The Revolution Revisited: Effective Schools and Systemic Reform

By Barbara O. Taylor; Pamela Bullard | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
Changing the Classroom

Where it has been implemented, the Effective Schools Process is changing how superintendents and central office administrators operate. It is increasing the accountability of school boards, revitalizing the leadership of principals, and encouraging greater involvement of parents and business.

But the most profound effect is in the classroom, where reform is given a face and moves beyond the buzzwords. Teachers are working more efficiently and more innovatively than ever before. They are changing children's lives. In order to do this, teachers have had to turn learning in the classroom on its head, shake it up, save some of the good pieces, toss out all the rest, take a deep breath, and build courageously.

"There's no question that it takes a lot of guts to teach effectively in the schools today," insists Judy Stevens, executive director of elementary education in Spring Branch, Texas. "Guts to question centuries of teacher indoctrination. Guts to be actively — ACTIVELY — involved in the child's learning process ... and take ownership for the child's success or failure. It's not just a matter of accountability. It's ownership in that child. And it's a rejection of the punitive classroom."


Reasons for Change

Judy Stevens is not the first person to talk about what many believe is a damning legacy of the punitive, restrictive, and irrel

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