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Record identifier : 569482
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Warren, Gina Maria
Title and statement of responsibility : Supporting Teach For America special educators through professional development: The journey to a community of practice [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : Arizona State University, 2009
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ed.D
Body granting the degree : , Arizona State University
Summary or Abstract : In this study, a professional learning opportunity was offered through Arizona State University (ASU) to a cadre of teachers who are currently seeking an alternative path to certification by obtaining their master's degree, in partnership with Teach For America (TFA). This action research dissertation focused on four special educators and their experiences working to improve their teaching practices. The author of this research was a co-participant as well as the principal investigator. The four TFA special educators formed a community of practice (CoP) for one semester to strengthen their teaching practices, as well as to develop a level of professional support and teaching efficacy resulting from this important professional development experience. The CoP engaged in studying their own, and each others', teaching practices through the use of video with a peer-review process, which allowed them to share ideas and knowledge to learn about providing quality instruction to their learners. As a clinical instructor and supervisor to the participants, the principal investigator facilitated the CoP, but also acted as a learning member of the group to improve her own knowledge and skills related to teaching. The CoP in this study was used as a springboard for professional development and had two primary goals for participants: (a) to expand their knowledge and understanding of quality teaching for students with special needs; and (b) to influence teaching self-efficacy. As they came to their own understanding of what quality teaching means, the CoP fostered collaborative learning, discussion, and reflection as they observed each other's classroom practices. As a result, there was variability in RTOP scores and teaching self-efficacy among the participants. Further, five themes emerged in the data: breaking away from isolation and developing group cohesiveness, growing professionally in teaching practices, promoting meaningful student learning, moving beyond talk to implementing new teaching practices, and embracing challenge and change in teaching. The RTOP and TSES results, as well as support from the qualitative data sources, provided evidence of the development of a CoP that benefited the teaching practices and teaching self-efficacy of the participants..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Special education
: Teacher education
: Higher education
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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