Building and sustaining a culture of excellence

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Building and sustaining a culture of excellence. Linda Dorn, Ph.D University of Arkansas at Little Rock Director, Center for Literacy Adapted by: Terry L. Price Director of Elementary Education Bullitt County Public Schools. Guiding Questions.
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Building and sustaining a culture of excellence Linda Dorn, Ph.D University of Arkansas at Little Rock Director, Center for Literacy Adapted by: Terry L. Price Director of Elementary Education Bullitt County Public Schools Guiding Questions How does the school culture affect student learning? How does the school culture affect teacher dispositions and beliefs? How can you create a learning culture that enables all members to excel? Why should we focus on school culture? More than anything else it is the culture of the school that determines the achievement of teacher and student alike. Murphy, J. & Datnow, A. (2003). Leadership Lessons from Comprehensive School Reforms. The culture identity of a school
  • The beliefs and expectations of teachers will shape the beliefs and expectations of students which will shape the identity of the school.
  • Crisis: Don’t be stuck in the past.
  • Programs: Programs will not solve the problem. The teacher through quality research based instructional practices will solve the problem.
  • Within a school the culture determines what can be expected of students, what curriculum and instructional methods, and the interaction of discourse patterns.
  • Relationship of teachers responses to school culture.
  • This won’t work with our students. The school culture supports this belief.
  • Our students can achieve at the highest level. The school culture supports this belief.
  • School culture is shaped by: of students, what curriculum and instructional methods, and the interaction of discourse patterns.
  • Assumptions educators hold about students.
  • Assumptions students hold for themselves and their peers.
  • Assumptions educators hold about appropriate educational practices.
  • Assumptions educators hold about assessment practices.
  • Assumptions educators hold about the value of on-going professional learning and improvement.
  • Assumptions educators hold about the value of change.
  • Comprehensive literacy schools of students, what curriculum and instructional methods, and the interaction of discourse patterns. School is a cultural lab full of many micro-cultural events that use a variety of cultural tools for learning about literacy One to One Conferences Literature Discussion Independent Reading Each cultural event includes: of students, what curriculum and instructional methods, and the interaction of discourse patterns.
  • Routines
  • Rituals
  • Steps
  • Rules
  • Procedures
  • Norms
  • Expectations
  • All of the above must be taught to the students. Communicative Competence
  • conditions of students, what curriculum and instructional methods, and the interaction of discourse patterns. Teachers need to understand how to: of students, what curriculum and instructional methods, and the interaction of discourse patterns.
  • Structure a culturally responsive literacy event
  • Scaffold students to succeed in the literacy event.
  • Instill in students the “growth mindset” instead of the “fixed mindset”
  • How do teachers accomplish this? of students, what curriculum and instructional methods, and the interaction of discourse patterns.
  • Establish and teach routines and the structure of literacy
  • Create “anchor charts”
  • Set expectations / model expectations
  • Activate student background knowledge at the beginning, introduce vocabulary, find motivating materials, and set a clearly defined purpose
  • Use language prompts that promote problem-solving strategies
  • Typical cultural events within a school of students, what curriculum and instructional methods, and the interaction of discourse patterns. Guided Reading Literature Discussion Groups Shared Reading Mini-Lessons Reading and Writing Conferences Writing Workshop Language Workshop Peer Discussions Roles, expectations, routines, and beliefs of students, what curriculum and instructional methods, and the interaction of discourse patterns. How is this event organized? Do I understand the norms associated with participation in this event? What part do I play in this event? What expectations do the group members have of me? What is my identity as a learner in this event? How well am I doing in this event?
  • HANDOUTS of students, what curriculum and instructional methods, and the interaction of discourse patterns.
  • Workshop Framework
  • Language Workshop
  • Link Between Language and Literacy
  • Let’s examine characteristics of the varied component cultures Independent Work
  • Student’s Role / Teacher’s Role / Classmate’s Role
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • How do I feel about myself during independent work?
  • Do I understand the purpose of the independent work?
  • Writing Workshop
  • Student’s Role / Teacher’s Role / Classmate’s Role
  • What can I do to prepare myself to learn from this event?
  • How do I feel about myself in this cultural event? How do I believe my peers feel about me?
  • Do I understand the link between my writing and my reading?
  • Literature Discussion Group cultures
  • Student’s Role / Teacher’s Role / Classmate’s Role
  • What can I do to prepare?
  • How do I feel about myself? Peers?
  • In my preparation, do I have enough knowledge from the event to feel good about participating?
