There is a deep longing among educators and parents alike for schools to be places where children want to be rather than have to be, places where they thrive and are eager to engage in their biological imperative to connect with others, to learn, and to grow. We long for the kinds of learning spaces for all children that we would want for a child we love, environments that foster a sense of curiosity and wonder, playfulness, laughter, movement, creativity, and adventurous learning. Yet the painful lessons of the accountability movement show us that "what gets measured gets treasured." A fearful focus on high-stakes tests has too often resulted in a constricted curriculum and uninspiring instruction, and schools that have become places of anxiety for both students and educators alike.
Multiple choice tests cannot assess student characteristics like curiosity, love of learning, idiosyncratic expertise, or resourcefulness. These and others skills frequently termed 21st century skills-creativity, innovation, adaptability, initiative, self direction, social and cross-cultural skills, leadership, and responsibility-are characteristics beyond the scope of current standardized tests. Thus, we have developed a new measure that attempts to capture these essential elements of learning that we call the Vibrant School Scale. With three subscales: enlivened minds, emboldened voice, and playful learning. Our measure is available for free for educators and educational scholars.
To register your school for the online version: www.tinyurl.com/vibrant-schools
Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy is the beliefs in their capability to make a difference in student learning, to be able to get through even to students who are difficult or unmotivated. The Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale asks teachers to assess their capability concerning instructional strategies, student engagement, and classroom management.
Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale Long Form (24 items)
Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale Short Form (12 items)
Collective Teacher Efficacy
The collective sense of efficacy in a school is the sense that the faculty holds that it has the capacity to achieve meaningful student learning in spite of whatever obstacles may be present that might make learning difficult. It includes an assessment of the collective perception of the school’s capacity for student discipline, as well as for instructional practices.
Principals' Sense of Efficacy
Principals' Self-Efficacy Beliefs are the beliefs in their capability to make a difference in the schools they lead, to effectively manage the challenges they face. The Principal Sense of Efficacy Scale asks principals to assess their capability concerning instructional leadership, management, and moral leadership.
Teachers Sense of Efficacy in Language Instruction
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Trust, as defined in this study, is one party’s willingness to be vulnerable to another based on the confidence that the other is benevolent, reliable, competent, honest, and open. The study of trust has been likened to the study of the roots of a delicate plant. Sometimes the examination can damage or even destroy the very thing that the examiner is trying to understand. Consequently, we urge caution in the use of these trust scales. Compelling evidence is accumulating on the importance of trust to high performing schools.
Teacher Trust in the Principal, Colleagues, Students, and Parents
Principal Trust in Teachers, Students, and Parents
Parent Trust in School
Student Trust in Teachers
Collegial leadership is characterized by behavior of the principal that is supportive and egalitarian. The principal is considerate, helpful, and genuinely concerned about the welfare of teachers. At the same time, the principal lets faculty know what is expected of them and maintains definite standards of performance. The principal is open to exploring all sides of topics and willing to make changes. He or she accepts questions without appearing to snub teachers, and admits that divergent opinions exist. The principal takes an interest in classroom issues that are important to teachers.
Teacher professionalism describes teacher behavior characterized by commitment to students and engagement in the teaching task. Teachers respect the professional expertise of colleagues. Professional interactions among teachers are open and cooperative. Teachers are supportive of one another and help one another. Teachers display warmth and friendliness.
Academic press is the extent to which the school is driven by a quest for excellence. Teachers and administrators set a tone that is serious, orderly, and focused on academics. High but achievable goals are set for students, and students respond positively to the challenge of these goals. They work hard and respect the academic accomplishments of their peers.
Community engagement is the extent to which the school has fostered a constructive relationship with its community. This measure describes the degree to which the school can count on involvement and support from parents and community members, and the extent to which the school provides the community with information about its accomplishments.