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EDE 6931 -- Teacher Learning and Professional Development Fall 2006

Scope of the Course


Length of Course -- One Semester (15 weeks)


Course Start and End Dates -- August 29, 2005 to Dec. 5, 2005, 5:10-8:10 PM


I. Course Goals


This course provides doctoral students interested in teacher development the opportunity to understand the components of powerful supervision and professional development at both the theoretical and practical levels. The goal is to help doctoral students interested in school leadership and educational change acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to support teachers engaged in changing their instructional practice. Doctoral students will also acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to implement a supervision pedagogy aimed at prompting teachers’ critical reflection about issues of equity as well as gain experience using collaborative online applications. Through an in-depth reading and analysis of the literature as well as engaging in a supervision experience, we will deepen our understanding of the following strands:


Strand #1 - The Big Picture of Supervision and Professional Development -- This strand focuses on the meaning of and need for supervision and professional development within today's and tomorrow's schools. The strand focuses on the distinction between supervision and evaluation by viewing evaluation as an organizational task of assessing teaching performance while viewing supervision as the vehicle educators use for promoting teacher learning. Supervision will also be examined as a tool used to promote teacher learning about equity and meeting the diverse needs of students. This strand also explores the philosophical underpinnings of reflection and its central role in teacher learning. Within the concept of reflection, critical reflection will be explored as an avenue for teacher learning about equity. We will explore a variety of social software as a means of supporting collaboration and critical reflection.

Strand #2 - Inquiring into Teaching -- This strand focuses on understanding the tools, models, and strategies used for engaging classroom teachers in exploration of their teaching practices. Considering the special function of reflection in the activities of coaching, classroom observation, investigating student work, inquiry, co-teaching, lesson study, peer coaching and mentoring, critical friends, professional development school collaboration, and other professional dialogue centered on teacher learning. This strand also examines how the notion of community of practice and other critical lens’ can be used to frame each of these activities to focus on equity. Teachers who employ an equity-oriented pedagogy believe all their students can learn and engage in reflective analysis of their own beliefs and practices to make sure learning is possible for all students. Specifically, coaching for equity will be explored as a tool supervisor’s can add to their supervision pedagogy to foster teacher learning that is more critically reflective. Additionally, this strand will include building an understanding of teacher leadership as central to differentiated supervision and professional development. This strand considers the relationship between collegial interaction and teacher learning.

Strand #3 – Stages and Career Development -- This strand develops an understanding of teacher career development, adult learning theory, communities of practice, and the implications this body of literature has for professional learning. Additionally, the strand explores the desired interaction of standards (content or performance) with "stages" of teacher development.

Strand #4 – Understanding School Culture and Change -- This strand develops an understanding of teacher-sensitive concepts of educational change, school culture, and teachers’ work which informs how school culture can either inhibit or facilitate teacher learning.

Strand #5- Teacher Evaluation -- This strand develops an understanding of the role and process of evaluation including an emphasis on evaluating the marginal teacher.







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