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Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08
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Bridge To Somewhere Inverness Am08

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This document comprises the slide presentation and extensive notes on a talk Mark St. John of Inverness Research delivered at the General Session of the Annual Meeting of the National Writing Project, …

This document comprises the slide presentation and extensive notes on a talk Mark St. John of Inverness Research delivered at the General Session of the Annual Meeting of the National Writing Project, held in San Antonio, TX, November 20-22, 2008. Inverness Research has been studying the NWP for over a decade, and works to clarify and articulate the value of the contribution that the NWP makes to the nation's educational system. The talk's central assertion is that NWP is best understood as a sound financial investment in the nation's future, as opposed to an educational "bailout." The presentation defines investment as not simply an expenditure on a project. Instead, investment involves spending money in ways that create educational capital, that is, assets that can be used in the future production of goods and services. The talk discusses six forms of educational capital that are generated by the NWP for the continual improvement of writing in the nation's schools: human capital, knowledge capital, social capital, cultural capital, institutional capital, and political/financial capital.

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  1. A Bridge to Somewhere Investing in the NWP: The Creation of Educational Capital Presented by Dr. Mark St. John and Dr. Laura Stokes At the Annual Meeting of the National Writing Project November 21, 2008
  2. A BRIDGE TO SOMEWHERE INVESTING IN THE NWP: THE CREATION OF EDUCATIONAL CAPITAL Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting 2008 San Antonio 1 Good morning. I am Mark St. John from Inverness Research. As many of you know, we have been evaluating the NWP for over a decade. And we keep trying to find ways to better understand—and to better articulate— the value of the investment that is made in the NWP. This morning, as befitting this new economic era we are in, I want to talk to you in financial terms. And I want all of you to join me in looking together at the federal investment in the NWP, to ask whether it is best seen an educational “bailout” or, alternatively, a sound financial investment in the nation’s future. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 1
  3. INVESTING IS DIFFERENT THAN SPENDING Spending is a one-time outlay for goods and services Investment creates capital that can be used for the future creation of goods and services 2 First, let me be clear about some financial terminology; making an investment is very different than simply spending money. Spending money involves an expenditure of funds—a one time outlay of cash for goods or services. Investing, by contrast, involves spending money in ways that creates capital, and developing capital means that you are creating assets that can be used in the future production of goods and services. Now before we go on, let me make a modest assertion about the NWP and all of you here today… Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 2
  4. YOU ARE ALL CAPITALISTS! 3 Now I know that this may not sit easily with some of you who grew up in the sixties as I did… So let me soften it a little bit: Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 3
  5. OK… YOU ARE ALL (EDUCATIONAL) CAPITALISTS! The investment in the NWP helps all of you to create multiple forms of educational capital 4 Ok… You are all educational capitalists. Why do I say that? Because you all are in the business of turning investment into Educational Capital. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 4
  6. TWO QUESTIONS: 1) How Much (And What Types) Of Educational Capital Are Generated By The NWP? 2) How Much Capital Is Generated At Your Site? 5 This morning we are going to examine together two questions about the creation of Educational Capital. The first question is one that I am going to address. That question is: How much, and what kinds, of Capital are generated by the NWP as a whole? And the second question is the one you are all going to answer. It has to do with your own Site. I am going to ask each of you to reflect on the degree to which—and the ways in which—your site generates educational capital. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 5
  7. HUMAN CAPITAL The development of leaders (teacher- consultants and university faculty) who can contribute to the work of the site and the improvement of the teaching of writing 6 Educational Capital comes in different forms. The first form, and a critically important form, is Human Capital. And by Human Capital we mean those people—the teachers consultants and higher education faculty members—who are able to contribute to the work of the site and the improvement of the teaching of writing. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 6
  8. Developing Human Capital: Each year, about 3,000 teachers attend Writing Project Invitational Institutes. This work helps grow an ever- increasing pool of teacher consultant leaders. Teachers attending NWP Invitational Institutes, cumulative 45,000 40,000 35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 7 Here is a simple way to illustrate how the NWP develops Human Capital. Each year, through its invitational institutes, the NWP adds another 3000 potential teacher consultants to the ever growing pool. As a result, there are now thousands of teacher consultants working with NWP sites—and in other arenas—to improve the teaching of writing. This Human Capital not only is doing work now, but it also provides a foundation for the future work that is needed to improve the teaching of writing. This pool of Human Capital represents a good return on the federal investment. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 7
