Matching Items (5)

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The contribution of professional development to a middle-school team's collaboration and instructional learning

Description

ABSTRACT Teachers working in isolation to overcome instructional challenges are left to their own devices, but teachers working together can benefit from others' perspectives. Teacher collaboration can increase communication and

ABSTRACT Teachers working in isolation to overcome instructional challenges are left to their own devices, but teachers working together can benefit from others' perspectives. Teacher collaboration can increase communication and open doors to increased collective knowledge and rapport. Collaborative knowledge sharing and decision-making that focus on student achievement can go far in improving instructional learning. This action research focused on increasing collaboration among members of a middle school team of teachers. Involving teachers in a collaboration development processes was intended to improve productive interactions and contribute to instructional learning as a professional learning team. Study participants were involved in an eight week professional development initiative that involved techniques to promote collaboration along with instructional learning tools to promote professional learning in regard to guiding students to high levels of cognition. A mixed methods set of data was generated including a research journal, artifacts, surveys, meeting transcriptions, and interviews. Findings concluded that focusing on collaboration contributed to positive changes in the middle school team's interactions. Setting and revisiting norms of collaboration were crucial steps in this focus, leading to increased buy-in and active participation during team meetings. Focusing on relevance contributed to multiple aspects of the team's instructional learning. Participants valued their collaborative efforts especially when they found direct links between their professional learning and their individual classroom situations. Focusing on an action plan also contributed to participants' instructional learning. Setting manageable short terms goals gave the team direction and fostered accountability. Finally, working as a professional learning team contributed to the team's instructional learning. Taking the time to meet frequently allowed teachers to share classroom experiences, assist one another, and develop professionally.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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High school peer tutoring: an in-depth look at what constitutes an ideal peer tutor and an ideal peer tutoring session

Description

Peer learning is one of the longest established and most intensively researched forms of learning. As a form of peer learning, peer tutoring is characterized by specific role-taking as tutor

Peer learning is one of the longest established and most intensively researched forms of learning. As a form of peer learning, peer tutoring is characterized by specific role-taking as tutor or tutee with high focus on curriculum content. In the late 18th century, Andrew Bell undoubtedly became the first person in the world to use peer tutoring in a systematic fashion within a school setting. Due to its miraculous success, Bell affirmed that peer tutoring was the new method of practical education and was essential to every academic institution. Early in American education, teachers relied on certain students to teach others (i.e., peer tutoring) but this occurred on an informal, impromptu, as needed basis. This type of peer tutoring lasted well into the 20th century. A recent change in the traditional face of peer tutoring arrangements for U.S. schools has occurred due to more than 30 years of research at four major tutoring centers. Peer tutoring has moved away from an informal and casual approach to a more formal and robust method of teaching and learning. However, at the researcher's high school, peer tutoring was still very casual, informal, and practically non-existent. Consequently, the researcher created a peer tutoring club, and developed, and implemented a peer tutoring program. The researcher conducted a mixed-methods study with design-based research (DBR) as the preferred research design in order to discover what constitutes an ideal peer tutor and an ideal peer tutoring session. The researcher utilized qualitative means to analyze the following data: 1) field notes, 2) impromptu interviews, 3) questionnaires, 4) focus group interviews, and 5) a semi-structured interview. The researcher utilized quantitative means to analyze the following data: 1) sessions tutored survey and 2) archival data (e.g., daily attendance, school records). Analysis of qualitative and quantitative data suggested that the ideal peer tutor was qualified (e.g., desire, character traits, content mastery), trained (e.g., responsibilities, methodologies, procedures), and experienced. Likewise, in addition to having an ideal peer tutor, an ideal peer tutoring session took place in an environment conducive to learning and tutees were prepared and actively participated.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Collaborative practitioner inquiry: providing leadership and action research for teacher professional development

Description

Professional development is best when embedded in one's practice and linked directly to the classroom. Opportunities for teachers to identify specific areas of concern in their classroom and problem solve

Professional development is best when embedded in one's practice and linked directly to the classroom. Opportunities for teachers to identify specific areas of concern in their classroom and problem solve solutions via action research promotes a culture of inquiry. This culture of inquiry is enhanced when teams of teachers collaborate and share their action research experiences. In this study, action research training was provided to teachers to create a trained cohort of action research teachers within the school. Members of this cohort voluntarily joined with other teachers interested in classroom action research and participated in a professional learning community (PLC). The members of this PLC initiated classroom action research projects and met collaboratively as a PLC. The study examined what collaborative practitioner inquiry contributed to teacher professional development and how my leadership contributed to teacher professional development. Data were collected through the administration of a survey, interviews, transcriptions of PLC meetings, and my research journal. Findings indicate that participants benefited from the provided professional development and my leadership as a result of the intervention. Teachers applied the professional literature and used data to inform their instruction. Teacher collaboration was enhanced and teachers examined instructional practices. Lastly, my leadership enhanced teacher application of action research.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Promoting meaningful uses of technology in a middle school

Description

Federal education policies call for school district leaders to promote classroom technology integration to prepare students with 21st century skills. However, schools are struggling to integrate technology effectively, with students

Federal education policies call for school district leaders to promote classroom technology integration to prepare students with 21st century skills. However, schools are struggling to integrate technology effectively, with students often reporting that they feel like they need to power down and step back in time technologically when they enter classrooms. The lack of meaningful technology use in classrooms indicates a need for increased teacher preparation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact a coaching model of professional development had on school administrators` abilities to increase middle school teachers` technology integration in their classrooms. This study attempted to coach administrators to develop and articulate a vision, cultivate a culture, and model instruction relative to the meaningful use of instructional technology. The study occurred in a middle school. Data for this case study were collected via administrator interviews, the Principal`s Computer Technology Survey, structured observations using the Higher Order Thinking, Engaged Learning, Authentic Learning, Technology Use protocol, field notes, the Technology Integration Matrix, teacher interviews, and a research log. Findings concluded that cultivating change in an organization is a complex process that requires commitment over an extended period of time. The meaningful use of instructional technology remained minimal at the school during fall 2010. My actions as a change agent informed the school`s administrators about the role meaningful use of technology can play in instruction. Limited professional development, administrative vision, and expectations minimized the teachers` meaningful use of instructional technology; competing priorities and limited time minimized the administrators` efforts to improve the meaningful use of instructional technology. Realizing that technology proficient teachers contribute to student success with technology, it may be wise for administrators to incorporate technology-enriched professional development and exercise their leadership abilities to promote meaningful technology use in classrooms.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011