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Teacher Education and Professional Development

Professional Development

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

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Rewriting Professional Development: Professional Learning Communities In An Urban Charter School, Gregory John Glasheen Jan 2017

Rewriting Professional Development: Professional Learning Communities In An Urban Charter School, Gregory John Glasheen

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This study challenges traditional professional development models, in which teachers are positioned as receptacles for knowledge and “best practices.” This type of professional development devalues the local knowledge teachers possess, their theories of practice (Lytle & Cochran-Smith, 1994), and their ability to reflect on their practice and determine what professional inquiries best serve the school community, their own classrooms, and the students who inhabit them.

In order to implement a more teacher-centered approach to professional development at Aspen Charter School, administrators asked me to spearhead and coordinate the implementation of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). In the PLC framework, groups are not mandated to follow a prescribed curriculum; rather, they set their own learning trajectory and ground their study in the experiential realities of their school and classroom contexts. Thus, this dissertation tracks the work of two PLCs, comprised of teachers of all subjects in grades 4-8, who undertook year-long inquiries into the topics of Cultural Competence and Restorative Justice.

As the PLC coordinator at Aspen Charter School, I helped these groups locate ...


Common Ground: Discursive Practices And The Building Of Trust Among Participants Of Executive Training Program, Christopher Thomas Jan 2016

Common Ground: Discursive Practices And The Building Of Trust Among Participants Of Executive Training Program, Christopher Thomas

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

In traditional academic instruction, the classroom may be viewed as a kind of speech community composed of an expert (the teacher) and those who are at various stages of socializing into the cultural models and norms of that community (students), although this is an overly simplistic and unilinear view. In executive development programs, students are already socialized into a professional community of importance to them, and many are pursuing learning to further develop skills to be applied in the organizational contexts in which they are already embedded and deeply invested. This dissertation begins with the conceptualization that a classroom is ...