Investing in Teacher Quality

The enduring thread that has held us together over the course of our careers has been our desire to develop schools as homes for the mind. Over 30 years we have come to a deep understanding about what this means. This book is an explicit reflection on what we have learned about developing thoughtful professionals and schools that foster cognitive capital. When we began to focus on building a community of cognitive coaches, we did not realize the emergent quality of our learning. It was fitting that Art and Bob, inspired by the focus on high craftsmanship of Ben Franklin’s Leather Apron Club, used this metaphor to create opportunities for mutual improvement and forums of inquiry. The key was an entrepreneurial focus—a gathering of educators to debate and create schools as homes for the mind. In the early years of what we term Cognitive Coaching we met twice a year to inquire about what we were learning from practice, teaching both children and adults. Our work had purpose; it was intentional and goal focused and generated great success stories. Gradually, we began to appreciate the emergent qualities—new understandings became apparent as a result of interactions in the community. One such understanding grew into 5 powerful states of mind, which will receive major focus in this book. Indeed, the original leaders from Cognitive Coaching have stayed connected and have gone on to expand their learning in many directions, some of them authoring their own books. Our initial work on Cognitive Coaching, the glue that binds us together for a lifetime, has provided a powerful catalyst for success; we wanted to tell our story about how.