Support teachers with more effective instructional leadership Leading for Professional Learning offers field-tested guidance to help school leaders more effectively support teachers' professional development. Leadership is crucial to professional learning, providing the necessary systems and structures that enable teachers to improve their own practice and in turn, improve student learning. With an illustrative case study, this book provides invaluable guidance, packed with practical tools, processes, and expert advice. Because each school differs in terms of strengths and needs, this book steers away from prescriptivism and shows you how to construct a support plan tailored to your unique context. Specific teaching and leadership frameworks guide you through the process of examination, discovery, and execution, equipping you with the necessary tools and insight you need to make positive changes for your teachers - and ultimately, your students. A must-read resource for principals, administrators, and other school and district leadership, this book helps you set your school on the path to continuous improvement. * Determine your school's professional learning needs * Leverage existing support structures for the greatest effect * Understand the role of leadership in sponsoring and following up on professional learning * Ensure intentional changes in teacher practice and student learning Empowering teachers to improve their craft goes beyond merely offering opportunity; it requires collaboration with teachers every step of the way, a deep understanding of how best to support professional learning, a clear set of goals for both individual sessions and an overarching mission, and the necessary technical and relational support required to see these opportunities through. Written by experts from the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership, Leading for Professional Learning provides real-world advice that has been proven effective in school districts across the nation.
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LIST OF FIGURES
LIST OF TABLES
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
WHAT WE'RE LEARNING
Chapter ONE: Focusing Teacher Learning
THE PRINCIPAL'S CHALLENGE
THE CHALLENGE OF PROFESSIONAL LEARNING
Chapter TWO: Toward a Broader Definition of Instructional Leadership
THE 4 DIMENSIONS OF INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP
Chapter THREE: The Role of Observation in Supporting Teachers' Learning
WHY OBSERVATION OF TEACHING AND LEARNING MATTERS
USING THE 5 DIMENSIONS OF TEACHING AND LEARNING (5D) TO ANALYZE TEACHING AND LEARNING
Chapter FOUR: Planning for Focused Professional Learning
CONSIDER THE CONTEXT
IDENTIFY THE NEED
ARTICULATE CLEAR TEACHER AND STUDENT OUTCOMES
ARTICULATE EXPECTATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATION
ARTICULATE THE SUPPORT PLAN
IDENTIFY THE STRUCTURE AND RESOURCES FOR THE PD OPPORTUNITY
Chapter FIVE: Sponsoring Professional Learning
THE IMPORTANCE OF SPONSORSHIP
OPENING A SESSION
PARTICIPATION DURING THE SESSION
CLOSING THE SESSION
CONNECTING LEARNING AND IMPLEMENTATION
Chapter SIX: A Process for Following Up
WRAPPING UP THE MEETING
A CLOSER LOOK AT TARGETED FEEDBACK: ONE TOOL FOR LEADERS
Chapter SEVEN: A Call for System Action to Support Principals as Instructional Leaders
ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGES: THE PRINCIPAL SUPPORT FRAMEWORK
Chapter EIGHT: Conclusion
Appendix ONE: Gathering Evidence for 4 Dimensions of Principal Instructional Leadership
WHAT THIS TOOL WILL HELP YOU DO.
VISION, MISSION, AND CULTURE BUILDING
IMPROVEMENT OF INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICE
MANAGEMENT OF PEOPLE & PROCESS
Appendix TWO: Inquiry Cycle Tool
Instructional Leadership Inquiry Cycle Tool
END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT
Table 2.1 The 4D framework
Table 3.1 Types of classroom observations
Table 4.1 Planning for Focused Professional Learning
Table 4.2 Planning for Focused Professional Learning
Table 4.3 Planning for Focused Professional Learning
Table 5.1 Sponsoring professional learning: A principal's role
Table 6.1 Planning conversation
Table 6.2 Affirmation conversation
Table 6.3 Next step conversation
Table 6.4 Reflection conversation
Table 7.1 Principal Support Framework (Version 2.0)
Figure 3.1 Teacher-created charts to prompt discussion
Figure 4.1 The department's self-assessment
Table of Contents
“For educational leaders who recognize that the most important work occurring in any school happens in the classroom, this book provides practical guidance and insights in how school leaders can support teaching and advance learning for every student. Written in a clear and accessible style, this book will be a tremendous resource for educators who seek to make a difference.”
