Dr. Douglas Reeves is the founder of the Center for Successful Leadership. He has worked with education, business, nonprofit and government organizations throughout the world. The author of more than 30 books and many articles on leadership and organizational effectiveness, he has twice been named to the Harvard University Distinguished Authors Series. Dr. Reeves was named the Brock International Laureate for his contributions to education, received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and was received the Parent's Choice Award for his writing for children and parents. He received the Contribution to the Field Award from the National Staff Development Council.
His keynotes speeches have reached live audiences of more than 8,000 people and many times that size through television and internet broadcasts. His presentations are highly interactive, with audience members providing live Tweets, Texts, and E-mails throughout the presentation. Reeves also provides proprietary research and assessment projects for clients, assessing organizational climate, communication, and the "implementation gap" - the difference between organizational strategies and reality. In addition, he works with leadership teams and provides confidential one-to-one executive coaching.
Despite a wave of new observation and evaluation instruments for teachers and administrators, the application of these expensive and time-consuming processes depends upon one critical variable: effective feedback. The same problem afflicts the most sophisticated assessments used for students. However well-intentioned the test and sophisticated the design, the impact of the test on learning is negligible if the feedback does not meet the fundamental criteria of accuracy, fairness, specificity, and timeliness. When considered among more than 100 alternative instructional and leadership strategies, effective feedback consistently has a higher degree of impact on performance than many other strategies that are more time consuming and expenses. Participants in this seminar will consider assessments that they are already using with students, teachers, and administrators, and will create specific modifications to improve the quality and impact of feedback.
Although there is a great deal of consensus about the need for 21st Century Skills – Creativity, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Collaboration – there remains an enormous gap between the desire for 21st Century teaching and learning and the global education commitment to 14th Century assessments that are focused practices that actively punish creativity and critical thinking and make no place for high levels of communication and collaboration. The central thesis of this keynote is that creativity requires risk, risk entails error, and a zero error environment is a zero learning environment. Dr. Reeves will introduce the concept of B3 Leadership, representing the combination of strategies from Bach, Beethoven, and Blues artists. Creativity relies upon the tension between formal structure (exemplified in the music of J.S. Bach), testing the boundaries of meaning and message (Beethoven), and on-the-spot improvisation of music, message, and form.
What could possible be wrong with “best practices” – the foundation of many reform programs? Viewed in isolation, each best practice is a sparkling diamond, standing alone casting its brilliance on everyone who sees it. But educational institutions are rarely content to polish a diamond, nurturing the impact of a particularly effective practice for students and schools. Soon after the first diamond is in place, another best practice is added to the mix. Then another, and another, and another, until the diamond is invisible, buried by a nondescript pile of rocks. The stunning evidence is that a best practice can rapidly become an ineffective practice, not because the practice itself was bad, but because any professional practice depends upon the context of support, monitoring, and improvement. This keynote includes practical guidelines for assessing instructional practices and focusing on the few that have the greatest impact for your educational organization.