A Clearinghouse for Martensdale-St. Marys Community Schools Professional Development

Monday, February 21, 2011

Whatever It Takes, Chapter 9

Only two more chapters in our study of DuFour's Whatever It Takes. As I have said many times before, your work during professional development this year has been exceptional in terms of how you have approached the material and given it some deep thought and consideration.

Chapter nine addresses the challenges and barriers of adopting the kinds of programs, practices, and ideas outlined in the previous chapter in the book. A lot of your work during Wednesday's in-service focused on these very ideas, so this will be a nice addendum to it. I look forward to your insight!

1. This chapter explores several challenges that might be raised against the proposal to build a system of interventions for students when they are not learning. What other philosophical challenges might be presented?

2. Most of the challenges to the system of interventions will focus on implementation problems rather than on philosophical concerns. Objections are likely to take the form of “we don’t have enough ‘fill in the blank’ (time, money, resources, space, consensus, kids who will comply).” What are some strategies for addressing these concerns?

3. The authors believe that “the benefits of PLC concepts will speak for themselves if educators demonstrate good faith toward one another as they honestly assess both best practices for helping all students achieve at high levels and the current reality of their own schools.” If they are correct, one of the challenges leaders will face is how to help staff build shared knowledge regarding best practices and current reality. How would you propose to meet this challenge?