—Pedro A. Noguera, PhD, distinguished professor of education, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
“Markholt, Michaelson, and Fink offer many insights into how administrators lead professional development while also surfacing numerous school conditions necessary to fuel and spread teaching practice. This important book also raises the possibility of collective leadership by principals and teachers for next generation school reforms that can better serve all students.”
—Barnett Berry, founder and CEO of the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ)
“This book is exactly what both aspiring and practicing instructional leaders need. Each chapter offers guidance on practical moves principals and teams can engage in that develop greater expertise through focused observation, targeted professional development, and support for refined teaching practice—all designed to improve student learning. The anchor case describes a school context that is realistic. The authors emphasize key points through the experiences of a principal and her leadership team and make the team's thinking visible.”
—Ann O'Doherty, EdD, associate dean, professional studies director, Danforth Educational Leadership Program; president, Washington Council for Educational Administration Programs, University of Washington, College of Education
“When I began my years as a principal at a large urban high school in Pennsylvania, I remember how overwhelming the job was. At the same time, I also remember how much I craved practical, accessible books that I could read and apply what I gleaned immediately. I am happy to say that I found some of those books by authors like Phillip Schlecty, Anthony Bryk, Milbrey McGlauglin, and Beverly Danial Tatum. I wish this book by Markholt, Michaelson, and Fink was around during my time as a principal. When it comes to school leadership, besides ensuring physical and emotional safety, I can't think of a more important responsibility of leaders than ensuring impactful professional learning for adults. Every principal, teacher leader, and instructional leadership team should read this book.”
—Irvin Scott, EdD, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Foreword by Stephanie Hirish
Copyright © 2018 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Markholt, Anneke, author. | Michelson, Joanna, author. | Fink, Stephen L., author.
Title: Leading for professional learning : what successful principals do to support teaching practice/Anneke Markholt, Joanna Michelson, Stephen Fink.
Description: San Francisco, CA : Jossey-Bass, 2018. | Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2018018044 (print) | LCCN 2018032091 (ebook) | ISBN 9781119440406 (Adobe PDF) | ISBN 9781119440437 (ePub) | ISBN 9781119440444 (pbk.)
Subjects: LCSH: Teachers—In-service training. | School administrators—In-service training. | Educational leadership.
Classification: LCC LB1731 (ebook) | LCC LB1731 .M2155 2018 (print) | DDC 370.71/1—dc23
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018018044
Cover Design: Wiley
Cover Image: ©Tolga TEZCAN/Getty Images
4 dimensions of instructional leadership™: Instructional leadership framework 2.0
Teacher-created charts to prompt discussion
Strong mathematicians ask probing questions
The department's self-assessment
Sample job description for instructional leadership director
The 4D framework
Types of classroom observations
Planning for Focused Professional Learning
Planning for Focused Professional Learning
Planning for Focused Professional Learning
Sponsoring professional learning: A principal's role
Next step conversation
Principal Support Framework (Version 2.0)
Anneke Markholt, PhD, is the associate director with the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) and affiliate associate professor at the University of Washington College of Education. Markholt designs and directs the center's partnerships focused on developing teaching effectiveness and instructional leadership. She is particularly interested in the intersection of teaching, learning, and the leadership capacity necessary for school systems to engage in instructional improvement, especially for linguistically diverse students. Prior to her work with CEL, Markholt spent five years as an associate researcher for the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy at the University of Washington. She began her career as an English as a second language specialist for Tacoma Public Schools, where she taught for 10 years. Markholt is the coauthor of Leading for Instructional Improvement: How Successful Leaders Develop Teaching and Learning Expertise.
Joanna Michelson, PhD, is a project director at the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership. She manages CEL's content area professional development and coach learning lines of services. She also provides direct support to teachers, coaches, and school and district leaders in secondary literacy instruction and coaching. Prior to full-time work at CEL, Joanna worked as a middle school language arts teacher, secondary literacy coach, and as a consultant for CEL. She completed her doctoral degree at the College of Education at the University of Washington with a focus on coach learning from practice.
Stephen Fink, EdD, is the former executive director of the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership and affiliate professor of educational leadership and policy studies in the University of Washington College of Education. Fink has worked extensively with school and district leaders on improving the quality of instructional leadership. His work has spanned large urban, suburban, rural, and charter schools and management organizations across the country. In addition to directing CEL, Fink provides facilitation and executive coaching for superintendent and district-level leaders in a number of CEL partnerships. Prior to coming to the University of Washington he spent 12 years as an assistant superintendent in the Edmonds School District (WA) and was a principal and special education teacher in Idaho and Los Angeles. Fink is the coauthor of Leading for Instructional Improvement: How Successful Leaders Develop Teaching and Learning Expertise.
