Teaching Writing

Turning Reform Inside Out

A Sample Chapter from Uncommonly Good Ideas

Excerpt from chapter:

“So what made the difference? It was positive deviance. It was an unbeatable approach to making change: empowering the people-in-the-know and investing in their knowledge and abilities.


The teachers whose stories we have recounted in this book are shining examples of positive deviance. When Edna Shoemaker joined ‘the gang of five’ in her Sacramento high school, she was fairly new to the profession. ‘At that time, I was still trying to find my way as a teacher,’ she says. But she and her four colleagues set their sights on sending students to college and then figured out everything they needed to do to make it happen, using each other as resources and bringing in what they had learned from other colleagues who taught in college.”

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