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One principal's self-study: Facilitating collaborative analysis of student work to inform teaching and learning

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2009
Dissertation
Author: Mary C Pauly
Abstract:
This action research was intended to increase my personal and professional capacity in the leadership domain. I was the primary participant or principal investigator in this action research study which meant that I was the subject of the research and also the object of the research. Two teams of teachers participated as collaborators in the study. My goal was to create a building-wide structure that reduced the barriers to collaboration and processes that provided teachers with support to facilitate their engagement in Collaborative Analysis of Student Learning (CASL). Methods of data collection included journaling, informal interviews with teachers and grade level teams, field notes from CASL meetings, faculty meetings, team meetings and focus groups. Thoughts, observations and reflections were recorded in a journal, using probes to guide my reflection. These data were coded, categorized and analyzed to make sense of and learn from what transpired and to suggest other possible actions. My research questions included the identification of specific leadership actions that were effective in supporting practitioners to excavate and articulate new learning through CASL. My intention was to identify specific structures and conditions for learning, that I facilitated, which were perceived by teachers as supportive and encouraged deeper understanding of teaching and learning. I considered to what extent, and in what ways, the introduction and use of protocols influenced the process of collaborative reflection. Findings included implications for school leadership in the areas of structure, processes and supportive conditions for teacher learning.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ii DEDICATION iii TABLE OF CONTENTS vi LIST OF CHARTS/TABLES/FIGURES vii ABSTRACT viii BIBLIOGRAPHY CHAPTER ONE: THE PROBLEM STATEMENT P. 1 BACKGROUND OF THE PROBLEM P. 2 COLLABORATION P. 4 BARRIERS TO COLLABORATION P.6 REFLECTIVE PRACTICE P.7 COLLABORATIVE ANALYSIS OF STUDENT WORK P.9 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CURRENT STUDY P.12 RESEARCH QUESTIONS / SUB-QUESTION FOR FURTHER STUDY P.14 TERMS DEFINED P.15 CHAPTER TWO: OVERVIEW OF THE LITERATURE P.16 COLLABORATION P.16 REFLECTIVE PRACTICE P.21 COLLABORATIVE REFLECTION P.25 COLLABORATIVE ANALYSIS OF STUDENT WORK P.32 SCHOOL CULTURE P.40 LEADERSHIP FOR COLLABORATION P.42 CONCLUSION P.47

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CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY / A PERSONAL STATEMENT P.48 THE STUDY SITE P.49 COLLABORATIVE ANALYSIS OF STUDENT LEARNING AT THE SCHOOL P.52 ACTION RESEARCH P.53 COLLABORATORS P.55 CHART / COLLABORATORS P.57 ACTION RESEARCH CYCLE P.63 REFLECTIVE JOURNAL / TEMPLATE P.64 CHAPTER FOUR: BEGINNING THE ACTION RESEARCH CYCLES P.68 RECONNAISSANCE P.69 INTRODUCING COLLABORATIVE REFLECTION P.76 COLLABORATIVE ANALYSIS OF STUDENT WORK P.76 INTRODUCING GROUP NORMS P.78 THE CASL PROTOCOL: MODELING AND ROLE CLARIFICATION P.82 CHAPTER FIVE: OVERCOMING TIME BARRIERS P.90 EXTRA RELEASE TIME FOR PRIMARY TEAM P.96 CHAPTER SIX: IMPROVING RELATIONSHIPS AND COMMUNICATION P. 101 ADJUSTING LEADERSHIP PRIORITIES P.102 EXCAVATING AND ARTICULATING KNOWLEDGE P.111 CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR SHARING PRACTICE P.112 AFFECTIVE DOMAIN P.115 COGNITIVE DOMAIN P.118 PROCESS DOMAIN 121 CHAPTER SEVEN: CREATIVE SCHEDULING P.126

