ERIC Number: EJ786692
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Stages of Collaboration and the Realities of Professional Learning Communities
Dooner, Anne-Marie; Mandzuk, David; Clifton, Rodney A.
Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, v24 n3 p564-574 Apr 2008
Although professional learning communities are often promoted as unique learning opportunities, little is known about how they get started and how they are sustained. For this reason, group members are often unprepared, and then frustrated, by inevitable group tensions. With this in mind, Karl Weick's [(1979). "The social psychology of organizing." Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley] model of means convergence was used to analyze the social dynamics of a small group of Middle Years teachers over a 2-year period as they implemented Egan's [(1992). "Imagination in teaching and learning: The middle school years." Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press; (1997). "The educated mind: How cognitive tools shape our understanding." Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press] theory of Imagination and Learning to their practice. Along with the analysis of journal entries, focus-group discussions, and individual interviews, Weick's (1979) four developmental stages of collaboration provide a broader understanding of why conflict occurs in learning communities and its effect on collaborative learning.
Descriptors: Social Psychology, Group Dynamics, Interprofessional Relationship, Middle School Teachers, Educational Theories, Theory Practice Relationship, Journal Writing, Focus Groups, Interviews, Conflict, Models, Instructional Innovation, Group Experience
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A