ERIC Number: ED329895
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Exploring New Directions for Staff Development: Teachers in Charge of Change.
Nistler, Robert J.; Shepperson, Grace M.
After a decision was made at a Texas elementary school to adopt a whole language philosophy toward literacy instruction, a study was designed to address three research questions: (1) What levels of concerns are raised by teachers in the areas of "self,""task," and "impact"? (2) What responses do these concerns elicit from university researchers and other participants? and (3) What changes occurred among participants during their involvement in the initial phase of this project? Data sources included: audio tapes of weekly inservices with 2 university researchers, 23 teachers, and the school principal; teacher journals; participant responses to questionnaires; field notes of classroom observations; and collaborative interactions with teachers. Initial inservices were designed to help participants identify current practices in order to facilitate their assimilation of new knowledge at later stages of the program. Activities promoting individual reflection and talk among teachers provided opportunities for new understandings and beliefs to be confirmed or rejected, with the eventual goal of establishing a common knowledge base. Other inservice meetings were designed to guide individual exploration into whole language instruction, to identify instructional themes/topics and accompanying children's literature by grade levels, and to provide an opportunity for participants to report on the themes and supporting literature they had compiled. In their journals, essays, concern surveys, and conversations, the voices of teachers confirmed the efficacy of the following change factors: change is a process, not an event; change is a highly personal experience; change involves developmental growth; and change is best understood as it directly affects classroom practice, students and preparation time. (One figure is included and nine references are attached.) (MG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Teacher Researcher Cooperation; Texas
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (40th, Miami, FL, November 27-December 1, 1990). Figure 1 contains small print. For a related paper, see CS 010 443.