Title

Creating Conditions that Facilitate Effective Teaching and Learning in a Democratic School

First Presenter's Institution

Dothan City Schools Jerry Lee Faine Elementary

Second Presenter's Institution

Dothan City Schools Jerry Lee Faine Elementary

Third Presenter's Institution

N/A

Fourth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Fifth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Location

Harborside East & West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

This proposal will address two strands, Head (Academic instruction (reading, writing, mathematics, or science) for students at risk of failure; Effective use of student data; Differentiated instruction) and Heart (Creating a sense of community in classrooms & schools; Caring curriculum). In an effort to build a school where teaching and learning are synchronous with civic engagement and community service in a democratic society focusing on social justice, we have embarked upon a plan of action to address our specific needs as a collective group as well as individual needs of each other.

Brief Program Description

This interactive, engaging presentation will enable participants to collaborate with colleagues in developing, implementing, and synthesizing ideas that facilitate a democratic school body. Students will be enlightened and inspired in social justice challenges with civic engagement responsibilities and service learning opportunities.

Summary

We believe that engagement in the learning process is paramount to “buy in” as well as ownership in our own learning. Therefore, we have created a game with activities to address components of effective teaching and learning in a democratic school. We begin our presentation with a discussion of goals and objectives for the learning. Then we discuss in detail our theme topics of Civic Engagement, Service Learning, and Social Justice. This discussion (whole group) will consist of developing working definitions through brainstorming activities and will culminate with a collective agreement for criteria determining critical elements for the social justice project. Participants are then presented with the Task/Challenge. Members are asked to review the challenge then choose a focus team that best suits their talents and interests. (Inquiry Based) Teams will be given a budget and must allocate time and resources to professional development. (Real World Activity)

Utilizing inquiry based instructional strategies and the Daily Five Literacy model, we have developed activities that address the whole group: Setting Clear Expectations, Building Bridges or Scavenger Hunt with meaningful reflections and small groups. Based on the Daily Five model, we rotate between whole group activities with reflections and small group activities as formative activities in support of whole group concepts. Our culminating activity, “Celebration of Learning”, is a presentation format of each focus group’s findings, discussions, and reflections.

Evidence

Addressing social justice from the standpoint of academics alone is not enough as we endeavor to educate students with a broader focus. Community and policymakers are needed to support equity in schools. Therefore the organization and proposed activities are based on current research with regard to instructional strategies. It is our sincere goal and purpose to provide a quality instructional program that allows students, faculty and staff, and all stakeholders to serve as an integral part of growth and achievement. The approach presented by DuFour, R., et.al. (2004) of professional learning communities serve as a background for our proposal. The structure for this proposal is aligned with the Daily Five and CAFÉ models presented by Boushey, Gail; Moser, Joan (2014-02-28). Our goals for learning in this proposal is to develop habits of success through analysis of data, reflection, and evaluation as evidenced in the research Leaders of Their Own Learning: Transforming Schools Through Student-Engaged Assessment presented by Berger, Ron; Rugen, Leah; Woodfin, Libby (2013-12-30).

Berger, Ron; Rugen, Leah; Woodfin, Libby (2013-12-30). Leaders of Their Own Learning: Transforming Schools Through Student-Engaged Assessment (Kindle Locations 1955-1957).

Boushey, Gail; Moser, Joan (2014-02-28). Daily Five, The (Second Edition): Fostering Literacy in the Elementary Grades.

DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R., & Karhanek, G. (2004). Whatever it takes: How professional learning communities respond when kids don't learn. Bloomington, IN: National Educational Service

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Mrs. Debra Wright is currently serving as the principal of Jerry Lee Faine Elementary school in Dothan, Al; a Title 1 school of 95% free/reduced lunch students ranging from Pre K to 5th grades. Mrs. Wright has served as a teacher as well as an assistant principal in several Title 1 schools. She holds an Education Specialist degree in Educational leadership and is currently seeking a PhD in Administration and Supervision from Auburn University Fall, 2017 expected graduation.

Mrs. Jennifer Williams is currently serving as the program specialist at Jerry Lee Faine Elementary school. She has served in several Title 1 schools as well holding positions as a teacher and instructional coach in the middle school level. Mrs. Williams holds a Masters level degree in Educational Leadership and is currently completing studies for the Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership.

Keyword Descriptors

Democratic schools, teaching and learning, professional learning communities

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-7-2017 4:00 PM

End Date

3-7-2017 5:30 PM

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Mar 7th, 4:00 PM Mar 7th, 5:30 PM

Creating Conditions that Facilitate Effective Teaching and Learning in a Democratic School

Harborside East & West

This interactive, engaging presentation will enable participants to collaborate with colleagues in developing, implementing, and synthesizing ideas that facilitate a democratic school body. Students will be enlightened and inspired in social justice challenges with civic engagement responsibilities and service learning opportunities.