For decades, the assumption has been that if we want to improve teaching, one of the best ways is to supervise and evaluate teachers. Surely, the argument went, inspecting classroom performance and giving teachers feedback and formal evaluations would make a positive difference. But as we frequently ask groups of administrators to think back to when they were teachers and raise their hands if an evaluation ever led them to make significant improvements in the way they taught, typically we see around 5 percent of the group raise a hand. When we ask if the evaluations that principals themselves have written produce significant classroom improvements, we get a similar response. This is disturbing. It means that school leaders are spending huge amounts of time on a process that rarely improves classroom teaching. And teaching, after all, is the heart of the matter. Now we know that good classroom teaching can overcome the disadvantages with which many students enter school, and that children who grow up in poverty are not doomed to failure. From this, we conclude that a principal’s most important job is getting good teaching in every classroom.
“this book makes the case that a multi-faceted approach is necessary. Mini-observations are a definite take-away for the reader, but aren’t presented as a silver bullet. If anyone understands the true complexity of supervision, it is a former principal like Kim Marshall. I give this book 5 stars!” – Diane Sweeney Consulting
“This vital resource also includes extensive tools and advice for managing time as well as ideas for using supervision and evaluation practices to foster teacher professional development.” – Wiley
Manufacturing Morals demonstrates how faculty and students are exposed to a system that operates on open-ended directives that require significant decision-making on the part of those involved, with little overt guidance from the hierarchy. Anteby suggests that this model—which tolerates moral complexity—is perhaps one of the few that can adapt and endure
Read and learn as James O'Hanlon and Donald Clifton describe how elementary and secondary principals, identified as outstanding, carry out their work. According to the authors, these principals resemble highly effective managers in business in their adherence to the tenets of positive psychology. While the position of principal is highly demanding,
This book frames the landscape of school from the perspective of great principals. What do they see when they view their schools and the people in them? Where do they focus their attention? How do they spend their time and energy? What guides their decisions? How can we gain the same
In Value-Added Measures in Education, economist and education researcher Douglas N. Harris takes on one of the most hotly debated topics in education. Drawing on his extensive work with schools and districts, he sets out to help educators and policy makers understand this innovative approach to assessment. Written in straightforward language
The performance review. It is one of the most insidious, most damaging, and yet most ubiquitous of corporate activities. We all hate it. And yet nobody does anything about it. Until now... Straight-talking Sam Culbert, management guru and UCLA professor, minces no words as he puts managers on notice that --
What does research tell us about the effects of school leadership on student achievement? What specific leadership practices make a real difference in school effectiveness? How should school leaders use these practices in their day-to-day management of schools and during the stressful times that accompany major change initiatives? Robert J. Marzano,
The basic idea of mini-observations is simple: the principal makes frequent unannounced classroom visits and gives prompt feedback to teachers, and as a result, teaching and learning improve.
The amount of time a principal needs to spend in a classroom depends entirely on the purpose of the visit.
Short classroom visits will benefit teaching and learning only if they are frequent and substantive, and that means deciding on a “Goldilocks” number of mini-observations per day.
During a classroom visit, the principal needs to slow down, breathe, walk around, observe the kids, maybe chat with a couple of them.
There are plenty of possible formats—paper and electronic—to capture information after mini-observations.
How can a dedicated principal work really, really hard and fail to get significant gains in student achievement?