Matching Items (26)

156877-Thumbnail Image.png

Professional development in early childhood education: effects of a virtual community of practice on implementing best practices

Description

This mixed methods study examined whether participation in a virtual community of practice (vCoP) could impact the implementation of new skills learned in a professional development session and help to

This mixed methods study examined whether participation in a virtual community of practice (vCoP) could impact the implementation of new skills learned in a professional development session and help to close the research to implementation gap.

Six participants attended a common professional development session and completed pre- , mid- , and post-intervention surveys regarding their implementation of social emotional teaching strategies as well as face-to-face interviews.

Both quantitative and qualitative data was examined to determine if participation in the vCoP impacted implementation of skills learned in the PD session. Quantitative data was inconclusive but qualitative data showed an appreciation for participation in the vCoP and access to the resources shared by the participants. Limitations and implications for future cycles of research are discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

151586-Thumbnail Image.png

Transitioning new board of directors members from peripheral roles to active leadership roles

Description

The National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACCTEP) was established to promote the community college role in the recruitment, preparation, retention, and renewal of teachers. NACCTEP is led

The National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACCTEP) was established to promote the community college role in the recruitment, preparation, retention, and renewal of teachers. NACCTEP is led by a 13-member executive board consisting of community college teacher education administrators and faculty members from across the United States. Board members expressed concern that their first year consisted of them trying to learn their role as a board member including how to participate in board activities. By the time they became fully knowledgeable about their role and became more active participants, their two-year term was completed. They also indicated that initially they felt disconnected from veteran board members. To address this issue, an orientation/leadership suite was developed for new board members to assist them in transitioning from peripheral roles to full active roles. The suite included activities such as an association orientation web page, participation in monthly board conference calls, a face-to-face leadership session, and mentoring by veteran board members. The communities of practice (CoP) framework shaped this action research study and the activities of the suite were designed to foster a CoP. This action research study utilized a mixed-method research approach in which both qualitative and quantitative instruments were used to gather data. The descriptive statistics indicated that on average, new board members perceived mentoring was effective, understood their role on the board, experienced a sense of a community of practice, considered themselves as active on the board, and believed the leadership orientation suite was effective. An analysis of the qualitative data resulted in four themes: community, communication, participation, and efficacy. Overall, the findings indicated that the new board member orientation/leadership suite assisted new board members transition from peripheral roles to active leadership roles through developing a sense of community; facilitating and sustaining communication; defining, supporting, and encouraging participation; and increasing efficacy in their roles. Through the learning of their roles, the new board members became knowledgeable, comfortable, and confident in serving as board members, which facilitated their participating in the NACCTEP board's CoP.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

150519-Thumbnail Image.png

Implementing a standards-based teacher evaluation system: learning experiences for administrators in an urban school district

Description

Policymakers at the national level have recently initiated K-12 education reforms focused on teacher quality and teacher evaluation. Far-reaching legislation was subsequently enacted in the state of Arizona requiring schools

Policymakers at the national level have recently initiated K-12 education reforms focused on teacher quality and teacher evaluation. Far-reaching legislation was subsequently enacted in the state of Arizona requiring schools to adopt standards-based teacher evaluation systems and link them to student outcomes. The end product is to result in annual summative measures of teacher effectiveness. Because of this, Arizona school administrators have become concerned about rapidly becoming experts in high-stakes teacher evaluation. Principals rarely have time to come together to talk about teacher evaluation, and consider the reliability of their evaluations and how to use teacher evaluation to help teachers improve their practice. This action research study focused on a group of nine administrators in a small urban district grappling with a more complex and high-stakes teacher evaluation system. An existing community of practice was engaged to help administrators become more effective, fair, and consistent evaluators. Activities were designed to engage the group in dynamic, contextualized learning. Participants interacted in small groups to interpret the meaning of newly adopted evaluation instruments and professional teaching standards, share practical knowledge, and compare teacher evaluation experiences in classrooms. Data were gathered with mixed methods. Prior to, and immediately after engaging in this 20-week innovation, principals and district administrators were given two surveys and interviewed about teacher evaluation. Additionally, a detailed record of this project was kept in the form of meeting records and a research journal. Quantitative and qualitative data were triangulated to validate findings. Results identified concerns and understandings of administrators as they attempted to come to a shared consensus regarding teacher evaluation, increase inter-rater reliability, and use teacher evaluation to improve professional practice. As a result of working and learning together administrators lowered their concerns about inter-rater reliability. Other concerns, however, remained and grew. Administrators found the process of gaining a common understanding of teacher evaluation to be complex and far more time-consuming than anticipated. Intense concerns about alignment of the evaluation system with other reforms led these administrators to consider modifications in their evaluation system. Implications from this study can be used to help other administrators grappling with common concerns.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

149881-Thumbnail Image.png

Learning teaching: reciprocal learning

Description

This research is a reversal of the traditional concept of the student-teaching research experiment. Instead of studying the clear and stated goal of an apprenticeship, that of a pupil learning

