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The Instructional Leader and the Brain
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The Instructional Leader and the Brain
Using Neuroscience to Inform Practice



September 2011 | 208 pages | Corwin
This book will provide information and insight to educational leaders that will enhance their ability to lead, guide, and support the classroom teacher. These insights will be provided through an examination of five neuroscience principles. Readers will be given opportunities not only to find overt links to how these principles unfold in classrooms, staff rooms, and board rooms, but will also be encouraged to find connections to their own unique contexts (both professionally and personally) along the way. Each of the five principles presented will include information about the neuroscience behind the principle. Focus questions and real stories will be used to clarify the context of each principle. These anecdotes will include examples of how we see and experience these principles in action. Specific strategies of how the principle might be exemplified in a K-12 school setting will be included. At certain points throughout the book, content questions will be posed to assist the reader in their own processing and understanding of this complex material.
 
Foreword by Pat Wolfe
 
Preface - Brain Compatible Instructional Leadership
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
Instructional Leaders

 
Knowledge and Skills

 
Why This Book? Why Now?

 
What Makes This Book Unique?

 
Organization of the Book

 
 
1. A Brain Primer – Major Structures and Their Functions
Brain Hemispheres

 
The Cortex

 
The Cerebellum

 
Brainstem

 
Lobes of the Brain

 
Frontal Lobes

 
Parietal Lobes

 
Motor Strip

 
Somatosensory Strip

 
Temporal Lobes

 
Occipital Lobes

 
Cellular Brain

 
Plasticity’s Role in Instructional Leadership

 
Mindsets and Instructional Leadership

 
How Might the Instructional Leader Support a Teacher Struggling with these Principles?

 
Celebrate What You Want to See More Of

 
Using The Survey

 
Survey for Brain-Compatible Instructional Leadership

 
 
2. Emotions
How Insults Affect Thinking

 
The Transformative Power of Positive Emotions

 
How Anxiety Can Curtail Clear Thinking

 
Neuroscience behind emotions

 
The Limbic Region – The Role of the Amygdala and Hippocampus

 
Fast v. Slow Pathway – (Fight or Flight v. Thoughtful Response)

 
Negative Emotions Impact in a School Setting

 
Positive Emotions in a School Setting

 
How to use this as an Instructional Leader

 
Positive Emotional Valance in a Classroom

 
Modeling of Healthy Emotional Responses

 
Language’s Link to Emotions

 
Emotions and Supervising Teachers

 
School-wide Structures that Promote Positive Emotional Valance

 
Professional Development on Emotions – Inform and Teach

 
Connecting Instructional Leader Knowledge and Skill Sets to Emotions Impact On Learning

 
Resource Provider

 
Instructional Resource

 
Good Communicator

 
Sample Observation of How a Teacher Embeds the Principle

 
What are Some of the Things the Teacher did that Exemplified an Understanding of How Emotions Impact Learning?

 
Ideas for Teachers to Increase EQ in their Classrooms

 
Class Meetings

 
Teaching Students About Their Brains

 
Sam’s Circles

 
Chapter Summary

 
Post-Assessment Chapter 2 – Emotions Impact on Learning

 
Questions for Study Group

 
 
3. Attention and Engagement
How does understanding how attention and engagement work help an instructional leader?

 
Inattention subterfuge

 
Flow

 
Attention v. Engagement

 
Attention and Engagement Similarities

 
Attention

 
Engagement

 
ADD/ADHD and Attention

 
Qualities of Engaging Work

 
Personal Response

 
Personal response in the Classroom

 
Personal response in the Staffroom

 
Clear Models

 
Clear Models in the Classroom

 
Clear Models in the Staffroom

 
Emotional Safety

 
Emotional Safety in the Classroom

 
Emotional Safety in the Staffroom

 
Intellectual Safety

 
Intellectual Safety in the Classroom

 
Intellectual Safety in the Staffroom

 
Learning With Others

 
Learning with Others in the Classroom

 
Learning with Others in the Staffroom

 
Feedback

 
Feedback in the Classroom

 
Feedback in the Staffroom

 
Sense of Audience

 
Sense of Audience in the Classroom

 
Sense of Audience in the Staffroom

 
Choice

 
Choice in the Classroom

 
Choice in the Staffroom

 
Variety

 
Variety in the Classroom

 
Variety in the Staffroom

 
Authenticity

 
Authenticity in the Classroom

 
Authenticity in the Staffroom

 
Rigor

 
Rigor in the Classroom

 
Rigor in the Staffroom

 
Sense of Competence

 
Sense of Competence in the Classroom

 
Sense of Competence in the Staffroom

 
Meaning and Relevance

 
Meaning and Relevance in the Classroom

 
Meaning and Relevance in the Staffroom

 
Connecting Instructional Leader Knowledge and Skill Sets to Attention and Engagement

 
Resource Provider

 
Instructional Resource

 
Good Communicator

 
Professional Development for Attention and Engagement

 
What to Look For in a Lesson Plan?

 
Sample Observation of a Teacher who Understands the Principle

 
What are some of the Things the Teacher Did to Take Advantage of Attention and Engagement?

 
Chapter Summary

 
Post Assessment Chapter 3 – Attention and Engagement

 
Questions for Study Group

 
 
4. The Power Processing
The Effects of Sensory Overload on Processing

 
Things that Inhibit Processing

 
Processing that Seems Effortless

 
Two Filters to Consider – Relevance and Environment

 
The Neuroscience Behind Processing – An Analogy

 
Brain Structures, Functions and Processing

 
Planning for Processing

 
Results of Effective Processing

 
What to Look For in Classrooms: Student Processing

 
The Use of Multiple Modalities

 
The Use of Specific Structures that Enhance Processing

 
Thinking Maps

 
Classroom Structures that Aid Processing

 
Using Drawing for Processing

 
Kinesthetic Structures for Processing

 
Computer-Assisted Processing

 
Time for Processing

 
Proof of Processing

 
Promising Practices with Professional Development

 
What to Look for In a Lesson Plan

 
Lesson Plans, Unit Plans and Curriculum that Attends to Processing

 
Connecting Instructional Leader Knowledge and Skill Sets to Understanding Processing

 
Resource Provider

 
Instructional Resource

 
Good Communicator

 
Sample Observation of How a Teacher Embeds the Principle

 
What are some of the Things the Teacher did to Take Advantage of How We Process?

