Busy administrators will appreciate this quick read packed with immediate, accessible strategies. This book provides the framework for understanding dynamic relationships within a school culture and ensuring a positive environment that supports the changes necessary to improve learning for all students. The author explores many aspects of human behavior, social conditions, and history to reveal best practices for building healthy school cultures.
Transforming School Culture Through Mindfulness and Compassion
Author: Patricia A. Jennings
Publisher: Guilford Publications
Demonstrating the benefits of mindfulness for both educators and students in PreK–12, this book presents flexible models for implementing and sustaining schoolwide initiatives. Compelling case studies show how mindfulness practices can enhance students' academic and social–emotional functioning as well as teacher effectiveness. Chapters review the evidence base for available programs, reflect on lessons learned in real schools, and provide guidance for planning and decision making. The roles of school leaders, teachers, counselors, and parents in creating a more supportive and compassionate school climate are discussed. Also described are innovative approaches to professional development and preservice teacher training.
Tapping into the existing resources and staff available within your school, The Revitalized Tutoring Center provides an effective strategy to improve instruction and student performance. This practical guide shares the blueprint, best practices, and resources necessary to create and implement a robust, embedded tutoring center. This dynamic peer tutoring model brings together teachers, peers, and community members in a support network that identifies students in need and facilitates individualized instruction. With a peer tutoring model in place, schools are better positioned to initiate and sustain a variety of initiatives such as PLCs, RTI, formative assessment, community partnerships, and service learning, while creating equitable access and opportunity for all. This book illustrates how instructional leaders can leverage existing resources in a sustainable and cost-effective way to implement a model that ultimately leads to cultural changes, innovation, and significant academic improvement.
This book is designed to help educators recognize and, if necessary, change a school's culture. It guides principals, other administrators, and teachers in the process of shaping the culture of their schools. For those who have already begun the process, the book provides insights, examples, and reassurance that their efforts are headed in the right direction. Chapter 1 provides a framework to help leaders understand the terms "culture" and "climate." Chapter 2 establishes the importance of culture by reviewing some of the research evidence, which shows that school culture influences student and teacher motivation, school improvement, leadership effectiveness, and academic achievement. The third chapter examines three levels of organizational culture outlined by Edgar H. Schein (1984)--tangible artifacts, values and beliefs, and underlying assumptions. Chapter 4 describes several instruments and qualitative procedures that a leader can use to identify and measure school culture at each of Schein's three levels. The next three chapters offer three perspectives on the process of transforming a school's culture--the systems approach, vision building, and the leader's role as learner, motivator, and modeler. Practical suggestions for culture-building are also given. (Contains 72 references.) (LMI)
Strategic Transformation and Resiliency Theory for Systemic Change (START-SC) is a conceptual model for analyzing key variables affecting most school settings. Perspective Transformation (Mezirow, 1991), Action Research (Stringer, 1996), and Resiliency Theory (Benard, 2004; Henderson & Milstein, 2003) comprise the major frameworks of the model. The START-SC paradigm for school change assumes that relationships are the focus of organizational goals, pressures for change are persistent and intense, self-renewal is a key goal of the organization, standards are identifiable, and ecological balance within the organization is desirable. The model helps practitioners (a) assess factors that lead to harmful and counterproductive behaviors in schools, (b) identify areas for school-wide change and renewal, and (c) employ perspective transformation as an approach to problem-solving. Additionally, START-SC provides practitioners opportunities to engage in action research to address priorities for change. I wrote this book for many reasons. After I formally retired from the educational profession, I enjoyed the luxury of viewing my experiences in retrospect. Doing so gave me a chance to reconcile what I now see as a significant discrepancy between what was and what could have been. Now that I can see my career from a distance, I can't remember the number of times I said, "If I knew then what I know now, things would be different today." As I learned to reflect on my experiences, I gained incredible insight into the nature of the politically motivated educational system in America and the character of the people involved. In the early days, I learned from trial and error. More recently, both the nature and quality of my inquiries have changed radically since I began my professional journey back in 1975. My experiences as a high school English teacher, associate high school principal, junior high school principal, director of curriculum, and university professor have informed my point of view. I desire to share with you what I have learned so far. This one thing I know - I tried hard to do what was good and right and true while I was on my watch. When I was in the trenches, I used to blame the system, economics, or racism for the outcomes I observed. But now, after years of rumination, critical study of theory, and hard-earned experience, I am ready to acknowledge that many of the problems with our educational system are systemic. This book addresses the systemic nature of change, especially in public education. Education has been my life's work, placing me in contact with thousands of people. Rather than leave quietly, walking away with my pension and my insurance, my memories and my scars, I am choosing to share my insights - in this "exit interview" of sorts. I feel wiser, somehow, and I hope my wisdom can benefit others. I believe many of the reflections in this book will make practitioners take a second look at our educational enterprise. Or maybe the insights will create cognitive dissonance, suggesting alternative solutions for some of the tough dilemmas that confront both teachers and administrators in these challenging times. At the very least, I hope this book will give you a set of tools for problem-solving in an evolving educational system.
The R.E.A.L. Framework is a way of viewing school improvement from a practical perspective. Although it is inspired by current research in organizational science, motivational theory, and best practices in K-12 education, its aim is not to function like a Ph.D. college course. The ultimate goal of The R.E.A.L. Framework is to provide school leaders with principles and insight that can be implemented with relative ease in their districts or school buildings to improve the culture and climate of the organization. The goal is to quickly shift an educational leader's lens from theory to application that yields positive results.