There is no magic bullet in education. No one right answer or solution that will meet the needs of all schools and all children. Schools are complicated and highly contextual. There is never going to be one right perfect program that will benefit everyone.
Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that some highly researched programs can greatly benefit students. BUT, no one program will ever be successful without highly functioning teams of professional educators working consistently to bring meaning to those programs into a constantly evolving system.
We are fortunate to have such trailblazing leaders and researchers in education like Marzano, Hattie, Reeves, DuFour, Danielson and Fullan. But, these leaders have not unlocked magical secrets that will lead to success for everyone; instead, they have provided us with fantastic tools to make better schools. It is up to us, in our buildings, to take it to the next level. To make the jump from research to action and make positive, albeit imperfect, things happen.
Moving from research to action
We must create processes and put into action.
It will not be a pre-packaged program. Effective processes lead to highly efficient teams. As one department in our school explains very eloquently, “Our ultimate goal is to create a highly functioning team”. I think that really sums it up best if you are looking for simplicity. A highly functioning team of educators focused on student learning will make a positive impact on student achievement.
A highly functioning team relies on multiple processes to keep their work focused and organized.
I’m sure many of you may even be beginning new processes right now as the school year begins. Our high school is implementing a new freshman curriculum. This project alone relied on multiple processes to unfold and the implementation of the curriculum relies on all faculties learning and using the professional learning team process. It is challenging but it will lead us to the goal of highly functioning and focused teams which exist to improve student learning.
When thinking about how to improve student learning follow this simple process.
- Determine the desired result.
- Decide what steps need to be put into place to achieve that result.
- Follow the steps.