1 INQUIRY-ORIENTED SCHOOL IMPROVEME NT: ENHANCING LEARNING THROUGH NEW ROLES, RELATIONSHIPS, AND PRAXI S IN A PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SCHOOL By ANGELA GREGORY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008
2 2008 Angela Gregory
3 To Chris, Drew, and Carter, you inspire me.
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and forem ost, I thank my husband Chris for his on-going support, love, encouragement, and always going the extra mile to help me get it done. I thank my children, Drew and Carter, for their unwavering love, affection, and for taking great naps so that I could have time to work. I thank Cheryl and David Gre gory for all of their supp ort when I needed it most. I thank all of the leadersh ip team, teachers, university facu lty and prospective teachers who participated in the Country Wa y PDS. Without their commitme nt and dedication there would be no story to tell. I would like to thank Diane fo r being a fabulous mentor and friend, for seeing potential in me, giving me opportun ity and always pushing me to im prove. I would like to thank Dr. Dana, Dr. Fu, and Dr. Vandiver for their expertise and insights. I feel truly honored to have worked with them.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................................... 4LIST OF TABLES .........................................................................................................................10LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................................11ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... .............13 CHAP TER 1 SITUATING THE STUDY ....................................................................................................15Background .................................................................................................................... .........15School Change and Professional Development Schools ........................................................ 16Research Problem ............................................................................................................17Research Context and Research Question .......................................................................18Definition of Terms .........................................................................................................20Study Limitations ............................................................................................................. .......21Significance .................................................................................................................. ..........21Conclusion .................................................................................................................... ..........222 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ........................................................................................25Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........25History of the PDS Movement ...............................................................................................25Review of the Research ..........................................................................................................32Goal 1: High Quality Professional Preparation ............................................................... 33Learning communities .............................................................................................. 34Teacher inquiry ........................................................................................................ 36Responsive supervision ............................................................................................ 38High quality professional preparat ion and school wide change ............................... 39Goal 2: Simultaneous Renewal .......................................................................................42Collaborative planning focused on K-12 student learning needs .............................42Contextually responsive collaborative learning ....................................................... 44School renewal and school wide change .................................................................. 47Goal 3: Equity, Diversity and Cultural Competence ....................................................... 48Teacher development within diverse school contexts .............................................. 49Equity, diversity and cultural comp etence and school wide change ........................ 51Goal 4: Scholarly Inquiry and Programs of Research ..................................................... 52Inquiry facilitates teach er-generated knowledge ......................................................53Research disseminates knowledge about practice ....................................................54Scholarly inquiry and programs of re search and school wide change ..................... 56Goal 5: School and University Based Faculty Development .......................................... 57
6 Responsive professional development ..................................................................... 58Collaborative learning communities ........................................................................ 59School and university based faculty de velopment and school wide change ............ 60Goal 6: Policy Initiation ..................................................................................................61University-level change results from PDS site outcomes ........................................62Policy initiation and un iversity change ....................................................................63Conclusion .................................................................................................................... ..........643 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................................. 68Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........68Theoretical Framework ...........................................................................................................69Research Design .....................................................................................................................72Site Selection ...................................................................................................................72Role of Researcher ..........................................................................................................73Data Collection ................................................................................................................75Field notes ................................................................................................................75Artifacts .................................................................................................................... 77Participant stories .....................................................................................................78Dialogical interviews ................................................................................................ 79Data Analysis ...................................................................................................................81Case records .............................................................................................................82Narrative analysis .....................................................................................................84Presenting the stories ................................................................................................85Researcher Statement .......................................................................................................... ....86Trustworthiness ............................................................................................................... ........92Conclusion .................................................................................................................... ..........954 CONTEXTUALIZING THE PDS ....................................................................................... 101The Unified Elementary PROTEACH Program ................................................................... 101Professional Development Communities ......................................................................103Country Way Elementary .............................................................................................. 105The PDC at Country Way Elementary .......................................................................... 106Shared Responsibility for Teacher Education ............................................................... 107PDC meetings ......................................................................................................... 107Mentor meetings ..................................................................................................... 108On-site seminar ...................................................................................................... 109Co-teaching ............................................................................................................ 111Teacher inquiry ...................................................................................................... 111Classroom observations .......................................................................................... 112Writing Reform .............................................................................................................113Professional development activities .......................................................................114Consultant led in-service ........................................................................................ 114Faculty meetings .................................................................................................... 115Writing committee .................................................................................................. 116Writing plan creation ..............................................................................................117
7 On-site graduate course ..........................................................................................118Writing coaching ....................................................................................................118Classroom modeling and observations ................................................................... 119Online book study ..................................................................................................120Inquiry .................................................................................................................... 121Inclusive Education Reform ..........................................................................................122Co-Teaching ........................................................................................................... 122Inclusion course ......................................................................................................123Inclusion group .......................................................................................................124Inquiry .................................................................................................................... 124Integrated teaching course ...................................................................................... 125Conclusion .................................................................................................................... ........1265 TRANSITIONING THROUGH PDS RESEARCH AND REFORM ................................. 130Connections and Transitions Across Reforms ......................................................................131Role of Researcher ........................................................................................................131Collaboration .................................................................................................................132Leadership .................................................................................................................... .133Anatomy of Reform ....................................................................................................... 134Conclusion .................................................................................................................... ........1356 STORY OF PDS WRITING REFORM ............................................................................... 138The Illustration ......................................................................................................................139Examining the Illustration .................................................................................................... 145Claim 1: Shifted Participan t Roles and Responsibilities ............................................... 146The broker ..............................................................................................................146The coach ...............................................................................................................148The learner ..............................................................................................................151Claim 2: Shifted Participant Relationships .................................................................... 154Collaboration across partners .................................................................................155Continuity and trust ................................................................................................ 160Claim 3: Shifted Educator Learning Through Praxis .................................................... 163Knowledge, beliefs, and practices .......................................................................... 164Theory to practice connections .............................................................................. 166Claim 4: Shifted St udent Performance ......................................................................... 169Motivation and writing volume .............................................................................. 170Assessing progress .................................................................................................171Claim 5: Influenced Leadership Style ........................................................................... 176Top-down distributed leadership ............................................................................177Balancing pressure and support .............................................................................. 181Claim 6: Influenced by Existing University and Distri ct Structures ............................186Complexity of theoretical alignment ...................................................................... 187University expectations and structures ................................................................... 188Conclusion .................................................................................................................... ........191
8 7 STORY OF PDS INCLUSIV E EDUCATION REFORM ................................................... 196Illustration .................................................................................................................. ...........197Examining the Illustration .................................................................................................... 202Claim 1: Shifted Participan t Roles and Responsibilities ............................................... 203The broker ..............................................................................................................203The coach ...............................................................................................................206The learner ..............................................................................................................209Claim 2: Shifted Participant Relationships .................................................................... 211Camaraderie, leadership, ow nership, and responsibility ........................................211Mutual respect and equal status ............................................................................. 214Continuity facilitated trust ...................................................................................... 217Claim 3: Shifted Educator Learning Through Praxis .................................................... 218Co-teaching practices ............................................................................................. 218Praxis in inclusive classrooms ................................................................................ 222Claim 4: Shifted St udent Performance .......................................................................... 224Engagement and individualized instruction ...........................................................224Learning gains ........................................................................................................226Claim 5: Influenced Leadership Style ........................................................................... 228Organic teacher leadership ..................................................................................... 229Balancing pressure, suppor t, theory and practice ................................................... 230Claim 6: Influenced by Existing Univ ersity and Distri ct Structures .............................234Theoretical alignment and simultaneous renewal .................................................. 234Inhibited further PDS development ........................................................................ 237Conclusion .................................................................................................................... ........2408 DISCUSSION .................................................................................................................... ...247Review of the Study ..............................................................................................................247Lessons Learned ............................................................................................................... ....248Interpretations ............................................................................................................... ........249Interpretation 1: The utility of inquiry in linking theory and practice through reform. ....................................................................................................................... .249Interpretation 2: The need for flexible structures and pathwa ys in PDS work. ............ 251Interpretation 3: PDS work is a balancing act of power and knowledge. ..................... 255Interpretation 4: The tension between stability and change in PDS reform. ................. 257Future Research ....................................................................................................................258Conclusion .................................................................................................................... ........260APPENDIX A QUESTIONS FOR GUIDING EARLY FIELDWORK OBSERVATIONS ....................... 264B EXAMPLE OF HANDWRI TTEN FIELD NOTES .............................................................265C EXCERPT FROM FIELD NOTES ...................................................................................... 269
9 D INTERVIEW PROTOCOLS ................................................................................................270E REFLEXIVE JOURNAL ENTRY .......................................................................................273F CO-TEACHING LESSON PLAN .......................................................................................274G CO-TEACHING LESSON PLAN 2 ....................................................................................280REFERENCES .................................................................................................................... ........283BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................289
10 LIST OF TABLES Table page 1-1 Definition of Terms............................................................................................................242-1 Research table ............................................................................................................ ........673-1 Data collection overview .................................................................................................. .963-2 Spring 2006 typology .........................................................................................................973-3 Teacher education case record ........................................................................................... 983-4 Critical events in the teacher education focus ..................................................................1004-1 Country Way student and teacher demographic data ......................................................1274-2 Partnership initiatives and activities ................................................................................ 1295-1 Assertion and claims related to creating a professional lear ning culture within a PDS .. 1376-1 Fourth grade FCAT writing scores ..................................................................................1937-1 Evolution of co-teaching in the Country Way PDS ......................................................... 2447-2 FCAT results 2007 scaled and gain scores ...................................................................... 2457-3 Shifts in primary grade student performance on standardized assessments 2006-2007 .. 2468-1 Lessons learned ........................................................................................................... .....262
11 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4-1 Four purposes of the Country Way Elementary PDC ...................................................... 1286-1 Photos of second graders engage d in process oriented writing ....................................... 1946-2 Writing reform distribut ed leadership model ................................................................... 1957-1 Whole group co-teaching photos .....................................................................................2427-2 Small group co-teaching photos ....................................................................................... 2438-1 Power source interaction within a PDS ...........................................................................263
12 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS FCAT Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test NCATE National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education NCLB No Child Left Behind PDS(s) Professional development school(s)
13 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy INQUIRY-ORIENTED SCHOOL IMPROVEME NT: ENHANCING LEARNING THROUGH NEW ROLES, RELATIONSHIPS, AND PRAXI S IN A PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SCHOOL By Angela Gregory December 2008 Chair: Diane Yendol-Hoppey Major: Curriculum and Instruction School improvement and teacher education s hould be cohesively linked (Fullan, 2001; Hargreaves & Fullan, 1992). This qualitative research study explores this idea using an interpretivist perspective to examine how educator s described their shifting beliefs, values, roles, behaviors, rituals, and responsib ilities as participants in a PDS focused on creating a culture of professional learning. Ethnogr aphic tools were used to gather and analyze field notes, archival documents, and interviews collected during three and a half years of fieldwork in one rural elementary school. Findings revealed how one Professional Development School (PDS) provided embedded teacher education for pros pective teachers and in -service teachers around school improvement efforts to enhance writing in struction and inclusive practices, while at the same time providing professional development for university-based te acher educators through engaged scholarship (Boyer, 1996). Six themes culled from an analysis of data sources were used to describe findings that held strong across the two school reform initiatives. The data revealed that the PDS facilitated i nquiry-oriented school improveme nt by shifting structures, relationships, and praxis, which generated a pr ofessional learning culture for educators and
14 students. In addition, school lead ership style and district/unive rsity organizational structures influence the scope of change within each reform initiative.
15 CHAPTER 1 SITUATING THE STUDY Background Twenty-five years ago, the United States Department of Edu cation (1983) issued A Nation at Risk, which was a report that called for improvements in educator preparation and the teaching profession. Five years later, the Educational Reform Act of 1988 brought about sweeping changes for school organizations in the United Kingdom through the prescription, decentralization, competition, and privatization of curricular standards, setting the stage for American reform movements to follow suit. Fi fteen years later in 2001, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act entered the educational landscape reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Similar to previous movements, NCLB legislation emphasized teacher quality as a core reform component. NCLB became a catalyst for educational refo rm initiatives; as a result, schools employed new strategies for responding to mandate d change (Murphy & Alexander, 2007). School improvement efforts through reform initiatives ha ve emerged as an approach to cultivate ongoing changes within a school context. Hopkins Ainscow, and West (1994) define school improvement as an approach to educational change that focuses on student achievement and the schools ability to cope with ch ange (p.2). Given that quality t eaching is the key determinant of student learning (Fullan, 2007) and that improved student achievement results from the knowledge of skilled educators, teacher develo pment has become a key focus of reform initiatives (Hargreaves and Fulla n, 1992). Therefore, teacher devel opment in an era of reform needs to support educators acquisition of subject matter knowledge and instructional strategies through contextualized learning.
16 Michael Fullan (2001) suggest s that schools achieve impr ovement when learning is contextualized. Educator lear ning opportunities that are embedded within a school context should focus on teacher and student learning need s. Contextually embedded learning enhances the quality of professional learning, emphasizes a commitment to the continuous improvement of students and teachers, and underpins the school imp rovement approach to change (Fullan, 2007; Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman, & Yoon, 2001). Th erefore, a school improvement approach to educational change based on teacher and st udent-learning needs identifies areas for contextualized instru ctional improvement. However, four decades of research hi ghlight the messy, complex, and multi-faceted nature of school change (Fullan, 2001; H opkins, Ainscow, and West, 1994). Murphy and Alexander (2007) contend that su ccessful educational change requires a collaborative school culture that creates a strong record in school-fostered im provement, good practices in professional development, and positive outco mes in pupil achievement (p.16). Schooluniversity partnerships emerged in response to the need for additional collaborative arrangements to support educational change, thus providing vehicles to jointly support teacher education and school improvement (Fulla n, 2001; Richert, Stoddard, & Kass, 2001). School Change and Professi onal Development Schools National reform movements called for the im provement of schools and teacher education, while professional organizations, colleges a nd universities focused joint efforts on the improvement of schools, the teaching profe ssion, and the preparation of educators. A Nation at Risk (1983) and studies conducted by John Goodlad and his colleagues became the catalysts for the educator preparation reform movement. The concept of the Professional Development School (PDS), introduced by the Holmes Group in 1986, drew upon the conceptual foundations for Deweys University Laboratory School and the modern teaching hospital. PDSs were
17 conceptualized as new institutions that coul d simultaneously reform schools and teacher education programs by fostering a joint commitment to school improvement and teacher education (Abdal-Haqq, 1996; Clark, 1999; Darling-Hammond, 1994; Levine, 1992). Professional development schools aimed to creat e school cultures where professional learning could become situated within unique school contexts (Borko, Mayf ield, Marion, Flexor, & Cumbo, 1997; Darling-Hammond, 1994) PDSs situate professional learning experiences for inservice and prospective teachers within school contexts to enhan ce learning and facilitate school renewal (Clark, 1999; Frey, 2002; Frey & Fisher 2004; Klingner, Leftwich, van Garderen, & Hernandez, 2004). To date, the empirical PDS literature has i nvestigated prospective teacher education, professional development, teache r inquiry, and school renewal as isolated components in a PDS. Studies also describe PD S school improvement as a resource intensive enterprise that facilitates change when prospective and in-service teach ers engage in multiple, collaborative, and contextually responsiv e professional learning opportunitie s (Frey, 2002; Frey & Fisher, 2004; Klingner et al. 2004; Shroyer, Yahnke, & Bennett, 2007). However, missing from the literature are rich illustrations of the complexity that exis ts within individual PDS sites as they engage in school improvement efforts (Bullough, Kauchak, & Crow, 1997). This research study aims to deepen the understanding of how a PDS brought about shifts in the roles, rituals, and responsibilities of educators involved in school improvement in one rural elementary school by describing the PDS participants learning experiences. Research Problem Raywid (1990) describes the challenge of ch ange in schools. He states, Schools are notoriously difficult to change. One m ajor reason is their interconnectedness. Indeed schools are very much like jigsaw puzzles: everything is conn ected to everything els e (p. 141). The research
18 suggests that improving prospective and in-servi ce teacher learning opport unities contributes to improved student learni ng (Frey, 2002; Klingner et al., 2004; Shroyer et al. 2007), and that improved in-service teacher learning contributes to school change (Frey & Fisher, 2004; Klingner et al. 2004; Morrow & Casey, 2004). However, mo st empirical findings research are limited to self-reports of teacher s actions via interviews and student-learning outcomes from standardized assessment outcome measures. To date, little insight is ava ilable into the specific events within a PDS school culture that facilitate learning within classrooms between prospective t eachers, in-service teachers, school leadership, university personnel, and K-12 students. There exis ts a need to know more about how these five groups, or pieces of the jigsa w puzzle, come together to influence school improvement initiatives and actua lize change in a PDS. A deep er understanding is needed of what happens in PDS classrooms where multiple educators apply their expertise and knowledge of content, pedagogy, and learners around a common focus. The empirical PDS literature has not yet investigated how prospective teachers, in-s ervice teachers, school leaders, and university teacher educators unite to apply their knowledge within a school-university partnership to influence student learning. As a result, this stud y contributes to a void in the PDS literature by examining how educators describe their shifting be liefs, values, roles, behaviors, rituals, and responsibilities as participants in a PDS focused on creating a culture of professional learning. Research Context and Research Question The rural elementary PDS featured in th is study is one of ten elementary schools associated with the University of Floridas PDS network. The university s teacher education program initiated a school-unive rsity partnership network with local schools in the spring semester of 2001. As a part of th e universitys five-y ear Unified Elementary Preparation (UEP) program, all prospective teachers experience at least one semester of PDS field placements.
19 During the last semester of the fourth year, the pre-internship semester, a critical mass of 10-14 prospective teachers spend fourt een weeks co-teaching with thei r mentor teachers four hours per day, four days a week. Also, at Country Way Elementary, both regular and special education graduate students complete internships over 12 weeks of full time co-teaching with classroom mentors. Country Way Elementary School was sele cted for this study based on the active engagement and commitment of multiple PDS pa rticipants within the context. The current educational climate in Florida is heavily in fluenced by the demands placed on schools due to increased accountability mandates from NCLB a nd Floridas A+ reforms. School-based teacher educators (i.e. school-leadershi p, classroom mentor teachers) and university personnel working at Country Way Elementary valued the PDS as a resource to help meet school improvement needs. A shared commitment to the PDS concept enabled Country Way Elementary to quickly emerge as a leading PDS within the partners hip network, even though it began its partnership activities at the same time as 8 other sites. Theref ore, research at this si te was warranted due to its unique characteristic s as a promising PDS. The purpose of this study was to examine how educators described th eir shifting beliefs, values, roles, behaviors, rituals, and responsibilities as participants in a PDS focused on creating a culture of professional learning. Specifica lly, my research question examined: How do educators describe their shifting be liefs, values, roles, behaviors, rituals, and res ponsibilities as participants in a Professiona l Development School (PDS) focu sed on creating a culture of professional learning? A qualitative approach to research with an inte rpretivist perspective was used to explore the research question. Ethnographic methods were used to investigate th e changing professional
20 learning culture of the fledgling Country Wa y Elementary PDS. Ethnographic methods were appropriate for studying the deve loping PDS context because they sensitively attend to, and portray, the complexity of PDS development (Bullough et al. 1997, p. 14). Additionally, Tunks and Neopolitan (2007) suggest th at ethnographic methods are pa rticularly useful for PDS research at the developing stage due to extensive time in the field and increased access to the culture under study from observer to participant (p. 70). To better understand the professional learning culture within Country Way Elementary, my role as researcher involved engagement as a participant and observer within the context where I collected fiel d notes, contextual artifacts, and observations during PDS activities. Using this data, typologies data files, and case records were created to capture the roles, rituals, and responsibilities at various time-points within the PD; and, these data sources aided in providi ng the descriptive account of the PDS context outlined in Chapter 4. Case records were an alyzed to identify critical incidents and unique/typical cases within each time-point to rev eal two distinct partnership initiatives that unfolded over three and a half year s of fieldwork. A cross-case analysis of case records helped identify participants for dialogic interviews (Carspeckan, 1996). The interview data was used to strengthen participant voices, to triangulate data sources, and to member check in order to draw conclusions and identify implications for the study. Definition of Terms Term s used in this study have been defined at the end of chapter one to clarify for readers the meaning associated with frequently used words/phrases (Table 1-1). The purpose of this section is to help readers understa nd the context, participant roles, and concepts related to work in the Country Way PDS.
21 Study Limitations Acknowledging the lim itations of a study allows the researcher to identify potential design flaws that may influence the trustworth iness of the findings. Due to the nature of qualitative research, the limitations often result from factors beyond the contro l of the researcher. The limitations of this study include: 1. Access to data was limited to willing part icipants, specific partnership classrooms, and site activities that were define d as relevant to PDS work. 2. The highly contextualized nature of this study requires the onus of responsibility to be placed on the reader to determine how the finding s may be transferable to other contexts. 3. The activities and responsibilities of individuals w ithin the site related specifically to the needs of the school site and were influenced by the resources available through university arrangements, from the placement of prospect ive teachers to the positioning of university supervisors, graduate students, and facult y. Therefore, the contextual conditions and goals of the school and university arrange ments greatly influenced the PDS work. 4. The selected improvement initiatives identified within the school context were defined based on Florida Comprehensive Accountability Test (FCAT) data. FCAT may or may not be a useful metric for determinin g a schools target area of improvement. Additionally, as a result of the FCAT accountabil ity pressures, some initiatives varied in duration, and the intensity of focus changed as short-term improvements were realized. Significance This study p rovided important insights for mu ltiple groups. First, universities can learn how an emerging PDS culture produced meani ngful professional le arning opportunities for prospective teachers, graduate/doctoral stud ents, and university faculty. Second, by studying beginning PDS work, policy makers and stakeholders can underst and how one PDS influenced a schools learning culture by creati ng new roles, rituals, and res ponsibilities; and, as a result, impacted teacher and student learning. Multiple studies cite in-service teacher learning as a factor in facilitating change in a PDS (Chiero, Sherry, Bohlin, and Harris, 2003; Klingner, Leftwich, van Garderen, and Hernand ez, 2004; Snow-Gerono, 2005a, 2005b; Morrow and Casey, 2004; Frey and Fisher, 2004). However, this study identified how one schools
22 improvement needs served as a vehicle for crea ting a profession learning culture for educators across the partnership. This emerging school cu lture activated specific resources from the school/university partnership to attain school improvement goals and facilitated on-site learning for prospective teachers, in-service teachers, sc hool leadership, and university personnel. Third, the study could encourage school districts to em brace PDSs which, in this example, provided embedded support for prospective and in-service t eachers, and contextualized learning powerful enough to influence student learni ng without financial cost to th e district/school. Fourth, this study sheds light on how universities can identify PDS cultural condi tions that influence current and future educational professoriates ability to participate in the Scholarship of Engagement (Boyer, 1996) within PDSs. In sum, the finding s from this study provide insight into how PDS organizational arrangements and activities in fluenced a professiona l learning culture by supporting inquiry-oriente d school improvement. Conclusion Richert, S toddard, and Kass ( 2001) believe that learning und erpins school reform. When schools function as learning orga nizations, change is achieved through the connection of school improvement goals and teacher education (Fu llan, 2001; Hargreaves & Fullan, 1992). However, the process of school change is complex and multi-faceted. As a result, well-designed collaborative structures, such as PDSs, can faci litate this complex and multi-faceted approach by providing a catalyst for meaningful school improve ment and teacher education in an era of reform. This study offers insight into the comp lexity of a PDS learning culture and describes how a shift in PDS roles, ritual s, and responsibilities influenced educator learning and classroom practices, and how student achieve ment resulted from these shif ts. Chapter 2 provides a review of the historical and empirical l iterature related to change in a PDS. In Chapter 3, the research methods are outlined, and Chapter 4 describes the PDS context where the study unfolded.
23 Chapter 5 provides a synthesis of the findings. Chap ters 6 and 7 illustrate and analyze the stories of two school improvement initiatives. Chapter 8 discusses and offers conclusions for this research study.
24 Table 1-1. Definition of Terms Term Definition Change To make someone or something different, a shift away from a norm. Classroom Practice The way(s) educators put their knowledge into action by creating and selecting activities to enhance learning. Collaboration The act of working together with one or more people to achieve a common goal. Culture Individuals, events, interactions and activities that take place within a school environment to support meaning construction. Educators Prospective TeachersIndividuals participating in the initial training process and seeking initial certification as an educator, such as regular and special education pre-interns and interns. In-service teachersRegular education and special education educators of P-5 students who have been granted certification as a classroom teacher. School LeadershipIndividuals who hold a formal role as a school administrator, such as the School principal, Curriculum Resource Teacher, (CRT), Reading Coach, Behavior Resource Teacher (BRT), and Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Team Leader University PersonnelIndividuals who are either employed by the university or graduate students of the university who carry out specific roles to investigate or support the work of the school. Emic Describing a culture from the perspectives of individuals within the context. Mentoring The process of providing advice and support to other educators. Participants Individuals who are actively e ngaged in site based events to support learning, these may include univers ity faculty, university graduate students, university supervisors, school principal, school Reading Coach, Curriculum Resource Teacher, classroom mentor teachers, and prospective teachers.
25 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction This chapter provides an overview of the f oundational and empirical literature related to the research question: How do educators describe their shifting beliefs, valu es, roles, behaviors, rituals, and responsibilities as participants in a Professional Development School focused on creating a culture of profe ssional learning? A ccording to Steel and Hoffman (1997), understanding history and contex t are critical to analyzing or effecting any change effort (p.51). For this purpose, the chapter begins by exploring the foundationa l underpinnings for the PDS movement. Then, the Holmes Partnership Goals are used to organize and examine the empirical literature to understand how PDSs bring about change in school cultures, followed by a discussion of the implications embedded within each goal. History of the PDS Movement Professional Development Schools are pa rtnerships between public schools and universities established to facili tate the preparation of teachers in good schools so that our nation can have better teachers and better schools (J. Goodlad, 1990). According to the National Council for Accreditation of T eacher Education (2001), PDSs are "guided by a common vision of teaching and learning, which is grounded in re search and practitioner knowledge" (p. 1). The foundational underpinnings for Professional Development Schools emerged from the influential work of John Dewey, Abraham Flexner, Donald Schon, and John Goodlad. John Dewey introduced the concept of univers ity laboratory schools, which set the stage for the PDS mission. Dewey's philosophical views emerged as a result of his work in the Laboratory Schools at the Univ ersity of Chicago (Goodlad, 1984). Deweys university laboratory school was designed as a space for teachers and resear chers to enact and study best
26 practices in a clinical setting and also s upport the learning of novice teachers. John Dewey's conception of knowledge, experience, and practice of teaching and learning in clinical settings emphasizes a relationship between research and practice (Levine, 1992). At the heart of the progressive education movement is Dewey's position on teacher reflec tion as a vehicle for facilitating knowle dge and learning. The progressive philosophy of education high lights a commitment and faith in teachers' ability to analyze, synthesize, and make sense of their work; in esse nce viewing teaching as research (Levine, 1992). Influenced greatly by Dewey's progressive education movement, Abraham Flexner developed the concept of the modern teaching hospital. While Flexner is attributed with the reform of modern medical education thro ugh his vision for the teaching hospital, he was also directly involved with extending and applying the same principles to elementary and secondary education to create the Lincoln School at Teachers College in 1917. The concepts of research and practice connected the work of Dewey and Flexner and highlight the influential role of teaching and learning in clinical environments. According to Levine (1992), in 1967 Robert Shafer drew upon the work of Dewey and Flexner to argue for the professionalization of teaching and the school as a center of inquiry. When schools function as centers of inquiry, t eachers transform and generate new knowledge, reflect on their own learning, and learn from each other. Levine (1992) suggested that schools reflecting these characteristics be te rmed professional practice schools. Professional practice schools and laboratory schools both stress a relationship between research and practice. However, they differ in that laboratory schools were developed under the assumption that research preced es practice (Levine, 1992, p.11), while professional practice schools emphasize Donald Schons (1983, 1987) notion of reflection-in-ac tion, doing research
27 in practice. Merging action and i nquiry creates a stance of teach er as researcher, a process where teachers are actively engaged in solving problems, generating solutions, and constructing a new theory for each case (Levine, 1992, p.11). According to Levine (1992) the "symbiotic relationship between teaching and learning is central to the concept of a restructured school" (p.8). Through professional prac tice schools, teacher inquiry emer ged as a vehicle to promote practitioners as valuable contri butors to the research community, a core value that underpins the PDS movement. Traditional models for teach er education were created unde r the assumption that teaching is a craft to be mastered (Levine, 1992). Sc hon (1987) argues that in traditional university based professional education programs, such as laborat ory schools, the emphasis is grounded in applied research. Professional practice in professional practice school s or Professional Development Schools is characterized by reflection, experimentat ion, and inquiry. Therefor e, learning to teach in PDSs concentrates on teaching as a professi onal practice, where developing the skills and practices of reflection and research b ecome a value and norm (Levine, 1992). In A Place Called School, John Goodlad (1984a) describes th e results and implications of his study focused on understanding public schools and the problems that besiege them. Most importantly, he utilized the results to introdu ce an agenda for school improvement and lay the foundation for networks of schools to be char ged with the responsib ility of developing exemplary practices. Schools that serve as cente rs for developing exemplary practices establish relationships with universities to create a "communicating, coll aborating network" (J. Goodlad, 1984a, p. 301). Goodlad and his colleagues establis hed a clear agenda, to create centers of exemplary practices for teaching and lear ning through school-university partnerships.
28 As indicated, the idea of creating centers of exemplary practice fo r teaching and learning are rooted in the progressive education movement and inte grate components of Deweys laboratory school, Flexners modern teaching hosp ital, and Shafers centers of inquiry. During the past two decades, restructured schools that reflect a commitmen t to the concepts of reflective practice, teacher education, and t eacher research have been refe rred to as professional practice schools, clinical schools, partne r schools, and professional de velopment centers (Abdal-Haqq, 1996; Clark, 1999). However, recently clinical school environments that support reflective practice, inquiry, and teacher education have become more commonly known as Professional Development Schools. The Holmes Group (1986) introduced the concept of a Professional Development School (PDS) in Tomorrows Teachers. The National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER), also founded in 1986, believed schools should be places where "education is a seamless process of self-improvement" (Clark, 1999, xii). Resulting from these beliefs, a mission emerged to improve schools and teacher education programs si multaneously. This concept is referred to as simultaneous renewal. In A Place Called School and in four supplemental texts, The Moral Dimensions of Teaching, Pl aces Where Teachers Are Taught, Teachers for Our Nation's Schools, and Access to Knowledge, John Goodlad (1984) clarifies his educational reform agenda and the concepts related to simultaneous renewal (Clark, 1999). The initial guiding principles for Professional Development Schools were revised in the late 1990s when the Holmes Group expanded its focus to include the quality of schooling and academic programs (Essex, Morris, Harrison, & Johnson, 2000). The newly termed Holm es Partnership emphasized partnerships between colleges/universities and school distri cts to improve schools and teacher preparation.
29 Major organizations including the National Network for Education Renewal (NNER), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Nationa l Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST), and the Holmes Partnership all utilize their own terminology to clarify their visions for Professional Development Sc hools. While their terminology may differ, all suggest that a common mission s hould guide the PDS movement. After over a decade of work, the movement began clarifying the purposes and practices of Professional Development Schools. The Na tional Council for Accred itation of Teacher Education (NCATE) has focused recent attentio n on clarifying the purpo ses and practices of Professional Development Schools. Hundreds of sc hool-university partnerships emerged in the 1990s as a result of reform reports and studies by organizations such as the Holmes Group (Abdal-Haqq, 1996; Darling-Hammond, 1994). Form er NCATE presidents, John Goodlad and Mary Diez, were concerned th at the PDS movement would suffer from rhetoric that oversimplifies the reality of truly collaborative partnerships (Clark, 1999; Abdal-Haqq, 1998). Under the leadership of Marsha Levine, NCATE s ought to establish clear standards that separate true Professional Development Schools from part nerships that were such in name only (NCATE, 2001, p.2). The NCATE standards were built upon the foundati onal work of many prior organizations, including the National Ne twork for Education Renewal (NNER), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Nationa l Center for Restructuring Education Schools (NCRES), and Teaching (NCREST), and the Holmes Group. According to NCATE, the four-fold mission of a PDS includes the preparation of new teachers, faculty development, inquiry directed at the improvement of practice, and enhanced student achievement (Retrieved from http://www.ncate.org/pu blic/pdswhat.asp? ch=133 on January 23, 2008). The primary goal for establishing guideli nes for assessing PDS work was to
30 highlight discrepancies between the goals/mission and practices of individual partnership schools and institutions. According to NCATE (2001) PDS standards emerged for five reasons: 1) to bring rigor to the concept of PDSs, 2) to support PDS partnerships as they develop, 3) to assess and provide feedback to PDS part nerships, 4) to link PDSs to th e teacher quality agenda, and 5) to provide a framework for conducting and ev aluating PDS research. The NCATE standards provide PDS participants with a road map fo r generating conversations about the purposes, goals, and structures for developing and gui ding school-university partnership work. Most recently, the National Association fo r Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) released a statement to further clarify the mission of PDS partnerships. In August of 2007, a group of P-20 educators and lead ers of national educational organizations gathered to collectively define a set of goa ls. The NAPDS Nine Essentials were released in April of 2008 with the purpose of providing tangible language and practical goals for guiding PDS work (NAPDS, 2008). Nine Essentials include 1) A comprehensive mission that is broader in its outreach and scope than the mission of any partner and that furthers the education profession and its responsibility to advance equity within schools and, by potential extension, the broader community; 2) A schooluniversity culture committed to the preparation of future educators that embraces their active engagement in the school community; 3) Ongoing and reciprocal professional development for all participants guided by need; 4) A shared commitment to innovative and reflective practice by all participants; 5) Engagement in and public sharing of the results of deliberate investiga tions of practice by respective participants; 6) An articulation agreement developed by the respect ive participants delin eating the roles and responsibilities of all involved; 7) A structure that allows all participants a forum for ongoing governance, reflection, and collaboration; 8) Work by college/ university faculty and P faculty in formal
31 roles across institutional settings ; and 9) Dedicated and shared resources and formal rewards and recognition structures. The Nine Essentials provided guidelines to aid school/university partnerships in differentiating between true PD S sites and non-PDS arrangements within the educational community. Todays public schools and schools of education face increased accountability pressures. With the inception of school reform movements su ch as No Child Left Behind (US Department of Education, 2001) and Florida A+ Schools, the fi eld of education has been required to use learning resources that reflect research-based pr actices. School improvement has emerged as an expectation that emphasizes a commitment to continuous improvement, ongoing reflection, and inquiry that responds to the unique needs of the young people in a given school context (Hopkins, Ainscow, and West, 1994). Given the pressures placed on public schools and schools of education as a result of accountability press, PDSs offer clinical contexts where exemplary practices can be utilized to support teaching and learning. PDS pr ofessionals are prepared and supported to use reflection and inquiry to meet accountability demands as they collaboratively develop a resource base of exemplary practices. Today, school improvement provides a ca talyst to unite teacher professional development, prospective teacher education, and an ethic of inquiry to achieve meaningful change within Professional Development Schools (Shroyer et al. 2007). In combination, three ideas offer those engaged in PDS work an argument for their engagement in school improvement. First, learning underpins (Richert, Stoddard, and Kass, 2001) and sustains (Senge, 2000) the work of school reform. Second, the fundamental goal of school improvement is improved student learning. Third, quality teaching is the key determinant of student learning (Fullan, 2007). As a result, teacher education becomes a key component in the process of
32 educational change and school improvement. Andy Hargreaves (1988, as cited by Fullan, 2007) argues that teaching is a matter of teachers actively interpreting, making sense of, and adjusting to the demands and requirements their conditions of work place upon them (p. 211). If colleges and universities are goin g to provide the best education po ssible for the next generation of educators, then prospective teachers will need to experience and gain access to the process that professional educators engage in to make sense of their work conditions through the process of school improvement. Review of the Research This section reviews the empi rical literature that underpins the research question: How do educators describe their shifting be liefs, values, roles, behaviors, rituals, and res ponsibilities as participants in a Professional Development School focused on crea ting a culture of professional learning? To examine the research base, a search for literature published w ithin the past 10 years using the subject terms Professional Devel opment School and change was conducted using the Education Full Text database. The search returned fifty-two results, which were reduced to twenty-two studies characteri zed as both empirical and fo cused on school level change. The PDS Holmes Partnership Goals were used as a tool to organize the empirical literature and provide a lens for analyzing the research investigating school level changes within Professional Development Schools. The six goals set forth by the Holmes Partnership included: 1) High Quality Professional Preparation, 2) Simultaneous Renewal, 3) Equity, Diversity and Cultural Competence, 4) Scholarly Inquiry and Pr ograms of Research, 5) School and UniversityBased Faculty Development, and 6) Policy Initiati on. The themes generated from an analysis of the literature were aligned with the Holmes Part nership Goals (Table 2-1). In addition to using these goals as an organization tool, the Holmes framework helped identify aspects of PDS work that research has not yet expl ored. Highlighting what is present and missing in the empirical
33 evidence regarding school-wide ch ange within a PDS aided in th e identification of a research question and the development of a study that woul d contribute to the em pirical literature. The following six sections define the Holmes Partnership goals, highlight relevant research related to each goal, and discuss the imp lications of the research. Goal 1: High Quality Pr ofessional Preparation High quality professional preparation relies on research and best practices to guide the design, content, and delivery of teacher educ ation programs. PDSs should provide exemplary professional preparation and development pr ograms for public school educators (Holmes Partnership, http://www.holmespartnership.org/goals .htm l, retrieved on Oct. 15, 2007). The empirical evidence cites specific vehicles that describe how high quality prospective teacher preparation can create individua l change and collective change in a PDS. The PDS vehicles identified in the literature th at support high quality prospectiv e teacher professional education included developing learning communities (Chier o, Sherry, & Bohlin, 2003; Frey, 2002; Smith & Robinson, 2003; Teitel, 2001), integrating teacher inquiry into PDS work (Frey, 2002; Kyed, Marlow, & Miller, 2003; Levin & Rock, 2003; Snow-Gerono, 2005b), and creating an expectation for responsive supervision (Frey, 2002; Gimbert & Nolan, 2003). Each of these vehicles emerged as exemplary in design, conten t, and delivery for prom oting collective dialogue about instructional practices within the PDS. Ad ditionally, it is important to note that learning communities, inquiry, and supervision promoted collaborative opportunities that cut across prospective and practicing teacher s as well as supervisors in a PDS. That said, the empirical literature within this section focuses primarily on the professional prep aration of prospective teachers. Later sections of the literature review related to school based faculty development will elaborate on how these vehicles strength en practicing teachers development.
34 Learning communities A learning comm unity is a collegial group of individuals who collaborate to promote new perspectives and understandings. As a result, learning communities w ithin PDSs engage members in collaboratively constructing knowle dge and identity through social participation (Wenger, 1998). Additionally, PDS learning commun ities create spaces for prospective teacher learning that are individually and contextually responsive (Chiero, Sherry, Bohlin, and Harris, 2003), connect prospective teacher learning to re al life events within the PDS (Frey, 2002), and build prospective teachers abilities to make connections between teaching observations and learning (Teitel, 2001). Further, learning communities provide prospective teachers with space to emerge as change agents (Chiero, Sherry, B ohlin, and Harris, 2003; Smith and Robinson, 2003). As indicated, the learning community pr ovides opportunities to connect prospective teacher learning to PDS events and experien ces. This is a primary benefit of the PDS professional preparation model. Frey (2002) describes how a middle school PDS supported high quality professional preparation by integrating univ ersity professors into the site based teacher preparation program. Through the on-going collaborative work in classrooms with prospective and practicing teachers, the prof essors became integrated into the school learning community and were better able to connect the learning of prospective te achers to real life students and current classroom events. Also related to the goal of offering high quali ty professional prepara tion is cultivating a learning community of school-based teacher ed ucators who feel committed to modeling and reflecting upon best practices with prospective te achers. In this case, the PDS model provides a forum for practicing and prosp ective teachers to build a learning community. Teitel (2001) describes how the use of teaching "rounds" can create learning communities dedicated to exploring research-based practices and guide prospective and pract icing teachers observations in
35 PDS classrooms (Teitel, 2001, p.66). During teachi ng rounds, practicing teach ers or university faculty lead clusters of pros pective teachers through a series of observations and utilize questioning to focus the community on the c onnections between the observed teaching and student learning. In these exampl es, university faculty and practicing teachers were responsible for developing school based learning communities connected to prospective teacher learning with real life classroom based experiences. Learning communities also serve as a vehicle for high quality professional preparation by encouraging innovation within the PDS context. Chiero, Sherry, Boh lin, and Harris (2003) describe how a learning community suppor ted prospective and practicing teachers collaboratively exploring new ways of teachi ng with technology. Using technology as a common focus for bringing about desired outcomes, lear ning communities were created between student teachers, university supervisors, and master t eachers emphasizing a co-contributor relationship which shifted the balance of power. The results revealed the co-contributor relationship between participants was a factor in establishi ng learning communities. Specifically, learning communities created by master teachers and stud ent teachers were more likely to generate interest and participation than those created by university supervisors. Further, each learning community benefited from the ability to determin e their own needs, high lighting the importance of communities remaining responsive to the membe rs needs and the contex t where they work. Learning communities in teacher preparation of ten emerge in the form of cohorts. Also focused on the topic of technology, Smith and R obinson (2003) utilized a technology cohort model to support prospective teachers' developm ent by positioning them as change agents to offer technical expertise, to dir ect the application of instructio nal technology, and to collaborate with other professionals. The pr ospective teachers worked togeth er toward a targeted goal and
36 fulfilled roles as mentors, critics, and innovato rs when positioned as collaborative professionals within this cohort model. In this study, PDS learning communiti es provided an opportunity for prospective teachers to lead change by responding to individual needs and by allowing them to emerge as leaders and change agents within the school context. Learning communities generated change when prospective teachers were provided the opportunity to develop expertise, to generate new levels of knowledge in practice, a nd to serve as leaders and collaborative peers. Teacher inquiry Teacher inquiry, also referred to as action research, teacher res earch, and practitioner inquiry, is the systematic, intentional study of ones professi onal practice (Dana & YendolSilva, 2003, p. 4). Strong evidence supports the use of inquiry as a vehicle for achieving high quality professional preparation of prospective teachers in Pr ofessional Development Schools. The research documents the importance of pros pective teacher involvement in collaboration organized around a common focus, prospective teacher documentation of P-12 student learning through case studies (Frey, 2002), and prospective teachers facilitating change through action research (Levin & Rock, 2003). These studies also demonstrate how prospective teacher dialogue generated by the inquiry stance (Dan a & Yendol-Silva, 2003) becomes a critical component of the school renewal process when inquiry and collaborative action research are utilized as tools to achieve high quality pr ofessional preparatio n within PDS learning communities (Levin & Ro ck, 2003; Snow-Gerono, 2005b). Two studies in particular illustrate that collaborative action research serves as an important vehicle in promoting dialogue between prospective teachers and their mentor teachers. The process and the resulting dial ogue are tools that lead to high quality professional preparation by supporting prospective teacher thinking about teaching and learning. Levin and Rock (2003) demonstrate the power of inquiry in their study that utilized a multiple case design which
37 analyzed pre/post interviews, mid-semester inte rviews, audiotapes of planning, mid-semester evaluation and final evaluation conferences, wri tten action research plans, reflections, final research reports, portfolio refl ections, and field notes. They studied how five prospective/inservice teacher pairs experienced collaborative action research. The analysis revealed that participation in collaborative action resear ch provided the mentor/mentee pairs with opportunities for deliberate and focused dialogue a bout innovations in teac hing and learning that led to high quality teacher learning and innovation In this example, mentors and prospective teachers shared responsibility for engaging in re flective conversations as a part of collaborative action research. Similarly, Snow-Gerono's (2005) phenomenolog ical study of teacher inquiry documents how dialogue between prospective te achers and mentor teachers play ed a vital role in the shift toward uncertainty. The learning community created a space within the Professional Development School for teachers to question t eaching practices, which supported high quality professional preparation opportunitie s for prospective teachers. Her findings suggest that inquiry also fostered a disposition toward collaboration between PDS participants that served as a unifying concept for change (Snow-Gerono, 2005b). Teacher educators also utilize inquiry within the PDS as a tool to prompt prospective teachers to reconsider their belief systems. By allowing prospective teachers the opportunity to question existing belief systems, a space is crea ted to explore professional practice and make change. Kyed, Marlow, Miller, Owens, and Sore nson (2003) examined evidence of teacher candidate belief modifications in a high school PDS. The results suggest that prior to the induction week interns held conflicting beliefs about the role of family and community in schools. During the induction week, teacher e ducators helped candidate s assume an inquiry
38 stance toward professional lear ning and began utilizing inquiry as a tool for learning. The evidence cites that a series of linked interventions contributed to a shift in candidate thinking (p.481). The key components of the induction w eek were attributed to the professional environment, a focus on inquiry and reflection, and attention to site needs and concerns. Creating an inquiry stance become s a central component of high qua lity professional preparation within a PDS. These examples describe how teacher inqu iry serves as a vehicle for high quality professional preparation for prospective teachers within the PDS. Teacher inquiry facilitates changes in prospective teacher learning when they question their practices and beliefs, document P-12 learning, and dialogue with ot her educators within their school. Responsive supervision Responsive supervision refers to how unive rsity and school-based supervisors guide the individual prospective teachers growth within a specific PDS context. Supervision that is responsive to the unique needs of the prospective teacher, her students, and the school is key to high quality professional prepara tion. PDSs are able to provide contexts for this type of supervision because of the strong relationships and shared understanding of multiple needs within the context. In a PDS, responsive supervision provides prospective teachers with on-going feedback and content specific s upport based on indivi dual goals and needs (Gimbert and Nolan, 2003; Frey, 2002). Gimbert and Nolan (2003) investigated the role of the PDS university supervisor in a phenomenological case study of six interns and one s upervisor. Their findings reveal that during the year interns requested specific supervisors ba sed on the supervisor's areas of expertise to support them in the classroom. The evidence em phasized the ability of PDS supervisors to respond to the individualized nature of learning to teach. The supervisors utilized reflective
39 supervision to assist prospective teachers in making changes to their teaching practices. This example provides insight into how the expertis e of the university supe rvisor can facilitate prospective teacher learning and suppor t individual changes in practice. Also focused on the role of the supervis or, Frey (2002) discusses how an on-site supervision model in a middle school PDS focuse d on literacy. The on-site supervision model utilized a former school faculty member to support prospective teacher learning opportunities. This on-site supervisor provided each prospectiv e teacher with eleven formal observations each semester, as well as frequent informal meeti ngs and observations. In this example, the PDS served as an instrument for changes in literacy instruction by providing fre quent and contextually sensitive feedback to prospective teachers through focused supervision tied to strategies outlined in the schools Literary Plan. Responsive supervis ion in a PDS provides high quality professional preparation because it is intensiv e in nature and supports the indi vidualized nature of learning to teach by offering prospective teachers frequent feedback, content area feedback that is tied to school goals, and guidance in making individual change. High quality professional preparation and school wide change High quality professional preparation for prospective teachers w ithin a PDS includes incorporatin g learning communities, teacher inqu iry, and responsive supervision. The empirical evidence identifies the role of pr ospective teachers, teacher educators/mentor teachers, university supervisors, and university faculty as creating a learning community with the shared goal of improving teaching and learning. Further, teacher inquiry emerges as an exemplary vehicle for creating dialogue and focus that leads to prospe ctive teacher development. Finally, responsive supervision provides the individual support that meet s their individual needs. The empirical evidence related to high quality teacher preparation provides some insight into how PDSs emerge as institutions that support school-wide change. Two examples describe
40 how participants were positioned to support specifie d aspects of change within PDS sites. In one example, PDS prospective teacher s worked with mentor teachers and university supervisors as change agents to develop learning communities and facilitate technol ogy innovation within the PDS context. However, in this example the use of technology was s till not a school level initiative for change but rather emphasized exemplary practices in technology as a part of PDS classroom work. This example offers insight into how prospective teachers, mentor teachers, and university supervisors can be positioned to infl uence change within a PDS and identifies the importance of prospective teachers in developi ng learning communities that target a change initiative. Also, related to aspects of school change, Freys (2002) descrip tion of a middle school initiative for improving literacy instruction also utilized the PDS as an instrument of change. The growth of a learning community between prospe ctive teachers, university faculty, an on-site supervisor, and master teachers was cited as th e key component to success. The PDS positioned prospective teachers to conduct ac tion research case studies and utilized co-teaching between university and school faculty to provide pre-service educatio n opportunities. Further, the collaboratively developed Literary Plan that introduced new practices in this study was used to guide new teacher development and as a tool fo r supervision by school faculty. As a result, responsibility for student learning was shared between all PDS participants. While many components of the literacy agenda in the PDS were described, specific learning outcomes for prospective teachers and students using this PDS model for change were not reported. Lack of systematic methodology is one dilemm a related to understa nding how learning communities provide high quality professional preparation for prospective teachers in a PDS. Most of the studies that emerged within this concept, with the ex ception of Teitel (2001),
41 focused on project or program descriptions that integrated data segments into the findings but none explicitly stated formal methods for data collection or analysis. Th is causes one to wonder what sources of data were specif ically consulted and how they we re analyzed to arrive at the reported results. Further, connections are not made between prosp ective teacher learning experiences and the process of school change. Finally, Gimbert and Nolan (2003) and Frey (2002) provide evidence for the use of responsive supervision based on individual needs and context sp ecific goals. However, the studies do not provide insight into how the sp ecific knowledge base about teaching generated within the context influenced prospective teacher learning and contributed to PDS change. Gimbert and Nolan's (2003) study revealed the benef its of the supervisor's expertise in a given area to better support intern learning. However, because the studys unit of analysis was focused on the PDS interns and their supervisor, the findi ngs do not provide insigh t into any school wide change efforts that may have been occurring simultaneously. On the other hand, Frey's (2002) example describes the learning community betw een university faculty, on-site supervisors, student teachers, and master teachers, but th is case does not provide insight into how the knowledge generated within the learning comm unity specifically contributed to new understandings of effective liter acy instruction for the teaching ca ndidates or the master teachers through the on-site supervision model. One of the primary pieces lacking related to high quality teacher preparation is a fundamental understanding of how prospective teacher inquiry is linked to the broader school community's change efforts. Specifically, how are school change effort s linked to prospective teacher inquiry and collaborative action rese arch? How does prospective teacher learning through inquiry prompt changes within the school or in individual clas srooms? Further, the
42 evidence suggests that dialogue and collaborative action research support prospective teacher thinking by shifting the focus to th e needs of children and necessita ting an inquiry stance toward teaching. However, the evidence from these st udies does not reveal how tension unearthed through openness, collaboration, and dialogue promot es or inhibits school wide educational change efforts. Goal 2: Simultaneous Renewal Simultaneous renewal focuses on improving uni versity and school-based teacher education support structures for educators at all levels. Simultaneous rene wal is characterized by strong collaborative partnerships betw een universities, schools, and professional organizations to improve "public K-12 schools and the education of both beginning and experienced educators" (Holmes Partnership, http://www.holmespartnership.org/goals.html retrieved on Oct. 15, 2007). Although simultaneous renewal is a key goal of PDS work, to date the partnership work at the univers ity institution affiliated with this study has not yet been con ceptualized as an opportunity for simultaneous renewal. As a result of the emer ging nature of the PDS work in this context, this literature review focuses primarily on K12 school level changes/renewal. The empirical literature suggests PDSs support sc hool renewal when participants engage in the process of collaborative planning focused on K-12 student learning needs (Frey, 2002; Shroyer et al. 2007) and when a shared vision is used to organi ze contextually respons ive learning opportunities between participants (Frey & Fisher, 2004; Klingner et al. 2004; Shroyer et al. 2007). Collaborative planning focused on K-12 student learning needs School renewal is actualized when PDS collaborative planning focuses on defining the direction and scope of learning activ ities within a context. As a part of this process, K-12 student learning needs serve as a sounding board when school and university-based educators collaboratively engage in dial ogue to clarify expectations, id entify roles and resources, and
43 establish a common vision to guide PDS work. The process of school improvement action planning clarifies, documents, and focuses PDS work on K-12 student learning needs. In a broad study of one PDS partnership network, Shoyer, Yahnke, Bennett, and Dunn (2007) investigated how school improvement action planning impacted K-12 students, prospective and practicing teach ers, and school sites within the Professional Development School network. The study examined multiple surveys, interviews with PDS teachers, administrators, K-12 students, university faculty and students, as well as numerous project documents, records and student assessment data. C linical instructors, te achers, administrators, and faculty liaisons identified multiple resour ces and professional development activities they believed would improve student learning in areas of weakness (Shr oyer et al., 2007). By focusing school renewal efforts on the learning needs of K-12 students, practicing teachers within individual school contexts experienced changes in their be liefs and classroom instruction. Dedicated school sites realized that the greatest gains occurred when PDS participants took the action planning process seriously and prioritized K-12 student lear ning needs. In this example, school improvement action planning focused mu ltiple participants on K-12 students learning needs by distributing responsibilities between mu ltiple PDS roles to actualize school renewal. This distribution supported changes in in-service teachers beliefs and practices, and improved K-12 student learning. Also focused on the collaborative planning pr ocess, Freys (2002) study of a PDS middle school engaged university and school-based faculty in dialogue to id entify a set of core strategies that guided school wide literacy instructi on. The PDS focused new teacher development, practicing teacher professional development, and prospective teacher supervision on seven research-based reading strategies the site justif ied as vital student literacy skills. The Seven
44 Defensible Strategies were collaboratively developed betw een PDS participants (Frey, 2002, p.9). In this example, the schools desire to renew literacy practices and improve student learning served as the catalyst for developing a common set of criteria to plan, organize and support prospective and practicing teacher learning within the PDS. The development of specific criteria for literacy instruction provided the PD S participants with a common goal that led to school renewal. Contextually responsive collaborative learning Contextually responsive collaborative learning also is key to the school renewal process. This orienta tion toward collaborative learning refers to the specific activities PDS sites use to support the learning needs of K-12 students, prospective and practici ng teachers, and other professionals within the context. The unique natu re of collaborative le arning emerges after PDS groups identify a shared vision for school impr ovement, a process that was discussed in the previous section. This section emphasizes the types of learning activities that provide contextually responsive collaborative learning. PDS School rene wal is actualized when a shared vision is developed between participants (Fre y, 2002 Frey & Fisher, 2004) and collaborative professional development opportunities support th e acquisition of knowledge in practice (Frey, 2002; Frey & Fisher, 2004; Shroyer et al., 2007). Freys (2002) study describes how the litera cy plan guided the collaborative learning activities within the beginning teac her orientation, the focus and process of prospective teacher feedback during classroom observa tions, and the construction of case studies about individual middle school students. Specifical ly, the schools literacy plan drew upon seven research-based strategies to guide PDS work: 1) writing to learn, 2) KWL, 3) shared reading, 4) independent reading with conferencing, 5) vocabulary and word study, 6) note taking, and 7) reciprocal teaching. The Seven Defensible Strategies in formed instructional accountability, professional
45 development activities, and resource allocation within the PDS (p. 9). Also indicative of the type s of activities that emphasize collaborative planning, Frey and Fishers (2004) study enlisted PDS practicing teachers to develop and critique special education teacher education syllabi. The process of negotia ting core criteria to guide prospective teacher education produced a course syllabi used as an organizing concept for future PDS work. In these examples, the school literacy plan and the methods course syllabi emerged as the products of the negotiation between school and university-ba sed personnel. In a PDS, both school and university-based participants ar e active in developing a shared vision for PDS activities that simultaneously serve the needs of the school context and provide le arning opportunities for prospective and practicing teacher s. School based teacher educators, supervisors, and university faculty utilize dialogue and colla boration to establish the criteria for judging prospective and practicing teacher instruction. This example is one of the fe w cases that indicates not only renewal at the school but also suggests that si multaneous renewal occurred as the syllabi were revised to meet th e schools needs. Also emphasizing the need for PDS to remain contextually responsive, Frey and Fishers (2004) case study of practicing te acher development and school change presents powerful implications for how multiple practicing teacher learning opportunities influence school change. According to Frey and Fisher (2004), Teachers ar e not only critical to creating school change but are essential in the more difficult work of sustaining school cha nge (p. 61). The authors suggest that PDSs should carefu lly select strategies/tools to compliment the unique context characteristics and focus on teachers generating knowledge in practice. Their findings suggest that practicing teachers generate knowledge in practice through co llaborative experiences such as teacher study groups, book clubs, and collaborative action research. Prac ticing teachers created
46 and sustained school change efforts by part icipating in multiple learning experiences, developing/critiquing methods course syllabi, an d supervising prospectiv e teachers. University practitioners served as critical friends to school-based educator s as they worked to generate new knowledge. Frey and Fishers study demonstrat es how a common PDS vision can unify the activities for both prospective and practicing teachers. The empirica l evidence describes the tools school and university-based faculty use to engage in multiple collaborative professional development experiences to facilitate t eacher learning and achieve school renewal. Although PDSs achieve school renewal when collaborative learning opportunities are based on contextual needs of K-12 students and practicing teachers, Kl ingner, Leftwich, van Garderen, and Hernandez (2004) questioned the viability of the PDS model to improve student outcomes. In one culturally diverse elementary school, a Spanish speak ing university faculty member supported practicing teachers in implem enting new literacy techniques for teaching Spanish speaking elementary students. This univ ersity faculty member supported all teachers in implementing new techniques that brought research into practice and enabled practicing teachers to generate knowledge in practi ce. Additionally, the practicing teachers later used their new knowledge and skills to serve as mentors, im plement new instructional strategies, and collaboratively generate resear ch with university faculty. Th e culturally diverse PDS used collaborative research and inst ructional modeling to respond to the learning needs within the context. Baseline data indicated th at student performance initially measured at the same level as other district schools but eight years later student performance measured 21% higher than those same schools. Although many factors may have c ontributed to this gr owth, his study suggests that collaboration between practitioners and a professor in residence with a specific area of expertise can support school renewal.
