Identify, Define, and prioritize all of Darling-Hammond`s Fiver Essential Practices for Success essay


Identify, Define,and prioritize all of Darling-Hammond’s Fiver Essential Practicesfor Success


Thepaper will focus on Darling-Hammond`s Fiver Essential Practices forSuccess found in The Flat World of Education. These practices will beidentified, defined, and prioritized based on the school chosen. Themethods are described as per their successes and accordance with theschool`s current concerns. Each solution will be offered along withpractical procedures towards their applications. Though each sectionis listed separately as a practice, they tend to overlap each otherand share high expectations on the school curriculum and theunderlying demand for small sizes of the classrooms, professionalism,and assessments.

Identify, Define, and prioritize all of Darling-Hammond`s FiverEssential Practices for Success

Inher book, &quotThe Flat World and Education,&quot Darling-Hammondfocus on five practices applied to amend successfully overcrowded,underperforming urban schools. These five practices include smallschool units, intellectually challenging the relevant instructions,structures for personalization, professional collaboration andlearning, and performance-based assessments (Darling-Hammond et al.,2007). Darling-Hammond provides a series of examples explaining howsome high schools in California, and New York used the practices toelicit fruitful and purposeful learning outcomes to its students(Darling-Hammond et al., 2007). Although the examples she providesare a representation of numerous high schools, these practices areidentified to result in success in both secondary and elementaryschools.

Structures forPersonalization

Structures for personalization are one of Darlington-Hammond`s &quotFivePractices for Success.&quot The structures, which allow for robustand personalized relationships added to small class sizes betweenstudent and teacher relationships, reveal improvement in studentperformances as long as the connection remains active and supportsnot only the individual family relationships but also the academics.The school in question is known as the &quotYellow Groove Family.&quotThe school has quality academics and curriculum support in place. Thenumbers on the state report also back up these claims for possiblefuture success. However, there is a feeling that the school does notprovide individual relationships and emotional supports for themajority of the fifth graders. Towards the year end, teachers in theschool explain how their students appear unconfident while blame iton being dealt a blow, every time they are standing in front of theteachers in the hallway.

The school`s attempt concerning the practice include erectingestablishing favorable environments for learning, creating advisorysystems, fostering a long-term connection between students andtutors, which systematically organizing psychological counseling,strong family relationships, and academic sports (Darling-Hammond etal., 2007). In the school, tutors have groups of students between 16and 24 students who connect with them four times a week, and at thesame time being with them in entirety for approximately two to threeyears. Here, the solution to this practice is that the counselorworks closely with the family, teachers, and students to make surethere is a need for personal and academic support.

Additionally, for the provision of structures of personalization, theschool should redesign traditional staffing to ensure moreclassroom-based staff members are hired. This move will enable themaintenance of small class sizes, which in turn, will reduce loads ofpupils for easy management. In the school mentioned above, theaverage class size should be 25 students, and each tutor should havea student load of between 45 and 95 students. By knowing the studentswell, tutors will be in a better position to tailor a series ofinstructions to their (student) needs, interests, strengths, andexperiences. According to Darling-Hammond et al. (2007), such a movewill substantively personalize the student`s investments by demandingaccountability and nurturing strong connections between teachers andstudents both through advisory boards and in the classrooms.

IntellectuallyChallenging the Relevant Instructions

Intellectually challenging the appropriate instructions is another ofDarlington-Hammond`s &quotFive Practices for Success,&quot whichplaces the school in a rigorously designed and coherent instructionalplan that overcome all manner of barriers associated with poverty,race, low academic skill, and language (Jackson &amp Bruegmann,2009). All these restrictions establish a high level of expectationsteach research and intellectual skills, and link clear standards toperformance standards based on the perspective of rigorouscoursework, which is made relevant through the reality of theproblems.

As an agent of change, providing a viable solution for possibleimplementation of this practice will require that the school inquestion connect its students at proximity to their community andtheir future through an internship, community service, andpartnership with local college institutions and community groups(Milanowski et al., 2004). The reason for this possible solution isthat it will offer authentic or genuine learning experiences toconnect to the real world outside the school setting.

