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Article
Publication date: 26 September 2018

Daina S. Lieberman and Jennifer K. Clayton

The purpose of this paper is to investigate power and its influence on the teaching assignment process and school-based decision making.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate power and its influence on the teaching assignment process and school-based decision making.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative interpretive design and thematic analysis were used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with teachers and administrators.

Findings

Both teachers and administrators discussed power and social capital as components of the teaching assignment process. Teachers viewed the origins of their social capital differently than administrators and felt social capital was evident in school-based decision making and the teaching assignment process.

Research limitations/implications

Participants were demographically rather homogeneous. Further studies with a diverse sample could examine race and gender as factors in the teaching assignment process.

Practical implications

This study demonstrates a need for administrators to examine how they consider social capital when distributing teaching assignments and involving teachers in school-based decision making. Administrators’ actions may result in teacher tracking, disadvantaging marginalized and at-risk student populations.

Social implications

There is a clear disconnect between administrator and teacher understanding of the purpose and practice of teaching assignment distribution. Administrators were unaware of their own power, how they wielded it, and the effect it had on teachers.

Originality/value

Few studies have examined teacher–administrator power relations or the teaching assignment process at the secondary level. This study connects the teaching assignment process to social capital and power.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 May 2009

Elena Jurasaite‐Harbison

The purpose of this paper is to explore informal contexts of teachers' workplace professional learning and inform educational researchers, teacher educators…

1546

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore informal contexts of teachers' workplace professional learning and inform educational researchers, teacher educators, administrators and teachers about ways in which teachers learn to improve their practice. By questioning how teachers learn on‐the‐job to be better teachers and how school cultures position them as learners, this study seeks to generates hypotheses about relationships between the nature of workplace professional learning and its content and informal contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

An ethnographic design based on a grounded theory generates analytic categories from interviews, participants' reflective journals and field notes through comparison of learning environments in three contrasting schools in two countries – Lithuania and the USA. Discourse analysis is employed to analyze three cases of the schools' informal learning contexts in order to better understand how teachers learned through everyday interactions.

Findings

Within each case, the findings illuminate three facets of school culture that provide or fail to provide opportunities for teacher learning in informal contexts: school leadership, teachers' professional relationships, and their individual stances as learners.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the paper derive from its focus on school cultures as learning organizations producing detailed thick descriptions, which are culturally specific and may not necessarily be transferable to other schools.

Practical implications

The implications underline that teachers and teacher educators could enhance teachers' professional learning by contributing to building and sustaining the opportunities necessary to maintain professional growth at teachers' workplaces.

Originality/value

The value of the paper is in: defining specific cultural features in schools that create or fail to create opportunities for teachers to learn informally; showing how teachers use these opportunities for their learning; calling for re‐evaluation of professional development systems to include informal learning as an important path for professional growth.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 25 May 2021

Abstract

Details

Contemporary Issues in Social Science
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-931-3

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