Planning for School-Wide Units
2005-6 - From the very first unit, the planning process held as many leadership lessons as
the unit itself. The principal and key teachers were firm that they wanted to explore arts integration. They were faced
by a System plan to focus on bullying. The school administration and faculty instead designed and implemented
the more positive approach. This was represented by the school-wide arts integrated unit that first year The Concept
was Relationships, and they used Edward Hick's 'Peacable Kingdom' as the Masterwork. The
resulting 'Creation' involved a ceramic tile made by every student in the school depicting the place where they felt
2005-6 - From the very first unit, the planning process hold as many leadership lessons as the unit itself. The principal
and key teachers were firm that they wanted to explore arts integration. They were confronted by a Board Member who
was actually 'bullying' the professional staff to plan and implement his notion of an initiative to eliminate bullying.....it
had to focus on bullying and involve various severe consequences for any student found to be engaging in any form of bullying.
This approach was not seen to be appropriate or to be effective by the school administration or faculty. Instead they
designed and implemented the more positive approach repersented by the school-wide arts integrated unit that year, on Relationships,
using Edward Hick's 'Peacable Kingdom' as the Masterwork, and resulting in a creation involving a ceramic tile
made by every student in the school depicting the place where they felt 'Peace'
Planning for School-Wide Units
2013-14 - I had the honor to attend the staff planning team meeting,
where the principal presented the barest of outlines of her thinking for the next year-long, school-wide unit. She had
been thinking about 'kindness' and I had suggested a consideration of 'caring' since they all could build
on the character development approach advocated by Nell Noddings, with lots of reference materials. Jill added, diversity
and Tolerance, made a chart with the four words as column headings, and started the team meeting with a story illustrating
her focus. She had been meeting with two students who had been having a continuing problem with each other.
She told them that a usual step in such cases was to separate the students, into different classrooms, but that she was more
interested in exploring ways to find an actual resolution to their difficulties with each other. However, one of the
students told her that she did not understand, that he was Hindu and the other student was Muslim, and that they hated each
other, that their friends expected them to hate each other, and that their families expected them to hate each other.....
Martin effectively used storytelling to lead. She communicated WHY, illustrated her commitment to plan and support a
plan designed by the teachers, and then invited the teachers to the highest levels of professionalism to design a tentative
HOW, which she would support.
More on this unit, as it unfolds this year......