Reflective Practice to Improve Schools: An Action Guide for Educators by Jennifer York-Barr

Reflective Practice to Improve Schools: An Action Guide for Educators

Jennifer York-Barr and William A. Sommers
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Praise for the First Edition:
.“ . . poses a challenging, compelling argument and is highly recommended for any educator in search of tips, tricks, and techniques for self-improvement on the job.”
—Midwest Book Review
December 2001
“I treasure this book. It is informative, well written, and important to educational leaders.”
—Robert Garmston, Cofounder
Institute for Intelligent Behavior
“This book is essential to anyone interested in a framework and strategies for supporting a school staff in reflecting on its practice to increase learning at the individual and organizational levels, and subsequently enhancing student learning.”
—Shirley M. Hord, Program Manager
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
Praise for the Second Edition:
???This book is a must-read for teacher leaders, principals, and central office administrators. The authors make a substantive and powerful argument for addressing reflection at all levels of the organization and provide practical tools and insights to facilitate a comfortable transition from theory to practice. This book will be valuable to anyone serious about ensuring success for all students."
—Stephanie Hirsh, Deputy Executive Director
National Staff Development Council
Use reflective practice to renew your life, enhance your teaching practice, and promote success for your students!
As you reflect on your day, what can be learned about your teaching and leadership practice? When you create space during the week to reflect with your colleagues, in what ways can you share your experiences, successes, challenges, and questions to foster collaborative learning and growth? Reflectivepractice—individually and with others—counteracts the effects of professional isolation and instills a sense of meaning, renewal, and empowerment in the hectic lives of educators. Insights gained through reflective practice improve teaching and leadership practices that result in enhanced learning and development for students. This book offers a roadmap for reflective practice that presents research-based information and ideas and strategies for engaging in reflective practice alone, with partners, in small groups, and even schoolwide.
Reflective Practice to Improve Schools is the reference tool you need for mastering reflective practice and initiating it in your school. The authors have revamped this second edition to include: Additional ideas and strategies for incorporating individual reflection into your life New examples of reflective practice for administrators New examples of reflective practice for schoolwide implementation Greater reflection for fostering equity and cultural competence A commitment to reflective practice is a commitment to realizing your potential as educators and human beings, not only human doings.

Publisher Description

This reference tool for mastering reflective practice and initiating it in your school offers ideas for reflective practice alone, with partners, in small groups, and schoolwide.

“A framework for reflective practice supported by specific illustrations of individual, paired, small group, and whole-school use. A first purchase for anyone interested in promoting professional growth through reflection.” — Curriculum Connections, Fall 2006 “An easy read that has the power to endlessly renew your hope and potential. The book provides a practical framework that supports educators as they progress through the reflective practices spiral. The resultant web of professional relationships provides students with a safety net of resources that strengthens the school's intervention and instructional resources.” — Principal Navigator, May 2007

Author Biography

Jennifer York-Barr, Ph.D., is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, where she coordinates and teaches teacher leadership, staff development, and educational administration. William A. Sommers is currently the Learning Alternatives director and leadership coach for Spring Lake Park District 12 in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota, consultant, and author. He is the former director of leadership & organizational development for Manor ISD in Texas, the former executive director for secondary curriculum and professional learning for Minneapolis Public Schools, and a school administrator for over 30 years. He has also been a Senior Fellow for the Urban Leadership Academy at the University of Minnesota. Sommers also has served as an adjunct faculty member at Texas State University, Hamline University, University of St. Thomas, St. Mary's University, Union Institute, and Capella University. Sommers was on the Board of Trustees for five years and past-president for the National Staff Development Council. He has been a presenter in preconferences and conference sessions for 12 consecutive years and continues to work as a senior consultant for NSDC. Since 1990, he has been an associate trainer for the Center for Cognitive Coaching based in Denver, Colorado. He has been a program director for an adolescent chemical dependency treatment center and on the board of a halfway house for 20 years. Sommers has co-authored seven books, Living on a Tightrope: A Survival Handbook for Principals, Becoming a Successful Principal: How to Ride the Wave of Change Without Drowning, Reflective Practice to Improve Schools, a Trainer's Companion, Energizing Staff Development Using Video Clips, Leading Professional Learning Communities, and Principal's Field Manual. He is currently working on Trainer's Companion for Habits of Mind (2009). In addition to writing many articles regarding coaching, assessment, and reflective thinking, he also does training in reflective practice, leadership, organizational development, conflict management, poverty, thinking skills, brain research, and classroom management. From 1970 to the present, he has been in K-12 education as a teacher and principal in urban, suburban, and rural schools. Sommers is a practitioner who integrates theory into the learning opportunities he facilitates. Gail Ghere received her M.A. in Special Education from the University of Minnesota, where she is a doctoral candidate in program evaluation with the Department of Educational Policy and Administration, and is the project coordinator for a federal grant that focuses on instructional team collaboration for students with disabilities in inclusionary schools. Jo Montie has her M.A. in Educational Psychology. Her professional work has included serving as a special education teacher, school consultant, and staff development facilitator, and as project coordinator with the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration.

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Reflective Practice to Improve Schools: An Action Guide for Educators