01 SES 11 A, Improving Schools - Challenging Circumstances And Professional Development Of Teachers
Since several years the percentage of underperforming schools in the North of the Netherlands appears to be higher than at average in The Netherlands (Inspectie van het Onderwijs, 2009). Following the Opportunity to Learn theory (Van de Grift & Houtveen, 2005), one way of strengthening these schools is to improve the pedagogical-didactical skills of teachers, hence improving quality of teaching, efficient time management and adjustment to differences between students. This will increase the learning outcomes (Van de Grift, Helms-Lorenz & Maulana, 2014) and will hence improve the quality of their school. The theory of Fuller (1969) implies a development in teacher concerns over time. In the first phase of becoming a teacher, the teacher concerns are about self: ‘does being a teacher suits me?’In the second phase, the teacher concerns are about tasks. The focus is on tasks concerning classroom management, familiarization with the knowledge specific for his or her teaching subject and by extension give clear instructions. In the third phase, the teacher concerns are about impact. These concerns are focused on students; the teacher is concerned in what way he or she can have impact on the development of students? In this paper the skills meeting the self- and task-concerns are referred to as basic skills. Around 500 teachers working at – in the recent past or present - underperforming schools in the North of the Netherlands participate in our study. The participating teachers are followed for two years. There pedagogical-didactical skills are observed twice a year according to a teacher evaluation observation instrument developed by Van de Grift, Helms-Lorenz & Maulana (2014). Each observation is followed by individual feedback to the observed teacher about their ‘zone of proximal development’. Each teacher is asked to plan his/her professional development according to this zone. We expect that this will enable teachers to make adequate choices when it comes to their own development. In this presentation we will show the results of the first year of our study. Preliminary results indicate that a third of the participating teachers or not able to perform pedagogical-didactical skills meeting the impact concerns.
Fuller, F.F. (1969). Concerns of teacher: a developmental conceptualization. American Educational Research Journal, 6, 207-226. Inspectie van het Onderwijs (2009). De kwaliteit van het onderwijs in het noorden van Nederland Basisonderwijs en voortgezet onderwijs in Groningen, Fryslân en Drenthe. Utrecht: Inspectie van het Onderwijs. Van de Grift, W.J.C.M., Helms-Lorenz, M. en Maulana, R. (2014). Teaching skills of student teachers: Calibration of an evaluation instrument and its value in predicting student academic engagement. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 43, 150-159. Van de Grift, W. J. C. M., & Houtveen, A. A. M. (2006). Underperformance in primary schools. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 17(3), 255-273.
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