The ideal school is closer than you think. Welcome to Aspire High! The world’s best high school may be a dream, but it’s not out of reach. It’s a model drawn from research, observations, focus groups, and interviews, and each aspect of its success exists in a real school today. In this book, you’ll discover what makes Aspire High’s culture of aspiration work. Whether you’re a policymaker or district leader who can build a school from the ground up or an educator aiming for incremental change, you’ll find your next steps, including: • A whole new way to work with all stakeholders • Research and action for best practices, from physical layout to curriculum • Principles for designing practices that encourage student aspirations • Messages from thought leaders inside and outside the field of education Aspirational culture is good for the whole school community—and beyond. Make your school a dynamic place that promotes aspirations and meaningful learning for all.

Teachers as Learners

Teachers as Learners

Learning is a result of listening, which in turn leads to even better listening and attentiveness to the other person. In other words, to learn from the child, we must have empathy, and empathy grows as we learn.

—Alice Miller

LISTEN

The scruffy young man who introduced himself as the teacher invites us to an unoccupied table along the side of the room. All of the activity in the room continues without interruption. As we glance around, we notice that there is nothing that distinguishes this table from any of the others in the room. It is not a typical “teacher’s desk” (larger than the others, a kind of office on four legs); it’s just a working space. In fact, there is ...

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