traditional method used to determine if a student has a learning disability and needs special education services. The discrepancy model is based on the concept of the normal curve, and assesses whether a substantial difference, or discrepancy, exists between a student’s scores on an individualized test of general intelligence (that is, an IQ test, such as WISC-IV) and his or her scores obtained for one or more areas of academic achievement (such as the Woodcock-Johnson Achievement Test). The accepted criteria to identify a student as having a learning disability using the IQ-achievement discrepancy is a difference of at least two standard deviations (30 points). (IRIS Center, 2015)

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Medium 9780253011329

2. Discipline

Howard Tinberg Indiana University Press ePub


Something as big as this catastrophe doesn’t just happen without some sort of History giving evidence of what was to come. Sharon, reading journal, February 2011

Reading this passage [from Ida Fink’s short story “The Key Game”] helped me to stop thinking about the Shoah in broad strokes, and to start paying attention to the fine details.

Richard, reading journal, February 2011

How do we know whether we are teaching effectively? How do we determine whether our students are learning what we want them to learn? All teachers understand that answering these questions will achieve positive outcomes. But how do we practitioners go about doing so? We concur with Lee Shulman that “teaching and learning … [are] domain-specific” rather than merely a product of generalized principles and strategies (Foreword vi). In other words, how we teach and how our students learn are questions necessarily tied to what comprises our course content. That content may include more than purely the facts (the formulas, key events, and concepts) of a subject but also the methods and ways of thinking characteristic of particular disciplines, what we refer to below as rhetorical processes. Furthermore, an assessment of teaching and learning should itself be grounded in those very research methodologies afforded by the disciplines. As advocates of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning rightly remind us, if research about teaching is to be seen as a scholarly project, then data must be subject to critique by peers and, if found worthy, distributed via publication for additional, scholarly exchange. This book represents our attempt at such research.

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Medium 9781934009017

Chapter 3: Aligning Standards, Curriculum, and Assessment

Lisa Carter Solution Tree Press ePub

The dog lesson from the introduction is a not-so-subtle reminder of the problems we may encounter when curriculum and assessment are not properly aligned. I really like teaching the dog lesson during my training sessions, and participants seem to enjoy it. They commend me for being prepared, engaging everyone, using visuals, inserting humor into the lesson, teaching to different learning styles, and using effective teaching strategies. This great lesson, however, does not usually bring about great results on the dog test.

What if I added some new teaching innovations to the dog lesson? I could use state-of-the-art technology to teach the lesson, create a brain-compatible environment, use dynamic instructional grouping based on detailed running records—the list goes on and on. But would this impact scores on the dog test? No, because these cutting-edge instructional methods, as important as they are in our classrooms, cannot correct my content errors.

The dog lesson does not yield successful results for one simple reason: I have not aligned what I am teaching and what I am assessing. No matter how well I teach, the best the participants—all college-educated teachers and administrators—typically can do on the dog test is an average score of 50%. New innovations will not increase scores; they can only be effective if I am teaching what I am testing. And this alignment is even more critical than ever before considering the importance of assessment in the lives of today’s students.

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Medium 9781475819229

Kaleidoscope Feature

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub


ABSTRACT: University–school partnerships are increasingly being viewed as optimal contexts for preparing future teachers. Professional Development School partnerships have especially been extolled for creating learning communities in which preservice teachers learn to teach. The reform literature, however, does not adequately address how interns understand, experience, and learn in these communities. In this article, I discuss three themes that highlight six interns’ understandings of the learning community in one Professional Development School internship. The themes—the “web of support” metaphor, the role as “another teacher,” and the we–inquirer perception—suggest that interns understand the notion of learning community to be inextricably linked to enhanced collegiality in the practicum emanating from multiple mentorship; the recognition of their role as coteachers; and their identity as collaborators in the production of knowledge of practice through inquiry. Characteristics of a successful learning community in the Professional Development School context are discussed.

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