Matching Items (6)

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A socio-cultural analysis of teacher learning: developing professional identities amidst struggles for inclusive education

Description

One of the critical imperatives for the development of inclusive school systems is the capacity to nurture and develop teachers who have the skills, critical sensibilities, and the contextual awareness

One of the critical imperatives for the development of inclusive school systems is the capacity to nurture and develop teachers who have the skills, critical sensibilities, and the contextual awareness to provide quality educational access, participation, and outcomes for all students; however, research on teacher learning for inclusive education has not yet generated a robust body of knowledge to understand how teachers become inclusive teachers in institutions where exclusion is historical and ubiquitous. Drawing from socio-cultural theory, this study aimed to fill this gap through an examination of teacher learning for inclusive education in an urban professional learning school. In particular, I aimed to answer the following two questions: (a) What social discourses are present in a professional learning school for inclusive education?, and (b) How do teachers appropriate these social discourses in situated practice? I used analytical tools from Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Grounded Theory to analyze entry and exit interviews with teacher residents, principals, site professors, and video-stimulated interviews with teacher residents, observations of classroom practices and thesis seminars, and school documents. I found two social discourses that I called discourses of professionalism, as they offered teachers a particular combination of tools, aiming to universalize certain tools for doing and thinking that signaled what it meant to be a professional teacher in the participating schools. These were the Total Quality Management like discourse (TQM-like) and the Inclusive Education-like discourse. The former was dominant in the schools, whereas the latter was dominant in the university Master's program. These discourses overlapped in teachers' classrooms practices, creating tensions. To understand how these tensions were resolved, this study introduced the concept of curating, a kind of heuristic development that pertains particularly to the work achieved in boundary practices in which individuals must claim multiple memberships by appropriating the discourses and their particular tool kits of more than one community of practice. This study provides recommendations for future research and the engineering of professional development efforts for inclusive education.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Innovating everything: examining teacher learning of unfamiliar texts

Description

This dissertation explored how a teacher learned to teach with and about unfamiliar (to her) media texts in her high school English classroom. This study also examined my role as

This dissertation explored how a teacher learned to teach with and about unfamiliar (to her) media texts in her high school English classroom. This study also examined my role as the researcher/mentor in the teacher’s learning and development process. Through situated learning theories (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and discourse through identities (Gee, 2001; 2014a) theoretical frameworks, this study explored the ways the teacher accepted, resisted, and enacted her figured worlds and identities as an English teacher. Historically, texts in the English classroom consist of novels, poems, plays, and the occasional nonfiction book or essay, and English teacher education and development often keeps these texts at the center of English teachers’ content knowledge. However, research exploring students’ use of multiliteracies in out-of-classroom contexts advocates for a multiliteracies perspective within classrooms. Still, there is a lack of professional development opportunities for teachers to support multiliteracies practices in their classrooms. Further, teachers’ professional development is often provided in stand-alone experiences where teachers learn outside of their classroom teaching contexts. Taking place over a six-month time frame, this study is situated as one-on-one professional development mentoring and included researcher and teacher collaboration in multiple contexts including planning, teaching, and reflection. This qualitative case study (Merriam, 1998) sought to address a gap in the literature in how the collaboration of teachers and researchers impacted teacher learning. Using interpretive analysis (Erickson, 1986) and discourse analysis (Gee, 2014a; 2014b) I developed two assertions: (1) The process the teacher underwent from finding resources to teaching and reflection was complex and filled with many phases and challenges, and (2) I, as the researcher/mentor, served as a sounding board and resource for the teacher/learner throughout her process of learning about, teaching with, and reflecting on unfamiliar texts. Findings of this study indicate the teacher’s identities and figured worlds impacted both how she learned about and taught with unfamiliar texts, and how I approached my role as a researcher/mentor in the study. Further, findings also indicate collaborative, practice-based research models (Hinchman & Appleman, 2017) offer opportunities to provide teachers meaningful and impactful professional development experiences situated in classroom contexts.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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White teachers' reflections on whiteness: documenting the journey

Description

Teacher learning is a complex and important idea, given the proposed centralized role these individuals have in eradicating the inequitable school outcomes for students of color. It is necessary that

Teacher learning is a complex and important idea, given the proposed centralized role these individuals have in eradicating the inequitable school outcomes for students of color. It is necessary that researchers document the complex trajectory of learning that occurs as teachers engage in critical reflection on their practice. In the current study, white, female teachers examined the ways their own beliefs, assumptions, and values impacted classroom interactions with students of color, as well as the ways power, privilege, and whiteness manifested in the classroom. Utilizing Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) as a framework for understanding teacher learning as product and process, as well as whiteness and feminist theories as interrogative tools, the complex and iterative learning trajectories of two elementary school teachers are described in detail. The participating teachers engaged in critical reflection in the context of collaborative interviews, in which they reflected upon excerpts from classroom videos using the lenses of whiteness, power, and privilege in order to consider their own and others' teaching related to deeply held beliefs, assumptions, and values.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Beginning teachers' production of pedagogical content knowledge: a cultural historical perspective

Description

Few would argue that teacher effectiveness is a key lever in education reform and improving the overall quality of public education, especially in poor and working class communities. To that

Few would argue that teacher effectiveness is a key lever in education reform and improving the overall quality of public education, especially in poor and working class communities. To that end, the importance of supporting and developing beginning teachers is of utmost importance in education, thus requiring deep understandings of the process of learning to teach. Yet, most conceptions of teacher learning struggle to capture the social, cultural, and historical context of teacher learning, particularly in understanding how learning and the production of knowledge is situated, active, and complex. One example of this limitation comes from the field of research on pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and its importance in developing effective beginning teachers. This study characterizes beginning teachers' production of PCK within a cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) framework. This study finds that the teachers produce PCK mostly based on their own individual experiences and reflections, receiving little assistance from the structures intended to provide them with support. The self-produced PCK is uneven, underdeveloped, and relies on teachers to use their sense of agency and identity to navigate dissonant and unbalanced activity systems. Over time, PCK production remains uneven and underdeveloped, while the individual teachers find it more and more difficult to bring balance to their activity systems, ultimately resulting in their exit from the activity system of teaching in their district and school.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Miss [untitled]: learning to teach science to English language learners while navigating affordances and constraints : a longitudinal multiple case study

Description

ABSTRACT Early career science teachers are often assigned to classrooms with high numbers of English language learners (ELL students). As these teachers learn to become effective practitioners, the circumstances surrounding

ABSTRACT Early career science teachers are often assigned to classrooms with high numbers of English language learners (ELL students). As these teachers learn to become effective practitioners, the circumstances surrounding them merit a thorough examination. This study examines the longitudinal changes in Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) and practices of six early career science teachers who taught in urban schools. The teachers participated in the Alternative Support for Induction Science Teachers (ASIST) program during their initial two years of teaching. Our research team followed the participants over a five-year period. This study focuses on data from Years 1, 3, and 5. The data collected included classroom observations and interviews. In addition, classroom artifacts were collected periodically for the purpose of triangulation. The analysis of the data revealed that with the support of the ASIST program, the teachers implemented inquiry lessons and utilized instructional materials that promoted academic language skills and science competencies among their ELL students. Conversely, standardized testing, teaching assignment, and school culture played a role in constraining the implementation of inquiry-based practices. The results of this study call for collaborative efforts among university science educators and school administrators to provide professional development opportunities and support for the implementation of inquiry and language practices among early career science teachers of ELL students.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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

Description

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011