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ERIC Number: ED515989
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 356
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-0898-4
The Next Educational Wave (NEW) Teachers' Collaborative: A Study of Inquiry-Oriented Professional Development for Beginning Teachers
Clark, Linda Colleen
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Harvard University
This study examines one professional development program, The Next Educational Wave ("NEW") Teachers' Collaborative, and its effect on a self-selected group of five first-year teachers. Unlike standard induction programs based on traditional professional development models, the "NEW" program assumes that beginning teachers, like more established teachers, can take an active role in their learning about teaching. To determine the program's effectiveness in assisting participants' ability to initiate and sustain a reflective, collaborative inquiry dialogue, three questions were investigated: (1) What elements of an inquiry-oriented professional development program are perceived and reported by participants as essential to beginning teachers' sustaining a reflective, collaborative inquiry dialogue?; (2) How are these elements important to the beginning teachers' ongoing participation?; and (3) What impact, if any, does participation in an inquiry-oriented professional development program have on beginning teachers' perspectives on their teaching role and work? As an example of inquiry-oriented professional development (IOPD), the "NEW" program engages first-year teachers in a cycle of reflection, inquiry, and action in which they together explore their respective practice-based concerns and questions. The program helps disrupt the pervasive "cult of privacy" that exists in teaching by bringing first-year teachers out of the isolation of their classrooms and promoting the ideal of collaboration with their peers. Over eleven months, teacher-participants in the "NEW" study were observed, interviewed, and administered written self-assessments and evaluations. Analysis of these and other data, including field notes and teachers' written summaries of their classroom inquiries, revealed that four elements--check-in, norms and facilitation, an inquiry project and refreshments--were essential to the program's effectiveness as a means of engaging teachers in dialogue grounded in reflection, inquiry, and action as they were beginning to determine their role and work as classroom teachers. Tensions noted between and amongst several elements led to proposing several recommendations for the program's leadership to discuss as refinement and expansion of the "NEW" are considered. These recommendations focus on time allocation, introduction of appropriate protocols to guide and advance dialogue, ongoing facilitation training, and providing leadership opportunities that encourage teachers to practice skills critical to exercising leadership in classrooms and schools. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A