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REVISED PLANNING: CREATIVE POSSIBILITIES P.131 CHAPTER EIGHT: COMPARING PROTOCOLS P.137 INTRODUCING THE CAC PROTOCOL P.138 EXPLORING CLARIFYING AND PROBING QUESTIONS P.145 CHAPTER NINE: FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEWS (2) P.149 ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR REFLECTION: VIDEOTAPING P.155 ENCOURAGING DEEPER REFLECTION P.158 FACILITATING ANALYSIS OF COMMON ASSESSMENTS P.161 CHAPTER TEN: IMPLICATIONS FOR TEAMING P.166 ADDING A TEAM MEMBER P.169 CASL PROCESS GENERALIZED TO DISCUSSIONS P.175 CHAPTER ELEVEN: LESSONS LEARNED P.178 SUPPORTIVE CONDITIONS FOR LEARNING P.194

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LIST OF CHARTS / TABLES / FIGURES

CHARTS OF COLLABORATORS P.57 SOURCES OF DATA CHART P.59 FIGURE: ACTION RESEARCH CYCLE P.62 CHART OF FOCUS GROUP RESPONSES P.151

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Abstract

This action research was intended to increase my personal and professional capacity in the leadership domain. I was the primary participant or principal investigator in this action research study which meant that I was the subject of the research and also the object of the research. Two teams of teachers participated as collaborators in the study. My goal was to create a building-wide structure that reduced the barriers to collaboration and processes that provided teachers with support to facilitate their engagement in Collaborative Analysis of Student Learning (CASL). Methods of data collection included journaling, informal interviews with teachers and grade level teams, field notes from CASL meetings, faculty meetings, team meetings and focus groups. Thoughts, observations and reflections were recorded in a journal, using probes to guide my reflection. These data were coded, categorized and analyzed to make sense of and learn from what transpired and to suggest other possible actions. My research questions included the identification of specific leadership actions that were effective in supporting practitioners to excavate and articulate new learning through CASL. My intention was to identify specific structures and conditions for learning, that I facilitated, which were perceived by teachers as supportive and encouraged deeper understanding of teaching and learning. I considered to what extent, and in what ways, the introduction and use of protocols influenced the process of collaborative reflection. Findings included implications for school leadership in the areas of structure, processes and supportive conditions for teacher learning.

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CHAPTER ONE THE PROBLEM STATEMENT

Teachers have a responsibility to make sure that all of their students are learning. This includes students with special needs, socioeconomic challenges, and from non- dominant cultures, including those whose first language is not English. Teachers need help to find ways to meet the needs of all students despite a wide range of issues and ability levels. It is important for schools to be proactive and to set up structures and conditions for learning so they are able to meet the needs of all students. One teacher, working in isolation, does not have all the answers and therefore schools are looking at collaboration as a way to share expertise. The typical classroom teacher is expected to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all children, including those with disabilities, English as a second language, and from non-mainstream cultures and resource limited families. Schools have access to the expertise of general education teachers, special education teachers, therapists, social workers, reading teachers, math teachers and psychologists. When teachers decide to collaborate, they are often able to share their expertise, experience and resources. When they collaboratively reflect on student learning through the analysis of student work, they can help each other monitor and adjust instruction to meet the needs of all students. Principals are dealing with more than one issue when they try to build a culture of collaboration. Seashore-Louis (2006) argues that there is a need for research that links social structures and teacher and administrator behavior to student learning. Setting up

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teams and moving toward a culture of collaboration requires changing long-standing traditional beliefs of individual teacher autonomy (Cuban, 1983). Reflection on student work has often been an individual practice but there is a need to expand opportunities for sharing expertise. Teachers have been encouraged in many schools to visit each other’s classrooms and observe each other as they teach. A more recent practice for sharing expertise is through the analysis of student work and the challenge is to make that experience meaningful in terms of adjusting instructional practices. BACKGROUND OF THE PROBLEM The population of children in general education classrooms has changed. For example, many children with disabilities used to be removed from regular classrooms and educated in alternate placements. Classroom teachers were not expected to be experts in working with children with special needs. Special education teachers used to work with children who were hard to teach, thus shifting the responsibility from the classroom teacher to the special educator. Today, the responsibility has shifted back to the classroom teacher because students are in regular classrooms with their non-disabled peers. Teachers are working with children from non-dominant cultures and children who are economically disadvantaged. The primary responsibility falls on the classroom teacher to find a way to connect with children of other cultures and children with low socioeconomic status. For example, in a single parent, poverty level home, the parent is often concerned about making enough money to provide basic necessities. Helping their children with homework is not a priority when basic needs are in question. There is constant pressure to increase student achievement and teachers are expected to

