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ERIC Number: EJ1120331
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0196-786X
From Collegial Support to Critical Dialogue: Including New Teachers' Voices in Collaborative Work
Charner-Laird, Megin; Szczesiul, Stacy; Kirkpatrick, Cheryl L.; Watson, Dyan; Gordon, Pamela
Professional Educator, v40 n2 Fall 2016
New teachers enter the field with a passion for making a difference with students, their newly gained knowledge from their preparation experiences, and a sense that there is still much to learn. Faced with the same responsibilities as their experienced colleagues, new teachers also enter the field looking for ways to cope with, adjust to, and survive the challenges they encounter on a daily basis. As such, most new teachers desire continued support, guidance, and learning opportunities in their first few years of teaching. They hope that much of this support will come from their colleagues. Guided by research that extols the promise of teacher collaboration while also warning that "much of what passes for collaboration does not add up to much" (Little, 1990, p. 508), this study explores 17 novice teachers' experiences of collegial interactions in their first year of teaching. Using ideas presented in Little's (1990) analysis of collegial interactions as a framework, the authors identified the types of collegial interactions that these new teachers experienced. Two of these types, aid and assistance and sharing, were most frequently described by the new teachers in the study and were consistent with Little's framework. The third, which was termed critical dialogue, was described by only a handful of the new teachers and did not fully map onto any component of Little's framework. Thus, the authors present this new category in addition to the other two. While most of these teachers were pleased with the interactions they had with colleagues, their roles in these interactions varied, as did their descriptions of the potential the interactions had in helping them critically examine and improve their pedagogy. Only those who experienced critical dialogue actively engaged in deep conversations about practice and, in so doing, had the potential to gain the necessary learning and support for success and retention in the first few years of teaching. Critical dialogue creates a venue where all voices are valued and where teachers can work together toward shared answers to problems of practice that are relevant to all. It provides the type of meaningful, context-specific professional learning that is vital for all teachers but especially those launching their teaching career.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A