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Minding the Future
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Minding the Future
Revitalizing Learning Cultures Through Teacher Leadership

A joint publication with Learning Forward



September 2018 | 168 pages | Corwin

Harness the power of teacher collaboration and engagement to see real results for students! 

Welcome to Transform Academy, where committed teachers become teacher leaders, empowered to revitalize learning cultures while keeping the future in mind. This boundary-breaking professional-learning process—centered on teacher voice and grounded in foundations of collaboration and data-informed planning—challenges schools to move beyond accountability standards and toward innovative learning that ignites student engagement. 

As you follow the story of Transform Academy, you’ll find accompanying action steps to help you implement the process, along with strategies to inspire personalized instruction and redesign learning environments. Other supports include: 

  • Detailed and inspiring vignettes
  • Relevant research connections
  • Questions for discussion
  • Activities and prompts for individuals and teams
  • Links to professional-learning standards 

Follow Transform Academy’s journey of discovery, and see the results for yourself.

Minding the Future outlines a very clear framework for how a school might reimagine professional learning in support of results for students. What’s especially helpful are the tools and resources that will help educators through every step of the process. Thank you for bringing this great resource to the field!  
Frederick Brown, Deputy Executive Director, 
Learning Forward 


If you’ve been searching for proven strategies on creating a vision, planning, and establishing a learning culture ready for transformation, this is it. Written with knowledge only gained from experience, Minding the Future presents readers with clear plans, brought to life with anecdotes and stories, to lead their own professional learning transformations. This book is for educators wishing to embrace the future head-on and hand in hand!
Linda Macias, Associate Superintendent, 
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Houston, TX
   

 
 
PREFACE
Professional Learning to Inspire Vision and Voice  
Audience  
Transform Academy Design  
Who We Are  
Organization of This Book  
 
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
 
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
 
Introduction to the Transform Academy
Scope, Purpose, and Goals  
Transform Academy Design: Informing Our Driving Vision  
Participant Selection  
Transform Academy at a Glance  
Becoming Comfortable With the Unknown  
 
CHAPTER 1. Is Your Learning Culture Ready to Transform? Academy Pre-Session
Ask the Teachers  
Establishing Your Vision for the Future  
Essential Aspects of a Learning Culture Ready to Transform  
Framework for Transforming a Learning Culture  
Planning and Chronicling Your Transform Academy  
Differentiated Approaches for Professional Learning  
Key Ideas  
Discussion Questions  
Transform Academy Pre-Session Activities  
Suggested Action Items  
 
CHAPTER 2. Developing Collaborative Innovators: Session 1
Culture of Innovation: How Do You Define It?  
Becoming a Collaborative Innovator  
Professional Learning for Transform Academy Session 1  
Key Ideas  
Discussion Questions  
Transform Academy Session 1 Activities  
Suggested Action Items  
 
CHAPTER 3. Teacher Voice: Session 2
Celebrating Teacher Innovation  
Three Components of an Emerging Vision  
Inspiring Teacher Voice  
Teacher Leadership  
Collaborative Innovator Mindset  
How Mindsets Influence Teacher Voice  
Professional Learning for Transform Academy Session 2  
Developing Teacher Voice  
Tapping Student Potential: It’s Time!  
Key Ideas  
Discussion Questions  
Transform Academy Session 2 Activities  
Suggested Action Items  
 
CHAPTER 4. Open Permission to Dream: Sessions 3–6
If Only We Could . . .  
Opening the Doors to Dreaming  
Research and Risk Taking  
Field Trips, Conferences, and Experts  
Implementing New Learning Standards  
Professional Learning for Transform Academy Sessions 3–6  
Key Ideas  
Discussion Questions  
Transform Academy Sessions 3–6 Activities  
Suggested Action Items  
 
CHAPTER 5. Flexible Learning Environments: Session 7
Now Ask the Students  
Promoting Differentiated Innovative Ideas  
Encouraging Student Voice and Choice  
Student Learning Communities and Personalized Learning  
Classrooms Growing Toward Flexible Learning Environments  
Professional Learning for Transform Academy Session 7  
Key Ideas  
Discussion Questions  
Transform Academy Session 7 Activities  
Suggested Action Items  
 
CHAPTER 6. Student-Led Learning: Session 8
Teachers Learn to Code  
Fostering Student-Led Learning  
Essentials for Implementing Student-Led Learning  
Professional Learning for Transform Academy Session 8  
Key Ideas  
Discussion Questions  
Transform Academy Session 8 Activities  
Suggested Action Items  
 
