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ERIC Number: EJ776765
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
The Professional, Personified: Districts Find Results by Combining a Vision of Professionalism with the Use of Common Tasks and Goals
Wurtzel, Judy
Journal of Staff Development, v28 n4 p30-35 Fall 2007
Current high school reform often focuses on small schools, small learning communities, and alternative paths to post-secondary education. While these reforms are necessary, recent evaluations of improving high-poverty high schools in urban districts (American Institutes for Research & SRI International, 2004 & 2005) suggest these changes are not sufficient. In some cases, high school reforms have failed partly because they do not give enough attention to instruction, leaving overwhelmed teachers on their own to do the difficult work of developing curriculum, determining their own professional development needs, and creating other tools to improve instruction. In other cases, teachers have resisted top-down, prescriptive approaches to improving instruction because of their feeling that such approaches impinge on teachers' professionalism. So how can states and districts provide effective guidance, direction, and accountability while also promoting teacher professionalism, use of evidence, and effective innovation? Drawing on the expertise of teachers, principals, superintendents, policy makers, and researchers, the Aspen Institute Program on Education and Society report "Transforming High School Teaching and Learning: A Districtwide Design" (Wurtzel, 2006) suggests focusing on two core ideas: (1) A new vision of teacher professionalism that supports instructional improvement; and (2) Mobilizing improvement efforts around common goals, common tasks, and common tools for high school instruction.
National Staff Development Council. 5995 Fairfield Road Suite #4, Oxford, OH 45056. Tel: 513-523-6029; Fax: 513-523-0638; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A