Forthcoming E|E book Trusting Teachers offers a promising improvement strategy

October 5, 2012 • Lars Esdal

The goals of improving the profession of teaching and giving teachers the authority to design better methods for learning have been central to the work of Education Evolving and its associates for more than three decades. We believe teachers who have authority and accountability for the decisions influencing whole-school success, are in the best position to lead innovation and improvement. Trusting teachers, and not controlling them, is a promising improvement strategy to pursue.

Two of our senior associates, Kim Farris-Berg and Edward Dirkswager, have written a new, important book which argues that, in the position to collectively call the shots, teachers can create school cultures of success and high performance that we so desperately need in public education. Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots will be released on October 16.

Here are some advance comments on the book:

“In our thirty-year effort to improve schools, we’ve blamed teachers, threatened them, and punished them. This clear and compelling book offers a new strategy: trust teachers and give them the autonomy and responsibility to make key decisions in teaching and learning and lead the effort to redesign schools and personalize education for every student. And it provides impressive evidence that this works.”
— Ron Wolk, chairman, Big Picture Learning, and founder, Education Week.

“Trusting Teachers comes to us at a critical juncture in the dialogue about the future of education in the United States. The authors examine what happens when teachers not only receive authority over their individual classrooms, but become a part of the school’s decision making structure. While many school systems push authority upwards to administration and accountability for results downwards onto individual teachers, Trusting Teachers shows us what can happen when authority and accountability are brought together and teachers have a seat at every table.”
— Linda Darling-Hammond, Professor at Stanford University School of Education

“Unleashing the collective wisdom of teachers is the best hope for improving our public schools. This provocative, sensible and practical book offers concrete evidence that it can be done and, in fact, is being done. And now that we have already tried virtually everything else, let’s do the right thing and turn teacher-run schools from the exception into the norm.”
— Adam Urbanski, vice-president, American Federation of Teachers.

See more comments, representing a broad range of organizations and interests.

Over the next two weeks, this blog will feature some excerpts from Trusting Teachers in advance of its publication.