Thursday, December 3, 2009

Practice informs theory

I thought I would highlight some of my understandings from the amazing Quest Conference I attended. I don't know that I have a handle on many of these concepts or that I have represented the ideas correctly. Also, some ideas may warrant further investigation. I thought I would capture them in a few meaningful words.

Here goes:

Dr. Michael Fullan: We need “whole system reform”

Our work needs:

1. To be precise
2. To go deeper
3. To adhere to the speed of quality change

Change the mindset: Practice determines the Theory
Teachers have a “moral imperative” to “Raise the Bar” and “Close the Gap”
”Interdependent Practice” - essential between student, teacher and admin.

Dr. Douglas B. Reeves:

Mistakes and Perfection:

Teachers have “initiative fatigue” – so keep it simple: IDEAS=ACTION
Take risks, get up from the falls and KEEP GOING because MISTAKES lead to PERFECTION
Malcolm Gladwell – Expertise is equivalent to 10, 000 hours of performance
Data = Efficacity
PASSION is STRESSFUL – so we need “harmonious passion”- examine data based on classroom by classroom and teacher by teacher
SUCCESS = defined by the Greater Good

Formative Assessment:

FEEDBACK must be: 1. Accurate 2. Specific 3.Timely
STUDENT ENGAGEMENT – is derived from People & Practice and NOT Programs
Do your assessments match goals? Do you involve students in designing assessments?
What are the consequences of not doing the work? = Do the work.

Role of Leaders:

Listen more than you talk
Have focused meetings without a single person “in charge”
Principal participates as a “learner”
Examine need for TIME/SPACE/PEOPLE

Role of Teachers:

Individual and Shared Responsibility to teach and learn
Intelligent Accountability
Job Embedded Learning – Interactive Collaboration = increases depth/focus

Importance of Writing:

Non-Fiction writing improves student scores in Math and Science
Teachers should also try to write non-fiction for their own practice and engagement