School Systems That Learn: Improving Professional Practice, Overcoming Limitations, and Diffusing Innovation

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Overview

When school systems learn, professional practice improves and student achievement increases

Picture this: Teachers sharing insights and challenges. Principals leading with trust. Central office leaders inspiring and supporting principals. A synergistic learning system that results in all students succeeding. This practitioner's guide to creating a system-wide learning organization focuses on professional learning as the stimulus to improving ...

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School Systems That Learn: Improving Professional Practice, Overcoming Limitations, and Diffusing Innovation

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Overview

When school systems learn, professional practice improves and student achievement increases

Picture this: Teachers sharing insights and challenges. Principals leading with trust. Central office leaders inspiring and supporting principals. A synergistic learning system that results in all students succeeding. This practitioner's guide to creating a system-wide learning organization focuses on professional learning as the stimulus to improving student achievement. Experienced superintendents Paul Ash and John D'Auria provide a blueprint to:

  • Improve schools through system-wide professional learning
  • Increase student achievement by instilling a deep-rooted culture of curiosity
  • Bolster faculty and staff morale with trust-building initiatives
  • Align professional development with student-centered district standards

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Editorial Reviews

Karin Chenoweth
"Paul B. Ash and John D'Auria draw on their deep understanding of school districts to help explain why so many American students are left behind. Their solution—to build the capacity of educators through collaboration and honest reflection—should make their book required reading for anyone who aspires to educational leadership."
Amy C. Edmondson
"School Systems That Learn applies and extends organizational learning research to the K-12 school system context – an ambitious idea that is long overdue. Rooted in the authors' combined sixty years of experience in school leadership, the book shows how school systems that nurture and support the learning and development of their educators can produce higher achievement for all students. This is a carefully developed and immensely practical guide for educators on how to build trust, develop collaborative capacity, and foster leadership at all levels – from the classroom teacher to the superintendent."
School Administrator
"The authors use their collective experiences to promote the development of a school system in which all district staff and board members work together to improve all aspects of the educational experience. The authors emphasize the shift from individual mindsets to collegiality and collective responsibility, featuring trust, collaboration, capacity building and leadership opportunities cultivated at all levels of the organization."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452271989
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 11/30/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 497,383
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Paul B. Ash has served as Superintendent of the Lexington Public Schools since 2005. Previously, he served as the Superintendent of Schools in the Westwood, Massachusetts Public Schools from 1998 to 2005. He has also held the following positions in the Wellesley, Massachusetts Public Schools - Director of Professional Personnel and Staff Development; Assistant Superintendent for Personnel, Finance and Administration; Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Planning; and Interim Superintendent of Schools. He started his career in education as a chemistry/physics/earth science teacher at the Dover-Sherborn Regional High School, Dover, Massachusetts.

Dr. Ash received the Doctor of Philosophy degree from Boston College, the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education, the Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Massachusetts, and the Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He has served Boston College as an adjunct faculty member providing instruction in Finance and Facilities Management to masters and doctoral students. He is currently a member of the National Superintendent's Roundtable, and has served on the National Board of Governors for the American Association of School Administrators.

JSD Article: BLUEPRINT for a Learning School System

John D’Auria, Ed.D, moved from directing the Canton Public Schools as Superintendent to becoming President of Teachers21, a non-profit organization working to ensure that all school-aged children are given an equal opportunity to succeed by endeavoring to provide them with educators who are eminently knowledgeable and qualified to teach them.

In a career that has spanned four decades as a math teacher, guidance counselor, principal and superintendent, Dr. D’Auria has worked with hundreds of school leaders around sharpening the academic focus of school teams, developing a vibrant school culture, and managing conflict in the workplace.

Dr. D’Auria’s research focuses on the ways in which the assumptions that people hold about intelligence significantly influence their learning. His newest book is Ten Lessons in Leadership and Learning (2010). He is also the author of “The DNA of Leadership”—a curriculum for aspiring school leaders in the state’s Leadership Licensure Program—and co-author with Jon Saphier of How To Bring Vision to School Improvement (Research for Better Teaching, 1993). Numerous other articles include “The Superintendent as Teacher,” Phi Delta Kappan Online Edition, Fall, 2009; “A Principal’s Dilemma,” jointly with Matt King in Schools: Studies in Education, University of Chicago Press, Spring, 2009; and “3 Strands Form Strong School Leadership,” jointly with Jon Saphier and Matt King, National Staff Development Council, Spring, 2006. He is a frequent speaker at national and regional educational conferences and has served on The Middle School Curriculum Project based at Education Development Center.

John D’Auria is a Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude graduate of Boston College, where he majored in mathematics and philosophy; he earned his doctorate in urban educational leadership at the University of Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors
Introduction
1. Six Reasons Why School Systems Don’t Educate All Students at High Levels
2. The Four Right Drivers of Change
3. The Importance of Trust
4. Collaboration in All Directions: Elevating the Importance of Teamwork
5. Capacity Building for All Educators
6. Leaders at All Levels
7. Why Building a K-12 Learning School System Is so Difficult
8. Whole School System Change and the Diffusion of Innovation
Index

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 4, 2013

    Excellent overview of the importance of professional learning.  

    Excellent overview of the importance of professional learning.  Practical, well-written, and applicable in today's dynamic school systems.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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