This research is a reversal of the traditional concept of the student-teaching research experiment. Instead of studying the clear and stated goal of an apprenticeship, that of a pupil learning from the tutelage of a master, the focus here is on what a mentor-teacher learns from a student-teacher. During the act of teaching a novice, what can a mentor-teacher learn about her own practice, while demonstrating it to a pre-service teacher? Using the conceptual framework of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards' Architecture of Accomplished Teaching, and using it within a framework centered around cognitive coaching and reciprocal mentoring, this action research study implemented an intervention that called for series of five cognitive coaching cycles between a mentor- and student-teacher designed to foster dialogue and reflection between them. The ultimate aim of this case study was to help determine what a mentor-teacher learned about her own practice as a result of mentoring a student-teacher. Qualitative data were collected over sixteen weeks in a charter high school. Five findings were identified created after the data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach, and four conclusions were drawn about the intervention's role in the mentor-teacher's reciprocal learning.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

151123-Thumbnail Image.png

Identity development of preservice elementary teachers of mathematics from teacher education program to student teaching

Description

Drawing on Lave and Wenger (1991) this study explores how preservice elementary teachers develop themselves as teachers of mathematics, in particular, from the time of their teacher education courses to

Drawing on Lave and Wenger (1991) this study explores how preservice elementary teachers develop themselves as teachers of mathematics, in particular, from the time of their teacher education courses to their field experiences. This study also researches the critical experiences that contributed to the construction of their identities and their roles as student teachers in their identity development. The stories of Jackie, Meg, and Kerry show that they brought different incoming identities to the teacher education program based on their K-12 school experiences. The stories provide the evidence that student teachers' prior experience as learners of mathematics influenced their identities as teachers, especially their confidence levels in teaching mathematics. During the mathematics methods class, student teachers were provided a conceptual understanding of math content and new ways to think about math instruction. Based on student teachers' own experiences, they reconstructed their knowledge and beliefs about what it means to teach mathematics and set their goals to become the mathematics teachers they wanted to be. As they moved through the program through their student teaching periods, their identity development varied depending on the community of practice in which they participated. My study reveals that mentor relationships were critical experiences in shaping their identities as mathematics teachers and in building their initial mathematics teaching practices. Findings suggest that successful mentoring is necessary, and this generally requires sharing common goals, receiving feedback, and having opportunities to practice knowledge, skills, and identities on the part of beginning teachers. Findings from this study highlight that identities are not developed by the individual alone but by engagement with a given community of practice. This study adds to the field of teacher education research by focusing on prospective teachers' identity constructions in relation to the communities of practice, and also by emphasizing the role of mentor in preservice teachers' identity development.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

157131-Thumbnail Image.png

Fostering student engagement through an online community of learning: a mixed methods action research dissertation

Description

Promoting student engagement is a critical performance indicator for undergraduate success and is, therefore, a priority for academic institutions as they seek to improve teaching and learning practices (Meyer, 2014).

Promoting student engagement is a critical performance indicator for undergraduate success and is, therefore, a priority for academic institutions as they seek to improve teaching and learning practices (Meyer, 2014). Educators need to improve their instructional pedagogy by developing unique methods for engaging students with educational opportunities. Instructors who facilitate courses online face an even greater challenge in engaging students. A virtual learning community is a potential solution for improving online engagement.

This mixed methods action research dissertation explores the implementation of an online learning community and how it influences the engagement of students in distance learning environments. The primary research question guiding this inquiry is: How and to what extent does the implementation of an online learning community influence undergraduate student engagement in online courses? A sequential triangulation design was used to analyze data collected from surveys and responses collected from study participants during a synchronous online focus group. The analysis of the results of the study provide interesting insight into the online engagement of students. Key findings from the study are: 1) the inclusion of diverse perspectives is important for students and they value having opportunities to share their knowledge with peers; 2) an online learning community is beneficial for student engagement and this type of model is one they would participate in the future; 3) students experience a disconnect with peers when engagement opportunities in online discussion platforms feel insincere.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

156162-Thumbnail Image.png

Parents caring, sharing, and learning together online: an exploratory look at informal learning via a health-related support group in Facebook

Description

Using an adapted Straussian Grounded Theory approach, and as a participant observer, data from members of a Facebook group made up of parents and caretakers of infants or children with

Using an adapted Straussian Grounded Theory approach, and as a participant observer, data from members of a Facebook group made up of parents and caretakers of infants or children with Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) were collected and analyzed. During the first exploratory phase, 31 semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 theoretically sampled members of the group. During the second phase, 604 postings (original and comments) created by members of the online social media group, for one week, were analyzed. The study explored various dimensions of informal learning in this space. These included what learning strategies members used, what types of knowledge were encouraged and shared, how community within the group was characterized and its role in the learning space, what factors led members to join and share knowledge, and what patterns of participation existed in the group.

