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

Description

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

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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A personal professional learning cohort cultivating a community of practice to lead school district change

Description

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the community of practice model in providing professional development to improve K-12 teacher’s knowledge, skills, self-efficacy with regard to the implementation of personal learning. The study also examined the

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the community of practice model in providing professional development to improve K-12 teacher’s knowledge, skills, self-efficacy with regard to the implementation of personal learning. The study also examined the extent to which the community created value for individuals and the organization. The study employed two theoretical frameworks: Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy and Wenger’s communities of practice.

The study employed a concurrent mixed methods approach. Eighteen teachers participated in a 9-month blended learning professional development focused on the implementation of personal learning. Participants took pre and post self-efficacy tests. In addition, qualitative data was collected from feedback surveys, online postings, a research journal, and individual interviews.

The teachers demonstrated greater levels of self-efficacy with regard to the implementation of personal learning after their participation in the professional development community. Teachers reported increased confidence with regard to personal learning in the areas of planning, risk-taking, implementation, making modifications for continuous improvement, and sharing their knowledge with others. The teachers also reported learning about themselves, their students and colleagues, as well as gaining knowledge of content related to teaching, and personal learning. Participants reported the development of a variety of skills including design and problem-solving skills, technology skills, and facilitation and PL strategies. They also reported changes in certain dispositions such as flexibility and open-mindedness. The community created value for both the individuals and the organization.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018