This book is the product of years of learning, collaborating, and exploring. As a service arm of the College of Education at the University of Washington, our thinking constantly grows and expands as we interact with dedicated and brilliant teachers and leaders across the country—and then we come back to CEL to engage in rich dialogue and reflection. Our work in the field is the heart of what we do, and we could not have produced this book without the willingness of our partners to open their practices and their worlds to us. As was the case in our first book, Leading for Instructional Improvement (2011), the tools, processes, and ideas are the result of our collective learning with our colleagues and our district partners. We remain grateful and honored for the opportunity to work to understand the complexities of real schools where our nation's teachers and children learn, take risks, and grow on daily basis.
All of our colleagues at CEL have contributed directly or indirectly to the concepts and strategies in this book. In the course of our work and collaboration as a team, we regularly share our experiences from the field, trying to figure out what our partners are learning, where they are succeeding, and where they are struggling. At CEL, we push each other to be better, and we know we are better as a result. We would not have the tools we have without our ongoing internal discourse. We thank each and every one of our project directors for their tireless work in the field, along with our outstanding office staff members who support their fabulous work back at home.
We would like to acknowledge specific contributions to the work described in this book. We thank Jennifer McDermott, whose creative ability to synthesize complex ideas led to the creation of the practical leadership tools that ground Chapters 4 through 6. She created the first iterations of these tools that now mediate countless leaders' abilities to collaboratively develop professional learning outcomes focused on students and teachers, engage in strategic professional learning planning, powerfully sponsor, and intentionally follow up on professional learning. We would also like to acknowledge Max Silverman, the primary architect of CEL's central office transformation work, including the development and design of the Principal Support Framework. We also thank Max for his thoughtful reading of and feedback on several chapters in this book.
We are constantly humbled by the brilliance and grace of our math and literacy consultants, who seamlessly shift their attention from students to teachers to leaders. Our consultants embody their beliefs that all students deserve the chance to think, argue, and breathe as mathematicians, readers, and writers and that with appropriate collaboration and instructional strategies, our teachers can get them there.
Although the case used in this book is partially fictionalized and we use pseudonyms, it is based on an actual middle school. Each time we sit down to write or revise the ideas in this book, we are inspired and motivated by the incredible energy, passion, and commitment of the teachers and leaders at this school. They are the ones we picture as we consider how to frame our narrative and our analysis. We have been honored to watch the school develop and grow across the years, learning from their own ups and downs, keeping their eyes on the success of their most vulnerable students. We have learned alongside its humble leaders, who wake up with the dedication required to do the practical work of creating a community of adult learners who strive continuously to improve the quality of learning for their students. To these teachers and leaders, we say a tremendous thank you!
I am always struck by those who wrestle with the concept of what it means to teach so others learn, such as Brian Dassler, the former deputy chancellor for the Florida Department of Education, who passed away recently at too young an age. Brian always spoke passionately about the fact that many don't appreciate or understand the complexity of teaching. He believed that if stakeholders understood what it means to teach so that all students learn, they wouldn't be looking for silver bullets to fix schools or blaming teachers for the problems in schools. Rather, they would recognize the importance of investing time and resources in educator learning—the high-leverage pathway to improving what happens in schools.
I had the privilege of working with Brian alongside Stephen Fink through a recent collaborative effort, and clearly Stephen and his coauthors of this new book, Anneke Markholt and Joanna Michelson, embrace the notion that teaching done well is at the heart of school improvement. In their earlier work, Leading for Instructional Improvement (2011), Fink and Markholt elevated the concept of expertise in learning as well as teaching and how to support it. In this book, Markholt, Michelson, and Fink translate their lessons learned into powerful tools and processes that will advance a vision consistent with ours at Learning Forward—excellent teaching and learning every day. The authors start from the premise that developing teaching expertise in principals is essential to effective school leadership and then outline strategies to do so.
At Learning Forward, we posit that the essential pathway to achieving improved practice is through the Standards for Professional Learning. These seven standards define the critical elements of professional learning essential to improving knowledge, skills, and practice that lead to improved outcomes for students. The standards apply to all educator learning, whether for a central office administrator, principal, or classroom teacher.
I'm always excited to see resources that help educators bring the Standards for Professional Learning to life in schools. Among the seven standards is one on leadership:
Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students requires skillful leaders who develop capacity, advocate, and create support systems for professional learning.
