Evaluating reciprocal coaching as a differentiated professional development strategy for experienced teachers : the effect of the GK-12 program on teachersBusch, Kirstin Collette Rogis 03 December 2013 (has links)
Professional development is key to improved student and school success, however research in this field is relatively new and teacher learning is often lackluster. Additionally, alternative strategies are needed to address the unique professional development needs of experienced teachers. One possible strategy is classroom-embedded reciprocal coaching, such as that used in the National Science Foundation's GK-12 program, between experienced classroom teachers and graduate student scientists. Teachers were surveyed to determine if their participation in GK-12 provided a positive professional development experience. It was found that teachers benefited from this type of professional development with a perceived increase in their science content knowledge and an overall high level of satisfaction with the program. Interviews revealed common themes such as the teacher's viewpoint of whether this was professional development, the teachers' areas of learning, the reciprocal nature of the coaching relationship, and the prospect of sustainability. / text
Huysman, Mary H, Ph.D.
20 December 2012
The purpose of this qualitative action research study was to explore content area teachers’ understanding of literacy, the strategies they use in working with content materials to support their students’ learning of content, and how collaboration with a literacy expert informs literacy instruction. In my work with content area teachers, they have expressed the need for support as they try new literacy strategies when engaging students in content material. Literacy skills are a part of all content areas. Therefore, literacy scholars need an ongoing understanding of how content teachers define and perceive literacy in their content area in order to provide this support. Framed within a sociocultural lens (Vygotsky, 1978), this action research study (Schmuck, 2006) examined how high school content area teachers engaged students in reading content material as they implemented literacy strategies to support students’ access to content. Guiding this study were the following questions: (a) How do content area teachers define and perceive literacy and specifically define literacy in their content area? (b) How do teachers use literacy strategies they learn in professional development sessions? (c) Is there a benefit when a literacy specialist and a content area teacher collaborate to design literacy instruction? Participants in this study included three content area teachers: a math teacher, a business teacher, and English teacher. Data collection occurred throughout the spring term 2012 in the school where the participants work. Data sources included semi-structured interviews, observations, discussions generated from collaborative planning sessions with the researcher, informal debriefings with participants, and a researcher journal. Themes abstracted from the data were (a) teachers’ definitions of literacy did not change over the course of the study, (b) their disposition toward use of strategies did change over the course of the study, and (c) collaborative, embedded professional development between the content area teacher and literacy specialist was an important factor in changing disposition. This action research study emphasizes a need for literacy specialists in schools and embedded, ongoing professional development, and informs literacy specialists how content area teachers can be supported as they engage students in reading content material.
Differentiating Instruction to Close the Achievement Gap for Special Education Students Using Everyday MathBeauchaine, Vanessa Constance January 2009 (has links)
Thesis advisor: Robert J. Starratt / This case study examined teacher collaboration and teacher change while in the process of differentiating instruction in the area of mathematics in an elementary school. The project included a two-tier professional development opportunity for the staff. Professional development sessions focusing on specific mathematics skills were offered in lieu of traditional faculty meetings and thirteen, teacher volunteers in grades K-3 participated in bi-monthly study groups. The study describes the journey of the thirteen teachers as they identified successful strategies for differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all learners. The study explored how job-embedded professional development offered teachers the resources and support to meet together during the school day to engage in dialogue about their students' progress, difficulties encountered when teaching specific concepts and skills, and proactively planning in order to differentiate instruction effectively. The study focused on collaboration as a method for learning together in an adult learning environment and improving current teacher practices. The research was qualitative with the school principal as both researcher and participant-observer of the study. Data instruments used for the participants involved in this study were pre- and post-implementation surveys of the entire staff, semi-structured interviews of the thirteen teacher volunteers, observations of meetings, teachers' reflective journals, and field notes. Findings indicated that there was an increase in the teachers' use of differentiated instruction in the area of math. While teachers most often differentiated lessons by ability, teachers experimented with differentiating by interest as well as addressing the students' varying learning styles. In addition, teachers found that the embedded study groups were valuable in helping them to collaborate with their peers and improve their practice in teaching mathematics to all learners. In a profession where continual renewal is necessary, it is essential for educators to be provided with adequate time to review current practices, reflect on the strategies that are most successful, and refine their craft in order to provide opportunities that will maximize student thinking and learning. / Thesis (EdD) — Boston College, 2009. / Submitted to: Boston College. Lynch School of Education. / Discipline: Educational Administration and Higher Education.
Bodie, Kathleen M.