47 School renewal and school wide change Negotiating a focus for contextually responsiv e participant learning activities and creating opportunities for these collaborative activities facilitate PDS school renewal. The learning needs of K-12 students become the catalyst for inte grating university resources to support both prospective and practicing teacher learning needs in a PDS. Shoyer, Yahnke, Bennett, and Dunn (2007) highlight the importance of collaborati on and utilizing multiple PDS participants as resources for achieving school improvement goals. The authors suggest that school renewal is a resource intensive enterprise, bu t absent from the study are exam ples for how individual sites within the partnership network activated university/sc hool resources and or ganized professional development activities to respond to c ontextually specific learning needs. Also related to the collaborative planning process, Freys (2002) study provides insight into how PDSs can focus professional learning activities. However, the study does not present evidence of learning outcomes for professionals who engaged in or led the literacy-focused activities. Sufficient evidence exists to support that PDS school renewal occurs by attending to the learning needs of teachers and stude nts within the context (Klingner et al. 2004). The literature reveals that PDSs emerge as a vehicle for cha nge by incorporating school renewal efforts, such as research, modeling, and planning to support new knowledge generation. Empirical evidence also documents how teachers, university f aculty and prospective teachers engage in collaboratively planned profe ssional learning activities that respond to the needs of the participants, K-12 students, and the school context. The rese arch, however, has not provided distinctions for how the specifi c roles of university faculty, pr acticing teachers, prospective teachers and supervisors are responsible for linking knowledge to practice in day-to-day partnership activities. Absent from the literatu re are studies that identify how multiple learning
48 activities facilitate participant generated knowledge that leads to renewal. Additionally, multiple vehicles for supporting teacher knowledge developm ent are discussed within the literature (Frey and Fisher, 2004; Klinger, et. al ., 2004), but the studies do not de scribe learning outcomes for prospective and/or practicing teach ers or how changes in instructi onal practices are attributed to specific entry points. Based on the available resear ch, we are unable to determine which specific learning activities influence teache rs knowledge constr uction and how. In addition to the use of multiple vehicles for teacher learning, the studies cite the important role mentor teachers a nd prospective teachers play in the process of school renewal. However, absent from the studies are specific links to how prospectiv e teacher and practicing teacher learning are connected to simultaneous lear ning activities fostered within the partnership. The roles of prospective teachers and university teacher educators are c ited as contributing to teacher learning which facilitate s school change, but the responsib ilities of specific roles in supporting change are unclear. Frey & Fisher (2004) cite universit y outsiders as critical friends who stimulate the process of school change, but illustrations of how change agents enacted their roles within the site are absent. If PDSs are going to improve schools and teacher education simultaneously, a deeper research base is needed to provide a detail ed understanding of how multiple participants collaborate, inquire, and continuously learn within PDS sites to influence school renewal. Absent from the PDS literature in the area of school renewal are connections between the process of negotiating a shared vision and learni ng outcomes for PDS participants. Goal 3: Equity, Diversity and Cultural Competence K-12 schools, higher education, and the education profession should actively engage in "recruiting, preparing, and sustaining faculty and students who re flect and deeply understand the implications of the rich diversity of cultural perspectives in this country and our global
49 community" to achieve equity, diversity a nd cultural competence (Holmes Partnership, http://www.holmespartnership.org/goals.html retrieved on Oct. 15, 2007). PDSs can prom ote equity, diversity, and cultural competence by pr oviding teacher development within diverse school contexts. Specifically, some PDS prospect ive teacher preparation and practicing teacher professional learning opportunitie s are organized within urban schools to support K-12 student learning needs (Beardsley and Teitel, 2004; Klingner, Leftwich, van Garderen, and Hernandez, 2004). Other PDSs define diversity more broadly using race, class, gender, and ability as a way of deepening teacher attention to the nature of their student population. Regardless of the orientation towards diversity adopted by the PD S, attention must be given to provide each student access to the curriculum within an inclusiv e rather than an exclus ive learning context. According to Holmes, PDS teacher preparation and professional deve lopment programs that provide access to collaborative learning experi ences within diverse school contexts offer catalysts for individual teacher change. Teacher development within diverse school contexts Teacher dev elopment within diverse PDS school contexts cultivates educator knowledge related to issues of equity, diversity, and cultural competence. Racially diverse prospective teacher learning communities (Beardsley and Teitel, 2004), in-service teacher professional development opportunities based on K-12 students cultural and linguistic background (Klingner et al., 2004), and university supervisor lear ning communities (Jacobs, 2007) promote teacher learning about equity, diversity, and cu ltural competence within PDS settings. According to Beardsley and Teitel (2004), racial diversity among prospective teacher interns in an urban high school context promotes teacher development within field based learning communities. The study surveyed universit y faculty, mentor teach ers, and prospective teacher interns enrolled in a cohort based Master s program to identify how prospective teacher
50 learning focused on issues of equity impacts PD S practicing teachers, high school students, and prospective teacher interns. The secondary teacher education program systematically recruited a racially diverse cohort of in terns and placed the cohort in an urban PDS high school. Cohort activities focused on considering race as a factor that underlies sc hool issues. The intern cohorts racial diversity emerged as a significant factor in bringing together multiple intern perspectives, as well as prompting debate and discussion w ithin the intern learning community. In this example, racially diverse prospective teacher inte rns emerged as change agents for social justice by setting high standards and providing powerful instructional role models. The urban high school PDS field experience provided an appropria te context for prospective teacher change by enabling prospective teachers to transform their personal teaching philos ophies into practice. Professionals generate new knowledge and f acilitate student lear ning when practicing teacher learning activities are a ligned with the unique needs of culturally diverse learners. Klingner, Leftwich, van Garderen, and Hernandez ( 2004) utilized student te st scores as well as practicing teacher and administrator interviews to demonstrate how the PDS model improved student outcomes in an urban elementary schoo l. The PDS model integr ated a professor in residence with an expertise in supporting cult urally diverse learners. The Spanish-speaking university professor's knowledge and extensive teaching expertise with culturally and linguistically diverse students ma tched the learning needs of the PDS. The professor in residence led professional development activ ities for practicing teachers to improve reading instruction for students who experience English as a second lang uage. Further, participants attributed the success of the PDS model to collaborative research between un iversity and school-based faculty. Additionally, the notion of a "good-fit" professor in residence was attributed to improved educator learning and cultural competence in this elementary PDS (p.303). Attention to equity,
51 diversity, and cultural competence in urban PDSs support K12 student learning and provide professional learning opportunities for prospect ive and practicing teachers when university faculty and prospective teachers become learning resources. Supervisor learning communities can promote cr itical reflection about issues of equity, diversity, and culture for university supervisors and the prospective teachers they supervise. In a constructivist study of PDS univers ity supervisors, Jacobs (2007) used political analysis to investigate how prospective teacher supervisors made meaning of their transformation within a professional learning community focused on cul tivating equity-oriente d supervision. She found equity-oriented supervision was a challenge requiring supervisors to balance roles and multiple levels of relationships and to consider coaching for equity as a proc ess that took place over time. She also found, Supervisors made meani ng of equity-oriented supervision throughout the process of transformation by engaging in indivi dual inquiry that was simultaneously supported by a professional learning community (p.223) The influence of a supportive learning community provided supervisors space to genera te discourse and reflection around issues of equity. In this study, the univers ity supervisors confronted thes e issues personally within the learning community before translating them into their supervision practic e with PDS prospective teachers. Equity, diversity and cultural co mpetence and school w ide change Prospective and practicing teacher learning can facilitate atten tion to equity, diversity and cultural competence in urban PDSs. The interest s and expertise of prospective teachers and university professors provide teacher and student learning resources within diverse contexts. The empirical evidence cites racially diverse prospective teachers as change agents for practicing teachers and high school students in an urban hi gh school PDS (Beardsley & Teitel, 2004), while university faculty support the impl ementation of specific instructiona l strategies for linguistically
52 diverse students in a urban elementary PDS (Klingner et al. 2004). Additionally, urban school contexts provide a space for learning communities and research to emerge as exemplary practice activities that promote teaching competence around i ssues of equity, diversity and culture. While these studies are specifically related to the goal of equity, the practices evidenced in these studies illustrate how aligning participant interest and expertise can facilitate PDS change. Some research indicates that PDSs are vehicles for deepeni ng professional commitment to equity, although in each study specific attenti on has only focused on one impetus for teacher development. For example, Beardsley and Te itel (2004) provide a cl ear portrait for how prospective teachers can emerge as change agents for social justice, yet the evidence remains unclear for how interns impact the learning of th eir mentors and/or other professionals in the context. Further, Klingner et. al. (2004) highlight how practicing teachers developed new research-based instructio nal skills to meet the needs of thei r culturally and linguistically diverse student population. While the st udy cites the presence of prosp ective teachers within PDS classrooms, distinctions are not made for how they participate in or contribute to the implementation of research-based skills. The evidence outlines how recruiting and preparing a diverse pool of prospective teachers promotes e quity in an urban cont ext (Beardsley & Teitel, 2004) and how the support of the university facu lty enhances cultural competence for practicing teachers (Klingner et al. 2004). Overall, interactions between prospective teachers, in-service teachers, and university faculty in urban PDSs are not clear making it difficult to ascertain how the classroom practices within the urban school context cont ribute to educator learning. Goal 4: Scholarly Inquiry and Programs of Research In a PDS, inquiry and programs of research "conduct and disseminate educational research and engage in other scholarly activities that advance knowledge, improve teaching and learning for all children and youth, inform the preparation and development of educators, and influence
53 educational policy and practice (Holmes Partnership, http://www.holmespartnership.org/goals.html retrieved on Oct. 15, 2007). Thus, inquiry and research are catalysts for school ren ewal becau se they provide opportunities for collective dialogue about instructional practices by facil itating teacher generate d knowledge (Levin & Rock, 2003; Snow-Gerono, 2005a, 2005b) and di sseminating knowledge about teachers, students, and instructional stra tegies within a PDS (Klingner et al. 2004; Leonard, LovelaceTaylor, & Sanford-DeShields, 2004; Levin & Rock, 2003; Snow-Gerono, 2005a, 2005b). Inquiry facilitates teach er-generated know ledge Dana and Yendol-Silva (2003) suggest that i nquiry and action research arise from the concerns of teachers and engages teachers in the design, data collecti on, and interp retation of data around their question (p. 4) Inquiry promotes a collaborati ve culture where dialogue is utilized to reflect, question, and support new persp ectives on issues that co ncern educators. This theme focuses on how PDSs promote a culture of inquiry by providing space for prospective and practicing teachers to jointly participate in specific collaborative activities and discuss educational beliefs, instructiona l practices, and student learni ng needs. Collaborative action research conferences (Levin & Rock, 2003), inqu iry projects, and an inquiry stance (SnowGerono, 2005a, 2005b) are aspects of teacher inquir y that generated professional knowledge in PDS learning communities. Levin and Rock (2003) studied the practices a nd perspectives of five pre-service/practicing teacher pairs using collaborative action resear ch. Collaborative action research conferences between prospective teachers and their mentor teachers provided space to discuss the underlying beliefs that guide specific classroom events and decisions wi thout dialogue being focused on mentor or prospective teacher performance. Specifically, the c onferences allowed both prospective and practicing teacher s to gain new insights about their elementary students and
54 instructional practices, while prospective teach ers also gained a better understanding of themselves as teachers and more content knowledge. In this exampl e, collaborative action research conferences enabled the PDS prospectiv e and mentor teacher pairs to negotiate their own understandings of teaching and learni ng and generate new knowledge by studying instructional practices within a classroom community. The inquiry process and an inquiry stance were two aspects of teacher inquiry that promoted change and growth for PDS teacher s. Snow-Gerono's (2005) study of six practicing teachers experiences with inqui ry revealed that teachers chal lenged personal beliefs through dialogue fostered between mentor teachers, unive rsity faculty, and prospective teachers within a PDS learning community. Prospective teachers e ngaged in teacher inquiry with the support of their mentor teachers, university faculty, and peers. Mentor teachers supported prospective teacher inquiry projects, and fostered a dispositio n toward reflective, classroom research referred to as an inquiry stance. Teachers reported that inquiry projects and an inquiry stance prompted thinking, problematized practice, and promoted discussions of educational reform. In this example, collaboration between PDS professionals facilitated teacher generated knowledge, promoted dialogue and provided participants with space to question teachi ng practices, increase uncertainty, and tap new possibilities for ch ange (Snow-Gerono, 2005a). Within the PDS, collaborative dialogue fostered the acquisition of teachers self-knowledge instructional change and student learning through conferencing, the inquiry process, and an inquiry stance. Research disseminates kn ow ledge about practice PDS participants also engage in research to capture school renewal efforts and disseminate knowledge about educator learning within partnership contexts. For example, research has used case studies (Leonard, Lovelace -Taylor, & Sanford-DeShields, 2004) and studied site based teaching practices (Klingner et al., 2004) in order to demonstrate renewal efforts.
55 Leonard, Lovelace, Taylor, Sandford-Deshie lds, and Spearman (2004) conducted case studies on two PDS math teachers to understand how content knowledge and pedagogy influence mathematics instruction mastery. An analysis of audiotapes, script tapes, observations, and field notes revealed the interconnect edness of content, pedagogy a nd teacher knowledge and the importance of this interconnectedness to teacher and student learning. Th e data revealed that although both teachers had the content knowledge to teach effectively, only one of the contexts studied allowed prospective teachers space to learn from their mistakes. Findings from the case studies revealed that placing an emphasis on content knowledge first and then focusing on the delivery of instructional skill s supported teachers mathematic s instruction and influenced teacher mastery. Leonard et. al. (2004) argue that case studies provided pr acticing teachers with the tools to generate discussion about pedagogy a nd facilitate school change In this example, a PDS generated an on-site knowledge base to im prove practicing teacher learning opportunities, improve mathematics pedagogy and to facilitate school change through dialogue and collective inquiry. Also focused on the role of research in a PDS, Klingner, Leftwich, van Garderen, and Hernandez (2004) studied teacher participation in the research process as a component of school change. Practicing teachers coll aborated with university facult y to implement research-based practices and also studie d their own practice as they experimented with new ideas and supported each other's learning. Klinger et. al (2004) evid enced three specific roles of PDS educators engaged in site based research to deepen the knowledge base of teaching and learning. Teachers identified the following three roles of research in their PDS: 1) participating in research, 2) conducting collaborative research w ith university faculty, and 3) be ing the subject of research. Opportunities to bring research into practice included intr oducing new ideas, modeling new
56 strategies, and supporting prospect ive and practicing teachers in implementing new techniques. School and university based educ ators utilize case studies, pa rticipation in research, and collaborative inquiry to disseminate and constr uct context specific know ledge about teaching and learning that provide other PDSs a roadmap as they consider the role of research within school sites. Scholarly inquiry and programs of research and school wide change PDSs support scholarly inquiry and program s of research that ar e collaborative across participants. These efforts support the school renewal and change process. The empirical evidence cites prospective teachers and me ntors (Levin & Rock, 2003; Snow-Gerono, 2005a, 2005b), practicing teachers and university faculty (Klingner et al. 2004; Leonard et al. 2004), and prospective teachers and university faculty (Leonard et al. 2004) as contributo rs to scholarly inquiry and research in a PDS. Inquiry and research facili tate school change by providing vehicles for teachers to generate professional knowledge as well as opportunities for collaborative research between university and school-based researchers. Additionally, the PDS allows for the dissemination of multiple types of professional know ledge within the PDS sites as well as within the research community. PDS participants utilize collaborative action research and inquiry to facilitate dialogue about instructional practices. While professi onal knowledge /learning is often cited as an outcome of inquiry and research, learning outcome s are typically general and rarely directly linked to practitioner inquiry or an establ ished focus for school change. For example, Klingner, Leftwich, van Garderen, and Hern andez (2004) had a common focus driving their school change effort. However, the evidence sites the types of re search that contribute to PDS participation and site learning gains by students on standardized assessment measur es as evidence of learning. The study does not describe how prospective and pr acticing teacher learni ng is connected to
57 classroom practices, and how classroom practic es specifically improve student learning outcomes. Most often in this study, teachers were the focus of research conducted by university faculty, and while the study cites teacher resear ch as a contributing f actor to practitioner learning, little discussion is offered to provide specific learning outcomes for teachers inquiring into their own instructional practices. Based on th e evidence, one is unable to determine if the improvements in student learning scores were influenced by speci fic instructional practices of teachers or the schools literacy focus over time Additionally, what teachers learned from their peers, professional development by faculty, and research within the site was unclear. The empirical evidence cites that teach ers are inquiring into their ow n practice, but the presence of university prospective teachers a nd faculty remain a catalyst for research and inquiry in the PDSs. Future studies could investigate how inquiry and research are positioned within PDS partnerships; particularly examining who is driv ing the agenda for research and inquiry and who actualizes inquiry with PDS contexts. Much of th e empirical literature related to the goal for scholarly inquiry and programs of research overlap with the pr eviously discussed goals for professional preparation, school renewal, and the literature for faculty development, which will be discussed in the following section. Therefor e, many of the implications for inquiry and research focus more on who is leading inquiry and research and the activities they utilize rather than the focus of the research itself. Goal 5: School and Universit y Based Faculty Development The Holmes Partnership goal for school and university based faculty development emphasizes "Quality doctoral programs for the future education professoriate and for advanced professional development of school-based educat ors." A PDS redesigns "the work of both university and school faculty" to better prepare educators and im prove learning for children and youth. Further, PDSs should promote "conditions that recognize and reward education
58 professionals who better serve the needs of all learners (Holmes Partnership, http://www.holmespartnership.org/goals.html retrieved on Oct. 15, 2007). Responsive professional developm ent (Frey & Fisher, 2004; Morrow & Casey, 2004) and collaborative learning communities (Klingner et al., 2004; Snow-Gerono, 2005a, 2005b) facilitate school based faculty development in a PDS. PDSs ach ieve change when teachers experience multiple collaborative and context specif ic professional learning experien ces to generate knowledge in practice. Responsive professional development Responsive professional development refers to how PDSs facilitate faculty development by situating professional learning activities/resources within the context to address K-12 student and practicing teacher learning needs. Multiple practi ces and conditions support school based faculty learning in a PDS (Frey & Fisher, 2004; Morro w & Casey, 2004). Specifically, PDSs actualize change when practicing teacher learning opportun ities are flexible and respond to individual needs (Morrow & Casey, 2004) and when multiple collaborative learning experiences share a common focus (Frey & Fisher, 2004). Morrow and Casey (2004) utilized field not es, observations, informal discussions and teacher interviews to investigate the characteri stics of a PDS professional development project that supports changes in teacher practice. Te n conditions of professional development were identified that facilitate practicing teacher change. Teachers identified flexible goal setting, access to materials, observations of improve d student learning, administrative support, collaboration with peers, opportunity to work with consultants/coaches, time for change to occur, discussion study groups, coaches to model lessons, and visiting other teachers classrooms as the conditions that were most important for creati ng change. Principal and peer persuasion also emerged as influential factors in motivating practicing teachers to participate in professional
59 learning activities. Additionally, participants cited that small instructional improvements prompted more changes to occur when teachers felt in control and were able make adjustments at their own pace. Practicing teachers later mentored practicing and prospective teachers as a result of personal success. In this exampl e, teachers attributed changes in their instructi onal practice to a responsive faculty development program that c onsidered individual teac her needs within the PDS context. Also focusing on the role of school based facu lty professional development in a PDS, Frey and Fisher (2004) describe a model that s upports faculty development focused on teachers generating knowledge in practice, a foundational premise of the PDS model. Teachers generate knowledge in practice through social ly and contextually situated and reflective experiences that foster connections between content knowledge and everyday action (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999). Concurrent with Cochran-Smith & Lytle Frey and Fisher (2004) found PDS educators gain access to the exemplary practices of expe rienced/peer teachers and generate knowledge in practice through a series of collaborative experiences such as teacher study groups, book clubs, and collaborative action researc h. In this example, Frey and Fisher (2004 ) identify how educational change in one PDS c ontext resulted from a culture shif t that involved a series of shared experiences, shared vision, available resources, and training. Therefore, responsive professional development facilitates changes in teachers instructional practices and generates knowledge in practice when school based faculty learning opportunities are collaborative and focus on individual/ contextual needs. Collaborative learning communities Collaborative learning communities refer to how individuals within PDS sites interact to socially construct knowledge and beliefs about te aching and learning. The lit erature suggests that effective learning communities emerge to support school based faculty learning when
60 collaboration, inquiry/resear ch, and a shared vision focus PDS work (Chiero et al. 2003; Klingner et al. 2004; Snow-Gerono, 2005b). Chiero et. al (2003) describe a professiona l development program that supports new ways of teaching with technology. A learning community created between student teachers, university supervisors, and master teachers emphasized a co-contributor relationship and used technology as a common PDS focus. Collaboration between me ntors, prospective teachers and university supervisors supported teaching with technology and facilitated change through the formation of learning communities. The experience revealed th at learning communities created by master teachers and student teachers generated more interest and participation than learning communities created by university supervisors. Further, individual learning communities determined their own needs, which highlighted the importance for communities to remain flexible and sensitive to members needs and the work context. This example illustrates how changes in teacher thinking, beli efs and practice take place as a result of collaboration within learning communities. Multiple studies cite how learning communities emerge when PDSs engage in inquiry/action research. These exam ples have been discussed within a previous section, under the goal for scholarly inquiry and programs of resear ch. However, the goal for school and university based faculty development describes how t eacher inquiry (Snow-Gerono, 2005a, 2005b) and/or site based research (Klingner et al. 2004) provides a catalyst fo r school and university based faculty development when lear ning communities are established between school based faculty, prospective teacher, and unive rsity level participants. School and university based faculty de velopment and school w ide change Substantial evidence indicates that PDSs pr ovide school based educat ors with opportunities for teacher generated knowledge when lear ning activities focus on the needs of the
61 individuals/context (Fre y & Fisher, 2004; Klingner et al. 2004; Morrow & Casey, 2004) and a shared vision guides learning communities (Chiero et al., 2003). Both Frey and Fisher (2004) and Shroyer et. al. (2007) attribute positive lear ning experiences to asp ects of culture. Although, the specific evidence for how mu ltiple, shared experiences cited by Frey and Fisher (2004) were organized to support a culture shif t was unclear. While the literatur e does identify components of professional development programs that facili tate change (Frey & Fisher, 2004; Morrow & Casey, 2004), how specific roles and responsibili ties of PDS participan ts are organized to facilitate learning remain unspecified. Noticeably absent from the PDS change empirical literature is evidence of how high quality doctoral programs are integrated into PDS work. Similarly, how PDSs support the development of university based f aculty was not clear. While Chiero et. al. (2003) cite the presence of university supervisors as part of PDS learning communities, learning outcomes for university based faculty, doctoral level students, and university supervisor s are largely absent from the empirical literature. Also unclear from the evidence is the nature of knowledge generated in learning communities and how learning transforms into action in PDS classrooms. Additionally, a deeper unde rstanding of how the specific roles, rituals, and responsibilities of PDS participants are organized to facilitate learning for both school based and university based participants is needed. Goal 6: Policy Initiation The Holm es Partnership goal for policy ini tiation emphasizes engagement in "policy analysis and development related to public K-12 sc hools and the preparation of educators (J. I. Goodlad, 1984b). The goal advocates for policy to "improve teaching and learning for all students, promote school improve ment and enhance the prepara tion and continuing professional development of all educators" (Holmes Partnership,
62 http://www.holmespartnership.org/goals.html retrieved on Oct. 15, 2007). To date, studies that specifically analyze and docum ent policy cha nges in PDS are limited. However, the PDS literature does document how improved learni ng outcomes for PDS prospective teachers, practicing teachers, and K-12 student s are a catalyst that prompt university level faculty to reconceptualize the values and goa ls that underpin teacher education programs and make changes to program arrangements and activitie s (Beardsley & Teit el, 2004; Shroyer et al. 2007). While the studies are not explicitly linked to formal policy changes, the results can inform our understanding of how PDS learni ng outcomes may prompt adaptati ons in policy at the school, district, and university level. University-level change results fro m PDS site outcomes PDS based teacher education programs play a fundamental role in providing responsive, flexible, and collaborative learning opportunities for prospective and practicing teachers (Frey, 2002; Frey & Fisher, 2004; Klingner et al., 2004; Morrow & Casey, 2004). The empirical evidence also suggests that university program and activity changes result when teacher education programs examine how PDSs support th e learning of practicing teachers (Shroyer et al. 2007), K-12 students (Shroyer et al. 2007; Beardsley & Teitel, 2004) and prospective teachers (Beardsley & Teitel, 2004). Beardsley and Teitel (2004) de scribe how positive learning outcomes for an urban PDS cohort of prospective high school teachers and their students pr ompted a negotiation processes between faculty that resulted in policy changes at the university level. Th e authors suggest that university faculty challenged traditional views of teacher preparation when they examined the positive learning outcomes experienced by a racially diverse cohort of interns prepared in an urban PDS. Additionally, a more collegial university culture em erged, allowing open debate and discussion about the distinctions between trad itional teacher educati on programs and teacher
63 education in a PDS. This example uncovers how universities re-conceptualize their own policies about teacher education when particip ant learning outcomes are examined. In another example, Shroyer et. al. (2007) utilize K-12 students as the focal point for revising university and school practices. Rath er than advocating specifically for policy adaptations for schools and the uni versity, the partnership network utilized school improvement action planning to focus on the learning needs of K-12 students and cultivate a shift in the structures, conceptual understandings, and a ssumptions embedded in the teacher education programs. This example illustrates how positive change can emerge when participants at various levels within a school/university partnership co nsider the learning outco me of K-12 students, teachers, and prospective teachers as significan t factors in teacher education programs. Policy initiation and university change The em pirical literature cites changes in policy as the result of learning outcomes of prospective and/or practicing te achers participating in PDS base d programs. University faculty play a role not only in designing and carrying out research that documents the learning outcomes of PDS participants, but also in gathering data that can later serve as a catalyst for open discussion and debate. However, the literatur e remains focused on policy adaptations and reconsiderations at the university level. While the examples cited do no t directly specify the policy changes that occurred, they do reveal how PDS schools, networks, a nd districts can utilize participant learning data to evaluate and rec onsider the practices of PDS professionals and institutions and improve learning fo r all participants. A deeper res earch base is needed to better understand how PDSs impact policy at the school, district, univers ity, and state level to improve schools and teacher education programs. Future research should investigate how PDS participants advocate for policy change and how school/district level policy changes influence the work and learning of PDS participants.
64 Conclusion Educational im provement should focus on th e individual school organization (Goodlad, 1984). The research on effective professional devel opment also suggests that teacher learning is best supported in the contexts where educators work (Garet et al. 2001). Further, Fullan (2001) contends that quality teaching is the key to student achieveme nt and that improvement of teaching is a crucial component for school improveme nt in an era of change. Fullan also suggests that school-university partnerships are powerful vehicles to support change efforts. Therefore, a school improvement approach to educational change should focus teaching improvement and changes on contextually derived school, teacher, and student needs. By serving multiple needs, PDSs can emerge as potentially powerful contex ts to support educational improvement, teacher education, and student achievement. The PDS literature cites multiple examples of how in-service teacher learning is facilitated when it is based on th e needs of teachers and students within the context. The PDS literature also documents how school improvement goals facilitate partic ipant learning within a school-university partnership network (Shroyer et al. 2007). A deeper understanding is needed of how PDS inquiry and research help create a learning culture using multiple entry points to support school wide improvement efforts. Without an intricate understa nding of how multiple school and university resources are organized and integrated to facilitate learning within individual PDS sites, new and existing partnershi ps may never actualize th eir potential to serve the learning needs of multiple participants. According to Ellsworth (n.d) the change pr ocess is underpinned by the interrelationships between individuals and stakeholders within an organization. The literat ure has documented how learning communities and inquiry facilitate individual teacher change for prospective and practicing teachers in a PDS. Fu rther, the evidence also cite s that prospective teachers and
65 university personnel emerge as facilitators of PDS change. However, identifying the interconnectedness between multiple participant roles, learning activities, and PDS resources that support professional learning experiences has been beyond the scope of previous studies. Absent in the empirical literature ar e studies that sensitively exam ine how the PDS model creates a learning culture and supports school-wide change efforts while also examining the factors that influence interrelationships and involvement be tween multiple stakeholders at the K-12 school level. The theme of learning communities was also a commonality in the PDS change empirical literature related to teacher preparation, inqui ry and research, equity/diversity and the development of school/university based faculty. However, the evid ence cited remains focused on one aspect of learning communities within th e PDS. Learning communities are described as focused on teacher inquiry, technology, prospectiv e teacher, or practicing teacher learning. The evidence does not explore connections between multiple learning communities that may exist within a PDS or how they are positioned to accomplish multiple goals within the PDS. To date, the PDS empirical research has documented how individual teachers or single learning communities within PDSs facilitate school wide change efforts. Also absent in the empirical literature related to school change are the learning experiences of other PDS stakeholders such as principals, supervisors, univers ity faculty, and doctoral studen ts. For this reason, this study investigates how multiple partnership roles and th e rituals they engage shift over time and how PDSs create a culture of professional learning th at leads to school-wide change around a shared focus. The purpose of this study is to examine how educators describe their shifting beliefs, values, roles, behaviors, rituals, and responsibilities as participants in a PDS focused on creating
66 a culture of professional learning. Chapter 3 describes the research methodology and study design. Chapter 4 describes the PDS context wh ere the study takes place. Chapter 5 highlights key findings to help readers tran sition into Chapters 6 and 7 where the findings are described and analyzed in depth. In Chapter 8 conclusions are discussed and implications are drawn from this study to make recommendations for future research.
67 Table 2-1. Research table Holmes Partnership Goal Is infl uenced by: Empirical Evidence Goal 1: High Quality Professional Preparation Teacher Inquiry Frey, 2002; Kyed et al., 2003; Levin & Rock, 2003; SnowGerono, 2005b Learning Communities Chiero, Sherry, & Bohlin, 2003; Frey, 2002; Smith & Robinson, 2003; Teitel, 2001 Responsive Supervision Frey, 2002; Gimbert & Nolan, 2003 Goal 2:School Renewal Collaborative Planning Focused on K-12 Student Learning Needs Frey, 2002; Shroyer et al., 2007 Contextually Responsive Collaborative Learning Frey, 2002; Frey & Fisher, 2004; Klingner, Leftwich, van Garderen, and Hernandez, 2004; Shroyer et al., 2007 Goal 3: Equity, Diversity and Cultural Competence Teacher Development within Diverse School Contexts Klingner, Leftwich, van Garderen, and Hernandez, 2004; Beardsley and Teitel, 2004 Goal 4: Scholarly Inquiry and Programs of Research Inquiry which Facilitates Teacher Generated Knowledge Levin & Rock, 2003; SnowGerono, 2005a, 2005b Research which Disseminates Knowledge about Practice Klingner, Leftwich, van Garderen, and Hernandez, 2004; Leonard, LovelaceTaylor, & Sanford-DeShields, 2004 Goal 5: School and University Based Faculty Development Responsive Professional Development Morrow and Casey, 2004; Frey and Fisher, 2004 Collaborative Learning Communities through Teacher Inquiry and Research Chiero, Sherry, Bohlin, and Harris, 2003 Klingner, Leftwich, van Garderen, and Hernandez, 2004; Snow-Gerono, 2005a, 2005b Goal 6: Policy Initiation University Level Change which Results from PDS Site Outcomes Beardsley & Teitel, 2004 Shroyer et al., 2007
68 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Introduction John Goodlad (1984) argues that educationa l im provement should focus on individual school organizations, the place where interconnected structures, systems, and beliefs come together. School environment interconnectedness contributes to the complexity of school change (Raywid, 1990). Richert, Stoddard, and Kass (2001) suggest that school improvement occurs when collaborative partnerships extend beyond institutional boundaries between schools and other organizations because reform is so comp lex and multi-faced that it cannot be done alone (p. 136). PDS partnerships offer a collaborative vehicle for actualizing educational improvement by merging the work of schools and universities to achieve a common goal, to improve teaching, teacher education, and student learning. A ccording to Tunks and Neapolitan (2007) Professional development schools integrate the functions of teacher preparation, professional development, inquiry and researc h, and student achievement in order to bring about whole school improvement and the simult aneous renewal of the teaching profession. (p.3) In essence, the teaching profession benef its when the mission to improve teacher preparation/education is integrat ed with the mission to improve schools and student achievement. While growing evidence supports that collabor ative school cultures facilitate successful educational change (Fullan, 2007), empirical stud ies have yet to investigate how specific, activities within a school-university partnerships influence shifts in educator knowledge, changes in classroom practice, and st udent learning. The purpose of this study is to examine how educators described their shifting be liefs, values, roles, behaviors, rituals, and responsibilities as participants in a PDS focused on creating a professional learning cu lture. This chapter identifies how qualitative research in the interpretivist tr adition serves as an appropriate framework for describing the complexity of a changing school cultu re in one rural elementary PDS. The chapter
69 also outlines the design of the study including site selection, methods for data collection, data analysis, the role of the researcher, and techniques for enhancing trustworthiness. Theoretical Framework The theoretical perspectives taken by an investigator inherently guide methodological selections and influence the nature of the research question and the assumptions embedded within the research design (Crotty, 2003). Embr acing a qualitative stance toward educational research, this study examines how educators desc ribe their shifting beliefs, values, roles, behaviors, rituals, and responsib ilities as participants in a PDS focused on creating a culture of professional learning. According to Patton (2002), qualitative de signs are naturalistic to the extent that the research takes place in real world settingsthe phenomena unfolds naturally in that it has no predetermined course established by and for the researcher (p.39). The research question is focused on describing the real wo rld experiences and pe rspectives of PDS participants in a school environment. Therefore, a qualitati ve design is well suited to examine the conditions that facilitate a nd/or inhibit shifts in educational practice and knowledge within the schools culture. Using a qualitative research de sign requires clearly articulatin g the theoretical orientation that guides methodological decisi ons. The assumptions that guide the methodologic al selections within the interpretivist paradigm a ttend to issues of language, communication, interrelationships, and community (Crotty, 2003). As a result, interpretivism serves as an appropriate theoretical orientati on for examining school culture in a PDS. LeCompte & Schensul (1999) define culture as an abstra ct construct put together or cons tructed as people interact with each other and participate in shared activities (p. 49). The process by which meaning is constructed, negotiated, sustaine d, and modified by individuals within a cont extually bound
70 environment is the focus of interpretivist research (LeCompte & Sc hensul, 1999; Schwandt, 1994). Interpretivists are researchers who look for the culturally derived and historically situated interpretations of the social life-world (Crotty, 2003, p. 67). Interpretivists view cultural meaning and knowledge as situated within a gi ven context, which assumes that individuals construct meaning through social participation within the culture and are influenced by the conditions under which the social interactions take place (LeCompte & Schensul, 1999). This study aims to deepen the understanding of how a PD S brought about shifts in the roles, rituals, and responsibilities of educator s in one rural elementary sc hool by describing the socially mediated and situated learning ex periences of PDS participants. This qualitative study utilized ethnographic tools and the techniques of educational sociologists and anthropologists to study th e learning culture of one school environment (Beachum & Dentith, 2004; Wolcott, 1994). Hatch ( 2002) describes ethnography as a particular kind of qualitative research that seeks to describe culture, or parts of cult ure, from the point of view of cultural insiders (pg. 21). Culture in this study was conceptualized by how individuals, activities, and interactions take place within a PDS environment to support meaning and knowledge construction. Ethnographic methods a llowed for a deep understanding of how a changing learning culture influenced individuals and their ways of life within a PDS context. Ethnography is historically rooted in the work of cultural anth ropology. Anthropologists study human beings, analyze their way of life, and identify th e cultural similarities and differences that exist within and between gr oups throughout the world (Zaharlick, 1992). While in a traditional ethnography, culture is observed as existing rather than emerging, this research diverges from traditional ethnog raphy since the study sought to understand the process by which a new learning culture (i.e. the PDS) emerged within a schools culture. As a result, traditional
71 ethnography was not suitable and instead the st udy was framed as in terpretivist utilizing ethnographic methods to qualitatively research a schools changing profes sional learning culture. Applied to educational settings, the ethnographic lens allows researchers to describe school professionals, their daily work within a school cult ure, as well as the differences and similarities that emerge between individuals a nd groups within a context over time. Zarharlik (1992) suggests that ethnographic educationa l research can prov ide insight into the complexity of educational contexts and examine the relationship among its many parts revealing more about the impact or success of a particular program than merely reporting an increase in standardized test scores. Applying an ethnographic lens to a study enables researchers to attend to the values and goals of cultural anthropology, as well as to seek out and describe the insiders perspective of a cultu re (Hammersley & Atkinson, 1983). In order to represent the perspectives of PDS participants, this study embraced an emic perspective by focusing on describing a schools changing lear ning culture from the point of view of individuals within the context. Most importantly, the emic perspective captured the diverse perspectives of individuals who participated in the partnership activities us ing their words, definiti ons of situations, and opinions to describe the culture (Schwandt, 1994), giving contextualized meaning to the activities that participants attribute to their complex social worlds. Bullough et. al (1997) recommends that longitudinal ethnographic studies are needed to sensitively capture and understand the contextually spec ific knowledge base of PDS wo rk. Therefore, using an ethnographic lens to examine the learning culture within a PDS can provide researchers and educators insight into the comple x contexts of school-university pa rtnerships in order to improve educational practice.
