Common Principles for Uncommon Schools


Volume 12 | 1996 | Issue 1

Information, Literacy, and The Essential School Library: Addresses what "learning to learn" looks like and how school librarians can redefine their roles as generalists and information specialists to become partners in collaborative decision-making and curriculum development. Download PDF

Volume 11 | 1995 | Issue 5

Essential School Pathways: Connecting Across the Grades: Explores how teachers, parents and administrators are working together to create a coherent educational program from kindergarten through high school. Download PDF

Volume 11 | 1995 | Issue 4

Making the Good School Better: The Essential Question of Rigor: Describes strategies and initiatives that Essential schools are using to raise the quality of student work, to increase the range of students expected to do rigorous work and to develop measures for deciding what is good enough. Download PDF

Volume 11 | 1995 | Issue 3

What Research Suggests About Essential School Ideas: Looks at historical, sociological, statistical, and cognitive research that informed Essential school ideas and presents several key findings that support Essential school change. Download PDF

Volume 11 | 1995 | Issue 2

Less Is More: The Secret of Being Ess: Explores the ramifications of this particularly challenging principle; includes approaches to developing a curriculum that embodies "less is more." Download PDF

Volume 11 | 1995 | Issue 1

Empowering Students: Essential Schools' Missing Link: Examines various ways in which students can be involved and supported as schools work toward more student-centered learning. Download PDF  

Volume 10 | 1994 | Issue 5

College Admissions and the Essential School: Demonstrates through conversations with college admissions officers and high school personnel how some colleges are accepting Essential school students even without the traditional grades, ranks, and standardized tests. Download PDF

Volume 10 | 1994 | Issue 4

Starting a New Essential School: What It Shows About Change: Examines the struggles of planning and opening an innovative school and suggests some similarities and differences with established schools undergoing change. Download PDF

Volume 10 | 1994 | Issue 3

Technology in the Essential School: Making Change in the Information Age: Looks at key areas of Essential school change to see how technology can speed progress; includes technology tips for school people and a resource list for technology and learning. Download PDF

Volume 10 | 1994 | Issue 2

How the National Standards Debate Affects the Essential School: Explores the issue of setting meaningful standards and describes the role Essential schools can play in higher-level decision making; includes a checklist to evaluate state standards and assessments. Download PDF

Volume 10 | 1994 | Issue 1

Teacher Education in the Essential School: The University-School Partnership: Discusses the benefits of placing student teachers in schools involved in reform and describes two programs that integrate teacher education and Essential schooling. Download PDF

Volume 9 | 1993 | Issue 5

Essential Collaborators: Parents, School, and Community: Cites experiences from three Essential schools to suggest how to involve the community in the process of change and how to get the community and its schools to work together. Download PDF

Volume 9 | 1993 | Issue 4

What's Essential? Integrating the Curriculum in Essential Schools: Examines what it means to integrate curriculum across the disciplines and explores some of the difficulties and political implications; includes sample curricula from several schools. Download PDF  

Volume 9 | 1993 | Issue 3

"So Now What?"-Managing the Change Process: Presents a framework and various approaches for managing organizational change and getting people to work together; includes resources for developing successful change strategies. Download PDF  

Volume 9 | 1993 | Issue 2

What Works, What Doesn't; Lessons from Essential School Reform: Sets forth more than 20 hard-earned lessons and advice from veterans of Essential school reform about how-and how not-to approach school change. Download PDF

Volume 9 | 1993 | Issue 1

The Essential School Principal: A Changing Role in a Changing School: Illuminates the multidimensional roles of Essential school principals and suggests ways to balance effective leadership with participatory decision making. Download PDF

Volume 8 | 1992 | Issue 5

Essential Schools' 'Universal Goals':How Can Heterogeneous Grouping Help?: Offers a range of approaches in teaching methods and curriculum for making heterogeneous grouping work for students at all levels. Download PDF

Volume 8 | 1992 | Issue 4

Essential Schools and State Systems: How Is the Climate Changing?: Explores how state education policies affect reform efforts and suggests some strategies for changing schools when policies do not support reform; includes some examples of far-sighted policy decisions. Download PDF

Volume 8 | 1992 | Issue 3

Math and Science in the Essential School: Portrays the benefits and the obstacles inherent in integrating math and science; includes examples of several successfully integrated math and science programs. Download PDF

Volume 8 | 1992 | Issue 2

The Essential Conversation: Getting It Started, Keeping It Going: Offers techniques-including key questions-for starting a school-wide "conversation" on reform and keeping it going to promote whole-school participation in change. Download PDF  

Volume 8 | 1992 | Issue 1

Taking Stock: How Are Essential Schools Doing?: "Takes stock" of how well Coalition reform efforts are going; includes preliminary figures on Essential school successes and questions to ask in assessing progress. Download PDF    

Volume 7 | 1991 | Issue 5

Creating a Climate for Change: Essential Schools in Louisville: Examines how one large urban-suburban school district, under a reform-minded superintendent, encouraged schools and staff to explore new ideas and practices. Download PDF

Volume 7 | 1991 | Issue 4

Behavior in a Thoughtful School: The Principle of Decency: Looks at how the climate in two Essential schools affects both teachers and students and identifies characteristics of a decent school; includes one school's model for student decision making. Download PDF

Volume 7 | 1991 | Issue 3

Breaking the Barriers to Change: A Fall Forum Special Report: Presents strategies offered by Essential school practitioners in workshops dealing with curriculum, assessment, heterogeneous grouping, leadership, and resistant teachers.  

Volume 7 | 1991 | Issue 1

Are Advisory Groups Essential? What Do They Do, How Do They Work?: Describes the powerful role that advisory groups can play in personalizing students' educational experiences and improving the tone of a school; includes suggestions on organizing advisory groups. Download PDF