In education schools are always looking for way to improve. One of the ways they try to improve is to keep up with new practices and strategies that are supported by research. By using research to help guide schools progress, hopefully that will strengthen the school’s weaknesses. . The Four Circle Model is a foundational approach that helps a school identify what a school believes, wants, and needs to know and what the school actually does. For each area of this cycle there are improvements that can be made to improve curriculum. By identifying improvements that can be made, the goal is to increase student academic achievement and creating a successful curriculum that many schools and states will follow.
During the summer, at ABC Elementary School the leadership committee meets and the question is asked, “What do we want?” This is very important because that is where the schools goals, come from. These goals we be identified and discussed amongst the leadership team which consist of the school administrators and all the head stakeholders within the school. Goals are established primarily for student academic progress, school environment, and how we can have a positive impact on the community. At ABC Elementary we are successful with identifying what goals we would like to reach and what is important to us as a school. The stakeholders at ABC Elementary know that many of our students, if not all are living below the poverty level. One area of improvement is offering/creating adult education classes to the people of the community after regular school hours. It is known that schools are supported and funded by local taxes, but it also makes sense to also educate the community that is helping educate the students in the community.
It is known, that many of the parents of the students that attend ABC Elementary school have not received their high school diploma and many of the parents are illiterate. Knowing all this information ABC Elementary needs to want to help and serve the community through adult learning communities built within the school. Students are usually in school from 8:35-3:05p.m. daily, for the exception of Wednesdays, when all students leave at 1:50p.m. This will leave more than enough time to implement an effective adult learning program. By aiding in the needs of the community it will strengthen the relationship between the school and community. The community is one of the most important stakeholders of the school and plays an important role of a successful school. This will also set a great example for the students.
The second step is for the school to believe the goals they have set in order for these goals to become a reality. At ABC Elementary, all stakeholders believe the goals we have set as well as the power that education gives people. What keeps stakeholders going is the knowledge that everyone has the ability to learn, no matter how old one can be. It is now time to start implementing some of the beliefs that the stakeholders have and eventually instilling these beliefs within the faculty, staff, students, and community. The stakeholders and community need to believe in promoting and implementing all levels of learning and not set any age limits to learning or education. By modeling these beliefs to all stakeholders it will motivate and inspire all students to perform on a higher level and challenge themselves.
Every school has their challenges and ABC Elementary school is no exception. Some challenges that ABC Elementary have had is basing everything on the standardized test score, lacking some confidence in some teachers instructional practices and delivery in the classroom, and not making ESE/ELL students a priority. At ABC Elementary research is done on learning, which is the most critical body of research for educator to incorporate into their practice (Danielson, 2002). This research provides imperative information like: What is the best way to teach children and adults? What professional development can teachers be a part of to strengthen their instructional practices? Professional development that all stakeholders can benefit from at ABC Elementary is how to motivate others and hoe to get motivated.
These professional developments will assist ABC elementary staff and faculty with student learning and create a curriculum for higher learning. Student enrollment has increased tremendously, but the faculty and staff has been getting smaller as the years have gone by. Having classes with an over enrollment of students has been very difficult for the faculty and staff to deal with because of all the behavior problems that arise daily. It is proven that smaller classes equals higher standardized scores and less behavior problems during instruction. According to Blatchford (1994) , “ The American experimental evidence shows that small classes of around 15 pupils can lead to increased gains in performance in the first years of schooling.” Curriculum and instruction being taught to the students has been at a minimal because of all the classroom distractions and behavior issues. As much as ABC Elementary would like to have smaller class size and can become expensive. We are researching and trying alternative solutions for improvements and with this actions are taking place.
The four circle model will help guide the school to success. Gathering all the information of what we want, what we believe, and what we know will guide our school to success will motivate all stakeholders to hopefully follow our steps to reach our goal. When positive results occur they influence the desire of wants, beliefs, and curiosity of how this happened and how we can continue on the road to success. At ABC Elementary, the school operations runs well, like a well-oiled machine. One area where we struggles is daily student attendance. Some students miss excessive days of school or have excessive tardies. Many of the staff and the faculty have conducted home visits for this matter and have reached out to the parents on have important it is to attend school daily. This has seemed to help attendance a bit, but we are not where we would like to be yet.
All schools can benefit from using the Four Circles Model, because there are goals we are always setting at ABC Elementary and I am sure many other schools throughout the world. It helps identify what a school wants, what they know, and their beliefs. The Four Circle Model puts all these things together to put them into action leading you to reach your goal. By focusing on the areas discussed ABC Elementary will be able to improve higher learning and the curriculum.
Blatchford, P., & Mortimore, P. (1994). The issue of class size for young children in schools: What can
we learn from research? Oxford Review Of Education, 20(4), 411.
Danielson, C. (2002). Enhancing Student Achievement: A framework for school improvement. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Alexandria, VA.