72 Research Design The research design includes the unit of anal ysis and rationale for site an d participant selection, as well as data collec tion, management and analysis stra tegies. The specific criteria and strategies employed to evaluate the trus tworthiness and to enhance the credibility, dependability, transferability, and confirmability of the study are also described. Site Selection The study to ok place in a rural, public elementary school context in north central Florida. When the fieldwork began in January 2005, the school had just begun a partnership with a large, Research One University. Country Way Elementa ry became one of ten elementary school sites affiliated with the PDS network and quickly emer ged as one of the leading partnership schools within the network. Country Ways school administrators and a key group of teacher leaders embraced the PDS as a resource to collaborative ly support student and teacher learning. As a result, research at this site became important to understand what happened within the partnership to set this school apart from othe r schools within the PDS network. The decision to conduct research at Count ry Way Elementary emerged as a result of convenience, opportunity, and unique case samp ling (Miles & Huberman, 1994; Patton, 2002). Researchers can examine rare or unusual cases and the attr ibutes that set a ca se apart from others by using unique case sampling (LeCompte and Pr eissle, 1993). A highly engaged principal whose vision for using the PDS as a tool for school reform was unique within the Universitys PDS network, making research at Country Way El ementary an opportunity to explore a unique PDS partnership. My role as a researcher, university supervisor, and site c oordinator in the newly established PDS provided access to the everyday business of the school context. The emerging school improvement work and rapid advancement of the school-university partnership gave me
73 an opportunity to systematically study the work of this unique site within the broader PDS network (Miles & Huberman, 1994). Country Way Elementary is a rural Title I P-5 school situated approximately 20 miles from a large Research One university. As of January 2008, the student population had reached just under 600 with approximately 42 instructio nal teachers and multiple other support staff members. As a part of the PDS partnership, ap proximately 12-18 regular and special education prospective teachers and 2-3 university supervisors are present each semester. The PDS partnership also engages school leaders, such as the principa l, Curriculum Resource Teacher (CRT), Reading Coach, Behavior Resource Teacher (BRT), and Exceptional Student Education (ESE) lead teacher, in the ongoi ng prospective teacher support activities during an on-site seminar. At various time points during the year, un iversity graduate students may also be present conducting research within the site for course projects, traini ng, and dissertation research. As a PDS partnership, multiple prospective teachers, graduate students, in-service teachers, school leaders and university personnel co llaboratively and individually inquired into the improvement of teaching and learning within the context. Additionally, university faculty members also provide learning support to school leadership and practicing teachers within the site. The presence of multiple individuals participating within the PDS over a three and a half-year period provides diverse perspectives. In any one semester 35 individuals particip ate in PDS partnership activities. Participants included school administ rators, in-service mentor teachers, prospective teachers, and university supervisors. Role of Researcher The primary method by which ethnographers obtain their data is through participant observation, which requires the investigator to become immersed in the culture under study (Patton, 2002). Using an ethnographic lens for this study, the goal was to a lign the role of the
74 researcher within the ethnographic traditi on through participant observation. Hammersly and Atkinson (1983) describe the role of the ethnog rapher (i.e. participan t observer) as one who participates, overtly or covertly, in peoples daily lives for an extended period of time, watching what happens, listening to what is said, asking qu estions; in fact collecting whatever data are available (p. 2). According to Zaharlick (1992), an ethnographer ut ilizes his/her entire persona as a primary research instrument gathering differe nt kinds of information, such as interactions, actions, artifacts and statements of individuals. An ethnographer is a data collector who gathers any and all data available to help make sense of the culture u nder study (Hammersley & Atkinson, 1983; Zaharlick, 1992). Therefore, participant observation aligns with the ethnographic tradition of research by characte rizing how the researcher obtains data. When participant observers spend ex tended time engaged in fieldwork, many forms of data may become available to help them understand insiders cultural knowledge. The role of a qualitative researcher using an ethnographi c lens to study a schools learni ng culture required participation, observation, and the collection of multiple data sources over an extended period of time. By participating in PDS activities over three and a half years, the researcher observed daily participant activities, gained access to artifacts produced by participants, and gained insight through participant dialogue. As a researcher hanging around this PDS for a three and a half year period, I worked to assume the emic perspective which enabled unde rstanding the context from the perspective of cultural insiders. I was actively and jointly expe riencing common activities as a participant and observer within the PDS culture. As a result, my engagement allowed access to the diverse opinions of multiple participants, but also allowed my researchers perspective to become one of many diverse points of view used for understandi ng the schools changing culture. However, my stance as a participant observer combined with my goal to present an emic perspective required
75 carefully considering my own personal biases and seeking out multiple perspectives when analyzing and interp reting the data to understa nd how the roles, rituals, and responsib ilities of PDS participants influence a schools learning cu lture. Seeking multiple perspectives, along with member checking, enhanced the tr ustworthiness of the findings. Data Collection Qualitative research that embraces an ethnogr aphic lens draws on three kinds of data collection: 1) interviews; 2) direct observations; and 3) written docum ents (Patton, 2002). The data collection techniques were aligned with the ethnographic tradit ion by gathering field notes, contextual artifacts, and interviews. From January 2005-April 2008, I visited Country Way Elementary School as a participant, observer, and data collector two to three times per week spendi ng between 1-4+ hours per visit. My role as participant and observer was facilita ted by my work as the university assigned sitecoordinator. As an observer and data collector, I was able to access and gather multiple sources of data which provided insight into the cultu ral dynamics that emerged over time including written field notes informed by participant observ ation and dialogue with informants, as well as the collection of various artifact s (Emerson et al., 1995). A detailed account of data sources and the timeline for collection over three and a half y ears of fieldwork is outlined (Table 3-1). While field notes and contextual artif acts are utilized as primary data sources, I also gathered the narrative accounts of partic ipants captured in interviews to illuminate a deeper understanding of selective individual cases. Field notes Field notes were gathered from January 2005-April 2008 to document observations, experiences, and insights within the school. Pa tton (2002) claims that "the researchers experiences and insights are an important part of the inquiry a nd critical to understanding the
76 phenomenon" (p.40). Therefore, as a participan t and observer field not es not only represent accounts of experiences from within the PDS, but also reflected an attempt to make sense of the events as they unfolded. According to Emerson, Fretz and Shaw (1995) fi eld notes are "accounts describing experiences and observations the rese archer has made while participating in an intense and involved manner" (p.4-5). The method for writing field notes on the events within Country Way Elementary was recursive in both documentation and interpretation. Additionally, a series of questions informed by Hatch (2002) were used to guide early observations to inform the collection of field notes, and to guide the form ation of a descriptive a ccount of events, often in retrospect (Appendix A). Field notes were jotted dow n both during and after field site visits, which included informal and formal meetings with informants formal observations of prospective teachers, informal observations of classroom teaching, a nd informal conversations with informants. Occasionally, handwritten notes were taken duri ng formal meetings and observations. Notes gathered during formal meetings typically reflec ted an approximate account of what was said, and who said it (see for example, Appendix B). Th e notes produced during formal meetings were used as a reference, and as a springboard for additional interpretations and questions at a later time. In most cases, additional field notes were constructed using the handwritten raw notes within a day or two of the initial event. Thes e notes were formally recorded in a field note document maintained on my com puter. Thus, handwritten notes se rved as artifacts to document the event and later informed my understandings of the event in retros pect, which enabled new field notes to be constructed ba sed on participants impressions of the event. Field notes were constructed during one formal Writing Committee meeting and later I inserted additional observations and interpretations to make sense of events that occurred during and after the meeting (Appendix C). The movement from handwritten observational meeting notes to a more
77 interpretative and experiential account of the event is the premise of the research protocol. According to Hatch (2002), research protocols refl ect a sense of being in the research scene by including details and elements that ra w field notes may have left off (p.82). Early field notes account for specific ev ents and the emerging understandings that resulted from the events. At various points durin g fieldwork, reflections on initial observations were used to formulate new understandings. Ne w insights were noted through the process of dating and bracketing developments over time. The dating and bracketin g strategy helped me develop a personal strategy for documenting the e xperiences and events of the participants within the site over time, and enabled me to organize thoughts and writ ing more effectively (Emerson et al., 1995). In addition, the strategy provided an "audit trail" of the research process (Patton, 2002, p.93) that will enhance th e trustworthiness of the findings. Artifacts Artifacts are materials/documents that are pr oduced by individuals within a given context to collaborate and contrast re searcher observation (LeCompte & Schensul, 1999). Therefore, artifacts were consulted to illustrate participan t thinking about concepts, situations, and events that emerged within the PDS over time. Artifacts produced during regular site activities included: 1) lesson plans written by prospective teachers a nd their reflections on the lessons, 2) faculty and mentor meeting agendas, 3) inquiry documents created by prospective teachers and graduate students, 4) audio-taped conve rsations of coaching, 5) book study blog entries, 6) email communication between PDS partic ipants, 7) video-taped interv iews, 8) photographs, 9) powerpoint presentations created by PDS participants, and 10) audio-taped presentations. Additionally, data also included archival sources such as in terview transcripts from prior research studies where site participants were consulted as info rmants. The artifacts documented the work of the PDS and proved valuable in this study by offering insight into the range of activities participants
78 experienced over time. The artifact s also provided evidence of how participants were engaged in teaching and learning activities within the cu lture and provided a mean s to triangulate data sources during the final stages of analysis. Participant stories W ritten and interview narratives were consulte d to provide a deeper understanding of the shifting roles, rituals, and responsibilitie s of PDS participants within a schools learning culture. Lee, Rosenfeld, Mendenhall, Rivers and Tynes ( 2004) describe the benefit of narrative as a window into culture, citing that narrative is a powerful tool th at although universal, unfolds and acts in culturally specific ways (p. 39). Participant stories, or narratives, became valuable sources of data for understanding the diverse e xperiences of PDS par ticipants. Patton (2002) states, stories and narratives offer especially translucent windows into cultural and social meanings (p. 116). For this reason, participan t stories were gathered both formally and informally to clarify and better understand individual experiences within the school culture. Formal narrative materials were garnered from participants in the form of written reports and narrative interviews. According to Rock (2001), materials produced within the site by participants can provide insights into the thinki ng of participants because "the narrative held within traces on the artifact has an overall form that has been produced by multiple individuals and groups". Written narrative repo rts gathered in the form of course papers, power point presentations, and reflection journals documented participant journeys and insights within the PDS at specific time points during the study. Inform al dialogue with PDS participants, captured in the form of field notes, were another means fo r gathering participant stories during routine site visits.
79 Dialogical interviews During the final months of fieldwork at Country Way Elementary data was also collected as part of the fourth and fina l level of data analysis thr ough formal dialogical interviews (Carspecken, 1996) or informal conversational interviews (Patton, 2002) with nine PDS participants. The interviews were used to gain an in-depth understanding of the participants actions, attitudes, beliefs, and understanding of th eir PDS work. Interviews generated dialogical data and are used by critical et hnographers to generate meanings from the participants point of view by discussing how and why the events of a s ituation or interaction transpired (Carspecken, 1996). In a final effort to member check and get it right from the participants perspective, participant voices from the dialogic interviews ar e used to describe expe riences and tell the story of the changing learning culture of the PDS. During dialogical interviewing I conversed intensively with the participants th rough dialogue and discussi on. This stage generated information with the participants, thus democr atizing the research process (Carspecken, 1996). The dialogical interviews were semi-structu red using three separate interview protocols designed for school leadership, in -service teachers, and university personnel (Appendix D). Case records, created during the third level of analysis, were used to produce a timeline of cultural events and identify participants who displayed active involvement in the multiple partnership initiatives for at least 18 months. In order to draw out dive rse aspects of educator knowledge, classroom practices, and student learning the inte rview questions were adapted slightly for each of four distinct participant gr oups 1) school leadership, 2) cla ssroom teachers, 3) prospective teachers, and 4) university personnel. The intervie w guide was used as a springboard to facilitate conversation rather than an explicit guide. Inte rview questions and protocols were submitted to the universitys Institutional Review Board (IRB) and approved prior to the solicitation of participants. At the beginning of each interview, participants were informed of their rights and
80 asked to sign an informed consent document. Participants names have been changed in order to protect their identity, as well as the names of other individuals revealed during the interviews. Nine participants were selected based on thei r active involvement in the work of teacher education, writing reform and/or inclusion. Thre e university faculty members were selected due their support roles: one in teacher education, on e in writing reform, and one in inclusion. Two school leaders, the principal and CRT, were se lected due to their consistent and active engagement in PDS activities. Four in-service teachers who actively participated in all partnership initiatives were sel ected due to their understanding of diverse perspectives of each initiative. One of the in-service teachers in terviewed also completed her pre-internship and internship as a prospective teacher at the site before being hired as an in-service teacher. Her perspective helps give insight into how the Country Way PDS te acher preparation activities contributed to her teaching pract ice as an in-service teacher. The new data generated during th e interviews served two important purposes. First, the data allowed the participant and researcher to co llaboratively search for alternative explanations (Marshall & Rossman, 1999) and disconfirming ev idence that challenged themes and patterns previously developed (Patton, 2002 ). Second, the data and discussion provided an open forum for discussing the data, themes and patterns th at had been generated and for strengthening the findings using analyst triangulati on (Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Patton, 2002). This was especially important in this study because the focus was on describing the learning culture from the participants viewpoint (Moustaka s, 1994). All conversational inte rviews were audio taped and transcribed as soon as possible after each interv iew. As outlined in the previous section, an additional phase of narrative analysis was c onducted using HyperResearch to uncover findings related specifically to the research question.
81 The primary purpose of the interviews was to re turn to the participants in order to elicit multiple perspectives on the specifics roles, ev ents, and outcomes that held personal relevance and to give voice to the lived expe riences of participants as they describe the lear ning culture of the PDS. Long-term engagement over three and a half years within the site enabled the participants and myself to collabo ratively revisit specific time point s and critical events that took place with the PDS, aiding the flow of conversat ion during interviews. At that point, member checking allowed me to reshape critical even ts from the perspective of PDS participants. Data Analysis The process that research ers utili ze to interpret stories or the te xts that tell the stories is at the heart of narrative analysis (Patton, 2002). To examine the stor ies of change within Country Way Elementary, I approached the process of anal ysis at four levels. First, I examined my contextual artifacts and field notes to identify the specific evidence that warranted deeper analysis. Case records were constructed to classify and organi ze voluminous amounts of raw data into data files (Patton, 2002). Second, case records and data files were used to identify critical roles, events, and outcome s within the PDS. Third, a thematic and content analysis associated with narrative analysis was conduc ted using the critical roles, events, and outcomes that emerged from the second level of analys is (Boyatizis, 1998; Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiach, & Zilber, 1998; Patton, 2002) using HyperResearch to form prel iminary themes. Finally, member checking was used through dialogical intervie w analysis (Carspeken, 1996). Case records, dialogical interview, and narrative analysis were th e overarching tools used across f our highly iteractive phases of analysis. Analyzing the data at four levels provided deep insight into how PDS educators describe their shifting roles, ri tuals, and responsibilities as a professional lear ning culture is created. These four levels include: Level 1-Case record development (Patton, 2002)
82 Level 2-Identification of critical roles, even ts, and outcomes using holistic-content reading (Lieblich, Tuval-Mash iach, & Zilber, 1998) Level 3-Content and thematic analysis of critical roles, events, and outcomes (Boyatzis, 1998, Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiach, & Zilber, 1998, Patton, 2002) Level 4-Member checking through dialogical interview analysis (Carspeken, 1997) Case records The process of selecting and creating cases as an ethnographic t ool draws upon Stakes (1994) ratio nale for studying a case and Patton s (2002) definition of a case. Stake (1994) describes that context can be a significant factor in influenc ing behavior; he states the boundedness and the behavior patterns of the system are key factors in understanding the case (p. 237). Therefore, in order to describe individual cases or perspe ctives within the context, the researcher must also understa nd what is happening in the broader context. Following the recommendation of Stake (1994), cases are used in this study to choose the object to be studied (p. 236). According to Patton (2002), a case can be a person, an event, a program, an organization, a time period, a critical incident or a community" (p. 55). In this study, time periods, partnership initiatives, and participants were used as case units to organize the data, respectively. Case records were used at two levels of analysis. Fi rst, case records were developed to outline partnership initiativ es and participants over time. Second, the case records helped identify critical participants, roles, events, and outcomes of the PD S work within multiple partnership initiatives. The proce ss of creating case records was recursive. The cultural dynamics of the PDS emerged as the organizing analysis uni ts shifted from time points at the first level of analysis toward partnership initiatives during the second level of analysis. At the first level of analysis, the data were or ganized into data files based on selective case units, first by time period and later by partnershi p initiative, to develop a deeper understanding of the school culture over three years of PDS e ngagement. Three case records were the final
83 product of the level one and two analysis reflec ting an account of each specific initiative (i.e. shared commitment for teacher education, writing re form, and inclusion), the specific activities associated with the initiative, participants with in each activity, and the time point for each activity. An example of one case record reflec ting the focus, activities, and participants associated with a shared commitment for teach er education can be found at the end of this chapter (Table 3-3). Identifying cases at the second level of qualitative analysis was the primary method used to organize and reduce the data. Additionally, the use of an ethnographic lens in this study makes it important to consult severa l cases within the school cont ext because a key feature of ethnographic research is the need for research ers to work towards deeply understanding specific cases within a particular context (Patton, 2002, p. 546). To develop a deep understanding of the roles, rituals, and respons ibilities within each partnership initiative the critical roles, events, and outcomes of PDS participants were examined. The critical events are also organized by focus and time-points to illustra te transitional phases over time. The product of the second level of analysis is reflected in three tables, which were developed to illustrate a timeline of critical events, roles, and outcomes of PDS work. Table 3-4 provides an example of the critical event table for the teacher education focus used duri ng dialogical interviews with participants. In this study, the case records allowed me to organize my data into files for each partnership initiative. Data files were created to compile all data sources into one location in order to arrange multiple data sources in chrono logical order by the three different partnership initiatives, then all case records and data files were re -read to gain an in -depth understanding of the data. Prior to moving on to the third level of analysis, the roles, events, and outcomes tables were used as a reference to so rt through the entire data set to aid in identifying any missing
84 components related to the focus of the study, to understand how the roles, rituals and responsibilities of the PDS par ticipants shifted over time. According to Steinhouse (1994, as cited by Stake), case records reflect both the pro cess of learning about a case and the product of our learning. Based on the case records and the data files, unique cases or perspectives within the site were identified for additional interviews and follow up. Specifically, the individuals that appeared to overlap within the three partnership initiatives were consulted to identify additional events and critical incidents. Th is process allowed for the verifi cation and/or addition of events, participants, and outcomes, which enabled a deep er understanding of the changing school culture at Country Way Elementary. The unique cases highlighted opportunities for deeper analysis using narrative analysis. Narrative analysis Narrative analysis was used at the third st age of analysis to provide insight into the thinking of participants and the social context of the school cu lture by analyzing artifacts and interview data (Rock, 2001, Carspeckan, 1997). Artifacts produced by various participants within the PDS provided evidence of the learning culture and offered a framework for deeper analysis. For this study, narrative analysis occurred at two phases, first to analyze the critical events and outcomes of the PDS work and seco nd to analyze the dial ogic interviews conducted with select informants. All narrative analysis was conducted us ing HyperResearch, a computer program that assists with th e qualitative data analysis. During the first phase of narra tive analysis, the case records and data files were used to identify the critical roles, events, and outcome s. To analyze the narra tives within the data, holistic content reading and cont ent analysis were usd to deve lop a deeper understanding of participants roles, rituals and responsibilities within the PDS culture (Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiach, & Zilber, 1998). First, the entire data set was read to identify critical incidents that best
85 illustrated the school culture at various time-point s and aligned each event within its partnership focus. After developing a narra tive account of the sc hool culture using critical incidents and typical/unique cases from each time-point, a proce ss called holistic-content reading was used to recreate the story and the conten t of each narrative (Lieblich et al. 1998). Using a holisticcontent reading of each case a llowed me to develop a deeper understanding and draw out specific concepts that characterized each partne rship initiative from the raw data and from the dialogic interviews conducted with select informants. The second phase of narrative analysis was cond ucted after dialogic interviews with seven participants were complete. A categorical-content approach to narrative an alysis referred to as content analysis was used to examine the dialogi c interview transcripts (Lieblich et al., 1998). Content analysis, a process of inductively se arching for and discovering patterns and themes, was utilized to draw out within and cross-case themes from the data and develop preliminary claims (Patton, 2002). Presenting the stories A research ers ability to balance and negotia te writing between that of a participant and that of an observer is a crucial challenge when describing culture (VanMaanen, 1988). As a researcher, I had to make a conscious decision about my role in the final narrative account of the PDS as both a participant and an observer. As an observer, I had access to intimate cultural dynamics through extensive time spent with particip ants in various settin gs. As a participant I brought my own experiences and new understandings to the fieldwork that influenced my own learning within the PDS. After dialogical inte rviews were conducted, I was faced with a new dilemma, how to handle the emergence of myself as a significant character on the PDS stage. During dialogical interviews, my relationship with the participants made the sense-making process naturally unfold. In many cases, the participants brought up you or your willingness
86 or your role as they described events and experiences that influenced the learning culture of the PDS. My decision to represent myself as one of many characters/participants within the PDS was a decision that I settled on to aid the telling of the PDS story while ho noring the participants perspectives. The benefit of this approach is that my perspective as a participant could be included as one of many perspectives shared within the PDS story. The limitation of this approach is that my role as a researcher in the PDS story is not as transparent to the reader. As a participant-observer, I transitioned back and fort h during the writing process between my role as a participant and my role as an observer, much like the pendulum that VanMaanen (1988) describes as characteristic of writi ng between two cultures (p. 138). The illustrations that I created to tell the stor ies of the PDS and its participants drew upon VanMaanens realist tales and the polyvocal ap proach to ethnographic writing (Spindler & Hammond, 2006). VanMaanen (1988) characterizes realis t tales as an interpretive account of the natives point of view. To tell the realist tale of the PDS I transitioned from an observer into the role of narrator to present the data. Yet, in an effort to accurately represent the multiple voices and analysis of participants, I in fused participant quotes from dialog ical interviews into the final illustrations. My analysis of participant perspectives serves as the overarching organizing framework for the PDS stories. I utilized direct quotes to strengthen participant perspectives, while my own voice as a partic ipant-observer is interwoven th rough field notes and archival documents. Thus, narrating through a third person voi ce provided me with an approach to tell the story of the Country Way PDS while also shifti ng between my role as a participant and an observer within the context. Researcher Statement Hatch (2002, citing Goodall) defines reflexivity as the process of personally and academ ically reflecting on lived experiences in ways that reveal deep connections between the
87 writer and his or her subject (p. 10-11). Reflexivity is an important component in preserving the integrity of qualitative research. For this purpose, I reflected on a nd considered my own experiences with teaching, schools, a nd change to identify potential bias. My educational career experiences, belie fs and values about teaching may produce potential biases. During my five and a half year career as an elementary school teacher I experienced the opportunity to work in four different school contex ts in three different states. Each school context provided me a new lens on teaching and influenced my beliefs and values about teaching in very different ways. Furt her, the act of freq uently changing school environments and having to learn to adapt to ways of life in new sc hool contexts undoubtedly influenced the way I integrate myself into new school contexts. My own career experiences with school change, teacher resistance/acceptance to learning, and administrative support inevitably shape my beliefs and values about school change. During the five years of my teaching career, I experienced many changes in school environments. My first three years of teaching to ok place in primary grades (i.e. 2, 3) within two elementary schools in separate districts in northe rn Georgia. Despite the diversity in settings, rural versus suburban, there were distinct similarities in the ways that the schools functioned, structured curriculum, and promoted instructi on. Both schools were very team oriented, there was a team leader that was positioned to guide and support the grade leve l teachers. The team orientation was characterized primarily by joint planning and ensuring that common experiences were promoted for all students across the grade level. Team planning la rgely consisted of the sharing/copying of lesson plans, spelling lists, and worksheets across classrooms. Both schools provided a network of support through this team for me as a beginning teacher. In many ways, this support extended by team leaders promoted conforming to a common standard of practice across the team. However, the trials and tribulat ions within my own classroom prompted me to
88 question the way I was meeting di verse students needs in my cla ssroom. Contrasting differences existed between school contexts as I searched for new approaches to teaching within teamfocused environments at each school. My experiences with team and administrative support in diverse school contexts could produce possible bias in this study. In my first teaching experience I had a supportive principal, team leader, and grade level team as well as ot her collaborative peers within the school and district level support for new teachers. In this team setting, I was offered support but was given the autonomy to pick and choose the extent to which I determined the team level plans appropriate for my own teaching style and my own classroom of students. While I did not witness other teachers on our t eam moving away from the teams standard of practice at our grade level, the team leader supported my need for something different. Her collegial approach to team leadership was appropr iately supportive to me as a beginning teacher, while she also provided me with the professional space to try ou t new ideas in my classroom. My experiences with her team leadership style and the professional respect sh e extended to me as a beginning teacher has positively influenced my beliefs about the role of teacher leadership in schools. On the other hand, my experience with seeking out new strategies the following year proved problematic. My second and third year, I transitioned to a new school to teach third grade math, science, and social studies in a rura l school setting which wa s made up of only one elementary school in the county. In this teaching experience, I team taught with other third grade teachers, and content area teams supported curr iculum planning and implementing center-based learning activities in math, science, and so cial studies. The math and science team collaboratively planned; however, in this ex ample, the team leader assumed the lead by creating the scope and sequence of the plans as well as the activities students would complete. As a team, our instruction la rgely consisted of many writte n activities thr ough workbook pages
89 and worksheets across most curriculum areas. Being a member of this team was a passive exercise for me, and when I finally started to examine and propose new ways to approach teaching math and science in this setting, I expe rienced unexpected resistance. Interestingly, the congenial team leader gave the perception that it was okay to experi ment with new ideas. Although team leader support appe ared evident, I had unknowingly disrupted the status quo in a way that presented discomfort for the team leader As a result I soon notic ed that the school level administrators were increasingl y watchful of my classroom in struction. At times, I felt I was under a microscope with someone looking for failure so they could then question my decisions. I learned from this experience the importance of be ing able establish trusting relationships with team members and how teachers resistance to change can influence the school political environment. I also learned that teachers who question the status quo pos e a threat to other teachers who resist change. My experience with the team leaders congenial faade and lack of administrative support within this context has negatively shaped my perception of individuals who may be resistant to changes in instru ction. This experience also influenced my understanding of the politics of school environments. My own experiences and goals for bridging theo ry and practice directly influenced my interest in working within the PDS partnership. As a graduate of the teacher preparation program that is part of this study, I br ing to my PDS interactions speci fic goals for teacher education. During my second and third year as a teacher my interest in supporting the learning of new teachers emerged. I felt that there were new pers pectives and different ways of support that I could offer prospective and beginni ng teachers given my own frustrations with learning to bridge theory and practice. My early classrooms did not re flect the pedagogy that I valued from my college courses, and the professional challenge th at I faced attempting to enact change was met with minimal support. After consulting with vari ous individuals, it was during this time that I
90 first looked into expanding my education. Lear ning to apply the knowledge from my university teacher preparation program to my own classr oom was a source of grea t frustration. My own feelings of frustration as a beginning teacher greatly shape my goals for teacher education, to support educators in blending th eory and practice in an envi ronment where experimentation, risk-taking, and continuous improvement are fostered and promoted. My goals for teacher education are particularly well suited and actua lized in a collaborative environment and as a result directly influence the va lues that I bring to PDS work. My third teaching experience proved to be the culmination of many highlights in my teaching career. Teaching third grade in a private K-8 school setting in a major Texas city was my first experience with putting theory to practice due to th e expectations, goals, and support within the school environment. I learned quickly in this setting that while the school may be striving to achieve a common goal, teacher resist ance to change continues to exist. However, unlike previous experiences, in this setting teac her resistance was an exce ption rather than the norm and the professional dis positions of the faculty suppor ted a culture of continuous improvement, support, and collegiality. This teaching experience was where I learned to implement Reading and Writing Workshop, hands-on math instruction, differentiated instruction, and project-based learning. For the first time in my teaching career, I felt that I was given the true autonomy to try new things, the opportuni ty to expand my own learning in meaningful ways, and the peer and administra tive support that enabled me to refine my instruction. During this experience, I was provided my first opportunity to assume a teacher l eadership role. Serving as a team leader and new teacher support staff, I participated in team leader administrative and grade level meetings and also supported ne w faculty in implementing the instructional approaches such as Writers Workshop. This te aching experience helped me align my pedagogy with my beliefs about how students should learn. It was in this environment that I learned about
91 experimentation, risk taking, and the importance of creating a culture of suppor t. Further, in this school context I was able to collaborate with like-minded professionasl who demonstrated a passion for teaching children and were always wo rking to refine their practice and bring fresh ideas into the classroom. By the end of my fifth y ear teaching, I was finally in a place that helped me become the kind of teacher I wanted to be. In this environment, I experienced the feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability that ensue when implementing instructional innovations. At this point in my career, I was planning my move back to the city where I attended college and began the process of applying for the graduate program at the same university where I completed my teacher preparation program. This experience influenced my beliefs about the power that learning organizations can hold in enacting a common approach to instruction and how the nature of the support from peers and administrato rs can facilitate professional learning. My personal experiences inevitably sh ape my beliefs about school a nd individual teacher change within a supportive school context. My beginning experiences at th e university level also shaped my values about teacher education within school-university partnerships. I was directly i nvolved in planning meetings as the PDS network at the univers ity was conceptualized and de signed. During these meetings, I listened and observed the conceptual thinking and organizational planning that went into the launch of the PDS network. For th is reason, the values that underpin my own work at the PDS school site initially reflected the broader goals and values of the university in actualizing partnerships with individual school sites. Howe ver, over time my experiences with supporting the implementation of a beginning PDS has rekindled feelings of sensitivity toward classroom teachers and prospective teachers seeking to lear n about or implement instructional innovations. My passion for supporting classroom professionals as they learn to enact new classroom strategies and connect th eory and practice underpins my desire to connect my work in the PDS.
92 My personal experiences have shaped the way that I perceive change, teacher resistance, risk taking, and the role of support when learni ng to implement new in structional strategies. Additionally, my experiences and beliefs about connecting theory and practice are embedded in my work within the PDS. The factors in this reflex ivity statement that could lead to potential bias are teacher resistance, risk taking, role of support, and my passi on for helping teachers connect theory and practice. Trustworthiness Trustworthiness and authenticity have been pr oposed as criteria to judge qualitative research within constructivism inquiry (Guba & Lincoln, 1994). Guba and Lincoln (1994) relate trustworthiness to a systematic research process, which addresses issues of credibility, transferability, dependab ility, and confirmability Following the suggestions of Lincoln and Guba (1985), prolonged engagement, member checks, source triangulation, rich thick description, and a reflective journa l were utilized as strategies to enhance the trustworthiness of this study. Clearly articulating the conditions and criteria utilized to ar rive at the studys results demonstrates communication of method and promotes the integrity of analysis, a necessary process to enhance credibili ty (LeCompte & Goetz, 1982; Patton, 2002). Credibility was established in this study through prolonged engagement, referential adequacy materials, member checks, and source triangulation. Prolonged engage ment has been identifie d as one criterion for evaluating trustworthiness (Lincoln and Guba, 1985). Zarharli ck (1992) recommends a year as a minimum for fieldwork when tryi ng to understand aspects of cultu re. The criteria for prolonged engagement was addressed in this study by spendi ng three and a half years engaged in fieldwork at the PDS site. Referential adequacy material s are the context-rich, holistic materials that provide background meaning to support data an alysis, interpretation, and audits (Erlandson,
93 Harris, Skipper, & Allen, 1993, p. 137). Through prolonged engagement context-rich materials, such as photographs, videotapes, audiotapes, a nd documents produced by multiple participants have been gathered as referential adequacy materi als to support the credib ility of the research by providing an audit trail, whic h aids in communicating meani ng from within the culture. Member checks were utilized as a strategy for enhancing credibility in order to verify the accuracy of participants perspectives (Patt on, 2002; Lincoln and Guba, 1985). Member checks were used in this study to preserve the perspect ives of participants, an important element of interpretive research. Participants were asked to review the timelines created during the third level of analysis during the dialogic inte rview to provide confirming and disconfirming perspectives on the record produced during analys is. Additionally, partic ipants reviewed and verified the accuracy of the dial ogic interview transcripts so that an accurate portrayal of PDS participant perspectives is pr ovided. The interviews provided an opportunity to gain support in getting it right from the participants themselv es. For this study, member checking was used to cross check and illuminate the critical roles, events, and outcomes that were identified by the researcher during the second level of analysis with the stories part icipants shared during dialogic interviews. Member checking was used as an additional effort to accurately represent PDS participant perspectives, which will enha nce the trustworthiness of the findings. Triangulation was also utilized to demonstrate trus tworthiness in this study. Participant triangulation was conducted through comparing the pe rspectives of diverse PDS participants and source triangulation was establis hed by comparing data sources. Patton (2002) states, different kinds of data can be brought together in a case study to illuminate various aspects of a phenomenon (p.559). Data gathered from participant stories, field notes, a nd contextual artifacts were used to identify the roles, rituals, and responsibilities of PDS pa rticipants in a changing school context within three partnership initiatives. Further, interv iew data from PDS participants
94 was triangulated with field notes referential adequacy material s, and artifacts to determine unique/typical cases, to reveal themes across cases and to form preliminary claims. The process of identifying typical and unique cases enhanced the studys cr edibility by demonstrating an authentic search for meaning. Triangulation of sources and participants also enhances the confirmability of the study by considering the consistency of information between individuals and data sources. Rich thick descriptions were used to address issues related to the studys credibility and transferability. Patton (2002) defines thick descri ptions as using rich, detailed, and concrete descriptions of people and placesin such way that we can understand the phenomenon studied and draw our own interpretations about meaning and significance (p. 438). Thick descriptions are used in this study to illuminate and descri be the changing school culture at Country Way Elementary. Finally, a reflexive journal was selected as a strategy to enhance trustworthiness by attending to issues related to the studys cr edibility, confirmabilit y, and dependability. An example of one reflexive journal entry is pr ovided (Appendix E). The process of keeping a reflexive journal is similar to keeping a di ary where regular entries are made about the researcher, researcher subjectivity, logistics, and reasoning behind met hodological decisions as the process of data collection and analysis unfolds (Erlandson et al., 1993). The journal became part of an audit trail, a proce ss used to assess the quality of analysis, and also enhanced the dependability and credibility for this research study (Lincoln and Guba, 1985; Patton, 2002). The reflexive journal helped to enhance confir mability by providing a space to explore my own subjectivity throughout the process of analysis. Tr ansferability was enhanced through the use of the journal by describing a systematic analys is process that could be duplicated by other researchers.
95 Conclusion The purpose of this study is to examine how educators describe their shifting beliefs, values, roles, behaviors, rituals, and responsibilities as participants in a PDS focused on creating a culture of professional learning. T he use of the ethnographic lens within this qualitative research study relied on participant observation to gather multiple data sources. The multiple data sources collected and analyzed in this study provide a ve hicle for understanding how a PDS brought about shifts in the roles, rituals, and resp onsibilities of educators in one rural elementary school by describing the learning experiences of PDS participants. The following chapters provide more in depth descriptions of the studys context and critical find ing that emerged during the study. Chapter 4 sets the stage by describing the context of the school -university partnership work. Chapter 5 provides an overview of the findi ngs. Chapters 6 and 7 illustrate and analyze the findings, and Chapter 8 discusses the finding and draws conclusions.
96 Table 3-1. Data collection overview Nature of the Data Data Sources Timeline for Data Collection Mentor Meetings Field Notes and Agendas Dec. 2004-April 2008 Prospective Teacher Meetings Field Notes April 2005 Meetings w/Principal and PDC Coordinator Field Notes August 2005 Informal Teacher Interviews Field Notes Aug. 2005April 2008 Prospective Teacher Instructional Lessons Focused on Writing Lesson Plan and Reflection forms Aug. 2005April 2007 Prospective Teacher Inquiry Focused on Writing Prospective Teacher Inquiry Research Notes, written papers, and student work April 2006 Writing Committee Meetings Field Notes from meetings Sept. 2005-April 2006 Book Study Blog Led by Principal Teacher Blog entries Jan. 2006June 2006 Doctoral Student Research Research papers May 2006-December 2006 Writing Coaching Sessions Lesson plans, audio taped pre/post conferences, observation notes March 2006-April 2006 Principal Research Presentations and written reports August 2005April 2008 LAE Class Reflections Field Notes and artifacts Jan. 2006-April 2006 Graduate Student Research 5 research papers May 2006 Email Jan. 2005April 2008 Faculty Meeting (with district advisor) Field Notes and artifacts 9-20-05 Prospective Teacher Lesson Plans Lesson Plan and reflections Aug. 2005April 2008 Informal Classroom Observations Field Notes Jan. 2005April 2008 Teacher Interviews Video taped interviews Spring 2007 Dialogical Interviews Audio taped interviews April 2008-July 2008
97 Table 3-2. Spring 2006 typology Vehicles for Professional Development (Rituals) Participants Roles Responsibilities Whole School Writing Committee: Oct.2005-June 2006 Regan Lundsford Principal ~D iscuss the use of writing practices ~Collaboratively examine and discuss student writing samples ~Identify focus for classroom work toward writing goals Field notes Fiona Denlin UF Professor Email G B 5th Grade Teacher Carol Bates 4th Grade Teacher T H 3rd Grade Teacher S W 2nd Grade Teacher K D 1st Grade Teacher KMK Kindergarten Teacher Gabrielle Aires PDC Site Coordinator/Supervisor Book Study #1: Jan.-May 2006 Regan Lundsford Principal ~Reflective discourse around concepts from the text The Art of Teaching Writing by Lucy Calkins ~Questioning beliefs/practices of writing instruction ~Use technology to document and reflect on learning Blog entries A K Reading Coach G B 5th Grade Teacher Carol Bates 4th Grade Teacher CC 4th Grade Teacher HS Special Education Teacher Jennifer Townsend Special Education Teacher J W Kindergarten Teacher Interns with Writing Inquiry: Jan.-Apr. 2006 AW 5th Grade Pre-Intern ~Inves tigate the work of one student using a literacy lens ~Document the inquiry process and learning outcomes Inquiry Papers Olivia Susa 5th Grade Pre-Intern Artifacts Denise Mason 5th Grade Pre-Intern T M 2n d Grade Pre-Intern MK 2n d Grade Pre-Intern AS 1st Grade Pre-Intern RL 1st Grade Pre-Intern Doctoral Class: Jan.-Apr. 2006 Regan Lundsford Principal ~Examine compositional theory ~Observe and reflect on classroom practices in light of theory ~Conduct research project in an area of interest Research projects Gabrielle Aires PDC Site Coordinator/Supervisor Field notes R N 5th Grade Teacher Email E E Research Jessica Perry Research Peer Coaching: Mar.-Apr. 2006 GB 5th Grade Teacher ~Identif y goals for improvement in writing instruction ~Collect data during classroom observations ~Collaboratively reflect on lesson outcomes ~Merge beliefs with practice Audiotapes AW 5th Grade Pre-Intern Artifacts TT 5th Grade Pre-Intern Observation notes Gabrielle Aires PDC Site Coordinator/Supervisor
98 Table 3-3. Teacher education case record Activities D ec 04 Ja n. 05 Fe b. 05 M ar. 05 A pr. 05 M ay 05 A ug 05 Se pt. 05 O ct. 05 N ov 05 D ec 05 Ja n. 06 Fe b. 06 M ar. 06 A pr. 06 M a y 0 6 Au g. 06 Se pt. 06 O ct. 06 N ov 06 D ec 06 Ja n. 07 Fe b. 07 M ar. 07 A pr. 07 M ay 07 A ug 07 Se pt. 07 O ct. 07 N ov 07 D ec 07 Mentor Meetings JW TG CR JC Carol Bates LK GB Gabrielle Aires DP TG SW MB Carol Bates GB Gabrielle Aires JW TG SW JC Carol Bates GB TR KP S Desto Gabrielle Aires JW Carol Bates GB TR KP S Desto BM CD DM KD RN Deanna Rizer Lee Van Crist Jennifer Townsend (informal) HS (informal) JW GB KP S Desto BM CD DM KD RN Christy James Jennifer Townsend (informal) HS (informal) JW GB KP S Desto BM CD KD LF Carol Bates Jennifer Townsend (informal) HS (informal) PDC Meetings Regan Lundsford Gabrielle Aires Regan Lundsford Fiona Denlin* Christy James* Gabrielle Aires *as part of WC Regan Lundsford Fiona Denlin* Gabrielle Aires Regan Lundsford Deanna Rizer Gabrielle Aires Regan Lundsford Christy James Deanna Rizer (informal) Gabrielle Aires Regan Lundsford Christy James Deanna Rizer (informal) Gabrielle Aires
99 Table 3-3 Continued. Integrated Teaching Pre-Intern Seminar DAIntern F05 MH AH HA LL AM LP ES CS SS MS ES AT EU Regan Lundsford Christy James LB BG ASIntern F06 RL MK TM JN AF CH KD AW Intern F06 TT Olivia Susa Denise MasonIntern F06 Gabrielle Aires Regan Lundsford Christy James Thomas White KMSp.Ed Intern KDCSp.Ed Intern CA TB LC KG GV MM CC EMK Deanna Rizer Lee Van Crist Regan Lundsford Christy James Jessica Perry EW BS CN SM JGIntern F07 LB Intern F07 JR SH CB LHLibrary Inter SW LK Intern F07 SH Intern F07 AS JC Regan Lundsford Gabrielle Aires Christy James Jennifer Townsend NKIntern S08 AL MOK TB AC MO JE Intern F08 EL NI JP Intern F08 CJ Gabrielle Aires Regan Lundsford Christy James Harrison Donald Jennifer Townsend Sp.Ed Prac/Interns ABSp.Ed Intern MH Sp.Ed Intern ABHired MHHired KMHired KDCHired Intern Seminar TM AA MK AM DA Gabrielle Aires Regan Lundsford Thomas White AS AW LH Denise Mason Hired SW LH Gabrielle Aires Regan Lundsford MG JG LB SH LK IH Denotes prospective teacher who returned in a future semester for additional field placements and/or was hired as a classroom teacher.
100 Table 3-4. Critical events in the teacher education focus Time point Critical Events for Teacher Education Fall 2004 New PDC schools are needed Hannah connects with Regan via JB. Regan shares idea with faculty Hannah presents goals to faculty Faculty agree to try out the PDC Gabrielle and JZ meet with Mentors Formal meetings with PDC Mentors begin Spring 2005 IT Seminar and SS courses taught on school site Formal PDC meeting between Regan and Gabrielle begin Regan and Christy participate in on-site seminars for pre-interns Tensions emerge with supporting some pre-interns Mentors express frustration with lack of clear guidelines for their work Regan examines pre-intern feedback on mentors/site Some mentors are optimistic about the impact of Inquiry on students Mentors begin using pre-interns to facilitate small group instruction Both Regan and Gabrielle conduct exit interviews with pre-interns Fall 2005 Regan begins doctoral program Struggling intern needs explicit planning support Mentors analyze pre-intern feedback Interns become a part of Fall PDC work DA returns to GB class Inquiry and Coursework for intern s are held within OUTSIDE course Regan and Christy facilitate on-site seminars for interns School based admin. and university personnel identify ways to integrate writing focus into prospective teacher inquiry/observations Mentors review and revise the Spring plan for pre-intern assignments Mentor meetings become highly energetic, CB is odd man out in this group Spring 2006 A pre-intern cohort with literacy specializations enter the site Pre-intern inquiries focus on literacy aspects Tensions emerge with the implementa tion of pre-intern writing lessons Regan, Christy, and Thomas present at on-site seminar meetings Fall 2006 Pre-Intern cohort with special education specialization enter site: Deanna and Lee supervise; Jessica P. supports 3 pre-interns return for internship with same mentors Regan, Thomas, and Christy facilitate on-site seminars for interns Classrooms begin work to implement writers workshop All interns and pre-interns and superv isors attend welcome back breakfast Tensions between conflicting agendas with pre-intern supervisors Mentor meetings become more mentor focused Christy, Regan, and Gabrielle collaboratively plan for Spring Mentors become frustrated with intern assignment Spring 2007 Jennifer Townsend becomes part of th e presentation circuit in IT seminar Regan leads seminar, Christy supervises half of pre-interns, Gabrielle supervises other half Regan experiences union challenge s b/c of teaching IT seminar Fall 2008 IH support interns Regan appoints KP to take on role as school based PDC site coordinator, begins leading mentor meetings Peer coaching emerges betwee n SPED intern and pre-intern
101 CHAPTER 4 CONTEXTUALIZING THE PDS This chapter describ es the components of bot h the university teacher education program and the Country Way Elementary School contex t. The university program components provide insight into the emphasis of the program and th e specific semesters that served as PDS entry points. A descriptive account of the PDS work at Country Way El ementary illustrates the school context and the activities/resources activated to respond to three specific school improvement initiatives. The Unified Elementary PROTEACH Program Goodlad (1986) called for the rest ructuring of educator prepara tion so that future teachers can learn how to m eet the need s of diverse student populations. In the mid 1990s, in response to a growing need to prepare educators for teachi ng students with diverse cultural and learning needs, the faculty at the University of Florida collaboratively restructur ed the five-year teacher preparation model to include a dual emphasis on elementary and special education. Two interrelated themes guided th e program development: democratic values and knowledge of content and inclusive pedagogy. These two themes underpin the Unified Elementary Proteach Program at the University of Florida (Bondy & Ross, 2005). Within the Unified Elementary Proteach (UEP ) program, the theme of democratic values requires an ethic of responsibility, conti nuous inquiry and reflec tion, and professional accountability. According to Ross, Lane, and McCallum (2005), Teachers within a democratic society must be committed to the value of equity in education and society. They must be able to wo rk collaboratively with colleagues, families, and members of the community to develop al ternative ways of educating our diverse population. In addition, teachers must accept re sponsibility for the learning of ALL children within our schools (p. 54).
102 The theme of democratic values is embedded within course work and varied community/field experiences in the UEP program, fostering knowledge and abilities of future educators to support the learning of a divers e student population. The UEP program also places an emphasi s on content and inclusive pedagogy. The program is designed to support prospective teache rs understanding of the c ontent areas they will teach as well as strategies for acquiring new information because, In todays world content knowledge is constantly changing and expanding, teachers increasingly will be asked to make decisions about what and how to teach (R oss, Lane, and McCallum, 2005, p.54). To help prospective teachers develop pedagogical know ledge and learn how to make informed instructional decisions based on student needs, the program promotes participation in learning communities, demonstration of content knowledge and inclusive teaching practices, and effective communication. Field experiences in the UEP program were designed with a commitment to school and community partnerships. The field experiences ha ve been characterized by: a) strong links between campus courses and fieldwork, b) offering interdisciplinary experiences, c) the use of technology, and d) modifying the collaboration models prospec tive teachers experience at various time-points within the program (i.e. moving from dyad observation/teaching to solo teaching opportunities). In Preparing Teachers for Inclusive Teaching ( 2005), Bondy and Ross, provide specific details about the field experience opportuniti es provided for prospective teachers during each semester in the UEP progr am. The focus for this study emphasizes the UEPs entry point into the PDS work during semest er eight (the second semester of the senior year) and the masters program internship.
103 During semester eight, referre d to as the pre-internship semester, seniors in the UEP program simultaneously participate in an intensiv e field experience and take three core courses. The pre-internship pairs prospect ive teachers into dyads and places them in PDS classrooms for four days a week across 16 weeks. The pr ospective teachers spend 16 hours each week collaborating and co-teaching with each othe r and their classroom mentor teacher. During semester eight, pre-interns are enrolled in Interm ediate Reading, Social Studies Methods, and the Integrated Teaching Seminar. As a part of their coursework in each of th ese classes, pre-interns are required to implement specific activities a nd lessons within their placement classrooms, which are intended to help actively connect theory and practice through inquiry. The graduate internship engages prospective teachers in a full time field experience. Full time graduate interns collaborate with a classroom mentor teacher during th e entire instructional day and during after school planning for 14 w eeks. During the first five weeks of their placement, interns are on site four days a wee k, and during weeks 6-14 interns spend five days a week in their placement classrooms. During the graduate internship a three-hour course is required each Wednesday afternoon where interns m eet as a large group to discuss readings and assignments. Additionally, all interns meet weekly with their intern supervisors. Professional Development Communities In the fall of 2004, faculty m embers from th e department of special education and elementary education met with two school-university partnership pr incipals. In the meeting they discussed new ways to position the cohort-based field experiences during the Integrated Teaching semester and broaden the scope of pl acement experiences positioned within schooluniversity partnerships. While the UEP had a long-term relationship with the University Laboratory School, deep levels of collaboration were not present w ithin other elementary schools within the neighboring county. As a result of pos itive collaborative experi ences within two rural
104 school-university partnerships, an attempt to institutionalize the model across multiple sites became the focus of the Professional Development Communities (PDCs). The PDCs, influenced by the work of the Holmes Group, were being adde d to provide all prospective teachers within the UEP program with an intensive field expe rience committed to issues of diversity and democratic practices in a school -university partnership. The PDC partnerships are underpinned by the values of the Professional Development Sc hool (PDS) reform movement. However, in an effort to reflect the emerging development of each individual school-university partnership site the term PDC was coined to respect the complexity of true PDS work. Although working toward the PDS goals outlined by NCATE, Holmes, and ot hers, the UF partnership believes the term PDS should be reserved for PDC sites that ha ve reached a collective and formal agreement between the district, school, a nd university. This movement towa rd PDS status, as recommended by the NAPDS Nine Essentials Framework, is an e ndeavor that is in progress, however, has yet to come to fruition. PDCs are school-university partnerships that integrate field expe riences, prospective teacher supervision, and on-site coursework for a critical mass of prospective teachers. The university partners with ten demographically unique elementa ry schools within PDC schools where approximately 200 prospective teachers le arn to teach alongside a mentor committed to linking the theory of inclusive teaching to pr actice, while simultaneously targeting the schoolimprovement goals of each PDC school. (PDC fact sheet). The key activities of the PDCs include 1) preparing prospective teachers to t each all children, 2) cultivating school-based teacher educators, 3) creating teacher lead ership for school-improvement through teacher inquiry, 4) networking schools to share improve ment efforts, and 5) preparing the next generation of teacher educators. During the pre-in ternship semester, a critical mass (~12-14) of
105 prospective teachers is placed within each PDC. Some PDCs also host graduate student interns as well. The following sections describe the PD C context specific to Country Way Elementary, which officially began its partnership work with the university in the Spring of 2005. Country Way Elementary Country W ay Elementary is a rural Title I PK-5 elementary school. Located in north central Florida, Country Way Elementary is situated within a growing rural community approximately thirty miles from a major Resear ch One university. The growth of the community has influenced both the student population and the number of teachers who work within the school community at Country Way. When th e PDC partnership began in 2005, the student population was 475 and by 2007 had grown to 593. To support the growth of the student population, the school faculty and staff has also increased from 63 in 2005 to 70 in 2007. The instructional faculty has grown from to 33 in 2005 to 39 in 2007. Table 4-1 illustrates student and teacher demographic data over the course of the study. Amidst the hiring of new teachers to suppor t the schools growing student population, the school experienced a turnover of existing facult y due to retirement. In 2005, teachers average years of experience shifted from 18.7% to 15.9 % in 2007. While teachers years of experience may be lower, the percentage of teachers with advanced degrees increased from 37.9% in 2004 to 57.2% in 2007, a growth of 20% in just three years. This growth demonstrates that while the teachers hired during this period of growth may have fewer years of classroom teaching experience, they have higher levels of advanced education. This change is directly attributed to the commitment of the schools principal to hi re educators who valu e continuous learning. The PDC at Country Way elementary has e volved in many ways over three and a half years of partnership work. First, the school has experienced a growth in its student population and, as a result, a rise in the number of faculty and staff has also occurred. Second, the schools
106 faculty has experienced some specific transitions as well. Finally, the work of the schools partnership with the university has moved through se veral initiatives spu rred on by a range of catalysts. The following section provides an overview of the Country Way PDC. The PDC at Country Way Elementary The PDC at Country W ay Elementary embraces the four purposes of a PDS (Clark, 1999) through a shared commitment to teacher educa tion, professional development, inquiry, and school renewal. At Country Way Elementary, school renewal serves as the unifying concept to organize and align the focus for teacher educa tion and professional development activities, while inquiry is used as both a tool for learning and a means to documen t the work of the partnership. Clarks four purposes of a PDS pr ovide a framework to guide the inquiry-oriented work within Country Way Elementary (Figure 4-1). School re newal is the overarching concept that helps guide in-service teacher professional developm ent and prospective teacher education through inquiry. A shared commitment to school renewal served as the entry point for the school-university partnership, which began in Janua ry of 2005. During the three and ha lf years in which this study unfolded, three initiatives characterized the work of the Country Way Elementary PDC: a shared responsibility for teacher education and school-b ased professional development, writing reform, and the movement toward inclusion. These three in itiatives will be used to describe the context and activities of the partnershi p. The multiple components of each initiative and the participants who collaboratively engaged in aspects of the work are outlined (Table 4-2). Three and a half years of field work in th e PDS and three distinct school improvement initiatives brought many characters to the PDS stage. Two dis tinct groups of individuals are central to the PDS work at C ountry Way Elementary, the school -based participants and the university or district based. The following sub-sec tions describe specific PDC activities as they
107 relate to each of three focus ini tiatives. Participants will be introdu ced as their role is presented within each sub-section. Togeth er multiple participants rallie d around school improvement needs in writing instruction and inclus ion, while teacher education activ ities were aligned with each focus. Shared Responsibility for Teacher Education The shared responsibility for teacher educat ion was an initiative initially presented by Hannah Dobbs, an assistant professor in teacher education within the universitys College of Education. In Fall 2004, Country Way principal Regan Lundsford, was contacted by Hannah to discuss the potential of forming a collaborativ e partnership with the university. The shared responsibility for teacher education formed the in itial entry point for the activities that emerged within the site. PDC meetings, m onthly mentor meetings, an on-sit e prospective teacher seminar, teacher inquiry, and co-teaching, facilitated the sh ared work for teacher education. Within each activity, school leadership and university personnel were the common threads that collaboratively fostered a mutually beneficial relationship to support the specific needs of the school and shared responsibility for site-based teacher education. School leadership, classroom teachers, prospective teachers, and university personnel worked in various ways to enact and sustain a shared commitment to teacher education. PDC meetings PDC m eetings began in the Spring of 2005 as a forum for planning, monitoring, and adapting the work between school administrators university site coordinator, school site coordinator, and university facult y. At the onset of the partnership, the meetings were formally scheduled on a bi-weekly basis between univers ity site-coordinator and doctoral student, Gabrielle Aires, and principal, Regan Lundsfor d. While regular in person meetings took place on site between Gabrielle and Regan, phone and email communication between Regan and Hannah,
108 and between Gabrielle and Hannah were frequent As the partnership moved past the first semester, the PDC meetings occurred more fre quently but became more informal. Meetings often took place in the hallway, in classrooms, via email comm unications and within Regans office as needed. The movement from a formal fo rum to informal forum allowed the dialogue to unfold around immediate needs and concerns and allowed the participan t actions/reactions to respond in a timely manner around the needs of individuals w ithin the school. Over the course of the partnership, there was so me shifting of site-coordinator roles within the PDC. During the Summer of 2007, Regan appoi nted Peyton Kelly, a f ourth grade classroom mentor teacher, to be the school-b ased PDC site-coordinator. From that point, much but not all of the administrative work of the PDC, the sche duling of meetings, planning, and communication of needs and concerns were frequently handl ed between Gabrielle and Peyton, while Regan maintained the responsibility for placing pr ospective teachers in specific classrooms. Mentor meetings Also beginning at the on-set of the part nership in Spring 2005 were m onthly mentor meetings. These meetings provided a space for school leadership, in-service teachers, and university personnel to plan, or ganize, and discuss the content and processes for supporting prospective teacher learning w ithin placement classrooms. The university site-coordinator, supervisors, classroom mentor teachers and sc hool principal met once e ach month from August to May. All pre-intern a nd/or intern mentor teachers and th e university site coordinator attended the meetings, while other university supervisors and special education classroom mentors were invited to attend and joined occasionally. During mentor meetings, classroom mentors, university supervisor(s), and school lead ership discussed ways to be st support prospective teacher development, connect assignments to school improvement goals, raise concerns about classrooms issues, and generate solutions in a collaborative forum.
