The Friends Council's Spirited Practice and Renewed Courage (SPARC
) program is a leadership development program based on principles from Parker Palmer's "Courage to Teach" work. Together, over a two-year cycle, the group explores personal and professional growth through critical reflection, dialogue, and feedback. Teachers from Friends schools are selected to take part in this learning community and use collaborative inquiry and reflective tools for self-directed professional development.
SPARC is in its seventh cycle, and the ripple effects of this
spiritual leadership program are gaining strength. Over 170 Friends
school educators have now experienced this unique program, with many
schools sending teams of two or more faculty members to participate.
Schools report experiencing a deeper engagement of the Quaker dimension
in their schools and classrooms as SPARCers return to share reflective
tools with their colleagues. SPARC participants emerge as confident
faculty leaders contributing to collegial professional development in
their schools through accreditation processes, sharing clearness
protocols as a tool to connect with teenagers, co-leading a school's
Quaker self-study process, and more.
The SPARC program is based on the principles of teacher formation
from Parker Palmer's "Courage to Teach" work. A group of two-dozen
teachers from Friends schools are selected to take part in this
collaborative community, using reflective tools for self-directed
professional development. Together, over a two-year cycle, the group
explores the art and calling of teaching.