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ERIC Number: EJ795249
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
Teachers Need Teachers to Grow
Wenzlaff, Terri L.; Wieseman, Katherine C.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v31 n2 p113-124 Spr 2004
The purpose of this study was to examine the nature of teacher learning in a cohort-based, master's degree program in curriculum and pedagogy that was intentionally designed to be responsive to teachers' personal needs and preferences. The program aimed to: (1) provide teachers with the confidence to connect what they do in their classrooms to research-informed practices; (2) immerse teachers in a collaborative culture that allowed them to learn from one another as colleagues; (3) consider teacher input in course content and structure design; and (4) address university guidelines and NCATE standards. A secondary purpose was to evaluate teachers' perceptions of how the program design responded to their needs, preferences, and learning processes. This program design took into account what is known about factors that influence teacher learning, including teacher beliefs as filters, the importance of interactions in a discourse community, and the significance of a collaborative culture as a force for change. The findings of this study suggest that a cohort-based graduate program that is personalized and responsive to teachers' needs promotes meaningful learning and a sense of empowerment. A collaborative culture comprised of teachers from different levels of schooling and content areas, as well as different district contexts, can help teachers to broaden their perspectives about teaching and learning and educational systems. In order to connect theory to practice the teachers in this study best "learned by doing," meaning they learned best by having authentic experiences and practical course assignments, reflecting on their "doing," and having input on graduate course design and content. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado