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Teachers' professional growth: the blending of technology, pedagogy and content

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ABSTRACT The integration of technology into content area teaching while taking into account state standards is a continuing challenge for secondary teachers. To address this challenge, six high school teachers

ABSTRACT The integration of technology into content area teaching while taking into account state standards is a continuing challenge for secondary teachers. To address this challenge, six high school teachers participated in one-on-one tutoring sessions conducted by the researcher. The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK), which posits that teachers add technology into their practice by blending it with content and pedagogy, served as the theoretical framework and guided implementation of the project. During the one-on-one tutoring sessions, which occurred weekly in hour-long sessions for a five- to eight-week period, teachers selected the focus of the training sessions. To assess teacher perceptions of efficacy quantitative data were gathered prior to and following the intervention using an on-line survey tool. Although pre- to post-intervention scores on the survey increased, the difference was not significant. With respect to the qualitative data four themes emerged. First, there were specific processes and patterns that emerged within the sessions related to the TPACK framework. Teachers selected either technology or content to initiate sessions. Teachers did not begin sessions with high yield pedagogical strategies as a focus. Second, one-on-one tutoring fostered an initial sense of community, and as the project progressed, a community of practice emerged. Third, challenges emerged related to technology and high yield pedagogical strategies. At times technology did not work or teachers expressed there was too much to grasp and apply to their practice. Additionally, the appropriate applications of high yield instructional strategies also presented challenges to participants. Fourth, based on their participation in the project, teachers expressed an increased sense of efficacy with respect to conducting their work. The discussion was focused on how teachers created a community of practice to support their professional growth, which influenced efficacy for teaching as they became increasingly effective in blending technology, pedagogy and content.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Fostering self-efficacy in Spanish immersion teachers through a community of practice

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Learning a second language has been shown to have many benefits, but in the

state of Arizona the teaching and learning of second languages has been restricted since the passing of

Learning a second language has been shown to have many benefits, but in the

state of Arizona the teaching and learning of second languages has been restricted since the passing of Proposition 203. In the past few years, schools offering Dual Language Immersion programs have emerged, but their teachers do not have much experience, training or resources to teach language through content. Language immersion self- efficacy has been shown to be crucial for the teachers to be more effective in their instruction and for them to embrace the challenges they face.

The purpose of this action research study was to increase Spanish immersion teachers' self-efficacy through a community of practice, in which teachers performed peer observations and offered feedback, collaboratively drew from a pool of resources that were available online for all to use, and supported each other in the areas they felt could be improved.

Quantitative data included pre- and post- intervention self-efficacy surveys, as well as a retrospective survey. Qualitative data included audio recordings and field notes from the community of practice sessions, teacher observations, peer observations, and feedback meetings, as well as interviews.

Results from the analysis of data showed an increase of teachers’ self-efficacy because of the close collaboration and resource sharing that took place during the implementation of the community of practice. Teachers also reported positive changes in practice due to peer observations and collegial conversations during meetings, where teachers could acknowledge their own successes and use ideas from others to improve their practice. Finally, despite all the positive outcomes from this action research study, it was evident there were some systemic issues the community of practice could not change, such as the lack of resources and appropriate curriculum for Spanish immersion teachers.

Many parents and educators have agreed our students should have the opportunity of becoming bilingual to face global competition more effectively. Because of that, Spanish immersion schools have been growing in popularity in Arizona. Moreover, it has become clear that as we have more schools and teachers willing to adopt these programs, more resources must be made available to support immersion teachers and their instruction.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Professional Development for Communication Skills, Collaboration Skills, and Fostering Positive Connections in the Workplace

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Change in the workplace is a constant. This is even more true due to changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes have altered work locations, the modes of communication

Change in the workplace is a constant. This is even more true due to changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes have altered work locations, the modes of communication used, and how meetings are held, conversations, and trainings. It has become evident that, with these pandemic-caused changes, communication skills, the ability to empathize, and the opportunity to connect with one another are more desirable than ever before. The purpose of this mixed-method study was to examine how, and to what extent, participation in professional development workshops developed and refined the participants’ communication skills, collaboration skills, communication self-efficacy, and collaboration self-efficacy, and generated an environment that fostered positive connections. The study was guided by five theoretical frameworks, including the work of Wenger (1998), Tuckman (1965), Bandura (1977), Goleman (1995), and Luthans et al. (2007). This action research study utilized a mixed-method research approach in which both qualitative and quantitative instruments were used to gather data. Study participants were staff members in New College. The innovation was conducted over the length of the semester and involved participation in a series of professional development workshops. Quantitative data indicated a positive change in the dependent variables between a retrospective pre-innovation assessment and a post-innovation assessment. The qualitative data allowed for a descriptive story to be told and also provided a way to understand the numerical data. Discussion focused on describing the complementarity of the data, explaining outcomes relative to the theoretical frameworks, and noting limitations, implications for practice and future research, and lessons learned.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021