Format Type: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In 1997, AEL, a regional educational laboratory, invited more than 100 people from 18 primarily rural school communities in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia to join the QUEST network, a 3-year program dedicated to building quality learning communities that support high levels of student and adult performance. School stories from this experience constitute the bulk of this book, which is intended to be a practical resource for individuals seeking to improve their own school communities. The book is organized around the four major constructs of the framework used for continuous school improvement: broadening the learning community, sharing leadership for learning, enriching the learning culture, and enabling SMART learners. SMART stands for successful, motivated, autonomous, responsible, and thoughtful, and is a vital part of the QUEST network's vision for teaching and learning. SMART takes the emphasis away from rote memorization and the accompanying passive learning behavior. In addition to the school stories, each chapter presents questions to elicit readers' thinking regarding topics to be explored; descriptions of tools and strategies; annotations of useful books, Web sites, and other resources; and questions to assist readers in assessing their schools' Improvement Quotient (IQ). Five appendices present participating schools, Quest scholars, sample observation forms, SMART parenting excerpts, and summaries of six "thinking hats." (Contains 128 references.) (TD).