  9. Developing Human Capital How much is your own site developing human capital (e.g. teacher-consultants and faculty with the skills, knowledge, and propensity to work on the improvement of the teaching of writing)? 1 2 3 4 5 Not very much Some A lot 8 Now here is a question for you. And I want you to keep track of your answers. I want you to write down on a sheet of paper: HUMAN CAPITAL…. And then I want you to write down a number using a rating of 1 to 5 that reflects your assessment of the degree to which your own site is successful in developing human capital. (Don’t over think this. I will give you just a few seconds. Go with your first impression or gut feeling.) Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 8
  10. KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL The development and sharing of the knowledge base that informs the improvement of the teaching of writing as well as the work of the site 9 The next form of Educational Capital we want to examine is what one might call Knowledge Capital. This kind of capital has value in that informs both the work of the site and the work of improving the teaching of writing. This knowledge resides in the members of the NWP community, but it also resides on web pages, books, anthologies, blogs, etc. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 9
  11. Developing The Knowledge Base: Tapping into the working knowledge of teacher-consultants and NWP sites Every year— Over 6,700 teacher-consultants share their own classroom-tested teaching approaches with over 92,000 colleagues Nearly 200 NWP sites participate in NWP networks and annual meetings sharing knowledge about the design and practices of their own sites 10 One can see the presence of Knowledge Capital simply by examining the content of the work of the thousands of teacher consultants, and by examining the content of meetings like this (2008 Annual Meeting of the National Writing Project). Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 10
  12. Developing Knowledge Capital To what extent is your site generating, sharing, and utilizing knowledge that can help improve the teaching of writing? 1 2 3 4 5 Not very much Some A lot 11 Now it is your turn: To what extent does your OWN site generate AND use Knowledge Capital? That is, to what extent is your site contributing to and drawing up the broader knowledge-base that informs the teaching of writing and the work of the sites? Again write down your rating. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 11
  13. SOCIAL CAPITAL Relationships and connections that empower individuals Another form of capital is to be found in the working relationships and social/intellectual connections that exist between individuals that are part of the Writing Project. Think of it as a piece of cloth: the weave of the threads creates a much stronger fabric than all the threads alone when they are not woven together. The weave, the interconnections, is itself a form of educational capital. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 12
  14. Developing Social Capital: Building professional communities In 06-07, the NWP network sponsored over 2,600 continuity programs for site TCs Continuity programs Advanced, open, or Writing response special topic groups and/or institute publication efforts Extension or Workshops university course Support sessions for TCs Retreat, renewal, or Study groups, institute follow-up teacher research, or seminars Site-sponsored conference or Site governance or conference sessions program planning meetings The creation of social capital within the NWP can be seen in the work of the Continuity programs. There are thousands of these programs every year and they take many different forms. So in many different ways, working relationships and connections are being continually developed by the NWP. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 13
  15. Developing Social Capital To what extent is your site connecting people and building relationships that empower them to improve the teaching of writing? 1 2 3 4 5 Not very much Some A lot Ok it is your turn again: Quickly write down a number from to 1 to 5 that reflects the degree to which you think your own site is developing social capital—that is, is it connecting people in the work of your site? Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 14
  16. CULTURAL CAPITAL Including people of multiple backgrounds and promoting diverse views The cultural diversity and richness of the NWP network adds to the strength of its effort to improve writing in a pluralistic democracy. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 15
  17. Serving teachers of all backgrounds One-fifth of NWP institute participants are teachers of color, representing African, Latin, Asian and Native- American heritage. NWP institute participants have made similarly positive judgments about the benefits of NWP institutes for their teaching, regardless of: - ethnic background - years of teaching experience - grade level - subject area NWP sites include, draw from, and serve teachers from multiple cultural backgrounds. Regardless of their diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, teachers give NWP institutes high ratings for quality and value. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 16