 
Chapter Summary

 
Post Assessment Chapter 4 – The Power of Processing

 
Questions for Study Group

 
 
5. Feedback
How Understanding Feedback Helps the Instructional Leader

 
Untimely Feedback

 
Feedback that Encourages and Motivates

 
What is Feedback?

 
What’s Going on in Our Brains During Feedback?

 
Tight and Loose Feedback

 
Correlation Between Amount of Feedback and Distance to Learning Goal

 
Different Kinds of Feedback

 
Written Feedback

 
Demonstration for Feedback

 
Elements of Effective Feedback

 
Emotional Valance of Feedback

 
Feedback in the Staffroom

 
Giving Feedback on Instruction

 
Feedback Regarding Professionalism

 
Methods of Feedback in Classrooms

 
Rubrics are Brain-Compatible

 
Models for Feedback

 
Using Rubrics for Feedback With Teachers

 
What to Look for in the Classroom

 
Student to Student Feedback

 
Learning Progressions

 
Feedback During Instruction

 
Individual White Boards and Feedback

 
Student Response Systems

 
I-Clickers

 
Five-Finger Rubrics

 
The Magic of the Dot

 
Checklist Provide Feedback

 
Reflections for Feedback

 
Professional Development for Teaching About Feedback

 
What to Look for in a Lesson Plan

 
Connecting Instructional Leader Knowledge and Skill Sets to Understanding Feedback

 
Resource Provider

 
Instructional Resource

 
Good Communicator

 
Sample Observation of How a Teacher Embeds the Principle

 
What Are Some of the Things the Teacher Did to Take Advantage of Giving and Getting Feedback?

 
Chapter Summary

 
Post Assessment Chapter 5 – Feedback

 
Questions for Study Group

 
 
6. Memory
How Understanding How Memory Works Helps the Instructional Leader

 
Unconscious Memory

 
Remembering – Even When You Don’t Want To

 
Remembering After Decades

 
What is Memory?

 
Timing Issues

 
Amount of Information Issue – M-Space and Chunking

 
How Does Memory Work?

 
Different Memory Systems – Declarative and Non-Declarative

 
Declarative Memory

 
Declarative Memories’ Subgroups – Semantic and Episodic

 
Semantic Memory

 
Episodic Memories

 
Non-Declarative (procedural, emotional, automatic response)

 
Procedural Memories

 
Emotional Memories

 
Automatic Responses

 
Some Things that Help Us Remember

 
Why and How do We Forget? The Seven Sins of Memory

 
Sample Observation of How a Teacher Embeds the Principle

 
What are Some Things the Teacher Did to Take Advantage of Memory Systems in this Example?

 
Connecting Instructional Leader Knowledge and Skill Sets to Understanding How Memory Works

 
Resource Provider

 
Instructional Resource

 
Good Communicator

 
Chapter Summary

 
Post Assessment Chapter 6 – Memory

 
Questions for Study Group

 
 
Endnote
 
Index

"This book combines information about how the brain functions with brain-compatible strategies into one resource that educators can use to transform classrooms into brain-compatible learning places."

Leslie Standerfer, Principal
Estrella Foothills High School, Goodyear, AZ

"The book ties together strategies and best practices with the six guiding principles of brain function. Margaret Glick explains these complex concepts in language that is easy to understand. Educational leaders will find that Brain-Compatible Leadership validates what they are already doing right, and offers numerous new ideas to try with their students and staff."

Julie Prescott, Assessment Coordinator
Vallivue High School Caldwell, ID

"Glick offers a unique approach to educational leadership development, as she brings the study of neuroscience to the field of learning. Complex brain actions for learning are explained in concise terms and understandable images. Application of how the brains of adults and children learn is woven into the chapters with practical classroom and staff room designs."

Pamela Nevills, Author
Fallbrook, CA

"This book peels back the layers of the complex work of instructional leadership to the inner core of its five most important principles. Margaret Glick is adept at aligning each of these critical principles to strategies of effective practice as they would look in the classroom and the staff room."

Ellen Lugo, Director of Learning & Teaching
Ontario Montclair School District, CA

“In her book, Glick strikes a harmonious chord by blending research about the brain with actions adults should take when preparing children for a meaningful future. Her analysis and application of information in and around processing and feedback are simply outstanding.” 

George Zimmer, Superintendent and Lynette Zimmer, Superintendent
Richmond School District, Sussex, WI and Consolidated School District 46, Crystal Lake, IL

"Brain Compatible Instructional Leadership brings brain research into the staffroom of the American schoolhouse. Margaret Glick provides a concise and up-to-date look at the latest and best research about how the brain works in both children and adults. The author revisits the work of multiple experts and varied sources and synthesizes the work into a practical application for teachers, teacher leaders, and school administrators."

John Antonetti, Senior Consultant
Colleagues on Call, Phoenix, AZ

"This is a clear, concise book that provides brain research background knowledge along with classroom applications and leadership strategies to enhance and monitor classroom instruction. There are many strategies a leader can use in PLCs, individual teacher supervision, and school-wide processes. This book has a good mix of theory and practical applications."

William Sommers, Principal
Spring Lake Park, MN

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