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differentiate instruction so that “no child is left behind.” It is no longer acceptable to blame the child or the family situation for failure to learn. General education teachers often feel unprepared to work with children with disabilities, citing a lack of adequate training. Gone are the days of tracking where some children were expected to meet the standards and others were not. In New York State, all children must pass the same number of Regents exams in order to graduate from high school. When children are not learning, teachers need to vary their instructional methods but they do not always know what else to try when children aren’t learning through traditional methods. How can we expect teachers be experts in so many different areas? There are many questions about how teachers can make sure that every child is learning. Is collaboration the answer, and if so, what types of collaboration are most effective? Why do some teachers readily join in collaborative efforts and others resist? Are there ways for principals to bring teachers together to reflect on their teaching and to help each other find answers? There are many issues but the question remains, “What are the most effective ways to share expertise and help teachers solve complex problems to meet the needs of all children?” COLLABORATION Teacher collaboration enables individuals to broaden their resources and increase their understanding of the strategies available, in and out of the classroom. Hargreaves (1984) argues that the way to relieve “the uncertainty and open-endedness” of teaching is to create communities of colleagues who work collaboratively in cultures of shared

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learning and positive risk-taking. Collaboration and collegiality are fundamental to morale and work satisfaction and to transforming classrooms into caring contexts for learning (Hargreaves, 1984). It is clear that teachers need to feel comfortable before they are willing to invite others into their classrooms and to share information and ideas between colleagues. In order for teachers to be encouraged to share their craft knowledge without feeling competitive or defensive, a deep level of trust needs to be established. In other words, relationships are important and they seem to determine whether or not collaboration will happen. Part of a collaborative culture includes having “courageous conversations” to discuss problems and clear the air when conflicts arise (Wiggins, 2005). It is often easier to pretend a problem does not exist rather than face a conflict. Many people are uncomfortable with the initial conflict involved in sorting out misunderstandings. I was not able to find case studies on having courageous conversations but Wiggins (2005) has addressed the related issue of “depersonalizing.” The use of depersonalized feedback (Wiggins, 2005) establishes a pattern for collegial dialogue. For example, in a pedagogical disagreement, teachers and principals often revert to defensive postures. "He just doesn't like my teaching style" and "I've been teaching for a long time, and I know that...." are frequent laments in supervisory or collegial talk. These discussions can never come to a meaningful professional conclusion unless we refer to valid standards for learning, argues Wiggins (2005). Depersonalized feedback is productive because it is focused on the professional not the personal: "Nothing personal, but lecturing 80 percent of the time is inconsistent with the school

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goal of engaging learners in making meaning for themselves." Or, "Nothing personal, but widespread use of multiple-choice exams is out of sync with our mission to teach and assess for understanding and transfer." Or, "Only one-quarter of your students, when surveyed, report that they find their class work meaningful." In other words, no matter how common specific teaching practices have been historically, they are only "professional" when they are defensible in terms of the school's mission and its adopted learning principles (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005; Emberger, 2006). Principals and teachers need to work together to establish core values that guide the culture of the building (Reeves, 2005; McTighe, 2006). Including common planning time in the daily schedule and using faculty meetings as opportunities for learning are examples of ways the principal can demonstrate a commitment to collaboration and learning. Should the principal share personal reflections that demonstrate the desire to improve their own capacity? Should the principal publicly celebrate teachers that work together or would that cause their colleagues to shun them? The principal’s role in facilitating collaboration and collegial conversations is complex. BARRIERS TO COLLABORATION Barriers to collaboration may include a variety of things. Some teachers are uncomfortable providing feedback to a colleague for fear of sounding like a know-it-all. Feedback could be perceived as being critical of a colleague and most teachers are uncomfortable at the prospect of offending each other. The idea of providing warm and cool constructive feedback, depersonalized feedback, is something that is generally not