  18. CULTURAL CAPITAL How good is your site at including and serving people from many diverse groups who can expand the work of improving the teaching of writing? 1 3 5 Not very much Some A lot Ok… quickly write down a number from to 1 to 5 that reflects the degree to which you think your own site is developing cultural capital—that is, involving people from many diverse groups and perspectives in the work of your site? Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 17
  19. INSTITUTIONAL CAPITAL Connections with other organizations and institutions that empower the work of the site 16 The next form of Educational Capital to consider is Institutional Capital. This is similar to social capital, but it takes place at the institutional level It is evidenced in the form of partnerships, collaborations, or simply good working relationship with other groups, organizations, and institutions. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 18
  20. Developing Institutional Capital: NWP sites create long-term partnerships with different kinds of organizations Schools 31% Museums, Libraries, Educational Alliances 31% Districts 38% 17 Looking across the entire NWP, we find that sites have many institutional and organizational relationships. Formal partnerships exist with Districts, Schools, and a range of community-based organizations, not to mention Universities. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 19
  21. Developing Institutional Capital To what extent is your site creating working relationships with a wide range of institutions (e.g., universities, schools, community organizations)? 1 2 3 4 5 Not very much Some A lot 18 Time for your rating: How much is your site developing its own Institutional Capital? Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 20
  22. FINANCIAL & POLITICAL CAPITAL The capacity at your site for garnering financial resources and eliciting political support 19 Last but not least, we consider Financial and Political Capital. The NWP has been very successful in developing relationships with government agencies at both the federal and state level. It has also connected with private foundations, and with other important leading educational organizations such as the College Board. The political and financial support of such agencies is a critically important kind of capital. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 21
  23. Financial and Political Capital: The NWP infrastructure is funded through a variety of sources Funding Sources of NWP Sites State 14% University 25% Other 19% NWP School 23% 20 19% The funding for the work of the NWP comes from many different sources. The multiplicity and diversity of its financial supports creates a robustness to the NWP and provides evidence of the development of both financial and political capital. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 22
  24. Financial and Political Capital: For every federal dollar received, NWP sites leverage an additional $3 21 Similarly, another indicator of the long term development of financial capital is to be found in the fact that NWP sites leverage their federal investment at a three to one ratio—that is, there are three matching dollars for every federal dollar invested. This happens as a result of having developed many complementary sources of financial support for the NWP work. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 23
  25. Developing Financial and Political Capital To what extent is your site garnering financial and political support from multiple sources? 1 2 3 4 5 Not very much Some A lot 22 This is the last time: Rate your own site as to the degree to which it is developing both financial and political capital. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 24
  26. TO ASSESS YOUR SITE AS A CAPITALISTIC SUCCESS ADD UP YOUR SCORES… 23 Add up all the scores you have written down. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 25
  27. YOUR CAPITALIST “IQ” Score 25-30? Warren Buffet Score 19-24? Bill Gates Score 18 or below? Karl Marx So let’s see how you did: What is the Capitalist IQ of your site? If your site scored between 25 and 30, then your site is a mature capitalistic machine and you fall into the Warren Buffet Capitalist class. If your site scored between 19 and 24, then you are an emerging capitalist like Bill Gates. And, if your site scored below 19, then your site is probably acting too much like a project, too much like an expenditure, and you have capitalist tendencies not unlike those of Karl Marx! Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 26
  28. REMEMBER You are an investment—not an expenditure! You create educational capital This educational capital is critical in supporting the current—and future—work that is needed to improve the teaching of writing 25 But let's not get stuck in comparing our capitalistic prowess! I want to finish up by telling you that our group at Inverness has studied hundreds of different educational projects and initiatives, and I think the NWP represents a very, very different kind of approach to improving education. So please do not sell yourselves short. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 27
  29. Please remember that You are an investment—not an expenditure! You create educational capital And the educational capital you create is critical in supporting the current—and the future—work that is needed to improve the teaching of writing. Thank you. Inverness Research NWP Annual Meeting Address, Nov. 21, 2008 Page 28

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