That Learn Together
Workshop 2 in PDF
Principle: Principal as Advocate for Inclusion of All Voices
Focus question: How do we build unified learning communities with
so many different points of view, levels of knowledge, and mandates?
Change needs to be supported by all the stake holders. With the goal
of building learning communities that improve math and science outcomes,
this workshop shows several ways that principals can work toward including
all voicesteachers, students, and parentsin a new dialogue
about education reform.
Workshop 2 Preparatory Readings
suggest that you read the following articles, included in the Appendix
at the back of this Guide, prior to viewing Workshop 2:
"It takes a village…"
Carpenter Avenue Elementary School is located in Studio City, CA,
a suburban district that is home to large numbers of professional
parents employed in the television and film industry. When principal
Joan Marks was hired in the mid-1980s, the school was going to be
closed because less than 15% of the school's students attended the
school by choice: most of the parents in the district immediately
surrounding the school opted to send their children to private school.
Joan kept the school open by actively recruiting students and involving
parents both inside and outside the classroom. The video profiles
a parent who helps the teacher in a grade 4/5 classroom on a daily
basis to better meet the needs of all students in the classroom.
Bob MackinSouhegan High School
Retired principal Bob Mackin describes the democratic principles upon
which Souhegan High School in Amherst, NH was founded and how the
school involves parent and student voices in governance. In addition,
parents actively participate in assessing student work.
Elisabeth DouglassFernangeles Elementary School
school, parents' school"
Douglass leads Fernangeles ES, Sun Valley, CA, a year-round school
of 1,175 students in pre-K through 5th grade, nearly 100% of whom
are on a free or reduced-price lunch program. Located in a largely
Hispanic district, Elisabeth's school builds parent (and other adult
caregiver) involvement by listening to their needs, creating a Parents'
Center that actively recruits their involvement, and providing daytime
and evening adult education classes. Elisabeth also strives to clarify
for parents the curriculum and pedagogy used in the school so that
they can help their children at home. In the video, a large group
of parents participate in a daytime computer workshop and join the
principal in a discussion about the math program.
Eric NadelsternInternational High School
Eric Nadelstern is principal of International High School in Queens,
NY, a pilot public high school designed for limited English language
proficiency students. At International High School, multi-grade, multi-ability
classrooms mix students from more than 60 different countries, with
the goal of preparing them for higher education without further remedial
education. An integrated math/science unit led by teachers Jonathan
Katz and Duane Stillwell shows how student voices are heard through
collaborative structures that overcome language barriers so they can
help each other learn.
Site Discussion Questions
(remember to choose a Structure from those listed on pages 12 to 14)
- How can
I get all of the voices into the conversation?
do we get unity with so much disparity?
student, teacher, and parent collaboration, how do we get beyond
governance to talk about teaching and learning?
responsibility is it to educate parents and the community? How
do we find the time?
would we want to include all of the voices?
everyone is collaborating, what is the role of the principal?
is appropriate involvement for students and parents in the teaching
and learning process?
involvement can take on many faceswhat is the most important
for parents to be involved with?
can we truly get the school community to believe that each member
has something to contribute?
S. "Survey: Teachers Want Parental Support." New York
Times 22 June 1993.
Fullan, M. and Andy Hargreaves. What's Worth Fighting For? Working
Together for Your School. The Regional Laboratory for Educational
Improvement of the Northeast and Islands, 1991.
A. and A. Plattner. "Talking to the Public about Public Schools."
Educational Leadership. Oct. 1998, 18-22.
"The Principal as a Team Builder." The Principal. May
Sergiovanni, T.J. Building Community in Schools. San Francisco:
Sussman, A. Science Education Partnerships: Manual for Scientists
and K-12 Teachers. San Francisco: U of CA, 1993.
Thompson, Scott. "Moving from Publicity to Engagement."
Educational Leadership. May 1998: 54-57.
Reform from AAAS Project 2061. Internet Address: http://project2061.aaas.org/tools/bluepol/blpframe.html
Communities. Internet Address: http://www.vision.net.au/~globallearning/
Internet Address: http://www.ed.gov/pubs/SER/SchBasedMgmt
Learning Communities (HPLC). Internet Address: http://project2061.aaas.org/newsinfo/earlychild/fostering/weiss.htm
at Northwestern University. Internet Address: http://www.ls.sesp.nwu.edu/lc/thinkpath.html
Communities Network: Internet Address: http://www.lcn.org
School Improvement. Internet Address: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/
Education Reform Network: Parent Involvement Project. Internet Address:
Leeds in England-Creative Schools as Effective Learning Communities.
Internet Address: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/documents/000000131.htm
US Charter Schools.
Internet Address: http://www.uscharterschool.org
and Mohrman."Assessment of School-Based Management." Studies
of Education Reform. US Department of Education Online Library. 1999.
Internet Address: http://www.ed.gov/pubs/SER/
and Mohrman. "School-Based Management: Promise & Process." Studies
of Education Reform. US Department of Education Online Library. 1994.
Internet Address: http://www.ed.gov/pubs/CPRE/fb5sbm.html