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ERIC Number: EJ1165958
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Teaching the Possible: Justice-Oriented Professional Development for Progressive Educators
Gambone, Mollie A.
Brock Education: A Journal of Educational Research and Practice, v27 n1 p53-66 2017
Providing justice-oriented professional development for progressive educators has historically been a site of tension. To address this, The Progressive Education Network (PEN), the leading professional organization of progressive educators in the United States, brought together over 800 educators for its 2015 National Conference, titled "Teaching the Possible: Access, Equity, and Activism!" This article documents PEN's framework for facilitating an opportunity for educators to engage in dialogue about areas of social injustice throughout education and within their own schools. Findings derived from a discourse analysis of workshop abstracts published in the conference program suggest that the conference provided professional development in three areas: 1) workshops were designed by teachers to share useful methodologies relevant to the conference theme with other teachers; 2) workshops encouraged attendees to critically examine how problematic issues in education are commonly understood, then reframe them to consider the issues from different perspectives; 3) doing so gave rise to an understanding that in order to imagine innovative solutions to systemic problems, one must first be able understand how different groups of individuals experience the problems. This analysis establishes that by aligning the conference with a critical, justice-oriented theme, the workshops were designed to provide attendees with opportunities to investigate their own roles in producing, changing, and interpreting socially-just learning and teaching in their own school contexts. This is important because it advances the study of equitable access to progressive pedagogy, while at the same time utilizing Desimone's (2009) framework for judging effective professional development for teachers.
Descriptors: Social Justice, Faculty Development, Progressive Education, Conferences (Gatherings), Discourse Analysis, Workshops, Teaching Methods, Equal Education, Curriculum Development, Content Analysis, Educational Practices
Brock University Faculty of Educatino. 500 Glenridge Avenue, Saint Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1 Canada. Tel: 905-688-5550 ext. 3733; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://brocked.ed.brocku.ca
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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