Inquiry: A Districtwide Approach to Staff and Student Learning

Inquiry: A Districtwide Approach to Staff and Student Learning

By: Nancy Fichtman Dana (author), Sylvia S. Boynton (author), Carol M. Thomas (author)Paperback

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The purpose of this book is to provide districts with a comprehensive guide to building a powerful, systems-wide professional development program that will enhance the quality of teachers they employ. Building on recommendations from The National Staff Development Council and the latest research on teacher professional development, the foundation of this PD system is the power of job-embedded professional learning, with a particular focus on inquiry and professional learning communities.

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About Author

Nancy Fichtman Dana is currently Professor of Education in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and has been studying practitioner inquiry for the last twenty years. During this time, she has developed and taught classes on practitioner research for undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students, coached the practitioner research of numerous educators from various districts across the nation, as well as published nine books and over 50 book chapters and articles in professional journals focused on teacher and principal professional development and practitioner inquiry. Carol Thomas is currently an Area Superintendent for Pinellas County Schools. To address the needs of the nation's 22nd largest school, the district utilizes area superintendents to lead, support and develop the work of schools. Of the 37 diverse elementary schools that Thomas oversees, 27 made the NCLB's "adequate yearly progress" standard in 2009. For the past three years the work of her region has been focused on a systematic approach to developing powerful instructional leaders. Using professional learning communities, principals and assistant principals studied and practiced the art of practitioner inquiry. As a result, school leaders have a clear understanding of the elements and power of an inquiry rich environment. Her vision and leadership supports an unwavering commitment to the practice of inquiry as the cornerstone for authentic, passionate teacher/educator professional development. Thomas began her career in education as a special education teacher in the Arlington, Virginia. Dr. Thomas has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Since that time she has dedicated 29 years to the Pinellas school community as teacher, Principal, Director of Professional Development, and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. Sylvia Boynton is a "professor in residence" in the University of Florida's College of Education. In this role through the UF Lastinger Center for Learning, she works with teachers and administrators in a district-based, school improvement initiative in Pinellas County (St. Petersburg and Clearwater), Florida. She works intensively in 19 Title 1 elementary schools with a total of 75 educators who are earning graduate degrees in the Teacher Leadership for School Improvement (TLSI) program at UF. In addition, she collaborates with two associate superintendents to provide inquiry-focused professional development to elementary principals. Most recently she has begun working with a district/university team in an effort to infuse educator inquiry throughout all professional development. Dr. Boynton has a Ph.D. in anthropological linguistics and an M.A. in Latin American Studies. She has worked in Texas and Florida as an ESL teacher.


List of Figures Foreword Acknowledgments About the Authors Preface Introduction Part I. For the Administrator 1. The Principal Professional Learning Community 2. The Principal Professional Learning Community in Practice Part II. For the Teacher 3. The Inquiry-Oriented PLC 4. The Inquiry-Oriented Learning Community in Practice Part III. For the Student 5. Introducing Inquiry Into the Classroom 6. Student Inquiry in Practice Part IV. For the Professional Developer 7. The Importance of Coaching 8. Developing a District-Wide Cadre of Coaches Conclusion

Product Details

  • publication date: 03/11/2011
  • ISBN13: 9781412992473
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 200
  • ID: 9781412992473
  • weight: 408
  • ISBN10: 1412992478

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