For example, students in the school, &quotYellow Groove Family,&quotought to complete a research project to determine the fuel economiesof hybrid-powered automotive, and then present the evidence to apanel comprising of parents. One solution to the practice will be tohave the students undertake ambitious study projects, for example,studying, creating, and building a sensitive model of an animal zoo(Milanowski et al., 2004). The project will require the students toinvestigate probable challenges, identify, and organize availableresources, carry out product design and development, and presentcomplete projects to some audiences.

Students should overlook set instructions on a research project tomake sure they acquire a passing score on the rubric, which accordingto Skinner (2010), will reflect on the standards and qualities of thecompleted work. The teachers should provide their students with aseries of opportunities to pay close attention to their research workbased on the teachers` feedback and experts from the outside. Theschool setting should provide tuition classes and additional tutoringsessions to assist the students to help close the skill gaps, more soto those performing poorly. According to Skinner (2010), both tutorsand students see this kind of performance-based instructions as amove towards rigorous and robust than the traditional-based schoolwork on assignments.

ProfessionalCollaboration and Learning

The school, Yellow Groove Family, allocate a lot of time for tutorsto engage, design the curriculum, instruct, and learn from eachother. The teachers organize extensive learning opportunities tostudy the evidence of education process, plan, and hold a series ofinstructions, student supports, and advisory practices (Skinner,2010). However, challenges often arise when it comes to successfullyhandling learning procedures in a professional way.

For the success of this practice, the school should allocate moredays to make sure vocational education is awarded enough time allthrough the year. For instance, the school should organize sufficienttime every week for tutors to plan and solve problems wholly. Byhaving enough time, teachers will in a better position to meetregularly and examine student progress by establishing a morecoherent program (Milanowski et al., 2004). Additionally, planningmore usually within respective departments will make sure teachersdevelop an assessment and curriculum, which will prepare the studentsto meet common outcomes from within the school setting.

Byhaving to coach and mentoring systems in the school, for both theveteran and new tutors, the school will be able to augment properprofessional learning. Again, by setting up staff meetings, theteachers will be in a better position to engage in proper inquiryabout practical problems in professional collaboration and learning.For example, in the school named above, there is a school-ledlearning professionalism, whose line between its school leadershipand professional learning is often blurred, especially indecision-making (MetLife Foundation, 2009). Additionally, developingfirm advisory curriculum, determining proper schoolwide collaborationfocus, and conducting precise data analysis, will provide solutionsto ensure the school is committed enough to its vision and mission.


Although the school under study provides its students full access toa prepared curriculum, it lacks more innovative opportunities forlearning. For a favorable solution to such instance, the schoolshould design a forward-looking curriculum, which should rely both onusing a well-crafted performance-based assessment and redefinedtraditional requirements (MetLife Foundation, 2009). Reasons for suchmove will allow better application of knowledge offer both the staffand students timely response about their progress. It will alsosupport student work revisions to attain set standards of quality.

On standardized scoring assessments, for example, performance tasksor juried portfolios, these evaluations will offer solutions toteachers by assisting them to construct better ideas regarding whatconstitutes an excellent work and engage on matters of improvingteaching and curriculum. The kind of performance-based assessment theschool use uses resembles in less privileged institutions. Solutionsto these poor assessments originate from the students to firstconduct proper research studies, solve complex challenges, and defendtheir ideologies both in writing and orally. According to Jackson &ampBruegmann (2009), such performance-based assessments embrace seriousintellectual study.

Small SchoolUnits

In other schools, they succeed partly because of their effort torecruit and establish strong teaching staff. However, the school inquestion has a substantial shortage of teacher units, and thosepresent lack proper skills to handle sophisticated pedagogies in theschool setting. To make sure this practice succeeds, teachers, oncethey start working, should be provided with high-quality learningopportunities, which focus on real challenges of the school unitspractice (Darling-Hammond et al., 2007). For a while, the school hadinitiated programs that address these kinds of problems, for example,budget shifts and policy supports to develop quality teaching units.