CHAPTER 7. Sustaining the Momentum: Session 9
Welcome to the Learning Fair  
Multi-Year Planning Cycle  
The Significance of the Learning Fair  
Key Ideas  
Discussion Questions  
Transform Academy Session 9 Activities  
Suggested Action Items  
 
CHAPTER 8. Parting Thoughts
Open Doors and Minds  
Building Your Transform Academy  
 
REFERENCES
 
INDEX

Supplements

The true leaders in education are the ones who have the most direct contact with learners – our teachers. They represent the most significant influencer of student outcomes, which is supported by a vast amount of research. Angie Anderson, Susan Borg, and Stephanie Edgar not only highlight this fact but present strategy after strategy on how to cultivate teacher leadership and leverage its impact to improve learning for all students.

Eric Sheninger, Author and Consultant
Author and Consultant

Minding the Future outlines a very clear framework for how a school might reimagine professional learning in support of results for students. The authors do an excellent job of providing a specific set of strategies to help educators innovate responsibly and transform their teaching. What’s especially helpful are the tools and resources that will help educators through every step of the process. Thank you for bringing this great resource to the field!  

Frederick Brown, Deputy Executive Director, Learning Forward
Learning Forward

If you’ve been searching for proven strategies on creating a vision, planning, and establishing a learning culture ready for transformation, this is it. Real ideas from actual practitioners! Written with knowledge only gained from experience, Minding the Future presents readers with clear plans to lead their own professional learning transformations. The anecdotes and stories happily bring these plans to life. This book is for educators wishing to embrace the future head-on and hand in hand!

Linda Macias, Associate Superintendent, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Houston, TX
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Houston, TX

There is no handbook to transforming school culture. Leaders will need to know their culture and drive meaningful change from the point of their learners. That being said, in Minding the Future, the authors start some very compelling conversations and give practical ways you can initiate, maintain, and adapt the transformation process, leading to amazing learning opportunities for all stakeholders in your organization.

George Couros, Innovative teaching, learning, and leadership consultant and Author of The Innovator’s Mindset
Author and Consultant

Minding the Future encourages communication, collaboration, and problem-solving through the engagement of teachers in professional learning academies that will inspire creativity, risk-taking, and transformation of the learning environment. It is a practical guide to changing the culture of learning in American schools to ensure that all students are future-ready. 

Johnny L. Veselka, Executive Director, retired; Texas Association of School Administrators
(retired) Texas Association of School Administrators

If you have been inspired to ask if there is a better way to approach improvement in our schools and put the focus on learning, this is the book for you. Anderson, Borg, and Edgar provide readers with a plethora of authentic examples that empowers all stakeholders to take action.

Peter DeWitt
Finding Common Ground blog (Education Week)

Minding the Future is a clearly and passionately rendered story of one district’s endeavor to engage teacher leaders in imagining and co-creating learning to ready today’s students for living, learning, and flourishing in constantly changing tomorrows. Both a road map outlining strategically designed professional learning experiences and a travel log taking readers inside the sojourners’ transformed classrooms and schools, this book is an invaluable guidebook for educational leaders seeking to design and lead a similar expedition.    

Jackie A. Walsh, Author and Consultant
Author and Consultant

Written by designers and facilitators of professional learning, these three authors share their thinking behind the Transform Academy—as well as agendas, facilitator notes, and resulting participant actions and reactions. The authors’ enthusiasm and successful design of this year-long academy is conveyed energetically, creating a desire to give their design a try. Knowing that deep and lasting change doesn’t just happen through mandates, these leaders recruited teams (principal and teacher-leaders) from interested schools to establish their vision of a future-ready school. Honing skills of collaboration among adults and students, bringing in teacher and student voice to engage learners, celebrating successes, and planning for sustaining mindsets that change is the only constant in an improving school.   

Beth Sattes, Author and Consultant
Author and Consultant

This book provides practical ways to utilize the presented concepts in an effective and personalized professional development program. It could serve as a model for a strong professional development program that incorporates much collaboration, especially at the local level.

Keith Mason, Curriculum consultant, New Providence, NJ
New Providence, NJ

The authors present a systematic approach to change, as well as the necessary tools, to allow educators to apply this process to their own districts. The stories, examples, and visuals make the work relevant and practical.

Jacie Maslyk, Assistant Superintendent, Hopewell Area School District; Aliquippa, PA
Hopewell Area School District; Aliquippa, PA

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ISBN: 9781544318288