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I'm leaving!: understanding the effects of action research communities on teacher retention in one international school

Description

International schools and international education initiatives are experiencing tremendous growth as the world’s economy continues to globalize. International schools operating outside of the traditional boundaries of state and national contexts have become havens noted for their diverse and multicultural staff,

International schools and international education initiatives are experiencing tremendous growth as the world’s economy continues to globalize. International schools operating outside of the traditional boundaries of state and national contexts have become havens noted for their diverse and multicultural staff, student bodies and school communities. However, the challenges facing international education have only recently begun to be studied independent from their traditional teaching counterparts. International schools, and any study associated with them, require an individual approach for identifying and solving the challenges unique to their context.

“I’m Leaving!” is an action research study which incorporates phenomenological hermeneutics, action research, and a transformational innovation to examine the social structures associated with the decision-making process of the “I’m Leaving!” phenomenon and the administrative action developed in response. Guided by Transformational Leadership Theory (TLT), this study combined the latest action research methodological perspectives with hermeneutic tradition and Professional Learning Community (PLC) theory to provide a deep and unflinching view into the real and lived experiences of the one subject often forgot about in educational research: the teacher. The study results confirm previous study findings that teacher feelings and perceptions of the leadership effectiveness, teacher-leader relationships, and teacher professional growth opportunities were all improved after teachers participated in an action research communities.

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Date Created
2018

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Improving Science Education in International Schools Through Professional Development Targeting Next Generation Science Standards Assessment Design

Description

This study explores the impact of a professional development (PD) activity conducted for teachers of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) at 15 American-curriculum international schools. The intervention involved teachers utilizing the 3D-PAST screening tool to systematically evaluate the

This study explores the impact of a professional development (PD) activity conducted for teachers of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) at 15 American-curriculum international schools. The intervention involved teachers utilizing the 3D-PAST screening tool to systematically evaluate the alignment of teacher-designed assessments with the constructs of the NGSS and best practices in science instruction. Data about the way the intervention enhanced or challenged teachers’ understanding of the NGSS were collected via a multiple methods approach. The New Framework of Science Education Survey of Teacher Understanding (NFSE-STU) was used in a retrospective pretest-posttest fashion to assess changes in teachers’ understanding of NGSS constructs. Subsequently, interviews were conducted with participants which provided data that expanded upon the NFSE-STU findings. The Refined Consensus Model of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (RCM-PCK) was used to interpret the findings and situate the study within the extant literature on teacher PCK. The intervention was found to have a statistically significant effect on teachers’ understanding of the NGSS in all areas measured by the NFSE-STU. Additionally, data suggest that the intervention elicited changes in teachers’ classroom practices and improved collaborative professional practices. Also highlighted in the analysis was the significance of the relationship between the intervention moderator and the participants as a strong predictor of the way the intervention was perceived by teachers. The findings strongly support the suggestion that international school administrators seeking to maximize the impact of science teacher professional development should consider PD activities that train teachers in the use of aids to align NGSS assessments, because doing so simultaneously enhances teacher understanding of the NGSS while encouraging meaningful changes to professional practice. The study contributes to the nascent body of literature utilizing the RCM-PCK to situate understanding of science-teacher PCK, and fills a void in literature examining PD in American curriculum international schools, and highlights issues with potential to serve as foci for additional cycles of action research in the areas of international schools, science teacher and NGSS-related professional development, and the use of tools similar to 3D-PAST within other teaching disciplines.

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Date Created
2020