Partnership for Whole School Change

A PROGRAM of COOPERATIVE ARTISTS INSTITUTE (CAI)

Our Mission, Vision, and Beliefs


..................................................................................................................................................

 

........OUR MISSION IS TO WORK ........WITH SCHOOL COMMUNITIES ........TO:
  • help them prepare their students to become citizens who can humanely succeed in the global marketplace;
  • transform their school cultures, so they work for and not against the goal of graduating students who can humanely succeed in the global marketplace;
  • create intentional school cultures that empower schools to revolutionize tea- ching and learning. Since most of cul- ture is unconscious, schools need cultures that are intentional, so the light of their members' consciousnesses can shine on what is unconscious or hidden. Lacking this capacity, school members cannot pursue transformational goals or discover and remove the dysfunctional cultural patterns that undermine targeted social groups and hold their schools back. Intentional school cultures give school members the conscious intent or mindfulness to make the cutting edge changes in teaching and learning students and staff need;
  • communicate the following facts to school members, school district, and state educators and administrators. There are no uncultured organizations or humans, therefore, all schools have a culture; all school members are socialized by it, and they add their cultural patterns to it; and no two school cultures are identical.  Each school has a unique configuration or grouping of cultural patterns (e.g., behaviors, feelings, etc.) that constitute an organized whole, and schools that ignore or fail to apply this knowledge constructively will not be successful;

  • use the concept of culture as a comprehensive framework that enable the entire school community to conceptualize their school as a whole while being able to appreciate and work on its many parts. School change strategies that lack this framework cannot help school members perceive, imagine, or work on their school as a whole system;
  • enable schools to fulfill their state and school district mandates and goals. They are a much needed consensus reached by state and local officials that highlight what schools ought to be doing and what students should know.  The PWSC's school coaches and our 35 programs and services make the satisfaction of these mandates and goals an intregal part of each school's transformation process; and
  • establish partnerships and collaborations with: 1) college schools of education to prepare the transformational educators our schools need; 2) government agencies to establish policies that support the development and implementation of a transformational process; 3) education, parents, community, cultural, scientific, social science, technological, and economic organizations to support schools with the resources to develop and implement their school transformational process.


..................................................................................................................................................

        
OUR VISION:
 
Our vision is thousands of America's schools, especially Massachusetts’ schools, modeling for our state and nation the benefits of their intentional school cultures. We see each school culture having the capacity to make needed changes when student, social, and economic needs require it.  When change is needed, we envision schools having the capacity to play a leadership role making the alterations to address challenges that need to be met.  We see this saving billions of dollars and the lives and well-being of millions of students. In these intentional school cultures, we see students being prepared to:

  • humanely succeed in the global marketplace.
  • compete at a world-class level, manage conflicts effectively and humanely, and practice leadership and leadership support. This enables our citizens to become workers and entrepreneurs who are quick and reliable learners and leaders, with the expertise to attract investment and jobs to their communities and state;
  • ascertain where their genius lies, so as workers and entrepreneurs, they will have the talent to create future jobs, industries, art, and progressive civil institutions;
  • build caring and authentic relationships, so when they are employees and entrepreneurs, they will be able to sustain a healthy, trusting connection with themselves and others.  They also can successfully reach out to people from different classes, cultures, and races to develop friends and allies; and
  • practice sound preparation, research, and study habits, so when they become workers and entrepreneurs, they are knowledgeable, confident, and ready to tackle whatever needs to be done.

..................................................................................................................................................

 

OUR BELIEFS:

We believe in placing authentic, caring human relationships at the center of instruc- tion strategy.

We believe that every school and learning organization is a community, and schools, like all communities, have their own unique culture.

We believe that before a school can help students succeed in a sustainable way, it has to have an Intentional School Culture to con- sistently apply conscious intent to all their school activities and behaviors.

We believe that a transformation to an Intentional School Culture needs to be the goal of any fundamental school change strategy.

We believe that the performing and visual arts are central to the success of any effort to implement a sustainable school transformation process.

We believe that success is achieved when the school community transforms its culture and in turn is transformed by the culture its membership has created.

We believe that one of the Intentional School Culture's most important goals ought to be placing students first and treating teachers fairly during all school transactions, and establishing parent relationships that result in them becoming members and leaders within the school community.

We believe that our nation will not be prepared for the global marketplace as long as the cultures that make up our schools lack the capacity to change. Schools have to change in ways that uplift all their students, and they have to do it when social, economic, and human conditions demand it. 

We believe in Cognitive Affective Coupling: integrating what the child feels, enjoys, and knows into the child's academic and intellectual life. 

We believe that instruction and curricula focused on feelings must be equally valued and integrated with curricula focused on cognition, and the learning organization's evaluation strategy needs to reflect this equality.

We believe that schools must have the capacity to help their students become life-long learners, able to respond humanely, ecologically, and successfully to a rapidly changing global marketplace.  This will not be possible without giving emotion and cognition equal status in our schools.

We believe that the solutions that work best are those that are created and owned by the school members who use them.

We believe that a school culture needs to give regular, special, and English language learners the capacity to attain academic proficiency in real life and in testing situations.

We believe that no student, school staff member, or parent can realize their full learning or teaching potential if they are verbally or physically assaulted, oppressed, or discriminated against, and this is especially true if this injustice takes place in the school or classroom community. 

We believe that a school culture must be structured in ways that shield its members from oppression based on class, sex, race, and all the other forms oppressive institutions take.

We believe that making academic content more likable makes the content more learnable, and this instruction strategy socializes students to become life-long lovers of learning.

We believe that at-risk students need structured, nurturing, and engaging aca- demic and social experiences in the school and the home that counteract experiences that teach them not to respond in a socially and academically responsible manner.  

We believe that adults are responsible for working with students to develop and implement these positive academic and social experiences. 

We believe that schools must provide learning experiences and environments that help children be a success at being children and adolescents be a success and being adolescents. 

We believe in school strategies that are based on "working with" (Alfie Kohn) each other.  The PWSC avoids strategies that "do to" students (using force and/or the threat of force) or "do for" students (using bribes and/or instruction practices designed to maintain the adults' comfort level at the expense of the students' need to develop and learn).

We believe that "we are the ones (leaders) we have been waiting for" (Alice Walker).  School members that are engaged in the trans- formation process need to approach challenges with this attitude; it helps them own their leadership and support the leadership of their colleagues.

We believe that this work is critical, fascinating, and challenging, and it is an opportunity to be a part of something that provides a legacy we all can look back upon with pride.

The children at play artwork pictured above was done by students at the Agassiz Elementary School, the dolls by Belinda Lyons, and the flower paintings were done by Linda Cohn.

                                                                                          Copyright © 2011 Cooperative Artists Institute. All rights reserved.
 

..................................................................................................................................................

LANGUAGE ARTS PROJECT

Classroom teachers overcome their students’ speaking, reading, and writing challenges by using the arts and other expressive modalities to draw out feelings and insights students want to talk about, read about, and write about.  For a project description, visit this web page, and see the photos below.








 


















Recent Videos

1311 views - 0 comments