Teachers' Professional Development (teacher + professional_development)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Reforming practice or modifying reforms?: Elementary teachers' response to the tools of reform

Leigh K. Smith
Understanding the interaction between internally constructed and externally imposed aspects of the teaching context may be the missing link between calls for school reform and teachers' interpretation and implementation of that reform. Although the context of the local school culture has a profound impact on teachers, there are other external forces that are specifically aimed at influencing teachers' pedagogical and curricular decisions. These externally imposed aspects of context include some of the existing tools of reform, such as national standards, mandated state core curricula, and related criterion-referenced testing. However, little is known about how these reform tools impact teachers' thinking about science and science teaching or how teachers respond to such tools. This study examined the interactions between individual teachers' beliefs about teaching and learning science in elementary school and the tools of reform that are imposed upon them. Comparative case studies were conducted in which two elementary teachers' science instruction, teaching context, and related beliefs were examined, described, and analyzed. In this study, the teachers' fundamental beliefs about science and what it means to teach and learn science influenced their interpretations of the sometimes contradictory messages of reform as they are represented in the standards, mandated curriculum, and end-of-level tests. Suggestions about what these findings mean for needed aspects of teacher professional development are offered. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 44: 396,423, 2007 [source]

The quest for a queer inclusive cultural ethics: Setting directions for teachers' preservice and continuing professional development

André P. Grace
This chapter examines changes in preservice and continuing teacher professional development that are aimed at addressing sexual minority issues in schools as students' learning places and teachers' workplaces. [source]

Style of Knowing Regarding Uncertainties

This article addresses a key contrast in how teachers may regard the uncertainties of their work, considering how an orientation to uncertainty can be regarded as a decision-making style. Through the use of case studies, the author contrasts two teachers. One is oriented toward uncertainties in her work and describes her herself as being always "on the edge" of her capabilities, constantly seeking out perspectives that differ from and challenge her own and remaining vigilant to the need for improvising to respond to the circumstances of the moment. The other is oriented away from uncertainties and describes herself as prepared and deliberate; committed to achieving outcomes in line with her articulated goals and purposes; and purposeful about which unresolved questions she chooses to pursue. This contrast has implications not only for how these teachers make decisions and view their professional growth, but also for how some teachers may be understood, and misunderstood, by others. In a culture that often seeks to ignore pervasive moral ambiguities and focuses instead on questions for which there are easily identifiable answers (Cuban, 1992), an orientation toward uncertainty is more likely to be devalued or seen as an indication that one is not teaching well. Identifying these different approaches to decision-making styles enables us to appreciate the integrity and strength of each, as well as the limitations of each, suggesting new possibilities for research and for teachers' professional development. [source]

Participants' opinions on the usefulness of a teaching portfolio

Dineke E H Tigelaar
Background, Whether teaching portfolios achieve their aim of stimulating teachers' professional development is favourably affected by the incorporation of a balanced structure and effective social interactions, such as coaching. We explored teachers' experiences with a teaching portfolio that was structured by teaching roles, portfolio assignments and conversation protocols. The related social interactions consisted of meetings with peers and personal coaches. Teachers' and coaches' opinions were sought about the benefits and the enabling and disabling factors of the portfolio structure and the social interactions involved. Method, Five teachers and their personal coaches were individually interviewed about their experiences with the portfolio. Protocols were analysed using a top-down strategy. Results, The teaching roles were helpful in analysing teaching, but the assignments and the conversation protocols were too detailed and directive. The social interactions were perceived as very valuable for professional development, particularly the meetings with personal coaches. Conclusions, The portfolio structure and social interactions, especially personal coaching, appeared to be helpful for teachers in analysing their teaching practice. The assignments and protocols, however, were too detailed and directive. This may be resolved by using assignments and conversation protocols more flexibly and enabling adjustment to personal learning needs. The high appreciation of personal coaching might be related to the freedom for teachers to choose their own coach. The results can be used by portfolio designers as guidelines for how to achieve a balanced structure and effective social interactions and how these might be combined to increase the benefits of working with a portfolio to teachers. [source]

Capability building in educational technology for teachers in China

Jun Han
This paper gives a brief introduction to the project called Education Technology Capacity Building Plan for All Primary and Secondary Teachers now being implemented in China. Because information and communication technology skills training cannot match the demand of teachers' professional development, the Chinese Ministry of Education established the education technology standard for teachers and launched the project. This paper introduced the features of standard training and testing, and discusses the output and influence of the project. [source]