As the explanation for the standard states, “Leaders throughout the pre-K–12 education community recognize effective professional learning as a key strategy for supporting significant school and school system improvements to increase results for all” (Learning Forward, p. 28).
Essential tools and processes for transferring the leadership standard into practice can be found throughout the chapters of Leading for Professional Learning. The authors offer guidance for the essential actions for leaders to take to develop their own expertise even as they create learning structures so teachers learn as well. The authors have worked alongside leaders helping them transform their schools into cultures that elevate learning and appreciate the complexity of teaching. They are not espousing what must be done; they are showing readers how to get it done.
The leadership standard calls on leaders to prioritize three actions, and I'm thrilled to see all three emphasized in this essential new work. The first is to build capacity for learning and leading in others: “Leaders recognize that universal high expectations for all students require ambitious improvements in curriculum, instruction, assessment, leadership practices, and support systems. These improvements require effective professional learning to expand educators' knowledge, skills, practices, and dispositions” (Learning Forward, p. 28).
Through the lens of a middle school case study and the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership's 4 Dimensions of Instructional Leadership, Markholt, Michelson, and Fink present numerous opportunities for learning and reflection on the role of leaders in achieving the vision. In particular, the tool in Chapter 4 highlights the thinking behind the design of learning opportunities, making an explicit decision based on the outcomes one is seeking. Chapter 6 brings improvement full circle by focusing on tools that strengthen feedback to support implementation of new learning. Early chapters also address valuable tools for guiding observations of classroom practice, a process that the authors hold is not solely the responsibility of the principal but must be practiced by many if excellent teaching is to spread throughout a school.
Second, the leadership standard calls on leaders to be advocates for professional learning: “Leaders clearly articulate the critical link between increased student learning and educator professional learning. As advocates for professional learning, leaders make their own career-long learning visible to others… . Their actions model attitudes and behavior they expect of all educators” (Learning Forward, p. 29).
In the first chapter, Markholt, Michelson, and Fink make the case for leaders' explicit role in teacher learning and leaders' responsibility to further their own expertise in teaching. It is much more important that leaders walk the walk than talk the talk.
Chapter 5 offers a tool that helps leaders consider their role as learners and leaders in teachers' professional development. In particular, principals understand how their role is more than just offering learning opportunities and sitting in to demonstrate support for others' learning. Although our field overall is recognizing that instructional leadership is core to successful principalship, this book's emphasis on leaders developing deep teaching expertise breaks new, critical ground.
The leadership standard's third essential responsibility is creating support systems and structures: “Skillful leaders establish organizational systems and structures that support effective professional learning and ongoing continuous improvement. They equitably distribute resources to accomplish individual, team, and school goals” (Learning Forward, p. 30). Leading for Professional Learning includes a chapter on the support systems necessary for the kind of principal learning the authors outline. A district's learning system has the responsibility to develop teaching and learning expertise at all levels so that leaders can offer teachers the feedback and ongoing support required for all students to experience effective teaching each day.
I'm grateful that through this book Markholt, Michelson, and Fink present pragmatic tools and a framework essential for improving teaching and learning from the principal's perspective. They have put a laser focus on quality teaching and highlight the key elements essential to it. They also remind us of the importance of school leaders in ensuring that all students have access to quality teaching. This book will inspire those who serve as school leaders and those who aspire to lead.
Stephanie Hirsh, PhD, Learning Forward
Learning Forward. (2011).
Standards for professional learning
Oxford, OH: Author.
Our nation has work to do. Deep and historically entrenched economic, political, and social chasms continue to create systemic barriers to student learning that result in educational disparities, dividing our nation's children along the lines of race, class, and language. Our efforts to improve educational outcomes for each and every student is multifaceted and remains the equity and social justice issue of our time.
At the Center for Educational Leadership (CEL), we continue to note that low expectations for some students often become a self-fulling prophecy: educators reinforce their own beliefs about students based on what they see in student engagement and classroom performance. When educators report that students “cannot do it,” they are right, which reinforces a belief of low expectations. And the reason educators are “right” when they report that students “cannot do it,” is that educators have yet to develop the depth of expertise necessary to overcome systemic barriers to student learning. Educators' expertise can impact their own attitudes and beliefs about students' capacity to learn. When educators can see, with their own eyes, the difference that their teaching practices make for their students' abilities to engage and succeed, expectations and perceptions of ability change. Developing teaching and learning expertise so that it affects practice and beliefs is an enormous, complex challenge and one that is vastly underestimated. In this book, we tackle just one aspect of this complex challenge.
