ERIC Number: ED464947
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Reflective Discussion Group: Focused Discussion in a High-Stakes Environment.
Passman, Roger; McKnight, Katherine S.
High stakes testing presents a significant problem for the design of effective professional development. The absurdity of asking teachers and administrators to raise test scores constantly encourages teachers to teach to the test without regard for the intellectual development of students. This case study from Texas describes the reflective discussion group in which teachers in a high-stakes testing situation met monthly to focus on what student writing revealed about their teaching practices. Six elementary school teachers and the researcher held reflective meetings, and the content of the meetings was analyzed. The reflective conversation data are supported by interviews with the teachers. The discussions fell into three phases, discourse related to Barriers to Change, discourse focusing on Conditions for Change, and a final Discourse of Change in which teachers begin to think not only about their current teaching, but on what they could do in the future. The school experienced a dramatic increase in scores on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), jumping from a 44% pass rate to a pass rate of 68% and moving from low performing to acceptable. This change was attributed to schoolwide emphasis on literacy and using the TAAS to inform instructional practice rather than to dictate instruction. Teachers also credited the reflective conversations in helping them understand their roles as teachers and guides. (Contains 12 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Texas Assessment of Academic Skills