The findings revealed a core concept of a disconnect between group members and their medical community that drove participation in the online health-related social media group, as well as a substantive theory of learning to survive. A new framework for understanding online informal learning spaces in social media was developed and proposed. It was adapted from Wenger’s Community of Practice and Gee’s Affinity Spaces. Its key components include a disconnect; inherent learning processes; community and space characteristics; and types of knowledge that are encouraged and available. Findings also contributed to a better understanding of online information-seeking behaviors by introducing a new model of information-seeking within online social media groups. This model includes the stages of initiating, lurking, and browsing; requesting information; being guided by a highly knowledgeable member; reconciling; applying; and appraising. The model is a continuous cycle with entry and exit permitted at each stage based on the learner’s needs. In addition, this study’s findings demonstrate that social media spaces are a viable avenue for the transferring of experience-based knowledge.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

154334-Thumbnail Image.png

Three's a team: increasing collaboration among instructional assistants, general, and special educators teaching students with disabilities

Description

Children with cognitive disabilities are frequently included in general education classes to access grade level curriculum and socially interact with peers. To assist with the inclusion of students with disabilities,

Children with cognitive disabilities are frequently included in general education classes to access grade level curriculum and socially interact with peers. To assist with the inclusion of students with disabilities, some schools assign instructional assistants to support general education teachers. However, there is often a lack of planning time or a planning protocol for the general education teachers, special education teachers, and instructional assistant to plan for the inclusion of students with cognitive disabilities. This action research project intended to increase the collaboration among instructional assistants, general education teachers, and special education teachers by developing a Community of Practice among the three groups of professionals. The action included a jointly attended professional development opportunity on strategies to include students with cognitive disabilities in the general education classroom, followed by monthly structured collaboration meetings in which the team jointly planned for the students with disabilities. Effectiveness of the project was judged using survey and interview questions derived from Theory of Planned Behavior and the self-efficacy construct from Social-Cognitive theory. The implementation of a team planning protocol increased the team’s collaboration by positively improving communication and connectivity among the team members.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

149578-Thumbnail Image.png

Cross-disciplinary collaboration between two science disciplines at a community college

Description

Health science students like students in many disciplines exhibit difficulty with transferring content from one course to another. For example, the problem explored in this study occurred when overlapping

Health science students like students in many disciplines exhibit difficulty with transferring content from one course to another. For example, the problem explored in this study occurred when overlapping concepts were presented in introductory biology and chemistry courses, but students could not transfer the concepts to the other disciplinary course. In this mixed method action research study, the author served as facilitator/leader of a group of colleagues tasked with investigating and taking steps to resolve this student learning transfer problem. This study outlines the details of how an interdisciplinary community of practice (CoP) formed between chemistry and biology faculty members at a community college to address the problem and the benefits resulting from the CoP. Quantitative and qualitative data were obtained from transcripts of meetings of the faculty members, notes from other formal and informal meetings, classroom visits, a questionnaire containing Likert and open-ended items and interviews. Transcripts, notes, and interviews were coded to determine common themes. Findings suggested the CoP was an effective means to deal with the matter of student transfer of content across courses. In particular, the CoP agreed to use similar terminology, created materials to be used consistently across the courses, and explored other transfer specific approaches that allowed for transfer of course content. Finally, the benefits of the CoP were due in large part to the collaboration that took place among participants.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

154439-Thumbnail Image.png

Beyond "supervising" paraeducators: a community of practice about team leadership in special education

Description

This mixed methods action research study describes the benefits of a Team Leadership Community of Practice group for six early career special education teachers who supervised paraeducators. Problem-posing conversations with

This mixed methods action research study describes the benefits of a Team Leadership Community of Practice group for six early career special education teachers who supervised paraeducators. Problem-posing conversations with peers were a catalyst for professional learning and leadership transformation. The theoretical framework included Experiential Learning Theory, Transformational Leadership, and Communities of Practice—combined as a tri-theory lens. Data collection instruments included individual interviews, a focus group, content logs from audio recordings, a researcher journal, and two researcher-created instruments—the Intentional Leadership Actions and Paraeducator Outcomes Survey and the Teacher Group Reflection Survey. Findings indicated that team leaders favored collaborative partnerships with paraeducators rather than supervisory roles. Given perceived communication barriers as team leaders, participants spent time preparing for conversations with paraeducators. Together, they co-constructed understandings and stretched one another as a learning Community of Practice (CoP), as defined by Wenger (1998). The CoP was a framework for Experiential Learning when team leaders gathered together to share their concrete leadership experiences, reflect, conceptualize abstract meaning, and discuss possible strategies for future experimentation. Additionally, team leaders experienced individual reflection following CoP gatherings as they considered peer suggestions, fine-tuned ideas, and planned leadership actions. As team leaders implemented new leadership ideas and experienced positive outcomes, they reported increased efficacy and desire for additional leadership opportunities in their classrooms and beyond. A trilogy of poems complements the discussion of findings.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016