Learning to Teach to the Common Core State Standards: Examining the Role of Teachers’ Collaboration, Principals’ Leadership, and Professional Development
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CitationStosich, Elizabeth Leisy. 2015. Learning to Teach to the Common Core State Standards: Examining the Role of Teachers’ Collaboration, Principals’ Leadership, and Professional Development. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractRecent research on the relationship between standards and teachers’ practice suggests that teachers are unlikely to make changes to practice without extensive opportunities for learning about standards with colleagues. My dissertation extends this line of research, using a comparative case study of three-high poverty urban schools to examine the nature of teachers’ learning about the Common Core State Standards and the processes and conditions that support this work. I take a situated perspective, exploring how teachers engage in professional learning in their school context. Chapter one explores the potential for collaboration in teacher teams to support this learning. It argues that collaborative practices that encourage joint examination of instruction and student learning against standards support teachers in noticing and attending to differences between their current practice and standards. In addition, it examines the role of teachers’ instructional knowledge and principals’ leadership in supporting teachers’ collaboration around standards. Chapter two examines how principals encourage and constrain professional learning as they frame school improvement efforts. It argues that teachers are more likely to revise their instruction to align with the new standards when principals frame the challenge presented by standards as one that requires learning to work with students and content in new ways rather than simply one that requires teachers to execute specific pedagogical approaches. Finally, chapter three explores the efforts of a professional development network to build both teacher and school capacity for teaching the Common Core State Standards and proposes a set of principles to guide future efforts to design professional development that builds capacity for teaching to ambitious standards in high-poverty schools.
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