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Education Bookcast

Dec 18, 2019

Last episode, we saw a meta-analysis of comprehensive school reform (CSR) programmes. The best-performing programmes are Success for All, Direct Instruction, and the Comer School Development Program.

The episode in this book concerns the Comer School Development Program (SDP), covering its philosophy and implementation. The focus of the SDP is on two main themes: improving relationships within the school; and thinking of all the ways in which child development can be fostered at school, known as the six developmental pathways (physical, language, ethical, social, psychological, and cognitive).

The SDP is based on nine elements, split into three groups. There is the "who", which are the teams that are formed to guide the school and make sure all stakeholders are represented; the "what", which describes the operations that make change and solve problems in the school; and the "how", which are principles that govern the school culture and climate as a whole.

The "who" are the School Planning and Management Team (SPMT), the Student Staff Support Team (SSST), and the Parent Team (PT). The "what" are the Comprehensive School Plan, professional development, and assessment & modification. The "how" is consensus, collaboration, and no-fault problem solving. The above nine principles are complex enough for me not to want to describe them in detail in this blurb, but numerous enough for me to want to put them here for reference for those who have already listened to the audio.

I would like to thank Linda Darling-Hammond for contacting me to ask me to cover her book (and alerting me to the existence of the Comer SDP in the process), and for providing me with a free copy of her book for me to read.

Enjoy the episode.