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Growing Into Equity
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Growing Into Equity
Professional Learning and Personalization in High-Achieving Schools

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July 2013 | 216 pages | Corwin

High-achieving students and teachers—winning strategies from Title I schools!

What makes a Title I school high-achieving, and what can we all learn from that experience?  Professional learning and leadership that supports personalized instruction makes the difference, as captured in the ground-breaking research of authors Sonia Caus Gleason and Nancy Gerzon.

This illuminating book shows how four outstanding schools are making individualized learning a reality for every teacher and student. The common thread is the commitment to equity—every student achieving. Readers will find

  • Guidance on identifying obstacles to equity within your school
  • Background that builds a case for personalized learning
  • Four case studies that show the lived values, professional learning practices, leadership, and systems that have helped schools transform learning
  • How-to’s and templates for creating a team-based professional development program that expands individualized instruction in every classroom

Discover new approaches for individual, team, and whole school professional learning that support personalized learning, drawn from schools that are leaders in overcoming challenges and creating opportunities.

“Equity is not an afterthought to high achievement. Gleason and Gerzon's new book on outstanding equity-driven practice in four very different schools shows that if you want to raise the bar you have to start by narrowing the gap.”
—Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education
Boston College


 
Foreword
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. The Case for Professional Learning to Support Equity and Personalization
 
Part I. Learning in Action: Four School Communities
 
2. Know Them by Name, Know Them by Need: Stults Road Elementary School (PreK-6), Dallas, Texas
 
3. Students First: Social Justice Humanitas Academy (Grades 9-12), Los Angeles, California
 
4. The Variables Are Time and Support: Montgomery Center School (PreK-8), Montgomery Center, Vermont
 
5. Heat and Light: Tusculum View Elementary School (PreK-5), Greeneville, Tennessee
 
Part II. Professional Learning to Advance Equity: Findings and Practices
 
6. Equity and Supporting Core Values
 
7. Personalized Adult and Student Learning
 
8. Leadership and Systems
 
9. Call to Action
 
Description of Online Resources
 
Methodology
 
Appendices
 
Bibliography
 
Index

Supplements

Companion Site
The purpose of this website is to provide you with additional information, links, templates, and tools that accompany Growing Into Equity. The authors have provided many tools here to support your success!

"The authors capture stories of caring, committed practitioners who challenge their students' thinking and excite their imagination."

Margot Stern Strom, Klarman Family Executive Director
Facing History and Ourselves

"Many schools across this country are 'doing' PLCs or data walls or walkthroughs, but adult learning activities have not translated into significant improvements in student learning. Growing Into Equity provides real examples, from real schools where equity, personalization and leadership are enacted in every classroom in a variety of ways every day."

Jeanne M . Harmon, Executive Director
The Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession

"The book is an amazing compilation of real stories of high level practice in schools focused on the belief that all students can achieve and the extraordinary work of educators to ensure that the school accomplishes that task. This is a book written for the heart and mind of every educator.  It is long, long, long overdue.  It is not preachy – it is action oriented!  I truly hope those that lead innovation and reform at the federal, state and local level will read this book to consider how real transformation takes place.  Perhaps this should become a mandatory read for those dealing with reform."

Victoria Duff, Senior Consultant
Learning Forward, New Jersey

"This book provides concrete evidence through in-depth case studies of successful schools from different walks of life that the needs of all learners, students and educators alike, can be met with an unwavering focus on equity and professional learning."

Melissa Kagle, Assistant Professor of Educational Studies
Colgate University

"'Every child is a complex and compelling story, and part of educators’ work is to uncover their gifts,' the authors write. With robust case studies, thoughtful analysis, and practical tools, the authors inspire and equip us to bring that statement to life. By examining professional learning that is tightly linked to equity and personalization, the authors offer their unique perspective on how to uncover teachers’ gifts to serve each of their students."

Nancy Love, Director of Program Development
Research for Better Teaching

"We find in these pages sensitive approaches for creating a culture of 'high achievement, appreciation of individuality, and encouragement of lifelong learning' for both teachers and students. The inspiring examples of these four schools demonstrate what is possible when teachers and administrators collaborate in order to personalize instruction for every child."

Diana Lam, Head of School
Conservatory Lab Charter Schoo, Boston, MA

"Growing into Equity provides four vivid pictures of schools that have successfully responded to the elusive excellence with equity challenge that faces our public schools and society today.  The four school descriptions that lie at the heart of this book bring to life those common elements – democratic leadership, focused professional learning, continuous improvement for individuals and schools, and a thoughtful and intentional approach to whole school quality – that are critical for successful personalized learning for all students and teachers. The pictures of the four exemplar schools and the synthesis of the critical work by the authors has the power to provide both inspiration and concrete guidance in supporting our work to achieve equity and excellence for our student and teachers very, very soon."

John J. Freeman, Superintendent of Schools
Pittsfield NH School District

"The authors offer a rare view into the practices of the principal and teachers at Social Justice Humanitas that serves as an example to districts and schools seeking to increase school accountability as an outcome of district-wide reform: A continuous cycle of instructional improvement and personal reflection under girds deep levels of personalization for students and staff alike. The process is intentional, methodical and uncompromising. As principal Navarro notes, 'There are no short cuts to equity.'"

Jane Patterson, Senior Director
Transform Schools, Los Angeles Educational Partnership

"This book shows a global need for rethinking the professional growth needs for educators and the leadership in schools to breed success for our students to be ready for the 21st century."

Karen Brainard, National Board Certified Teacher
Hilliard City School District, Hilliard, OH

"For years, we’ve celebrated the power of focused collaboration.  The authors share wonderful examples of effective practice that are accessible, inspirational and most importantly actionable in our own schools…  Each of the chapters is great!  Really well presented."

Peter Dillon, Superintendent of Schools
Berkshire Hills Regional School District, Stockbridge, MA
Key features
For funding: The reauthorization of ESEA presses for a new definition of professional learning, one that supports learning that takes place predominantly in schools, that happens in teams, and that is embedded in the daily schedule and work of schools. Professional learning can get closer to the ground. There is a focus on rigorous national standards, which can raise achievement if we can make the standards relevant and exciting for students. There is also a powerful movement to move away from the recent, narrow focus on assessment that emphasizes high stakes testing. Two national, multi-state assessment consortia will seek to create assessment systems that embrace measures better equipped to inform instruction on a regular basis. There is also movement to develop state supervision and evaluation systems, that, at their best, could help build educator capacity to attend to student needs. Growing interest in developing proficiency-based learning requires understanding students and tracking their progress better, so they can proceed at an individual pace. This range of efforts, alongside interest in individualizing learning, creates a context for shaping professional learning that better focuses attention on individual students.

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Front Matter

Chapter One

Chapter Two


For instructors

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This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.