This book is for leaders who want to create a culture for learning and design optimum learning experiences for themselves and the teachers in their schools. It is our belief that the ongoing work of improving the quality of teaching and learning is complex and requires school leaders to consider this complexity as they plan to support teachers' learning. This book brings forward practical ideas we designed for school leaders and their leadership teams—tools and processes to help leaders identify, in a much more fine-grained way, how to create cultures of adult learning and improved performance that lead ultimately to changes in the learning experiences teachers create for students.
Since our previous book, Leading for Instructional Improvement (Fink & Markholt, 2011), we continue to learn about the role of expertise and how school leaders can develop their own and others' expertise. We noted the lack of attention to expertise in educational policy and leadership literature and argued that if expertise influences what and how we see in any domain—for instance, in a garden, on a baseball field when a game is in progress, or on a chessboard—it follows that leaders' expertise about high-quality instruction will influence what they notice in a classroom and how they imagine what needs to improve. In our first book, we noted there are two kinds of expertise and that expertise begets expertise. Learning expertise “involves the degree to which would-be experts continually attempt to refine their skills and attitudes towards learning—skills and attitudes that include practicing, self-monitoring, and finding ways to avoid plateaus and move to the next level” (Bransford & Schwartz, 2008, p. 3) and teaching expertise—which is the difference between knowing math and knowing how to teach math. Six years later, we are still exploring these questions of leaders' expertise, helping them develop ample understanding of the sophisticated work of teaching as they learn alongside teachers about what is possible for students to achieve and how teachers create powerful learning experiences.
Also since our last book, shifts in teacher evaluation policy have taken center stage for many school leaders as they learn new evaluation frameworks and seek to become “reliable” raters of teaching practice. Yet despite the focus on reliable teacher evaluation practices, our experience in school districts across the country tells us that we still do not have a fully developed or shared vision for describing ambitious teaching and learning, let alone the expertise to realize this vision for each and every student. In order to improve the quality of teaching and learning, school leaders not only need a clear vision of what “high quality” looks and sounds like but also they need to know how to go about an improvement effort.
Further, as Tony Bryk and colleagues (2015) assert, teacher evaluation data can signal where improvements are needed, but this data rarely provide the kind of detail that teachers and schools need for how to improve. As they note, our ambitions for student learning continue to rise, but our collective know-how to realize these ambitions has not kept pace. We simply have not figured out how to teach each and every student to these higher standards. Our vision of what we mean by high-quality instruction and student engagement in rigorous learning experiences has continued to evolve, but there is still a wide chasm between our growing aspirations for all students and what we actually know how to do.
Although we considered the idea of “expertise” in our last book, we continue to learn from this body of research (Ericsson & Pool, 2016), and over the years we have worked with leaders to develop the kind of conditions at their schools that will promote learning for adults. As a profession, we have expectations and training for what teachers need to learn, but in our experience, schools tend to lack the conditions necessary for teachers to hone increasingly sophisticated practices, let alone conditions for school leaders that enable them to learn and lead alongside teachers. To get better at anything, we need to have access to more expert others as well as the time and place for the deliberate practice of skills that become more complex over time. This means that we need to be able to take risks with our practice and get feedback and coaching. We have helped leaders recognize and remove the barriers that get in the way of creating a culture for learning and that enable adults to shift habits and ways of thinking and doing, not only for teachers' practice but also for their own.
In this book school and district leaders will find practical tools and processes that will help to develop a shared vision for improving the quality of student learning and teaching practice, interrupt a school culture of autonomous and private classroom practice, cultivate shared ownership for an improvement process, help create a school culture where expertise can be nurtured by norms of feedback and deliberate practice and that help school district leadership consider how to create system-wide conditions that support principal instructional leadership. We illustrate these ideas using a partially fictionalized case, based on a middle school and its school leader we have supported over the years. All names are pseudonyms.
, “Focusing Teacher Learning,”
makes the case for leaders' explicit role in teacher learning and how leaders are pressed to develop further expertise in teaching, learning, and their reciprocal accountability for teachers' learning. The reader is introduced to a middle school and its principal to help illuminate the tools and processes featured throughout the ensuing chapters.
, “Toward a Broader Definition of Instructional Leadership,”
situates the work of the instructional leader inside the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership's (CEL) framework, the 4 Dimensions of Instructional Leadership™. We will use the case of the middle school principal to illustrate the 4D concepts and to identify the thread of ideas within the 4D for supporting teacher learning. We will build on the case of this middle school context, its students, teachers, and the state of teaching and learning the principal set out to improve in a living example of
which is one of CEL's core foundational ideas.
