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ERIC Number: EJ1160533
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1881
Language, Culture and Identity at the Nexus of Professional Learning
Fickel, Letitia Hochstrasser; Henderson, Christine; Price, Gaylene
Educational Research, v59 n4 p391-407 2017
Background: Given the persistent gap among majority and minority students in international measures of student outcomes, there is growing attention and research focused on teacher knowledge, learning and professional development. Culturally responsive practice has been posited as one way to ameliorate disparities in outcomes. Proponents of culturally responsive practice argue that there is a special knowledge base, skills, processes and experiences that teachers need to have that enable them to work successfully with culturally and linguistically diverse students. Purpose and methods: This documentary account describes the understandings gained by a team of professional development facilitators as they reframed their work with schools and teachers to focus on developing culturally responsive practices by placing language, culture and identity at the centre of literacy-focused Professional Learning and Development (PLD). Using an appreciative inquiry framework, they sought to identify and increase the use of existing practices that supported a culturally responsive learning environment. Results: A number of initial lessons were learnt, including the need for PLD facilitators to engage in ongoing and explicit critical reflection on themselves as socio-cultural beings and to become comfortable with leading and engaging in uncomfortable conversations. The coconstruction and on-going revision of PLD materials and tools were instrumental in re-centring practice and assumptions about teaching, learning, literacy, as well as challenging existing PLD practices. Conclusions: Although the appreciative inquiry framework was found to be critically important for prompting change, it was the interweaving of multiple frameworks that led to competencies that built capacity for continuous improvement and evidence-based practice. This focus on enhancing the practice of PLD facilitators has important implications for improving student achievement.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A