Pottieger Learns and Networks

January 22, 2009


WT?  What are student’s learning??
At an urban city school one Friday, I observed one female student taking a picture of two female students aiming their middle finger at the camera. Is this what our students are learning to do in our school? Something has got to change! That's why I'm blogging here and why I am inviting you to this informal professional learning networking.
Here's one quote that I like as it works toward an answer, the change needed:

“From Recognizing the Elite to Creating Opportunity for Many Winners

Schools have always had ways to recognize individual students. It is not unusual for a school to have honor rolls, valedictorians, captains of athletic teams, or National Honor Societies. And in most schools, the overwhelming majority of students recognize from the very day they enter the school that they have no chance of ever receiving that recognition. When Peters and Waterman (1982) examined the characteristics of excellent organizations, they found these high performers shaped their culture by consciously developing systems to generate lots of winners and then celebrating individual and collective achievements. Schools should follow suit. It will be difficult to create a culture of success in a school that limits recognition of success to an elite few. When schools develop systems to honor not only the highest academic achievement, but also improvement, character, service, and persistence virtually all students can come to believe that school can be a place where they have the chance to be recognized and celebrated.”

(From Whatever It Takes: How Professional Learning Communities Respond When Kids Don’t Learn by Dufour, Dufour, Eaker and Karhanek, page 179.)










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