ERIC Number: EJ778994
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: 0
Professional Community and the Problem of High School Reform
Little, Judith Warren
International Journal of Educational Research, v37 n8 p693-714 2002
A two-year qualitative study of mathematics and English teachers in two urban comprehensive high schools investigated how teacher community serves as resource for teacher development and school reform. A school engaged in whole-school reform sustained high teacher commitment and school-level community by constituting professional community strongly at the school level, but its departments displayed varying capacity and disposition to examine problems of teaching and learning at the classroom level. In the second school, innovative teacher communities were constituted strongly at the department level in English and mathematics, but suffered problems of stress and turnover due to weak organizational supports for teacher development and school reform. Findings point both to the potential contribution of professional communities situated in subject departments and the challenge of capitalizing on such communities to advance whole-school reform. The study suggests complex relationships among organizational context, teacher community, teacher development, and institutional reform.
Descriptors: High Schools, School Restructuring, English Teachers, Educational Change, Mathematics Teachers, Urban Schools, Professional Development, Community, Interprofessional Relationship, Educational Environment, Educational Improvement, Educational Strategies, Departments, School Organization, Case Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A