NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1129766
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1573-1812
The Formation of Teacher Work Teams under Adverse Conditions: Towards a More Realistic Scenario for Schools in Distress
Mintrop, Rick; Charles, Jessica
Journal of Educational Change, v18 n1 p49-75 Feb 2017
Group formation studies are rare in the literature on teacher professional learning communities (PLCs). But they are needed to render realistic scenarios and design interventions for practitioners who work in schools where teachers encounter distress and social adversity. Under these conditions, we may need approaches to PLC development that are not adequately captured with conventional models. Drawing from the literature on teacher collaboration, effective work teams, group development and identity, problem solving, conflict and collective resilience, the article traces the development of a grade level team in a distressed urban middle school that was charged to make the learning environment for students safer, more orderly, and more caring. When teachers face the social adversity that students bring to them from their life experiences, the problems faced by teachers are often not "friendly" problems. Rather these problems cause suffering: being challenged in one's basic competencies as a teacher or one's personal integrity. Oftentimes, they require collective action while they at the same time increase individual distress, fear of being seen as weak, and isolation. Work team development under these circumstances needs to capitalize on the desire to connect that may be imbued in collective suffering. Against norms of privacy, non-interference, and conflict avoidance, ideological rifts, and interfering interpersonal dynamics work team members need to look for the seeds of the desire to connect in the midst of this suffering.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A