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Talk About Teaching!


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments About the Author Preface 1. Why Professional Conversation? The Imperative for Improvement in Teaching The Nature of Teacher Learning Promoting Professional Learning Through Conversation Assumptions Underlying Professional Conversations Summary 2. Power and Leadership in Schools Overview The Reality of Power Reconciling Power and Leadership Summary 3. The Big Ideas That Shape Professional Conversations What Constitutes Important Learning? What Causes Learning? How Are Students Motivated? The Merging of All These Ideas Summary 4. The Topics for Conversations Power, Leadership, and the "Big Ideas" Clarity of Purpose Rigorous Learning Tasks and Assignments High Levels of Energy and Student Engagement A Safe and Challenging Environment Smooth Organization and Management Implementation of School or District Initiatives Summary 5. Conversation Skills Setting the Tone for Conversation Linguistic Skills Paraphrasing Summary 6. Informal Professional Conversations Purpose Settings for Professional Conversations Coach: Non-Tenured Teacher and a Supervisor Coach: Tenured Teacher and a Non-Supervisory Colleague Coach: Tenured Teacher and a Supervisor Procedure Summary 7. Implementation Issues Finding Time for Conversation Communicating the Purpose Establishing Trust Forging Understanding and Consensus on the "Big Ideas" Elaborating the "Topics for Conversation" Summary 8. Conversation Activities for Implementation Establishing the Foundation Communicating the Purpose Conversation Activity #1: Establishing the Contributors to Student Learning Conversation Activity #2: The Principal's Role in Promoting Good Teaching Establishing Trust Conversation Activity #1: Identifying an Environment of Poor Levels of Trust Conversation Activity #2: Creating and Enhancing a Trusting Environment Conversation Activity #3: Creating an Action Plan for Trust The Big Ideas: Considering High-Level Learning Conversation Activity #1: Reflecting on One's Own Recent Learning Conversation Activity #2: Thinking About the Changing World Conversation Activity #3: Ensuring Important Learning How Do People Learn? Conversation Activity #1: Summarizing Observations From Personal Experience Conversation Activity #2: Reflecting on One's Own Learning Worthwhile Learning Experiences Conversation Activity #1: Reflecting on the Characteristics of Children's Learning Human Motivation Conversation Activity #1: Considering Adult Motivation Conversation Activity #2: Considering Student Motivation Topics for Conversation Discussion Questions #1-#6: Considering the Topics for Conversation Summary References Index

About the Author

Charlotte Danielson, a former economist, is an internationally-recognized expert in the area of teacher effectiveness, specializing in the design of teacher evaluation systems that, while ensuring teacher quality, also promote professional learning. She advises State Education Departments and National Ministries and Departments of Education, both in the United States and overseas. She is in demand as a keynote speaker at national and international conferences, and as a policy consultant to legislatures and administrative bodies. Ms Danielson is a graduate of Cornell University (history), Oxford University (philosophy, politics, and economics) and Rutgers University (educational administration and supervision.) She has taught at all levels, kindergarten through university), and has worked as a curriculum director and staff development director, and is the founder of The Danielson Group. Her Framework for Teaching has become the most widely-used definition of teaching in the United States, and has been adopted as the single model, or one of several approved models, in over 20 states. Ms. Danielson's many publications range from defining good teaching ("Enhancing Professional Practice: a framework for teaching," 2007), to organizing schools for student success ("Enhancing Student Achievement: a framework for school improvement," 2002), to teacher leadership ("Teacher Leadership that Strengthens the Profession," 2006), to professional conversations ("Talk about Teaching! Conducting Professional Conversations," 2009), to numerous practical instruments and training programs (both onsite and online) to assist practitioners in implementing her ideas. Click here for more info on Talk about Teaching!


"This is a rare educational book that captures between two covers both the scholarship and the soul of teaching. It is based on the simple premise that thoughtful conversations can change educational practice-but don't be fooled into thinking the book is simplistic. It asks leaders to guide those conversations based on their own deep understanding of the art and science of teaching, and it makes explicit and accessible what that means." -- Carol Ann Tomlinson, Parish Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy
"Includes many insights and techniques for helping teachers learn about their profession and their practices. This seminal text serves as an introduction to conversations that will prompt teachers to better understand what they are doing in the classroom." -- James Raths, Professor of Education
"Danielson's work is right on target. She addresses how to make certain that teachers are coaching one another, sharing practices, and assuming the role of leadership in schools across the country. This book is a wonderful companion to her work on teacher evaluation." -- Bena Kallick, Educational Consultant
"Danielson's book is groundbreaking work on the professional conversations that improve teacher learning. She expertly conveys the value of these conversations in challenging teachers to think in new ways about their work. This tour de force is a blueprint for improving practice and is required reading for all educational leaders." -- John E. Deasy, Superintendent
"The continuous enhancement of instruction is the most critical role for any school administrator. This valuable book helps educational leaders better understand and become more skillful in conducting conversations about the craft of teaching and the science of learning. In time and with practice, more effective instruction will result and benefits to students' learning will accrue." -- Arthur L. Costa, Professor Emeritus
"Instructional leadership is totally dependent on the fine art of successful communication. Danielson has provided a tool through which principals and teachers can participate in purposeful exchanges to support valued learning. Through her guidance, conversations can support reflections, relationships, and a brand new culture." -- Daniel C. Page, Manager of Professional Development and Secondary Education
"An interesting and unique approach to enhancing dialogue about reflective practice. This book stimulates fresh thinking about teaching and leadership that will have positive effects on the classroom. As always, Charlotte Danielson has much to contribute to the dialogue on education." -- Joan Weber, Assistant Superintendent for Personnel & Administrative Services

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