Common Principles for Uncommon Schools

Horace 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

Indicators of Classroom Thoughtfulness

In his 1991 article “Promoting Higher Order Thinking in Social Studies” (Theory and Research in Social Education 19:4), University of Wisconsin education professor Fred M. Newmann describes six key characteristics that can be observed in a thoughtful classroom, condensed with his permission here: 1. There was sustained examination of a few topics rather than superficial coverage of many. Mastery of

Making the Good Essential School Better: The Essential Question of Rigor

When we put student work in the spotlight and ask hard questions about its quality, our standards and expectations for all students come into sharp relief. Essential schools that have been successful in many other ways are now reaching for new strategies to raise the bar higher. You are working in a Peer coaching situation that has paired you with

The Tuning Protocol: a Process for Reflection on Teacher and Student Work

What is it students are asked to do and what is the quality of the work they produce? The tuning protocol asks a teacher to present actual work before a group of thoughtful critical friends in a structured reflective discourse aimed at tuning the work to higher standards. In his essay Three Pictures of an Exhibition, the Coalition’s Joseph McDonald

Work in Progress: A School”s “Mastery Guidelines”

In suburban St. Louis, Missouri, Parkway South High School”s Enrichment Coordinator, Anne White, offers these “plus, minus, and interesting” observations from the early stages of the school”s Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM), in which students may outline their own high-level performance to qualify for a “mastery” designation on their transcripts. PLUS Students want to be in charge of their own learning.