The CTA IFT is attempting to bring a new approach to school change. Based on early work with the Gates and Packard Foundations and discussions with hundreds of practitioners and students, the IFT determined that school change must include two key factors: (1) It needs to be teacher-driven and (2) It should be based on what is working and successful in the classroom.
By focusing on what works in schools, the IFT believes strength-based models for school change add a new dimension to school improvement. Strength-based models provide an asset-based approach that teachers can use to emphasize talents over weaknesses and strengths over deficits to create a learning environment that supports and encourages every student to do their best.
IFT discovered a new sense of optimism and accomplishment when teachers were given the responsibility for describing what makes the teaching and learning process most successful. As a result, CTA IFT is now helping chapters and members become experts on solutions, as they begin to change policy at the local level.