Toaddress the above challenges and provide solutions to the practice,there is a need for the school to underwrite pre-service preparationsfor students who will be part of the school setting in future. One ofthe strategies to employ includes adding the number of scholarshipsfor these students. Secondly, the teacher education program should beimproved in capacity. The teacher staff should be well aware of theneed to provide relevant, responsive, and rigorous, especially tolow-income black students (Berry, 2009). In addition to havingfavorable teaching conditions, the school will need to have anexperienced principal high enough on matters instructionalleadership. The success of the practices also includes redesigningthe school learning structure and change process within the school.The teaching staff also needs to organize enough teachers time andstaffing to reduce class sizes and incorporate a series of advisoryitems. Again, there is a need to provide sufficient time forcollaboration and learning while maintaining professionalism onavailable opportunities.

Additionally, the school units should be favorable for both theteaching staff and the students to facilitate proper redesigning ofthe school setting and management of change process. Other solutionsinclude providing funding for approximately eight days every year ofprofessional development. In areas that teachers need to be moreefficient, there should be enough support for quality professionaldevelopment, especially in areas that matter the most. Time shouldalso be provided for proper collaboration and plan to ensure theschool units develop high-quality, coherent curriculum (Athanases,1994). Additionally, these practices create an increasingly validmeasure for active teaching process and innovative creation ofsystems for recognition. To develop and utilize expert methods assistin stimulating the establishment of a more efficient learningenvironment. The proposed policy changes could establish aperspective in which this kind of school described would becomestandard to all the students in the school regardless of income,privilege, or race.


The paper identified, defined, and prioritizes Darling-Hammond`s FiveEssential Practices for Success as is listed in her book, &quotTheFlat World and Education.&quot These methods include intellectuallychallenging the relevant instructions, small school units, structuresfor personalization, professional collaboration and learning, andperformance-based assessments. The paper provides viable solutionsfor possible implementation of the above five practices in order ofpriority. This study is also coupled with examples drawn from oneschool, &quotYellow Groove Family,&quot which are becoming anobstacle to the status quo by offering opportunities for thosestudents from low-income families to make sure they become leadersand critical thinkers.

However, other than these policy systems change, the school inquestion will remain with its challenges rather than become futureharbingers. An initiative to improve and measure teachingeffectiveness emerges as the kind of pressure to improve theachievement of the students continues to intensify when thesepractices are developed. Such improvement in practices will have amajor playoff when these practices are stimulated to support overallstudent learning. Their learning support is then embedded in the kindof systems, which develop greater competence in teaching practice. Insummary, these five practices ought to be put into consideration notonly regarding procedures or evaluation instruments but also based onpolicy systems the school operates to elicit improvement ofcontinuous learning.


Athanases, S. (1994). Teachers’ reports of the effects of preparingportfolios of literacy instruction. Elementary School Journal,94 (4), 421-439

Berry, B. (2009). Keeping the promise: Recruiting, retaining, andgrowing effective teachers for high needs schools. Raleigh, NC:Center for Teaching Quality

Darling-Hammond, L., LaPointe, M., Meyerson, D., Orr, M. T., &ampCohen, C. (2007). Preparing school leaders for a changing world:Lessons from exemplary leadership development programs. Stanford,CA: Stanford Educational Leadership Institute

Jackson C. K., &amp Bruegmann, E. (2009). Teaching students andteaching each other: The importance of peer learning for teachers.Washington, DC: National Bureau of Economic Research.

MetLife Foundation. (2009). The MetLife survey of the Americanteacher: Collaborating for student success. New York: Author.

Milanowski, A., Kimball, S. M., &amp White, B. (2004). Therelationship between standards based teacher evaluation scores andstudent achievement. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Consortium forPolicy Research in Education

Skinner, K. J. (2010). Reinventing evaluation: Connectingprofessional practice with student learning. Boston, MA:Massachusetts Teachers Association