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Advancing equity

By Jill Harrison Berg and Sonia Caus Gleason
October 2018
Vol. 39 No. 5

The article “Come together for equity” on pp. 24-27 highlights the importance of engaging educators in examining beliefs, practices, and systems that support or hinder all students’ opportunities to learn. In the pages that follow, we present a tool that can help education leaders and professional learning specialists assess whether and how they are creating space for this work and brainstorm additional ways to prioritize it.

This tool is designed to help you think about both the content of professional learning (whether and how it addresses beliefs, practices, and systems) and the contexts (individual, team, or whole-school professional learning). Schools are often challenged to balance many contexts and needs for professional learning, and the challenge is especially acute when it comes to advancing equity because the process requires ongoing inquiry into personal beliefs, a commitment to expanding one’s repertoire of professional practices, and constant collaboration to develop student-centered systems. It requires a strategic approach to professional learning.

To create and implement such an approach, we encourage you to consider each professional learning context and content area in turn. This tool has three separate sections focused on individual learning, team learning, and whole-school learning. Each provides space for considering beliefs, practices, and systems, including where your school’s opportunities stand now and how they can be improved moving forward.

After you complete the three sections, we encourage you to consider the reflection questions in Part 2 in order to compare across the three contexts and consider all of your efforts as a whole.

Download pdf here.



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Jill Harrison Berg is a leadership coach, school improvement consultant, researcher, and writer committed to maximizing the leadership potential of teachers. Berg is the author of Leading in Sync: Teacher Leaders and Principals Working Together for Student Learning (ASCD, 2018). Her monthly column, “Leading Together,” in ASCD’s Educational Leadership magazine aims to heighten leaders’ attention to the complementary roles that teacher leaders and administrators must play in restructuring and re-culturing schools for equity and excellence.

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Sonia Caus Gleason consults and coaches on collaborative adult learning and measurement efforts that pursue equity, innovation, and continuous improvement.


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