As a member of this Online Book Club, you are expected to post to the book blog at least once per week between now and July 11 -- that's six weeks. You should finish your book before then, and you will meet during the Institute in your groups to extend the discussion and plan how to present the book to the others in the Institute.

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

You can be a deviant, too

When asked to summarize this book, I will forefront it's focus on Common Core. More a handbook on navigation than an overt argument in favor of CCSS, the authors guide readers in connecting the dots between standards and best practice, emphasizing all along the agency of the teacher (138).

In the book's concluding chapter, the authors mention use the term positive deviance to describe the behavior of changing something from the inside, using what's available rather than more top-down, externally driven revisions. As it pertains to us, positive deviance means collaboration in groups like the Writing Project to identify and implement those uncommonly good ideas for getting our students writing, reading, speaking and listening effectively, and the unscripted CCSS allow us this latitude. 

Sure, the book collects many "uncommonly good ideas" ideas, like developing teacher questions along with student questions to guide lesson planning and teacher-teacher collaboration, modeling effective and ineffective peer responses, and capitalizing on student interest and authentic audiences to promote student collaboration (all from ch. 5). But more so, its case studies and commentaries thereof provide readers a pattern for using CCSS as a springboard for inquiry and exploration to maximize what works for their students. It's certainly helped me reflect on my practices and prepare some ideas for our action inquiry. 

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