“This book brings new focus to the rich history of ideas and strategies shown to improve student learning, helping educators at all levels see not only the value of using proven strategies, but the importance of integrating those strategies into purposeful improvement efforts.”

—Thomas R. Guskey, Distinguished Service Professor

Georgetown College

“This is a book of action. The author calls for leaders in school communities to be bold, courageous, committed, and aggressive in the actions required to achieve desired increases in student learning.”

—Charles Patterson, Educational Consultant

Former President, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Dramatically raise student achievement by engaging educators in collaborative curriculum design and professional development!

Teachers, teacher leaders, principals, and staff developers can build a collaborative culture and improve staff and student performance with this content-focused, step-by-step model that ties curriculum design to teacher growth. Kay Psencik provides a powerful process whereby teachers work together in teams to examine standards, gain a deep understanding of content, create curriculum maps, and design common formative assessments. Professional development leaders can inspire and challenge teachers to:

Confront assumptions about learning and professional development; Clarify and establish complex standards; Embed conversations about the curriculum into daily work

With hands-on tools, templates, and resources, readers can help teachers become more skilled in their instruction, create a school-based curriculum that is tied to standards, and accelerate the learning of both students and staff.



Teachers and principals bring critical knowledge and skills to school improvement and their capacity to invent solutions to the problems of teaching and learning is a significant, untapped resource.

—Dennis Sparks, Designing Powerful Learning for Teachers and Principals

According to a story told by Richard Pascale (2000) in his book, Surfing the Edge of Chaos, scientists were searching for strategies that could improve the health and happiness of children of poor families in Vietnam. Instead of considering strategies used in the United States and just teaching those strategies to mothers in Vietnam, the team applied a strategy called discovering and disseminating through positive deviance. They studied the practices and habits of poor families who had healthy children. They discovered their sources of nutrition, their habits, and the routines of these families. They were on a mission to ...

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