Thesis advisor: Robert J. Starratt / This qualitative case study examined the effect the first year of an elementary mathematics induction program had on the mathematics content knowledge, pedagogical repertoire, confidence, classroom practice, and student achievement for six new elementary teachers in a suburban school district. The study also examined which components of this job-embedded professional development program influenced the teachers' practice the most. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with the six volunteer teachers, questionnaires, journals, and student assessment results. The major findings from the study showed that: (1) teachers' perception of their instructional practice, particularly their ability to question student thinking, math content knowledge, and confidence to teach mathematics improved as a result of the program; and, (2) teachers benefited the most from the opportunity to regularly observe their mentor teach a mathematics lesson, followed by the opportunity to discuss mathematics and related pedagogical issues with their cohort and mentor. Implications from the findings include the benefit of instituting content-focused, job-embedded professional development during a new teacher's first year in a district that provides regular opportunities for new teachers to observe a skilled veteran teacher teach mathematics lessons and to have peer discussions regarding the teaching of mathematics. Limitations of the study included the role of the Assistant Superintendent as researcher and developer of the program and the small sample size. Recommendations for future study include following: the effect on teaching practice after the second year in the math mentoring program; the effect of the program on mentors; the effect of mathematics self-efficacy on mathematics teaching self-efficacy and student achievement. / Thesis (EdD) — Boston College, 2009. / Submitted to: Boston College. Lynch School of Education. / Discipline: Education and Higher Education.
DelColle, Jeanne M
01 January 2019
In a co-teaching model of student teaching, mentor teachers are presented with opportunities for professional growth because extensive collaboration occurs with the teacher candidate throughout the process. Despite the proliferation of co-teaching programs, mentor teachers often lack formal training for their role. Further, insufficient evidence fails to show how collaboration between mentor and candidate contributes to professional growth for the mentor. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine such growth in 9 mentor teachers who hosted teacher candidates during 1 semester of student teaching to determine how a co-teaching model affected mentor teachers' own teaching and mentoring skills. Professional growth was examined through Wenger's 4 components for situated learning. Research questions focused on mentor teachers' initial expectations about their roles, their identity and growth, and the application of their learning and growth when teaching. At the end of student teaching, mentor teachers participated in a series of 3 interviews based in phenomenological techniques. Their responses were coded using an inductive approach. Identified themes included mentor teacher experience, communities of practice, actions during student teaching, and mentor teachers' reflection on the role. Key findings were that all mentor teachers reported that they grew in practice, but not all developed their coaching and mentoring skills, and some focused on transmission of content and skills rather than candidate transformation. The findings of this study may influence positive social change to ensure that educator preparation assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning through mutually beneficial partnerships.
Doughney, John F.
As educators search for ways of improving student achievement, it is imperative that focus be placed on teacher learning and development. Currently, the trend in public schools throughout the country is to look directly at students and the deficits they bring to the learning environment when responding to those who find fault with the educational system. The current study directed attention to teachers' beliefs about their ability to affect change in student learning. The study centered on seven research questions that sought to determine: (1) the effect of job-embedded staff development on teachers' sense of efficacy; (2) the effect of job-embedded staff development on teachers' stages of concern; (3) the relationship between teacher efficacy and stages of concern; (4) the status of teachers' level of use of an innovation; and (5) the dominance of teacher concerns prior to and after involvement in job-embedded professional development. Through a mixed methodology approach, quantitative and qualitative analyses provided perspectives from 30 teachers in a suburban North Texas school district on the impact of job-embedded professional development on teacher efficacy, stages of concern, and resulting levels of use of an educational innovation. Quantitative results of two surveys: the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001) and the Stages of Concern Questionnaire (Hall, George, & Rutherford, 1979) revealed a strong focus on stage 0, awareness, concerns and no statistically significant gain in teacher efficacy as teachers engaged in job-embedded professional learning. Qualitative data were gathered through Levels of Use Focused Interviews (Loucks, Newlove, & Hall, 1975) and revealed more teacher involvement with the innovation than quantitative data suggested. Further investigation into the inconsistencies between dominance of teacher concerns and perceptions of levels of use is warranted.
