ERIC Number: ED449155
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding Teachers' Perspectives on Teaching and Learning: A Synthesis of Work in Five Study Sites.
Marble, Stephen; Finley, Sandra; Ferguson, Chris
This paper describes the development of a framework to better understand how teachers think about and approach instructional practices. Over 1 year, researchers worked with teacher groups in 5 schools, exploring their perspectives, experiences, and understanding about teaching through observations, interviews, journals, and dialogues. The researchers created a framework that described the teachers' many messages and ideas. Four domains organized teachers' thinking: curricular context, assessment and student data use, instructional practices, and professional vision of teaching. Each group had ways of talking and acting that influenced the extent and pace of their discussions. Groups voice quickly suppressed individual teacher views. There were four distinct tensions in how teachers described their work: Who is responsible for student performance? What does it mean to work with other teachers? What is happening in the classroom? and What is the big picture? Individually, teachers identified tensions that connected to tensions noted in group conversations. The tensions related to responsibility, professional culture, and focus on learning. Each tension had many dimensions and polarities. Within these collegial communities, teacher developed their confidence and refocused their practices, moving from habits of thinking mostly about the instructional problem to habits of thinking first about the learner. (Contains 28 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Group Discussion, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Collaboration, Teacher Responsibility, Teachers
Southwest Educational Developmental Laboratory, 211 East Seventh Street, Austin, TX 78701. Tel: 512-476-6861; Web site: http://www.sedl.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.