3334 Chapters
Medium 9781936764488

1 Engaged Teaching

Laura Weaver Solution Tree Press ePub

Excellent teachers don’t develop full-blown at graduation; nor are they just “born teachers.” Instead, teachers are always in the process of “becoming.” They continually discover who they are and what they stand for, through their dialogue with peers, through ongoing and consistent study, and through deep reflection about their craft.

—Sonia Nieto

Self-Reflection

Who were the teachers who inspired you? How did they inspire you? What specific qualities, behaviors, and dispositions did they possess? Now think of your own students. How would they describe you? What kind of teacher do you aspire to be?

Our society often focuses on the idealized teachers—like the ones characterized in the feature films Freedom Writers, Stand and Deliver, and Dead Poets Society—the teachers who go to extraordinary lengths or give up their health or well-being to meet their students’ needs. These messages give us the impression that great teachers are born, not made, that we must have a particular kind of charisma to inspire young people, or that exemplary teachers must make enormous sacrifices against impossible odds to reach their students.

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Medium 9781943874255

4 Leading Learning Assessment

Rebecca L. Stinson Solution Tree Press ePub

If you don’t know where you are headed, you’ll probably end up someplace else.

—Douglas J. Eder

It was time to assess my school’s assessment. I reflected on Unstoppable Learning’s formal leader driving questions, and I reflected on the required link between teaching and learning. Systems thinking leaders recognize that assessing is the foundational connection between teaching and learning (Fisher & Frey, 2015). I knew our school’s system wasn’t working due to the following.

•There was a disconnect between the standards and what teachers recorded in their gradebooks.

•Few teachers responded to an email about student opportunities to relearn and recover.

•According to the metric that measured students every five weeks, the percentage of students passing reading and mathematics was low.

•Gradebooks had too many zeros.

Leaders must help teachers see why learning assessment is important and determine what evidence of student learning should appear in gradebooks.

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Medium 9781936764075

2 Creative Thinking

James A. Bellanca Solution Tree Press ePub

Embedded in the CCSS is the big idea of creativity and innovation. The associated thinking skills provide students with ways to demonstrate authentic evidence of what they have learned in any of the disciplines. Creativity taps into one’s imagination and is often the magic link in problem solving and decision making because it brings to mind unusual, novel, and unique ideas. Creative thinking can be clever, wise, out-of-the-box thinking. It sometimes yields thoughts that seem outlandish, as the mind makes strange connections between ideas considered quite alien.

Innovation and creativity are inextricably linked. It has been said that innovation is imagination realized and that only when the creative thought is put into action does innovation occur. In the broadest sense, imagination, invention, and innovation are of the same ilk. They signal original, fluent, flexible, and elaborative thoughts (Torrance, 1974), and they are cornerstones of productive, generative thinking in the rich, rigorous, and relevant curriculum espoused in the CCSS. They are also necessary for effective problem solving, shrewd decision making, and productive ideation in the future world of our young citizens.

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Medium 9781936765539

Four Literacy in the Content Areas

Patricia M. Cunningham Solution Tree Press ePub

Since Hal Herber published his seminal text Teaching Reading in Content Areas (1970), reading experts have been encouraging every teacher to be a teacher of reading. In many states, history, science, and math teachers are required to take a content-area reading course. Schools hold in-service workshops, and experts and administrators instruct subject-area teachers to do their part in helping all students develop high levels of literacy. However, in spite of decades of valiant efforts, few subject-area teachers include reading as part of their instruction. Since the mid-1990s, the emphasis has shifted from every teacher teaching reading to every teacher teaching the language tools students need to learn the content. Each discipline has its own specialized vocabulary. Students need to learn the meanings of the technical and academic terms specific to each subject area so that they can comprehend what they are reading, listening to, or viewing and communicate their ideas about that subject in speaking and writing.

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Medium 9780253018786

4 Faculty Learning Applied

William Condon Indiana University Press ePub

THIS CHAPTER EXPLORES the first links in the chain between professional development and improved student learning: the impact of professional development on faculty knowledge, skills, and attitudes and the subsequent changes in their teaching that result as they apply their learning.

The chapter begins with a look at the most direct effects as described in the Direct Path, including the impact of workshops, portfolio rating, and other formal or routine occasions available for faculty learning. Is there a difference in the assignments developed by faculty who have participated in professional development activities? Do these changes reflect the intended outcomes of the workshop? The perspective then broadens to situate these observations in the larger cultures of the two campuses. What is the motivation for faculty to attend to their teaching? How do motivation, status, and reward play into the changes they make?

Exploring faculty learning in formal workshops allows a determination of whether the workshops lead to the intended effect. The workshop itself is the first place that the Direct Path can break down. Just as students can develop misconceptions in our classes, so too can faculty leave formal workshops without developing the new knowledge, skills, and attitudes that the workshop fostered. This study was able to explore learning during such workshops only at Carleton, as the WSU workshop program is no longer in place.

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