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How One Teacher Forms Interpretations During Professional Development and Implements Actions in Practice

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Title: How One Teacher Forms Interpretations During Professional Development and Implements Actions in Practice
Author(s): Sullivan, Mary P
Advisor(s): Raphael, Taffy E
Contributor(s): Gavelek, James R; Goldman, Susan R; Teale, William H; Emig, Julia; Raphael, Taffy E
Department / Program: Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago
Degree: PhD, Doctor of Philosophy
Genre: Doctoral
Subject(s): Teacher Education Professional Development Teacher Interpretation
Abstract: Professional development (PD) is critical to educational change (Taylor, Raphael, & Au, 2011) and teachers mediate that change. Teacher interpretation during PD has the potential to explain how teachers implement PD ideas in practice (Timperley & Alton-Lee, 2008). I conducted a case study to explore how one middle school history teacher formed interpretations based on dilemmas and implemented ideas in practice within a high quality PD context. I applied: (a) dual coding of PD content and knowledge codes and (b) pattern coding of issues reflecting dilemma to the teacher’s turns of talk during PD to identify interpretations, operationalized as three frames of understanding (Saldaña, 2013). The teacher was able to resolve two dilemmas through taking multiple stances, such as a learner, historian, and teacher within her two-year inquiry. For her dilemma that remained, she experienced barriers (lack of curricular control) potentially barring her from resolution. When dilemmas were resolved, teacher practice embodied a transformed response, yet when ongoing, practice reflected an inconsistent response (Coburn, 2005). Results suggest that (a) coherence among teachers’ contexts and PD and (b) opportunity to take multiple stances when actively engaged in PD support dilemma resolution. When this happens, teachers can resolve dilemmas that are meaningful to their practice. Further research is needed beyond single case study to investigate teacher constraints and opportunities to take multiple stances as elements of coherence and active engagement, features of high quality PD (Desimone, 2009).
Issue Date: 2016-11-21
Type: Thesis
Rights Information: Copyright 2017 Sullivan, Mary
Date Available in INDIGO: 2017-02-17
Date Deposited: December 2

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