109 The facilitator role during mentor meeti ngs shifted over time from university led to school led. In the beginning of the partnership, Ga brielle would plan and facilitate the mentor meetings, answer questions and sometime pr esent information. However, in Fall 2006, the mentor meetings became very large with up to 14 classroom mentor teachers and 3 university supervisors. During the 2006-2007 school year, the mentor meetings shifted from being primarily university led in the Fall to more school led by Regan in the Spring. School led mentor meetings continued facilitated by Peyton during the 2007-2008 school ye ar, while Gabrielle handled weekly email communications outlining upcoming events and assignments for prospective teachers. On-site seminar On-site p rospective teacher seminars provide d a weekly space for prospective teachers, specifically pre-interns and interns, to meet and discuss issues related to teaching, student learning, and coursework with university person nel, school-based leader s, and their peers. During on-site seminars, the site-coordinator colla borated with school-based leadership, such as the principal, Curriculum Resource Teacher (CRT), Behavior Resource Teacher (BRT), Reading Coach, and Exceptional Student Education (ESE) teachers to arrange a schedule for expert speakers. School-based practitioners were invi ted to co-teach the seminar with the sitecoordinator to share their knowle dge and expertise with prospec tive teachers. These expert speakers made presentations, promoted discus sions and facilitated activities to support prospective teachers knowledge base and skills re lated to their various areas of expertise. Most seminars focused on topics such as differentiated instruction, aspects of c ontent area instruction, classroom management, data-driven decision making, assessment, co-teaching, and teacher inquiry. On site pre-intern seminars took place on Wednesday mornings for three hours, and on Thursday afternoons for one hour for interns. However, the timing of the on-site seminars
110 occurred during hours when in-service teachers we re working with children and, as a result, classroom mentor teacher expertise was not shared during the on-site seminars. While the majority of the time Gabrielle served in the role of site -coordinator, during the Fall of 2006 and Spring of 2007 there were some shifts in the PDC arrangement due to higher than average numbers of prospective teachers placed at the school. Th e Fall of 2006, Gabrielle was assigned to the supervision of graduate leve l interns, and a new site-coordinator, Deanna Rizer, came in to lead the pre-internship semina r and supervise pre-inte rns with the support of Lee VanCrist. Like Gabrielle, Deanna was also a doctoral student, but Deanna also served as the PDC Coordinator, a formal departmental position that organized and supervised the work of all ten PDC sites. Lee was a doctoral student in the department of special education. While Gabrielle was still on site during this semester, her role was to support the interns and the intern classroom mentors while Deanna and Lee worked to support the pre-interns. Gabrielle, Deanna, and Lee continued to seek the e xpert knowledge of school-based l eaders in their seminars even though the groups did not meet together. In the Spring of 2007, the responsibility for shared teacher education became more school-led as Regan rose to the occasion and assumed the role of on-site seminar leader for the pre-interns. Wh ile Gabrielle was still on-site supervising the prospective teachers, she would plan with Re gan and Christy James, the schools CRT, and on occasion co-teach a seminar with Regan. As both the schools principal and prospective teacher seminar leader, Regans role truly embraced th e commitment to shared teacher education. However, due to union issues, Regan was not able to maintain such an active and formal role as seminar leader beyond the Spring of 2007. In 2007-2008 Gabrielle once again assumed the primary role as seminar leader, but continued to capitalize on the expertise of school-based educators as much as possible.
111 Co-teaching Co-teach ing describes the process used by PD S participants to enact their work in classrooms. Within placement classrooms, prospec tive teachers and classroom mentor teachers collaboratively used co-teaching to reduce student teacher ratios and provide small group instruction. Co-teaching was used between pre-in tern teaching pairs when they taught lessons independently, and also between classroom mentor teachers, pr e-interns, and interns during various daily teaching activities. Additionally, co-t eaching was promoted as a part of the preinternship course affiliated with the on-site seminar. Multiple co-teaching models were presented and modeled to support prospective te achers understanding of how to organize the classroom environment to support the needs of di verse learners in incl usive classrooms. The prospective teachers were strongly encouraged to try out multiple models within their placement classrooms in order to identify the bene fits and limitations to each model. Co-teaching was also modeled during on-site seminars when possible between school leadership and university personnel. When school leaders presente d during on-site seminars, the prospective teachers were able to see how collaborative teaching structures could be used in their own classrooms. Co-teaching within placement cl assrooms enabled prospective teachers to learn how to collaboratively plan, implement, and re flect on their teaching w ith another educator. Teacher inquiry Teacher inq uiry was the predominant learning to ol enacted with both pre-intern and interns to facilitate discussions about student learning and teaching practi ce. Classroom mentor teachers, seminar leaders, and school l eadership facilitated inquiry su pport with prospective teachers within classrooms and during se minar meetings. During on-site seminars prospective teachers learned about the process of teacher inquiry with the guided support of their seminar instructor(s), while school-based leadership attended on-site seminars to lead discussions about
112 data-driven instruction which gave prospective teachers specific stra tegies for gathering data for their inquiries. In placement classrooms ment or teachers provided on-going guidance with specific strategies, specific students, and mate rials. Additionally, unive rsity supervisors would assist prospective teachers in their placem ent classrooms by gathering data and making suggestions, while also helping them access/locate necessary data sources within the school. At the end of each semester, the inquiries were shared with Regan, the schools principal, either in formal meetings with prospect ive teachers or informally thro ugh papers. Support for prospective teacher inquiry was a collaboratively shared endeavor between all PDC participants. Classroom observations All PDC participant groups used both for m al and informal classroom observation to support the ongoing growth and development of prospective teachers. Informal classroom observations of prospective teachers were conduc ted by school leadership during regular walk through, by university supervisors during twice weekly classroom visits, and by classroom mentor teachers during on-going classroom teaching opportunities. Formal prospective teacher observations were conducted by classroom mentor teachers three times each semester and by university supervisors four times each semest er. Formal observations conducted by university supervisors utilized the Pathwise Observation In strument (Educational Testing Service, 1995) as a formative tool for prospective teacher fee dback. Additionally, pros pective teachers were required to visit at least five classrooms over the semester where they observed multiple classroom teaching activities, a range of teachi ng styles, and a range of grade levels. Even teachers who did not typically participate as cla ssroom mentor teachers would often invite the prospective teachers to observe within their cl assrooms. These observations were self-selected, informal visits that took place during the fina l two weeks of the prospective teachers preinternship/internship placement.
113 Writing Reform Within the first six months of the PDC partnership, another initiativ e began to unfold in response to student performance on the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT). After reviewing the schools assessment outcomes, Regan identified writing instruction as an area for focus due to lower performance on the 2005 FC AT assessment coupled with rising state expectations for students writing skills. Usi ng her observations of cl assroom practices, Regan also recognized a need for professional deve lopment opportunities for teachers in order to increase the frequency and improve writing in struction school-wide. The need for improved student results and teachers professional de velopment opened the door for a new level of collaboration between the school and the university in the Summer of 2005. During an informal meeting between Regan, Hannah, and Gabrielle at Country Way Bar-BQ the three discussed how the university may be able to offer support fo r professional development and infuse writing into prospective teacher assignments to support students needs within the classroom. After the meeting, Hannah connected Regan with Fiona Den lin, an expert in writing instruction and a Professor the University. Through this connection, Regan and Fiona establish several activities to facilitate professional learning within the schoo l. With Regans position as the instructional leader of her building she felt that it was impor tant to provide multiple learning opportunities for her teachers, therefore she c ontinued to infuse professional development training with consultants, district level pers onnel, conference opportunities, as well as on-site face-to-face and online learning opportunities. The learning opportunities include d professional development activities during in-service and faculty mee tings, writing committee meetings, grade level writing plan development, cla ssroom observations, in class mo deling, writing strategy training, two online book studies, in class coaching, prospective teache r inquiry focused on writing instruction, and a th eory and practice graduate course.
114 Professional development activities Professional developm ent activities were the process by which classr oom teachers learned about specific curriculum initiatives and strategi es for enhancing writing instruction. In some cases, external consultants were brought into the school to lead the trainings that we re relevant to the materials they designed and promoted. At ot her times, district level personnel came to the school to make presentations and lead activitie s with the faculty. Additionally, some faculty members would travel within the state to learn about new material s and strategies at conferences and workshops. On the other hand, the schools partnership with the university also supported a range of professional development activities to improve writing instruction that took place within the school. One year Fiona Denlin led activities for in-service teachers, schoo l leadership and the site-coordinator during committee meetings, while the following year she met with a grade level team. Fiona collaborated with school leadership to support them in identifying and refining activities that they led with in-service teachers. Fiona also led graduate student coursework to facilitate learning for school leadersh ip and other university personnel. Consultant led in-service External con sultants led classroom teachers in learning about new curriculum materials and strategies during on-site a nd off site in-service activitie s. These activities ranged in specificity from highly specific curriculum guides, to more general strategies. Kelly Robertsons Just Write and Michelle Fishers curriculum mate rials were examples of two specific consultant led trainings that influenced the way teacher s thought about teaching writing within their classrooms. Consultant led profe ssional development was often a one time event where teachers attended a meeting or conferen ce to learn about an instructional program and its supplemental materials.
115 Kelly Robertson led classroom teachers and sc hool leadership professional development during a school-wide workshop early in the 2005-2006 school ye ar. During the training she shared specific strategies for teaching writing inst ruction to boost creativity and writing details. Kellys Just Write curriculum materials were purchased for multiple grade levels. The curriculum was held together in 2-3 inch binder containing a weekly and da ily pattern of lessons and writing activities to use w ith children. Additionally, the fo rward written by the author was visible at the beginning of the notebook. Th e forward described how the curriculum was developed, whom it was initially designed to serv e, and the knowledge base that informed the curriculum. More information about Kelly Roberts ons curriculum materials are available at her website ( http://www.writemath.com/index.html ). Na mes have been changed for confidentiality purposes, and as a result do not match authors true names as cite d on their websites. Michelle Fisher, a writing c onsultant and conference speaker was another resource used by classroom teachers at Country Way Elemen tary. During Fall 2006, fourth grade classroom teachers attended a conference led by Michelle Fisher to learn about additional strategies for supporting writers during the highly critical year of Florida Wr ites. After returning from the conference the teachers expressed a sense of fr eedom and relief because the said that her approach simplified the process of writing for a prompt, they immediately returned to their classrooms and put her suggests and materials to use. They presently continue using her strategies to support their wr iting instruction. More information about Michelle Fishers curriculum materials are available at he r website (http://www.melissaforney.com). Faculty meetings Professional developm ent opportunities were also led in collaboration with the district level and school level lead ers during faculty meetings. Faculty meetings provided a space for all grade level teachers to come together and learn about aspects of writing instruction.
116 Additionally, prospective teachers, specifically full time interns, were also present during faculty meetings because they attended all professional development and faculty meetings with their mentor teachers. As the univers ity site-coordinator, Gabrielle also attended faculty meetings whenever possible in order better understand th e types of contextual issues and learning activities taking place within the school. For example, during one faculty meeting in the Fall of 2005 Maureen Martin, the district level Title I director, made a presentation to faculty that focused on how writing samples were scored and showed some examples of writing samples that scored fours, fives, and sixes on the Florida Writes Assessment. During this meeting all school faculty members were present, including school leadership and classroom mentor teachers. In addition, prospective teachers, specifically full time interns, and Gabrielle, the un iversity site-coordinator and intern supervisor were present. Maureen identified how creative language and organizational aspects of writing were the most important components in achievi ng higher scores, rath er than spelling and grammatical accuracy. After sharing the scored writing samples, Maureen introduced the Writing Plan of another Elementary School in the district as an example of the kind of curriculum guide that was needed to help each grade level work collectively to achieve higher scores on the Florida Writes Assessment. Writing committee Beginning in November of 2005, representatives from each grade level, school leaders, and university personnel met to discuss writing instruction in a formal venue. Grade level representatives were appointed to the writing committee by th e schools principal, Regan Lunsford. The writing committee re presentative attended meeti ngs led by university faculty member Fiona Denlin and were then asked to shar e their insights with their peers during grade level team meetings. Also in attendance during writing committee meetings was Regan, the
117 schools CRT, Christy James, and university site -coordinator, Gabrielle Aires. While attendance for writing committee members was required, school leaders and university personnel voluntarily attended meetings. The writing committee met over the course of the 2005-2006 school year four times and once again during the fall of 2006. During each meeting, the writing committee shifted its focus while also adding new participants over time During the first writing committee meeting Fiona led the conversation, using a fourth grade teache rs writing classroom framework to discuss and make suggestions for classroom writing practices. Later meetings focused on classroom teachers sharing student-writing samples, and the group analyzing and making suggestions for teachers. The final two meetings focused on sharing and disc ussing aspects of writing instruction that were both problematic and successful, during these mee tings additional classroom teachers who were participating in an online book study joined th e group conversation and participated openly. Writing plan creation Shortly after the Faculty meeting when Maur een Martin shared scored writing samples with school faculty, she began working closely w ith grade level teams to create a school-wide writing plan. During the writing pl an meetings, Maureen Martin, Christy James, and grade level teams of classroom teachers met to discus how to help students make steady progress at each grade level toward in writing. During the mee tings, the writing plans from other county schools were used as a guideline to create Country Ways writing plan. The planning meetings began with the fourth grade team and then worked backwards to specify and align outcomes and expectations for K-5 students. The product of th ese meetings resulted in the schools writing plan.
118 On-site graduate course In the Spring 2006, university faculty m ember Fiona Denlin offered a graduate level course focusing on linking compositional theory and practice. Graduate students from various program backgrounds enrolled in the course, including Regan, Country Ways principal, a fifth grade teacher and Gabrielle, the university site-coordi nator. This course was different in that it included once a month site visits to Country Wa y Elementary School, as well as traditional on campus meetings. The course framed discussion s around the theoretical basis for composition as well as the experiences and dilemmas of writing instruction in real classrooms. The course integrated classr oom observations, action points, and a research project to connect theory to practice. Cl assroom observations took place dur ing on-site vis its to Country Way Elementary. Pairs of graduate students visited classrooms to observe writing instruction for approximately 45 minutes-1hour before returning to share insights and discuss observations with classmates and Fiona. Four differe nt students in the course used action points at Country Way Elementary. These graduate students would impl ement actions points within classrooms using Donald Graves book, A Fresh Look at Writing and then would reflect on the outcomes and connect them with the theory in the text. Each student in the cour se completed a research project per course requirements; five graduate student research projects were conducted at Country Way Elementary. These projects will be discussed la ter as a part of the I nquiry component of the writing reform movement at the school. Writing coaching School leadership and university personne l m odeled writing instruction and used instructional coaching to improve the quality of writing instructional lessons within classrooms. Christy James, the schools CRT, Gabrielle Aire s, Fiona Denlin, Jessica Perry and prospective teachers participated in coach ing activities focused on the writing instruction. When Fiona
119 became a part of the writing reform movement, sh e formed a relationship with Christy James. During the Fall of 2005, Christy modeled a lesson she may lead within a classroom and Fiona watched and offered her feedback. During the Spring of 2006 Gabrielle and Jessica each worked with a classroom teacher on enhancing writing in structional activities. In addition, during the Spring and Fall of 2006, Gabrielle and Jessica co ached prospective teachers in implementing effective writing lessons. Classroom modeling and observations School lead ership, classroom teachers, university personnel, and prospective teachers engaged in modeling and observation to improve their own sk ills and the skills of others. When modeling lessons occurred, there were participants modeling and participants observing. At multiple points during the writing reform movement, all par ticipants would observe lessons but not all participants modeled lessons. Modeling was a form of in class professiona l development provided by school leadership, university personnel, and prospective teachers. Over the 2005-2006 school year Christy James embarked on a long-term commitment with one re luctant second grade teacher. As a part of her long-term work within the class, she would mode l lessons daily while the classroom teacher and students participated in the activities. The sa me year, Gabrielle and Jessica would conduct in class work in classrooms. Gabr ielle modeled lessons in second and fifth grade classrooms for classroom mentors and prospective teachers, while Jessica modeled lessons in an intermediate special education classroom for the classroom teacher and students. During the 2005-2007 school years, writing lessons were modeled by prospective teachers following the guidelines suggested by Lu cy Calkins in the Art of Teaching Writing and in her Primary Units of Writing series. Th e lessons were integrated into the prospective teacher coursework and required as one of four instru ctional lessons observed by their university
120 supervisor. During the Fall of 2005 and 2006, Gabrie lle supported full time interns in their implementation of writing lessons. In the Spring of 2006, Gabrielle supported the work of preinterns, while in the Fall of 2006 Jessica worked to support the work of pre-interns. The interns and pre-interns provided modeling within classr ooms, where their classroom mentor teachers were able to see how they were applying thei r knowledge of writing pedagogy in the classroom. Additionally, classroom mentor teachers prov ided modeling for prospective teachers in placement classrooms. Online book study Two book studies were led by the schools pr incipal to provide a forum for dialogue around a common text. The first book study focuse d on Lucy Calkins The Art of Teaching Writing and the second on Donald Gravess A Fresh Look at Writing. Both book studies engaged classroom teachers, school leadership and university personnel through the use of an online blog created by the schools principal. Having used book st udies in the past, Regan hoped that the online forum would allow teachers the flexibility of participating in a more convenient forum rather than during face-to-face meetings. The first book study took place January-May of 2006 using Lucy Calkins The Art of Teaching Writing ( http://newberrybookstudy.blogspot.com ). In the Fall of 2005, Fiona recomm ended this text when Regan shared th at she was planning a book study and asked for her recommendation. Regan then ordered the books, create d the blog, and invited participants to join in the discussion. Not all invited participants were classroom teachers; Regan also invited university personnel to participate in the convers ations. While all participants engaged in the shared reading of the text, par ticipants level of online discussi on around the text varied greatly. Additionally, book study pa rticipants were invited to sh are their thoughts during the final Writing Committee meeting in May 2006.
121 The second book study took place from October 2006-February 2007, focusing discussions around Donald Graves book A Fresh Look at Writing (http://newberrybookstudy2.blogs pot.com). The format for this book study was very similar in that it was also facilitated by Regan Lundsford through an online blog. Regan read the text during a graduate course she attended in the Spring of 2006, she selected the Graves text because she felt it provided specific activities th at could prompt action in the classroom and serve as a springboard for c onversation on the blog. Once again, university personnel were invited to participate. Based on the feedback she gathered from the first book study blog, Regan made the opportunity to meet in person to discus s the text an option as well. In November 2006, a group of classroom teachers, school leadersh ip, and university personnel met in person to discuss the text and writing instruction. While this meeting took pl ace in the same classroom as the first Writing Committee meeting just one year early, there was a distinct difference in the nature of conversation and overall colla borative atmosphere of the meeting. Inquiry School leadership, classroom teachers, uni versity personnel and prospective teachers systematically studied education practices at Country Way Elementary as a part of the ongoing movement to improve writing instruction. Schoo l leaders, specifically Regan, the schools principal, engaged in on-going inquiry and shared her learning in multiple venues. The overall writing reform initiative was a form of school-wide inquiry, seeki ng to find multiple ways to make instructional improvements. During th e Spring of 2006, Regan participated in the universitys Inquiry Showcase to share the schools inquiry journey. Also in the Spring of 2006, Regan investigated the influence of the onlin e book study as her res earch study in Fionas graduate course. During the same semester, graduate students and prospective teachers conducted inquiries and formulated papers to fulf ill course requirements. Five graduate students
122 in Fionas course conducted rese arch projects in the area of wr iting in the Spring of 2006. Jessica also returned to conduct further research in the Fall of 2006 and then again in the Spring of 2008. The influence of inquiry in these examples provi ded not only a learning process for participants, but also a paper trail to document the work of the partnership. The inquiry work continued during the 2006-2007 school year, however classroom teachers emerged as more active participants as they worked to improve and sy stematically reflect on th eir writing instruction. While Christy had also collaborated with the school district to facilitate professional learning activities for the faculty, the connect ion between Christy and Fiona was the beginning of a relationship that fostered professional learning for the educa tional leaders in the building, an unintended learning outcome that had powerful implications for th e professional learning culture. Inclusive Education Reform The movement toward inclusion began dur ing the 2005-2006 school year and continues presently. The planning phase of the inclusion movement began at the end of the 2006 school year when school leadership, classroom teachers, ESE teachers collaboratively drafted the schools inclusion plan with the support of district personnel. The inclusion plan outlined the specific actions that would take place to suppor t the classroom work of both ESE and regular education teachers as they joined together to provide powerful in struction for all students. The work of inclusion was held together through co-teaching practices, an inclusion course, an inclusion group, and teacher i nquiry within classrooms. Co-Teaching Co-teach ing is defined as two or more people sharing responsibility for teaching some or all of the students within a classroom (Villa, Thousand, and Nevin, 2004). Co-teaching between classroom mentor teachers and university prospe ctive teachers became a part of the schools work within some classrooms when the PDS began in the Fall of 2005.
123 In the Fall of 2006 the schools inclusion m ovement brought about co-teaching within classrooms between ESE teachers, prospective t eachers, and classroom teachers. The inclusion work began by grouping ESE students at each grad e level within 1-2 classes, depending on the number of ESE students, and assigning an ESE teacher and aide to support the ongoing work within the inclusion classrooms. The schedul ing of the aides and ESE teachers was the responsibility of ESE team leader Jennifer Townsend. ESE teachers, ESE aides, and prospective teachers would spend time each day within cl assrooms co-teaching with regular education classroom teachers providing individual student support, small group instruction, and assisting teachers in providing accommodations and differen tiated instruction. In many of the inclusion classrooms both regular education and special education prospectiv e teachers would be a part of the collaborative work with ESE teachers and ai des, as well as collaborators with regular education teachers. In many semesters, Jennifer would serve as a mentor for special education prospective teachers and the inclusion classes th at she would work in would also host regular education prospective teachers. So, in some classr ooms, there would be as many as 5 adults (i.e. ESE teacher, ESE pre-intern, classroom teacher regular education intern, and full time ESE aide) collaboratively wo rking together to plan and implem ent activities to support a range of student needs. Inclusion course ESE and regular education teachers from C ountry Way Elementary participated in an online course offered through the university to support their knowledge and skills related to inclusive education practices in the Spring of 2006. Ryan Toms and Harrison Dobbs, university instructors and district level ES E directors, led the online cour se. As university instructors, Harrison and Ryan led the Project Include cour se. As ESE district supervisors, Ryan and Harrison supervised and supported schools as th ey worked to improve Exceptional Student
124 Education. The goal of the inclusion course wa s to provide participan ts with the background knowledge and skills relate d to inclusion and diffe rentiated instruction. Inclusion group Concurrent with the inclusion course, ESE and regular education teachers m et weekly with a group of teachers from another elementary school within the county. The inclusion groups engaged school leadership and classroom teacher s in conversations about models for inclusion and allowed them a space to discuss and identify how inclusion could be situated within their school contexts. The goal of the inclusion group wa s to provide the participants with a network of support to collaboratively design an inclusi on model for their school that would serve the needs of the teachers and use available re sources to meet the needs of students. Inquiry Prospective teacher inqu iry was used as a learning tool for K-5 students and for prospective teachers. Each semester prospectiv e teacher pre-interns would be responsible for selecting one or two students who needed additi onal support with either remediation or extension activities. With the support of their classroom mentor teacher, a nd often the ESE team leader in the primary grades, prospective teachers would gather data and implement specific activities designed to support the students learning needs. Over the course of the semester, pre-interns would adapt their instruction based on the progr ess of their students a nd monitor their progress over time through on-going documentation in their inquiry journals and th rough the collection of work samples. The inquiries would provide a pape r trail of the work with specific students and would be used by the school in some cases to di scuss students progress a nd response to specific activities. On occasion the inquiry paper prospe ctive teachers would present their work during Academic Improvement Plan (AIP) meetings alo ng with their classroom mentor teachers, school
125 leadership, and ESE teachers. AIP meetings were formal meetings used to monitor the progress of student specifically id entified as needing addi tional learning support. Integrated teaching course As previously describ ed in the section outlini ng the shared work of teacher education, the on-site prospective teacher seminar engaged multiple groups within the site to support prospective teacher learning. While the focus of the seminar had multiple goals, the course placed the strongest emphasis on differentiated in struction, accommodating diverse learners, and positive behavior support. This focus, while alwa ys present, became visibly connected to the work within inclusive placement classrooms and provided new aspects of expertise to come to fruition. While throughout the partnership school lead ership and university personnel worked closely to align the work of the school with th e focus of the seminar in Spring 2007, the course and focus seamlessly overlapped the schools focus on inclusion. For the first time, the flexibility of ESE team leader Jennifer Townsends schedule as an inclusion teacher paired with Regan leading the on-site pre-internship seminar tappe d a previously unrealized resource within the PDS. From that point on Jennifer became a fr equent expert consulted for presentations on Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and inclus ion models, and during th e final year provided a wealth of insight into the Response to Intervention (RTI) movement brought about by No Child Left Behind legislation (NCLB). Jennifers expe rtise and position as ESE team leader enabled her to provide the most up-to-date information about inclusion and the resulting reforms that were sweeping county schools. Jennifer was able to connect the theory that informed the prospective teachers coursework with the real life work of school, providing prospective teachers with experiences that on-campus univers ity coursework alone could not provide. Thus, this movement toward inclusion embodied the focus of the Integrated Teaching course that pre-
126 interns within the site had al ways engaged in, making the co nnections between theory and practice more seamless than ever. Conclusion The context at Country Way Ele mentary ex perienced three specific movements from January 2005-April 2008 that highly influenced the professional learning cu lture within the site. The writing reform and inclusive education refo rms were initiated in different ways and by different organizations (ex. Univer sity, school, district). Yet, the connections fostered through the schools partnership with th e university provided learning resources across both movements and provided collaborative structures between sc hool leaders, classroom teachers, prospective teachers, district personnel, as well as univers ity personnel. Chapters 5, 6 and 7 discuss the outcomes of the PDS and chapter 8 draws c onclusions and implications from the study.
127 Table 4-1. Country Way student and teacher demographic data Student Demographic Data Teacher Demographic Data School Year # of Students Disabilities (%) Gifted (%) ELL (%) Free and Reduced Lunch (%) FCAT Writing # of Staff Administrators (%) Instructional (%) Teachers with Advanced Degrees Teachers Average Years of Experience (%) Support (%) 04-05 475 18.3 10.9 1.1 53.9 83 63 1.6 52.4 37.9 18.7 46.0 05-06 537 18.8 8.4 1.5 52.7 93 62 1.6 58.1 40.6 17.7 40.3 06-07 593 19.4 8.4 1.0 50.4 93 70 1.4 55.7 57.2 15.9 42.9
128 Figure 4-1. Four purposes of th e Country Way Elementary PDC Inquiry Teacher Education Professional Development School Renewal
129 Table 4-2. Partnership initi atives and activities Initiative Activity Participant Groups School Leadership Classroom Teachers Prospective Teachers University Personnel Shared Commitment for Teacher Education PDC Meetings Monthly Mentor Meetings On-Site Prospective Teacher Seminar Co-Teaching Inquiry Classroom Observation Writing Reform Consultant led KR PD MAM at Faculty Meeting Writing Committee Meetings Writing Plan Creation Writing Coaching Book Studies Graduate Student Course On-site Inquiry MF PD Classroom Observations Focus on Inclusion Co-Teaching Inclusion Course Inclusion Group Inquiry Integrated Teaching On-Site Seminar
130 CHAPTER 5 TRANSITIONING THROUGH PDS RESE ARCH AND REFORM This chapter provides an overview of the fi ndings and offers an organizational map for readers as they transition into the reform storie s featured in Chapters 6 and 7. This chapter also clearly highlights some distinct differences between the two reform initiatives that unfolded within the Country Way PDS. Additionally, this chapter identifies several connections and transitions that occurred as the writing and inclusive education reforms unfolded. Country Way PDS participants describe the emergence of a professional learning culture through school improvement initiatives in writin g and inclusive education reform. Country Ways approach to school improvement is char acterized by participants as a collaborative approach where all participants are learning and studying together, thus the term inquiry-oriented is used to describe this process. One overarc hing assertion briefly su mmarizes the story of Country Ways collaborative school improve ment journey: Inquiry-oriented school improvement shifted structures, relationships, and praxis for PDS participants. Six claims are presented to specifically describe how the i nquiry-oriented approach to school improvement generated a professional learning culture for PDS educators and students. The six claims are thematic in nature in that they held strong across the writing reform and inclusive education reform. Yet, within each reform the claims unfolded in different ways and with different outcomes. As a result sub-concepts are used to provide deeper insight into each claim. An organizational table synthesizes the overarching asse rtion and claims at the end of this chapter to help the readers transition more easily through Chapters 6 and 7 (Table 5-1). Country Way PDS generated a professional le arning culture for educators and students by shifting structures, rela tionships, and praxis through an i nquiry-oriented approach to school improvement. The PDS writing reform and inclusive education reform:
131 1. Shifted participant roles and responsibilities 2. Shifted participants relationships 3. Shifted educator le arning through praxis 4. Shifted student performance 5. Influenced leadership style 6. Influenced by existing university and district structures Although the six claims outlined are similar, they played out within each reform differently due to multiple contextual factors. In fact, the writing reform directly influenced Country Ways readiness for the inclusive education reform. Fo r this reason, the connect ions across reforms are briefly outlined. Connections and Transitions Across Reforms The writing reform and inclusive education reform held some common connections and some differences. Across the two reforms there we re differences in the role of the researcher, collaboration between participants, leader ship, and the anatomy of the reforms. Role of Researcher As a researcher, m y role as a participant a nd observer played out differently within each reform initiative. In the beginning of the PDS, my role was tightly coupled with prospective teacher education within the schools culture. Th en, through the onset of new reforms, such as writing, I participated in both prospective teacher and in-service teacher learning activities. My role as an observer in classrooms provided me access to classroom instruction and instructional interactions between PDS educat ors and students across both the writing and inclusive education reform. As the writing reform began, I observed mo st PDS supported writing activities for inservice teachers and actively participated in many others for both in -service and prospective teachers. As a participant and observer at multip le stages through the writing reform journey I had the opportunity to observe how participants reacted to an d engaged in the PDS learning
132 experiences. As an observer, I had access to PDS classrooms but not every writing reform participants classroom, so in these cases I had to rely on the observation of others within the site. As the inclusive education reform unfolded, I was engaged as a participant and observer for all prospective teacher learning activities. However, my understanding of what took place during in-service teacher trainings and reform activities relied more h eavily upon the accounts of participants rather than my own observations during the specific events. My access to the inservice teacher reform activities and meetings were limited, and as a result I understand participants experiences differently because I was not intimately engaged in observation during these events. As an observer, I had access to in clusive classrooms where I gained insight into how co-teaching and inclusive practices unf olded between educat ors and students. Collaboration Collabora tion between participants across the writing and inclusive education reform was different. The writing and inclusiv e education reforms differed in how teachers were recruited for participation. The individual school faculty members who part icipated in various learning activities also influenced collaboration. In fact many of the in-service teachers who willingly engaged in the professional book study blog were the same group of educators who engaged in the PDS and inclusive education reform. Howeve r, these educators were less present when writing reform activities were required. The writing reform was a precedent setting even t for the PDS. The writing reform marked the first time that university faculty were invited to collaborate and offer professional development for in-service teachers. In the beginning, voluntary participants expressed a willingness to learn and teachers who were requir ed to participate expressed resistance. The principal appointed writing reform committee part icipants and set up coll aborative structures
133 with university faculty. Book study blog members participated voluntarily and received professional development stipends for various le vels of participation through district level funding. Willing participants displayed a greater degree of openness to the insight shared by university faculty and other PDS participants. Th e writing reform took place during a time when collaboration between school-based participants was minimal and many in-service teachers were not open to changing their instru ctional practices. In many ways the writing reform helped cultivate readiness for new co llaborative structures between university and school based educators. The inclusive education refo rm was set in motion firs t through collaboration around prospective teachers education and later around in-service teacher prof essional development. One of the most critical factors influencing co llaboration in the inclusive education reform was the in-service teachers who participated in the learning activities. Many new in-service teachers joined the Country Way faculty or changed roles within the site. The prin cipal recruited many of these newly hired teachers to participate in Projec t Include and also as PDS mentor teachers. The university/district faculty members worked with a willing group of in-service teachers to foster a collaborative learning community of educators. Most importantly the connection between writing reform goals and inclusive education goals were fostered between multiple PDS participants, such as Katherine Duarte, Jessica Perry, Jennifer Townsend, and Carol Bates, who actively participated in both writing reform ac tivities and engaged in work with ESE students. Leadership Country W ays principal approached her role as a leader through th e writing reform and inclusive education reform in very different ways As an active learner in the writing reform she engaged in learning activities, led professional development for teachers, and distributed leadership responsibilities to other PDS partic ipants. In the inclusiv e education reform, she
134 recruited a willing team of teach er leaders to participate in Project Include and distributed decision-making responsibilities to the ESE team leader and trus ted district/university level personnel to facilitate professional development activities. In the writing reform, the principal had to assert a lot of pressure on te achers to set changes in motion. At the same time she strived to learn as much as she could about writing instruction in order to serve as an instructional leader. The wr iting reform helped the principal begin thinking differently about how to activate university resources to support school improvement efforts. As a result, her leadership style be gan to transition through her participation in the writing reform. The principals leadership role in the incl usive education reform was less hands-on and engaged more teachers in leadership roles. In fact, the principal re leased many responsibilities to teachers and university/district personnel early on in the inclusive education reform. Her role as a leader shifted in many ways as a result of the writing reform, but she used her new leadership skills to facilitate the inclusive education reform from the beginning. Her leadership decisions at the onset of the reform helped generate more t eacher leadership for inclusive education reform. Anatomy of Reform The writing reform and inclusiv e education reform emerged w ith different structures and goals. The writing reform emerged from a need to improve performance on high stakes assessments and sought to change instructiona l practices. The inclus ive education reform emerged from the desire to integrate more co llaborative teaching structures and small group instruction within classrooms, w ith little at stake. Although discussed separately in Chapters 6 and 7, the two reforms overlapped in timing and personnel. In many ways, the writing reform helped foster relationships and structures that facilitated the inclusive education reform, which contributed to the complexity of both reform initiatives.
135 The writing reform was set in motion with th e primary purpose of improving standardized assessment performance. As a result, the pressure to increase performance was high. The need to change writing instruction stem med from the premise that if students were going to become better writers that better writing instruction would be necessary. Changing writing practices began with the instructional goal of providing daily time for student writing and allowing students more choice when writi ng. The writing reform was riddled with complexity that ranged from differing goals for instru ction/reform between school/unive rsity/district, to conflicting teacher beliefs about writing instruction. As a result, the writing reform was merely the beginning of a journey to initiate instructiona l changes and improve writing performance. The success of the writing reform was judged by scho ol-wide student performance on state writing assessments. The inclusive education reform was set in motion to increas e small group instruction and help all students gain access to the regular education curricu lum. Although not specifically linked to high stakes standardized assessment pe rformance, the goal was to change how students with disabilities gained access to the curriculum and to improve learning for all students in the process. The school district and university stru ctures provided resources to support the reform and offered assessment support and tools to help monitor students progress. Thus, the inclusive education reform specifically monitored how exceptional students progressed from year to year. Conclusion This chapter introduces the findings and highlights specific characteristics of the writing reform and the inclusive education reform. Alt hough they are described in depth in separate Chapters 6 and 7, the outcomes of the writing re form in many ways influenced and fostered conditions for readiness during the inclusive education re form. This chapter clarified some of the key transitional aspects that f acilitated one reform after lessons learned from another. Chapter 6
136 presents the story of the writi ng reform and Chapter 7 presents the story of the inclusive education reform. Chapter 8 discusses the less ons learned and implications of the two PDS reform initiatives.
137 Table 5-1. Assertion and claims related to creating a professional learning culture within a PDS Overarching Assertion: Inquiry-oriented sc hool improvement generated a professional learning culture for PDS educators and students by shifting structures, relationships, and praxis. Writing Reform Claims Inclusive Reform Claims 1. Collaborative writing reform shifted participant roles and responsibilities. Broker Coach Learner 1. Inclusive education reform shifted participant roles and responsibilities. Broker Coach Learner 2. Collaborative writing reform shifted participant relationships. Collaboration across partners Continuity and trust 2. Inclusive education reform shifted participant relationships. Camaraderie, leadership, ownership, and responsibility Mutual respect and equal status Continuity facilitated trust 3. Collaborative writing reform shifted educator learning through praxis. Knowledge, beliefs, and practices Theory to practice connections 3. Inclusive education reform shifted educator learning through praxis. Co-teaching practices Praxis in inclusive classrooms 4. Collaborative writing reform shifted student performance. Motivation and writing volume Assessing progress 4. Inclusive education reform shifted student performance. Engagement and individualized instruction Learning gains 5. Collaborative writing reform influenced leadership style. Top-down distributed leadership Balancing pressure and support 5. Inclusive reform influenced leadership style. Organic teacher leadership Balancing pressure, support, theory, and practice 6. Collaborative writing reform was influenced by existing university an d district structures. Lack of theoretical alignment Expectations and participation 6. Inclusive reform was influenced by existing university and district structures. Theoretical alignment and simultaneous renewal Inhibited further PDS development
138 CHAPTER 6 STORY OF PDS WRITING REFORM This study examined how educators descri bed their shifting beliefs, values, roles, behaviors, rituals, and respons ibilities as participants in a Professional Development School focused on creating a culture of professional learning. Chapters 6 and 7 present stories or descriptions (Wolcott, 1994) of professional le arning within one newly created Professional Development School and within each chapter the stories are unpacked to provide an analysis in the form of claims (Wolcott, 1994). In addition, each story revealed multi ple shifts in roles, responsibilities, relationships, and learning that crossed PDS reform initiatives and participants. The need to reduce the data required a search for themes across cases and th e selection of critical events as described by participants, therefore not all examples could be sh ared or illustrated. The stories and claims selected for inclusion in Chapters 6 and 7 describe the work of educators in the Country Wa y PDS and provide specific le ssons for the work of PDS participants. The first illustration, found in Chap ter 6, portrays a shift in writing instruction and the second illustration, presented in Chapter 7, portrays a shift toward creating inclusive classrooms. Worthy of noting are the different sources of motivation for these two school improvement initiatives. Stude nts writing performance on the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT) became the catalyst for the writing focus, particularly driven by the desire of the Professional Deve lopment Schools principal to improve assessment results. The inclusive education reform emerged from the school districts interest in placing children in the most appropriate placement that would offer th em access to the general education curriculum. The overarching assertion made a bout both school improvement efforts is that the Country Way PDS generated a professional learning culture for educators and students by shifting structures, relationships, and praxis through an inquiry -oriented approach to school improvement.
139 The Illustration Country W ay PDS participants describe how a school improvement focus on writing instruction influenced the profe ssional learning culture of the school by shifting PDS structures, relationships, and praxis. The writing illustration was selected because it describes how the school-wide focus on writing reform served as a cr itical event to thrust the PDS forward as a resource to support professional learning th rough school improvement. A shared focus on writing instruction and multiple PDS professional learning opportunities enabled content area experts, teacher educators, in-service teachers, and prospective teachers to collaboratively and individually inquire and shift their knowledge and practice. Country Way Elementary began its PDS wo rk in the Spring of 2005. As the school principal, Regan Lundsford, championed the PDS movement and encouraged her teachers to accept pre-interns in their classrooms. Several weeks after Country Way completed its first semester as a PDS, the state released assessm ent scores for the 2004-2005 school year. Regans analysis of the student learning data and account ability reports from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) scores revealed both positive and negative outcomes. The score reports indicated that Country Way Elementary had on ce again earned the status of an A school, however only 62% of this years fourth grade students scored a 3.5 or above causing the school to not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in writing. In this case, high stakes assessments became a catalyst and motivation for change. Regans experience in leading her school through change taught her a process for improving teaching and learning by focusing all of the effort into really looking at something, drawing attention to it, and focusing your energies through your sta ff development (Regan 33765,34063). Regan began conversations with multiple groups and activat ed energy around the school-wide improvement focus on writing instruction reform.
140 At Country Way Elementary, the writing re form inquiry brought new opportunities and a new focus to the PDS. Regan charted new territory as she began thinking collaboratively with university faculty and personnel about ways to activate PDS resources to support writing improvement goals. As a newly established PDS, Regan used her connections with the university to tap into what she believed would be pow erful human resources a nd connect with people with expertise to help with school improvement efforts. Realizing the sc hools writing needs, the PDS partnership coordinator, Hannah D obbs, connected Regan with Fiona Denlin, a university professor specializi ng in writing instruction. Throughout the year, Regans stance of u s all studying together underpinned Country Ways commitment to writing instruction improvement. Regans plan was to use group inquiry to make progress toward three specific school-wide writing goal s: 1) to revise the existing school-wide writing plan, 2) to provide additional resources for teacher professional development, and 3) to inform the schools writing committee work. The school district supported the revision of the schoo l-wide writing plan, while the PDS rallied a critical mass of educators to offer multiple entry points for pa rticipation in school-wide writing improvement efforts around the two later goals. PDS support st ructures included: a writing inquiry committee, prospective teacher inquiry, a graduate se minar focused on writing, and a book club. Although Regans primary goal was to raise assessment scores, she knew that si gnificant instructional changes had to occur. Initial school-wide instru ctional goals focused on providing daily writing opportunities for students and allo wing students opportunities to choose their own writing topics. The PDS supported instructional goals to help teachers develop high quality student writing within classrooms, while district and consultant-led activities ofte n focused on strategies to help raise student assessment scores.
141 The writing inquiry committee served as the en try point for university faculty to begin conversations with in-service teachers about wr iting instruction. Fiona Denlin led a committee comprised of the Curriculum Resource Teacher (CRT ), the principal, the PDS site coordinator, and six teachers, with one teacher represen tative appointed from each grade level. The committee gathered once each month to discuss pract ices of writing instruction. Fionas goal for the committee was to focus on instructional practi ces that would promote quality student writing. Prior to each meeting, Fiona visited classrooms a nd observed writing instruc tion at various grade levels. During the meetings, Fiona facilitate d conversations based on her observations in classrooms, helped teachers examine student wo rk, and encouraged teachers to share their writing instruction progress. Based on Fionas observations and teachers comments, they collaboratively highlighted key areas for improvement to explore in future meetings. Four of the six teachers participating in th e writing inquiry committee also served as PDS mentors for full-time interns. Gabrielle Aires, the PDS site-coordinato r supported the PDS work for prospective teachers as part of her docto ral studies while doubling as the schools site coordinator. This connection provided Gabrielle opportunities to ge nerate parallel conversations about writing and connect the sc hools broader work to the pros pective teachers inquiry during regular classroom visits. Gabrielles embedded ro le provided access to the inside work of the classrooms which proved highly adva ntageous in connecting the content of writing instruction to prospective teacher work. Occurring simultaneous ly, the interns brought inquiry into the school as they studied their students writing and thei r own writing instruction. After just a few months of inquiry, classroom observations revealed that students were writing daily, an improvement on one of the initial goals establ ished by the school in the area of writing. By the end of Fall Semester, the writing committees collaborations c ontinued and while some participants gained a
142 sense of community and began creating a shared understanding about writing practices that might support school improvement, others did not ha ve positive experiences and sought out other professional learning opportunities. Collaboration in the PDS reached an alltime high in the spring of 2006, when both undergraduate field placements and graduate cour sework aligned with the schools improvement focus on writing. Gabrielle wanted pre-interns spec ializing in literacy at her school to further support the schools writing improvement goals. In Fall of 2005, Gabrielle requested that the universitys pre-internship placement coordinator place a litera cy cohort at Country Way for Spring 2006. This was a very exciting opportunity to have fourteen prospective teachers and seven practicing teachers inquiring together into writing instruction. The fourteen prospective teachers provided important human resources to the in-service teachers because they possessed a valuable theoretical knowledge base from their writing methods course that was aligned with the work of the writing committee, while in-ser vice teachers possessed valuable practical knowledge. The goal was for compositional theory and practice to align. Under the supervision of Gabrielle, the prospective teachers inquired into children s writing and their own writing instruction. Also in fall 2005, Fiona began planning a graduate seminar focused on connecting research, theory, and practice. Regan, Gabrielle, and one in-service teacher from Country Way enrolled in the course along with other graduate students. The course focused on the underlying theories and practices that inform process-wr iting instruction. The blended on-campus/on-site course facilitated shared inquiry that extended beyond the scope of previous structures as Regan, Gabrielle, other graduate students, and one fifth grade teacher actively engaged in inquiry to examine various elements of teacher learning and changes in instruction underway in the school.
