Reflective Practice to Improve Schools: An Action Guide for Educators

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Includes insights on the essentials of designing and developing reflective practices and examples of reflective practice at the individual level, between partners, in small groups, and schoolwide.

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Overview

Includes insights on the essentials of designing and developing reflective practices and examples of reflective practice at the individual level, between partners, in small groups, and schoolwide.

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Editorial Reviews

Stephanie Hirsh
"This book is a must read for teacher leaders, principals, and central office administrators. The authors make a substantive and powerful argument for addressing reflection at all levels of the organization and provide practical tools and insights to facilitate a comfortable transition from theory to practice. This book will be valuable to anyone serious about ensuring success for all students."
Robert Garmston
"I treasure this book. It is informative, well written, and important to educational leaders."
Shirley M. Hord
"This book is essential to anyone interested in a framework and strategies for supporting a school staff in reflecting on its practice to increase learning at the individual and organizational levels, and subsequently enhancing student learning."
Midwest Book Review
". . . poses a challenging, compelling argument and is highly recommended for any educator in search of tips, tricks, and techniques for self improvement on the job."
Midwest Book Review December 2001
". . . poses a challenging, compelling argument and is highly recommended for any educator in search of tips, tricks, and techniques for self improvement on the job."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761977629
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 7/11/2001
  • Pages: 194
  • Product dimensions: 7.54 (w) x 9.82 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer York-Barr, Ph.D., is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, where she coordinates and teaches teacher leadership, staff development, and educational administration.

William A. Sommers is currently the Learning Alternatives director and leadership coach for Spring Lake Park District 12 in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota, consultant, and author. He is the former director of leadership & organizational development for Manor ISD in Texas, the former executive director for secondary curriculum and professional learning for Minneapolis Public Schools, and a school administrator for over 30 years. He has also been a Senior Fellow for the Urban Leadership Academy at the University of Minnesota. Sommers also has served as an adjunct faculty member at Texas State University, Hamline University, University of St. Thomas, St. Mary's University, Union Institute, and Capella University.

Sommers was on the Board of Trustees for five years and past-president for the National Staff Development Council. He has been a presenter in preconferences and conference sessions for 12 consecutive years and continues to work as a senior consultant for NSDC.

Since 1990, he has been an associate trainer for the Center for Cognitive Coaching based in Denver, Colorado. He has been a program director for an adolescent chemical dependency treatment center and on the board of a halfway house for 20 years.

Sommers has co-authored seven books, Living on a Tightrope: A Survival Handbook for Principals, Becoming a Successful Principal: How to Ride the Wave of Change Without Drowning, Reflective Practice to Improve Schools, a Trainer’s Companion, Energizing Staff Development Using Video Clips, Leading Professional Learning Communities, and Principal’s Field Manual. He is currently workingon Trainer’s Companion for Habits of Mind (2009).

In addition to writing many articles regarding coaching, assessment, and reflective thinking, he also does training in reflective practice, leadership, organizational development, conflict management, poverty, thinking skills, brain research, and classroom management. From 1970 to the present, he has been in K-12 education as a teacher and principal in urban, suburban, and rural schools. Sommers is a practitioner who integrates theory into the learning opportunities he facilitates.

Gail Ghere received her M.A. in Special Education from the University of Minnesota, where she is a doctoral candidate in program evaluation with the Department of Educational Policy and Administration, and is the project coordinator for a federal grant that focuses on instructional team collaboration for students with disabilities in inclusionary schools.

Jo Montie has her M.A. in Educational Psychology. Her professional work has included serving as a special education teacher, school consultant, and staff development facilitator, and as project coordinator with the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
About the Authors
1 Reflective Practice and Continuous Learning 1
What Is Reflective Practice and Where Did It Come From? 3
What Is the Potential of Reflective Practice to Improve Schools? 8
What Does It Mean to Be a Reflective Educator? 9
The Reflective Practice Spiral 11
2 Essential Questions 22
What Personal Capacities Promote Reflection? 23
What Makes Reflection Meaningful? 32
What Learning Principles Promote Reflective Practices? 37
What Learning Designs Promote Reflection? 39
3 Individual Reflection 43
Special Considerations for Reflecting on Our Own 45
Reflecting on Our Own: Examples From Practice 46
Reflecting on Our Own: More Ideas to Consider 52
4 Reflection With Partners 59
Special Considerations for Reflection Partners 61
Reflection Partners: Examples From Practice 65
Reflection Partners: More Ideas to Consider 71
5 Reflection in Small Groups and Teams 78
Special Considerations for Reflection in Small Groups and Teams 80
Reflection in Small Groups and Teams: Examples From Practice 100
Reflection in Small Groups and Teams: More Ideas to Consider 110
6 Schoolwide Reflection 121
Special Considerations for Schoolwide Reflection 123
Schoolwide Reflection: Examples From Practice 133
Schoolwide Reflection: More Ideas to Consider 142
7 Moving Forward With Reflective Practice 151
Lessons Learned About Reflective Practice 152
Paradox of Reflective Practice 156
References 161
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