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Transforming School Climate and Learning

Beyond Bullying and Compliance
By: Bill Preble, Rick Gordon

Foreword by Raymond J. McNulty

The authors provide a collaborative action research process to help all stakeholders transform both their school climate and student learning. Includes success stories, strategies, and implementation activities.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary, Secondary
  • ISBN: 9781412992688
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2011
  • Page Count: 184
  • Publication date: June 13, 2011

Price: $40.95

Price: $40.95
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Creating safe schools from the inside out

This book details a comprehensive process for empowering students and teachers as school improvement leaders and "experts." Bill Preble and Rick Gordon explain how schools can use the SafeMeasures™ collaborative action research process to:

  • Collect and analyze school climate data
  • Develop improvement goals
  • Create exciting and inspiring action plans to dramatically improve their school's climate and student engagement

Each chapter features success stories from real schools, strategies and implementation activities, and book study questions that help all stakeholders transform both their school climate and student learning.

Key features

  • Organized around the practitioner-friendly, field-tested, Safe Measures School Improvement process—a 5- stage, collaborative, action-research process involving: 1)establishment of a design team for school improvement that includes teachers and students; 2) collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative school climate data; 3) using data to develop school climate and learning improvement goals; 4) developing a powerful school improvement culture that will dramatically change school climate and student engagement in learning; and 5) using formative assessment for continuous improvement and for sustaining school climate improvement.
  • Developed as a practical guide for implementing and using the Safe Measures Process, each chapter provides the practical and theoretical elements of each stage of the model, offers personal and practical success stories of each stage of the process in action in real schools ('Making It Real,'), includes an Activity that will provide detailed guidelines for implementation, and concludes with book study questions that can help frame and guide implementation efforts.
  • Emphasizes student leadership, a value-added element that enhances teacher and administrator "buy-in" to the process of rethinking and improving educational programs, and develops the leadership potential and civic engagement of their students as partners in school reform.
  • "Resources" at the end of the book will include additional tools, samples of planning forms, and other materials to help implement this process.


Bill Preble photo

Bill Preble

Bill earned an EdD from the University of Maine in Curriculum & Instruction and Youth Political Socialization and his MEd in Social Studies Education from the University of Washington. Bill is a Professor of Education at New England College in Henniker, NH where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Educational Psychology, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, and School Climate Research, Leadership, and Facilitation.

He created Main Street Academix in 2001 and founded The Center for School Climate and Learning in 2010. These centers provide school climate research and evaluation services and professional development on school climate leadership to schools and state departments of education throughout the country. Bill and his colleagues offer schools on-site school climate improvement services and support for implementation of the SafeMeasures™ Process: which offers a systemic, data-driven approach to preventing bullying and improving school climate and learning.

Bill has made hundreds of presentations on his research and school climate work at schools and professional conferences. He is the co-author of two books, Beyond Bullying…Beyond Compliance: Transforming School Climate and Learning (2011) Corwin Press, and the Respectful School: How Educators and Students Can Conquer Hate and Harassment, with Stephen Wessler (ASCD, 2003) and several articles on school climate leadership and bullying prevention.


Rick Gordon photo

Rick Gordon

Rick Gordon has a PhD. in Social and Multicultural Foundations of Education from the University of Colorado-Boulder, a MEd. from University of Minnesota in Political Science with a Focus on Organizational Theory and Public Policy and graduated from Stanford University with honors in Political Science. He was Founding Director of Compass School, a grade 7-12 school that has scored highest on a national survey on Respect, Safety, and School Climate. Rick co-directed The Critical Skills-Education by Design Program at Antioch New England Graduate School, where he also was on the Education Department faculty, and has worked extensively with schools and higher education on Service Learning (including editing the well received Problem Based Service Learning Fieldguide:Making a Difference in Higher Education). Rick has been a Humanities teacher, run several small businesses, and had the honor of visiting thousands of classrooms as an educational ethnographer and consultant over the years. He continues to be involved in teacher development and teaches courses in School Leadership in various locales. Rick has long experience in Experiential Education with Outward Bound and Interlocken, and has traveled extensively around the globe leading programs for youth. Rick played college soccer, and continues his commitment to learning through sports as a coach of youth soccer and nordic skiing.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by Raymond J. McNulty


About the Authors

Introduction: Bringing Our Schools Into Balance

Beyond Bullying, Beyond Compliance

Getting Beyond Piecemeal Problem Solving

The Rational for This Book: School Climate as a Key to School Safety, Student Motivation, and Academic Achievement

Guideposts for School Leaders: Administrators, Teachers, AND Students

Organization of the Book

Why Read This Book?