143 One of Fionas graduate students attended the writing committ ee work and visited teachers classrooms to observe instruction and provide support. Another graduate student of Fionas, Jessica Perry, engaged in classroom work a nd coaching within one ESE classroom. Jessica returned in future semesters to coach prosp ective teachers in Fall 2006 and again in future semester to continue work with the ESE teacher. Thus, the PDS writing reform provided graduate students with the opportunity to engage in connecting research, theory, and practice. Regan describes how the graduate course also met on site at Country Way Elementary with Fiona: The course met once a month on site, walking through my classrooms with me looking at writing, talking to teachers about writing, and then that class coming back together. We were studying the theory of writing and looking at lots of research and then applying it to what we were seeing in our classrooms. (Regan 6794,7113) Regan describes how the experience of having a graduate class aligned with her school improvement focus shifted her own learning, It really helped me think about how to lead th e school into better wri ting and really getting a writing workshop going in places and that was significant to me because I never had a class that came to my school and what they were seeing was the topic of conversation every class. (Regan 7114,7434) In addition to the graduate course, Regan secured district money to engage teachers in a book study using a text recommended by Fiona, The Art of Teaching Writing by Lucy Calkins (1994). A group of teachers voluntarily agreed to participate in the book study as their shared inquiry. The book study did not meet in person, as the writing committee did, but rather utilized a Web Blog to share text connecti ons and reflections. Regan served as the facilitator, each week she focused on a chapter or two in the text, posed a set of questions for reflection, and teachers responded with topic related thoughts and ideas. Pa rticipants included the principal, CRT, inservice teachers, the PDS site-coordinator, and a university faculty member. As part of her research for the graduate course, Regan studied the effectiveness of the web based approach for
144 supporting teachers professional learning. The professional book study created a shift in teachers writing knowledge and beliefs. Classroom observation, archival documents, and field notes revealed that powerful changes occurred when individual teachers engaged in multiple learning activities. For example, one teacher who participated in the book study, the wr iting inquiry committee, and supported intern inquiry work, also engaged in peer coaching with Gabrielle. Peer coaching enabled Gabrielle to embed the coursework from the graduate seminar into her role as a prospective teacher supervisor. As the teacher made significant effort s to improve writing instru ction in the spring of 2006, she put her new knowledge, skills, and dispositions to work full scale in the fall of 2006 when she implemented a Writers Workshop in her classroom with the sup port of her prospective teacher and Gabrielle. Prospective teachers part icipating in coaching w ith Fiona and Gabrielle had the opportunity to put theory into practi ce and learn by doing with the guided support of multiple coaches. One prospective teacher sugges ts that coaching made previous suggestions relevant. She states: Before I was finding it really difficult to understand what you (Gabrielle) meant when you said make it smaller, narrow the focus, but now I understand. I noticed a distinct change in student performance during this mini-lesson, th e students remained on task and carried out the desire outcome. (post-conference coaching interview #4 ) Through the process of coaching, prospective teache rs learned how to improve their mini-lessons and conferencing, and Gabrielle lear ned how to use prospective te achers as a visible model to prompt dialogue about writing instru ction with in-service teachers. After one year of intensive inquiry into writing instruction, th e accountability results demonstrated progress. In an email to her faculty Regan reported, % of fourth grade students achieved a score of 3.5 or higher on the FCAT Wr iting Assessment. The results indicated an 18% improvement in fourth grade writing scores af ter just one year. As a result, the schools
145 intensive focus on writing shif ted after the 2005-2006 and because adequate progress was made in writing the reform received less emphasis. Re gan contended that, we will still talk about writing and a lot of what we were doing is still happening so it is not like we just quit, it is just not the conversation at every faculty meeting now and at every staff development now (Regan 34880,35111). This shift in focus placed the writing reform initiative as a secondary focus, which generated some conflict for university personnel who were cont inuing work with inservice and prospective teachers. This illustration describes how the roles, rituals, and responsib ilities created by PDS organizational arrangements, which emphasized collaboration and theory to practice connections, brought about Country Ways i nquiry-oriented school improvement focus on writing reform. In combination, these factors enab led the beginning PDS to quickly create one of the more established professional learning cu ltures within the universitys PDS network. Examining the Illustration The overarching assertio n is that the Country Way PDS facilitated inquiry-oriented school improvement by shifting structures, relationships, and praxis, wh ich established a professional learning culture for educators and students. The overarching asserti on represents the big idea of how the PDS created a professional learning cultur e, while the claims specify how the process unfolded. Thematic claims emerged related to how educators described their shifting beliefs, values, roles, behaviors, ritu als, and responsibilities as they focused on improving writing instruction within Coun try Way Elementary. Six thematic claims were culled through an analysis of field notes, interv iews with informants, and archival documents gathered over three and a half years. Field notes served as the primary data source while informant interviews and archival documents were used to strengthen participant voices and triangulate analysis. The claims presented in this chapter provide a d eeper understanding of how the PDS writing reform
146 initiative influenced multiple shifts in the profes sional learning culture and influenced the roles, responsibilities, values, behavi ors, and practices of particip ants. The collaborative writing reform: 1. Shifted participant role s and responsibilities. 2. Shifted participant relationships. 3. Shifted educator lear ning through praxis. 4. Shifted student performance. 5. Influenced leadership style. 6. Influenced by existing univers ity and district structures. Within each claim, sub-concepts specifically discuss how the writing reform shifted the learning culture for educators and/or students. Claim 1: Shifted Participant Roles and Responsibilities The school improvement focus on writing instruct ion shifted the roles and responsibilities of PDS participants at Country Way Elementar y. Claim One specifically explores how the PDS infused new professional learning resources for e ducators and enabled new participant roles to emerge. Within Claim One three distinct role s underpinned the school improvement focus on writing: 1) the broker, 2) the coach, and 3) th e learner. Each role shifted how professional learning within the PDS took place and who was responsible for supporting professional learning within the PDS. The inquiry-oriented school improvement focus on writing caused multiple participants within the PDS to shift in and out of multiple roles simultaneously, which facilitated connections, relationships, and educator learning. The broker In the writing reform the role of the broke r was responsible for a shift in PDS human resources. In this case, the broker was an i ndividual who fostered connections between PDS individuals and concepts. Concepts represented as pects of instructional content, instructional values, and educator belief systems. Although multip le participants partic ipated as PDS brokers,
147 Hannah Dobbs emerges as the initial broker when the school initiated a focus on writing. As the initial PDS broker, Hannah was responsible for connecting university personnel with expertise in writing instruction with Regan and Country Wa y Elementary. Hannah recalls, she [Regan] asked for help in writing and I hooked her up with Fiona. So, I was kind of the contact person, or broker, for the writing (Hannah 10144,10381). Hanna h helped Regan connect with Fiona, she also helped align doctoral students with an interest in writing instruction as university supervisors and researchers. Hannah explains her role as a broker, I put people there that were going to be present and sustai ned over time so that those relationships and roles could develop for the PDS. In this case, it was Gabrielle. So I think probably my greatest role was to make sure that I put someone th ere that understood the concept, not just anyone can walk in and do PDS work. Unfortunately, some people think that you can, but people really have to have a certain valu e and belief system, so making sure that happened. (Hannah 3116,4705) Hannah describes how placing sustainable human re sources with a value system congruent with PDS work was her primary res ponsibility as a PDS broker. As the school year unfolded and the writing focus continued, Gabrielle and Fiona shifted into brokering roles when they began to conne ct undergraduate and grad uate students with an interest in writing to the PDS work. Gabriell e solicited the help of campus-based university personnel to place a cohort of prospe ctive teachers with a l iteracy focus into the site, while at the same time Fiona organized and developed a gr aduate student seminar focused on compositional theory and practice. This is the seminar that me t monthly at the PDS site. The significance of the brokering role for PDS particip ants cannot be understated. Al though the broker has the least visible role in the work, the broker can have a significant impact on how PDS human resources within the PDS structures are organized. In many cases, the role was less visible because brokers were often university personnel. The PDS brokers in the story of writing instruction reform generated alignment by connecting school initiatives with university human resources, which
148 shifted PDS structures by increasing the numbe r of participants focused on improving writing instruction. The coach The coach in the writing reform was respons ible for shifting how professional learning resources were integrated into PDS work. A co ach is an individual w ho provides instructional support for PDS participants. Coaches often use modeling, observation and dialogue with participants as an instru ctional tool to s upport participants in refining their instructional practice. As the PDS moved forward, many part icipants who served as brokers shifted into coaching roles. At the same time, the meaning attributed to the ro le of coach also shifted as a result of the PDS focus on writing. In the beginning of the PDS, primarily classroom mentor teachers and university supervisors fulfilled the role of coach for prospective teachers. However, the school improvement focus on writing instruction provi ded an entry point for university faculty, prospective teachers, and school administrators to shift into active coaching roles as well. In the very beginning of the writing improveme nt initiative, university faculty held a significant coaching role. Fiona se rved as the primary writing coach for practicing teachers and school administrators. Fiona coached teachers an d Christy James, the school CRT, during on-site visits and Regan, during graduate seminar cour sework. Christy James described her coaching experience with Fiona: I was telling her what I was doing and she wa s giving me ideas. I said why don't I do it for you, and you could help me. Then I'll go into the classrooms and take it in there. So I got my stuff together and she'd come in here and sit and I'd teach some lessons from the beginning to the end. She gave me good feedb ack and I kind of refined some areas and it was very valuable to me. I learned that I was on the right track af ter 20 years of doing it and so it instilled some confidence in me. I l earned just how to tweak it here and refine it there and go from where I was to a higher level. (Christy 35017,36205) Fionas coaching boosted Christys confidence a nd helped her refine her writing instruction. Later, Christy brought her newly refined skills into the classroom where she then coached in-
149 service teachers. In this example, the PDS provided pr ofessional development for school administrators through instructiona l coaching from university faculty. As the story of writing reform at Country Way unfolded, school leadership served as writing coaches for teachers at multiple points. Regan, the principal, and Christy James, the Curriculum Resource Teacher, held significant coaching roles by provi ding professional development for in-service teachers. Regans coac hing role took place in the form of facilitation through online book studies, and on a few occasio ns she also modeled writing lessons in classrooms. Christys coaching role was on-going and consistent across multiple K-2 classrooms. Christys entry point into the co aching role was enabled by her sh ift from Reading Coach to the CRT position in the Fall of 2005. Christy describes her coaching experience with Anna Kates, a reluctant second grade teacher: I went in there. Anna was crying and so I humbled myself and crie d along with her and said, You know what, Regan has asked us to do this. I have never done it before. I don't know whether I can do it or not. I have never ha d a literary tea with another person's class. But, you know what? I am going to give it my be st shot and all you have to do is sit at the desk with the kids. I am going to give you a li ttle desk right here and your chair and every thing I ask the kids to do I want you to do it too. Anna called me at home one night after that and said Christy, I just don't know about this, and she was upset. I said, Anna, you know what, all we can do is try it. I said, Just try it, it will be fun. So I went in there the first day and oh my gosh it was so much fun. She had a ball and she relaxed and she did exactly what I asked her to do. So everyda y I would go in there and we would do the writer's workshop and she'd sit in the chair a nd she'd do exactly what I asked the students to do. When I got to Roald Dahl's rhyming version of Little Red Riding Hood my mini lesson was using words that rhyme and then th ey were to write. She wrote in 45 minutes a rhyming version of Little Red Riding Hood that made my mouth fall open. I could not believe it and she came up and read it in th e microphone during our sharing time. Then I asked her to read it in a faculty meeting. I t ook the microphone in there and I said, I have been doing writer's workshop in Annas room a nd today we did a rhyming version of Little Red Riding Hood and this is her rhyming vers ion. Anna got up in front of the faculty meeting and she read it and she began to ch ange, her whole persona changed after that. (Christy 35017,36205) What is notable in this example is how Christ y coached a very reluctan t teacher. By taking the reigns as the writing teacher in Annas classroom, Christy coached Anna by modeling multiple
150 lessons within Annas classroom. In this case, Anna did not simply obser ve Christy but rather participated in all aspects of the lesson, wh ich built her confidence as a writer and a writing teacher. In this example, Christys responsibility as a coach required her to first attend to Annas emotional response to her presen ce by building a trusting relations hip before she began modeling and engaging Anna in writing lessons in the classroom. Although A nna entered into the coaching work with Christy with reluctance, over time she gained confidence and became motivated to learn more, write with her students, and share her learning with peers. This example demonstrates how PDS participant roles and re sponsibilities are often directly linked to relationships. In some cases, university graduate students coached prospective and practicing teachers, while in other cases, prospective teachers coached in-service teachers. As university graduate students, Gabrielle Aires and Je ssica Perry participated in the on-going coaching of a couple of practicing teachers and multiple prospective teachers within the site. Gabrielles entry point for coaching was tied primarily to her role as a unive rsity supervisor, while Jessicas entry point for coaching was tied to her role as a graduate student and res earcher. For university doctoral students, the coach role was tied intricately to their own inquiries as they worked with prospective teachers and practic ing teachers to improve writing pedagogy. As a result of university students coaching role being intricately linked to i nquiry through praxis, specific examples will be discussed in detail within Claim Three. The role of the coach shifted PDS struct ures by providing jobembedded professional learning opportunities for school l eaders, in-service teachers, and university students at Country Way Elementary. PDS coaches shifted the prof essional learning practic es of educators by infusing much needed research-based knowledge about writing instru ction into the school
151 culture. Fiona provided coaching for administra tive team members, graduate students and practicing teachers. While at the same time, gr aduate students and administrative team members provided coaching for practicing te achers and prospective teachers. As PDS participants shifted into the role of coach, they generated camarad erie and relationships and in turn prompted dialogue, observation, and modeling of writing instruction. What makes understanding the coaching role challenging is that the role of th e coach is simultaneously linked in most cases to the role of the learner. The learner In the writing instruction reform the learner wa s responsible for shifts in educator beliefs and classroom practices. The role of learner underpins the premis e of the PDS movement and is the most visible role in Country Way Elementa ry PDS classrooms. A l earner is an individual who is influenced by the teachings of another PDS participant. Prospective teachers held the initial role of learner when the PDS began. As a result of the inquiry-oriented focus on writing instruction, learning beca me a responsibility for all PDS participants. As the writing reform movement gained momentum, school based administ rators, university graduate students, some practicing teachers, and prospective teachers de veloped new understandings/skills that helped them refine writing instructional practices. Th e CRT, some teachers, and prospective teachers learned through the applied coaching work, while the principal, graduate students, and other teachers learned through more formal struct ures such as coursework, writing committee meetings, and book studies. During the writing reform movement, the PDS became a place where prospective teachers, practicing teachers, uni versity faculty, university graduate students, school administrators, and child ren simultaneously learned toge ther. PDS participants took on learning as both a role and responsibility due to increased human resources available, which facilitated a shift in the schools learning culture.
152 At the onset of the partnership, Regan con ceptualized the PDS as a vehicle to shift professional learning by positioning prospective and practicing teachers in classrooms to learn together. Regan describes how she conceptualizes the role of the learner within the PDS, we can learn from them; they can bring new ideas to us (Regan 357,410). While a few classroom mentor teachers embraced the fusion of the coach and learner role from the onset, it wasnt until the school improvement focus on writi ng that dual roles became more prominent. Most importantly, PDS participants describe the principal as the head learner in the school (Barth, 1990). As the leader of the writing re form, Regan describes the importance of learning for herself and her school, I started back to school and we encouraged other people to start goi ng back to school, so there was this whole discussion about learning more, being the teachers of the pre-service teachers, and all studying together. When we did the book study, I was learning right along with them. I readily admitted up front to th em that I was no writing teacher and didn't know how to teach writing, and I felt like I needed to learn as much as they did so that I could help lead in that di rection and know what they need when I am watching their classroom. I have always tried to do that. I thi nk that is important to show teachers that I can learn this just like they can and that I wouldn't put e xpectations on them that I don't have on myself. I think that the whole focus is on our learning because we are learning from the pre-interns, too. (Regan 24748,25928) Regan led by example during the writing reform movement, learning abou t writing instruction from university faculty along side her teachers, ot her graduate students, a nd prospective teachers. Regan also describes how her own professi onal learning through university coursework influenced her understanding of writing instructio n. She states, The class I took with Fiona and that class coming to the school once a month and those people walking through my classrooms with me looking at writing, ta lking to teachers about writing, and then that class coming back and we were studying the theory of writing and looking at lots of resear ch and then applying it to wh at we were seeing in our classrooms. (Regan 6755,7434) As the head learner, Regan searched for support with school improvement by bringing resources into the school through university faculty and prospectiv e teachers while also seeking
153 out opportunities to continue he r own professional learning thr ough university coursework. As a learner, the schools principal m odeled a learning disposition a nd participated in professional development activities to improve her own content knowledge. In-service teachers were positioned as the primary learners in the beginning of the writing reform initiative. A few practicing teachers embraced the opportunity to learn from university faculty, while others resisted learning new id eas while participating in the writing committee. Christy James explains the teacher s hesitation in the beginning: I think it was just stubbornness or hitting the wall. You know, I've done this for twenty years and it has worked for 20 years, why do I have to change it now? That kind of attitude. (Christy 46477,47130) Christy attributes teachers resistance to a lack of willingness to change their practices. Although, Christy recognized that many of these teachers eventually came around because of the multiple learning opportunities available. While some of the in-service teachers learned from coaching, others participated in workshops led by the Christy, while still others were coached by graduate students within thei r own classrooms, and a couple even learned from prospective teachers. As indicated, the PDS provided multiple av enues to professional learning. Christy describes one example of a practicing teacher learning from her full time intern: Wendi was out here, in a sec ond grade classroom and she kind of trained the teacher that she was working with and that was an invaluab le experience for that teacher. That is a good teacher who learns from the people they are around and always open to learn whether it is an intern or one of their own students. Youre always willing to grow and mature and listen to other people. (Christy 39248,39414) Similarly to how Regan modeled her own willingne ss to learn, this example describes how some practicing teachers also displayed a willingness to learn from others as well. While some teachers were hesitant learners in the beginning, they eventually came around and embraced the
154 opportunity to learn from other PDS participants Again, the PDS provided multiple entry points to learning and flexibility for all participants. Multiple participants, such as university personnel, school-based administrators, teachers, and prospective teachers, embraced the learner role by participating in various professional learning opportunities. Although some teachers initia lly resisted the learne r role, the influx of learning resources helped them shift into th is role over time. The PDS influenced the professional learning culture by shifting the numbe r of professionals learning within Country Way Elementary. Over time there was a shift aw ay from consultant-led learning opportunities toward more PDS supported embedded learning o pportunities. The examples shared in Claim One illustrate how PDS participants embraced ne w roles and responsibilities as part of the writing instruction reform. The l earning culture for educators shif ted as brokers, coaches, and learners simultaneously focused on a common focus, to improve writing instruction. These PDS participants modeled learning a nd instruction, as well as connected human resources to support educator learning by accessing multiple entry points. Claim 2: Shifted Participant Relationships The school improvem ent focus on writing instruct ion shifted PDS participant relationships at Country Way Elementary. Claim Two speci fically explores how the PDS enabled new collaborative structures, which in turn influen ced participant relationships. Within Claim Two relationship shifts were influenced by two specifi c concepts. First, the collaborative site-based professional development generated collaboration between univer sity-based and school-based participants, which was an influential outcome of the writing reform movement. The second concept revealed that pa rticipants viewed a connection betw een personnel continuity and trusting relationships. The school improvement focus on writing generated collaboration between
155 university-based and sch ool-based partners. However the pe rceived success of the collaboration was influenced by personnel continu ity and trusting relationships. Collaboration across partners Country W ays inquiry-oriented approach to writing reform generated new levels of collaboration between university-based educators, school administrators, and school-based educators through site-based professional developmen t. Collaboration is defined as the act of working together with one or more people in order to achieve something (Encarta World English Dictionary, 1999). Collaboration in the story of writing reform held diverse outcomes for participants. Prior to Country Ways focus on writing reform, teacher professional development was not an explicit component of PDS activiti es. The writing reform movement provided an important common mission for participants to enhance writing instruction. The common mission shifted collaborative structures by infusing university faculty a nd supervisors into the PDS to collaborate with school leadership, teachers, and prospective teachers to support a specific sitebased need. University personnel and school-based educators developed new relationships as they collaboratively engaged in multiple professional learning activities focused on improving writing instruction at Country Way Elementary. The collaboration resulting from Country Way s writing reform generated camaraderie and relationships for many participants, however fo r other participants the new collaborative structures generated dissonance. Site-based professional developmen t activities generated collaboration for PDS participants at multiple le vels. University faculty, school leadership, one university supervisor, and in-service teachers colla borated to improve writing instruction through professional development activities. For so me PDS participants, collaboration between participants came in the form of individual and/or shared inquiry, while for others collaboration took the form of active in-class work through coaching. In many cases, the school principal
156 initiated formalized inquiry groups, whereas indi vidual inquiries were in itiated by prospective teachers, practicing teachers, and university gr aduate students, which supported collaboration with other PDS participants. The inquiry-oriented school improvement focus on writing prompted new levels of collaboration between university personnel and sc hool personnel. Prior to the writing reform, university faculty members had not engaged in a systematic effort to support school improvement at Country Way Elementary. In the beginning, collabora tion unfolded almost exclusively between university f aculty and the school principal. Fiona Denlin describes how her collaboration with Country Way initially began with Regan Lundsford, the schools principal: Before I started my work, I went in the summer to talk to the principal first. I said that I needed everyday writing time before I go in to help because if you don't guarantee 45 minutes a day for writing, there is no point to talk about writing because you don't have time to teach writing. Also, the choice, this is to guarantee conditions. Students have to write everyday for 45 minutes and the students have to have choice, not just give prompts because I don't want them to write with the format. What I said is choice is the freewriting, and for 45 minutes. Rega n was kind of hesitant, she thought '45 minutes too long, it's impossible, and our teachers cannot talk ab out writing for 45 minutes. By that time I understood when I said 45 minutes, she thinks about teachers talking about writing for 45 minutes, not just 45 minutes focused on writing. So I said once students really write 45 minutes, it's not long at all. Regan did do that, but I think she started with 35 minutes. Then after they have the time in place, the firs t time I walked in was September. (Fiona 1736,2990) Fiona describes how collaboration with the PDS principal fostered dialogue and observation in Country Way classrooms which helped her be tter understand the perspectives of writing instruction within the context and provided he r with access to classrooms. Fiona collaborated with the principal to negotiate instructional cond itions to facilitate the sc hools writing goals and frame future professional developm ent activities. In this example, the inquiry-oriented approach to school improvement fostered collaborat ion between university faculty and school administrators prior to any co llaboration between uni versity faculty and PDS teachers. Thus, collaboration and dialogue betw een university faculty and the PDS principal established the
157 pragmatics and parameters of future professiona l development activities and provided an entry point for university faculty. As the writing reform moved forward, colla boration emerged between university faculty, school leadership, university supervisors, a nd teachers. The writing committee provided the shared space for multiple educators to engage in conversations about writing instruction. In the beginning, the writing committee generated dissonance for many teachers, while the shared space generated new relationships between univers ity faculty, school leadership, and university supervisors. As Fiona began visiting Country Way Elementary, she established camaraderie and relationships with other school leaders. Christy James, the schools CRT, describes how her relationship with Fiona developed: Well, she [Fiona] came out here, I took her to Backyard BBQ and I fell in love with her. We had the best time. We had so much in co mmon, and so then we were just talking and I'm like I was telling her what I do in write r's workshop. What I had done for years and how we did it, and how I learned from the t eachers on my team. And, they'd come in my classroom and teach lessons, and then I'd go in to the next one and teach a lesson, kind of critiqued each other, and sh e loved that. (Christy 35017,36205) Christy describes experiencing an immediate connection with Fiona which led to a relationship that continued for many years. Christys relati onship with Fiona generated new opportunities for Christys own professional develo pment through coaching, and it also gave Christy and Regan access to collaboratively present with Fiona at na tional and state level conferences. This example illustrates how meaningful and positive relationshi ps were established between university faculty and school leadership as a resu lt of Country Ways inquiry-oriented approach to school improvement. However, although Fiona establishe d camaraderie and relationships with school leadership, her professional development activities with teachers at times began with different results.
158 Fiona collaborated with Country Way Elemen tary in-service teachers through classroom observations and the writing committee. In September 2005, Fiona began visiting classrooms during the school day to observe writing inst ruction and after school she led the writing committee. They have me observe a few classrooms to s ee what I feel about th e writing. Then after that I went to the first writing committee becau se then I realized what they need. (Fiona 3025,3226) She describes what she observed when she began observing classrooms in the beginning, I see the teachers really do teach. I saw the Kindergarten and I saw several fourth grade levels. I saw a very structured way of teachi ng. Teachers are not comfortable to really let the students write. Very, very structured and also at lower grades it's very skill based and for the Kindergarten is based on the sound they learned. So the kids basically drew a picture and then write that sound. It's very controlled, so that's why when I started to go to the committee I talked about time guarant eed, choice, and length. (Fiona 3298,3881) In these examples, Fiona describes how her observation of classrooms helped her identify instructional needs in writing, which she in turn used to frame the focus of the writing committee work. Her classroom observations and writing committee work establis hed the foundation for Fionas collaboration with PDS teachers. Although Fionas colla boration began with the school principal, classroom observations and writing co mmittee meetings helped Fiona gain access to classrooms where she began collabor ating with practicing teachers. Professional development activities in the wr iting committee fostered collaboration that generated dissonance for teachers. In the beginn ing of the writing reform movement, multiple participants described experiencing tensions during the initial writing committee meeting. One fourth grade teacher specifically recalls her r eaction during the first writing committee meeting: There were tensions felt among the staff that were present at that meeting because Fiona would give suggestions and perhaps in the de livery of her suggestions she made people feel like what they were doing was not ad equate or was inco rrect (Carol, 16115,16356). I don't know if it was a pride problem. I don't real ly know. I think some of us just got our dander up by some of the things she said. I defi nitely got over that and I wanted to listen to what she had to say. (Carol 16377,17225)
159 Carol describes how her pride caused initial feelings of diss onance when Fiona began making suggestions in the writing committee. However, over time Carol was able to become receptive to Fionas insight because she wanted to learn from her expertise. Participants commonly described initial tensions that t ook time to get over as an outcome of the new collaborative structures of the writing committee. While all participants recall tensions in the beginning writing committee meetings, there is a lack of agreement among participants as to th e source of the tension. Wh ile some participants attribute the tension as teacher resistance or a problem with pride, a few attribute tension to their perceptions of the delivery of suggestions or conflict with other writing agendas at work within the school. In an email after the firs t writing committee meeting, Fiona describes her insight into the tensions felt in the first meeting: From my own observation and what Regan and Ch risty shared with me, I could tell from the audience their hesitance, c onfusion, and some resistance. But this is very natural at the beginning stage. And Regan should have a m eeting and present her stance. Without her firm support, it is hard to achieve any goals. And also, we should le t the teachers choose their path, but not force them to do what they dont believe. (Excerpt from Fionas email 10-6-05) Consistent with the literatur e on teacher professional develo pment (Putnam & Borko, 2000; Richardson, 2003), Fiona described th e tensions experienced by participants as a natural part of professional development. However, she also su ggests the need for Regan to reduce the tension by clarifying her stance on the multiple approaches to writing instruction at work within the site. As the writing reform continued, participants describe that tensions lessened for most teachers. Overall, the writing committee provided the time that enabled school leadership and university supervisors to generate camaraderie and new relationships, which later led to more professional development opportunities for in-service teachers.
160 Continuity and trust In the inquiry-orien tated writing reform PD S at Country Way Elementary, participant relationships and continuity of key personnel were important and interconnected. One aspect of the writing reform story where consensus is not clear is the causal outco me of continuity and relationships in the PDS. While some educators su ggest that a lack of re lationships inhibited the continuity, other suggests that the lack of continuity i nhibited relationships In some cases, longterm relationships enabled continuous profession al activities between PDS educators, while in other cases relationships and continuity were part of a negative cycle of influence. The largest example of collaboration at Country Way was th e writing committee, which sustained focus and continuity over one year. While educators may not agree on the causal links of continuity, they do agree that time to establish relationships influe nces continuity and is a critical component to support on-going professional development in a PDS. Time to develop relationships is a key com ponent to PDS continuity. Fiona and Regan echo common experiences about the lack of relationships devel oped with in-service teachers during the writing reform movement Fiona describes how a lack of time with teachers during the writing committee was a dilemma in establishing relationships. She states: The committee there was just not enough time. You have an hour; you observe the classroom then on to the committee work and talk and ...I don't think I built enough partnership with the teachers, but I was very happy with the principal and the CRT. We [CRT and Fiona} talk a lot and we sit in the room and she would go with teachers and we go out for lunch. So I have this relationship w ith her. But teachers, you just don't have this because they are always with kids and you don't have this time to just talk about teaching that much. I think that's a missing li nk with the teachers. (Fiona 18100,18547). Fiona feels that the time needed to develop relationships with t eachers was not sufficient. Fiona describes one challenge was that school structures did not allow her to have access to just talk with teachers in order to bu ild relationships. However, Regans perspective provides deeper implications for the lack of relationships deve loped between Fiona and the teachers. She states:
161 When they [university faculty] come thr ough the room once in a blue moon and they question something, unless they have a relations hip with the person, it is questioned. There were people who didn't want to have Fiona back to the writing committee because it was like, she showed up and she questioned things instead of building a relationship. (Regan 10274,10630) As the school principal, Regan describes how the lack of rela tionships between Fiona and the teachers caused dissonance, which threatened the c ontinuity of Fionas work in the PDS. While both Fiona and Regan recognize the importance of building relationships, they have differing perspectives about how the lack of relationships influenced continued work in the Country Way PDS. The story of writing reform illustrates how a lack of relationships inhibited in-service teachers willingness to accept the e xpertise of university faculty and also threatened continuity for university personnel. Although this example il lustrates how a lack of relationships can generate dissonance among PDS participants, it also illustrates how positive collaborative relationships developed between university facult y and the school leadership team provided new learning opportunities for the principal and the CRT which later influenced in-service teachers learning. On the other hand, the la ck of continuity during the writing initiative prohibited long term opportunities to deepen relationships with teachers. The school improvement focus on writing re form provided an intense focus for professional learning for a one-yea r period of time, which enabled some relationships to emerge. University faculty member, Fiona Denlin, and C ountry principal, Regan Lundsford, also have differing opinions regarding the effectiveness of the schools approach to school improvement. From Fionas perspective, an intensive one -year focus on writing in struction was not enough. She states: You know to continue, the continuity is the key. Everything takes th ree years, the best would be five years when you're phasing out and still continue something. Three years intensive is the key. But I think every time you start, you move on too fast. The models move on too fast, almost like I think that's the situation. Yeah probably with some other partnerships it's like this, it's move on-get done -go to another one. You know the structure
162 should be for three to five years. That's what I believe. You know, st art to build up and the teachers feel that part you know. Almost like if you want to establish partner school let the school feel their partnership, and with partnership every teac her feels partnership, instead of just principal feel pa rtnership. I think the partnership is fe lt at that leadership level, not at the grassroots level. (Fiona 22277,23350) Fiona feels that continuity is the key and that a three-year intensive focus would be a minimum for collaborative partnerships to emerge between faculty and in-service teachers. Country Ways intensive one-year focus on writing reform provide d powerful collaborative structures to emerge between university and school partners. However, th e writing reform lacked a sustained intensive focus, which inhibited continuity and further re lationship building between university faculty and teachers. Interestingly, the short-term focus shif ted not as a result of the dissonance, but because of the onset of the inclusion initiative which em erged as school and district attention refocused on the next years high stakes data that needed attention. This movement from one focus to another is a frequent outcome of the accountabilit y movement in Florida, often because progress is measured primarily on performance outcomes from standardized assessment scores. Regardless of any dissonance generated, this inquiry-oriented school improvement focus on writing provided an important and precedent-se tting entry point for collaboration between university and school-based educators with a content area focus. To this point, this authentic collaboration was atypical for the PDS network and not a characterist ic of the town/gown relationship between the school/university partne rs. Prior to the writing committee, school administrators, university faculty, university supervisor s, and in-service teachers never met as a group to discuss instructional content. The writing committee generated camaraderie and relationships for university faculty, university supervisors, and school administrators, which enabled a shift in professional learning for the sc hool leadership team and university supervisors. The writing committee generated relational dissonance for many in-service teachers in the beginning, but Fionas active engagement as a collaborative partner benefited learning for
163 willing teachers, while resistan t teachers sought out altern ative professional learning opportunities. In many ways, teache rs relational dissonance prompted participation in additional learning activities, some of which were supporte d by other PDS participants while others were district or consultant led. Claim 3: Shifted Educator Learnin g Through Praxis The school improvement focus on writing in struction shifted educator learning by providing opportunities for the fusi on of theory, research, and in structional practices in the Country Way PDS. Praxis is defined as a r ecurring passage through a cyclical process of experiential learning (Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praxis_(process) on Septem ber 15, 2008). Claim Three specifically explores how new PDS structures and relationships enabled educators to generate new theoretical and pract ical knowledge about instructional writing practices through active engagement. Two sub-concepts within Claim Three describe specifically how participants learning was influenced through praxis. First, embedded professional development provided opportunities for edu cators to gain new knowledge while they also considered their be liefs and practices. Next inquiry and coaching provided opportunities for some ed ucators to go a step further to generate theory and practice connections. The primary overarching professional learning practice educators describe is a shift toward more inquiry-oriented practices within PDS supported activities. In essence, learning by doing and reflecting upon the process enabled edu cators at multiple levels to generate new knowledge. Writing committee meetings, online book studies, on-site undergraduate/graduate seminars, in-class coaching, and inquiry projects were professional lear ning tools utilized by PDS participants to generate new understandings about writing instruction. Outside of the PDS, faculty in-service trainings, writi ng plan development, and faculty meetings were used to help participants learn about writing instruction. For some PDS participants, inquiry generated
164 ownership and responsibility for new knowledge a nd instructional practices, while for others coaching shifted educators knowledge, beliefs, and practices. Together inquiry and coaching provided PDS educators with the t ools for educators to generate th eory to practice connections, which for participating educators ultimately led to shifts in instructional practice. Knowledge, beliefs, and practices Som e PDS educators shifted their knowledge, beliefs, and practices through embedded professional development activities. Some educators participated in i ndividual and/or shared inquiry, other educators particip ated in discourse communities, and a few educators engaged in coaching with other PDS participants. The PDS supported multiple entry points for educators to gain new knowledge and explore ne w practices, which for many led to shifts in beliefs about writing instruction. The writing committee and online book studies began as a space for educators to gather and share info rmation, but over time shifted to require participan ts to actively engage in class work. Writing committee meetings were the first formal PDS efforts to generate a shared vision for writing instruction through collaborative inquiry. The writing committee engaged school leaders, in-service teachers, the PDS coordinato r, university graduate students, and university faculty in a shared inquiry around writing instru ction. Fiona describes th e work of the writing committee in the beginning: When I start to give the committee I talk about time guaranteed, choice, and length. They have to write longer, so what I said 'okay le t students write longer. Only when they write longer then we can work on to write better. If they couldn't write longer, they couldn't write better'. So that's what I explained to what they must and then what is the next step in how to help. (Fiona 3299,4175) Fiona describes how she primarily led the fi rst writing committee m eeting, but subsequent committee meetings focused on teachers talking and sharing student work while the group and Fiona shared feedback. Fiona describes how committee meetings shifted over time:
165 I think the change is when you look at a student 's work and help them to how to look at what need to teach from looking at the student's work. You know. I see some [teachers] want to progress, some you know. (Fiona 4277,4922). Fiona suggests that looking at student work helps willing teachers determine students instructional needs. The writing committee require d participants to actively engage in the learning process by promoting cl assroom action and examining student work as part of committee work. While some educators engage d actively in producti ve dialogue, others continued to defend their practi ce and were not open to making adaptations to their writing instruction. Most importantly, the committee pr ovided a space for university and school educators to discuss and generate sugg estions for improving writing instruction. Similar to the writing committee, the onlin e book study allowed educators the opportunity to study the theoretical underpinnings of wr iting instruction. For many, the book study shifted educators beliefs about teaching writing by cau sing them to question the relationship between the expectations and goals promoted by curricu lum materials and assessments. For others, it shifted their practices, particularly when action was promoted as part of participation as with the Donald Graves book study. Fiona explains how th is shift relates to th e work of educators, I think it helped the teachers to reflect themselves as writ ers and also about connecting their writing experience with te aching. I think that might help the most and also the other help is reading a book really helped the t eachers as professionals instead of just technicians. (Fiona 15000,15280) The online book studies provided visible forums for reflection and dialogue by enabling all educators equal access as participants, but it al so provided great sources for documentation that captured studying the learning outc omes for participants. While not all participants chose to participate through posting their reflections, many e ducators were able to ac cess the site and read the reflections of others enabling them to vi rtually learn from others. For many educators, dissonance emerged as their beliefs were contradi cted in the texts and they reflected upon the
166 process. The dissonance eventually prompted them to take action. One first grade teacher describes the nature of the dissonance: I agree with Julie about being pulled in 2 different directions in teaching writing. Just coming back from the 1st grade conference toni ght we were all talking about how we are expecting our students to do too much with the expository & narrative writing formats in the early grades and they don't have much tim e / freedom to write anything and everything. We are not allowing them explore writing as mu ch as we could because we have to teach them to write a formatted 6 sentence exposito ry and narrative and so many other small details. (Katherine, blog entry) For this particular teacher, dissonance prompted action to make instru ctional changes and study how students writing shifted as a result. Therefore, praxis enabled many teachers to explore theory in their practice by connecting their writing committee work and professional book study with inquiry into their own teaching of writing. Theory to practice connections Inquiry and coaching also served as powerful t ools to help prospectiv e teachers, graduate students, an d a few teachers generate theory an d practice connections. For prospective teachers, inquiry was often a way to generate theory to practice connections while integrating best practices into placement classrooms. Practici ng teachers, prospective teachers, and their coaches describe coaching as one form of praxis that shifted educators knowledge and beliefs about writing instruction. Coaching was also a form of praxis that deepened or shifted beliefs for coaches and educators alike, thus providing th eory to practice connections for multiple groups. For practicing teachers, coaching helped them ga in additional support with areas where they felt less confident, as discussed in Christys coach ing example within Claim One. In another example, Gabrielle coached one teacher partic ipating in the book study and writing committee. The teacher also served as a mentor for pros pective teachers and was interested in improving mini-lessons in her classroom. In one book study blog entry, a teacher de scribes the focus and impact of coaching in her classroom:
167 My writing mini lessons are in the baby stages right now. I was never very sure of how to do them or what they looked like. Gabrielle is coaching me through the next few weeks as I learn how to do them. I have learned that you really cannot go by a curriculum found in a book. You have to know what your students wea knesses are and then create a mini lesson to address that need. And it may be a mini lesson for a small part of your authors (Book study blog excerpt, GB). This excerpt provides insight into how coach ing and inquiry helped one teacher build connections between theory and practice. This example illustrates how coaching helped one willing educator gain new skills as her knowledge base deepened and her beliefs began to shift because she was engaged in multiple learning oppor tunities. This example also provides some insight into how a mentor teache r and her prospective teachers can learn togeth er to improve mini-lessons with the support of a coach. However, coaching also provided theory to practice connections for Gabrielle to learn through co aching. As a coach, Gabrielle learned how to simultaneously coach prospective teachers and in-service teachers within the same classroom. She realized that coaching prospective teachers provided learning opportunities for the in-service teacher through modeling and shared reflection (G abrielle Inquiry Paper, Spring 2006). Thus, coaching provided theory and practice connections for in-service teachers, prospective teachers, and doctoral students. In Fall 2006, doctoral student Jessica Perry coached prospective teachers in writing instruction as part of a supervis ed research project. Using coachi ng as a form of inquiry, Jessica formed new opinions and beliefs about the role of methods coursework and field placements in teacher preparation. She states: The Language Arts Methods cla ss trains the studen t teachers to be excellent writing instructors by giving them a personal expe rience of writing proce ss and teaching them about writers workshop. If they do not have th e chance to see how this is put into practice, how it is managed, how students progress and ar e evaluated, then we can not expect that many of them will be able to teach in this way themselves when they have their own classrooms. (Jessica paper excerpt Fall 2006)
168 Through actively engaging in coaching as a form of praxis, Jessica experienced one of the greatest challenges facing teacher educators, the importance of connecting knowledge with practice. Although Jessica was disappointed in th e disconnect in some placement classrooms, she discovered the challenges that beginning educat ors face when striving to enact theory and practice in real classrooms. In this case, the PDS provided a doctoral stud ent an opportunity to connect theory and practice, while also developing new beliefs and skills as a prospective teacher educator through coaching and inquiry. Therefore, writing instruction co aching was a form of inquiry for PDS graduate students to support both in-service and pr ospective educators. Country Ways writing improvement focus shifted the practices of undergraduate and graduate PDS participants through on-site seminars. While undergraduate students had participated in on-site seminars in the past, the schools focus on improving writing prompted the alignment of undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in literacy. Undergraduate prospective teachers specializing in literacy met once a week on-site to discuss various aspects of teaching, enact a writing lesson, and develop lite racy focused inquiry projects within their placement classrooms as a result of the school im provement focus on writing. At the same time, graduate students met on-site once a month to observe classrooms and discuss the theory and practice of writing instruction, and some graduate students c onducted in-class research. Some graduate students conducted th eir inquiries primaril y with in-service teachers, while others conducted their inquiries in PD S classrooms where teachers and prospective teachers learned together. The presence of on-site seminars for both undergraduate and graduate students at the university shifted the practices of university coursework by inte grating it into the schools improvement focus while also providing a wealth of documentation for the school in the process. A total of twelve inquiry papers focused on wr iting instruction were developed by undergraduate
169 and graduate students during Spring 2006 due to the alignment of school focus and university coursework. Thus, theory to practice connections generated by university students were enabled through PDS engagement because coursework was aligned with the school improvement focus. Graduate and undergraduate students shifte d their knowledge and understandings about teaching writing through the process of actively engaging in the act of teaching and inquiry. Inservice teachers and school administrators also gained new knowledge, beliefs, and practices through inquiry and job-embedded professional development in writing instruction. Jobembedded professional development and on-site uni versity coursework provided an opportunity for participants to expand their own expertise and generate new understa ndings about the theory and practice of writing in struction. Thus, praxis became a ke y activity to help educators at multiple levels expand their writing expertise. Claim 4: Shifted Student Performance The school improvem ent focus on writing reform shifted student-writing performance. Claim Four explores how the writing refo rm influenced student performance on both standardized and non-standardized measures. More spec ifically, Claim Four discusses how the writing reform helped increase student motivation and student writing volume, but it also discusses a dilemma that emerged with using sta ndardized assessments as a primary indicator of student performance. PDS participants describe positive shifts in student performance during the 2005-2006 school year when the Country Way PD S focused intensive resources on writing instruction reform. Standardized assessment da ta from the Florida Writes Assessment showed huge improvements in the first year of the refo rm, followed by a downward trend in outcomes in subsequent years. However, multiple participants describe an increase in students motivation for writing and students writing volume as significant shifts in student performance resulting from the writing reform.
170 Motivation and writing volume PDS writing initiatives f acilitated shifts in student motivation for writing and increased students writing volume. The writing reform in the Country Way PDS provided specific conditions for writing instruc tion that had previously b een absent. Based on Fionas recommendation, guaranteed time for writing provided the framework for other improvements to emerge. She states: First the writing is guaranteed in every clas sroom, time is guaranteed and also and they do spend more time on writing at every grade leve l. I think for the first year that's enough. That is enough. If continued there would be more. (Fiona 4595,4776) As Fiona suggests in this example, there was a la pse in continuity and intense focus in the PDS writing reform. Yet while a one-year intense focus enabled first year goals to be met, schoolwide development was inhibited due to a lack of continuity. However, some PDS participants suggest that they continued their work in small ways in individual classrooms. These participants suggest that the progress they sa w over time related to students writing volume. Christy recalls: I see a lot more writing on the paper, and I know that when we first started this the teachers would have a little shape like a president's head or the child's head and they were to do their writing sample in that little head, now the kids are writing way outside of the head. We are not using that anymore they have severa l pages of paper, so the quantity of writing has changed, the quality of writing has changed, the enthusiasm for writing. If I walk through the halls the kids are begging for me to come in their classrooms and do writing with them. (Christy 47211,47760) Christy suggests that increased attention on writing instruction has improved both the quantity and quality of students writing. She also recalls, how her visits in individual primary grade classrooms show that over time the writi ng reform has proven successful. She states: I went in and I did my little mini-lesson and then the kids wrote during the time they were to write it and then they cam e up into the microphone and they read what they had and it was just unbelievable. I think everybody's mouths just flew open that those kids were such good writers and that they could put words together to fit the way they did. I remember, it was just a light bulb moment for me to know that what we had been doing in the school in the past three years in writing was paying off because it was the beginning of the year in second grade and when I went in there and taught that lesson and then had them write it
171 was just an aha moment for all of us in there because I think that the intern and the teacher and Ivey, none of us could believe what those kids had written. (Christy 32671,33620) Christy recalls a moment in Fall 2007, three years after the focus on enhancing writing instruction began, when observable differences in students writing abilities emerged in one second grade classroom. Multiple PDS participants were present to observe students writing abilities and see how shifts in wr iting instruction had paid off, of ten in ways that standardized assessments were not designed to capture and in grade levels that are not assessed. Multiple PDS in-service teachers echo Christ ys observation about how the PDS focus on writing reform increased student writing volum e and students motivation to write by changing instructional practices. Although school-wide progress may not have appeared evident due to a lapse in focus, significant progress was achieved in primary grade classrooms. However, the primary dilemma that emerged was how to position intermediate grade (i.e. 3-5) educators within the writing reform when high stakes accountability demands place intense pressure to increase student performance in writing in fourth grade. In Spring 2006, 4 out of 12 intermediate grade teachers participated in PDS supported pr ofessional learning opportu nities. In most cases, intermediate grade teachers participated in consultant-led learning workshops rather than PDS supported learning activities. PDS participants continued to observe shifts in motivation and writing quantity several years after the reform began. However, because most positive instructional shifts were achieved in primary grade classrooms, partic ipants suggest that true improvement results may not be evident for many years if fourth gr ade FCAT results are the only measure by which effectiveness is determined. Assessing progress The school improvement focus on writing instru ction shifted student performance on the FCAT Florida Writes Assessment. However, assessing student progress toward PDS writing
172 reform goals was more complex than simply examining standardized assessment scores. Standardized assessment data indicated that students writing performance shifted over time (Table 6-1). Specifically, students scoring at level 3.5 or above, which is considered a passing rate, increased from 62% to 80% after the firs t year of the writing reform initiative. In the following two years, scores gradually shifted downward to 78% in 2007 and then to 61% in 2008. The intensive focus on writing reform o ccurred during the 2005-2006 school year, and gradually decreased during subsequent years. Although, PDS participants do not agree on what caused extreme shifts in student performance on standardized writing asse ssments in the Country Way PDS, some participants attr ibute an 18% shift in student wr iting performance in one year to focused professional development, while others attribute the shift specifically to a group of talented writers. Participant interviews provide deeper insight into the shifts in st udent performance and helped raise new questions about the utility of sta ndardized assessments for evaluating the success of the writing reform initiative. Principal Re gan Lundsford attributed significant shifts in student creative writing abilitie s to primary grade classrooms. When asked about how the PDS focus on writing influenced student learning, she specifies where the most significant shifts occurred: I think definitely, our primary age kids especia lly are where we have seen the most creative writing, and they love it! Less fo rmula writing and to the prompt s, they really enjoy that creative and the teachers saw that too, they see that the kids love it. And even doing more of it they just love. We have talked a lot the past couple of years about just teach them to be creative writers and let fourth grade teach them how to take that test. Because if fourth grade can get creative writers th ey can teach them to do the fo rmat of the test and score well. I really think those fourth grade teachers are starting to see it, some of those kids you know are like in second and third grade now, so I expect it like next year for this year's third graders going up to fourth for next year. I expect to hear fourth grade teachers say that they are more crea tive writers. (Regan 32509,33384)
173 Regan expresses how primary grade classrooms moved away from a heavy emphasis on prompt writing and sparked students l ove for writing and improved creativity. Classroom observations of second grade students enga ged in writers workshop and book making activities validate Regans observation (Figure 6-1). In many primar y grade classrooms, children were given more opportunities to produce authentic writing than in pr evious years when there was limited time for writing instruction and an emphasi s on writing to prompts. However, even two years after the intense focus on writing reform concluded Regan cont ends that she still do esnt anticipate seeing the real results for another year. Regans in sight points to the firs t dilemma with using standardized testing measures as a primary metric for assessing student learning, the amount of time that must pass before true results are measured. Student creative writing boosts fourth grader s performance on standardized writing assessments. Fourth grade teacher Carol Bates attri butes the significant shift in the first year to the writing skills of one gr oup of students. She recalls: Two years ago1I had probably the most talented write rs I have ever had and I had a very high performing class that yearthose kids could have taught second graders how to write. That is how good they were, well not all of them of course. But, they truly had talentYouer really gonna be talking about the creativity th ere because they've got the story down. But they need to learn about what the readers of the papers are going to be looking for, because we want to make sure that they are putting in strong vocabulary, strong verbs, figurative language, idioms, sim iles, metaphors, and some dialogue. (Carol 23970,24775) Carol attributes large leaps in assessment scores to the talent and creativity of her fourth graders writing in 2005-2006. She believes th at the creativity that studen ts brought into fourth grade helped her better prepare them to learn the specif ic aspects of writing that FCAT assessors were rating. It is noteworthy to consid er that Carol was the only one of the four fourth grade level team members who consistently participated in PDS writing reform activities. Carol participated 1 Interviews with Carol, were conducted in the Spring of 2008.
