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diannekrause on 2011-01-31"About
Challenges and opportunities, created by our global society, invite teachers, administrators, and students to rethink the way they teach, lead, and learn. The rise of social networking, the ease with which information is shared, and the growth of our global economy are just a few factors that have made it obvious that the 21st century is a much different world than the 20th century. And yet, when we take a good, hard look at the culture within our schools, do we see that much has changed from yesterday to today? We may see more technology used in the classroom and maybe more discussions on the “content vs. skills” debate in the faculty rooms. But underneath it all, have things really changed? Have we successfully forged a culture where life-long learning, personal growth, and collaboration are valued and practiced among all members of the school community?
In Richard DuFour’s article “Why Look Elsewhere?: Improving Schools from Within,” he states that “it is context—the beliefs, expectations, behaviors and norms that constitute the culture of a given school—that plays the largest role in deciding whether a professional development program will make a difference in that school.” If a school’s goal is to improve student achievement, and a school considers learning to be the crux of its community, then effective professional development—where teachers and administrators themselves become learners—is the bridge to achieving that goal."