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In this 2nd edition of Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning, Mike Schmoker extends and updates the case that our schools could be on the cusp of swift, unparalleled improvements. But we are stymied by a systemwide failure to simplify and prioritize; we have yet to focus our limited time and energy on the most essential, widely acknowledged, evidence-based practices that could have more impact than all other initiatives combined. They are: simple, coherent curricula; straightforward, traditional literacy practices; and lessons built around just a few hugely effective elements of good teaching. As Schmoker demonstrates, the case for these practices—and the need for them—has grown prodigiously.
In every chapter, you’ll find late-breaking discoveries and practical advice on how to simplify the implementation of new state standards in the subject areas; on the hidden pitfalls of our most popular, but unproven instructional fads and programs; and on simple, versatile strategies for building curriculum, planning lessons, and integrating literacy into every discipline. All of these strategies and findings are supported with exciting new evidence from actual schools. Their success confirms, as Michael Fullan writes, that a focus on the best “high-leverage practices” won’t only improve student performance; they will produce “stunningly powerful consequences” in our schools.
(ASCD Premium, Select, and Institutional Plus Member book, Editor's Selection, July 2018) 6" x 9", 320 pages
Writing is one of the most difficult skills to teach—and yet it is essential for deepening learning, supporting creative expression, and boosting college- and career-readiness. The April 2018 issue of Educational Leadership delves into strategies for improving and enriching writing instruction in schools.
The education workforce is changing dramatically, making teacher recruitment and development an increasingly critical issue. The May 2018 Educational Leadership explores new trends and models for teacher preparation, support, and retention, including steps schools can take to make the profession more supportive and attractive
The arts—and creativity more generally—are making a comeback in education. The December 2018/January 2019 Educational Leadership examines the role of arts and creativity in fostering perception and problem solving, empowering students, and boosting learning.
How does a school become a leader in innovation—one that takes advantage of advancements in digital technology in meaningful and fully integrated ways? February 2019 Educational Leadership explores how school leaders can go beyond surface-level, patchwork upgrades and implement new technology in ways that deepen learning and better support students.