ERIC Number: ED381484
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Professional Development Schools: An Opportunity To Reconceptualize Schools and Teacher Education as Empowering Learning Communities.
This paper presents personal reflections on the nature of learning and the purpose of schooling and their implications for defining the work of professional development schools (PDSs). The paper examines the implications of intuitive learning, differences in learning, and political aspects of learning theory for professional development schools. This examination of learning theory suggests that: (1) it is unnecessary to conceptualize totally different types of learning environments for child and adult learners; (2) constructivism offers a powerful theory of child and teacher development; (3) learning should be self-directed, inquiry-oriented, and based on life experience; and (4) learning is both a cultural and a developmental process. The paper offers a vision of a PDS as an empowering, emancipating learning community that frees people from ignorance and knowledge that is trivial, subjugating, or hegemonic knowledge. The paper describes four characteristics of empowering learning communities (constructivist, problem-focused, multicultural and inclusive, and social reconstructionist) and outlines how they can guide PDS work. An example of a learning activity, which can be used with both teachers and students, that embodies these characteristics in an integrated fashion is provided. In addition, a brief discussion of how PDSs as learning communities would differ from traditional schools and teacher preparation, focuses on textbooks, teacher talk, traditional modes of grouping, and the dominant culture. (Contains 47 references.) (IAH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Empowerment; Reform Efforts
Note: Keynote address for the Annual Meeting of the International Seminar on Teacher Education (Maastricht, The Netherlands, April 1994).