For more information about the toolkit, its origins, or the resources contained here, please contact Shaun Adamec, Director of Strategic Communications for The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, who coordinated its creation.
The following op-eds appeared in newspapers and on websites across northern New England. They cover a wide range of issues but all of them incorporate the framed story of education and learning.
Champlain Valley Union High School: an op-ed about the school’s re-design efforts by Andre LaChance, English teacher and school advisor.
Theordora J. Kalikow, President, University of Southern Maine, weighs in on education reform.
David Theoharides, Superintendent, Sanford School Department in Maine shares his thoughts on proficiency-based graduation requirements.
Tammy Davis, Superintendent, Winnisquam Regional School District in New Hampshire, talks about systemic reform in the first in a series of newspaper columns.
The following documents and links reflect recommendations based on the results of research on how Americans think about education and learning. Understanding what we are up against in the public square is important if we are to overcome the entrenched ways of thinking that will undermine our efforts to move student-centered education forward.
Talking About System Redesign
A set of Talking Points created by the Shaping Our Future Together statewide campaign in Vermont.
Talking About 21st Century Skills
A summary of why the common use of the term“21st century skills” may not help your efforts to build public understanding.
Talking About the Achievement Gap
A summary of how the term “achievement gap” could inadvertently reinforce individual blame and the idea that some are simply more capable than others.
Talking About Equity and Disparities (16:08)
A video about what research has revealed on the gap between expert and public thinking about educational equity, and how to close it.
Talking About School Budgets
A summary of the problems with talking about school budgets in conventional ways and how to get out of common traps.
Talking About Common Core State Standards
One part of an extensive toolkit created by FrameWorks Institute on behalf of the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation.
Talking About Digital Media and Learning
A set of talking points to guide conversations about digital media, and about learning more generally.
Talking About Response to Instruction (RTI)
A graphic describing the Winnisquam Regional School District’s Response to Instruction strategy, a key component of the district’s larger district re-design process.
These documents can help you create well-framed responses to questions about student-centered learning, district/school redesign, and other issues related to education and learning.
FAQs: Vermont’s Changing Education System
Questions and well-framed responses about new, student-centered legislation in Vermont.
FAQs: Digital Media and Learning
Common questions and well-framed responses about learning in general and digital media in particular.
The following brochures and explainers are good models for what districts, schools and non-profit organizations might create to build public understanding of student-centered approaches to learning and system change. Please see Making Original Products for additional examples.
British Columbia’s Education Plan
A description of student-centered learning as articulated by the Ministry of Education in British Columbia, Canada.
Deering High School, Portland Maine
A document that describes the high school’s remodeling efforts and its move toward global education, including its affiliation with the International Studies Schools Network (ISSN).
Winooski Middle High School, Winooski, Vermont
A brief description of the school’s redesign efforts that went home with school progress reports.
The following is a selection of protocols intended to stimulate dialogue in schools and communities. For more information about how best to use them, please consult Dialogue Protocols.
These protocols were all put together by the School Reform Initiative. A full searchable list of all their protocols is available at: www.schoolreforminitiative.org/protocols.
Attributes of a Learning Community
Barriers and Bridges
Constructivist Learning Groups
Critical Friend Conversation
Making Meaning Storytelling
Save the Last Word for Me
Talking Stick Ceremony
The Final Word
The Five Whys
The Four A’s
Three Levels of Text
What’s in a Name
Engagement Streams Framework: National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation
The Coalition’s popular Engagement Streams Framework helps people navigate the range of dialogue and deliberation approaches available to them.
Everyday Democracy: A Guide for Training Public Dialogue Facilitators
This guide, produced by Everyday Democracy, presents proven organizing strategies intended to create large-scale public dialogue leading to changes in community institutions and policies.
Organizing StudyCircles with Young People – A hands-on guide for youth and adults
This guide was produced by the Study Circles Resource Center, a project of the Topsfield Foundation.
Resource Guide on Public Engagement: National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
This guide is a thorough and thoughtful reference for those who want to become oriented to the world of dialogue and deliberation.
Founding a Local Listens Group
New Hampshire Listens, a project of the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire, has created a two-page summary of the common guides principles and practices for effective public engagement.
Top Ten Things to Do When Hosting an Event
New Hampshire Listens has created a handy single-page checklist for facilitators of public conversations.
Fostering Dialogue Across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guide from the Public Conversations Project
A handbook that is geared toward bringing political or ideological adversaries together to engage in constructive conversation, it contains templates and samples that can be easily customized.
Public Engagement: A Primer from Public Agenda
This brief is a cogent summary of the principles, practices and strategies of public engagement—weighing the relative strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.
The Purposes of Education: A Public Agenda Citizen Choicework Guide
Billed as a guide for community conversations, classrooms, study groups and individuals, this document walks readers through a methodology for catalyzing genuine citizen participation in determining educational priorities.
The Skilled Facilitator Approach, Chapter Two – Adapted from the Skilled Facilitator: A Comprehensive Resource for Consultants, Facilitators, Managers, Trainers, and Coaches, New and Revised Edition by Robert Schwartz, Josey-Bass Publishers, 2002
Citizens at the Center: A New Approach to Civic Engagement
This report, funded by the Case Foundation, explores the dimensions of citizen engagement in 21st century America.
Beginning with the End in Mind: A Call for Goal-Driven Deliberative Practice
From Public Agenda’s Center for Advances in Public Engagement, this report reflects on the principles that drive the organization’s practices, along with the goals and consequences of public deliberation.
TOWARD BETTER COMMUNICATION: A Report from MLA Jane Thornthwaite, Parliamentary Secretary for Student Support & Parent Engagement
This report focuses on student support and parent engagement, and was written by the government of the British Columbia, a leader in student-centered practices.
Sustaining Public Engagement: Embedded Deliberation in Local Communities, by Everyday Democracy and the Kettering Foundation.
A report on local deliberations in nine communities across the United States, 2009.
The Future of K-12 Education in Anchorage: Report on Community Conversations for the Mayor’s Education Summit
Viewpoint Learning, Spring 2012.
Moving along the Learning Curve: From Values to Public Judgment, Citizen Dialogues on K-12 Education Reform
Viewpoint Learning, September 2008.
Youth-Adult Partnership Rubric: A Tool for Professional Development and Program Evaluation in Youth Settings, produced by the department of University Outreach and Engagement, Michigan State University
Listening to Student Voices: The Latest in a Series of Reports on the Changing Face of Public Education, June 2005. Students at Avalon High School in St. Paul, Minnesota Examine Their Peer’s Attitudes
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