ERIC Number: ED479777
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Aug
Reading Lives: Creating and Sustaining Learning about Culture and Literacy Education in Teacher Study Groups.
Florio-Ruane, Susan; Raphael, Taffy E.
Isolated from other professionals, teachers and their practice are embedded within a hierarchical system in which the day-to-day activities are governed by external forces: administrative mandates, parental request, and currently, legislative directives. One issue facing teachers today and about which their voices are infrequently heard is that of culture, and the growing diversity of the pupil population of the United States. This diversity stands in contrast to a notable lack of apparent diversity in the teaching force. This paper is about teacher study groups as activity settings where teachers might break free of that isolation and engage in powerful learning about culture and literacy. The paper reports on research conducted from 1995 through 1997 on two study group contexts for teacher learning--one focused on exploring culture, literacy, and autobiography through a master's course, and a subsequent voluntary book club called the Literary Circle, which continued for two years. The paper states that the study of the activity settings and participants' conversations in the course and the book club led to the theorizing about the meaning of "sustain" and "sustainable" when referring to teacher development in study groups. It first describes the research into the two study groups, as well as the underlying rationale for the thematic focus and value placed on conversations within the study group. It then shifts focus to a discussion of sustainability in light of the groups' described activities and subsequent initiatives. (Contains 27 references.) (NKA)
Descriptors: Cultural Awareness, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Learning Activities, Literacy, Participant Observation, Teacher Participation
CIERA/University of Michigan, 610 E. University Ave., 1600 SEB, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259. Tel: 734-647-6940; Fax: 734-763-1229. For full text: http://www.ciera.org/library/archive/2000-08/art-online-00-08.html.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement, Ann Arbor, MI.