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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2019

Hayley Weddle, Marie Lockton and Amanda Datnow

While the benefits of teacher collaboration are well documented, less is known about how emotions intersect with teachers’ collective work. Educational change is an…

Abstract

Purpose

While the benefits of teacher collaboration are well documented, less is known about how emotions intersect with teachers’ collective work. Educational change is an emotional process, as reform efforts often involve shifts in teachers’ daily routines and professional identities. To better understand these complexities, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the emotional dimensions of teachers’ collaborative efforts to improve instruction.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on qualitative data, this longitudinal case study of one teacher team explores how teacher collaboration for instructional improvement intersects with emotional geographies. Data analyzed include three years of meeting observations and annual interviews with teachers and school leaders.

Findings

An analysis of data reveals how emotions both shaped and were shaped by teachers’ collaboration experiences. Varying beliefs about practice, expectations about collective work and identity (in this case, gender) impacted collaboration and subsequently opportunities for instructional improvement.

Practical implications

This study demonstrates how attending to the emotional aspects of teacher collaboration could serve as an effective strategy for bolstering capacity-building efforts. Findings highlight the interplay between emotional geographies, suggesting that common ground across one geography could potentially be built upon to close gaps across others.

Originality/value

This study provides a unique longitudinal exploration of the emotional dimensions of teachers’ collective work. The study also contributes to new knowledge about the ways in which teachers’ emotions and collaborative experiences intersect, including the interplay between emotional geographies.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2019

Marie Lockton

How teachers collectively address conflicting beliefs about reforms and come to privilege some over others is critically important in understanding instructional change…

Abstract

Purpose

How teachers collectively address conflicting beliefs about reforms and come to privilege some over others is critically important in understanding instructional change and stability. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on in-depth qualitative data gathered in interviews and observations of teachers’ formal collaboration time, this study focuses on teacher dialogue to examine the voicing and debate of teachers’ beliefs about reform efforts in their schools. Specifically, in two urban middle schools engaged in math instructional reforms, what are the conditions of teachers’ collaboration time that shape their dialogue about the feasibility of these reforms?

Findings

The findings reveal that the beliefs teachers voice vary widely depending on the topic of conversation. Teachers’ conversations about student achievement data and tracking elicited doubts about the possibility of instructional change, and conversations about other forms of student data and instructional strategies elicited a wider range of beliefs. Further, opportunities to meet with trusted colleagues as well as with wider groups provide teachers with different, but both useful experiences in exploring their own conflicting beliefs.

Practical implications

Avenues for shifting institutionalized beliefs about instruction in schools that have struggled to embrace equitable instructional practices for struggling students are discussed, along with implications for future research.

Originality/value

There is considerable research highlighting the characteristics of productive collaboration, but this paper provides a deeper understanding of the way teachers collectively negotiate beliefs about instructional changes in schools struggling to meet that mark.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

Keywords

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