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Learning Places
A Field Guide for Improving the Context of Schooling



July 2006 | 224 pages | Corwin
'This timely book is exactly what modern schools need, blending Fullan's theoretical genius about change with practical strategies that can work in any school. Readers will discover that it is practical, easy to use, and empowering for educators, with lots of room for personal choices at the school level' - Lyn Sharratt, Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Services, York Region District School Board, North Toronto, ON, Canada

'This book is an easy read and provides a well developed idea of framing the school context for student achievement. The author provides excellent resources, worksheets, templates, walk-through and reflection ideas, and additional support materials' - Rosemarie Young, Past President, National Association of Elementary School Principals, USA

Need an inspiring approach to school change? Need staying power for school improvement initiatives? Organized to make learning contagious throughout the school, this user-friendly guide helps create a culture of learning that promotes the simultaneous development of students, teachers, and parents - addressing specific ways to maximize study groups, student data, classroom walk-throughs, and more. The interactive self-assessment procedures focus on:

o achieving a sense of purpose

o facilitating program coherence

o invigorating classroom teaching

o supporting the professional development of teachers

o developing wider circles of leadership

Issuing a call to action for all educational communities, this easy-to-use manual offers a visionary yet grounded approach to revitalize educators and reenergize their efforts for meaningful, lasting reform.

 
Author to Reader
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgements
 
About the Authors
 
Section A: Shaping Schoolwide Contexts
 
1. Building on Strengths
 
2. Achieving Momentum Through Innovativeness
 
3. Linking Standardized Test Data to Teaching and Learning
 
4. Promoting Purpose and Community
 
5. Making Learning Support Accessible
 
Section B: Improving Classroom Teaching
 
6. Sharing Ideas About Improving Classroom Teaching
 
7. Focusing Student Interest and Attention
 
8. Engaging Student Thinking
 
9. Supporting Student Performance
 
10. Affirming Student Understanding
 
Section C: Sustaining Passion and Commitment
 
11. Supporting Professional Development
 
12. Reframing Success
 
Index

"This book is an easy read and provides a well developed idea of framing the school context for student achievement. The author provides excellent resources, worksheets, templates, walk-through and reflection ideas, and additional support materials."

Rosemarie Young, Past President
National Association of Elementary School Principals

"It is necessary to keep our eyes on the real work of improving our schools and not be sidetracked into jumping through hoops that are in the end not meaningful. This book provides the reader with that opportunity."

Nic Cooper, Principal
Saline Middle School, MI

"The book is a very easy read-good for busy practitioners. No matter where you are in the process, you can jump in and use the tools."

Teri White, Principal
Dayton High School, NV

"Learning Places will help all of us transform schools and their classrooms into cultures hospitable to human learning. I wish I had had this field guide during my own turbulent years as a school principal."

Roland S. Barth, Author, Lessons Learned
Founder, The Principals’ Center at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education

"This timely book is exactly what modern schools need, blending Fullan’s theoretical genius about change with practical strategies that can work in any school. Readers will discover that it is practical, easy to use, and empowering for educators, with lots of room for personal choices at the school level."

Lyn Sharratt, Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Services
York Region District School Board, North Toronto, ON, Canada

"Simply and beautifully weds theory and practice! This book should be on all administrators' desks as they go about the critical task of education for young people today. Brings forth the finest in theory and the best in practice and at the same time affirms the values that our society was built on and through which it will thrive."

Brother Jeffrey L. Calligan, Auxiliary Provincial and Director of Education
Brothers of the Christian Schools US/Toronto Board of Education for the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Canada

"Presents staff, students, administrators and parents with a road map to a 'grand vision,' and invites us to join the highest of all human enterprises—the creating of a better world, starting with our schools. Provides every school staff the opportunity and tools to create a school engendering and affirming that deepest and most pervasive human drive, the drive to learn."

Lucianne B. Carmichael, Principal, McDonogh 15 School, New Orleans, LA
First Visiting Practitioner, Principals’ Center, Harvard Graduate School of Education

"Presents a workbook-style blend of information about assessment, the change process, differentiated instruction, and other pedagogical approaches with strategies encouraging reflection, conversation, and research among groups of educators. The book is filled with inspirational quotes, thoughtful questions, and challenging directives to further encourage reader reflection."

PsycCRITIQUES, August 2007, Vol. 52(33)

Sample Materials & Chapters

Fullan Preface

Fullan Chapter 1


Michael Fullan

Michael Fullan served as Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Special Policy Adviser in Ontario from 2003-2013. He received the Order of Canada (OC) in December 2012 and holds five honorary doctorates from universities around the world. His ‘interim autobiography’, Surreal Change, covers his work to 2018. Michael and his colleagues are now working diligently on field-based comprehensive system change in several countries. This work operates under the umbrella of what they call the ‘shared humanity paradigm’ —Equity, Engagement, Excellence--Deep change that integrates local (school and community), middle (district/regional), and state (policy)... More About Author

Clif St. Germain

Some people dream of writing the next great novel, others dream of inventing things. Not me. I dream about good schools–happy, bustling, productive schools. I can't think of anything more beautiful. Nor can I remember a time when I wasn't thinking about better ways to unleash the power of passion and commitment I see in the eyes of good teachers. That's why the opportunity to work with Michael Fullan on this Field Guide is, for me, a dream come true. Michael sees deeply into schools. His work is about creating circumstances that enable schools (and school systems) to initiate and sustain their own development. ... More About Author

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