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taught. Perhaps part of building a collaborative culture should include explicit training in the art of depersonalizing feedback. If time for collaboration is not built into the building schedule it can be a barrier but even if there is time in the schedule, it does not guarantee collaboration. Teachers tend to teach the way they were taught and a set of core teaching practices (teaching the whole group, reliance on the textbook, correcting papers alone, rows of desks etc.) has endured over the past century (Cuban, 1983). There is often a discrepancy between teachers’ beliefs and actions. Teachers may acknowledge the importance of differentiating instruction to meet the needs of academically diverse learners, but actually doing this effectively is a challenge. Teachers are accustomed to minding their own business and taking care of their own students. When teachers engage in collaborative practices, such as planning curriculum or analyzing student work, they help each other learn by providing a snapshot of what is happening in their classrooms. For teachers who are afraid of being judged, that can be threatening. Learning together at faculty or grade level meetings is a change in tradition and teachers are often silent when they don’t understand something. I believe it is important to model and practice sharing thoughts in a non-judgmental manner as teachers become more comfortable with sharing their private practice. Can a principal require teachers to collaborate? Often the response is one of “contrived collegiality” (Hargreaves, 1994) where collegiality exists on the surface only. Teachers can be together without feeling connected or feeling responsible for a collective

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mission. There is a need to identify specific actions a principal might take to encourage teachers to work in collaborative teams to improve teaching and learning. REFLECTIVE PRACTICE Schon (1983) describes the reflective practitioner as engaged in: “reflection-in- action” referring to the knowledge people bring to the situation, and “reflection-on- action” referring to the reflection that happens after and away from the event. Brockbank (1998) suggests that reflective dialogue “engages the person at the edge of their knowledge, their sense of self and the world as experienced by them” (p. 30) so that they challenge their own assumptions. Reflection can serve to connect scholarly learning and personal experience and increase the ability to think critically. The barriers to reflective practice can include the absence of personal dispositions of open mindedness, responsibility and wholeheartedness, which Dewey argued are essential (Zeichner & Liston, 1996). In addition, reflective practice requires dedicated time, the willingness to change existing practices, and some type of framework or mental model to guide the process. Boud (1993) argues that we need a way of distancing ourselves from the experience, to clarify it and foster the ability to work with it, so that we can draw out potential learning. Griffiths (1991) argues that personal theories need to be revealed at different levels so that they can be scrutinized, challenged, compared to public theories as well as the teacher’s own private theories, and then confirmed or reconstructed. Griffiths synthesized research to describe different levels of reflection: rapid reaction, repair, review, research, re-theorize and reformulate. The levels move from instinctive response,

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to slight pause but almost immediate action, to time out for thinking, to a systematic focused approach that takes place over time, and finally, a rigorous clear contemplation over time. Griffiths also argues that we go through levels of reflection to form a learning cycle where the reformulated response eventually becomes integrated into the rapid reaction level. Teachers often use the instinctive response (rapid reaction) in the classroom and sometimes a slight pause before they take action (repair). Review happens on occasions when a teacher thinks about how a lesson went and perhaps what could be done differently the next time. Griffiths (1991) argues that the last two levels, research and re- theorize do not happen often in the context of a day, week or a month. It appears that the type of professional learning that challenges assumptions and improves professional practice needs to be structured in some way. COLLABORATIVE ANALYSIS OF STUDENT WORK I am the principal of a school that wants to improve the culture of collaboration and learning so that collaborative practices become self-sustaining. A reflective activity that includes both reflection and collaboration is the collaborative analysis of student learning. This process begins with teachers in their own classrooms looking at student work and selecting samples that represent clusters of students in terms of needs. Each teacher brings the selected work samples to a team meeting and analyzes it with colleagues. Observations are made about the level of student learning and needs. The team identifies areas of weakness and suggests strategies that have worked in their own classrooms. Each teacher decides what they will do in terms of intervention and develops

