Good Teaching: How Small Wins in the Classroom Can Lead to Big Wins for Education
AuthorSterzinger, Natasha Kay
AdvisorGood, Thomas L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn 1984, Carl Weick discussed how the scale at which we perceive social problems matters, especially regarding innovative action. He denoted that small wins lead to big wins and that this has long been established in various fields (e.g., business, athletic training, weight loss, addiction recovery, etc.). More recently, the Progress Principle (Amabile & Kramer, 2011) empirically established that indeed small wins increase productivity, joy, and creativity. Educational research and reform (i.e., policy, teacher training, evaluation, etc.) could benefit from the additional knowledge that a ‘small wins’ perspective can provide. Indeed, teachers regularly see, use, and are motivated by small wins: small wins can gain momentum and spread. Small wins are emotional moments often marked by struggle and/or frustration, thus making success rewarding. This exploratory study is the first to establish small wins within education. Importantly, it does so from the perspective of classroom teachers. Collectively, teachers define small wins as ephemeral moments of meaningful success. As experts of their classrooms, teachers have the unique ability to identify, create, and celebrate small wins. Given the increased tensions among educators and politicians (e.g., RedforEd, gun laws), it is important that research, policy, and training learn once again from teachers and recognize that small wins are mighty.
Degree ProgramGraduate College