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Even before the No Child Left Behind Act, there was much discouragement about educational institutions. Now, with a focus on high-level accountability, the mood in schools has dropped even further. Many schools are overcrowded and face the task of educating students from varied and sometimes broken environments. Test scores often stay low in spite of great effort expended to improve them. Many teachers are in desperate need of retooling. All of this can combine to produce a bleak atmosphere of failure. In the midst of improving curriculum, instruction, and assessment--and while working hard to improve students' test scores--attention needs to be spent on nurturing the human spirit so that this challenging task can continue with hope and confidence. This resource helps educators learn successful ways to respond to today's increasing diversity among both student body and faculty. The author looks at what school leaders must do to invigorate and sustain the spirits of members of their learning communities as they drive toward achieving demanding goals. Practical tools and strategies in every chapter help speed the translation from theory to practice, and planning templates and completed samples offer essential elements needed for change.
Bruce Williams has more than thirty five years of international consulting experience, and is noted for his expertise in group facilitation and in planning and team building methodologies. Williams' specialty is facilitating participative, interactive group workshops whether they are focused on strategic planning and consensus building or instructional methodologies for the classroom. He has conducted successful workshops on brain compatible learning and school change facilitation, and he frequently presents in the areas of cooperative learning, higher order thinking skills, and authentic assessment. With seven years' experience in teaching English as a second language in Japan and Korea, Williams is highly experienced in working with diverse populations. Thirty-six years' experience in adult training also make him a valuable resource in facilitating school change. In addition to conference workshops in 2002 in Australia and New Zealand, he has been invited three times to present workshops for teachers in Singapore. In April of 2004, Williams was the keynote speaker for 400 principals and teachers in Beijing.