Costa, Shu Shu. “How Do School Leaders Create an Environment That Honors the Strong Commitment of Faculty and Staff to Their Own Work and Builds and Nurtures a Trusting, Ever-Advancing Professional Community?” Voices of Leadership, Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools 2009–2011 Action Research (April 2011): 9–10.
Shu Shu Costa read the study by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research about what predicts success in schools; the study argues that a major factor is the quality of the relationships among a school’s teachers. Costa is trying to strengthen and nurture the teacher relationships at Princeton Friends School by allowing for more time for reflection in faculty meetings and the chance for teachers to share with one another personally and professionally.
Davies, Trefor. “How Do Schools Create Reflective Spaces for Teachers to Encourage Professional Learning?” Voices of Leadership, Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools 2009–2011 Action Research (April 2011): 13–14.
Trefor Davies joined a new Critical Friends Group with his colleagues at Brooklyn Friends School (BFS); the group has supported collaboration, reflection, and professional growth. Davies is now helping BFS create a guide to clarify its goals for professional development among its faculty and staff members.
Dougherty, Jesse. “Faculty Engagement: How the Faculty of One Independent School Understands Its Role within the Community and Implications for School Leaders.” Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 2008.
Jesse Dougherty recognized that students thrive in schools where they feel a strong connection to their teachers; strong teacher-student relationships mean that students are more actively engaged in their work. Dougherty also realized that teachers need the same type of connection with their schools in order to give the most to their community. For her dissertation, Dougherty examined how the faculty at one private Quaker school in Pennsylvania engaged with the school’s community. During her research, Dougherty explored a number of factors, such as how engagement is defined and how a community defines itself. Doughtery also examined the areas in which teachers feel little or no engagement with the community. Through her work, Dougherty was able to help the school’s leaders consider how to better improve teacher engagement in their own community in order to improve students’ learning. In doing so, she discovered a groundbreaking formula: a clear vision plus good dialogue yields better teacher engagement.
Dunnington, Alexa. “How Does Curriculum Coordination and Development Occur in a School Culture Characterized by Teacher Autonomy? How Can Such Coordination Occur in a Way That Acknowledges the Culture, While Encouraging the Kind of Collaboration That Improves the Educational Experience of Students?” Voices of Leadership, Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools 2009–2011 Action Research (April 2011): 15–16.
Alexa Dunnington was assigned to coordinate the curriculum in the middle school at Friends’ Central School. After surveying multiple schools on their coordination process, she found that each school does it differently. Dunnington asked all the teachers at her school to identify the skills they expected their students to enter their classroom with and which skills they should leave it with; she also created a professional learning community among the school’s staff members.
Dziedzie, Benjamin. “Putting the ‘Friends’ in Critical Friends Groups.” Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools 2005–2007 Action Research (April 2007): 14–15.
Benjamin Dziedzie became interested collaborative conversations and how they might be understood and experienced in a Friends school. Dziedzie restructured a Critical Friends protocol to put the “Friends” in Critical Friends Groups.
Livingston, Sharon Andrews. “As a Faculty Leader, What Is My Role in Helping to Create Empowering, Engaging Morale-Building Among Faculty?” Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools 2007–2009 Action Research (April 2009): 17–18.
Sharon Andrews Livingston first looked to the National Association of Elementary School Principals on how to encourage professional development. Livingston then brainstormed various ideas to help faculty engage with one another outside the classroom as well as ways for faculty to develop relationships with students.
Novo, Laura. “How Can the Structures of a Quaker School Nurture Leadership and Enhance Collegiality Within Its Faculty as a Body? How Can Enhanced Collegiality and the Development of a Culture That Values Leadership from within the Faculty as a Whole Help Fulfill a Friends School Mission?” Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools 2007–2009 Action Research (April 2009): 21–22.
Laura Novo researched how the truth-seeking quality of Quakerism could benefit Friends schools’ faculty meetings by charging various committees with the faculty’s work.
Reardon, Christy. “Cultivating Collaboration: How Can Administrators Foster and Support Meaningful Collaboration Between Teachers?” Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools 2011–2013 Action Research (April 2013): 23–24.
Following her desire to create more meaningful collaboration among teachers, Christy Reardon realized she needed to lead by example and begin to support and collaborate with teachers herself. She then looked to new teachers and fostered an environment for teaching teams to support them.
Rino, Gwen. “When A Startup Grows Up: The Evolution and Care of Faculty Culture in a Young Quaker School.” Friends Council on Education Leadership Expressions Action Research (April 2015): 28–29.
Gwen Rino has been researching the comparisons between the faculty culture at San Francisco Friends School (SFFS), which started in 2002, and the culture at high-tech startup companies as they mature and grow larger, in order to help SFFS mature successfully.
Sissell, Earl. “Effective Functioning of Faculty Committees in Quaker Schools.” Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools 2005–2007 Action Research(April 2007): 28–29.
Earl Sissell’s goals for his Action Research were to identify the factors that allow a faculty committee in a Quaker school to be successful and to use those findings to create a faculty committee for Media-Providence Friends School’s pending accreditation by the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools.
Smith, Abigail. “Current Mentoring Practices in Friends Schools and Developing a Mentoring Curriculum.” Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools 2005–2007 Action Research (April 2007): 30–31.
Abigail Smith researched current mentoring programs at Friends schools and realized there is a need for a curriculum to help guide mentors in discussions with their mentees.
Smothers, Kirk. “Are Quaker Schools Friendly? An Examination of Quaker Teachers’ Satisfaction Regarding Faith and Practice in Friends Schools.” Dissertation, Columbia University, New York, 2003.
Many in the Quaker community perceive that Friends schools currently model values of elitism and affluence rather than the Quaker testimonies of equality and simplicity. Kirk Smothers’ research tests the accuracy of this perception. Smothers surveyed Quaker teachers at Friends schools regarding their experiences and perceptions of their current schools. The survey was based on the Friends Council on Education’s Quaker Dimension (Self-Study) Process. Smothers’s primary conclusion was that Quaker teachers are generally satisfied with the “Friendliness” of their schools. However, there are several areas in which Friends schools should focus to support their Quaker ethos.
Trisolini, Ida. “What Role Can Veteran Staff Play in Growing, Fostering, and Nurturing the Sense of Spirit in Our Schools and How Can We Best Utilize Their Wisdom and Expertise?” Institute for Engaging Leadership in Friends Schools 2007–2009 Action Research (April 2009): 29–30.
Ida Trisolini realized the need and importance of having veteran staff members at Friends schools share their wisdom and expertise. Trisolini created a mentor program by pairing veterans with new staff members to provide new members with support. She also instituted new faculty retreats, to continue feedback about what specific support new faculty need.