174 in both book studies, the writing committee, ment ored PDS prospective teachers, and worked with a university graduate student. All fourth grade team members, including Carol, gained instructional support through consultant-led workshops. Additionally, many writing reform activities were not cons istent and sustained after the fi rst intensive year. A new online book study began with a group of willing teachers and some in-class coaching continued. The reform focused on instructional goals such as increasing the use of mini-lessons and providing students with more choice when writing. The goals behind the PDS writing reform focused on fostering quality writing and creativity in primary grades so that fourth grade teachers could help students learn to structure their creative thoughts in a format that could be measured by the Florida Writes assessment. Classroom observation tools provide a new lens when examining shifts in writing instruction. In Fall 2007, a team of three university observers vi sited Country Way Elementary classrooms to collect data for an Instructiona l Practices Inventory (IPI). The IPI is an observation tool developed by University of Miss ouri researchers to provide schools with valid, reliable data for profiling student engaged learning and serves as the basis for the collaborative problem-solving faculty conversations necessa ry in a professional learning community (Retrieved from http://education.missouri.edu/ o rgs/mllc/4A_ipi_overview.php on October 18, 2008). The data gathered during th e visit revealed two instances of level 6 student-engaged instruction where students were ac tively engaged in higher order learning activities, one in a fourth grade classroom and the other in a second grade classroom. Both examples of level six engagement occurred in classrooms where wr iting instruction was observed. The observers believed students in both classrooms were engage d in writing activities that provided students with authentic opportunities to us e higher order thinking skills while writing. In the second grade
175 classroom, students were provided with a visual prompt (i.e. a sketched cartoon without words) and asked to write about what they believed was ha ppening in the picture. In Carol Bates fourth grade classroom students were conversing and revising individua l writing samples created during a previous lesson. After talking wi th individual fourth grade student s, the researchers determined that students had to utilize higher order thinking skills to synthesize personal experiences and analyze their writing to engage in the lesson activities. Thus, th e IPI observation tool provided a new kind of data that had been previously absent, a valid tool for assessi ng instructional practices and for generating conversations about school im provement. The IPI data suggested that in classrooms where writing instruction was obser ved, students were actively engaged in higher order thinking activit ies. These data demonstrate that stude nts were engaged in authentic writing instruction two years after the intensive focus on writing reform. Standardized assessments of student writi ng performance are given to fourth grade students across the state of Florida. Multiple Country Way participants attribute the most significant student writing performan ce shifts to the primary grade classrooms (i.e. K-2) and the fourth grade students of 2005-2006. While the prim ary age students received multiple years of more creative writing opportunities, they will not be assessed again on the Florida Writes until Spring 2009 and 2010. The fourth graders that were assessed the first year had primarily been exposed to writing instruction that focused on tested skills. Therefore, gauging the effectiveness of the writing reform initiative using standardized assessment scores alone presents a challenge due to amount of lapsed time, student abilities, and the instructional focus on test preparation in fourth grade. Additional observa tional tools can supplement sta ndardized assessment measures and provide methods for monito ring progress on instructional goals before standardized assessment results help identify student writing pr ogress. Observational tools, such as the IPI,
176 can provide additional data to illu minate specific shifts in instru ctional practices. As indicated by multiple participants, the standardized assessment data could not offer insight into the multiple shifts in writing instruction that occurred in primary grade classrooms. Although, the writing reform shifted student performance in many ways, the use of one primary assessment measure (i.e. FCAT) in one grade level made it challenging to monitor school-wide student writing progress on PDS reform goals. The large shift in st udent writing progress s uggested that students were making AYP in writing, which also proved to be a dilemma for sustaining a long-term focus on writing improvement. Once the principa ls goal for raising assessment scores was achieved it relieved the intense pres sure to perform. However, the instructional goals for writing improvement were just beginning to emerge in meaningful ways when the emphasis for improvement shifted to a new focus. Claim 5: Influenced Leadership Style The school improvem ent focus on writing instruct ion influenced school leadership practices, which influenced the scope of change within the learning culture. Claim Fi ve offers insight into how PDS school leadership style shifted during the writing reform and impacted the learning culture. Writing reform in the Country Way PD S provided multiple examples of how school leaders generated action and supported educat or learning around a co mmon focus for school improvement. Specifically, within Claim Five th e data reveal how Country Ways top-down approach to inquiry-oriented writing reform applied pressure for change and support by distributing leadership among participants, whic h required PDS participants who worked as change agents to achieve a balancing act. C oncurrent with the school reform literature, topdown initiatives are important in the beginning to provide su stained coordination and support (Richert et al. 2001). Much like many school reform in itiatives, the top-down approach to school improvement generated dissonance for some participants but at the same time provided
177 multiple entry points for professional development which contributed to shifts in the learning culture. A top-down approach to school improveme nt may seem to contrast traditional notions of a PDS because all stake holders were not provided equal voice during decision-making and planning stages. However, the top-down approach to writing reform enabled PDS leaders to collaboratively define a shared pedagogy for wr iting instruction, which became a necessary first step in clarifying the schools mission for writing improvement. Top-down distributed leadership Participan ts describe the writing reform initiative as a top down approach to school improvement. School principal, Regan Lunsford, in itiated the writing instruction reform within the Country Way PDS. Prior to the initiation of the PDS in Spring 2005, Regan had to make significant changes in her school, wh ich required her to use her power as a principal to generate action. The story of writing reform followed a sim ilar pattern, yet marked th e beginning of a shift in how Regan accomplished her goals as a principa l. Prior to the writing reform movement, the school leadership team initiated most school improvement action and also delivered many professional development activities themselves or sent teachers to attend consultant-led workshops. The writing reform began a shif t toward more collaborative professional development practices by shari ng responsibility for in -service teacher professional development between the Country Way Elementary lead ership team and uni versity personnel. The writing reform initiative began as a top-down effort to make significant shifts in writing instruction at Country Way Elementary. Regan identified an area for improvement based on FCAT assessment scores and Hannah Dobbs, th e universitys PDS dir ector, connected her with a university faculty member with expertise in writing. As previously described in Claim Two, relationships between university faculty member, Fiona Denlin and Country Way
178 Elementary began at the top, with principal Re gan Lundsford. Fiona Denlin describes how her experience with Country Way Elementary began: It started with the principal. The principal want ed it so it's very easy, I don't have to push in myself. I was invited into the classrooms and to get into the school is not difficult. I think the difficult part is it's just because principa ls wish is different and the teachers did not seem ready for it. So the principal of course wishes to improve the testing score and that's why you can tell with the first writing committee the teachers feel 'why do you have another person? (Fiona 484,1043) Fiona describes how she was welcomed into th e school by the principal but that the teachers were not ready for hearing the advice of yet another expert on writing instruction. Fiona was brought in by Regan to accomplish a mission to improve writing instruction, a goal that was conceptualized, defined, and planned by Regan with guided support by Fiona, Hannah, Gabrielle, and Christy. Thus, in the beginning the vision for the writing reform was primarily owned by the principal. The top-down inquiry-oriented approach to writing reform enabled the principal to distribute leadership to other PDS participants. As new prof essional development activities became infused into the school culture, university personnel became more involved in professional development activities, which also created natural resistance from some of the teachers. Teaching and learning is a knowledge intensive enterprise; th erefore, the central task of distributive leadership is to cr eate a common culture of expectat ions around the use of individual skills and abilities, maximizing the human capacity within the organization (Elmore, 2004). The writing reform movement provided a model (Figure 5-2) for how human resources with expertise in writing instruction became infused into va rious organizational stru ctures (Copland, 2003) within the PDS. The writing reform model dist ributed leadership be tween the principal, university faculty, university s upervisor(s), graduate studen ts, and the CRT. All of whom facilitated diverse learning opportunities for sub-groups within the PDS. Hannah Dobbs
179 describes how the shift occurred because the pr incipal identified a need to focus on a common goal, in this case writing refo rm, and sought out resources to support school improvement goals. Hannah states: The inquiry is giving them something to ta lk about something they have in common, something they share.and that is brought on by the head learner, I mean she has helped to pick those based on data in the school and then when she realizes there is a problem she sought out resources to help in form that inquiry. (Hannah 7269,7372) Hannah believes that it was Regans value for external knowledge that enabled her to activate more resources to improve writ ing instruction. The PDS provided Regan access to more human resources to support writing reform in her school. As a result, she was able to achieve school goals through the collective wo rk of university faculty, univer sity supervisors, prospective teachers, and doctoral students, while at the same time her own school leadership team and teachers worked to achieve reform around a common mission. The formation of trusting relationships with university personnel enabled distributed leadership practices to emerge. Regan formed re lationships with university faculty members in a top-down framework. This was important for Re gan because she had to establish a trusting relationship in order to build c onfidence in each individual. Ha nnah provides more insight into the importance of Regans relationship w ith university personnel. She states: In the beginning she [Regan] appeared to ha ve more of a finger on everything and I think now she is using more distributive leadershi p. Probably not to the full extent that she could, but I think that comes again with trust. She had to figure out who she can trust and who she can delegate things to. In the beginning, she had to cont rol a lot, that's not unlike a lot of principals when they go into new schools, though, and have to do some clean up work for lack of a better term. I th ink that has changed. (Hannah 16770,17315) Hannah believes that Regans top-down approach to writing reform emerged from her need to develop content-specific pedagogical knowledge and build trust with univer sity personnel. Once Regan established trusti ng relationships with un iversity faculty, supe rvisors, and doctoral
180 students, she became more open to delegating mo re responsibilities and allowing more access to her classrooms and teachers. The top-down approach to writing reform sh ifted the leadership practices within the PDS by sharing leadership responsibili ties with university personnel, but teacher leadership roles did not emerge. As a result, Fiona expresses cauti on with a top-down partnership model. She states: Too much at the top. I think this model shoul d be very careful because it's almost like there's no foundation if you change the princi pal that school will fall back. You know you're okay with this teacher with the pr incipal here, you become an A-school, you know you raised testing score from 60 to 80 trem endously. But you leave it's gone, so what does this mean? It means there's no grassroots f oundation; you know the founda tion is still very sandy. You move the top, it's gone. (Fiona 31888,32619) Fiona suggests that focusing part nership activity primarily with the school principal makes it challenging to establish a solid f oundation for change. Fionas sugge stion is concurrent with the school reform literature base that suggests both top-down and bottom up initiatives should be in place to achieve and sustain change (Richert et al. 2001). The writing reforms top-down model emerged as a first step to school improvement. Ho wever, the intensive reform focus never moved beyond the first year of implementation, which inhi bited a movement toward a grass roots model where more teacher leadership could be integrated. An important consideration when looking at the writing reform example is that a common set of expectations for writing instruct ion was achieved through multiple, collaborative learning opportunities for writing reform leader s and teacher participan ts within the PDS. Learning together, the school princi pal, CRT, university supervisor, doctoral students, in-service teachers, and prospective teachers were able to negotiate natural tensions and refine a common set of expectations for writing in struction, even in the face of contrasting perspectives. Although, the writing reform did not translate to more teac her leadership or grass roots leadership due to
181 lack of a sustained focus, the framework offere d a significant shift for PDS participants to consider how school and university organizatio nal structures could become collaboratively infused into a school culture to achieve a co mmon mission. Therefore, a sustained focus is required to establish organizationa l structures that enable shared leadership between PDS leaders and teachers. Balancing pressure and support The top-do wn writing reform initiative freque ntly generated action and energy that was not optional for teachers. Required participa tion during PDS activities did generate action and energy around a common focus, but in the beginn ing often left teacher s with feelings of dissonance. While some PDS participants were able to overcome thei r initial tensions because of their willingness to learn, w illing participants sought out support through other voluntary professional development activities that they found more comfortable such as coaching, book studies, and additional trainings. Pa rticipants who were willing to learn more often utilized their relationships with the schools CRT and uni versity doctoral students to gain support in alternative forms. Participants recall multiple aspects of manda ted participation in the writing reform movement. Specifically, looking across field notes and interview data transcri pts, the data reveal that almost every face-to-face PDS activity that Fi ona Denlin participated in over two years of writing reform work was accompanied by required in -service teacher part icipation. These data help explain why establishing trus ting relationships with in-ser vice teachers proved challenging for Fiona. The writing committee was the first ex ample where writing reform activities required participation. Christy James reflects on the tensions present in the writing committee. She recalls:
182 You know something that it could be, too, coming from they were made to go to that. That it was not optional. (Christy 54924,55080) In this excerpt Christy explores the idea that te nsions in the writing committee were in part due to teacher resistance, but when paired with required partic ipation more dissonance emerged. Some teachers eventually came around and began to shift their practice when given the opportunity to participate in voluntary forms of professiona l development in writing. Mandated participation by an entire grade le vel team occurred duri ng the second year of the writing reform. As Country Ways emphasis sh ifted slightly in 2006, so did the group Fiona was asked to meet with. Once again teacher par ticipation was not voluntary and they werent ready/willing to accept support. The writing committee was no longer in place and Regan determined that meeting with the third grade team was warranted. Regan describes that a lack of progress in writing instruction in third grade prompted her to ask third grade teachers to meet with Fiona. She states: Fiona had talked to me about working with a grade specific on writing. I had really felt like the forth grade had so much training and that th ey were really moving and rocking as far as the writing for the FCAT. Third grade, I felt like was not, and so I asked third grade to meet with Fiona and to talk about a projec t and/or what do they need and what is something that we can help. (Regan 7689,8082) In this example we again see how Regan determ ined which grade level should work with Fiona, again applying new pressure to change and asking the team of teachers to meet with Fiona as a means for support. Although Fiona was present duri ng some activities when teacher participation was voluntary, those events were not consistent or organized with a spec ific goal in mind. Fiona was often observing during these events rather than given a specific support role, as in other PDS activities. Therefore, university faculty members we re often placed in a position to provide direct support for in-service teachers when participa tion was not voluntary which generated dissonance
183 and caused teachers to reject support. As teachers rejected support for instructional changes, PDS participants working as change agents had to negotiate a balancing act. PDS participants leading professional development activities worked as change agents and each used unique approaches to provide support fo r educators. Multiple participants describe individual ways to support teachers as they lear ned new skills in writing instruction. While some participants used their relati onal skills to establish rapport with in-service teachers and collaboratively engaged in professional develo pment activities, others carefully structured activities to give teachers voice within activitie s that required participation. Claim Two illustrates how Christy James achieved this goal by building a trusting relationship with an uncertain teacher, and Claim One illustrates how coaching provided learning opportunities for in-service teachers. Similarly, Fiona used the writing committee to generate conversations and dialogue around students needs, while Regan led a discourse community through an online book study. All of the entry points for learning in th e writing reform worked together to achieve a common vision for writing instruction. The writing committee analyzed and discussed st udent-writing samples to balance pressure and support for writing reform. Fiona began the first writing committee in Fall 2005 by offering suggestions for achieving school-w ide writing goals, she gradually shifted to focus future meetings on having teachers participate in more talking and sharing. Writing committee members attended meetings and brought student work to analyze as a group. By the final writing committee meeting of the year, book study particip ants also voluntarily joined the group where teachers continued to share samples of students writing. Fiona praised the teachers stating that comfort in yourself with teaching has come so fa r but she continued to encourage the teachers to invite students to see their own progress by using portfolios to collect student writing
184 samples. Overall, the final meeting of the year received positive feedback from the teachers, but student work samples showed that students were still primarily writing from teacher directed prompts. Regan encouraged the group to examine the new writing plan because it is so focused on FCAT. We need to add to it and make it more about a quality writing plan. After the final meeting the formal writing committee never met again, instead the following year the book study participants voluntarily met to discuss their insights and i ssues. However, these meetings were less structured and did not identify specific goals and formal revisions to the writing plan never transpired. As a change agent, Fiona help ed teachers negotiate the pressure to change by providing a space where they could collaborative ly engage in dialogue about student writing needs. Teachers who opted not to participate in voluntary writing professional development activities received more pressure to change fr om the school principal, and were offered support during team meetings. Regan applied pressure on in-service teachers by re quiring participation in PDS activities, which in some cases prompted teach ers to arrive at meetings ready to defend or reject the support of others. When Fiona Den lin and another university faculty members sat down to meet with the third gr ade team in November 2006 the meeting did not go as planned. Regan asked the third grade team to meet with Fiona and her colleague to identify ways to support them in achieving new goals to improve c ontent area reading instruction. However, even Regan wasnt aware that the teachers had met as a team prior to meeting with faculty members to discuss what they would say and who would say it The teachers entered the meeting with a plan to reject any additional support that was being provided unle ss it related to two specific programs they wanted support in implementi ng because they were overwhelmed with assistance. During the meeting t eachers stated that they alrea dy were getting too much help
185 from other places and rejected the support that was being offered from the university faculty members. In this case, pressure to change wa s paired with support, but participants clearly rejected additional support. Regan recalls the outcome the meeting: The meeting turned quickly into how can we help you to this is something you should be doing and so they [the teachers] backed off the table. And I recognized it and I said you know, I ended the meeting, I just said you know it is obvious that th is isn't going in the direction that we want it to. I want to do something helpful an d it not feel like extra to you guys. (Regan 8739,9092) Regan describes her role as a buffer in this example, having to bala nce the amount of support provided without overwhelming them with too much assistance. Even though Fiona stated during the meeting that her goal was to help you look at the students work, see their strengths and how to help them. We are not bringi ng a program, we are trying to targ et the kids and help (Field notes 11/18/06). Fiona recalls how multiple initiatives at work during this school year made providing teachers support a challenge. However, neither Fiona nor Regan were aware of the planning dynamics that framed the meetings befo re it ever began. Multiple PDS participants felt that dissonance/teacher resistance increased when top-down pressure to change was paired with mandated participation. Mandated participation ma de it challenging for teachers to overcome their feelings of dissonance and in some cases caused them to reject support altogether. Therefore, pressure to change through mandated participation generated dissonance that caused many teachers to reject support from university faculty members. PDS leaders also describe using their author ity and relationships with participants to balance pressure to change with support. In the story of writing reform, Regan used her authority as principal to apply pressure to change writing practices, while Fiona was brought in to provide support around the schools writing focus. Particip ation in writing committee and the grade level meeting was not optional and these activities in most cases were used as a way to apply pressure to change on teachers who weren't wh ere we wanted them to be while at the same
186 time providing them with resources for support. However, other PDS leaders came in to provide support by creating relationships with teachers and to help teachers overcome their dissonance. Therefore, PDS leaders need to understand that outside experts can provi de a wealth of support for teaching and learning within a context; however applying just the right amount of pressure to change requires a delicate balancing act. The to p-down hierarchical approach to writing reform was a blessing and a curse, it provided an easy entry point for university faculty members but required participation from in-service teacher s that was too often mandatory and generated tension and conflict. If improvement is to o ccur, teachers need to feel they are given the opportunity to understand the need for the change as well as have voice and participate in reform planning, while outside experts n eed opportunities to build relati onships with participants who express a willingness to lear n not just those who are re quired to participate. Claim 6: Influenced by Existing University and District Structures Existing university and school district st ructures influenced Country W ays school improvement focus on writing instruction. Claim Six offers insight into how organizational structures influence unive rsity/school collaboration. Specificall y, a lack of theo retical alignment between university and distri ct writing reform goals were confounded because existing university faculty expectations inhibited PDS participation. University faculty members and inservice educators at Country Way describe how existing university structures inhibited continuity and alignment within the Country Way PDS. In th e beginning, many participants describe their experiences as generating dissonance, but as the PDS moved forward participants describe how dissonance generated action to make change. However, the extent to which shifts were actualized hinged upon who had the power to influence existing stru ctures. PDS educators describe how the inability to influence or shif t existing structures generated frustration and threatened the sustainability of the PDS work.
187 Complexity of theoretical alignment The inquiry -oriented school improvement fo cus on writing reform generated dissonance for PDS participants due to a lack of alignment between district and univ ersity approaches. The issue of theoretical alignment presented another layer of complexity into the writing reform because of a contrast of goals between raising test scores and improving writing quality. Multiple participants recall how differing a pproaches to writing instruction prompted dissonance, but also made it difficult for willing educators to negot iate a balance between two seemingly opposite perspectives. While many participants initia lly felt these tensions during early writing committee meetings, it wasnt until writing plan mee tings with district pe rsonnel that dissonance reached an all time high. While most educator s simply took what they wanted from each perspective, some simply rejected one perspec tive, and a few investigated the utility of both perspectives. Catherine Duarte, a graduate of the universitys PROTEACH program and first grade teacher explains her reac tion to the lack of alignment between university and district perspectives. She explains: We sat down with the university group about how we wanted to do writing in our school and then the county came in and said this is how writing is going to go. It was two totally opposite spectrums, it really wa s. The university said you need to let them be free, you need to let them be creative, you need to let them write about what th ey want but all those kind of things, about letting the students make all their choices in regards to their writing and how to write. Then when we came to the county it was okay, you have to teach your students how to write a narrative, you have to teach them how to write an expository and in their expository they have to have this, this, this and this and in their narrative they have to have this, this, this and this, those are the two things you are going to teach them, go teach them writing. So, it was very direct what they [county] wanted, how they wanted it, they even gave examples of how it needs it be wi th introduction, a sentence a detail, a detail, conclusion. Six sentences, cut and blank that's it, that's all there is to it. (Catherine 10864,12227) Catherine describes contrasti ng approaches between the unive rsitys PDS activities, which promoted process oriented writ ing instruction, compared to c ounty activities which focused on
188 more of formulaic writing structure. Catherin e describes how conflictin g perspective made it challenging for her to determine the best approach for her classroom. She states: It was hard for me to come back after si tting with those two groups and say how am I supposed to teach writing, it was very difficult fo r me to come back having those two ideas seeing the county we have to do it this way, the university says it's better to do it this way. What do we do? (Katherine 10864,12227) While some in-service teachers, like Catherine ch ose to try both approaches and find a personal balance between both perspectives, others simply rejected the university perspective because the countys approach provided them a concrete stru cture that required them to learn less about the process of teaching writing and students writi ng development. The lack of alignment between the university and country approaches to writ ing instruction generated dissonance for many educators in the Country Way PDS. The contra sting approaches to professional development illuminate how two distinct instructional purposes for writing improvement were at work within one context. The challenge with the lack of alignment betw een the university and district perspectives was that university prospective teacher were experiencing field placements within Country Way that promoted both perspectives. While some pr ospective teachers learne d a great deal by having the opportunity to explore writing workshops, othe rs were experiencing great tensions between the theory and practice divide because prospectiv e teachers and in-service teachers did not see a connection between two seemingly different belief systems. Theref ore, a lack of theoretical alignment between university and district structures generated dissonance and limited PDS participants learning due to diverse goals and purposes fo r instructional improvement. University expectations and structures Existing university structur es and expectations influe nced the writing reform and inhibited PDS participation for university faculty members. University faculty members describe
189 how existing university expecta tions and support structures cr eated dissonance for faculty members who choose to engage in PDS work. Existing university structures do not recognize/support the collaborative nature of PDS as part of facu lty assignment, which inhibits continuity for university faculty members engaged in PDS sites. As a university professor with an established research agenda, Fiona describes how her work in the PDS was beneficial but that existing university structures did not recognize PDS work as part of her faculty responsibilities. She asserts: Yeah you do it. It's good. But once you do it, nobo dy would count for the time. So it's extra work. So if you're one hundred percent, your teaching is a hundred, your writing publishing is a hundred percent. Of course, I can connect with my re search, but at this point I have enough research to do, so that one I just become my service to help. (Fiona 37999,38342) Fiona suggests that a PDS may be a way for be ginning faculty members to establish a research agenda and connect research to teaching and se rvice. However, she feels strongly that for professors who already have established a resear ch agenda the balance of responsibilities is a challenge unless new university stru ctures are established to acc ount for partnership time. Fiona recommends that building in new university struct ures would facilitate continuity and enable faculty members to balance their responsibilities. Fiona states: I think it's almost like have to... more structure, have to build in. If it's a real project built into our work, just like the teaching I have to go. I think that made up the reasons, so Country Way is my side project. It's not really my major project but with I work with New York for years, consistent for 10 years, so th at become part of my job, but this Country Way is, I have so many jobs, so this one is addon a little bit of things. That will work. So if you want to do the partnership, it should be a major thing to do the job. I think that's why I'm trying for grant now, because I don't want just okay go someplace for spare time. I want to build into structure of my research, service, or teaching. You know as part of the job. (Fiona 36424,37446) For Fiona, the dissonance she experienced from her participation at Country Way generated action to seek out external funding that would enable her to make partnership participation part of her job rather than apart from her appointme nt as a university faculty member. For Fiona, the
190 challenge of balancing a wide variety of commitments as a university faculty member left her with limited time to offer service for Country Way Elementary. As discussed in previous claims, a lack of time for partnership work influe nced Fionas ability to build relationships with in-service teachers, which challenged her ability to maintain participati on within the site. One way Fiona dealt with this challenge was to place graduate students, like Jessica, out in the PDS to observe teachers work and offer instructional support. Therefore, if existing university structures do not account for and recognize time necessary for PDS research, teaching and service, then building and sust aining meaningful and long-term collaborative partnerships with schools will continue to be a challenge for university faculty. As a result, university faculty members may have to develop new ways to conf ront the time-intensive nature of PDS work, such as placing graduate students within the context to conduct research and support teacher learning. Hannah Dobbs suggests that new university s upport structures should support university faculty members who are willing to engage in PDS work. She states: People like Fiona, faculty members need to be rewarded for going in there. They need to have support for how to go in there, and I don' t mean like someone should teach them, it is more like I should have spent more time rela tionship building with th e school. I too didn't have the relationships with the school facu lty, just the principalYou know, in other partnerships there is a person th at's kind of like PDS coordinator that's from the system that now works with the university that can proba bly broker that relati onship better, and we didn't have that to support Fiona. So that is one thing that I have learned from Country Way. (Hannah 13648,14384) Hannah suggests that university support structures should reward professors for their engagement in PDS work, but universities shou ld also provide appropr iate support to help faculty members build relationships with PDS pa rticipants. University faculty members agree that more formal support structures should be in place to facilitate PDS partnership work. However, the primary inhibitor in the Country Way PDS was that Hannah did not have the time
191 or personally have relationships with teachers at the school, which made it challenging for her to support Fiona. Multiple educators describe how a lack of support for university faculty members and university personnel who conduct PDS work within schools has inhibited the alignment of PDS work between the university and schools. At th e same time, a lack of theoretical alignment between university and district approaches to writing instruction limited shifts in educator learning. Therefore, although the writing reform initiative sup ported educators within the Country Way PDS, existing university and district st ructures actually inhib ited the continuity for university faculty members and alignment between university and distri ct writing goals. Conclusion Chapter 6 exam ined how PDS educators descri bed the shifting structures, relationships, roles, responsibilities, and knowledge through inquiry-oriented writi ng reform. The Country Way PDS facilitated an inquiry-oriented approach to writing reform by shifting structures, relationships, and praxis, which generated a pr ofessional learning culture for educators and students. Participants described both theoretical and relational dissonance at multiple points, but the collaborative nature of the writing reform provided an entry point for new relationships to form between school personnel and university fa culty. The top-down nature of the writing reform illustrated how the principal initiated PDS school improvement focus enabled the activation of new PDS resources. The top down na ture also enabled the principal to provide teacher-learning resources by distributing leadership responsibilities among university faculty, university supervisors, university graduate students, and the school based leadership team. As a result of increased resources, many PDS partic ipants overcame dissonance through inquiry and coaching. The writing reform shifted the way PD S participants organize d professional learning resources for prospective teachers, teachers, graduate students, and school leaders,
192 simultaneously. Although the long-term collabor ative outcomes of th e reform were not sustained, participants agree that educator le arning and the writing reform movement positively shifted classroom practices. Lead ership practices within the PDS also shifted which later influenced future reform initiatives. The resu lts shared in Chapter 7 present the inclusive education reform movement, a reform that unfolded immediately fo llowing the writing instruction reform. Finally, Chapter 8 will describe lessons learned from both stories and identify implications for the field.
193 Table 6-1. Fourth grad e FCAT writing scores School Year Fourth Grade Students Scoring 3.5 and above in Writing 2004-2005 62 2005-2006 80 2006-2007 78 2007-2008 61
194 A B Figure 6-1. Photos of second graders e ngaged in process oriented writing A) Students illustrating during book development workshops B) Final student created books
195 Figure 6-2. Writing reform distributed leadership model Principal Writing Committee Book Study-Blog UF Course In q uir y UF Professor Writing Committee UF Courses Coaching UF Site Coordinator Writing Committee UF Course Coaching Intern Seminars Inquiry Graduate /Undergraduate Inquiry Mentor Teachers Writing Committee Book Study-Blog Prospective Teachers Theoretical Knowledge Inquiry Inquiry-oriented School Improvement in Writing CRT Writing Committee Book Study-Blog Coaching UF Course
196 CHAPTER 7 STORY OF PDS INCLUSIVE EDUCATION REFORM This study exam ined how educators describe d their shifting beliefs, values, roles, behaviors, rituals, and respons ibilities as participants in a Professional Development School focused on creating a culture of professional learning. Chapter 6 presented a description and analysis of the writing instru ction reform within the newly created Country Way Elementary PDS. Similarly, Chapter 7 provides a description and analysis of how th e inclusive education reform shifted the professional learning cult ure of Country Way Elementary. Although the writing reform and inclusive educ ation reform share common claims, the process and outcomes unfolded in very different ways and with different results. Chapte r 7 describes and analyzes how the PDS and Country Ways focus on inclusive education reform dove-tailed to facilitate inquiry-oriented school improvement by shifting structures, relationshi ps, and praxis, which generated a professional learning cult ure for educators and students. The stories and claims selected for inclusion in Chapter 7 describe the work of educators in the Country Way PDS and provide specific le ssons for the work of PDS participants. The inclusive education reform emerged from the school districts interest in providing all students access to the general education cu rriculum. The motivation for in clusive education reform was not set in motion solely by standardized assess ment measures like in the writing reform, but rather initiated by the school district and supported by multiple university level structures. University teacher education program suppor ted professional learning through the Unified Elementary PROTEACH (UEP) teacher prepar ation program and Project Include. The UEP program prepared prospective teachers to wo rk in inclusive classrooms. Project Include facilitated in-service teacher knowledge about incl usive teaching models a nd engaged teachers in collaboratively crafting a school-wide inclusi on model. When the Country Way PDS, an
197 outgrowth of the unified general education/sp ecial education teacher education program, and Project Include aligned, they facilitated i nquiry-oriented school improvement by shifting structures, relationshi ps, and praxis, which generated a professional learning culture for educators and students. Illustration Country W ay PDS participants describe how a school improvement focus on inclusive education reform influenced the professional learning culture of the school and prompted significant shifts in PDS structures, relations hips, and praxis. The inclusion illustration was selected because it describes how the school-wide focus on inclusive education reform served as a critical event to generate alignment between the universitys goals for preparing inclusive educators and the schools goals for helping a ll students gain access to the regular education curriculum. The shared focus on inclusive education unfolded in two phases. The first phase focused on prospective teacher education, while the second phase focused on in-service teacher professional development. The two phases conv erged as the Country Way PDS collaboratively engaged in teaching and learning, integrated co-t eaching practices between prospective teachers, in-service teachers, university supervisors, a nd school administrators, and supported practitioner inquiry around a shared focus school improvement. Prior to the PDS at Country Way Elementary, a lack of collaboration between teachers was evident. When the PDS began in Spring 2005, tw elve prospective teacher pre-interns were infused into the context in six classrooms. The pr e-interns were placed in dyads to support their ability to practice co-teaching with another educat or. As part of their coursework during the preinternship, the prospective teachers were encourag ed to try various co-teaching models in their placement classrooms. At the same time, principal Regan Lundsford encouraged mentor teachers to utilize pre-interns as small group instruc tional resources within PDS classrooms. The
198 following example represents a typical process as prospective and practic ing teachers learned to share responsibility for teaching and learning. In Spring 2006, Denise Mason and Olivia Susa began their pre-internship in Ms. Destos fifth grade classroom at Country Way Elementa ry. Spring 2006 was the third semester of the PDS; however, it was Ms. Destos first semester as a PDS mentor because she was new to the school. Denise, Olivia, and Ms. Desto collabora ted well with each other from the beginning. They shared a passion for teaching that was obviou s in their instruction and interactions with each other and the students. Ms. Desto shared cla ssroom instruction with Denise and Olivia and allowed them ample space to engage actively in teaching activities. In the beginning of the semester, Ms. Desto allowed Denise and Olivia space to co-teach whole group lessons with each other. Denise and Olivia co-taught whole gr oup lesson in Ms. Destos fifth grade classroom using team teaching (Figure 7-1). As a teachi ng team during whole group lessons Denise and Olivia often would role-play for students as they introduced a ne w concept. During role playing Olivia might play the role of a student by asking Denise clarifying quest ions as she explained the concept. As the semester moved forward Denise and Olivia tried new instructional grouping arrangements and different co-teaching models Denise and Olivia engaged in small group instruction using station teaching (Figure 7-2), a model that enabled multiple educators to lead simultaneous small group lessons. Denise and Olivia planned a Social Studies unit that integrated creative writing and art into the lesson. In thei r lesson plan, Denise a nd Olivia explained how each group will be led and taught by a teacher because teaching students in small groups will allow us to better meet student individual learning needs and focu s instruction so that students comprehend the material (Appendix F). Denise led the creative writing station, at the same time
199 Olivia led a mask creation station, while Ms. Dest o led a poetry station ou tside the classroom in the fifth grade common area. Denise Mason returned to Ms. Destos 5th grade classroom in Fall 2006 as a full time intern. Denise and Ms. Desto continued to co-te ach together using various methods, often using multiple co-teaching models within the same less on. During one particular Math lesson, Denise and Ms. Desto introduced the lesson through whole group instruction and later divided into small groups to review the concepts using parallel teaching. Paralle l teaching is a small group coteaching strategy where each teacher is responsible for teaching similar content to a different group of students. During the small group porti on of the lesson, Denise and Ms. Desto both conducted a Small Group Crash Course Review simultaneously while another group of students worked independently at their desks. In her lesson plan, Denise discussed why she selected small groups instruction for this less on. She states, Utilizing small groups will allow me the opportunity to see which students need ad ditional help and what concepts I potentially need to revisit (Appendix G). Ms. Destos classroom example illu strates how co-teaching in the PDS reinforced the teacher educ ation programs commitment to inclusive education, and how the infusion of interns enabled small group instruction within classrooms by providing extra hands to support students. The PDS also provided opportuni ties for participants to bri dge theory and practice. The semester following her internshi p, Principal Lundsford hired Deni se to take over a second grade classroom for a teacher on leave. During Denise s transition from prospective to practicing teacher in the Country Way PDS, she experience d an inclusive classroom for the first time. Denise was able to translate the knowledge sh e gained from her PDS preparation into her professional practice. As a second grade teacher, Denise began collabora ting with Exceptional
200 Student Education (ESE) team leader Jennifer Townsend. Approximately the same time that Denises collaboration began with Jennifer, Jennifer and other Country Way teachers began participating in Project Include. Project Incl ude was a professional development outreach grant project offered through the universitys depart ment of special education. Project Include facilitated teacher knowledge a bout inclusive teaching models and engaged teachers in collaboratively crafting an inclusion model for their school. As inclusive education experts jointly employed by the school district and uni versity, Harrison Dobbs and Ryan Toms began collaborating with Country Way teachers through Project Include. In addition, Jessica Perry, a university graduate student continued to work in one ESE teachers classroom maintaining a focus on improving writing instruction. Through su ch actions the work between the writing reform and inclusive education reform was linke d through its participants who carried over their learning into inclusive classrooms. Project Include began as a stepping stone fo r future school improvement work in Spring 2006. Ten teachers, the guidance counselor and the principal participated in 12 two-hour meetings during professional development pr oject led by Harrison Dobbs and Ryan Toms. Harrison Dobbs describes Project Include, the grant funded offered through the universitys department of special education. He states: It paid for participants to look at school im provement score reports and focus on kids with disabilities, and then we got into other kids It focused on what teachers were doing, not just what they weren't. Mainly looking at school-based inclusiv e programs. (Harrison 2515, 3075) During this professional development activity te achers participated in various activities, including describing their school their students, and their in structional delivery models. Participants studied the book Inc lusive Schools in Action and th ey conducted interviews with parents, students, and other teachers to assess their beliefs about Inclusion. The group visited
201 other local schools in the district and outside the district. The projec t culminated in the writing of an inclusive school action plan that focused on school practices, student achievement, and professional development. The pr oject required participants to examine various aspect of inclusive education. Harrison specif ies aspects the projects focus: Project Include at Country Way and another local elementary school set the planning up for looking at how teachers were currently doing things to improve for all kids. We covered philosophy, curriculum, instruction, behavior, data, and sche duling kids, and all that stuff. Then the seed was planted. (Harrison 1838,2143) The fusion of the PDS and Inclusion brought about more opportunities for teac hers to collaborate and learn new instructional strategies from other educators within their classrooms. In Fall 2006, the school improvement focus on inclusive education officially began by collaboratively implementing the developed school inclusion pla n. At the same time, the PDS experienced a surge of prosp ective teacher field placements, with two special education practicum students, five full time interns, and twelve pre-interns. This was the first semester that cohorts of both interns and pre-interns were placed in the PDS at the same time. The influx of prospective teachers provided valuable human re sources for teachers who were leading inclusive classrooms for the first time, while at the same time providing prospective teachers with the opportunity to experience inclusive classrooms in action. In primary grade classrooms where Jennifer served as an ESE specialist, prospectiv e teachers benefited from the mentorship of both regular and special e ducation teachers. Over time, more PDS classrooms and inclusiv e classrooms overlapped. At the same time, teachers began to share their ESE expertise with in-service and prospective teachers through coteaching. In Fall 2007, six out of seven pre-internsh ip field placements also served as inclusive classroom settings. During this semester, the focus on co-teaching and accommodating diverse learners was a topic that Jennife r Townsend discussed when she pr esented in the on-site seminar
202 for prospective teacher pre-interns, but it also was a practice that most prospective teachers actively engaged in on a daily basis. For the fi rst time, the theory a nd practice connection was deeply embedded in the work of PDS classroom s, which facilitated prospective teachers understanding of how multiple educ ators collaboratively engaged in co-teaching to accommodate a wide diversity of student needs within the context of a regular education classroom. Examining the Illustration The overarching claim is that the Country Way Elementary PDS facilitated inquiryoriented school improvement by shifting structures relationships, and prax is, which established a professional learning culture for educators and students. The school s inclusive education reform movement was the second of two major school improvement initiati ves that emerged within the first two years of the PDS. Six thematic claims emerged related to how educators described their shifting belief, values, roles, behaviors, ritual s, and responsibilities as they focused on infusing inclusive educational practices into the Country Way Elementary PDS. The six claims emerged from an analysis of field notes, interviews w ith informants, and archival documents gathered over three and a half years of fi eldwork at Country Way Elementary. Field notes again served as a primary data source while informant interviews and archival documents are used to strengthen participant voices and triangulate analysis. The claims presented in Chapter 7 are similar to those presented in Chapter 6, however Chapter 7 clai ms provide a deeper unde rstanding of how the inclusive education reform facilitated multiple sh ifts in the professional learning culture as a result of new roles, responsib ilities, values, behaviors, a nd practices of participants. Participation in the inclusive education reform: 1. Shifted participant role s and responsibilities. 2. Shifted participant relationships. 3. Shifted educator lear ning through praxis. 4. Shifted student performance. 5. Influenced leadership style.
203 6. Influenced by existing univers ity and district structures. The claims shared in Chapter 7 are similar to t hose presented in Chapter 6 because they represent overarching general themes shared between the tw o school improvement initiatives. However the sub-concepts presented within each of the six claims specifi cally analyze how the inclusive reform shifted the learning culture for educators and/or students. The subconcepts also compare and contrast the inclusive education and the writing instruction reform. Claim 1: Shifted Participant Roles and Responsibilities The school improvem ent focus on inclusive education reform shifted the roles and responsibilities of PDS participants at Country Way Elementary. Claim One specifically explores how the PDS and Project Include infused new pr ofessional learning resour ces for educators and enabled new participant roles to emerge. Within Claim One, similar to the writing reform, three roles emerged that underpinned the school improvement focus on inclusion: 1) the broker, 2) the coach, and 3) the learner. Each role shifted pa rticipant ownership and re sponsibility for teacher professional learning and educat ing K-5 students in the PDS. The inquiry-oriented school improvement focus on inclusive education reform promoted a fusion of multiple roles, which facilitated connections, relations hips, and educator learning. The broker In the inclusive education refo rm the broker was responsible for a shift in PDS learning resources. In this case, the broker was an individual who fostered connections between individuals, organizations, and c oncepts within the PDS. In th e story of inclusive education reform, participants from school, district, and uni versity positions served as brokers to connect inclusive education concepts with practice at Country Way Elementary. When the PDS initiated university faculty served as brokers. Similarly to the writing reform initiative, Hannah Dobbs served a brokering role during both phases in th e inclusive education movement, first connecting
204 Country Way Elementary with the univer sity PDS network and later connecting university/district personne l with expertise in inclusive education with the schools principal. Hannah explains how her work with Country Way unfolded: We called Regan and asked her if she was in terested and she came and heard what the PDSs do and kind of what the underpinnings ar e, we made her familiar with the Holmes Partnership so that she could kind of see th e overarching goals. She felt like those were consonant with the things that she believed in. She also was a PR OTEACH graduate, so she understood the University pr etty well, she also was someone that was interested in going back to graduate school, so I think that th ose things also helped to kind of coalesce, come together and create a motivation for her. She had also been involved with really reshaping the faculty already in that school. She came into a context where there were a lot of older faculty that had done th ings the same way for a very long and this kind of gave her a way shake things up a bit. I think the pre-in terns, she liked them because they gave her access to the classrooms that it was hard for her to get into the classrooms being the principal to see actually what was going on w ith the children. So, having the opportunity to go into the classroom and focus on the pre-intern s, rather than the teachers feeling like she was focused on them, gave her an advantage instead. (Hannah 996,2220) The PDS network enabled Hannah to connect Co untry Way into the PDS network and recruit Regan into the university doctoral program. Hannah worked closely with Regan because she was also a doctoral student, which helped Regan connect with other university personnel to support her school. As a PDS broker, recruiting a principa l who shared a value system congruent with PDS work was a key responsibility. As the inclusive education reform bega n university/district personnel facilitated connections between people and concepts. Harrison Dobbs, a supervisor for special education curriculum and staff development for the school di strict, played a signif icant brokering role by connecting Regan with valuable di strict and university resources to support inclus ive practice in Country Way Elementary. He describes how hi s work with the Count ry Way PDS began: I met Regan through the Florida Inclusion Ne twork and my wife, Hannah, and I went out awhile ago to watch a workshop with Ave nue and Country Way, and met Regan and we started talking about inclusion and various different things to meet more kids' needs at Country Way and then she couldn't commit to it right away, she wanted to wait a year because the PDSs were starting the next year, so the year after, that next year I stayed in touch with her and we came out and looked at a couple of really difficult kids, and made
205 accommodations and modifications for them, mos tly the teachers. But at the end of that school year, or the second half of that school year, we did Project Include at Country Way and another local elementary school, which se t the planning up for looking at how they were currently doing things to improve for all kids. We covered philosophy, curriculum, instruction, behavior, data, and scheduling kids, and all that st uff. And kind of the seed is planted. (Harrison 1172,2143) In this excerpt, Harrison describes how he began and maintained a relationship with Regan even prior to bringing in resources fo r inclusive education. Thus, the responsibility of the inclusive education broker was to establish and maintain relationships with school participants, and seek out opportunities to infuse resources in to the school site when appropriate. The role of the broker in the story of inclusive education reform was two-fold. First, connections between Hannah and Regan enabled Country Way to become part of the PDS network, and second, connections between Harr ison and Regan enabled inclusive education concepts to become part of the school improveme nt focus. The power in the inclusive education reform was how university teacher education goals and school improvement goals became seamlessly connected. Further, other PDS participants, such as Country Ways principal, university supervisors, and ESE lead teachers, faci litated the continuity of the inclusive reform initiative within the school site by brokering in new human resources whose belief and value systems aligned with the inclusive education reform and the PDS. As a PDS principal, Regan hired teachers who value inclusive education and also want to support the next generation of teachers. As she interviewed new teachers, she brokered in new educators who valued inclusive education and could contribute to th e teaching profession by supporting prospective teachers. Harrison describes how the role of the broker is linked to the role of the coach in the Country Way PDS. He states: Regan has hired people who come in and do th eir internships, which keeps the continuity going. If you're thinking about building a mentoring base, granted they're beginning teachers, but give them a few years, at least you can send people into the classrooms and watch them and help here and there, even if they're not the mentor all time, but you're
206 building a base of people who understand th e PDS format, who understand inquiry, who understand inclusion, and hopefully, with some of the veteran teachers can become the teachers of tomorrow that the whole program wants them to do. That's the whole purpose of the program, is meeting the kids' needs. (Harrison 24343,25452) As a result of Regans brokering role, Harrison believes the PDS focus on inclusive education reform helped build a mentoring base of inclus ive educators within C ountry Way Elementary. Therefore, by connecting new educators who understand and share the Country Way PDS philosophy, Regans responsibility as a PDS broker generated continuity w ithin her professional learning culture for inclusive education. Brokers in the story of inclusive educa tion reform connected personnel who shared a common value system about inclusive education to the Country Way PDS. Hannah, Harrison, and Regan enabled a shift in professional learni ng resources when they connected university teacher education goals with the school improveme nt initiative, and then later aligned district professional development goals with university professional developm ent resources. Although PDS brokering initiated as a uni versity faculty responsibility, the PDS and the inclusive education reform required brokering by school-based educators, which generated ownership and responsibility. Once PDS brokers placed key pers onnel with a common value system within the context, the inclusive educa tion reform became actualized through the ongoing support and commitment of PDS coaches. The coach Coaches in the inclusive education reform were responsible for sharing on-going learning support for educators across school, district, and university structur es. The term coach is used interchangeably with the term ment or in the inclusive education re form because of the influential coaching work of in-service mentor teachers. Inclusive education coaches shared theoretical knowledge, engaged in collaborative planning, an d often used modeling to learn from the
207 expertise of others. In the beginning, univers ity supervisors and some teachers maintained responsibility for coaching prospective teachers. As the movement became part of the school improvement focus, district/university pers onnel, and even prosp ective teachers took on coaching roles. Additionally, some brokers t ook on coaching roles while new coaches emerged from the hiring practices of the principal. The coach in the incl usive education reform movement was significant because in most cases, the role of the coach was linked to co-teaching. The school improvement focus on inclusive education reform provided opportunities for coaches to help participants shif t the theoretical knowledge base gain ed from university coursework and teacher professional development in to real life classroom practices. In the beginning of the inclusive education reform, the responsibility for coaching was shared between university supervisors and in-s ervice teachers who served as PDS coaches. The role of coach was a new responsibility for ma ny teachers at Country Way. In the beginning, participation as a prospective teacher coach generated dissonan ce due to a lack of explicit responsibilities, but later colla borative planning between teac her and university supervisors helped many teachers generate ownership and res ponsibility for the PDS concept. As the school grew and Regan hired new teachers, more teachers were brokered into coaching roles. When the PDS and the inclusive education reform aligne d, some ESE teachers began coaching prospective teacher pre-interns and in-service teachers. Jenn ifer Townsend describes her coaching role in PDS and non-PDS classrooms: I mentor my inclusion teachers. I have mentored a lot of first year teach ers, just colleagues, on different ways to work with ESE kids and not just ESE kids but behavior problem kids. I have done a lot of mentoring (Jennifer 1970,2186). I do a lot of modeling and coaching. I guess within the environment itself they learn strategies for small group instruction just because in the nature of an inclusive class setting a lot of times those teacher are more willing to try more best practice methods like small group instruction, learning centers, more differentiated instruction, more hands on learning. So, just in that environment they have been able to observe and see how cente rs are organized, how small group instruction
208 is managed and then also I try to go back and ta lk to pre-interns about the reality is you are not going to have this many people in your cl assroom, this is how you can make it work when you have fewer people in your classrooms and just some tricks and strategies for making different strategies work with your people. (Jennifer 2957,3821) For Jennifer, her work as a coach emerged si multaneously through co-teaching in inclusive classroom settings. As a coach, Jennifer mode led, mentored, and provided both in-service and prospective teachers support with inclusive practices. Co-teaching provided Jennifer the opportunity to coach regular educators within inclusive classrooms, which also provided prospective teachers with the opportunity to bene fit from the coaching expertise of both regular and special educators. The PDS provided both prospective and in-service teachers learning opportunities within inclusive classroom settings which improved the collaborative learning culture of Country Way Elementary. The role of the coach in the inclusive education reform shifted PDS structures by providing additional mentoring support for pros pective and practicing teachers, while also aligning PDS field experiences with university te acher preparation goals. Multiple examples of coaching emerged when the PDS began in Spri ng 2005, but the inclusive education reform generated alignment between school, district, and university goals. Th e inclusive education reform provided coaching for teachers first thr ough a university-supported state grant. Later, prospective teachers benefited from the exper tise and coaching of two mentors, one regular education mentor and one special education mentor, by observing and participating as coteachers in inclusive classrooms. The school im provement focus on inclusive education reform required regular and special education teachers to collaboratively share coaching responsibilities for prospective teachers, with the support of university supervisors. The inclusive education reform also provided opportunities for in-service teachers to coach each other as they co-taught in inclusive classrooms.