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a timeline for monitoring student progress. Future team meetings focus on student progress in terms of learning and adjustments are made if necessary. This collaborative analysis is ongoing throughout the year. Teams of teachers have collaboratively scoring student work have been identified through The Center for Leading and Learning as an antecedent of excellence and a practice that is commonly found in high achieving schools (Reeves, 2005). When teachers engage in collaborative reflection on student work, it can encourage them to think more deeply about their teaching, its objectives, methods and results (Darling- Hammond, 1995). There are many questions to be answered in the course of a day and teachers who work alone often make uninformed guesses at what the best answer might be. Authentic collaborative inquiry shifts the attention away from the technology of teaching and toward the construction of learning. For example, a teacher working in isolation might produce lessons that appear to be effective and connected to particular learning standards but may not take the time to check or be too close to the situation to determine if the students are really learning what is intended. When a teacher focuses on the construction of learning, the lens is on the child. The teacher starts to check if the child understands the material or concepts and adjusts instruction when children are confused. Teachers need to continually monitor student learning and their own instruction in some way. Collaborative inquiry often assists teachers because there are more views and insights into whether or not the student work reflects student learning.

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Sharing expertise can contribute to building the collective capacity for initiating and sustaining instructional improvement (Schon, 1995). Collaborative analysis of s tudent work provides opportunities for teachers to receive support, learn from one another, and gain confidence to change and better meet the needs of their students (Newmann & Wehlage, 1995; Lieberman, 1995). When teachers, in grade level teams, are asked to look at student work together they respond with different levels of engagement. Some teams routinely collaborate and others do not. Teams receiving the same introduction, explanation and modeling of the process, respond differently. Teams with forty minutes of daily common planning time are expected to collaborate. The resulting effort suggests that teacher teams perform at different levels of engagement ranging from one teacher responding singularly to teams that meet regularly and enjoy working together. The School Planning Team, consisting of all teachers in my building, agreed to implement the common characteristics of high achieving schools as identified by Reeves (2005). Collaborative scoring of student work is one of the characteristics and this was also identified as an antecedent of excellence by Reeves (2005). When the School Planning Team met there was no resistance voiced and no barriers to collaboration brought up as a concern, however this does not mean that there is no resistance. The school has identified collaboration and learning for children and adults as core values. When teachers get together to analyze student work samples, it appears to encourage common expectations for proficiency and provide the opportunity for teachers to share expertise, strategies and experiences related to teaching and learning. Teachers

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often struggle with how to provide appropriate instruction at a variety of levels and collaborative analysis of student work is a way to share ideas and help each other. Teachers have a chance to talk about the issues they encounter in their classrooms and discuss things they have tried. When analyzing student work, the most important component is what teachers do with the data they collect. Collegial conversations can shape and improve assessment tools and help teachers to examine their own practice (Ayers, 1993; Lieberman, 1995; Schon, 1995). In other words, conversations must move from students and what their work reveals about their learning, to what instructional strategies teachers might try to enhance student learning. Working in isolation prevents many teachers from being aware of the kind of innovative instructional methods needed to respond to students with challenging academic and behavioral needs in general education (Englert & Tarrant, 1995; Rogers & Babinski, 1999). Collegial conversations about the extent to which students are learning can lead teachers to try different strategies and methods of instruction. Many teachers are eager to participate in collaborative reflection but others are uncomfortable and reluctant. I am looking for interventions that help reluctant teachers to feel more comfortable, overcome the barriers to collaboration, and support collaborative groups as they engage in deep critical reflection. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CURRENT STUDY This study is grounded in the questions, experiences and contexts of practitioners. Schools are not meeting the needs of all students as measured by state assessments and declining high school graduation rates. There are many questions about how to

