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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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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

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The effect of a community of practice on English language development teachers

Description

.ABSTRACT The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) empowered a task force to design a new instructional model for English Language Development (ELD) students. The task force created a four-hour, language intensive instructional model which required ELD-indentified students to be immersed

.ABSTRACT The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) empowered a task force to design a new instructional model for English Language Development (ELD) students. The task force created a four-hour, language intensive instructional model which required ELD-indentified students to be immersed in grammar, reading, pre-writing, vocabulary and oral English conversation. This model also mandated a specific number of instructional minutes were to be assigned to each of the model's five components. Moreover, these instructional minutes were to be accounted for by ELD teachers as they developed lesson plans to teach these students. To address the substantial professional development requirements entailed by these mandates, Wenger's Community of Practice (CoP) framework was employed. A CoP was formed to assist nine ELD teachers to (a) meet mandates of the instructional model, (b) participate in professional development opportunities to gain language-based instructional strategies, (c) plan lessons together and eventually, (d) allow them to become more efficacious in their abilities to meet and implement the mandated ADE Sheltered English Instruction (SEI) instructional model developed by the ADE task force. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered throughout the study by means of a pre- and post-questionnaire, audio taping and transcribing CoP sessions and field notes. Findings suggest the CoP served as an effective forum for increasing ELD teachers' sense of efficacy towards becoming an effective ELD teacher. Moreover, the CoP helped increase understanding of the requirements of the instructional model, participate in professional development specific to their needs and collaborate, which was largely responsible for increasing teacher efficacy.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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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 concepts were presented in introductory biology and chemistry courses, but

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.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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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 by a 13-member executive board consisting of community college teacher

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