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Nashville, Tenn.
June 26-28, 2015
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2015 ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence

2015 ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence

June 2628, 2015
Nashville, Tenn.

Invest in the power of great instruction and learn how to leverage it in classrooms and school districts.



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Enhancing Student Achievement

by Charlotte Danielson

Table of Contents

Chapter 2. What We Believe

An essential “filter” for a school's operations is its belief structure—the guiding principles that influence all aspects of its program. Some of these beliefs are grounded in research; others are not. Whatever the case, beliefs guide the thinking not only of school staff, but of students and parents as well; when stated explicitly, beliefs can fuel a school's vision, enabling all in the school to come together around a common purpose.

The beliefs held by staff cast a very long shadow over school practices. In fact, in order to create a school in which all students fulfill their learning potential, the school staff must accept a certain set of beliefs and perspectives regarding the school, its culture, and its students, and must implement policies and practices based on those beliefs. If educators approach challenges in a fatalistic, rather than problem-solving, manner—if they take the view, for example, that “these kids just aren't good in math”—then their students will almost certainly fail.


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