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implement collaborative analysis of student work and the positive impact it may have on teaching and learning. There is limited empirical research on the role of the principal in facilitating collaborative reflection, particularly through the analysis of student work. Collegial learning and networking is necessary for any system-wide school improvement program. This study will add to the discussion of how principals might provide structures and conditions for learning that enable collaboration and networking for teachers and teams of teachers. It is intended primarily to help me, as a principal, improve my understanding of and practice in facilitating teachers’ engagement in the collaborative analysis of student work. However, it may also add to the body of research on how principals can support collaborative activities that open up opportunities for deep learning. Collaborative Analysis of Student Learning (pronounced “castle”) is a professional development process that encourages the development of learning communities and inquiry that support teacher and student learning. The CASL protocol was developed by Dr. Amy Bernstein Colton, Executive Director of the Michigan Staff Development Council. Bernstein Colton’s work and research on teacher education, teachers’ reflective decision making, and school reform appears in publications including the Journal of Teacher Education, Educational Leadership, and The Journal of Staff Development. Colton is co-director of Colton, Langer and Associates, L.L.C. Leaders in the George County School District provided support for teachers to analyze student work and plan improvements with the goal of improving student learning. The district used Colton and Langer’s CASL process to focus specifically on

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student learning. Teachers analyzed student work in teams and documented their findings about the relationship between teaching and learning in a portfolio. Teachers developed a richer repertoire of strategies and increased their content knowledge through the collaborative process. Teachers in Mississippi reported that they started approaching instructional concerns with a strategic approach (Goff, 1999). Collaborative analysis of student work is one way that teachers can look at their own practice, gathering evidence and at the same time building their knowledge from their critical reflections on their observations and discussions of practice as well as on knowledge produced by external researchers (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999). This study examined the leadership issues related to collaborative reflection that I encountered and the resulting effects on teaching and learning from my perspective, as a principal. RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1. What leadership actions are most effective in supporting practitioners to excavate and articulate their learning from their collegial involvement in the analysis of student work? 2. What structures and conditions for learning provide the most support for teachers as they participate in collaborative reflection on student work? A SUB-QUESTION FOR FURTHER STUDY 1. To what extent and in what ways does my introduction of the use of protocols influence the process of collaborative reflection? TERMS DEFINED

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Collaborative Structure- Building well-defined working relationships to connect and mobilize resources. This requires shared governance (power, authority, decision making, and accountability) and the weaving together of a set of resources for pursuing the shared vision and goals such as a building-wide schedule that includes time for collaboration. Collaborative Analysis of Student Learning (CASL): Teachers gather together to analyze student work, sharing strategies and suggestions for teaching, enabling them to share their expertise. Collaborative scoring of student work: Teachers gather together and use a standards- based rubric to score student work. This practice provides an opportunity for teachers to talk about and agree on what quality work looks like. Collaboration- Teachers working in combination to accomplish goals that would be difficult to achieve by any of the participants alone. Collegiality- Components of behavior including: talking about teaching, shared planning and preparation, observing each other in the classroom and both train one another and together (Little, 1990a). Protocols- An agreed upon format or framework that may include common language for depersonalizing analysis of student work. Capacity- The maximum amount of information that can be taken in (knowledge). Values – The enduring beliefs or tendencies to prefer certain modes of conduct or states of affairs over others (Rokeach, 1973).

