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Talk About Teaching!
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Talk About Teaching!
Leading Professional Conversations

Second Edition


November 2015 | 160 pages | Corwin

Improve teaching practice through powerful professional conversations!

Move beyond isolated teaching, passive observations, and ineffective workshops to be the leader who engages staff and affirms the value of reflective and informal professional discussions. Launch meaningful conversations and a powerful team of teachers who understand how students learn, what motivates them, and how to implement that research in the classroom. 

Good leaders know that sharing, discussing, and examining teaching practices and student work improves student learning through professional examination, inquiry, and growth. Educators who harness the power of informal professional conversation invite teachers to do the intellectual work needed to connect with students and boost achievement. The second edition of this powerful book includes:

  • A new chapter guiding conversations to align with  new state standards
  • Outlines for specific conversation skills needed to initiate and succeed
  • Mental maps, sample topics, and conversation activities

Read Talk About Teaching! and build a culture of understanding, respect, and empathy that encourages your team to reach for new possibilities. 

"This is a great resource for leaders who regularly facilitate conversations with teachers.  I use it in my graduate class in supervision and strongly recommend that students keep this book as a resource for the future."
Diane Canino Rispoli, Clinical Professor of Educational Leadership and former school leader
Syracuse University, Syracuse NY 

"The book’s major strength is that it combines a discussion of what constitutes good teaching and how to conduct productive professional conversations. This book would be an excellent resource for supervisors and principals."
M. Susan Bolte, Principal
Providence Elementary, Aubrey, TX

 
Acknowledgements
 
About the Author
 
Preface
 
1. Why Professional Conversation?
The Imperative for Improvement in Teaching

 
The Nature of Teacher Learning

 
Promoting Professional Learning Through Conversation

 
Assumptions Underlying Professional Conversations

 
Summary

 
 
2. Power and Leadership in Schools
Overview

 
The Reality of Power

 
Reconciling Power and Leadership

 
Summary

 
 
3. The Big Ideas that Shape Professional Conversations
What Constitutes Important Learning?

 
What Causes Learning?

 
How Are Students Motivated?

 
The Merging of All These Ideas

 
Summary

 
 
4. The Topics for Conversations
Power, Leadership, and the “Big Ideas”

 
Summary

 
 
5. Conversation Skills
Setting the tone for conversation

 
Linguistic Skills

 
Paraphrasing

 
Summary

 
 
6. Informal Professional Conversations
Purpose

 
Settings for Professional Conversations

 
Procedure

 
Summary

 
 
7. Implementation Issues
Finding Time for Conversation

 
Communicating the Purpose

 
Establishing Trust

 
Forging Understanding and Consensus on the “Big Ideas”

 
Elaborating the “Topics for Conversation”

 
Summary

 
 
8. Conversation Activities for Implementation
Establishing the Foundation

 
Communicating the Purpose

 
Establishing Trust

 
The Big Ideas: Considering High-Level Learning

 
How do People Learn?

 
Worthwhile learning experiences

 
Human Motivation

 
Topics for Conversation

 
Summary

 
 
References
 
Index

"The book’s major strength is that it combines a discussion of what constitutes good teaching and how to conduct productive professional conversations. This book would be an excellent resource for supervisors and principals."

 

M. Susan Bolte, Principal
Providence Elementary, Aubrey, TX

"This is a great resource for leaders who regularly facilitate conversations with teachers.  I use it in my graduate class in supervision and strongly recommend that students keep this book as a resource for the future."

Diane Canino Rispoli, Clinical Professor of Educational Leadership and Former School Leader
Syracuse University

"Talk About Teaching! Leading Professional Conversations provides a fine survey of how to encourage professional conversations and discussions about education, and comes from a team of teachers who discuss the basics of connecting with students on a meaningful level. The second edition of this book offers a new chapter on guiding conversations, sample topics and conversation activities, and discussions of how to engage students through conversational approaches and professional practices. From promoting analytic thinking to taking into account what motivates students and affects their actions, Talk About Teaching is for educators who want to open and foster dialogues that support the learning process."

The California Bookwatch: January 2016

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ISBN: 9781483373799
£28.99