Students and Teachers as Partners in Transforming School Climate

1. School Climate: The Heart and Soul of a School

Making Meaningful Improvement in Schools

Why Is School Climate Important?

School Climate and Effective Schools

Essential School Climate Factors

We All Want Respectful Schools

What Teachers and Students Mean by Respect

Beeper Studies: Our Original Research on Respectful Schools

The Respect Continuum: A Practical Theory of Respect

The Disrespect Side of the Continuum

The Respect Side of the Continuum

How Schools Use the Respect Continuum

Initial Success in One District

Looking Beyond Stopping Misbehavior

Making It Real: A Real-Life Respectful School


Book Study Questions

2. The SafeMeasures Process: A Student-Led, Collaborative Action Research Process

Sarason's Research on School Change

Balancing Adult and Student Leadership

The SafeMeasures Process: An Overview

Bandura's Research on Self-Efficacy

Looking Deeply at Collaborative Action Research

Emancipatory Research

Making It Real: School Climate Improvement


Book Study Questions

3. Stage One: Everyone Is a Leader: Empowering Students and Teachers

The Dignity of Expertise

Getting Started

Administrative Support Is Essential

The Adult Design Team: Membership and Roles

National School Climate Standards as a Guide to Action

Selecting a Diverse Team of Student Leaders

Challenges to Choosing a Diverse Team of Student Leaders

Making it Real: Student Leadership Training


Simple Summary: Stage One

Book Study Questions

4. Stage Two: Including All Voices: School Climate Data Collection

The Importance of Data

What Gets Measured Is What Gets Done

Some Potential Problems With School Data Collection

What and How to Measure

What to Do With Data

When Students Become School Climate Researchers

The Power of Qualitative Data

The Value of Quantitative Data

Making It Real: Elementary School Student Researchers


Simple Summary: Stage Two

Book Study Questions

5. Stage Three: Thinking Together: Data Analysis and Goal Setting

Internal or External Locus of Control: Whose Responsibility

Cognitive Dissonance: Wrestling With Data to Construct Meaning

No Fault, No Blame

Words or Numbers? Analyzing Data With Students

Using Quantitative Data Effectively

Goal Setting With Student Leaders

Why Students Lead the Way: Student and Teacher Data Analysis and Goal Setting

Faculty Data Analysis and Goal Setting

The Work of Goal-Based Action Teams

Making It Real: Data Analysis and Goal Setting With Chain Reaction


Simple Summary: Stage Three

Book Study Questions

6. Stage Four: Making Change Happen: Action Planning and Project Development

Action Planning: Where Change Begins

No One Best System

School Climate Action Teams: Working Effectively With Colleagues

Action Planning Steps

Using the Respect Continuum as a Guide to Action

Moving Toward the Positive

Respectful Teaching

Balanced Leadership: Adults and Students Joining Forces for Change

Making It Real: The Backpack Project


Simple Summary: Stage Four

Book Study Questions

7. Stage Four Specifics: Action Projects to Promote Respectful Teaching and Learning

Changing School Climate Through Respectful Teaching

Engagement Strategies That Work

Providing Students With Choices

Authentic, Applied, Real-World Learning

Altering the Schedule to Provide Learning Opportunities

Making It Real: Sugata Mitra's Hole-in-the-Wall Project


Simple Summary: Stage Four Specifics

Book Study Questions

8. Stage Five: Moving Forward Together: Sustainability and Continuous Improvement

Change Is a Process, Not an Event

Key Elements of Sustainable Change

Closing the Gaps

Dignity and Respect

The Best People Working on the Problem

Socially Based and Action-Oriented Change

Enhance, Extend, and Empower

Make a Multiyear Commitment

Formative Assessment: A Critical Part of the Process

Aligning School Climate and Learning: Demonstrate a Balanced Approach

Guideposts for Sustainability

Making It Real: Talking Walls


Simple Summary: Stage Five

Book Study Questions

9. The Road Ahead: Transforming School Climate and Learning

When Will the Time Be Right?

Continued Resistance, Growing Hope

School Climate As a Coherent Framework for Understanding Schools

Implications for School Leaders, Teachers, and Students


Book Study Questions

List of Appendices

Appendix A: From Violence to Empowerment: A Respect Continuum

Appendix B: Sample School Climate Data Summary

Appendix C: Example of Student Goals and Evidence of Need: Elementary School Data (Grades 3–6)





Price: $40.95
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.