10 SES 08 D, Research on Values, Beliefs & Understandings in Teacher Education
The starting point for the paper is the assumption that teacher education faces challenges resulting from institutional and cultural changes in education in Europe (European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2015). One of the significant issues is “the need to break the isolation of the classroom and the "one teacher one classroom" doctrine. Building on the necessity to establish a culture of collaboration, these actions can result in improving the quality of education” (European Commission, 2015, p. 5). From this perspective, new teachers are not introduced into an already formed school structure and practice, but instead become involved in a changing and learning community of practice. Consequently, I pose a research question: How do teachers - whether they are starting their careers or experiencing transformation in a longer professional development cycle - create a new model of cooperation and mutual learning in the conditions of institutional and cultural change at school?
An opportunity for o answer this question was an experimental project of school tutoring in over 20 Wroclaw middle schools in the years 2008-2016. The teachers-tutors were expected to extend the classroom teaching through personalized counseling and individualized cooperation with students (Drozd & Zembrzuska, 2013). Tutoring involved supporting students, not only about their school achievements but also in relation to independent out-of-school activities in the areas of art, sports, and volunteering, regardless of their abilities, needs, and interests. For the teachers, who until that point had worked exclusively in a system based on the classroom and lessons, this program represented a new challenge—to seek out and test varied forms of tutor-tutee cooperation.
In the research project, we examined the changes that took place in each school due to the introduction of regular individualized tutorials focused on supporting the students' potential and talents. After three years, almost all teachers acting as tutors reported an apparent qualitative change in individual practice and teamwork at schools. Thus we were able to reconstruct the process of professional development of both beginner teachers and qualified teachers who experienced changes in their careers and worked out new models of pedagogical orientation.
We conducted qualitative studies in 12 middle schools in 2015-2016, recording 12 group discussions and 52 interviews with teachers-tutors (4-6 IDIs with group discussion participants in each school). The sampling includes schools differentiating according to the size (from 100 to 900 students), students' achievement, grade of implementation of the tutoring project. The procedure of data analysis draws on the documentary method (Bohnsack, 2014). We use triangulation of individual and group interviews, so an analytic case is not limited to a single person or a team. We are interested in the process of constructing the orientation pattern, combined with individual and collective components. In the course of documentary interpretation of individual interviews and group discussions, I developed an extended model of analysis based on the Bakhtin's concept of dialogicity (Krzychała, 2019). In the paper, I will present how the pragmatic professional knowledge emerges by dialogical alternation between individual and collective activities. This dialogical perspective allows us to exceed the analysis of the learning community as homogeneous teamwork, revealing the structure of the knotwork (Engeström, Kajamaa, Lahtinen, & Sannino, 2015) and the variability of individual patterns of participation in collaborative practice (MacPhail, Patton, Parker, & Tannehill, 2014; McDonald & Cater-Steel, 2017). The professional developing will be analyzed from the perspective of team activity and a few individual perspectives of teachers (e. g. informal leader, beginner or more experienced teacher).
In the paper, I will present four types of teachers' responses to innovation in the school activity system: niche, apparent, instrumental and synergic changes. On the example of a case study of a team experiencing a synergic change in the school activity system, I will reconstruct a dialogical structure of cooperation between beginner and experienced teachers, in which the key objective is to develop a new professional orientation pattern of teaching and involvement in solving challenges at school arising from the tutoring practice.
References Bohnsack, R. (2014). Documentary Method. In U. Flick (Ed.), The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis (pp. 217–233). London: SAGE Publications Ltd. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781446282243.n15 Drozd, E., & Zembrzuska, A. (2013). School Tutoring as a Concept and a Support Method in Student’s Development. Forum Oświatowe. (2(49)), 167–175. Engeström, Y., Kajamaa, A., Lahtinen, P., & Sannino, A. (2015). Toward a Grammar of Collaboration. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 22(2), 92–111. https://doi.org/10.1080/10749039.2015.1024326 European Commission. (2015). Strengthening Teaching in Europe: new evidence from teachers compiled by Eurydice and CRELL. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/assets/eac/education/library/policy/teaching-profession-practices_en.pdf European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice. (2015). The Teaching Profession in Europe: Practices, Perceptions, and Policies: Eurydice Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/eurydice Krzychała, S. (2019). Professional Praxis Community in a Dialogical Perspective: Towards the Application of Bakhtinian Categories in the Documentary Method. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research. (20 (1)), Art. 17. https://doi.org/10.17169/FQS-20.1.3073 MacPhail, A., Patton, K., Parker, M., & Tannehill, D. (2014). Leading by Example: Teacher Educators' Professional Learning Through Communities of Practice. Quest, 66(1), 39–56. https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.2013.826139 McDonald, J., & Cater-Steel, A. (2017). Communities of Practice. Singapore: Springer Singapore.
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