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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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Efficacy, community, and aspiring principals

Description

The United States is facing an emerging principal shortage. This study examines an intervention to deliver professional development for assistant principals on their way to becoming principals. The intervention intended to boost their sense of efficacy as if they were

The United States is facing an emerging principal shortage. This study examines an intervention to deliver professional development for assistant principals on their way to becoming principals. The intervention intended to boost their sense of efficacy as if they were principals while creating a supportive community of professionals for ongoing professional learning. The community was designed much like a professional learning community (PLC) with the intent of developing into a community of practice (CoP). The participants were all elementary school assistant principals in a Title I district in a large metropolitan area. The researcher interviewed an expert set of school administrators consisting of superintendents and consultants (and others who have knowledge of what a good principal ought to be) about what characteristics and skills were left wanting in principal applicants. The data from these interviews provided the discussion topics for the intervention. The assistant principals met regularly over the course of a semester and discussed the topics provided by the expert set of school administrators. Participant interaction within the sessions followed conversation protocols. The researcher was also a participant in the group and served as the coordinator. Each session was recorded and transcribed. The researcher used a mixed methods approach to analyze the intervention. Participants were surveyed to measure their efficacy before and after the intervention. The session transcripts were analyzed using open and axial coding. Data showed no statistically significant change in the participants' sense of efficacy. Data also showed the participants became a coalescing community of practice.

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Created

Date Created
2011

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The Technology Core Teacher community: considerations for a community approach to professional development and technology integration

Description

The purpose of this project was to research the effects of a professional development intervention designed to build local capacity for technology integration among teachers at the school level. This was done by providing focused face-to face and online training

The purpose of this project was to research the effects of a professional development intervention designed to build local capacity for technology integration among teachers at the school level. This was done by providing focused face-to face and online training to twelve teachers referred to as the Technology Core Teacher (TCT) group. This project utilized the theoretical framework of social learning and communities of practice to provide an environment of ongoing support for technology integration. The findings addressed four areas: the TCT teachers' practice, their technology skill levels, the use of the online collaboration tools utilized for collaboration and virtual synchronous meetings, and whether the TCT teachers demonstrated signs of being a self sustainable community of practice. The findings demonstrate that the intervention had an influence on the participating teachers' practice and influenced the practice of other teachers as well. TCT teachers increased their skills when applying new learning with their students. TCT teachers used online collaboration tools minimally for communication, and synchronous meeting tools presented some difficulties. TCT teachers showed signs that they may be a sustainable Community of Practice. Although teachers reported that their technology skills increased, a pre-post survey of skills based on the ISTE NETS-T Assessment yielded lower confidence scores after the intervention. A follow up survey designed to explain these results indicated that teachers rated their skill set lower in light of more knowledge, indicating a possible paradox in self reporting of skills prior to awareness of technology based learning possibilities.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011