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Transcript of Teacher Learning
Changes to In-Service Teacher-Learning in the U.S.
Current Practice...in Actuality
What's happening elsewhere?
Differences in perceived role of teachers: learning as part of the job
Structural differences in teacher role
Instruction takes about half of teachers times (15-20 hrs)
Physical layout of schools promote collaboration - teachers "offices"
Dedicated time for collaboration
Teachers actively participate in school curriculum & assessment development
High government support & funding
Japanese Lesson Study
Form of action research - treats teachers as researchers who can experiment and develop new knowledge
4-6 teachers form one lesson study group (multiple occur in a school)
Determine research goal & research question
Develop hypothesis about instructional strategies that might lead to their goal
Collaboratively plan lesson employing strategies
Teach lesson, gather data, re-design, repeat
1 lesson study = 10-15 meetings over 3-4 weeks
Also used for dissemination of best practices
Supported by government through money & provision of expert advisors
Disseminate results through publications, open houses, teacher movement
Challenges to U.S. - teacher training
Chinese Jiaoyanzu (Teacher Research Groups)
Collaboration considered a "given" part of teacher culture
Research groups are a formal part of the school organizational structure
3-7 teachers; same subject area
Head of group is the "best" teacher
"Backbone teachers" provide support for group head; more experienced & active; try out new programs & mentor new teachers
Group activities: study & discuss national curriculum, design instructional plans, study "difficult" or "key" points in the subject matter & how to teach them, examining teachers lessons & resulting student work, peer observation, designing assessments, organizing PD, mentoring new teachers
Teacher role: classroom teacher, teacher educator, "inquirer" into education
Challenges to U.S. - views of teaching as a profession
Future Directions for the U.S.
Past, Present, & Future Directions
What causes changes?
In the past
Standards-based movement & accountability
Federal & state mandates
State reform agendas
Changing perceptions of teacher professionalism
What is it?
Professional development, continuing education
Training teachers receive when they are practicing, as opposed to training they receive prior to certification
Many forms: workshops, conferences, coaching, PLCs, membership in professional organizations, discussions with other teachers, even reading
Why is it important?
Link between teacher effectiveness & student achievement
Large number of alternatively certified teachers
Current reforms are calling for significant changes to teacher practice
Teachers not viewed as professionals
Lack of individual reflection on practice
Teachers as "passive receptacles"
"Staff development" focused on training teachers in new pedagogical techniques & dissemination of new research
Goal was not the continuous improvement of the individual teacher, but to improve the organization
Often took the form of one-off workshops
Teachers viewed as active learners and "reflective practitioners" - make decisions about professional growth & construct knowledge
Good PD should be:
Intensive, ongoing, connected to practice
Focus on student learning
Address specific content
Align with school goals
92% participate in workshops, conferences, etc...
36% take university courses, 22% observe other teachers
Majority is focused on content
PD is not continuous or focused for long periods of time - fewer than half receive more than 16 hours on one topic
More PD in urban schools
67% of teachers report collaborating, average 2.7 hrs per week
New teacher mentoring/induction
National Board Certification
School-based coaching programs
With new waves of reform, both traditional & non-traditional forms of PD are important:
Traditional: dissemination of information
Non-traditional: teachers as researchers who can add to body of knowledge
Require schools or districts to create & publish PD plans based on known best practices
Remove structural barriers to teacher collaboration
Modify pre-service education to train teachers in design principles & inquiry methods
Provide grants & training resources to schools implementing teacher inquiry programs
Create teacher-research publications
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