The Webster Groves School District community is committed to academic and personal success for every student.
Realizing that a Responsive Teaching (Differentiation) focus is an investment in developing high quality, effectual teachers, and understanding that the task of fostering effectively differentiated classrooms is an exacting and complex endeavor, the Webster Groves School District is committed to pursuing and sustaining this effort. The following enduring understandings provide a focus:
Defining RESPONSIVE TEACHING (DIFFERENTIATION)
Responsive Teaching (Differentiation) represents a fundamentally important philosophy of instruction and systemic delivery of effective, high-quality teaching practices that reach all learners. It puts forward an important conversation that re-examines teaching methodologies for the purpose of improving academic performance for all students by increasing the ability of classroom teachers to purposefully deliver instruction for the naturally occurring diversity of skills and characteristics of students in their class. As an idea and an innovation, Responsive Teaching (Differentiation) attempts to improve student achievement by paying careful attention to students' unique characteristics. The distinctive nature of each student - cognitive, cultural, social and emotional characteristics - explains differences. Knowledge of these differences including such things as students' prior knowledge, learning profiles, and readiness, justifies modifying curriculum components, instruction approaches, and classroom environments to connect students with their learning.
The importance of Responsive Teaching (Differentiation) is that:
Essential Aspects of RESPONSIVE TEACHING (DIFFERENTIATION)
Along with defining Responsive Teaching (Differentiation) is the importance of identifying and describing various support systems that ultimately define the success of implementing principles and practices of Responsive Teaching (Differentiation). These factors serve to foresee the impact and longevity of the initiative.
CAPACITY BUILDING : Professional Development for RESPONSIVE TEACHING (DIFFERENTIATION)
The WGSD is committed to understanding and implementing a Responsive Teaching (Differentiation) focus for teaching and learning. A plan for capacity building professional development will support this commitment.
Defining CAPACITY BUILDING
CAPACITY BUILDING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN
A Teacher Leader Academy - Best Practices in Responsive Teaching (Differentiation) will be developed. The participants will include teacher representatives from each school who will work closely with the building principals, the district Curriculum & Instruction Department and the district Professional Development Committee (PDC) to plan implementation strategies, facilitate professional development with colleagues, and lead the charge in learning and implementing new strategies that supports Responsive Teaching (Differentiation). The team will participate in an intensive Responsive Teaching (Differentiation) and coaching training, beginning in the summer of year one (2008) to be completed the summer of the following year (2009). Full implementation at the building level will begin with the 09-10 school year.
Characteristics of TEACHER LEADER ACADEMY Participant
Benefits to the TEACHER LEADER ACADEMY Participant
Building the District Teacher Leader Academy - Best Practices in Responsive Teaching (Differentiation) *
EXAMINING PROCESS AND OUTCOMES: Professional Development for RESPONSIVE TEACHING (DIFFERENTIATION)
A commitment to meaningful evaluation exists throughout the growth process toward systemic change related to responsive teaching (differentiation). Evaluation of the process and outcomes include examining the following:
Adapted from Tomlinson, C.A., & Allan, S. D. (2000). Leadership for differentiating schools and classrooms. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.