Matching Items (3)

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Surveying Arizona's third through fifth grade teachers about their confidence in teaching the cognitive demands of the Common Core State Standards to all students

Description

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this descriptive study was to gain an understanding of the confidence level held by third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers as to their preparedness for teaching the

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this descriptive study was to gain an understanding of the confidence level held by third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers as to their preparedness for teaching the cognitive demands of the Common Core State Standards (Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards) to all students, in particular Hispanic students living in poverty, who occupy close to a third of all classroom seats in Arizona. The achievement gap between Hispanic students living in poverty and non-Hispanic students of non-poverty status is one of the largest achievement gaps in Arizona, which has existed with minimal change for more than 12 years. By gaining an understanding of the teachers' confidence in teaching critical thinking skills, further support and professional development is suggested to link a teacher's knowledge to instructional practice that in turn increases the academic achievement of Arizona's poor Hispanic students.

The process of gaining this understanding was by using a multi-dimensional survey with 500 third through fifth grade teachers in two uniquely different, but representative, Arizona school districts. Approximately one-third of those teachers responded to the multi-dimensional survey about teaching the critical thinking (CT) skills of Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards for English Language Arts. The survey asked teachers to rate their levels of preparedness for teaching CT to several types of students, to choose a CT definition, describe the relationship of CT and reading, explain how they teach CT to students who are reading below grade level, express the support they need to teach CT to those students, and rate the effectiveness of several CT classroom vignettes for different types of students. Although the questions involved several types of students, the primary focus was on exploring the teachers' position with teaching CT to Low SES Hispanic students.

A disconnect was revealed between the teachers' perception that they had the ability and knowledge necessary to teach critical thinking skills and their ability to identify ineffective critical thinking instructional practices. This disconnect may be interfering with the link between the professional development teachers are currently receiving to implement Common Core State Standards and teachers actively engaging in learning what is needed to effectively teach critical thinking skills to their students.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Classroom walkthroughs at two suburban high schools: gathering data to improve instructional practice

Description

With changes in federal legislation and the proposed reauthorization of The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, school administrators are held to high standards in an attempt to improve achievement for

With changes in federal legislation and the proposed reauthorization of The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, school administrators are held to high standards in an attempt to improve achievement for all students. They no longer just manage their schools but must now be instructional leaders charged with observing and conferencing with teachers, leading professional development aligned to data, and measuring results. Classroom walkthroughs have become a way of assisting with these tasks while supporting the mission of each school. The purpose of this research was to describe how walkthroughs operate in practice and how they were experienced by school administration, teacher leaders, and teachers at two schools within the same suburban district. Interviews illustrated that experiences were varied using the classroom walkthrough protocol. Continued professional development needed to occur with administrators and teachers. Participants shared their thoughts on implementation and usage, as well as made recommendations to schools and/or districts considering implementing classroom walkthroughs. Results also indicated a great deal of attention paid to the collection of data within the schools but there was less consensus on the analysis and use of the collected data. There was also confusion with teachers as to the vision, purpose, and goals of using classroom walkthroughs. Changes in leadership during the five years since implementation and young administrators, who were relatively new in their positions, helped shape school experiences. Recommendations to schools and/or districts considering implementation focused on support from the district office, a need for help with data collection and analysis, and a clear vision for the use of the protocol. Interviewees mentioned it would benefit districts and schools to develop a shared vocabulary for instructional engagement, alignment, and rigor, as well as a focus for professional development. They also shared the view that calibration conferences and conversations, centered on instruction, provided a focus for teaching and learning within a school and/or district.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Tseunis Transformative Teacher Induction Plan, T3IP: TTTIPing the scale in favor of reform

Description

Facing a teacher shortage in math, science, and language arts secondary courses, a suburban, unified, K-12 district partnered with a university in the southwest to create a program for alternatively

Facing a teacher shortage in math, science, and language arts secondary courses, a suburban, unified, K-12 district partnered with a university in the southwest to create a program for alternatively certified teachers. This specialized program permitted candidates to teach with an intern certificate while completing university coursework leading to certification. During this timeframe, the researcher-practitioner of this study created an alternative teacher induction program focused on cycles of action research. The model was created to capitalize on the content knowledge and work experience of alternatively certified teachers in order to inspire innovation by offering a district-based induction centering on cycles of action research. In the teachers' third year, each teacher conducted action research projects within the framework of Leader Scholar Communities which were facilitated by mentor teachers from the district with content expertise. This study examines the effects of such a model on teachers' identities and propensity toward transformative behaviors. A mixed methods approach was used to investigate the research questions and to help the researcher gain a broader perspective on the topic. Data were collected through a teacher efficacy survey, questionnaire, focus groups, semi-structured interviews, observations, and electronic data. The results from the study indicated that the participants in the study exhibited signs of professional teaching identity, especially in the constructs of on-going process, relationship between person and context, and teacher agency. Additionally, the participants referenced numerous perspective transformations as a result of participating in cycles of action research within the framework of a Community of Practice framework. Implications from this study include valuing alternatively certified teachers, creating outcome-based teacher induction programs, and replicating the T3IP model to include professional development opportunities beyond this unique context.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011