, “The Role of Observation in Supporting Teachers' Learning,”
takes the reader into the middle school where the leadership team is preparing to observe in classrooms. This chapter explores the complexity of classroom observations, using CEL's 5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning™ to illustrate how this framework can help to cultivate expertise for what we see in classrooms.
also highlights tools and processes that help leaders develop the discipline for a strength-based stance, that is, the discipline of formatively assessing teaching and learning in a way that supports leaders to see potential and to build from there versus taking a deficit-based approach to gathering observational data for the purposes of improvement.
, “Planning for Focused Professional Learning,”
is an explanation of a key tool and process that our middle school case example will illustrate. The tool in this chapter brings forward the habit of thinking behind the design of teacher learning opportunities, making explicit connections among teachers' professional development (PD) sessions, formative classroom observations, and the strategic use of resources to generate optimum conditions for teachers' learning over time, leveraging the capacity that has been built.
, “Sponsoring Professional Learning,”
brings forward another tool that helps leaders sharpen their articulation of the rationale for teacher learning and helps leaders consider the nature of their role as learners and leaders in teachers' PD. This tool helps to develop a discipline for articulating the why behind what we do and helps leaders consider the explicit link between what their behavior can model and how their sponsorship of teachers' learning is more than sitting in with them during PD.
, “A Process for Following Up,”
explores the final tools and processes we will illustrate in this book. In this chapter, we provide explicit guidance for creating targeted feedback cycles linked to teachers' learning. We will illustrate a disciplined process to create feedback cycles that support teachers' implementation of new learning and that help leaders leverage these cycles as direct support for teachers and formative assessment opportunities for subsequent PD planning. This chapter also contains specific suggestions for how to make the most of a consultant's expertise, maximizing the time the consultant is with teachers and leveraging the consultant's expertise for the school's work in-between the consultant's visits.
, “A Call for System Action to Support Principals as Instructional Leaders,”
we zoom out from the middle school context to consider the role of the district office and illustrate how the principal in our case is able to work in the way described in the preceding chapters. We will introduce the reader to the ideas from CEL's Principal Support Framework and discuss the reciprocal through line from the principal to the district, illustrating what support for the principal in this case looks like. This chapter will put the book in a broader systems perspective, asking the reader to consider the complex nature of improving teaching and learning, the principal's role, and the implications for the quality of support that principals need in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning.
we ask the reader to consider again the complexity of creating the conditions for adult learning that will lead to the development of expertise and a culture of improvement that result in student learning.
Bransford, J., & Schwartz, D. S. (2008). It takes expertise to make expertise: Some thoughts about why and how and reflections on the themes in chapters 15–18. In K. A. Ericsson (Ed.),
Development of professional expertise: Toward measurement of expert performance and design of optimal learning environments
New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Bryk, A., Gomez, L., Grunow, A., & LeMahieu, P. (2015).
Learning to improve: How America's schools can get better at getting better
Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Ericsson, K. A., & Pool, R. (2016).
Peak: Secrets from the new science of expertise
New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Fink, S., & Markholt, A. (2011).
Leading for instructional improvement: How successful leaders develop teaching and learning expertise
San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Rachel Moriarty is the founding principal at Mountain View Middle School. She opened the school four years ago with the support of a brand-new assistant principal and a largely novice teaching staff. The school has grown year-by-year, reaching 925 students this fall, with an increasingly diverse student population in a neighborhood that used to be predominantly white and middle class. Now, although a third of the school has been designated “highly capable” (a group that tested into this program in first grade and also tends to be largely white and upper middle class), more than half of the population receives a free and reduced price lunch—including a growing homeless population.
As a whole, a little more than half the student population is white, 14% are Asian, 10% Latino, and 8% African American. There is a growing population of students who are also English language learners (ELLs), with more than 40 languages spoken at the school. The majority of the ELLs come from Spanish-speaking families, mainly from Central America. There is also an East African population, mostly Somali, in addition to some Eritrean and Ethiopian students. The ELL population is diverse in terms of schooling background. Some have attended public schools their whole lives and some had interrupted schooling prior to immigrating. Students' math test scores have shown a wide discrepancy between students of color, particularly the ELL students, and white students. Rachel, the principal, has noted over the past few years that Mountain View Middle School at times seems more like two schools—the “honors” and the “regular” school.
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