ERIC Number: ED338600
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Boundaries of Teachers' Professional Communities in U.S. High Schools.
Talbert, Joan E.
This study was designed to examine the school's role as a context of professional community for secondary school teachers. The literature suggests that conditions of shared goals, coherent instructional plans and curriculum, and collaboration within a faculty is largely a matter of effective site management. This paper questions the top down view and assesses ways in which conditions of high school teaching jobs support subcommunities of teachers within the typical high school. Teachers located in 16 high schools in California and Michigan were surveyed and 3 dimensions of professional community were analyzed: (1) common educational goal priorities; (2) shared conceptions of teaching; and (3) collegiality. The analyses provide some insights into questions of job conditions that interfere with cohesive schoolwide communities and potential for enhanced teacher support and leadership in the specialized contexts of typical high schools. Attention to the variety of contexts and dimensions of professional community is important at a time when school restructuring, including increased teacher control of school operations, is a primary strategy for educational reform. (LL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on the Context of Secondary School Teaching.
Identifiers: California; Michigan; Professional Community
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).