7 September, Singapore
About Megan Tschannen-Moran
Megan Tschannen-Moran is a Professor of Educational Leadership at William & Mary School of Education. Growing out of her fourteen years of experience as the founding principal of a school serving a primarily low-income and minority student population in a distressed neighborhood of Chicago, she is motivated to work at the intersection of theory and practice so that schools grow in their capacity to serve all students well.
Her research and scholarly publications focus on relationships of trust in school settings and how these are related to important outcomes such as the collective efficacy beliefs of a school faculty, teacher professionalism, and student achievement. Her book Trust Matters: Leadership for Successful Schools 2nd Ed. (2014, Jossey-Bass) reports the experience of three principals and the consequences of their successes and failures to build trust. Another line of research examines teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and the relationship of those beliefs to teacher behavior and student outcomes.
Together with her husband Bob, she has published two books on coaching. Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a Time 2nd Ed.(2020, Corwin) equips those who coach teachers to improve instruction, while Evoking Greatness: Coaching to Bring Out the Best in Educational Leaders (2017, Corwin) supports those who coach building level and central office leaders. Both present a person-centered, no-fault, strengths-based model for supporting professional learning.
Recently, Dr. Tschannen-Moran and her students have developed a new measure of school climate, the Vibrant School Scale, that assesses the aspirations of educational leaders, teachers, students, and parents for schools that cultivate enlivened minds (e.g., curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking), emboldened voice (e.g., democratic decision processes that include teachers, students, and parents), and playful learning.
Coaching for Vibrant Schools: Building Trust, Nurturing Empathy,
Celebrating Success, and Fostering Collective Efficacy
Educators around the world are coming to the same frustrating conclusion, that translating policy initiatives conceived in the minds of policymakers, leaders, and powerbrokers into real changes in classroom instruction is by no means a straightforward or an easy task (Reimers, 2020). Around the globe there are abundant examples of initiatives that were unveiled with great fanfare, only to peter out before they made any real difference in the daily experience of students in classrooms. Instructional coaching is increasingly being recognized as a powerful intervention for supporting teachers to adopt new forms of instruction designed to cultivate the kinds of skills and abilities required for a changing world. But not all coaching is equally effective. Coaches who do not take the time to build trust and rapport with those who they purport to support, who lack empathy for the struggles the teachers face, and who continually hammer away at teachers’ deficiencies are doomed to fail. They will inevitably stir up the twin enemies of change: resentment and resistance. The evocative coaching model equips school leaders and coaches with concrete tools for fostering productive, growth-fostering relationships with the teachers they coach. Educating students for deeper learning and 21st century skills (Pellegrino & Hilton, 2012), including the intrapersonal skills, interpersonal skills, cognitive skills, and values and attitudes that they will need to succeed in a 21st century economy requires new roles for teachers and students alike. Coaches must build trust and extend empathy to teachers if we hope to create a context where teachers are willing to take the risks that new practices will entail. Discovering, celebrating, and building upon teachers’ successes will help generate collective efficacy beliefs that will generate the motivation and enthusiasm needed to foster vibrant learning communities in schools. We stand at a moment both of great promise as well as enormous challenge. In this session, we will explore a set of tools to capitalize on the possibility of sparking dramatic change in schools while navigating the many inequities and problems that this devastating pandemic has brought to light.
Pellegrino, J. W., & Hilton, M. L. (2012). Education for life and work: transferable knowledge and skills for the 21st century. doi 10.17226/13398, http://nap.edu/13398
Reimers, F. M. (2020). Empowering Teachers to Build a Better World How Six Nations Support Teachers for 21st Century Education, Springer https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-981-15-2137-9