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Teacher learning within literacy instruction: reflective & refractive considerations on the community, interpersonal, and individual planes

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This qualitative study explores the learning experiences of two first-grade teachers in a progressive public elementary school in the southwestern U.S. Participants inquired into their literacy instruction practices within

This qualitative study explores the learning experiences of two first-grade teachers in a progressive public elementary school in the southwestern U.S. Participants inquired into their literacy instruction practices within their reading-workshops. Weekly inquiry group conversations between teachers and researcher informed a perspective of learning as participation. During the semester-long study, two key questions guided design and implementation: 1) What is the nature of teachers' learning experiences related to their literacy instruction practices, contextualized within an inquiry group? 2) How do those learning experiences reflect and/or refract the community, interpersonal, and individual planes of analysis? An ethnographic perspective informed data collection and analysis; data were collected through weekly inquiry-group conversations, bi-weekly classroom observations, and in-depth interviews. A learning framework of community, interpersonal, and individual planes of analysis served as an analytic tool used in conjunction with a modified analytic induction. Teachers' case studies offer unique accounts of their learning, contextualized within their specific classrooms. Findings are discussed through narrative-based vignettes, which illustrate teachers' learning trajectories. On the community plane, apprenticeship relationships were evident in teachers' interactions with students' parents and with one another. Interpersonal interactions between teachers demonstrated patterns of participation wherein each tried to teach the other as they negotiated their professional identities. Analysis of the individual plane revealed that teachers' past experiences and personal identities contributed to ways of participation for both teachers that were highly personal and unique to each. Affective considerations in learning were a significant finding within this study, adding dimensionality to this particular sociocultural theory of learning. The ways teachers felt about themselves, their students, their community, and their work constituted a significant influence on what they said and did, as demonstrated on all three planes of analysis. Implications for practice include the significance of professional development efforts that begin at the site of teachers' questions, and attention to teachers' individual learning trajectories as a means to supporting educators to teach in more confident and connected ways.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Writing toward published selves: teacher-writers and a practice of revision

Description

This qualitative, action research study examines how teacher-writers' identities are constructed through the practice of revision in an extra-curriculum writing group. The writing group was designed to support the teacher-writers

This qualitative, action research study examines how teacher-writers' identities are constructed through the practice of revision in an extra-curriculum writing group. The writing group was designed to support the teacher-writers as they revised classroom research projects for submission for a scholarly journal. Using discourse analysis, the researcher explores how the teacher-writers' identities are constructed in the contested spaces of revision. This exploration focuses on contested issues that invariably emerge in a dynamic binary of reader/writer, issues of authority, ownership, and unstable reader and writer identities. By negotiating these contested spaces--these contact zones--the teacher-writers construct opportunities to flex their rhetorical agency. Through rhetorical agency, the teacher-writers shift their discoursal identities by discarding and acquiring a variety of discourses. As a result, the practice of revision constructs the teacher-writers identities as hybrid, as consisting of self and other.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Children writers: enactments of identity, agency, and power in a third-grade writing workshop

Description

This qualitative study uses the theoretical concepts of identity, agency, and power to explore the ways in which students in their moment-to-moment interactions enact identities, agency, and power as they

This qualitative study uses the theoretical concepts of identity, agency, and power to explore the ways in which students in their moment-to-moment interactions enact identities, agency, and power as they engage in the activity of writing and participate in a writing workshop. This research highlights what happens to writers as they engage in writing processes with one another and moves away from interpreting what happens between students as only cognitive or behavioral phenomenon. Additionally, through the lenses of identity, agency, and power, the complexity of what it means to be a writer in a writing workshop is made visible. Data for the study were collected over a five-month period and include observations of children participating in a third-grade writing workshop, written field notes, and detailed recording of the actions and interactions among the students as well as the teacher and students to capture the time, space, and participants' activity during the writing workshop. Whole class and small-group interactions were video and/or audiorecorded daily for later transcription, observation and reflection. Semi-structured informal interviews and informal talks with the students and the teachers were conducted and recorded on a regular basis, and the students' written work and other related artifacts were collected to examine the students' work as writers. The research reveals three major themes: 1) students enact multiple identities to serve a variety of purposes; 2) students enact agency in the ordinary and everyday practices of the writing workshop to change their present interactions, circumstances, and conditions; and 3) in their microlevel interactions, students enact macrolevel notions of power that shift classroom as well as peer relations. Additionally this study reveals the ways in which students use their written texts as evidence to substantiate the claims they are making about themselves and about others as learners and as people.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2010