Thursday, May 24, 2007

What creates excellence?

Originally uploaded by Tidewater Muse.
Many schools claim to be about excellence. Many schools claim to seek excellence. The cynic in me suspects many of these claims are mere hype, mere words on the wind, mere comments to assauge key stakeholders and confuse the masses.

Some schools actually do what they preach.

Dave Sherman asked earlier this month, "What Makes the “Best” the Best?" Indeed, what does make the best the best?

Mr. Sherman offers suggestions on what makes an excellent school and what makes an excellent teacher. Perhaps there's nothing earth-shattering, but he a series of worthwhile suggestions. From his "What makes a teacher successful?"
They ask thought-provoking, higher-level questions. Remember Bloom’s Taxonomy? If you have not looked at this research in a while, it might be time to pull this out and re-read it. I have seen teachers make flip charts with questioning prompts based on Bloom’s six levels of questioning (Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation). They use specific verbs that engage their students in critical thinking. They require their students to answer higher-level questions orally and in writing.
See Mr. Sherman's full post about excellence, and consider how you can ratchet up your own performance and the performance of your own school.

I know I'm thinking about it and considering what I can do starting next year when I'm back in the classroom...

Now, if I just knew where I'd be in the classroom...

1 comment:

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

But when that classroom appears, ah, you will be ready--you and that incisive mind of yours.