209 The learner In the inclusive educ ation reform, the learner shifted e ducators knowledge and practices. Learning in the inclusive education reform becam e a responsibility for all participants, although in the beginning of the PDS prospective teachers and K-5 students took on primary learning roles. As the inclusive education reform moved forward, te achers and university personnel shifted into learning ro les as well. The inquiry-oriented inclusive education reform enabled educators at multiple levels to collaborativel y focus energy and action around improving learning for all students. Therefore, while multiple e ducators engaged in learning opportunities, the primary focus hinged upon improving out comes for K-5 student learners. Inclusive education reform enable in-service teachers began to take on new learning roles through Project Include. Teachers who took on learni ng roles in the inclusive education reform were responsible for collaborating with partners at both the district and university level. Jennifer Townsend describes how learners collaborated with multiple partners. She states: Harrison Dobbs and Ryan Toms were some of th e people brought in to talk about inclusive practices, also our colleagues from Avenue b ecause we went through Project Include with another school. Even though our schools are different we could share ideas and bounce off one another and really learn from one another. There were a me sh of ideas, it wasn't just any one faction, it was that there was buy in fr om all parts that were involved. And that was all on a volunteer basis, the inclusion class that we went through the people that went through it they were all volunt eers nobody was forced to be a part of it. (Jennifer 22666,23451) For Jennifer, collaboration with educators from other schools paired wi th support of inclusion experts helped generate new ideas and buy in for inclusive educati on. Thus, collaboration, dialogue, and a willingness to learn with colleagues outside of the classroom became an important responsibility when in-service teachers participated as inclusive education learners. Inclusive education also require d in-service teacher to engage as collaborative learners within classrooms. Increased action and energy focused on inclusive education promoted a
210 culture where in-service educators, as well as prospective teachers, jointly engaged as collaborative learners. Multiple PDS participants cite Jennifer Townsend as a significant influence in helping them learn how to better meet the needs of diverse students. However, Jennifer feels that she benefits as a le arner from the PDS as well. She states: I learn as much from the pre-interns and in terns probably as they learn from me, from watching their interactions it helps me figure out how I need to adjust my teaching to help them and help my students. I learn strategi es sometimes or watch them do a lesson and I think oh I can incorporate that in this way with this child, so it is a mutually beneficial relationship. (Jennifer 5806,6183) For Jennifer, she feels that PDS classrooms pr ovide mutual learning benefits for in-service teacher and prospective teachers alike. Prospective teachers help her stay on the cutting edge of what is being taught at the university which she incorporates into her work with children. Similarly, other in-service educat ors describe the benefits they receive as Jennifer learns new approaches and strategies. According to Denise Mason, she benef its from Jennifer participating in multiple classroom environments: I think that because Jennifer has worked in so many classes she can offer you so many different perspectives because she is like the all time floater, she is like the all time get around girl. She goes everywhere and she sees instruction in every class and I know she is like a sponge, absorbing what she can and wh en she gets something good she can bring it back and reproduce it another room. She is great, a great re source. (Denise 58230,58652) Denise believes that educators and students benefit when other te achers learn, thus more learning resources are available due to the structures enab led by co-teaching in inclusive classrooms. The inclusive education reform lear ner is responsible for collabora ting with other educators at multiple levels, and later sharing thei r new ideas with other educators. The inclusive education reform required in-teachers to take on new roles and responsibilities due to new colla borative structures, such as the PDS, Project Include, and inclusive classroom environments. At the same time prospective teachers learned about inclusive practices and co-teaching. The examples shar ed in Claim One examine how the inclusive
211 education reform required PDS participants to embrace new roles and responsibilities as teacher educators and inclusive educat ors simultaneously. The profe ssional learning culture for educators shifted as brokers, coaches, and learne rs engaged in co-teaching and collaboration to improve instruction for diverse st udents. Collaborative learning in creased as a result of coaching and learning in PDS and inclusive classrooms at Country Way Elementary, thus shifting the professional learning culture. Claim 2: Shifted Participant Relationships The school improvem ent focus on inclusive e ducation reform in the Country Way PDS shifted participant relationships. Claim Two sp ecifically explores how the PDS and inclusive education reform shifted the collaborative structures within the school context. Within Claim Two relational shifts were influenced by three specific concepts: 1) owne rship and responsibility for teacher education, 2) mutual respect and eq ual status between co-teachers, and 3) personnel continuity and trust between participants. PDS collaborative structures and Project Include combined to facilitate Country Ways school improvement focus on inclusion. As the two movements dove-tailed a culture of collaboration emerged and new relationships were fostered which generated new leadership opportunities for some participants, as well as ownership and responsibility for teacher edu cation. Successful co-teaching re lationships were underpinned by mutual respect and equal status, while relationships lacking these characteristics generated dissonance. Participants who sust ained continuity over time devel oped trusting rela tionships with other PDS members, which facilitated more camaraderie, leadershi p, and responsibility. Camaraderie, leadership, ownership, and responsibility Country W ays inquiry-oriented approach to inclusive education reform facilitated collaboration between university personnel a nd school-based educators, which generated camaraderie and leadership opportunities for PD S participants. When the PDS began in Spring
212 2005, a lack of collaboration between teachers, pr ospective teachers, school administrators, and university personnel was evident. The PDS inte grated new organizatio nal structures that increased collaboration between teachers, university supervisors, school leadership, and prospective teachers. PDS mentor meetings and on-site prospective teacher seminars served as collaborative spaces where participants generated ownership and responsibility for teacher education. Project Include provided a space for C ountry Way teachers to collaborate and form relationships with colleagues while also genera ting ownership and respon sibility for inclusive education reform. Mentor/coach meetings generated collabor ation between university supervisors and teachers and served as a space for building relationships. PDS collaboration brought about shifts in relationships between university supervisors and school administrators, but it also influenced relationships between teachers as well. Regan L undsford describes the influence of PDS monthly mentor/coach meetings: I think it's has brought a lot of my faculty toge ther, there has been more, there has been a sense of, more of a group identity between people in differe nt grades and through all of them being mentors and having that shared ex perience of having pre-interns and interns. I think it has allowed some staff members to step up and take l eadership roles and participate more in decision making and planning. (Regan 590,992) In this example, Regan describes how particip ation as PDS mentor provided teachers with a shared experience, which generated leadership opportunities. Collabora tion during PDS mentor meeting provided teacher opportunities to develop new relationships with th eir peers, while also collaboratively shaping the agenda for teache r education activities. The collaborative space shared between PDS participants during mentor meetings shifted the professional learning culture by increasing teacher voice in d ecision-making, which generated ownership, responsibility, and teacher leadership.
213 The PDS on-site seminar emerged as the space where the collaborative relationships fostered between school leadership, teachers, and university personnel benefited prospective teacher learning. Harrison Donald explains how the PDS site coor dinator generated collaboration around the inclusive education focus: Gabrielle knew how good they [teachers] were, sh e got some of these teachers involved in teaching the seminar or talking to differe nt people about inclusion and assistive technology, you name it, and there's people you cap into their expertise. (Harrison 27183,27411) In this excerpt, Harrison describes how the unive rsity site coordinators knowledge of Country Way teachers helped her recruit PDS participants from within the si te to share their expertise and co-teach the on-site seminar with her. The relationships formed between school-based educators and university personnel in PDS mentor/coach m eetings facilitated collaboration and later generated co-teaching between university personnel, school leader ship, and teache rs during the on-site seminar. The on-site seminar provided a space where the school principal, CRT, and ESE teacher generated camaraderie and new collaborativ e relationships with the university supervisor and prospective teachers. The collaborative structures built into the inclusion support group facilitated new relationship, teacher leadership, and responsibilit y for inclusive education reform. Participants describe how the fusion of multiple groups coll aboratively influenced the learning community fostered between participants during Pr oject Include. Jennifer Townsend recalls: I think it was the whole conglom erate, of course it was the leadership because you can't do anything without positive leadership but th ere are very proactive regular education teachers, there are very proactive special edu cation teachers and they work well together to figure out how it best work at our school. Th en there were all the support personnel from the university. (Jennifer 22286,22659) Jennifer attributes the collectiv e whole (ie. school leadership, university personnel, and peer support) as facilitators of th e inclusion learning community. The learning community created
214 between ESE and regular education teachers, an d university support personnel contribute to a positive collaborative experience with Project Include. Participants suggest that the collaborative support structures generated buy in which led to greater ownership and responsibility from PDS participants. Mutual respect and equal status The fusion of the PDS and inclusion move m ents in Country Way Elementary are intricately linked by collaborat ion through co-teaching, which hi ghlights an emergence of key relational values. Multiple participants describe the importance of trust, mutual respect, and equal status as key relational va lues between PDS educators. The majority of PDS educators who collaboratively participated in PDS and inclusive education initiatives established trust, mutual respect, and shared equal status with other edu cators. However, the absence of some or all of these key values inhibited educators ability to build relationships at Country Way Elementary, which also inhibited collaboration. Positive and negative examples of collaborative participant relationships emerged in the PDS and inclusive education reform. The inclusive education reform movement encouraged teachers and prospective teachers to share equal status as educators. When the PDS began, co-teaching was a practice that required a shift in participant relationships. For many pr ospective teachers, co-t eaching alongs ide their mentors provided them an opportunity to share equa l status with another teacher. Denise Mason recalls one specific instance during her internship: I will never forget this, I was in the middle of a lesson and I totally we nt blank at the board and she just came up and she knew where I was in the problem and she just finished the problem and the kids never knew. It was kind of like having that extra person there in the room watching your flow of thinking watc hing you work the problem out, watching you teach and being a floater and handling behaviors and just really playing the role of another teacher in the room and I appreciated that. Sh e just picked up the marker as if she was another teacher and I was equall y a teacher and the kids saw that transition between us. (Denise 18627,19641)
215 Denise recalls how co-teaching pr ovide her with an opportunity to share equal status as a teacher alongside her mentor teacher, which helped her gr ow as a prospective teacher in her placement classroom. As a PDS educator, Denises mentor embraced co-teaching as a learning tool to support her students and her prospective teacher by extending equal status and responsibility for teaching. The relationship between Denise and he r mentor teacher was based on equal status, which provide space for Denise to take risks while having appropriate support. The importance of sharing equal status with othe r educators in a classroom was a value that Denise continued as she became a teacher of an inclusive classroom. She emphasizes: Making an inclusion class work and it not being like the speci alist that came in was an aide, she really took on the ro le of being a co-teacher. I don't know if that happens on every grade level because a lot of teachers th ey get so used to their classroom and the climate being their classroom that when someone comes in and they're a specialist, it is not just like they are extra help, they almost treat them kind of like just an aide and they give them something on the side to do. But Jennifer wa s really an active teacher in this class. (Denise 15684,16419) For Denise, the importance of sharing equal status as co-teaching educators was a value that she experienced as a pre-intern, inte rn, and as a teacher in the Count ry Way PDS. Equal status was achieved when in-service educators shared re sponsibility for classroom instruction with prospective and/or ESE teachers. In many ways the PDS helped in -service teachers learn how to share their teaching space equally with other ed ucators through co-teaching, which set the stage for the inclusive education reform. Co-teaching sh ifted relationships between PDS as more inservice teachers lear ned to extend equal status to their pros pective teachers, and then later to ESE teachers. However, an absence of equal status in co-teaching relationships often indicated an absence of mutual respect shared between participants. Collaboration in the inclusive education reform required mutual respect between educators. The presence or absence of mutual respect betw een co-teaching educators directly influenced the outcome of collaborative relationships in the PDS. In the inclusive educat ion reform, this trend
216 held true between multiple participant groups. On e example emerged during the first year of the inclusive education reform when intermediate gr ade (i.e.3-5) teachers tried co-teaching with a special education teacher with minimal success. However, the second year of the inclusive education reform brought new ESE personnel into the inclusive classrooms, which enhanced coteaching between ESE and regular educators. Harri son Donald provides some insight in to the dynamics of the dilemma. He states: Marcy did a great job building cr edibility, particularly with 3rd grade this year, because they did not have the support that they had last year because the woman who was retiring that they did not respect. So, I think the biggest thing that he lped them was the respect, the mutual respect of what they could do together sharing their different levels of expertise. So I think that's really important. (Harrison 26758,27162) Harrison describes how one ESE teachers ability to establish mutual respect with one grade level team facilitated co-teaching in inclusiv e classrooms, which contrasted the co-teaching experience that unfolded the previous year. The difference between the two years was the collaborative relationship between ESE and regular educators. Similarly, an absence of mutual respect between prospective and in-service made forming positive co-teaching relationships a challenge. This example shows how inclusive educat ors who shared mutual respect with their coteaching partners enabled new relationships to em erge. This example is just one of many that illustrates the vital importance of educators relationship in co-teaching arrangements. The importance of mutual respect and equal st atus between co-teaching educators is clear. The interesting aspect of this co ncept is that all of the in-ser vice teachers featured in these examples are also graduates of the universitys Proteach program, who also specialized in special education and conducted their preinternship/practicum and intern ship experiences at Country Way Elementary. Therefore, PDS and inclus ive education reform shifted participant relationships by embracing the rela tional values of equal status and mutual respect between co-
217 teaching educators, and as a result these values have become a part of the professional learning culture in many PDS and inclusive classrooms. Continuity facilitated trust The PDS inclusive education reform require d university and district personnel to establish trusting relationships with school leadership and in -service teachers. Personnel continuity and the ability to establish a trusti ng relationship with school leadership facilitated PDS collaborative relationships. In the PDS personnel continuity enabled trusting relationships to emerge between in-service teachers, school ad ministrators, and the university appointed sitecoordinator. Regan describes the influence of the relationships established between the PDS site coordinator and other participants. She emphasizes: Having the same person over multiple semesters has been great because she knows our expectations, she knows how I want to run the school you know what, she know the mentors, what works for them and she can co mmunicate with the students if something is not working how do I approach that pers on because she knows them well enough now. (Regan 39537,39874) Regan describes how personnel continuity faci litated PDS work because it enabled trusting relationships to form over time between the s ite coordinator and other PDS participants. Similarly, Harrison Donald attributes collaboration over time through th e inclusive education reform to a shift in his relationship with Regan and in-service teachers. He states: My relationship with Regan has totally change d. She used to call and ask questions to try to begin an argument, and it's evolved into, we can pretty much do anything and, I need you to help me figure how to support, and how do we go to my boss, about stuff. Not that she was mean or anything before, but it was mo re about building the trust, she needed to trust me before she allowed me to help her handle some other tough budge negotiations, negotiating with teachers, negotiating with thos e parents who also were teachers. (Harrison 27671,28201) In this example, Harrison describes the importa nce of establishing trusting relationships with Regan as a key facilitator for the inclusive e ducation reform. Harrison began his work with Country Way educators in the Spring of 2006 and continued his work until July of 2008.
218 Therefore, his ability to maintain continuity with Country Way educators enabled him to developing trusting relationships with in-servi ce teachers and the school administrative team. Therefore, university and district personnel cont inuity influenced PDS pa rticipants ability to establish and maintain trusting relationships. The examples shared within Claim Two examined inclusive education reform pa rticipation generated collabor ation and shifted participant relationships in PDS and inclusive classrooms. Multiple educators generated relationships based on trust, mutual respect, and shar ed equal status within PDS a nd inclusive classrooms as they shared responsibility for teaching, which positivel y influenced the professional learning culture for educators and students. Claim 3: Shifted Educator Learnin g Through Praxis The inquiry-oriented inclusive education refo rm shifted educator learning through praxis. Claim Three explores how PDS and inclusive re form structures and relationships enabled participants to negotiate theory and practice connections. Within Claim Three two concepts became highly influential in shifting educator lear ning. First, PDS classroom practices shifted as participants shared instructi onal responsibilities through co-t eaching. Second, educator learning shifted as PDS participants engaged in prax is within inclusive PDS classrooms. The two concepts shared within Claim Three are inter -related, but in order to understand how teacher learning and classroom practices influenced each othe r, they are discussed in detail separately. In the inclusive education reform prospective te achers and in-service teachers experienced significant learning benefits by conn ecting theory and practice in r eal classroom settings as they collaboratively engaged in and inqu ired into inclusive practices. Co-teaching practices Multip le educators describe significant shifts in co-teaching classroom practices since the PDS at Country Way Elementary began in Spring 2005. Prior to the PDS, participants described
219 Country Way Elementary classroom as sedent ary. Regan Lundsford describes classroom instruction in the beginning: Very traditional, everyone in their seat. Teacher up doing all the work, students passively engaged, or whatever that, I can't even rememb er what that kind of engagement is, where they are looking but they are kind of asleep. Just very little enga gement. Didn't see small group work, mostly directly instructi on. Lots of worksheets. (Regan 91845,92176). While Regan describes the practices as traditio nal, other participants use terms such as sedentary-style and isolated to describe classroom practices at Count ry Way before the PDS began in Spring 2005. Hannah Dobbs, a university prof essor, recalls the ab sence of collaboration within classrooms, There was no co-teaching going on at all. It was much more isolated, more like an egg carton (Hannah 58929,59444). After thr ee and a half years as a PDS, multiple educators describe a shift in teaching practices over time. Re gan describes an increase in grouping structures through more small gr oup work (Regan 92857,93183). Harrison cites an increase in the use of differentiated practices. He states: The classrooms are not sedentarystyle anymore, there's cooperative groups and learning centers. When they go to centers, the centers ar e differentiated, particularly in the primary grades. (Harrison 11154,12778) To suggest that classroom practices shifted underscores what actually occurred within PDS classrooms at Country Way Elementary. The shif t in classroom practices emerged as PDS and Inclusion goals aligned and educat ors began to take on more new roles, but the shift in classroom practices emerged gradually through co-teaching practices. The PDS brought about the first shift in classroom practices as prospective teachers learned co-teaching skills. As part of the pre-in ternship, prospective teachers were required to implement lessons that integrated various mode ls of co-teaching in their placements. Co-teaching was not simply a product of the Country Way PDS structure, but rather a process that took time for all educators to acquire. As pre-interns, pr ospective teachers were placed in dyads and co-
220 teaching was encouraged as a practice to provide diverse students access to small group and differentiated instruction. While some mentors simply tolerated co-teaching between their preinterns to allow them fulfill PDS placement re quirements, other mentors embraced co-teaching by participating jointly in teaching activities al ong side their pre-interns/interns. Table 5-1 illustrates the evolution of co-teaching practices at Country Way Elementary. Co-teaching practices shifted PDS classroom instruction. The first semester of the PDS, only three out of six PDS mentors embraced co-teaching with prospective teacher pre-interns. However, overtime the number of mentors who embraced rather than simply tolerated coteaching practices shifted. For ex ample, in Fall 2007 as many as 10 out of 12 mentor teachers embraced co-teaching with their prospective te achers. In many cases once mentors embraced coteaching, co-teaching became a part of their professional practice and became a ritual in their PDS classroom. However, in some cases ment ors who had traditionally embraced co-teaching with their prospective teachers temporary shif ted away from active co -teaching with their prospective teachers and during these times less teacher led small group instruction was observed. At Country Way Elementary, classroom practices were positiv ely influenced when mentor and prospective teachers shared the re lational values described within Claim Two. However, the absence of key relational values pr ompted shifts away from small group instruction and differentiated grouping structur es in some PDS classrooms. Ms. Destos classroom, as described in the begi nning of the chapter, represents a typical a process in PDS classrooms at Country Way El ementary. In the beginn ing co-teaching was a practice often carried out betw een prospective teachers. As mentors began to embrace coteaching they began to co-teach with their prospe ctive teachers, which provided more teacher led instruction for students. By the end of the third semester, six out of eight placement classrooms
221 had embraced co-teaching within classrooms by sharing the responsibility for instruction between mentors and prospective teachers. Ms. Desto embraced co-teaching within one semester of working as a PDS mentor; some mentors em braced co-teaching immediately; while others took more time and did not fully embrace co-teachi ng until their third semest er as a PDS mentor. However, by the end of the 2005-2006 school year al most every active participant in the Country Way PDS had embraced co-teaching to some exte nt. The only mentor who had not yet shifted towards embracing co-teaching chose not to continue as a PDS participant. Praxis contributed to a shift in co-teachi ng practices. Connecting the theory behind coteaching to the actual practice of co-teaching changed the instructional interactions between prospective teachers and in-service teachers in PD S classrooms, and in turn provided more small group and teacher directly instruction for stude nts. The PDS shifted classroom practices by placing multiple educators within a classroom to shared instructional res ponsibilities, which set the stage for the school wide inclusive reform movement. In Fall 2006, the movement toward inclusion generated alignment with the goals of the universitys teacher preparation program and the goals of the school. and provided more instructional resources in classrooms. Six out of the twelve PDS classrooms were inclusive classrooms that fall. In inclusive PDS classroom s prospective teachers co-taught with regular education and special education teac hers In some PDS classrooms, as many as four or five adults might be present to support st udent learning needs in inclus ive classrooms. In other PDS classrooms were two to three adults facilitati ng instruction. The number of adults depended on whether a PDS classroom had a full time intern or two pre-interns and if the ESE inclusion teacher also had an intern. Thus, the PDS and th e inclusive education reform shifted classroom practices by increasing the number of educators available to provide cl assroom instruction.
222 Praxis in inclusive classrooms The inclusive education refo rm shifted educator learni ng by providing opportunities for praxis in inclusive classrooms. As the PDS and in clusive education reform dove-tailed in the fall of 2006, opportunities for theory to practice connections increased. Prospective teacher inquiry projects helped some participants generate th eory and practice as they accommodated diverse learners in PDS inclusive classrooms. For othe r participants, actively engaging in co-teaching with both ESE and regular educators generated meaningful theory and practice connections. Participants suggest teacher inquiry was valuab le tool for helping teachers connect theory and practice in the PDS. Group i nquiry, in the form of the in clusion learning community was used to support in-service teachers in connecti ng theory and practice, while individual inquiry projects helped support prospective teacher learning. Catherine Duarte believes that inquiry projects generated meaningful learning for prospective teachers by emphasizing a focus on accommodating diverse learners. She states, When pre-intern had to do their inquiry proj ect, where they pick one or two students and they work with that student. I see that they notice that the work th at they are doing with these kids are definitely changing studen ts learning I think it makes them feel successful and then it makes them want to go and do more or push it to the next level and see how, well if she learned two today how many can she learn tomorrow, should we up it? They learn how to adapt instruct ion, well this didn't work at a ll so I am going to change it because she is not learning how to say her A BCs this way so I better switch and try to teach it a different way. So they learn how to change instruction for what works for the kids. So in a way they are making the accomm odations and but they don't know that is what they are doing. (Catherine 45276,47156) In this excerpt Catherine describes how teacher inquiry helped prospectiv e teachers learn how to accommodate individual students needs by focu sing on K-5 student learning. This example shows how inquiry provided prospective teacher s the opportunity to learning by connecting the concept of accommodating students with the actual practice. Therefore, praxis through inquiry
223 generated theory to practice connections and he lped teachers learn how to accommodate diverse learners. Co-teaching provided educators at multiple le vels the opportunity to connect theory and practice. For many prospective and in-service teache rs, co-teaching in the PDS helped them learn new skills by participation in inclusive classrooms. For university graduate students and university personnel the opportunity to engage in co-teaching and observing co-teaching in real inclusive classrooms provided meaningful lear ning opportunities. Harrison Donald describes how the shift in classroom arrangements and pr actices at Country Way generated theory and practice connections. He states: The PDSs are training teachers to work in incl usive settings. So they need to see it in action. They get placements in other schools where they don't see it. They come out and they've got this ivory tower saying to do this, and that's not reality. Having worked in the same role as Gabrielle, I understand that. So I think the nice thing is the teachers out there, most of the teachers that I see who have interns or preinterns, have given them responsibilities to do certa in things in the classroom. It's different based on the teacher's comfort level, especially when it comes to pre-interns, but they get exposure to working with kids with different types of needs, and then they have the honest dialogue with their mentors. (Harrison 12939,14411). Harrison describes how co-teaching in inclusive classrooms provides prospective teachers with increased responsibility for instruction and generates meaningful theory and practice connections. In addition, Harrison attributes his understanding of how theory and practice interact to his former role as a PDS supervisor when he was a doctoral student. PDS participants generated a deeper understandi ng of co-teaching, developed new skills, and learned how to accommodate diverse learners through part icipation in inclusive classrooms. Country Ways inclusive education reform shif ted educator learning and classroom practice for educators at multiple levels The examples shared within Claim Three explain how PDS and inclusive education reform shif ted structures and provided highl y situated learning opportunities for prospective teachers, in-service teachers, and university graduate students. The PDS and
224 inclusive education reform sh ifted the professional learning culture within Country Way Elementary by providing educators with the opp ortunity to learn thr ough praxis and active engagement in co-teaching. Claim 4: Shifted Student Performance Country W ays inquiry-oriented school improve ment focus on inclusiv e education shifted student performance. Claim Four explains the inclusive educa tion reforms impact on student performance. Claim Four will specifically exam ine how the PDS and inclusive education reform increased student engagement and individualized education pr actices, as well the specific learning gains achieved by students with disabilitie s. Unlike the writing reform initiative, the inclusive education reform emerged as a result of positive shifts in one pilot fourth grade classroom during the 2005-2006 school year. Multiple participants believe that the overarching emphasis on promoting student l earning success permeates the prof essional culture at Country Way Elementary. Participants suggest that the PDS contributed to shifts in instruction, which led to increased student engagement and the ability to accommodate students with diverse needs. Student learning data shows that students with disabilities achiev ed higher learning gains than regular education students. Engagement and individualized instruction Multip le participants suggest that PDS classrooms increased student engagement and individualized instructional practices. Specifi cally, multiple PDS participants attribute K-5 students learning benefits to an increase in human resources within PDS classrooms. Some participants believe that co-teaching in PDS classrooms increased student engagement, or time on-task, while others believe that inquiry pr ojects provided students more individualized instruction. Regardless of the specific approaches, participants agree that in inclusion classrooms with extra adults you sa w the most gains (Regan 38997,39093).
225 Each semester in the Country Way PDS 1416 prospective teachers conducted inquiries focused on an individual child. Principal Regan L undsford believes that in dividual attention from prospective teachers impacted student learning. She states, I am sure that it [the PDS] has impacted l earning by giving individual attention to some of our most struggling kids and trying to figure out what woul d work for them and kind of allow that experimentation. And, I know that ha s continued, like if a child started using manipulatives to learn more concrete math th e teachers have continued it even though that pre-intern is gone. I have s een that happen. (Regan 30807,31201) Regan believes prospective teacher inquiry has pr ovided individualized inst ruction for children and helped provide mentor teachers with specific tool to continue lear ning supports, even after prospective teachers left their placements. Prospective teacher inquiry focused educator attention and resources on individual student learning needs. Co-teaching enhanced learning and increased student engagement by providing students the opportunity to learn from multiple educators. The PDS and the inclusive education reform provided more instructional resources for student s, which offered students the opportunity to learn from other in-service teachers and prospec tive teachers. Denise and Jennifer both describe how co-teaching has enhanced learning bene fits for students. Denise states, I am not the only person that my kids can see t eaching. I think that a lo t times kids they got a lot out of having more than one person providi ng instruction, and not only that but they got used to more than one person just being th e disciplinary they got used to more than one person being able to come in and provide instru ction. They [students] learned to learn from other people and now when aides come in or different staff is made available. So, they are able to work with them without it being like they only can learn from one person and I think that that's really, for some kids it's hard for them to make that transition and working with inclusion and seeing some of my kids tied to routines and then getting out of that need to be tied to a routine is really, really good. (Denise 13254,15132) Denise believes that students benefit from learn how to work with and learn from multiple educators through co-teaching and inclusion. Jenn ifer echoes the belief that students have benefited in many ways, but also attributes the ability to provide more individual assistance to students as a benefit of PDS classrooms. She states:
226 They [students] have the opportunity to learn to deal with a lot of different personalities and in reality in this world is you have to le arn to deal with a lot of personalities and be able to adjust to certain nuances in the persona lity. Not to mention just the flat out another set of hands in the classroom allows the teacher to provide more indi vidual assistance not only if kids are struggling but those kids who are above average and need challenges whether it is the teacher doing it or she directs her pre-intern or the intern to do it. Kids bottom line get more individual assistance and more learning occurs. More learning occurs and more on task time occurs when you have pre-interns and intern s in your classroom than if you don't. (Jennifer 13645,14419) Jennifers experience in worki ng in both PDS and non-PDS classr ooms has given her a balanced perspective when examining the impact that prospective teacher s can have on student learning. Participants agree that PDS and inclusive cla ssroom provided more human resources to support student learning, which increased student engagement during instruction and focused attention on individual student needs. A lthough causal relationships between student learning shifts and PDS and/or inclusive classrooms cannot be made due to the influence of multiple factors. Standardized assessment results can help prov ide insight into whic h students are achieving significant learning gains in specific classrooms. Learning gains Country W ay PDS data suggests that student s in co-taught classrooms out gain their regular education counter parts. Standardized assessments results provide validity to Denise and Jennifers claims. Harrison Dona ld, a district level ESE supe rvisor, provides some specific evidence and insight into Country Way s student learning data. He states, General education peers are outperforming students with disabilities, which is understandable, but when you look at gains scores, the kids with disabilities had significantly out gained thei r peers. (Harrison 10233,11046) According to Harrison, gain scor es provided a better indicator of how ESE students performed in a given year than simply looking at their perfor mance on one assessment. The gain scores helped indicate how much student perfor mance shifted from year to year Gain scores were calculated for students beginning in grade 4 af ter two years of FCAT data we re gathered. In primary grade
227 classrooms, norm referenced assessment scores were used to provide information about student progress from year to year. Standardized test scores indicate that inclusive education classroom enabled ESE students to make more gains than general education st udents. FCAT student performance data from the 2006-2007 school year (Table 6-2) re veals that in reading fourth grade students w ith disabilities gained 218 points compared to 182 points gained by fourth grade regular education students. Fifth grade students with disabili ties showed an average reading gain of 151 points compared to regular education students with reading gains of 135. The math data reveals a similar story for fourth grade and a contrasting story for fifth graders. In Ma th, fourth grade student with disabilities gained an average of 103 points comp ared to regular education students who showed a 76-point gain. However, in fifth grade math, st udents with disabilities showed only an average 6-point gain compared to the 42-point gain ach ieved by regular education students. Archival documents and field notes reveal the rationale for the differences in instructional arrangements may have contributed to the differe nces in gains achieved in fourth and fifth grade. For example, in 2006-2007 all ESE student were place in two fourth grade classrooms and fifth grade ESE students were place among severa l teachers. Additionally, the tw o fourth grade teachers who participated in inclusion also participated as mentors in the PDS during the 2006-2007 school year. In primary grades, the data show student perf ormance shifts on the norm referenced test (NRT) from 2006 to 2007 (Table 6-3). First and s econd graders were assessed using the Stanford assessment tool. Similar to the writing reform movement, participants suggest that primary grades achieve the most significant shifts in incl usive instructional practices and student learning support. The data reveal that three out of five teachers participati ng in inclusion also participated
228 as PDS mentors. For example in one inclusive PDS first grade, st udents with disabilities gained an average of 9.3 points in Reading, where as stud ents with disabilities in an inclusive third grade classroom gained 1.8 points in Reading. To suggest that these data could provide an accurate metric to compare student gains in PDS and non-PDS classrooms would be misleading. First grade and third grade gain scores are cal culated based on student performance on two different assessments, which could make comparing gain score data problematic. Multiple participants sugges t that the PDS provides additional learning support for ESE students in inclusive classrooms by providing more individualized inst ruction and increased student engagement. The examples shared in Claim Four reveal how the PDS and inclusive education reform shifted student performance. Additionally, the data suggests that ESE students are making higher learning gains than regular ed ucation students in inclusive classrooms. Although the data does not allow us to make a causal link between student outcomes in PDS and non-PDS inclusive classrooms, interview data do es suggests that students and teachers are getting additional instructional support for ESE students as a re sult of the PDS because of an increase in human resources. Claim 5: Influenced Leadership Style In the inclus ive education refo rm school leadership style in fluenced the scope of change within the learning culture. Clai m Five offers insight into ho w PDS school leadership style impacted the professional lear ning culture of Country Way Elem entary. The story of inclusive education reform in the Country Way PDS pr ovides examples of how school leadership generated action and energy around a common focus for school improvement, aligned resources to facilitate educator learning, and shifted respon sibility to teacher leaders. Within Claim Five the data reveal how the organic nature of th e inclusive education refo rm generated ownership, responsibility, and teacher leadership. The inclusiv e education reform also generated pressure to
229 change and provided multiple resources to support change, which required change agents to achieve a delicate balancing act between theory and practice. Organic teacher leadership The school improvem ent focus on inclusiv e education reform required the school principal to trust outside experts and to delegate more responsib ility to teachers. Prior to the PDS, principal Regan Lundsford and her leadership team maintained the in structional leadership responsibilities in the school. Th e PDSs writing reform initiative helped to re-conceptualize how instructional leadership might be shared with un iversity partners. But the model for the inclusive education reform required her to trust univers ity and district personnel and entrust more instructional responsibilities to in-service and prospective teache rs. Although this process began in small ways during the writing reform, it was not until the inclusive e ducation reform that Regan truly began to release res ponsibility for instructi onal leadership to ot her PDS participants. Harrison Dobbs describes how Regans willingness to value expert knowledge contributed to this process. He states: Inclusion is valued by the leader, and without the leadership buy-in, different and new ideas, you would have no credibility. When she brings in Hannah and Gabrielle and Fiona and myself, they're there to facilitate the knowledge and bu ild the knowledge. They're not there just to dump it and leave. The w hole coaching mentoring follow-up, regularly scheduled thing was difficult for Regan in the beginning because she's doing a hundred things at once. But once she understood, oh, if I do this I could ha ve regular built-in support and it comes off my back, and other peop le will be responsible for it, and I can trust them, it opened up a whole new way of doi ng things. So the external knowledge piece is important but you can't do professional de velopment by just coming in and doing a sitand-get or dumping it and then expecti ng teachers to do it on their own. (Harrison 15942,16806) Multiple participants attribut e Regans willingness to rely on expert knowledge for teacher professional development as an influential leadersh ip skill that contributed to the success of the inclusive education reform. Sp ecially, participants attribut e her willingness to delegate responsibility for scheduling and inclusive education resource pl anning to the ESE team leader
230 Jennifer Townsend. PDS participants recognize how multiple participants carried the torch of inclusive education between the PDS and Projec t Include. However, the passion and enthusiasm of the in-service teacher instructional lead ers generated new levels of ownership and responsibility for inclusive education. Harrison describes how the ESE team leader contributed significant leadership for the inclusive education reform. He suggests: Jennifer, because she is such a champion of the cause. Her knowledge of assistive technology and young kids and what they nee d, and her enthusiasm is contagious. (Harrison 31630,31788) Harrison describes how the personal attributes of one specific in-service teacher contributed enthusiasm and energy to the inclusive educatio n reform. Jennifer was also a key figure who supported Regans ability to delegate re sponsibility to in-service teachers. The inclusive education reform formed a pr ofessional learning community of in-service teachers most prominently through Project Includ e. Project Include generated ownership and responsibility for inclusive education by providing space for and giving power to in-service teachers to explore, negotiate, a nd develop the school wide inclusive plan. However, without the buy-in from the school principal, such a transf ormative form of leadership could not have emerged. Regans leadership style shifted the pr ofessional learning culture because she delegated power to make decisions and responsibility for en acting the plan to a core group of in-service teachers, district level personnel and university support personnel who collaboratively carried the torch for inclusive reform. Balancing pressure, support, theory and practice The inquiry-oriented inclus ive education reform required PDS leaders to achieve a delicate balancing act. Similar to the writing re form, Regan continued to apply pressure to change with support for change. However, unlik e the writing reform, the inclusive education reform began with teachers who possessed a willingness to change. Even among a group of
231 educators willing to make change, dissonance st ill emerged. However, the ability of school leadership and outside experts to engage in meaningful dialogue and negotiate a balance between pressure and support and theory and practi ce eased the tension for many educators. Pressure and support became balanced when teachers were allowed voice in decision making. Harrison describes specifically how pressu re and support interact ed in the inclusive education reform. He states: You know the good thing of FCAT is all kids count now and teachers have to look at it. So, without that, I don't think they'd be in at all, but Regans a grea t leader, and her vision is, we're gonna do this, which isn't always popular with the teachers. But she finds ways to pull it off and give them the voice that they can help set up and desi gn itThere's gotta be some pressure to change, the pressure to change is there but there's got to be some support to help with the pressure, and that's the balance that has to co me, and sometimes the balance is out of whack, like the scenarios I sa id, but when it goes back and forth is a good time to build that knowledge or use your outside experts. I mean they like me up there, but I know that I can be a thorn in their side if they don't do thi ngs the way that I think they should be. But at the same time, I'm a big a dvocate of them. So it's fine line that the external people have to walk. (Harrison 15942,17411) In the inclusive education reform pressure to change came from the principal and standardized assessment pressure to improve results for all students. Together, the PDS and Project Include provided specific support activities to provided in-service teac her with voice in decision making, which generated ownership and responsibility. However, even though participation in these activities was considered optional, they still ex perienced dissonance at ti mes. Harrison describes the nature of the conflict in the inclusive education reform: I think you can convert some, but there's gonna be that 10-20 percent that you're never gonna change, and I think Regans done a good enough job to let them know this is the direction they're going, to encourage them if they don't like it to possibly look elsewhere, and sometimes you've got to make people uncomfo rtable to get them to change. (Harrison 19277,19618) Harrison describes that the pressure to change generated dissonance for some, and even with the support to enact changes, teacher resistance con tinued in some cases. Harrison emphasizes that professional development activities and projects should begin with the in -service teachers who
232 express a willingness to learn and participate. In the PDS, some in-service ceased to participate as mentors, and in inclusive classrooms in-service teachers sometimes shifted positions within the school or left the school altogether because they were unhappy with the changes underway. Although, the direction and focus of inclusive education reform disrupted some educators beliefs about how students should learn, with ongoing support many in-service educators were able to find a balance betw een the theory and practic e of inclusive education. PDS participants describe how the inclusiv e education reform required external support personnel to consider how to balance theory a nd practice. All PDS par ticipants recognize the importance of infusing best practices into C ountry Way classrooms. However, the university faculty members working in the PDS and Project Include understand that both the university and school should be collaboratively defining what bes t practices mean within the school context. Hannah Dobbs suggest that part of the dilemma is developing an understanding of whose practices are best. She states: Best practices really need to be defined, maybe by taking the best knowledge from both camps and integrating it and seeing how it work s, and then adjusti ng it and accommodating it and the outcome of that st udy, that inquiry, is the mergi ng of the craft knowledge and maybe the external knowledge is what is a best practice. (Hannah 40664,4100) Hannah wonders if the notion of best practice sh ould be re-conceptualized as the fusion of knowledge from two contexts where external expe rts and teacher practitioners collaboratively generate best practices together. The balanc e of external knowledge and craft knowledge required inclusion reform leaders to be ope n to new notions of best practices. The fusion of school and university expertise is how district supervisor Harrison Dobbs generated in-service teacher buy-in. He describe s how he had to accommodate the grant funded professional development program to better meet the needs of the school-based educators. He states:
233 I forced it into kind of what I think is, it's different, but it comes out with an output-based action plan, and Regan was pre tty critical of it in the be ginning. We've tweaked it and made it better, but I think the way that I think is always ba sed on what teachers think. And with their honest dialogue, w ith them asking hard questions and me figuring out a way, I don't know how the heck I maneuvered that rooms of sharks that day, but they were ready to basically throw the towel in, and I answered their questions. I thi nk they gave me an opportunity to practice what I pr each, which is we can do this together, using best practices and making it real, and using the knowledge that they have at the school site, we can come up with things that can work. (Harrison 32919,33675) Harrison describes that as unive rsity/district pe rsonnel he had to demonstrate to in-service teachers that their knowledge and voice was valued, and that the inclusive education reform was truly a collaborative effort to change. When dissonance emerged, Harrison demonstrated his willingness to negotiate a plan by allowing in-ser vice teachers to use their contextual knowledge of their school and students. Harrison refl ects upon how his experien ces with Country Way helped him gain new experience, which help him better serve other schools. He states: Would I like them to use a little bit more re search, of course, but it's ok. I think they're doing ok. I think they, they made me a be tter person because as you go through these things, then you have more experience and back ground to draw from, and be able to help yourself inform other people down the road. I th ink the key to me is that they draw on good things, solve dilemmas, not perfectly, but work their way through this, and over time, people have kind of gone, ok, this is what we're about. (Harrison 33676,33984) Although Harrison hopes to see more the school using more research based practices down the road, he celebrates the small accomplishments a nd works toward solving new dilemmas as they arise. As inclusive education reform leaders, university/dis trict personnel were given more leadership opportunities to suppor t in-service teachers. However, new leadership roles required PDS participants to find a balance between the theoretical knowledge base of inclusion with the contextual knowledge based of educators within the site. Multiple examples illustrate how school leaders and district/university experts achieved a balancing act to support Country Ways inquiry-oriented approach to inclusive education reform. The examples shared in Claim Five illustrate how leadership within the inclusive education
234 reform generated a more organic form of t eacher leadership, and delegated responsibility among many PDS leaders. Much like the writing instruction reform, school leaders had to find a balance between asserting pressure to change with support for change. However, the data suggests that PDS participants may have learned from the negative writing reform experiences of mandating participation, and instead selected voluntary participants for the inclusion professional learning community. Similarly, univers ity and district level participants learned to shift the focus toward balancing the craft know ledge of school-based educators with the re search-based practices promoted by university-funded projects. Claim 6: Influenced by Existing Un iversity and District Structures The inclusive education reform brought a bout new energy through the PDS and alignment emerged as school/district goals dove-tailed with university program goals. Claim Six offers insight into how university and di strict organizational structures influenced PDS collaboration. Within Claim Six, two specific concepts directly influenced the professional learning culture in the Country Way PDS. First, the theoretical al ignment between university teacher preparation goals, and district/school goals, for helping a ll students gain access to the general curriculum generated simultaneous renewal. However, th e second concept, whic h explores existing university and district organiza tional structures, limited furthe r PDS growth and development. The inclusive education reform generated ne w structures, relationships, and roles for professional learning opportunities to contribute to both school a nd university renewal. However, the extent to which renewal was actualized hinged upon the flexibil ity of university and district structures. Theoretical alignment and simultaneous renewal The Country Way PDS inquiry-o riented inclusive education reform generated alignment between school, district, and uni versity goals. In the beginning, the universitys focus on training
235 inclusive educators provided the structural re sources for the PDS. However, when district support incentives were aligned with school goals, it generated action and energy by university, district, and school personnel around a common mission, helping all students gain access to the general education curriculum. Ha rrison Dobbs believes that the alignment between school goals and university goals have been a key facilitator in the inclusive education reform. He states, I think that the key thing is that the goals of the school have been realigned with the PDC concept. The word I'm gonna use overal l is the coaching and mentoring kind of philosophy. They are helping young, beginning teach ers, and some of them do a better job than others, and Regans in that program, they've taken on the responsibility and that's what they're doing. At the same time, they've done the same thing with the district. We come out and help them and we ask them to do a lot at other schools. I think the biggest facilitator is that willi ng to change, the willingness to l ook at doing things differently, that how do we capitalize in this er a of high stakes accountability and budget cuts, to meet the needs of kids. (Harrison 22454,24268) Harrison believes PDS educators willingness to take on new responsibilities, and to embrace a new approach to meeting diverse student need s, generated alignment between university and school programs. Although in the beginning the PDS provided the fo cus on inclusion, later the school and district fusion of goals generated a professional le arning culture around a common set of beliefs about educa ting diverse learners. Key university and district personnel shar ed a common belief system which supported theoretical alignment among sites. Hannah Dobbs describes how shared beliefs influenced the roles of key support personnel. She states: Harrison was in dual roles both at UF and with the school district and Regan reached out to him. The power there was that he understood the PDS network and what the work is of PDSs, he understood inquiry, so now we had her and him working internally in the system. But Gabrielle also understood the inclusion role and could bring in people and special ed folks came aboard from Country Way, so that was a different dynamic in how everyone got together, but I think the reason it was so easy for folks to get together around inclusion, this notion of co-teaching and all of that, was because everyone had a shared knowledge base. Harrison had it because of his training at the University, and then Harrison ended up in a position in the district that allowed a ve ry tight coupling of theo ry and practice. So, I think that it is just an emerging of people with a shared knowledge base, shared vocabulary, shared goals, shared beliefs, all of that stuff kind of coalesced. And Gabrielle
236 says to me sometimes that inclusion is pr obably one of the strongest pieces that has happened there and it really wasn't an initial, it almost happened spont aneously. I think the reason that it happened spont aneously though, it that you didn 't have to go around creating shared knowledge, shared beliefs because people were positioned that already had that and it was less work. (Hannah 10387,11090) In this excerpt, Hannah describes the impor tance of a shared knowledge base surrounding inclusive education as a critical component for PDS success. Multiple par ticipants who shared a common knowledge base and set of beliefs about inclusive education influenced the professional learning culture at Country Way. The willingness of district and university pe rsonnel to adapt and accommodate educator learning programs contributed to simultaneou s renewal in the Country Way PDS. In the beginning, the principal, in-service teachers and the PDS site coordinator collaboratively adapted university coursework to meet contextual need s between. Later, distri ct/university personnel adapted university professional development programs to better meet the needs of educators. Hannah Dobbs describes how she conceptualizes the process of collaboratively negotiating, adapting and accommodating university and schoolwork. She states: Regan and Gabrielles flexibility to adapt assignments and tasks, the university, its simultaneous renewal, so Regan is renewi ng her school but your also simultaneously renewing teacher education but accommodating and adapting to what the school is working on and as they are doing th at your learning too. (Hannah 28664,28960) But although Hannah believes that process of adapting and accommodating programs to met contextualized needs is a component of simultaneous renewal, she quest ions how simultaneous renewal is defined by considering key components of PDS history. She recalls: The lab school was theory, take the expert ise and apply it in the school, and the PDS movement was born out of the expertise of th e school rather than external. A PDS should do both, I think I learned that because of Regan, because Regan goes out and finds knowledge and brings it in at the same time they are trying knowledge, they are trying out this knowledge and studying it as it is happeni ng so they are creati ng this craft knowledge. So, instead of it being either or it is really and or both of these kinds of knowledge and she really taught me about that. (Hannah 28664,28960)
237 Hannah suggests that simultaneous re newal is about the willingness of participants to engage in a learning process that supports negotiating theoretical knowledge and craft knowledge, while at the same time using this process to inform t eacher education. The Country Way PDS helped inservice and prospective teachers generate knowle dge and skills around inclusive practices, while at the same time university and district level personnel gained important new insights from the ways school-based personnel carried out their improvement process, thus generating improvement for both school and university partners. The benefit of the inclusive e ducation reform was that all participants working within the PDS classrooms had a common kno wledge base and understood how the PDS and district could creatively negotiate traditional structures to improve learning benefits for educators and students. The alignment between university, district, a nd school initiatives s upported a professional learning culture for educators who valued a common knowledge base and displayed a willingness to adapt and accommodate program mode ls to meet the contextual needs of the Country Way PDS teachers and students. Inhibited further PDS development In the inclus ive education refo rm, both district and univers ity organizational structures inhibited further PDS development. Multiple partic ipants describe how a lack of district and school organizational structures inhibit PDS alignment, while ot hers describe how a lack of organizational alignment at the university level inhibits alignment within the Country Way PDS. Some PDS participants describe how district level organizational structures inhibit PDS work at Country Way Elementary. Others suggest that organizational disconnects between regular education and special education departments in the university inhibit PD S work. Overall, while the theoretical underpinnings of multiple organi zations have aligned with positive outcomes, organizational structures continue to inhibit further PDS work.
238 District organizational struct ures inhibit PDS support. Harrison Dobbs describes how organization barriers between Country Way and the district inhibit PDS work. He states: Even though I'm a district employee, it's probably the district itself, th e district leadership showed that they weren't really committe d to her, that this was a school-based commitment, and that's not unusual, they've done that to other principals who have gotten involved [in the PDS]. (Harrison 29096,29434) In this example Harrison describes how orga nizational support for PDS work has remained largely supported by individual school efforts. Hannah Dobbs reiterates Harrisons point and provides further explanation about the cons equences of this dilemma. She states, The district is a huge inhibitor. There appear s to be not recognition by the district of the work that she's done being related to PDS. I think they gave recognition that she is improving her school and that kind of thing, but I think the district has not gone to any means to understand what PDS is, how it is contributing, they just act like it doesn't exist. So, there's no kind of organizational sustaina bility build in within the county. And now according to the nine essentials of PDS this school wouldn't even be considered a PDS, because of not having an organizational structure that supported by the school system. (Hannah 18173,18805) According to Hannah, organizational sustainabili ty is a major consequence of the existing structure between the schools, districts, and un iversity. The lack of organizational support structures between the district a nd university inhibits PDS work in district schools, but it also underminds the hard work of PDS participants working to contribute to the PDS knowledge base. University organizational structures inhi bit PDS support. Multiple PDS participants express dissonance with a percei ved disconnect between regular ed ucation and special education programs in the college of education. Regan Lundsford describes her frustration as it relates to a lack of organizational alignment in the teacher education. She states: You know the whole structure, like the special ed department and the elementary and the early childhood and my art and music teacher woul d love to become a part of the PDS. The special ed interns, there is no reason why they couldn't be supervised by the same person. Teaching is teaching. I think that we still have all these separate lit tle entities here when we, in a PDS school, we should all be under one. I think they feel so is olated, we have one
239 special ed intern here, that's so isolating, they don't get near the experience that that group does. (Regan 47903,48462) Regan expresses how the perceived disconnect be tween regular education and special education generates dissonance rather than unity in the PD S. Other PDS participan ts echo her tension, but site alternative reasons. Jennife r Townsend feels that the organizational disconnect does not embrace the spirit of collaboration promoted by the teacher education program. She explains: It is my understanding that it is general education that does the PDC, the Professional Development Community and special ed for one reason or not is not joined in on that or not been active, I don't know the ramifications but she was a special ed intern so therefore, her supervisor came from the special ed department wasn't a supervisor from the partnership and just had totally different requirements, didn't have to attend seminar, just different, there is a huge dividi ng line between special ed and regular ed when it comes to teacher preparation. I just feel like it is turf wars. I don't know, I haven't been at the university or I may be speaking out of turn, I just feel like everything that I have learned special ed a lot of it is no t being implemented at the university level, which is communication, above and beyond, you communicate and you work together to meet the best needs of the students and the collaboration is not taking effect at the university level and I don't know how we can expect the students coming out of the university to be good collaborators if the university staff itself does not collaborate a nd provide the best education possible for students. (Jennifer 23278,23451) Jennifer perceives the disconnect between univers ity department is a pr oduct of turf wars within the university organization, and she describes how this in fluences prospective teachers working within the Country Way PDS. She further suggests: I see that the regular ed interns and pre-in terns have much more support, active support from their supervisors because they're on campus at least once a week they do attend a seminar in which the supervisor is well aware of what is going on at our campus and is able to work more closely and become a more meaningful part of th eir education than the supervisors from the special education department. The Special Education department, even though they are very good supervisors they are not as tied into the happenings of the school, what the nuances of the school are, what are some of the things that the interns are having to deal with on a day to day basis and th erefore they are not as able to counsel them or direct them in things that might be more beneficial for them. So, I think that the regular ed pre-interns and interns have a much better supervisory system than special education system does. On the other hand, I do feel th at based on my experiences that special education students come out much more pr epared for differentiated instruction for behavior management for a lot of things that make a classroom func tion well for all of the students. There are pros and cons to both. (Jennifer 24405,25598)
240 Both Regan and Jennifer feel that alignment be tween departments within the PDS environment would provide better supervis ion structures for the learni ng needs of special education prospective teachers. However, Jennifer further suggests that coursework emphasis for special education prospective teachers produces better pr epared educators. The examples shared within Claim Six specifically illustrate how the incl usive education reform generated theoretical alignment between school, district s, and university goals and fac ilitated learning in the Country Way PDS for educators and student s. However, existing district and university organization structures continue to inhi bit further PDS alignment. Conclusion The Country W ay PDS facilita ted inquiry-oriented inclus ive education by shifting structures, relationshi ps, and praxis, which generated a professional learning culture for educators and students. The incl usive education reform unfold ed first through the PDS, and second through the school improvement focus on inclusive education re form. The PDS initiated co-teaching practices between pr ospective and in-service teac hers, which set the stage for inclusive classrooms to emerge where coaching a nd learning became part of classroom practices. Co-teaching participant relationships were underpi nned by mutual respect and equal status, while university personnel continuity en abled participants to develop trusting relationships. However, the most significant facilitator occurred when school, district and university goals aligned, which generated theory to practice connections and enabled educators to learn through active engagement and praxis. Although, some district and university orga nizational structures inhibited further PDS development and alignment, the overall outcomes of the inclusive education reform improved classroom practices and su pported learning for students with disabilities. In Chapters 6 and 7 findings were presented from two school improvement reform movements. Chapter 6
241 presented outcomes from the writing reform, and chapter 7 presented findings from the inclusive education reform. Chapter 8 discusses the findi ngs and draws implications from the data.
