“We must use the ideas and experiences in this marvelous book as pilots, beacons, and exemplars for our own best practices in our schools and communities. . . . We all owe a lot to the authors, the teachers, the kids, and the founding fathers and mothers of this school for having the courage to put a credo into practice and for putting it down on paper for others to take heart.”–Deborah Meier
About the Author
Dr. Marilyn Bizar is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Secondary Education at National-Louis University in Chicago. A former public school teacher, Marilyn collaborates with a network of 12 Chicago public schools, the Best Practice Network, seeking to implement authentic and challenging teaching methods in classrooms. Along with a team of full-time teacher-leaders, the network offers classroom consulting, staff development workshops, and leadership development for teachers, principals and parents. In 1995, Marilyn helped found the Best Practice High School, a 450-student Chicago Public School that demonstrates on a daily basis, that classroom methodology can make a difference for kids and teachers. Marilyn has co-authored four books, including Methods That Matter with Harvey Daniels, School Leadership in Times of Urban Reform with Rebecca Barr, and Rethinking High School, co-authored with Harvey Daniels and Steve Zemelman, which chronicles the challenges of creating and implementing a new, small high school in Chicago. Marilyn consults and presents in schools and at conferences around the country. She assists schools in examining their high schools for reform and restructuring. Her workshops focus on developing literacy strategies across the curriculum with teaching methods that are learner-centered.
Harvey "Smokey" Daniels has been a city and suburban classroom teacher and a college professor, and now works as a national consultant and author on literacy education. In language arts, Smokey is known for his pioneering work on student book clubs, as recounted in Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups, and Minilessons for Literature Circles. Smokey has recently coauthored four bestselling books on content-area literacy: Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading; Comprehension & Collaboration; Subjects Matter, and Content-Area Writing. He is also coauthor of the new Best Practice, Fourth Edition and The Best Practice Video Companion as well as editor of Comprehension Going Forward. Smokey works with elementary and secondary teachers throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, offering demonstration lessons, workshops, and consulting, with a special focus on creating, sustaining, and renewing student-centered inquiries and discussions of all kinds. Smokey shows colleagues how to simultaneously build students' reading strategies, balance their reading diets, and strengthen the social skills they need to become genuine lifelong readers. » Listen to an interview with Harvey "Smokey" Daniels on Education Talk Radio - 12/19/2011 (41:13)
Steven Zemelman has worked in many capacities to promote the sustainability of innovative schools in Chicago. For eight years he directed the Center for City Schools at National-Louis University, and he is a founding director of the Illinois Writing Project. He has spearheaded the start of a number of innovative small high schools in the city. His experiences and research in these areas led to his Heinemann book 13 Steps to Teacher Empowerment, coauthored with Harry Ross. Steve has been a frequent collaborator with Harvey "Smokey" Daniels. They have coauthored seven books and videos with Heinemann, including the new Best Practice, Fourth Edition, and The Best Practice Video Companion; Content-Area Writing; Subjects Matter; Rethinking High School and its companion video; and A Community of Writers. These books are filled with practical strategies for making writing, reading, the content areas, and indeed the life of a school itself into a deeper and richer learning experience for kids. Zemelmen and Daniels are known for immediately useful teaching strategies that range from brief, easy-to-use reflections that help students learn right in class to bigger public-writing projects that can make school truly memorable for kids and teachers alike. Steve consults with schools and districts around the country and may be contacted directly at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org