Index
Excellent Teaching and Learning Every Day

The Principal Story Learning Guide

To advance the professional learning of aspiring and current school leaders

The Principal Story

Unit 2: Creating a climate hospitable to education



Purpose: Unit 2 gives participants an opportunity to identify principal behaviors that contribute to a healthy instructional climate. Such behaviors include developing an atmosphere of caring and trust, focusing on instruction, and building a sense of school community. Approximate Time: 4.5 – 5.25 hours.


 

Facilitators: Adult learning professionals may use this web-based learning tool in principal preparation courses or in workplace study sessions. Facilitators may encourage participants to take advantage of the writable PDFs to record and save their responses. For onsite study groups or classes, the facilitator may choose to print relevant worksheets and provide them to participants. Depending on class structure and learning goals, facilitators will use these tools to provide group and individual learning experiences within the following structure:

     Consider ideas and connect with others
   Watch the film clip
   Read the excerpt
   Complete the activities

 

 


 

Consider ideas and connect with others

 

Before viewing the documentary film clip, think about the role of a school principal in creating a climate hospitable to education. Independently, respond to questions on the worksheet and exchange responses with a partner. Connect with others, if applicable, to discuss common themes.

  1. Describe the relationship between a positive, hospitable climate and student achievement.
  2. What does it mean for principals to create a climate hospitable to education?
  3. What examples or results of such a climate can you share from your own experience?

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Watch the film clip

View a clip on creating an environment hospitable to education to see research in practice. Use the Big ideas chart to guide note-taking while viewing.

Observe principals Tresa Dunbar (Nash Elementary) and Kerry Purcell (Harvard Park) grapple with balancing student discipline with the need to nurture children and give them the means to a successful future. [Time: 7 minutes, 22 seconds]



 

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Read the excerpt

Excerpt from: The School Principal as Leader: Guiding Schools to Better Teaching and Learning (The Wallace Foundation, 2013), 8–9.

The Wallace Foundation research and work on school leadership since 2000 suggests that principals must become “leaders of learning who can develop a team delivering effective instruction.” This skill set entails five key, interrelated responsibilities. One responsibility is “creating a climate hospitable to education in order that safety, a cooperative spirit and other foundations of fruitful interaction prevail. Read more...

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Complete the activities

Working in small groups or at their own pace, learners observe, discuss, engage, and reflect on the ideas and information presented in the film clips and related materials. Follow these links to tools that include writable PDF files to support this work.

     Activity 1: Discover personal assumptions
   Activity 2: Review research
   Activity 3: Link research with practice
   Activity 4: Take action
   Activity 5: Reflect


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