Small schools educators, activists and researchers will want to read Against the Odds: Insights from One District's Small School Reform. The district is Mapleton, Colorado and Larry Cuban and his team have put together a good, readable, qualitative study. I even have a back-cover blurb which reads, "It's all there--struggle, resistance, leadership issues, the muscle foundations, parents, and community engagement. Against the Odds is a great resource for the small schools movement.”
The Strive of It
One of my favorite writers (people), Kathleen Cushman, has a great piece in the current Educational Leadership, "The Strive of It." It's all about practice, practice, practice--maybe not Alan Iverson's favorite topic, but the road to expertise for young learners. The Practice Project opens up real possibilities for teachers who are struggling to engage young students, capture their interests, and building expertise based on the habits of experts.
We discovered a great deal about why young people engage deeply in work that challenges them. And as we analyzed their experiences, the kids and I also began to think differently about what goes on in schools. Could what these young people already understood about practice also apply to their academic learning? Could teachers build on kids' strengths and affinities, coaching them in the habits of experts?