PBS NewsHour takes a look at Mission Hill School in Boston where teachers run the school based on a consensus model. Everyone on staff must be in agreement before an action is taken regarding the governance of the school. It’s very different from the bureaucratic top down model in most public schools, giving teachers ownership over decisions like budgeting, curriculum and hiring. Reporter John Tolenko visits the school, talks through the democratic process with teachers and tries to answer the question: could this work in lots of schools?



What If Teachers Were Charged With Setting School Direction? 23 September,2014MindShift

  • Paul

    It is not teachers by themselves that will be changing system but the input by students as we as teachers develop student inquiries after the test, have global video conferences in what students have found in doing active research, do group enhanced projects to seek solutions and have students do portfolio assessment after doing this.
    This can be done if we as teachers can learn to listen to our students not just be an instructor to them.

  • rich bernato

    Of course this the optimal way to organize effective schools! Please not this concept is not a new one. However the research on schools that practice effective shared decision models sometimes ignores that several important systemic practices must be consciously developed and sustained. These are based on Dr. Priscilla Wohlstetter’ high involvement research. My website activelearningconsult.com describes them well. I also write to these on two blogs, http://edwardsedservices.com, and http://edufuturingdotcom.wordpress.com.

    The bottom line a school can self-manage very well if it’s stakeholders know how to analyze data, draw conclusions from the data, set goals grounded in the collective commitment of the community it serves, can action plan, and carry these out using sound systemic processes,

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  • ed watcher

    I had the impression, from watching this video, that the journalist was antagonistic, perhaps felt threatened by the teachers he was interviewing. That was weird, and it doesn’t seem like a good way to achieve effective interviews and reporting.

  • CBwing

    How do I watch the video? It says it is private.

    • Katrina Schwartz

      The video wasn’t private when I put it up, but now I am getting that message too. I’m looking into it and will let you know when I figure out what’s going on. Thanks for alerting me to this. — Katrina

    • Katrina Schwartz

      The producer sent me a new embed code that should work now! Try again and sorry for the inconvenience. — Katrina

  • fateme
  • kate

    Most Waldorf schools, especially private ones, are run this way. Teachers sit on all of the committees and collectively guide the direction of the school. Pretty cool!

  • celeste hickman

    Was soo interested to watch this video. But then, I got soo thrown by the captions – they are horrendous!! I am a hearing teacher who works with deaf colleagues in a dual language program. Was hoping to share this with my colleagues but I had to stop when the caption read “racist chant”. If the message of the video is to be accessible for ALL, may I strongly suggest suspending the captions until they are carefully edited. On behalf of my deaf co-workers: THANK YOU!

    • Katrina Schwartz

      Hi Celeste,

      Thanks for your comment. This is a PBS NewsHour video, so MindShift doesn’t have control over the captioning. When I read your comment, I was curious because I didn’t remember there being captions on this video. When I went to double check, I realized that I think the captions you are seeing were generated by YouTube. I’m guessing the inaccuracies and spelling/grammar mistakes are due to the fact that the captions are generated by the computer, not an actual person. I’m sorry it was such a bad experience for you! – Katrina

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