Professional development is a critical part of school improvement and enhancing teacher quality; yet there is limited literature about how principals design and lead effective professional development systems. The research activities in this qualitative single case study explored the leadership practices at one successful school implementing job-embedded professional development. A conceptual framework relating Hallinger's leadership for learning construct to professional development helped frame the research. Collected data included participant interviews, a focus group interview, observations, and relevant document analysis. These data were analyzed using a general inductive method to identify the prevailing leadership characteristics. The major themes that emerged during analysis were: (a) vision and goals, (b) high expectations, (c) structures and resources, (d) communication, (e) monitoring progress and providing recognition, (f) focused and ongoing professional development, (g) differentiated professional development, (h) trust and professionalism, (i) culture of learning and growth, (j) building capacity, and (k) collaboration. These themes aligned well with the initial conceptual framework. These findings support the concept that leadership for learning may have implications for school leaders trying to implement effective job-embedded professional development.
abstract: This research is a reversal of the traditional concept of the student-teaching research experiment. Instead of studying the clear and stated goal of an apprenticeship, that of a pupil learning from the tutelage of a master, the focus here is on what a mentor-teacher learns from a student-teacher. During the act of teaching a novice, what can a mentor-teacher learn about her own practice, while demonstrating it to a pre-service teacher? Using the conceptual framework of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards' Architecture of Accomplished Teaching, and using it within a framework centered around cognitive coaching and reciprocal mentoring, this action research study implemented an intervention that called for series of five cognitive coaching cycles between a mentor- and student-teacher designed to foster dialogue and reflection between them. The ultimate aim of this case study was to help determine what a mentor-teacher learned about her own practice as a result of mentoring a student-teacher. Qualitative data were collected over sixteen weeks in a charter high school. Five findings were identified created after the data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach, and four conclusions were drawn about the intervention's role in the mentor-teacher's reciprocal learning. / Dissertation/Thesis / Ed.D. Educational Leadership and Policy Studies 2011
We Observe, We Reflect, We Research: Data-Driven, Job-Embedded Science Professional Development with Early Head Start TeachersJanuary 2019 (has links)
abstract: The purpose of this action research was to understand how reflective, job-embedded early childhood science professional learning and development (PLD) impacted Early Head Start (EHS) teacher learning and their perceptions toward science with toddlers. Limited content knowledge and lack of formal preparation impact teachers’ understanding of developmentally appropriate science and their capacity to support children to develop science skills. In Arizona, limited availability of early childhood science coursework and no science-related PLD for toddler teachers showed the need for this project. Four literature themes were reviewed: teacher as researcher, how people learn, reflective PLD, and how young children develop scientific thinking skills. The participants were nine EHS teachers who worked at the same Head Start program in five different classrooms in Arizona. The innovation included early childhood science workshops, collaboration and reflecting meetings (CPRM), and electronic correspondence. These were job-embedded, meaning they related to the teachers’ day-to-day work with toddlers. Qualitative data were collected through CPRM transcripts, pre/post-project interviews, and researcher journal entries. Data were analyzed using constant comparative method and grounded theory through open, focused, and selective coding. Results showed that teachers learned about their pedagogy and the capacities of toddlers in their classrooms. Through reflective PLD meetings, teachers developed an understanding of toddlers’ abilities to engage with science. Teachers acquired and implemented teacher research skills and utilized the study of documentation to better understand children’s interests and abilities. They recognized the role of the teacher to provide open-ended materials and time. Moreover, teachers improved their comfort with science and enhanced their observational skills. The teachers then saw their role in supporting science as more active. The researcher concluded that the project helped address the problem of practice. Future research should consider job-embedded PLD as an important approach to supporting data-driven instructional practices and reflection about children’s capabilities and competencies. Keywords: action research, Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Knowledge and Competencies, Arizona’s Infant and Toddler Developmental Guidelines (ITDG), documentation, early childhood science, Early Head Start (EHS), Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF), inquiry, job-embedded, pedagogy, professional development (PD), reflective professional development, teacher as researcher, teacher research, toddler science / Dissertation/Thesis / Doctoral Dissertation Leadership and Innovation 2019
Brabham, Carla Brabham
01 January 2017
Instructional leadership is an important aspect of student achievement and the overall success of schools. Principals, as instructional leaders, need continual reflection on their competency. Job-embedded professional development (JEPD) for teachers is implemented and monitored by instructional leaders. The purpose of this case study was to examine the perceived instructional leadership development of two principals at two schools where JEPD was used. Weber's model of instructional leadership guided the research questions on how the implementation of JEPD affected the principals' instructional leadership growth and development. Data collection occurred through interviews, observations during principal-led JEPD sessions, and document review after which information was coded, and themes were identified resulting in thick, rich descriptions of the experiences of principals. The findings of this study suggested that participants' growth in leadership development was unfocused and unmeasured. The study supports positive social change by providing professional development to promote and measure instructional leadership development of principals as they implement a system of JEPD for the teachers of their respective schools. Principals, teachers, and ultimately students will benefit from focused leadership development.
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