In our efforts to create the best possible schools for our children, we've allowed process concerns such as standards, curriculum, and testing to overshadow the importance of people. But the fact is, what we’ve come to think of as the "soft" aspects of education are what make truly effective learning possible. Building relationships, nurturing student and teacher talents, fostering engagement...these are what motivate great teachers and inspire students. Indeed, if schools can learn anything from the business world, it's this: The "soft" stuff drives results. Corporate leaders have realized that the best way to improve productivity is to tap the talents and motivation of their human assets. Drawing on decades of Gallup research, Building Engaged Schools offers a fresh approach: Leverage student and teacher talent, on a school-by-school basis. Focusing on talent may lack the political appeal of process reforms, which can be implemented in broad strokes. But the return on the time and effort invested is far greater. In fact, that return is no less than a more fully engaged society, and a better future for our children.
Gary Gordon is Vice President and Practice Leader of The Gallup Organization’s Education Division. Before joining Gallup in 1994, Gordon’s career spanned over 20 years in public education as a teacher, assistant principal, high school principal, personnel director, and assistant superintendent. As practice leader, Gordon consults with school districts and businesses on human resource, leadership, and workplace management. He contributed regularly to a variety of Gallup’s publications, and has been published in the State Education Standard and Phi Delta Kappan. Gary lives in Overland Park, Kansas.
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