A Districtwide Approach to Staff and Student Learning
- Nancy Fichtman Dana - University of Florida, Gainesville, USA
- Carol Thomas - Pinellas County Schools
- Sylvia Boynton - University of Florida, USA
Foreword by Jim Knight
Connect inquiry to improved teaching and learning across your district!
Now that federal and state initiatives require school districts to provide job-embedded professional development, the next step is making it happen. This book helps districts define, develop, and implement a systematic inquiry-based process with a laser-like focus on both adult and student learning. This book's inquiry model challenges educators and students to:
- Define questions they are passionate about exploring
- Collect and analyze data to inform their questions
- Share what they have learned through the process with others
- Collaborate to build on their results and improve student achievement
The authors' award-winning school improvement program, featured in the text, offers a fresh look at how to improve the quality of teaching and learning across a district. Administrators, teachers, and students will find an invaluable road map for tackling real-world challenges and taking control of their own learning.
"This unique and original book is beautifully organized and takes us into the world of inquiry with all the pieces of the puzzle—principal, teachers, students, and coaches. Each of the four parts of the book has paired chapter: One outlining the frame of inquiry relative to the role in question; the other providing grounded example of practice as a given school year unfolds. The authors have provided a treasure trove of inquiry-based ideas connecting improved practice to student achievement. Their dozen lessons in the last chapter are keepsakes in their own right."
"This book provides essential support for all educators within every academic learning community. The authors eloquently define teacher inquiry and provide powerful instructional models and protocols that place students and their learning at the heart of what we do in education each and every day."
"This tidy little volume offers an ambitious lesson plan for educators who would craft in their schools a professional culture hospitable to both student and adult learning."
"The authors have provided a process of developing an inquiry learning culture for students, teachers, coaches, and principals. Writing from their own experiences, they provide specifics for planning, designing, and delivering powerful professional development."
"This book is a refreshing example of a way to actually raise student achievement by developing critical thinking skills, fostering creativity and encouraging reflective practice. I highly recommend this book to all who are interested in being a part of a school culture where all students and staff members are dedicated to achieving high levels of learning by continually improving their performance."
"The central precept of the book—establishing an inquiry culture for district-wide professional development that unifies the numerous piecemeal initiatives we face—really resonates for me. With inquiry as a 'golden thread' to tie together professional development, we can move from disjointed 'sit and get' sessions to true ongoing, job-embedded learning for adults, which will support coherent, meaningful learning for students."
"This book made me question my role as a teacher-leader. I learned that I no longer need to sit by and wait patiently for the right professional development opportunity. I can create one and thereby enhance the effectiveness of my own pedagogy as well as influence the academic climate of my school."
"This book is unique because it addresses key stakeholders who inhabit the district and explains how to design systems and structures that support high quality professional development through inquiry-oriented communities."
"Educators who wish to improve their own professional practice on a continual basis and who wish to support a districtwide inquiry approach that will improve student achievement and develop 21st-century thinkers should read this book."
"This book identifies key obstacles in building professional learning communities, and offers productive strategies for successfully negotiating those obstacles. It will become a well-used addition to any teacher’s professional library."