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Reflective Practice- A means by which practitioners can develop a greater level of self- awareness about the nature and impact of their performance, an awareness that creates opportunities for professional growth and development (Schon, 1983). Nested learning community- We view the generic term “learning communities” with an expanding scale of learning environments including both social and cultural learning. Boundary Spanner- An individual who serves as a connection between two different constituencies

Boundary Practice- A routine activity that sustains a connection between two constituencies

C HAPTER TWO OVERVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

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I will begin with a wide lens, exploring the concept of collaboration and challenges that encourage teachers to work together to share expertise. Then I will shift to reflective practice and the importance of excavating learning from experience. Both collaboration and reflection are important components of effective teaching. Collaborative reflection involves critically examining assumptions about teaching and learning in a collaborative and collegial venue that involves trust and objectivity. Then, I will examine Collaborative Analysis of Student Learning, one specific type of collaborative reflection that has the potential to improve teaching and can lead to professional growth. School Culture and Leadership for Collaboration will be the final sub-topics examined in the literature review. The overview of literature will move from a wide conceptual lens to a specific format that will bring together all the sub-topics that were examined. COLLABORATION Teaching a diverse population of children in a regular class is challenging and there are many complex issues that teachers need to address. I believe that teachers who work together are more likely to be successful in meeting the needs of their students. Fullan (1991) argues that educational change, or school improvement, is more successful when teachers work collaboratively. Collaboration is often hailed as a remedy to the individualism and isolation of teachers (Little, 1990a). Even disagreement and conflict can lead to the generation of better ideas and superior solutions to problems (Nias, 1998). When teachers collaborate they are more likely to be prepared to support each other, more confident and have a better understanding of the programs being taught across the

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school (Little, 1990b). Collaborative activities can provide a venue for teachers to solidify a common vision and work together to achieve building and district goals. A number of critics caution about some forms of collegiality. For example, some argue that collegiality can suppress individuality and subject teachers to “groupthink” (Fullan, 1991), while others point out that some aspects of individualism, such as care, individuality, creativity and solitude are desirable (Hargreaves, 1994). Others argue that collegial practice in school can be a form of central control disguised as local autonomy (Smyth, 1991, Hargreaves, 1999). Brundrett (1998) argues that collaboration can endanger efficiency and compromise the position of the duly appointed leader when control and decision-making is shared. On the other hand, collegiality contains a moral dimension that provides a positive impact. This moral dimension involves teachers sharing concern for students and shared accountability for learning. These moral benefits, however, arise from genuine spontaneous, not contrived collegiality. Collegiality cannot be mandated or forced. Therefore, I question my role, the role of a principal, and how I can facilitate the development of a genuine or authentic culture for teaching and learning. New teachers often experience social and physical isolation; the invisible walls created by the culture of teaching designed to promote privacy and autonomy within the teaching profession (Britzman, 1986). This scenario of autonomy refers to an old style of teaching that I would like to change. Collaboration can help to ease the uncertainty often experienced by beginning teachers. Teachers working together with other teachers can help build capacity to solve complex problems (Sprinthall & Sprinthall, 1983). Structured collegiality, such as a faculty breakfast, provides an opportunity for teachers to

Full document contains 200 pages
Abstract: This action research was intended to increase my personal and professional capacity in the leadership domain. I was the primary participant or principal investigator in this action research study which meant that I was the subject of the research and also the object of the research. Two teams of teachers participated as collaborators in the study. My goal was to create a building-wide structure that reduced the barriers to collaboration and processes that provided teachers with support to facilitate their engagement in Collaborative Analysis of Student Learning (CASL). Methods of data collection included journaling, informal interviews with teachers and grade level teams, field notes from CASL meetings, faculty meetings, team meetings and focus groups. Thoughts, observations and reflections were recorded in a journal, using probes to guide my reflection. These data were coded, categorized and analyzed to make sense of and learn from what transpired and to suggest other possible actions. My research questions included the identification of specific leadership actions that were effective in supporting practitioners to excavate and articulate new learning through CASL. My intention was to identify specific structures and conditions for learning, that I facilitated, which were perceived by teachers as supportive and encouraged deeper understanding of teaching and learning. I considered to what extent, and in what ways, the introduction and use of protocols influenced the process of collaborative reflection. Findings included implications for school leadership in the areas of structure, processes and supportive conditions for teacher learning.