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Joining the Team: A Study of Unintentional Professional Development

Research on Preparing Inservice Teachers to Work Effectively with Emergent Bilinguals

ISBN: 978-1-78441-494-8, eISBN: 978-1-78441-493-1

Publication date: 3 February 2015


In a university/district collaboration, three college professors and authors of this chapter co-taught with four teachers over a period of seven years. This study explores the perceived changes in thought and practice of both groups as a result of providing three-week summer school programs for fifth and eighth grade emergent bilinguals. This research is grounded in qualitative methodologies of self-study and case study. We present our joint story as a self-study. Data were collected in the form of lesson plan notes, yearly journals, personal notes, audiotapes of meetings, and in-depth interviews/discussions of those involved in the bounded context. Resulting themes were situated meaning, hybrid language, and a 5R Instructional Model. A case study design is used to present the data from the four in-service teachers. Data were collected from field notes and interviews. Several themes emerged from the teacher data, all of which are components of situated meaning: professional development as side-by-side teaching and learning, recognition of and interest in curriculum integration, and change in classroom practice. Findings indicate that the summer program was a meaningful avenue for professional development (PD) for both groups. However, within group similarities were stronger than across group. The experience changed the way we teach and how we develop PD for teachers. The implications for professors and K-12 teachers are discussed and suggestions for further study and PD are given.




We would like to thank JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Fort Worth ISD, Center for Public Education, and Andrews Institute of Mathematics & Science Education for funding which made this research possible.


Silva, C., Weinburgh, M. and Smith, K.H. (2015), "Joining the Team: A Study of Unintentional Professional Development", Research on Preparing Inservice Teachers to Work Effectively with Emergent Bilinguals (Advances in Research on Teaching, Vol. 24), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 3-32.



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