Blog posts from Research for Better Teaching

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New Book Release - High Expectations Teaching: How We Persuade Students to Believe and Act on "Smart is Something You Can Get"

The new release debunks the myth of fixed intelligence. For all the productive conversation around "mindsets," what's missing are the details of how to convince our discouraged and underperforming students that "smart is something you can get."

Learning About Racism and White Privilege

By Jon Saphier - September 29, 2016: Issues of race and the experience of people of color in America are more central in our national conversation and the media than I can remember since the Civil Rights Era of the 50s and 60s. Bringing this experience to the surface is a good thing.

Time to Be Tackling Racial Bias in the Classroom

Jon Saphier - May 24, 2016: Racism is a social construct that operates as a system of oppression based on race. It operates everywhere, even inside the best intentioned of educators. Racism is built on stereotypes and expressed in various forms of oppression.

Why Teachers Need Cultural Proficiency

Jon Saphier - May 20, 2016: Changing demographics have made a “should” into a “must” for American teachers. Cultural proficiency produces behaviors that acknowledge and value the culture of those different from oneself. It develops out of being curious and wanting to learn about other people and their cultures.

Successful Teaching

Jon Saphier - March 9, 2016: This short video describes the elements required for successful teaching. Most people don't realize how complex teaching really is.

A Short History of Ed Reform

Jon Saphier - March 9, 2016: This short video describes the history of Ed Reform and recommends that the focus be on high expertise teaching in every classroom.

NEW TITLE: Transforming Ineffective Teams: Maximizing Collaboration's Impact on Learning

The Skillful Leader II has been reissued under new title. This important book arms administrators and teacher leaders with step-by-step strategies to confront and raise the performance of teams and individuals who undermine student learning.

The Mirage Report

Jon Saphier - September 3, 2015: "The Mirage: Confronting the Hard Truth About Our Quest for Teacher Development" ... is a study of teacher professional development that surfaces stark data about the failure of an $18 billion dollar investment to have much influence ... on improving most teachers’ practice.

Case Studies in Great School Leadership: Brockton High School

Jon Saphier - August 24, 2015: Sue Szachowicz was a great school leader. When Brockton High School went from awful student test scores and graduation rates to national awards and a front-page story in the New York Times, analysts provided all kinds of explanations...The core reason was due to a particular kind of leadership. Sue exhibited vulnerability and strength at the same time; she elevated others who had the same combination of characteristics; and together they mobilized meaningful collective action across the school.

Lessons in Leadership: Be Vulnerable and Strong

Jon Saphier - August 10, 2015: Over the last 40 years from working directly with principals, instructional coaches, and central office personnel who supervise principals, there is one lesson about leadership that rises above all the others: the best leaders are vulnerable and strong at the same time.

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