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Intervention by Denise Caruso Read Intervention by Denise Caruso, Executive Director of the Hybrid Vigor Silver Award Winner, 2007 Independent Publisher Book Awards; Best Business Books 2007, Strategy+Business Magazine


by Denise Caruso ~ November 4, 2007.
Permalink | Filed under: Hybrid Vigor.

My Re:framing column in this Sunday’s New York Times explored a new teacher credentialing program that’s just been accredited and is underway in a network of charter schools in Northern California, called the Reach Institute.

Public K-12 education not being my “beat,” so to speak, I was fascinated to discover just how much impact a good basic education has not just on individual earning power, but on entire regional economies — and how much the looming teacher shortage stands to impact these economies.

I was also really pleased to see that Reach is addressing what I consider to be one of the most critical issues that keeps schools from improving: training new leadership that understands what teachers need to do their jobs well.

I got lots of good basic research references about the issues involved herein, and if anyone is interested, let me know and I’ll post them. Your comments always welcomed in any case.

Speaking of — due to lots of really heinous spam that my Akamai filter isn’t catching, I’ll be manually approving comments from now on. Sorry about that, but it’s for everyone’s comfort.


  1. Jeffrey Peyton

    Denise, It’s good to see Reach’s focus on training, but even the best training may not go deep enough. Putting a great teacher standout into a school may serve to deepen resistance. Please visit my web site. Puppetools is my brainchild. There is a recent article in Edutopia, research which I presented to brain scientists in Denmark, and partners in Scandanavia. I believe that deep reform must carry the seeds of new stuff, while breaking down the old; that communication is the pathway for delivering the seeds; that teachers trained and empowered to use play as a foundational strategy become the change agents. Training by itself cannot create vibrancy; something on the order of play-immersive and transformative, transcendant, and evolutionary-is what kids understand innately. Even Plato advocated on behalf of play in Education. It’s what is needed to tame the monster we’ve created.

    Please write me back if you’d like to explore this topic further. Thank you.

  2. Denise Caruso

    I agree with you theoretically and even in practice, to a degree, but I think it’s unrealistic to expect that all of the millions of teachers in the world are going to be able to live up to those ideals — or even that they should. Training may not be able to create vibrancy, but it’s bloody hard to create vibrancy when you’re 23 and have to figure out how to teach a room full of rambunctious inner city kids to read.

    And in the meantime, we need teachers — and we need to give teachers the classroom training they need so they don’t bolt from the system. I think that’s the first priority. Then we can start to refine the process a bit, perhaps along the lines you suggest.

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