My mentor text posts have been missing for quite a while. Those pesky research articles don’t lend themselves as mentor texts for creative writing… usually! However, one of my recent research reads (unplanned alliteration!) had some quotations that stood out powerfully to me as a writer. I thought I would use the quotes as mentor texts for some writing of my own. Here goes…
Mentor Text: Reflective Practice for Educators: Professional Development to Improve Student Learning by Karen F. Osterman & Robert B. Kottkamp
Quote #1: “People learn how to behave by watching others… The norm of silence prohibits sharing critical information about self as well as others” (p. 68).
Quote #2: “The pattern of withholding particularly applies when information might create conflict or hurt others” (p. 67).
Quote #3: “Organizations exert a powerful influence on human behavior, and people comply with expectations and maintain a conspiracy of silence about troublesome matters” (p. 66).
In schools that live by a code of silence, there are students who are disenfranchised, under-served, ignored. When there is a pattern of withholding, whether that which is withheld is money, time, expertise, or support, someone is failed. If that someone is a student, it should be a crime. If an organization has a conspiracy of silence, racism can become institutionalized. If leaders allow the norm of silence in our educational system to continue, the achievement gap will not close.
However, if we instead create systems of social justice with patterns of provisions for all, students will succeed. If leaders support a norm of collaboration, with active listening and dialogue, how much more can we achieve? Closing the achievement gap requires us to acknowledge the poverty gap and the lack of cultural proficiency, and to ensure that social justice leadership prevails.
- Have you ever been touched by a single quote?
- What do the quotes above make you think of?