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A Teacher's Guide for Getting Serious About the System

In this companion book to Getting Serious About the System, teachers will learn about the critical role they play in a five-phase process for implementing system-wide change.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary, Secondary
  • ISBN: 9781452205120
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2012
  • Page Count: 96
  • Publication date: June 08, 2012

Price: $22.95

Price: $22.95
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Real change comes from teachers and administrators working together

It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a community of educators to improve a school—a community that includes administrators and teachers in different, but equally important, roles. A district's changes can only show results once their improvements reach the classroom. At the same time, teachers need support from their districts to make their own changes have lasting impact.

In this brief companion book to Getting Serious About the System: A Fieldbook for District and School Leaders, you will get the background and see exactly where you as a teacher or other stakeholder fit in the process of implementing solutions system-wide. You'll also learn about

  • The research behind the Working Systematically approach, which focuses on healthy organizational cultures, professional development, innovation, and accountability
  • The goals of the approach, which include addressing components and competencies at all levels
  • A five-phase process for implementing a systemic improvement plan at the district, school, and classroom levels

Teachers don't need another "quick fix" that gives a temporary boost to school performance—they need comprehensive guidance for making meaningful change that will last. Getting Serious About the System enables educators at all levels to work together, share leadership, and create a culture that values collaboration, continuous learning, and professional respect and trust.

Key features

  • Vignettes - The volume will provide brief vignettes that offer a visual image of how the work may be carried out, as well as challenges that may arise. These vignettes will be based on experiences that the development team had as they worked with actual districts and schools.
  • Stop and Check Each - step ends with a Stop and Check box containing a checklist of key actions that need to be completed before moving on to the next step. Reflection questions and activities will also be offered in this section.
  • References and Additional Resources - Guiding implementation of the Working Systemically approach requires specific skills on the part of leaders within the district and school, as well as knowledge of a range of subjects related to use of data, group facilitation, collaborative planning, and leadership. Useful information and helpful tips will be found in the references and additional resources identified after the last step of each phase.
  • Tools and Handouts - Online modules and appendixes will contain items that are referenced in the text for each phase. These resources are designed to aid district and school leaders as they implement the work.


D'Ette F. Cowan photo

D'Ette F. Cowan

Before retiring from SEDL in October, 2010, D'Ette F. Cowan led Texas Comprehensive Center efforts to assist state and intermediate agencies in providing high-needs districts and schools with technical assistance that is systemic in nature. In her 12-year career at SEDL, she also assisted low-performing districts and schools throughout a five-state region to improve student learning, and investigated strategies for transforming schools into professional learning communities. Currently, Cowan serves as a consultant to SEDL on a variety of projects.

As one of the researchers and authors of Working Systemically in Action: A Guide for Facilitators, she has had first-hand experience in helping district and school leaders apply a systemic approach to improve learning outcomes for students. Her study of professional learning communities over her career has included conducting and applying research and presenting findings at conferences and in books and journals. She has authored chapters and articles in Demystifying Professional Learning Communities: School Leadership at Its Best; SEDL Letter; Journal of School Leadership; and Learning Together, Leading Together. Prior to joining SEDL in December 1997, she served as a junior high school teacher and an elementary school principal. Her continuing research interests include leadership for change, systemic improvement, and professional learning communities.
Christopher J. Deering photo

Christopher J. Deering

Stacey Joyner is a Program Associate at SEDL—a nonprofit education research, development, and dissemination corporation based in Austin, TX. She participates in efforts to build state education staff capacity to serve districts and schools. She is the former editor of the USDE's Reading First newsletter The Notebook, and former editor of the Texas Comprehensive Center's newsletter Texas Focus. She is co-author of SEDL’s Working Systemically in Action, a comprehensive process for school improvement.

Prior to joining SEDL, Ms. Joyner served as the Reading Coordinator for the Idaho State Department of Education. She has 11 years of teaching experience. She has served as a reading specialist and teacher trainer for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ms. Joyner holds a BA in Elementary Education from Idaho State University and an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin.

Shirley B. Beckwith photo

Shirley B. Beckwith

Shirley Beckwith is a Communications Associate with SEDL's Texas Comprehensive Center (TXCC). She provides editorial review of training materials and resources used in meetings hosted by the TXCC and prepares materials for submission to national evaluators. She also provides and reviews content for the TXCC Web site. She has been involved in several revisions of the Working Systemically approach, including the 2008 Working Systemically in Action: A Guide for Facilitators and a conversion of the process into a scripted training manual for school support teams.

Prior to joining SEDL Ms. Beckwith worked for several years at the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs as the coordinator and researcher for the Guide to Texas State Agencies. Ms. Beckwith has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

SEDL’s Working Systemically Approach: A Process Grounded in Research

The Working Systemically Approach: Levels, Components, and Competencies

Levels of the System

Components of the System

Competencies for Working Systemically

The Working Systemically Approach in Action

Working Systemically Phases

Phase I: Understanding Systemic Improvement

Study the Approach

Collect and Analyze Preliminary Data

Present the Approach at the School Level

Commit to Systemic Improvement

Phase II: Analyzing the System

Form the District and School Leadership Teams

Begin the Comprehensive Needs Assessment

Conduct a Gap Analysis (reference to System Examination Tool: Appendix 1)

Begin the Process at the School Level

Formulate Problem Statements

Describe the Ideal State

Review District Initiatives

Continue the Process at the School Level

Phase III: Planning Action

Investigate Research-Based Practices

Explore the Professional Teaching and Learning Cycle (PTLC)

Review Progress Made to Date and Existing Plan

Develop a District Improvement Plan (reference to Leadership Self-Assessment Tool: Appendix 2)

Formalize and Communicate the District Plan

Develop School Improvement Plans

Phase IV: Taking Action and Monitoring Progress

Implement and Monitor the Improvement Plans

Provide Leadership for the Improvement Work

Address Unique Challenges as They Arise

Phase V: Assessing and Reflecting on Outcomes

Analyze and Reflect on Evidence of Implementation and Impact

Decide on a Focus for Continuing the Improvement Work

Recognize Work, Progress, and Accomplishments

Getting Serious About the System: What It Takes

Price: $22.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.