Big Ideas
Chapter: Executive Summary

Eight Recurring Themes from the Network’s Most Transformational Classrooms Can Challenge and Improve Our Training & Support Models

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-9-32-23-pmAcross cultural, geographical and political boundaries, classrooms that are putting marginalized children on enduring paths to self-determined opportunity and leadership have striking similarities.  We—a small team at Teach For All—have the ridiculous privilege of looking for recurring patterns across those classrooms.

This “provocation paper” calls out eight patterns we see in those classrooms that we believe challenge many of our network partners’ training and support models.  These eight themes, which show up over and over in the most transformational classrooms we find across the network, are often absent (or muted) in our programmatic frameworks:

    • Orientation to Vision

    • Relationships

    • Reflection

    • Identity, Culture & Privilegep1180371final

    • Mindsets

    • Content Rigor & Mastery

    • Metacognitive Learning & Growth

    • Student Leadership

The premise of this provocation paper is that if these themes are “loud” in our strongest classrooms but “quiet” in our teacher support models, we need to take a critical look at our teacher support models.

Of course, there are a number of themes that characterize transformational classrooms that ARE often reflected in our training and support models.

Keep in mind that the list of eight themes above is not the full list of recurring patterns in the classrooms we are studying.  We see other recurring themes that do often appear in our training and support models, offering validation of those models:

    • The Role of High Expectations

    • Locus of Control

    • Culture of Achievement/ Investment

    • Backwards Planning

    • Objective-driven Implementation

    • Rigorous Engagement with Challenging Content


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