242 Figure 7-1. Whole group co-teaching photos A) Denise co-teaching with pre-internsh ip partner during a whole group lesson, B) Olivia co-teaching during the same whole group lesson in Ms. Destos 5th grade. A B
243 A B Figure 7-2. Small group co-teaching photos A) Olivia leading a small gr oup during a station teaching du ring a Social Studies unit, B) A fifth grade student worki ng on a writing activity in Denise s small group lesson during the same lesson.
244 Table 7-1. Evolution of co-teaching in the Country Way PDS Semester Grade Level PDS Classroom Mentors Prospective Teacher Level Total PDS Classroom Mentors Co-Teaching with Prospective Teachers* Tolerated Embraced Absent Spring 2005 K JW PI 6 3 TG PI 3 JC PI 4 BC PI 5 LK PI 5 GB PI 6 3 3 Fall 2005 2 SW I 2 2 MB I 3 TG I 4 BC I 5 GB I 5 3 2 Spring 2006 K JW PI 1 TR PI 2 SW PI 3 TG PI 3 JC PI 4 BC PI 5 GB PI 5 SD PI 8 2 6 0 Fall 2006 K JW PI K BM PI 1 AT PI 1 CD* PI 1 TR* I 2 GB I 3 DM* I 4 KP I 4 BC* I 5 RN PI 5 SD I ESE K-2 TJ P 11 2 8 1
245 Table 7-2. FCAT results 2007 s caled and gain scores Grade Reading School Average Reading School Gain Reading Students w/disabilities Average Reading Students w/disabilities Gain Math School Average Math School Gain Math Students w/disabilities Average Math Students w/disabilitie s Gain 3 1440 n/a 121 n/a 1494 n/a 1372 n/a 4 1652 182 129 218 1573 76 1294 103 5 1736 135 148 151 1610 42 1432 6
246 Table 7-3. Shifts in primary grade student performance on standardized assessments 2006-2007 Name Teacher Reading Per centiles Math Percentiles 1s t grade-Student 1 PDS-Teacher 1 36 down to 23 17 up to 26 1s t grade-Student 2 PDS-Teacher 1 8 up to 258 up to 29 1s t grade-Student 3 PDS-Teacher 1 63 up to 8054 up to 68 1s t grade-Student 4 PDS-Teacher 1 27 up to 37 28 down to 12 1s t grade-Student 5 PDS-Teacher 1 45 up to 5937 up to 72 2n d grade-Student 1 PDS-Teacher 2 20 up to 31 54 down to 34 3rd grade-Student 1 Teacher 3 16 to 3738 to 63 3rd grade-Student 2 Teacher 3 43 to 6829 to 70 3rd grade-Student 3 PDS-Teacher 4 21 to 1526 to 15 3rd grade-Student 4 PDS-Teacher 4 34 to 32 10 to 54 3rd grade-Student 5 PDS-Teacher 4 59 to 7418 to 66 3rd grade-Student 6 PDS-Teacher 4 14 to 3220 to 81 3rd grade-Student 7 PDS-Teacher 4 63 to 9455 to 85 3rd grade-Student 8 PDS-Teacher 4 10 to 9672 to 93 3rd grade-Student 9 PDS-Teacher 4 80 to 77 34 to 81 3rd grade-Student 10 Teacher 5 21 to 11 7 to 29 3rd grade-Student 11 Teacher 5 21 to 396 to 36 3rd grade-Student 12 Teacher 5 40 to 6851 to 70 3rd grade-Student 13 Teacher 5 34 to 3568 to 85 3rd grade-Student 14 Teacher 5 46 to 18 7 to 15
247 DISCUSSION Review of the Study The purpose of this research study was to ex am ine how educators de scribed their shifting beliefs, values, roles, behaviors, rituals, and responsibilities as participants in a PDS focused on creating a culture of professiona l learning. Knowledge gained from this study was valuable for multiple reasons: 1) By deeply understanding the characteristics that educators describe as facilitators and inhibitors for PDS work within one school context, school and university educators can consider how structures relationships, and practices can be implemented/adapted to better support the contextualized school improvement work of individual PDS sites and across PDS networks. 2) The results of this study help universities, districts, and schools id entify how PDS sites can provide mutual benefits for educators at multiple levels to improve teaching, learning and instructional pract ices in their respective institutions. 3) The findings can also help university and school educators determine the conditions and characteristics of PDS work that in fluence theory and practice connections within a school context. For this study, field notes, artifacts, and part icipant interviews were gathered over three and a half years of field-work within one fledgling elementary PDS. Dialogical interviews with nine participants were transcri bed and then analyzed based on how participants described shifts in the professional learning culture. Six claims derived from participant descriptions were presented within the two reform illustrations. These claims were supported by evidence from field notes, artifacts, and interv iews. Finally, each claim was exam ined and discussed to provide a thick description of the contextual characte ristics within the Country Way PDS. A summary table of the overarching assertion and claims that emerged from the writing reform and inclusive education reform is provided at the end of Chapter 5.
248 Lessons Learned Country W ays inquiry-oriented approach to school improvement has highlighted many key lessons about PDS work a nd teacher learning within school -university partnerships. Many lessons learned from this study resulted from th e successes and struggles within the writing and inclusive education reforms. Th e struggles of one reform brought about opportunities to improve the PDS work. The following lessons emerged from these experiences: A shared inquiry focus for PDS work en ables educators at multiple levels to collaboratively improve teaching and learning. PDS participants must be given voice in the development of reform purposes and goals. Different types of reform goals generate different levels of resistance and support. All stakeholders should bene fit from PDS engagement. PDS work cannot be sustained at the school level without district buy in and support. Simultaneous renewal can occur in crementally and fundamentally. PDS partnership teams need to span boundari es to maximize continuity and alignment within a context. School and universities can expand the memb ership of their communities through PDS work. School leaders need to balance authority and power to achieve reform goals. Dissonance, resistance, and tension in a PDS are catalysts for professional growth. PDS participant relationships can help tr anslate conflict into productive tensions. University faculty members engaged in PDS wo rk are often required to negotiate a balance between multiple theoretical and organizational agendas. Reform continuity and duration dramatically influence relationships educator learning, and the overall success of PDS reform.
249 These lessons are described in more detail as they relate to four overa rching interpretations. The following section outlines the interpretations and describes how each lesson learned from the Country Way PDS can inform th e work of other PDS sites. Interpretations This study o ffers four interpretations (Wolco tt, 1994) drawn from an analysis of multiple data sources gathered over th ree and half years at the Count ry Way Elementary PDS. The interpretations draw upon data to inform new un derstandings or lessons learned from the PDS work of Country Way Elementary and to form recommendations for the work of other PDS sites (Table 8-1). The four interpretati ons presented are connected to the data and its analysis in four areas: 1) the utility of inquiry in linking theory and practice through reform 2) the need for flexible structures and pathways in PDS work, 3) PDS work as a balancing act of power and knowledge, and 4) the tension betw een stability and change in PD S reform. Each interpretation presented is connected to specific lessons lear ned from the writing and the inclusive education reforms. Interpretation 1: The utility of inquiry in linking theory and practice through reform. The Country W ay PDS utili zed inquiry as an overarching approach for school improvement, which included individual teacher inquiry and collabora tive inquiry around a shared focus. Virginia Richardson (2003) suggest s that an inquiry approach to professional development allows teachers to maintain indivi dual autonomy while bringing teachers together to make crucial decisions for school reform (p.406). Similar to the inquiry approach to professional development, this study provi des evidence that inquiry-oriented school improvement enabled multiple learning opportuniti es for educators to study together around a shared focus for improvement. Teacher, teacher educator, and administrator practices, beliefs and understandings about teaching and learning sh ifted due to the wri ting instruction and
250 inclusion focus at Country Way Elementary. T hus, a shared focus for PDS school improvement facilitated the professional learning culture at Country Way Elementary because it brought educators at multiple levels together to coll aboratively inquire into teaching and learning. PDS participants must be given voice in the development of reform purposes and goals. The importance of participants voice in defi ning reform purposes and goals was pivotal to linking theory and practice thr ough inquiry-oriented sc hool improvement. Inquiry should bring teachers together to make important collaborati ve decisions about reform (Richardson, 2003). The school principal defined the first year goals of the writing reform, and later with the support of one university faculty member writing inst ruction reform agenda was collaboratively negotiated. Yet, district level perspectives a bout writing instruction and FCAT pressure added complexity to the purpose of the reform. The complexity of the reform made defining a shared mission between PDS leaders and teachers a cha llenge. Teachers struggled to understand the purpose and goals of their collaborative work with the university and the district because they were not given voice in the development of the reform goals. As the inclusive education reform began, teacher voice became an integral component of developing the Country Way inclusion plan. Integrating teachers voice in the devel opment of inclusive reform goals generated ownership and responsibility for the reform and helped more teacher leadership emerge. Thus, integrating PDS participant voice into the crea tion of reform goals f acilitated a professional learning culture by allowing teachers to make decisions about school reform. Different types of reform goals generate di fferent levels of resistance and support. The goals of the writing and inclusive education reform were different in many ways. In addition, the differences influenced how teachers responded to reform and their openness for support. The focus of the writing reform emphasized overarc hing instructional cha nges to help promote
251 quality-writing instruction. Teachers personal beli efs and current instructional practices were challenged as they read professional texts and sh ared student-writing samples with peers. As individuals confronted and navi gated through their own belief systems they began to be open to learning new ideas. However, the process of confronting and overcoming differing belief systems about instruction is a time consuming a nd uncomfortable process that requires on-going support to actualize meaningful change. Concurre nt with other change literature (Fullan, 2001; Putnam & Borko, 2000), educators who participated in the book study and inquired into their practice experienced more shifts in beliefs and practices than those w ho only participated in committee work alone. The inclusive education refo rm focused on changing the ways that school and university personnel worked together to help all students gain access to the regular education curriculum. Changing the way educators worked together required specific attention to relationship building and collabora tive inquiry into co-teaching practices. As educators engaged in co-teaching and inclusive practice they supported each other and developed new understandings. Dissonance most often emerged due to relationships that lacked mutual respect and equal status within classrooms. Educators who developed positive co-teaching relationships fostered theory to practice connections thr ough their daily work and they collaboratively supported each other through the learning journey. Interpretation 2: The need for flexible structures and pathw ays in PDS work. All stakeholders should benef it from PDS engagement. PDS contexts often attend to the contextual needs of school sites, districts, and universities to de velop partnership structures and goals. However, this study brought into focus th e need for school districts, school sites, and universities to establish flexible structures and relationships that enable individual stakeholders to benefit from PDS engagement. PDS work is time and labor intensive because it requires participants to develop and maintain relations hips while also engaging in collaboratively
252 problem solving and learning. Each partnership initiative benefited stakeholders in diverse ways. At the same time, structures and/or relationships between participants influenced the extent to which stakeholders sustained or actualized benefits from PDS wo rk. Mutually beneficially PDS engagement draws upon the proposed notion of a good fit professor in residence for PDS work (Klingner et al., 2004) and explores contextual, teacher, and univer sity factors that influence PDS collaboration (Bullough & Kauchak, 1997). The evidence from this study revealed that good-fit PDS participants were able to achieve mutual teaching and lear ning benefits from the partnership and sustained active engagement over time. Likewise, the evidence also suggested that district and university stru ctures inhibited engagement at times for some PDS participants. Thus, schools, districts, and universities need to establish flexible structures so that individual participants can maintain a good-fit through PDS engagement. PDS work cannot be sustained at the school level without district buy in and support. Establishing flexible organizational structures between multiple institutions is a challenge, but without district level support it is nearly impossible. Evidence from this study suggests that an absence of collaboration between university and district level re sources in the writing reform generated complexity, which prompted dissonance for PDS participants and at times inhibited learning. However, the inclusiv e education reform benefited from key personnel who spanned university and district organiza tional roles to help streamlin e university-led professional development activities and provide d on-going support for the reform through their district roles. Therefore, school districts should consider how PDS partnerships between schools and universities can provide additional professiona l development for teachers, more learning resources for students, and provi de more human resources to s upport school improvement efforts without the financial burden of outside consultant s. District level buy in would facilitate PDS
253 work because flexible structures between unive rsity and districts could provide schools with sustainable resources to s upport for reform initiatives. Simultaneous renewal can occur incrementally and fundamentally. Although partnership work was not considered a part of university faculty member responsibilities, simultaneous renewal occurred in small ways throughout th e writing reform. University faculty began integrating on-site PDS visits in graduate cour sework, and graduate students began revising oncampus coursework for undergraduate students because of lessons learned coaching prospective teachers in PDS classrooms. Individual universit y-based PDS participants improved their work as teacher educators because of their particip ation in the Country Way writing reform. Through the inclusive education reform, district/unive rsity level personnel ad apted and revised the professional development program for teachers through work with Country Way participants. The revising and adapting teaching and learning in incremental ways resounds with the notion of simultaneous renewal, the most notable lessons in these reform examples is how individual participants utilized their part icipation and learning from the PDS to improve their own teaching. The data also indicates that a fundamental sh ift toward simultaneous renewal occurred when university teacher preparation goals, district goals, and schoo l goals aligned to create an inclusive education context. PDS partnership teams need to span boundari es to maximize continuity and alignment within a context. One significant lesson that emerged from this study was the need for PDS partnership teams to encompass participants from district, school, and university contexts to collaboratively make decisions about teaching and learning. Additionally, within the PDS participants representing all active reform initia tives should be present to identify ways to streamline their support and maximize benefits fo r all educators. The findings from this study
254 suggest that PDS participants viewed the wri ting reform and inclusive education reform as separate entities. Missing from the Country Wa y PDS was a partnership team that engaged PDS teacher education personnel, writing reform personnel, and inclusive education reform personnel. The creation of such a team may have helped pa rticipants unite and collaboratively embark on multiple agendas simultaneously. PDSs need a unifie d team that brings in expertise from outside of the context and joins them with the exper tise of educators within the context to support improved teaching and learning. Schools and universities can expand the memb ership of their communities through PDS work with new pathways for educator learning. Th e data suggests that educators at Country Way Elementary learned how to be better teachers and teacher educators in writing and inclusive practices through active engagement. Educators at mu ltiple levels learned about what it meant to be a PDS, teacher educator, or teacher by having the opportunity to participate in the work. The National Center for Research on Teacher Learni ng (n.d) note mentors need time to mentor and opportunity to learn to mentor (National Ce nter for Research on Teacher Learning, n.d), Together educators learned by engaging in the process of t eaching, mentoring, and coaching, a concept central to Lave and Wengers notion of legitimate peripheral participation (p. 14). According to Lave and Wenger (1991), individual s acquire the skill to perform by engaging in the process (p.14). The data from this study in fact suggest that educator participation was legitimate in that all participants shared equal st atus as educators. In th is context, prospective teachers, mentors, and graduate students learne d their craft through enga ged scholarship (Boyer, 1996), while at the same time school leaders and university personnel learned how to be better teacher educators through active engagement and inquiry. Therefore, new pathways for teacher
255 preparation and teacher educator preparation ma y consider how active engagement is a pathway for induction into professional communities. Interpretation 3: PDS work is a balancing act of power and knowledge. School leaders need to balance authority and power to achieve reform goals. Concurrent with the teacher learning and school improvement literature (Darling-Hammond, 1994; Hopkins, Ainscow, & West, 1994), PDS participation requires a balancing act of top-down and bottom-up pressure and support. In additi on, the writing and inclusive educa tion reform initiatives provided new understandings of how balancing power and know ledge influenced the professional learning culture at Country Way Elementary. French and Raven (2001) suggest that five forms of power affect social influence in an organization: coer cive, reward, legitimate, expert, and referent. For school leaders, balancing coercive and legitimate power became a particularly challenging task. As evidenced in Chapters 6 and 7, the school prin cipal asserted her legitimate power to set the writing and inclusive reform in motion. Within the writing reform, the principal utilized coercive power to generate participation. In contrast the inclusive reform generated the bottom-up leadership as teachers were given legitimate power to make decisions about reform, which generated ownership and responsibility. Thus, school leaders can generate a professional learning culture by balancing multiple sources of power to achieve top-down and bottom-up changes. Specifically, the data fr om this study verifies that all five sources were at work at various time points in the Country Way PDS. Between the two initiatives, a model emerged that illustrates how the Country Way PDS achieved i nquiry-oriented school improvement (Figure 8-1). Dissonance, resistance, and te nsion in a PDS are catalysts for professional growth. All PDS participants need to understand how conflicti ng notions about the application of theory and practice can prompt PDS partic ipants to collaboratively ne gotiate new understandings. The
256 results from this study indicate that teachers ov ercame multiple forms of dissonance to foster new beliefs, knowledge, and skills related to writing instruction and inclusive education. However, at almost every turn of success there existed some form of tension or dissonance that helped the PDS participants move toward new levels of collaboration and understanding. Dissonance prompted action and energy to either resolve the conflict or find new ways to conduct work within the context. Thus, profession al growth was often preceded by a tension that required participants to nego tiate old ways of thinking w ith new ideas for practice. PDS participant relationships can help translate c onflict into productive tensions. The act of collaboration generated dissonance at times and at other times helped participants generate new understandings that would not have otherwise been achie ved without PDS collaborative structures. Concurrent with other PDS studies (Johnston & Kerper, 1996), power played an influential role in the professional learning culture of the Country Way PDS. Specifically, referent power, or the power of relationships, in many ways helped move participants from dissonance toward a productive te nsion that generated shifts in beliefs, practices, or new understandings. When PDS participants lacked referent power through PDS collaboration, conflict often resulted in unres olved dissonance. Thus, the refe rent power that emerged through PDS participant collaboration in the writing and inclusive education reforms helped generate productive tensions (Johnston & Kerper, 1996) that led to new levels of knowledge development. Thus, social power held a power influence on he lping PDS participants negotiate dissonance. University faculty members engaged in PD S work often had to negotiate a balance between multiple theoretical and organizational agendas. They had the task of negotiating a contextually sensitive balance between theory and practice. Often, the role of negotiator required faculty members to use their expert power to he lp generate new insights, while at other times
257 faculty members needed to use their referent pow er to help participan ts negotiate tensions between theory and practice. As evidenced in the writing reform, the e xpertise of university faculty members was better received as PDS pa rticipants and faculty developed relationships. But, the added theoretical complexity within the writing reform made negotiation even more challenging. The inclusive education reform veri fied the importance of referent power as district/university personnel utilized their re lationships with teachers to navigate through dissonance and achieve change. Concurrent with other research (French & Raven, 2001; Johnston & Kerper, 1996), there is a relations hip between expert a nd referent power in supporting teacher learning in PDS work. Interpretation 4: The tension between stability and change in PDS reform. Refor m continuity and duration dramatically influence relationships educator learning, and the overall success of PDS reform. The final le sson of this study regard s the tension between stability and change. As participants described positive shifts in various aspects of their PDS work there was always something that remained stable in order to facilitate a shift. Even moments of teacher resistance and/or dissonance prompted change, as some teachers rejected new writing practices in an attempt to mainta in stability it prompted school leaders and university personnel to consider the utility, balance, and alignment of current professional development programs in writing. A stable group of PDS leaders, including the principal, CRT, and university appointed supervisor enabled continuity and facil itated support for PDS activities due to established relationships with practicing and prospective t eachers. This included stability in mentorship and supervision as prospective teachers returned for additional field experiences at the site. In contrast to other studies on t eacher turnover diminishing the mentor base or coordinator turnover in PDS sites (Bullough et al. 1997), turnover in faculty members at Country Way actually prompted stability in values as non-PDS teachers retired or left and the
258 principal brokered in new PDS community me mbers who shared her vision for continuous learning, supporting teacher educ ation, and educating all stud ents. Unlike many PDS sites plagued with turnover, Country Way maintained stability of key human resources in many ways. However, the flux of frequently revisiting a nd revising school improveme nt initiatives made university faculty continuity challenging. Emihovich (1998) s uggests a relationship between stability and change, Schools are dynamic organizati ons in constant flux. But, at the same time, there are momentary points of stability around wh ich people get things done (p.129). The more stability that can be built into PDS work the be tter, particularly relate d to human resources to support prospective teacher preparation, practicin g teacher professional development, and school leadership. The data from this study strongly supports that the continuity of school-based school and university personnel was a facilitator for PDS work. The primary challenge in this study was the duration of change in itiatives within the context. Fullan (2001) suggests that meaningful change takes 3-5 years to achieve. The data from this study and the participants agree that a one -year intensive focus wa s not enough to achieve meaningful instructional changes in writing. Ho wever, the inclusive ed ucation reform data suggests that changes occurred in small phases over time, and after three years the school context was beginning to foster inclusiv e education practices. Thus, the duration of the reform impacts success. Future Research As a result o f this study, multiple new pathwa ys for PDS research have emerged. Given the importance of relationships in PDS work, one study could specifically ex amine how PDS leaders negotiate both contextual and th eoretical barriers to develop m eaningful school and university partnerships. Specifically, future studies should explore how university professors use both their expertise and relational skill s to collaboratively accommodate (Bullough & Kauchak, 1997) a
259 collaborative agenda for school reform More insi ght is needed into how university faculty have successfully negotiated and accommodated contextual conditions within schools to develop new views of effective practice through PD S participation. Additional studies into the school renewal e fforts between universities and schools in diverse contexts would enable other researchers to identify the extent to which these findings transfer into other contexts. Of particular interest would be studies that examine the organizational structures that enable connec tions between practicing teacher professional development and prospective teacher learning ar ound a common content area focus. Studies that provide insight into PDS work in other state cont exts or in urban sites would be beneficial to PDS practitioners working in diverse contexts. Additional research is needed to supplement the use of standardized assessment data in measuring student learning in a PDS. This study found standardized assessment data alone did not account for many of writing in structional changes actualized in PDS classrooms due to the majority of instructional sh ifts taking place in primary grade placements where writing assessment measures were not gathered. While the inclusive education reform found standardized gain scores useful to measure student learning, the standardized assessments could not account for the shifts in st udent engagement and individua lized instruction. Additional measures are needed to supplement standardized assessment results and systematically compare student learning PDS and non-PDS classrooms. One way to accomplish this may be to examine student engagement in PDS sites. Future studi es could explore how st udents are engaged in classroom instruction in PDS classroom where multiple educators are present to facilitate instruction.
260 Conclusion To summ arize this study, I revisit the Holmes Partnership Goals to identify connections between their goals and the professional learni ng culture at Country Way Elementary. The six goals set forth by the Holmes Partnership include: High Quality Professional Preparation Simultaneous Renewal Equity, Diversity and Cultural Competence Scholarly Inquiry and Programs of Research School and University-Based Faculty Development Policy Initiation This study provides evidence of how high quality professional prep aration, school renewal, and school and university faculty development can be linked through an inquiry -oriented approach to school improvement within a PDS. The PDS began by establishing a community of teacher educators who collaboratively shared responsibility for preparing the next ge neration of teachers. The Country Way PDS linked prospective teacher inquiry to both writing and in clusive reform initiatives in order to provide high quality professional prepara tion. Additionally, the theoretical alignment achieved between school, district, and university inclusive educatio n goals provided prospective teachers with the opportunity for active engagement and praxis. As the partnership progressed, school renewa l occurred as school and university-based faculty members engaged in an inquiry-orient ed approach to school improvement in writing instruction and inclusion, which prompted prospective teachers, in-service teachers, and teacher educators to develop new knowledge and expertis e. Fullan (2001) diffe rentiates between reculturing and restructuring. School renewal first occurred through restructuring the Country Way PDS by changing structures, roles, and relationships within th e site. Later, the inclusive
261 education focus shifted attention toward student achievement and differentiated instructional practices, which helped re-culture the PDS. The commitment to educating diverse lear ners was embedded within the PDS focus through prospective teacher inquir y and co-teaching from the begi nning; however these concepts dovetailed and enhanced the professional learning culture when Country Ways reform efforts shifted toward inclusion and more practicing educators embraced co-teac hing with prospective teachers. The integration of the university and school mission to educ ate all students using inclusive practice enabled Country Way to become a professional learning culture that embodied best practices and engaged educators at multiple levels to experience situated learning opportunities. The complexity of policy initiation at the univ ersity and district level inhibited alignment and continuity in the PDS, while an absence of support structures for PDS work required faculty members to utilize graduate students to suppor t the on-going work of PDS reform initiatives. This study illustrates how policy initiation is a comple x process that can directly impact the learning culture of PDS site by influencing the structures, relationships, and praxis.
262 Table 8-1. Lessons learned Interpretations Lessons learned The utility of inquiry in linking theory and practice through reform. A shared inquiry focus for PDS work enables educators at multiple levels to collaboratively improve teaching and learning. PDS participants must be given voice in the development of reform purposes and goals. Different types of reform goals generate different levels of resistance and support. The need for flexible structures and pathways in PDS work. All stakeholders should benefit from PDS engagement. PDS work cannot be sustained at the school level without district buy in and support. Simultaneous renewal can occur incrementally and fundamentally. PDS partnership teams need to span boundaries to maximize continuity and alignment within a context. Schools and universities can expand the membership of their communities through PDS work. PDS work as a balancing act of power and knowledge. School leaders need to balance authority and power to achieve reform goals. Dissonance, resistance, and tension in a PDS is a catalyst for professional growth. PDS participant relationships can help translate conflict into productive tensions. University faculty members engaged in PDS work are often required to negotiate a balance between multiple theoretical and organizational agendas. The tension between stability and change in PDS reform. Reform continuity and duration dramatically influence relationships, educator learning, and the overall success of PDS reform.
263 Figure 8-1. Power source interaction within a PDS Legitimate Power Coercive Power Legitimate Power Expert Power Referent Power Reward Reward Power Power
264 APPENDIX A QUESTIONS FOR GUIDING EARLY FIELDWORK OBSERVATIONS Guiding questions as recomm ended by HATCH (2002): What are the places where social activity occurs? Who are the people involved in the social action? What individual activities are people engaged in? What group activities are people engaged in? What are the objects people use? What is the sequence of activ ity that takes place over time? What things are people trying to accomplish? What emotions are expressed?
265 APPENDIX B EXAMPLE OF HANDWRI TTEN FIELD NOTES
269 APPENDIX C EXCERPT FROM FIELD NOTES Writing Committee-Dr. Denlin* 11-9-05 Wow! What an interesting meeting (see notes), t odays meeting seemed to bring very fruitful conversations around the table. The meeting started at 1:00 and last until 3:30, teachers were very willing to stay to continue to discuss the topics at hand. Dr. D began by outlining how her approach was similar/different to the other approaches going on within the school. Each teacher brought three writing samples to share with the group, one low, one medium and one high. Each teacher presented their writing pieces with the group looking at focus as the primary c oncern. Their writing revealed across the board that teachers are still using only prompts as a source of writing; they are often timed or tested. The first draft seems to be the only one that is being written. The group was very open to sharing and ideas that generated conversations, ho wever there were times that created tension among the group. When the K teacher shared she primarily talked about the stages of developmental writing and provided some examples of her students work, she became very defe nsive when Dr. Denlin* asked questions of her as to why the focus was so heavily on letters and their so unds. She commented [defensively] and snipped back a few times and spoke to Fiona* like she had never taught K to write and that she had no idea what she was talking about. After her sharing time, Mrs. W ca me to share. I know that her class does little writing beyond the journal, which is prompted and timed. Her students wrote about storybook characters, but they were often focused on story characters that also came from movies and their descriptions seem to depict the movie visuals. I posed a question about th e focus of their writing and we discussed the writings in terms of the desired prompt and actual content. The meeting after the meeting was rejuvenating, Re gan*, Dr. Denlin*, Christy*, and myself met to discuss the progress. While we all thought the meeting went well, we discussed the points that generated tension and the next steps for the group. It was decided that little writing was being done away from prompts. The decision was made to leave the 4th gr ade teachers alone this year and work with a second grade teacher. She will work closely with Christy*, to provide mo re open writing time, develop minilessons, and create a workshop environment. Regan*, Dr. Denlin*, and myself will be involved in a spring semester course that will use Country Way* as a resource to study and help teachers learn to teach writing more effectively. It is going to be an inte resting adventure! I will be working to infuse the preinterns work with the goals that we have discussed as vital, this may help model in some ideas for teachers and provide support for mini-lessons and conferencing. 12/0/05 After our mentor meeting today 12/6/05 S W stopped me to thank for speaking up at the last writing meeting. She expressed that she thinks that Fiona* is noticing different things then the teachers do in the kids writing [which I think is the whole point]. She was definitely defensive to wards the criticisms that were posed. [For some reason SW thought I was de fending her and the other teachers with my comments about what I noticed in the students writing. That is interesting to me because I thought I was validating Fionas point that the students arent really writing to the prompt that they are being given but finding creative ways to write around the prompt within guide lines.] During the meeting, I trying to point out that the students who were supposed to be writing about their favorite book characters were actually writing about movie characters and that there writing is deviating from the prompts, verifying that details and elaboration in the wrong place doesnt help the students remain focused. I guess I just expressed it in a way that seemed validating to SW. I wonder if she just perceived that our observations were different because we are not coming from the same place, i.e. professor from the university that is not in her classroom on a weekly basis. She also expressed suc cess with the Saturday workshop she attended, she said that was the one thing she found very valuable more so than Kathy Robertson, I wish I knew what they did that day![I will need to find this out]
270 APPENDIX D INTERVIEW PROTOCOLS Principal I nterview Guide Can you describe some of your responsibilities as the principal of the Country Way* Elementary PDC? Can you describe the specific activities that you have participated in as a PDC principal, starting in the beginning and moving up until the present? How has your role changed since the partnership began? Can you tell me more about your role in ______? Can you describe what you do as a ________in ________? Writing Committee, Online Book Study, Other Meetings with Univ. Faculty, etc (add others as they are mentioned) Probe for: Learning: How did the experience with ______ influence your own learning? Which individuals facilitate d your learning during ______? Classroom Practices: How did ________ influence the way you though about ___ / taught ___? How did ________ influence what you observed in classrooms? Student Learning: How did student activities change as a result of ________? How did ________ influence student learning? In your opinion, what have been the key facilitators to the success of the PDC partnership at Newberry Elementary? In your opinion, what have been the inhibitors to the success of th e PDC partnership at Country Way* Elementary? Can you tell me about a time when your involveme nt in the PDC partnership at Country Way* Elementary has influenced your learning? Can you tell me about a time when your involveme nt in the PDC partnership at Country Way* Elementary influenced your instructional leadership practices? Professional development? Can you tell me about a time when the PDC partners hip at Country Way* Elementary has influenced student learning? What do you attribute to this influence?
271 Classroom Teacher Interview Guide As a mentor/classroom teacher, can you tell me about your overall experience with the PDC partnership with the University? Can you describe some of your responsibilities as a mentor/classroom teacher within the Country Way* Elementary PDC? Can you describe the specific activities that you have participated in as a mentor teacher, starting in the beginning and moving up until the present? How has your role changed since the partnership began? Can you tell me more about your role in ______? Can you describe what you do as a ________in ________? Writing Committee, Online Book Study, Other Meetings with Univ. Faculty, Mentor Meetings (add others as they are mentioned) Probe for: Learning: How did the experience with ______ influence your own learning? Which individuals facilitate d your learning during ______? Classroom Practices: How did ________ influence the way you though about ___ / taught ___? How did ________ influence what you observed in classrooms? Student Learning: How did student activities change as a result of ________? How did ________ influence student learning? In your opinion, what have been the key facilitators to the success of the PDC partnership at Country Way* Elementary? In your opinion, what have been the inhibitors to the success of th e PDC partnership at Country Way* Elementary? Can you tell me about a time when your involvement in the PDC partnership has influenced your learning? Can you tell me about a time when your involveme nt in the PDC partnership at Country Way* Elementary has influenced your classroom instructional practices? Can you tell me about a time when your involveme nt in the PDC partnership at Country Way* Elementary has influenced student learning? What do you attribute to this influence?
272 University Faculty/Personnel Interview Guide As a university faculty member, can you tell me how your experience with Country Way* Elementary began? How has your work with Country Way* evolved since the beginning? What do you attribute this to? Can you describe some of your roles and responsibilities at the Country Way* Elementary PDC? How have your responsibilities changed since the beginning? What do you attribute this to? How does the role of external knowledge influence the professional learning culture at Country Way*? Can you describe the specific activities that you have participated in as a university faculty member, starting in the beginning and moving up until the present? Can you describe some of your roles and responsibilities at the Country Way* Elementary PDC? How has your role changed since the partnership began? Can you tell me more about your role in ______? Can you describe what you do as a ________in ________? Writing Committee, Online Book Study, Other Meetings with Univ. Faculty, Mentor Meetings (add others as they are mentioned) Probe for: Learning: How did the experience with ______ influence your own learning? Which individuals facilitate d your learning during ______? Classroom Practices: How did ________ influence the way you though about ___ / taught ___? How did ________ influence what you observed in classrooms? Student Learning: How did student activities change as a result of ________? How did ________ influence student learning? In your opinion, what have been the key facilitators to the success of the PDC partnership at Country Way* Elementary? In your opinion, what have been the inhibitors to the success of th e PDC partnership at Country Way* Elementary? Can you tell me about a time when your involveme nt in the PDC partnership at Country Way* Elementary has influenced your learning? Can you tell me about a time when your involveme nt in the PDC partnership at Country Way* Elementary has influenced your professional development practices with teachers? Can you tell me about a time when your involveme nt in the PDC partnership at Country Way* Elementary has influenced student learning? What do you attribute to this influence?
273 APPENDIX E REFLEXIVE JOURNAL ENTRY
274 APPENDIX F CO-TEACHING LESSON PLAN Tim e Machine through the American Revolution Day Two Teacher: Denise Mason* and Olivia Susa* Grade: 5th Co-Teaching Method: Station Subject: Social Studies Learning Objectives: What are your objectives for student learning in this lesson? That is, what do you intend students to learn? 1. Given a set of information, incl uding illustrations, maps, biographies and texts, students will identify important people a nd events from the American Revolution. 2. Identify the impact that certain people from the Revolutionary War had on our country's history. Why have we chosen these objectives? These objectives were chosen because they are the most relevant factors necessary for students to grasp the concept in a complete fashion. All of these objectives are essential in comprehending the key events of the American Revolution. Fi nally, these objectives reach out to various learners, as they emphasize independent as well as cooperative grouping, as well as the usage of various manipulatives. What Standards (National or State) relate to this lesson? Standard 4: The student understands U.S. history to 1880. (SS.A.4.2) 1. Understands the geographic, economic, political, and cultural factors that characterized early exploration of the Americas. 2. Understands why Colonial Am erica was settled in regions. 3. Knows significant social and pol itical events that led to and characterized the American Revolution. Benchmark LA.A.2.2.5: The student reads and organizes information for a variety of purposes, including making a report, conductin g interviews, taking a test, and performing an authentic task. Standard 2: The student constr ucts meaning from a wide range of texts. Benchmark LA.B.1.2.3: The student produces final documents that have been edited correct formatting according to instruction. Standard 2: The st udent writes to communicate ideas and information effectively. 2. Content Knowledge What is the underlying content knowledge that the teacher must help the students understand? What are the tricky pieces in the content? Wh en you deconstruct the content you are teaching what are the pieces that are esse ntial for children to understand? Paul Revere Paul Revere was a soldier in the French and Indian War. He joined the Sons of Liberty, took part in the Boston Tea Party and was a courier fo r the Massachusetts comm ittee of correspondence. He became a popular figure in history on April 18, 1775 when he went to warn the people of the Massachusetts countryside that Bri tish soldiers were being sent out in the expedition that started
275 the American Revolution. He is remembered as th e midnight rider. He designed the first seal for the united colonies. Designed and printed the first Continental bond i ssue and established a powder mill in Massachusetts. Taxation Stamp ActRequiring colonists to pay a tax on approximately fifty paper items (including newspapers, legal documents and playing cards).To avoid being taxed, shopkeepers refused to sell British goods and offered i llegal goods bought from other countri es. This served to be an insult to the British economy and fueled anger betw een the colonists further igniting the war. As a result the colonists began to riot. Townshed ActThe British made a second attempt to tax colonist in America. This time they tried to tax imported goods such as paper, pain t and tea. Once again th e colonists refused and Britain bowed to the colonists again. Only this ti me they removed all goods except tea. The Boston Tea Party Two hundred colonists dressed as Mowhawk Indians boarded British ships in the Boston harbor and threw 342 chests of tea into the sea. As a re sult, colonist had de stroyed thousands of dollars worth of tea. The revolt led to the enactment of more ru les from the British government. Rules from the British government fueled the anger of the colonists. Colonists became more opposed to British government and resisted laws that were later passed by the British. A group of colonists called the Sons of Libe rty showed their disple asure at the British government by impersonating the Mohawk Native Americans and dumping a shipload of tea overboard into the Boston Harbor. This incident is known as th e Boston Tea Party. The Mohawks used masks made of wood and cornhus ks. They also used certain kinds of colored clay and stone, finely ground and mixed with oil to make their face paint. The painting of faces was considered a form of magic to the Indians, as was the wearing of a mask. Every color had its own meaning. Red meant power; blue meant defe at or trouble; white meant peace; and yellow meant joy, travel, or bravery. Black usually m eant death or sorrow. The designs used were usually symbolic of animals, the sky, the clouds, and/or the sun. It is probable th at the colonists did not know all this and therefore used berries and vegetables native to their areas for making the dyes to color their faces. 3. Student Grouping How will you group students for instruction? For this assignment we have decided to group th e students in three small groups. In each of these groups we will discuss different topics related to the American Revolution. Each group will be led and taught by a teacher and the students will be required to be stamped before they will be allowed to move on. The idea is that students w ill be taking a journey throughout the events of the American Revolution, while getting their p assports stamped at each occurrence. Each group will have a different lesson being taught, a nd will last for about 15 minutes, when students will be asked to rotate to the next even t and begin gathering more information. Why have you chosen this grouping?. We have chosen this type of grouping because we believe that it will be most beneficial for instruction and for students understanding. Teachi ng students in small groups will allow us to better meet student individual learning needs a nd focus instruction so that students comprehend the material. It is also the most beneficial way to teach three di fferent concepts so that students do not confuse them and can focus on one event at a time.
276 4. Methods What teaching methods will you use for this lesson? Constructivists Learning Modeling Direct Instruction Questioning and prompting What students need specific accommodations in this lesson? Samantha T. We would ask her questions (prompti ng) and give her extra feedback to make sure she is grasping the concept and understands what is expected of her (modeling). Austin W. Additional prompting and refocusing. Many of our students can not work together because they may cause a distraction to each other as well as their classmates. This incl udes the following students together: Logan R. and Taylor S. Holly S. and Samantha T. Devante C, Dale G, and David H Amber H. and Courtney E. What specific accommodations have you made for these students? To accommodate students that may need additional support during this lesson we will foster their specific learning needs during sma ll group instruction. Students that need additional support will be given extra practice in their small groups. Why have you chosen these methods? We believe that the methods we have chosen wi ll accommodate all of our students meeting their most basic needs appropriately. Each and every ch ild will be challenged in our classroom! We believe this lesson incorporates a myriad of diffe rent cognitive learning styl es. It incorporates the need for collaborating as well as independent study, and plenty of opportunities to ask for help. For some students this activity may take longer ti me than intended; we will allow these students to have more time to work on their activity. Fi nally, we would motivate all students to get involved, and encourage them to ask questions. 5. Activities What activities have you planned? Students will be placed into three groups, and will rotate from one group to the next every fifteen minutes. Music will be played to signify that it is time to rotate to the next group. TaxationCreative Writing Hand Out Vocabulary Card. 1. Ask the students what they know about taxes. 2. Pose the question, When you purchase someth ing listed on McDona lds Dollar Menu, how much do you pay the cashier? What causes this cost? 3. Explain to students that the Parl iament (the governing body) decide d to tax the colonies so that they could pay the cost of th e French and Indian War.
277 4. Explain that the Sugar Act (1764) had coloni sts pay taxes on goods coming to the colonies from other places, including pounds of tea. The Stamp Act (1765) placed tax stamps on paper products in the colonies: newspapers, legal papers (such as wills, diplomas, and marriage papers), some books, and playing cards. 5. Explain that drinking tea was an important part of the English way of life. The British often sipped tea while socia lizing much like the children today may have soda and snacks while spending time with friends. Discus s that the taxes on tea made it difficult to afford and enjoy such drinks. 6. After the discussion, have student s write a letter to the parliament describing how they feel about the new taxes on their favorite items. Stamp the students passport for learning all about Taxation The Boston Tea PartyMaking Masks Students will construct masks similar to those worn at the Boston Tea Party. Hand Out vocabulary card. 1. Begin by going over the events le ading to the Boston Tea Party. (The instructor should go through pictures in a book to help students vi sualize the information. Use and explain the vocabulary terms that th e students should become familiar with.) 2. Review the origins of the Boston Tea Party mask. Explain the significance of Mohawk face painting and mask designing. 3. Have students brainstorm reasons for wearing masks. Making the Mask Hand out a Mask Template for the student to work with. 1. Set out paint and colors and model the usage of each color, and each color is significant. 2. Students may use crayons, markers, gl itter or foil to design their masks 3. Cut the mask out to make sure it is the correct size. 4. Apply this mixture moderately to the mask with a paintbrush. 5. Attach rubber bands and string. Allow volunteers to share their mask and e xplain their selection of color choices. Stamp the students passport for tr aveling to the Boston Tea Party Paul Revere Fun With Poems 1 The instructor will introdu ce Paul Revere, showing the students many pictures. 2. The instructor will begin the discussion by aski ng: What would you do if they received word that one of their friends was going to be hurt? 3. The students will all be given a copy of the poem Paul Reveres Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 4. Students should look over the questions they will answer prior to reading. 5. Students will take turns reading the poem aloud. 6. Review what was learned about Pa ul Revere and hi s midnight ride. 7. Student will fill in their QAD (question, answ er, discussion) chart with their peers. 8. Finally, students will create an acrostic poem using Paul Reveres name. They should fill in their poem with words and or phrases that descri be Paul Revere, using information from the poem they read.
278 Stamp the students passport for visiting Paul Revere 6. Materials What instructional materials will you use, if any? Three stamps and ink, line papered, Song Sheet Boston Tea Party Texts and photographs -mask -scissors -pencil -crayons -paper towels -red, black, white, yellow, and blue paints -mixing plate -paintbrushes -glitter -rubber bands and string -aluminum foil -feathers -newspaper Taxation Texts and Photographs Envelopes and paper pencils Paul Revere Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Paper Pre-created worksheet Pencils/markers Why have you chosen these materials? These are the essential materials needed to complete this lesson. We chose a variety of materials so that students attention will be maintained. Additionally, using such a variety of materials reaches out to different learners. Each station has different materials, which will help refocus students and catch their atten tion to begin another lesson. Evaluation How and when do you plan to evaluate student learning on the conten t of this lesson? Students will be assessed in both formal and info rmal methods. To begin, in each group students will be observed to make sure they are grasping the concept in a concise manner. This will be done by prompting the students to answer questions and through th e group discussions that will be taking place.
279 Furthermore, we will assess the students understanding by looking over the work that they accomplish during each group task. At the Boston Tea Party group, students will be assessed by the outcome of their masks; we will al so to their responses in terms of why masks were colored in certain manners and why mask s were used. For the Taxation group, students will be assessed informally by listening to thei r input during the group discussion. We will make sure they grasp the concept of taxation without representation. Additionally, their letter to parliament will help us see if they comprehend the material. Finally, for the group session on Paul Revere, we will look over the answers that students write in their QAD chart. We will also look over their acrostic poem on Paul Revere to make sure that our students understand who Paul Revere is and how to describe him. Why have you chosen this approach to evaluation? Through observation we can observe if our students have acquired the skills we have gone over in each group. We are also able to gauge our students knowledge on the concepts through group discussion. Finally, by looking over th eir written work, we are able to point out any incorrect answers, and help our students co me to the correct answer. Our goa l is to make sure students are given accurate information, and from there, they can transform it and use it in a fun activity that shows us that they comprehend the material.
280 APPENDIX G CO-TEACHING LESSON PLAN 2 Teacher: Ms. Mason* an d Ms. Desto* Grade: Fifth Subject: Math -Chapter 2 Test Review 1. Learning Objectives What are your objectives for student learning in this lesson? That is, what do you intend students to learn? Students will complete their worksheet and work in small groups cooperatively. Students will answer assigned questions in small groups with at least 85% accuracy. Students will practice strategies they have learned for writing d ecimals as fractions. Students will correctly write a nd read fractions and decimals. Students will correctly add decimals. Why have you chosen these objectives? I have chosen these objectives because these ar e the necessary objectives required to complete this lesson. In order for students to understand the content covered on the exam it is necessary that they are given sufficient practice in small groups. I also have chosen these objectives because they provide me with a way to m easure students understanding and project their performance on their upcoming test. What Standards (National or State) relate to this lesson? MA.A.2.2.1 The students understand uses place valu e concepts of grouping based upon powers of ten ( thousandths, hundred ths,tenths,ones) within th e decimal number system. MA.A.1.2.3. The student understands that symbolic representations of whole numbers, fractions, decimals and percents in real world situations. MA.A.1.2.4. The student understands that numbers can be represented in a variety of equivalent forms using whole numbers, decima ls, fractions and percents. What assessment will you use to measure this objective? During this activity I will informally assess st udents progress and use the Ch. 2 test the following day to measure their understanding of th e material. I believe that by working with students in small groups I will be able to see what concepts they understand and what areas they need additional instruction in. Utilizing this appr oach will also allow me to gauge what students are having trouble and how to accommodate my instru ctional approach so th at the students may better understand. 2. Content Knowledge What content knowledge do you possess in this area? I understand the basic concepts related to teaching decimals I understand the components necessary to teaching and understanding place value, how to read and write a decimals and what areas to target when teaching place value. Prior to teaching this lesson my understanding of place value was basic. My understanding consisted of concepts that I had learned as a child and was not completely clear. After studying the basal an d taking time to plan and practice teaching I have had the opportunity to familiarize myself with the concepts related to teaching place-value and decimals.
281 How did you prepare for understandi ng the content of this lesson? I will prepare to teach this lesson by collaborating with my host teacher, sharing and adapting ideas and teaching strategies where appropriate. I also will use th e teaching materials given me to prepare for this lesson. I will util ize the basal completely and review the Ch. 2 test in order to better prepare my students for what they will experience on the test the following day. 3. Student Grouping How will you group students for instruction? Students will be led through a review together in a whole group discussion and then will be broken into smaller groups to complete small group review. Why have you chosen this grouping? I have chosen this grouping because I believe that it allows me to better visualize what students still need additional reinforcement and what st udents have a complete understanding of the material that will be on the test. Utilizing sm all groups will allow me the opportunity to see which students need additional help and what concepts I potentially need to revisit. 4. Methods What teaching method(s) will you use for this lesson? Whole group instruction Small groups Collaborative teaching What students need specific accommodations in this lesson? What specific accommodations have you made for these student needs? Allie A. has been identified as a student eligib le for a 504 plan. Due to this accommodation Allie will receive additional time on given assignments and allowed the opportunity to work with a peer advisor. Why have you chosen this method or these methods? By providing Allie with additional time and a pe er advisor I can ensure that she will remain on task and that whether in small groups or not she will have the help of another student or teacher. Furthermore, by allowing Allie the opportunity to receive more time I will better be able to measure what concepts she understands and wh at areas she may need additional help in. 5. Activities What activities have you planned? Activities TimeAllowed Opening: Discuss Expectations, Daily Agenda, and Ch. 2 Exam 5mins Main activity/activities: Ch. 2 Review, Break into sma ll groups, groups Review 40 mins Groups 1 and 2 Small Group Crash Course Review Group 3 Independently work on worksheets at their desk.
282 Closing: Regroup, and answer sm all group questions 5-10mins 6. Materials What instructional materials will you use, if any? The materials necessary for this lesson include: Dry erase boards, markers Harcourt Math book a nd worksheets, and Student dry erase boards. Why have you chosen these materials? I have chosen to use these materials because these are the materials necessary to complete this lesson. Using these materials will allow me to ef fectively teach students and provide them with materials necessary to complete the assigned task. 7. Evaluation How and when do you plan to evaluate student learning on the conten t of this lesson? I plan to measure students understanding while in small groups informally and on the following day when they are given their Ch. 2 test. I wi ll use the time provided to me in small groups to measure students understanding and ar eas that I need to clarify. Why have you chosen this approach to evaluation? By informally measuring students understanding I will be able to determine whether or mot additional time needs to be spent discussing Ch. 2. Using small groups to measure what students may still need additional support will allow me to measure whether or not students will be ready to take the test the following day or later in th e week. Furthermore, reviewing concepts in small groups will allow me the opportunity to work with students who need additional support in a smaller setting.
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289 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Angela Gregory is a graduate of the Univer sity of Floridas C ollege of Education. She attained her Bachelor of Education degree in December 1997, and continued on to complete the PROTEACH program in August 1998 when she rece ived her masters degree in elementary education. She taught elementary school for five-anda-half years in Georgia, Texas, and Florida before returning to complete her Ph. D in Cu rriculum and Instruction at the University of Florida. Her research interests include Profe ssional Development Schools, school improvement, coaching, inquiry, and teacher knowledge development.