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Invest in Teachers, Focus on Learning, and Put Test Scores in Perspective

Other Titles in:
Education | School Management

May 2012 | 176 pages | Corwin

Put the focus of education back where it belongs—on learning!

Do you feel bogged down by endless administrative tasks? Do you wish you could focus more on what truly matters—learning? Learnership provides both insight and solutions for moving past the distractions and becoming a learning leader. Cathy Toll illustrates this transformational process through activities and focused "learning conversations."

Toll uses supported actions, theory and research, real-life stories, and narrative bibliography to explain how the practice of learnership can be implemented on a daily basis. This book offers:

  • Practices to help teachers improve their effectiveness using problem-solving techniques
  • More effective ways to approach data, testing, and accountability
  • Strategies for supporting Professional Learning Teams (PLT) and educational coaches

Learnership is an invaluable resource for principals and teachers in school-based leadership roles, or anyone who wishes to focus on school improvement and their own personal growth as a leader in education.

List of Figures
About the Author
1. Introduction to Learnership
Felicia Robertson, Washington Intermediate School

Gordon Fielding, Centerville High School

The Difference

2. Look for Learning
Teacher Learning as a Path to Student Learning

How to Look for Learning

Principals as Learning Leaders


3. Understand Learning
Systems Learn

Shifts in Identity

Shifting Perspectives


4. Inquire into Learning

Sources of Information

Contradictory Claims

Differing Viewpoints



Data Redux

A Role for Principals


5. Put Test Scores in Perspective
Mile Markers on the Journey

What Information?

Information of Greater Value

So What?

Principal Attention to Student Learning

Teacher Learning

Teacher Supervision

These Curious Times


6. Influence Learning

Tune In to Disequilibrium

More on the Question

Prompt Disequilibrium

Processes that Enhance Learning


7. Support Learning
Educational Coaching

Professional Learning Teams

Principal Leadership


Frequently Asked Questions
Narrative Bibliography

“Administrators will find this book to be a useful tool in working with their staffs to encourage 'Learnership' throughout their buildings.”

Nancy M. Betler, Talent Development Facilitator and National Academic League Commissioner
Eastover Elementary, Charlotte, NC

“In Learnership, Cathy Toll reminds us that we didn’t get into the teaching profession to make 'data-driven decisions' and shows how starting with an issue and 'thinking data' can enhance learning. This book came at the perfect time in my career. It’s a book I’ll keep around to reference & refuel.”

Andrew Goodin, Chemistry Teacher
Soldan International, St. Louis, MO

“Cathy Toll makes a contribution in the professional field and calls educators to focus on student learning instead of data and instruction as the tools for student learning.”

Patricia J. Burke, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
Freeport School District, IL
Key features
As the pressure on educators increases and teachers and administrators become more exhausted, we have no time to spare. Therefore, I have written this book to prompt immediate shifts in what you think, do, and believe. Each chapter title begins with a verb, because I want readers to learn steps that they can take immediately, from the very first chapter. Beyond action, though, I want to help you understand why particular actions make sense. Therefore, I'll support suggested actions with examples and bits of theory and research. For those who want to read more about any particular idea, I have provided a narrative bibliography at the back of the book. In this way, each chapter is highly approachable and quick to read, without many citations to disrupt the text, yet the bibliography discusses further resources for those who want to learn more.

Throughout, I'll provide stories to serve as examples and to promote quicker learning on the part of the reader. These stories are based in the real-life experiences of educators, including myself, but the "facts" of each situation are changed to adequately honor confidentiality. Thus, you can trust that the stories are based in reality but do not betray any one situation. T

he book has charts, sidebars, and lists to make key ideas more visible and to provide helpful examples. It also has a FAQ—Frequently Asked Questions—section at the end, to provide practical answers to questions that readers may raise, and a narrative bibliography to provide additional resources on ideas mentioned but not central to the main part of the text.

This book will enable you to:
  • Lead learning in your school, district, or classroom.
  • Do what you intended to do when you set out to be an educator.
  • Ensure that the children in your trust are benefitting from all that an education can offer.

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: Introduction to Learnership

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ISBN: 9781452216461
CAD$ 54.95

For large school/district orders, volume discounts, availability and shipping times contact customer service at 800-233-9936

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