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ERIC Number: EJ938068
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 40
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1467-9620
Organizational Resources in the Service of School-Wide Ambitious Teaching Practice
Lampert, Magdalene; Boerst, Timothy A.; Graziani, Filippo
Teachers College Record, v113 n7 p1361-1400 2011
Background/Context: "Ambitious teaching" is teaching that aims to teach all kinds of students to not only to know academic subjects, but also to be able to use what they know in working on authentic problems in academic domains. Studies of individual teachers have identified the challenges of this work. Resources are often provided at the school level with the purpose of making this kind of teaching more common. But as Cohen, Raudenbusch, and Ball (2003) point out, it is not making resources available to a school that matters in improving instruction, but getting those resources to be used in instructional interactions where teachers and students work together to get academic content learned. Purpose/Objective: The purpose of the case study was to understand how the common use of resources across a school functions to enable those resources to make their way into the instructional stream. First, the use of shared social, intellectual, and material resources was investigated in consistently ambitious teaching across diverse classes and teachers in the school. Using a conceptual frame from social practice theory, we then examined how resources in use shaped teachers' common interpretations of teaching problems and common assumptions about appropriate solutions. Research Design: Qualitative case study based on extensive observation and interviews. Conclusions/Recommendations: As a field, we need to provide images and narratives for ambitious teaching that is scaffolded in such a way that one can be a mere mortal and yet capably meet its routine demands. In this paper we have tried to provide one such image. We can offer several strong hypotheses based on this casework; the first is that ambitious teaching is more manageable when it is undertaken collectively, when it is supported by common materials, and has an intellectual underpinning that is useful and routinely used. Ambitious teaching is made more sustainable when a multiplicity of resources are drawn upon in concert, not installed one at a time and delivered to individual practitioners. We have tried to illustrate the strong role that an organization can play in the development of widespread ambitious teaching. In this image the organization supports ambitious teaching in such a way that most teachers can see, enact, and routinely articulate, this approach.
Teachers College, Columbia University. P.O. Box 103, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3774; Fax: 212-678-6619; e-mail: tcr@tc.edu; Web site: http://www.tcrecord.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A