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School Cultures that Build and Sustain Student Achievement

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This presentation was delivered to approximately 50 educators on June 5, 2010 at the Tointon Institute for Educational Change in Vail, Colorado

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School Cultures that Build and Sustain Student Achievement

  1. 1. School Cultures that Build and Sustain Student Achievement Diane Lauer, Thompson School District
  2. 3. =
  3. 4. "When children understand how to connect the text they read to their lives, they begin to make connections between what they read and the larger world. This nudges them into thinking about bigger, more expansive issues beyond their universe of home, school, and neighborhood.” Harvey & Goodvis, Strategies that Work Strategies that Work, p. 68
  4. 7. “ A serious problem large systems face, one that becomes more perplexing in an ever more complex, diverse world, is how to achieve a degree of cohesion and focus in an otherwise fragmented environment.” Michael Fullan, Six Secrets of Change
  5. 8. Effective change leaders create coherence. Michael Fullan – Leading in a Culture of Change
  6. 11. <ul><li>We need vision </li></ul><ul><li>We need passion </li></ul><ul><li>We need synergy created through strong cultures and structures within our community. </li></ul>
  7. 12. Synergy <ul><li>the working together of two or more things, people, or organizations, especially when the result is greater than the sum of their individual effects or capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>the phenomenon in which the combined action of two things, for example, drugs or muscles, is greater than the sum of their effects individually. </li></ul>
  8. 13. Group Buzz Have a Conversation What are your thoughts about synergy , cohesion and positive staff cultures ?
  9. 14. Putting it Together (Today’s objectives) <ul><li>Creating a Positive, Learning Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Creating Strong Purposeful Structures </li></ul>
  10. 15. <ul><li>“ There is a weak relationship between restructuring efforts (e.g. changing the schedule or textbooks, site-based management, looping) and student learning. The collaborative climate and culture are greater predictors of student achievement gains .” ~ Elmore, R. (1995 ) </li></ul>
  11. 16. In order to sustain continuous achievement schools need to pay attention to two things: Culture Structure
  12. 17. American vs. Southwest <ul><li>Read text on Page 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight or Underline text that creates inferences about these company’s business cultures and internal structures. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Share & Pass” Taking turns in your group, share a text selection and the inference this this created for you. Do not begin a conversation…Share & Pass. </li></ul><ul><li>Debrief with Team – Summarize Big Ideas </li></ul>
  13. 18. Sustainable Cultures are <ul><li>Collaborative </li></ul><ul><li>Craftsmanlike </li></ul><ul><li>Trusting </li></ul>Culture
  14. 19. Sustainable Structures are <ul><li>Purpose-driven </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity-building </li></ul><ul><li>Inquiry-based </li></ul>Structure
  15. 20. (asset map -- table chat) <ul><li>Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul>Assess your Learning Culture
  16. 21. Reflect Upon Your School <ul><li>Look at your assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Where are your schools greatest strengths? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Share and discuss as a school team </li></ul>
  17. 22. Reflect Upon Your School <ul><ul><li>Reflect Individually </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If your school had an opportunity to work on two or three areas of this list – which would you pick </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whole Group – Step and Share </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Schools greatest strength </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Culture or Structure </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Whole Group – Step and Share </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Top Priority </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 23. Sustainable Cultures are <ul><li>Collaborative </li></ul><ul><li>Craftsmanlike </li></ul><ul><li>Trusting </li></ul>Culture
  19. 24. Mutual Respect & Understanding <ul><li>Teachers consistently build relationships with students, families and each other. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers know their individual and collective assets so that they can develop a picture of their strengths as a whole school team. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers feel safe to take learning risks, seek help from, and offer guidance to their peers. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers are provided direction and time to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. </li></ul>
  20. 25. Educational Belief Systems <ul><li>Review the following information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Page 3 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prioritize Your Beliefs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Page 4 using the additional information </li></ul></ul>
  21. 26. Educational Belief Systems <ul><li>Cognitive Processor </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Actualizer </li></ul><ul><li>Technologist </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Rationalist </li></ul><ul><li>Social Reconstructivist </li></ul>
  22. 27. Educational Belief Systems <ul><li>What have you learned about yourself? </li></ul><ul><li>What have you learned about your team? </li></ul>
  23. 28. Using Educational Belief Systems <ul><li>State Standards Example </li></ul><ul><li>Identify a school initiative or program being implemented </li></ul><ul><li>How might your initiative or program’s positive attributes be viewed via each belief system </li></ul>
  24. 29. Academic Optimism: a Force for Student Achievement Wayne K. Hoy, C. John Tarter, Anita Woolfolk Hoy <ul><ul><ul><li>Academic Emphasis of the school </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Collective Efficacy of the staff </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty Trust in students and parents </li></ul></ul></ul>Authors studied nearly 100 diverse schools and found that high academic achievement can consistently be correlated to:
  25. 30. Academic Emphasis <ul><li>The extent to which a school is driven by a quest for academic excellence and/or a press for academic achievement. </li></ul><ul><li>High but achievable academic goals are set for students. </li></ul><ul><li>The learning environment is orderly and serious. </li></ul><ul><li>Students are motivated to work hard and they respect academic achievement. </li></ul>
  26. 31. Collective Efficacy <ul><li>The judgment of teachers that the faculty as a whole can organize and execute the actions required to have positive effects on students. “We CAN do it.” </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals and groups are unlikely to initiate action or change of practice without a positive sense of efficacy. </li></ul><ul><li>Schools where the faculty has strong sense of collective efficacy flourish, whereas schools where faculty members have serious doubts about their collective efficacy declined in academic performance or showed little academic progress. </li></ul>
  27. 32. Faculty Trust <ul><li>Trust is one's vulnerability to another in terms of the belief that the other will act in one's best interests. </li></ul><ul><li>Trust is a general concept with at least five facets: benevolence, reliability, competence, honesty, and openness. </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty trust is a willingness to be vulnerable to another party based on the confidence that that party is benevolent, reliable, competent, honest, and open </li></ul><ul><li>Because learning is typically a cooperative process, and distrust makes cooperation virtually impossible. </li></ul><ul><li>Because learning necessitates risk-taking, distrustful people are less likely to take learning risks. </li></ul>
  28. 33. Trust in Schools: a Core Resource for Improvement Anthony S. Bryk and Barbara Schneider <ul><li>There was a statistical link between improvements in relational trust and increased student achievement. </li></ul><ul><li>The absence of relational trust can severely cripple reform efforts. </li></ul><ul><li>The relational dynamics in each school community significantly influenced whether meaningful improvements occurred. </li></ul>Additional Research on Trust
  29. 34. PASSION For Student Learning <ul><li>“ To truly reform American education we must abandon the longstanding assumption that the central activity is teaching and reorient all policy making and activities around a new benchmark: student learning.” </li></ul><ul><li>~Fiske, 1992, p. 253 </li></ul>DuFour Handout
  30. 35. PASSION for Student Learning <ul><li>The heart and soul of the school’s work and efforts must be centered on student learning and achievement. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff must come together and believe that all kids can learn at high levels, and that their job is to do whatever it takes to ensure this happens… </li></ul><ul><li>Staff must feel involved in the process of school goal identification and achievement. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff must feel that each is integral to the entire school’s success. </li></ul>
  31. 36. Our goal is to create a culture of trust so we are able to work together while we conduct this great experiment called “learning” We must be willing to keep positive minded. We must use our creative energies to solve difficult problems. We must work together because there is strength in our unity. The Message…
  32. 37. An Exemplary School never ceases its quest to create the very best environment for students and staff; one where everyone finds success. It embraces and is energized by continual learning and experimentation. It is characterized by an encouraging and collaborative climate. It understands both the importance of the individual and the strength of the collective. How would you Change this School Definition to fit your Needs?
  33. 38. Sustainable Structures are <ul><li>Purpose-driven </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity-building </li></ul><ul><li>Inquiry-based </li></ul>Structure
  34. 39. Capacity Building & Craftsmanship <ul><li>Professional reflection and self-analysis of knowledge and skills are embedded into teachers’ daily routine and practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers have sufficient support as well as opportunities for autonomy and self-discovery. </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for instructional inquiry and data-collection are available to all teachers so they can improve their instructional practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers have opportunities to experiment and try new instructional strategies with the guidance of professional support. </li></ul>
  35. 40. How do we use structures to: <ul><li>Create and/or clarify purpose? </li></ul><ul><li>Build capacity and competency? </li></ul><ul><li>Create a culture of inquiry? </li></ul>What we can “structure” <ul><li>Time </li></ul><ul><li>Communication & Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for Autonomy, Choice, Learning, Growth </li></ul>
  36. 41. Examples of Structures (concept organizers, models, protocols & procedures) <ul><li>Asset Maps - common language and purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation Plans - vision/road map </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation Configuration - reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Prof. Development Continuum – choice </li></ul><ul><li>SMART goals – inquiry, autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>PLC’s and Collaborative Groups - inquiry </li></ul>
  37. 42. Standards-Based Education practices help teachers focus on student learning. <ul><li>Always begin with the end in mind. </li></ul><ul><li>Use rubrics with students </li></ul><ul><li>Use rubrics with teachers </li></ul>
  38. 43. Using Innovation Configurations <ul><li>Standards-Based Education </li></ul><ul><li>Literacy Across the Content Area </li></ul>
  39. 44. Self-Assessment <ul><li>How do you encourage your staff to engage in reflective practices and assess their own strengths and potential areas for growth? </li></ul>
  40. 45. Differentiate and Provide Choice <ul><li>Just like good instruction, good staff development should be differentiated to meet the needs of individual learners. </li></ul><ul><li>A variety of opportunities should be available for teachers so they can choose what they think best fits their needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Use graphic organizers or other schematics to help teachers visualize their options and where specific ones might take them in their learning journeys… </li></ul>
  41. 46. Create Tiered Learning Opportunities <ul><li>Individualized Programming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>See ConBall’s Staff Development Opportunities Survey and Graphic Organizers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Small Group - Professional Learning Community Work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SMART Goal examples and template </li></ul></ul>
  42. 48. Higher Risk Lower Risk Awareness Level Synthesis Level Literacy Integration Staff Development Continuum Book Study – Do I Really Have to Teach Reading? Book Study – Strategies That Work Focus Group – Tier Two Training to prepare teachers for becoming Lab classroom teachers Personal Observations and Feedback Lab Classroom Teacher – Large group observations and Feedback Small Group/ Peer Observations and Feedback Off/On Site Classroom Visitations On Site Classroom Modeling and Demonstrations Small Group Action Research Project - Independent Study
  43. 49. How do you provide differentiation and choice?
  44. 51. How do you provide structured autonomy and inquiry?
  45. 52. Reflection <ul><li>Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul>Tune your School Learning Culture
  46. 53. Sustainability An Aspen grove needs just the right environment to survive and flourish. The soil composition, the climate, and the nourishment must be conducive for maximum and sustainable growth.

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