Accelerating the Learning of All Students: Cultivating Culture Change in Schools, Classrooms, and Individuals

By Christine Finnan; Julie D. Swanson | Go to book overview

8
Individuals as Cultivators: Actinu on Chanued Assumptions Within and Beyond the School

After four years as an accelerated school, Westview Elementary School decided to reexamine its vision statement. The school had made many changes in curriculum and instruction, but members of the school community knew they could still improve the school. Through the process of revising the vision, the whole school community realized that increasing everyone's awareness of personal responsibility toward student learning was a key to reaching Westview's vision. They decided to host a community forum to discuss responsibilities for learning at the school. Invitations to the forum were sent to everyone in the community, including politicians, the news media, businesses, and teacher educators at the local state college.

The meeting was well attended; the mayor, school board members, school of education faculty, newspaper and television reporters, the district superintendent, president of the button factory, middle and high school teachers, parents (both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking), all Westview teachers, the principal, students, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers attended. They brainstormed ways for all members of the community to take responsibility for student learning. A subcommittee formed to draft a Proclamation of Responsibility, and all participants agreed to continue to meet throughout the year to reinforce their commitment to student learning. The following are examples of immediate actions groups agreed to take:

• Middle and high school teachers agreed to involve their students in working with individual elementary students in the afterschool program.
• The news reporters agreed to consider whether a story was likely to encourage efforts to accelerate learning before covering it.

-139-

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