Engaging the Disengaged: How Schools Can Help Struggling Students Succeed

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Overview

This resource helps teachers motivate struggling students with strategies that harness their interests and creativity, and encourages educators to create positive learning cultures for all students.

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Editorial Reviews

Ted and Nancy Sizer
"The teacher who knows how to re-engage a child in his or her own learning is a treasure indeed, as is the school that supports such a teacher. Easton tells the stories of these teachers in one such school. They are stories from which all teachers—and principals, school boards, parents, and students—can learn. "
Richard W. Clark
"Principals—particularly secondary principals—should find this book and Easton's earlier work to be all the basic resources required. It is comprehensive and deals with the critical issues of the day. "
Dennis Sparks
"An inspiring book! Easton's clear, compelling writing is made more vivid by the wonderful real-life examples. "
Horace: The Journal of the Coalition of Essential Schools
"Easton's book shares realistic and inspiring examples of the kind of engagement that transforms kids' lives. "
Sirreadalot.org
“This insightful and invaluable resource is about changing the culture of schools to be more humane for struggling learners. Filled with real examples, it inspires teachers to create an integrated system of support that can make a significant change in their school’s culture to engage developing minds and champion all learners, regardless of socioeconomic factors.”
California Bookwatch
"Should be required reading for any teacher. "
Education Libraries
“This is a very practical text strongly anchored in theory. By looking at the ‘so what’ and ‘what now’ sections at the end of each chapter, teachers have an opportunity to practice some of these lessons. Easton presents an excellent analysis of self-directed learners, and looks at constructivist and traditional classrooms as well as project-based and experiential learning.”
Curriculum Connections
"The author defines engagement as what happens when students 'want to learn and keep learning.' She strongly believes that it is central to the purpose of education and can occur for all students when 'challenge and skill are well-matched.' Easton’s book provides a road map for change in school culture, curriculum, and instruction for all grade levels. "
Horace: The Journal of the Coalition of Essential Schools
"Easton's book shares realistic and inspiring examples of the kind of engagement that transforms kids' lives. "
November 2007 Sirreadalot.org
“This insightful and invaluable resource is about changing the culture of schools to be more humane for struggling learners. Filled with real examples, it inspires teachers to create an integrated system of support that can make a significant change in their school’s culture to engage developing minds and champion all learners, regardless of socioeconomic factors.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412949989
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 10/9/2007
  • Pages: 304

Meet the Author

Lois Brown Easton works as a consultant, coach, and author. She is particularly interested in learning designs for adults and for students. She recently retired as director of professional development at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, Estes Park, Colorado. A project of the American Honda Education Corporation, Eagle Rock School is a year-round, tuition-free, residential high school for students who have not experienced success in traditional academic settings. The school provides educators who visit the Professional Development Center with experiences in innovative education.

As director, Easton designed and administered the professional development program for preservice and student teachers; practicing teachers and administrators; university and college students, both graduate and undergraduate; and researchers. She designed and administered an internship program for twelve young educators each year and an alternative licensure program accredited by the Colorado Department of Education.

Easton was director of Re:Learning Systems at the Education Commission of the States (ECS) from 1992 to 1994. Re:Learning was a partnership between the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and ECS. The Coalition focuses on school-level restructuring based on the research on American high schools that Dr. Ted Sizer and others performed in the 1980s. ECS, an interstate compact that works with state policy makers to improve the quality of education throughout the country, partnered with CES in Re:Learning to orient reform efforts from “schoolhouse to statehouse” and to effect reform systemwide. Easton was director of the systemic side of the reform.

Prior to that, Easton served in the Arizona Department of Education as English/Language Arts Coordinator, establishing the role in the School Improvement Unit and directing the development of the Language Arts Essential Skills, the state’s first standards-based curriculum framework. She became Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and then, as Director of Curriculum and Assessment Planning, designed and implemented the Arizona Student Assessment Program (ASAP), which focused on systemic reform on the basis of curriculum standards aligned with state performance assessments. A middle school English teacher for 15 years, Easton earned her Ph D at the University of Arizona. Her dissertation was a policy analysis of the ASAP. She has held state and national offices, particularly in language arts organizations. She was President of the Arizona English Teachers Association and was elected to the Secondary Steering Committee of the National Council of Teachers of English. She was cochair of the 2001 Conference of the National Staff Development Council in Denver. Easton has been a frequent presenter at conferences and a contributor to educational journals. Her book The Other Side of Curriculum: Lessons From Learners was published in 2001. She is editor of and contributor to Powerful Designs for Professional Learning, which was published in 2004.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
About the Author
Section 1. Improving the Culture for Struggling Students
1. From a Testing to a Learning Culture: "What About Test Scores? "
2. Relationships Are as Important as Content: "What Do You Mean, Build Relationships? My Job Is to Teach History. "
3. Intentional Learning Communities Foster Learning: "What's Community Got to Do With Learning? "
4. How Principles Govern a School Better Than Rules: "So, What About Discipline? "
5. A Democratic School Helps Students Learn: "What's Democratic About Schools? "
Section 2. Improving Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for Struggling Students
6. Developing Curriculum According to the Right Standards: "What About Standards? "
7. Innovative Instructional Strategies Help Students Learn: "How Do You Get Them to Learn? "
8. Learning From Assessing Learning: "How Do You Know They've Learned? "
Conclusion: The Importance of Looking at the Student as a Whole Person
Resources: Part A. About Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center
Resources: Part B. Test Score Data From Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center
References
Index

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