  • Peer Discussions Do students know how to appropriately work together in a collaborative culture? What behaviors indicate a classroom culture of collaboration? Desks are clustered so students can work together Room includes a variety of work spaces for students to meet on collaborative projects Students exhibit a helping attitude and respect for each other. What does a literate environment look like ????? collaboration? Reading responses through writing are displayed on walls and in hallways. Writing is taught as a process and published pieces are displayed on walls and in hallways. Respective talk and attitudes are promoted and used among all learners. What do these behaviors tell you about the school culture? Creating a culture for high expectations collaboration?students’ positive self perceptions What does the research say? Research on students’ positive and negative responses on difficult tasks
  • Two groups of 5th and 6th grade students
  • Given 8 problems that they could solve successfully, followed by 4 hard problems that were beyond their current abilities
  • Observed to identify what happened to student’ perceptions, feelings, and actions when faced with difficulty
  • (Diener and Dweck (1980)
  • Student Response Patterns difficult tasks Helpless Response
  • Lost faith in themselves
  • Condemned their abilities
  • Blamed their intelligence for their failures
  • Discredited their past successful responses
  • Reacted emotionally, e.g., boredom, silliness, and other negative seeking behaviors.
  • Mastery Oriented
  • Accepted the problem as a challenge
  • Used self-monitoring instructions, e.g., “The harder it gets, the harder I try,” or “I need to slow down and try to figure it out.”
  • Displayed some sort of optimistic prediction, e.g. “Oh, I almost got it!”
  • Dr. difficult tasksDweck’s Research Concluded that:
  • What matters most in terms of motivation is whether we see ability as “fixed” [an entity learner] or “growth” [an incremental learner]
  • People with fixed mindsets will only tackle tasks they already know how to do
  • People with a growth mindset will tackle challenging tasks
  • The “Growth” mindset difficult tasks Characteristics:
  • I love to learn something new
  • I am excited by a challenge
  • I believe I can get smarter through my own efforts
  • Outcomes:
  • I will forego easy tasks in favor of learning something new
  • I will throw myself into difficult tasks and I’ll stick with them. I set myself goals and make sure I have strategies to reach them
  • I am fully engaged with a new task, exerting effort to master something, stretching my skills and helping others learn.
  • The “fixed” mindset difficult tasks Characteristics:
  • I don’t want anyone to know I cannot do this
  • I need successes to feel good about myself
  • Even if I am doing well on this, I won’t be able to cope with a problem or obstacle
  • Outcomes:
  • I stop working with the task gets to hard
  • Challenges are a threat to my self-esteem, so I avoid them
  • I withdraw from learning opportunities if I think the task is too hard
  • Now, let’s get real………….. difficult tasks As much as we want to think that we have an emotionally-supportive culture….sometimes we don’t.The relationship between emotion, self-perceptions, and academic success are paramount !!!!! Three Domains of an emotionally-supportive environment difficult tasks Positive Climate Teacher Sensitivity Regard for Student Perspectives and Responses Pianta, R., LaPro, K. & Hamre, B. (2008) Classroom Assessment Scoring System Domains 1 and 2 difficult tasks
  • 1
  • Building a Positive Climate: Reflects the emotional connection between the teacher and students as well as students among students. Focus is on respect, enjoyment, positive expectations , etc. that is communicated by verbal and non-verbal interactions.
  • 2
  • Teacher Sensitivity: Encourages the teachers’ awareness of and responses to students’ ability to actively explore and learn because the teacher consistently provides comfort, reassurance, and genuine directional encouragement.
  • Domain 3 difficult tasks
  • 3
  • Regard for Student Perspectives and Responses Captures the degree to which the teacher’s interactions with students and classroom activities place an emphasis on students’ interests, motivations, and points-of-view and encourages student responsibility and autonomy
  • 2 main types of learning cultures difficult tasks A Culture of Inquiry and Problem-Solving A Culture of School Change Inquiry and Problem Solving… difficult tasks
  • Exhibit a questioning attitude…clarification
  • Teacher: What can I do to make this clearer for you?
  • Make logical guesses backed by evidence
  • Develop creative ideas and test them
  • Use problem-solving strategies to initiate carry out plans
  • Work collaboratively with peers
  • Display persistence and determination toward completing projects
  • Think like a scientist
  • Have a “growth” mindset
  • Change happens with people who are lifelong learners who engage in professional inquiry with colleagues H Teacher collaboration is the heartbeat of a true reflection and change in practice Cultural change is a philosophy: A belief that the capacity to learn is shaped through experiences with responsive and more knowledgeable people Whew !!!!!!!!! to learn is shaped through experiences with responsive and more knowledgeable people Really take time to be reflective of your perspective of your building culture and classroom culture. Are your students of the “growth” mindset? Do they believe that there is some success out there? Listen / study your audience….
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