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Japanese lesson study (LS) is a professional development (PD) approach in which teachers collaboratively plan a lesson, observe it being taught and then discuss what they…
Japanese lesson study (LS) is a professional development (PD) approach in which teachers collaboratively plan a lesson, observe it being taught and then discuss what they have learned. LS's popularity as an approach to teacher PD in the UK is growing, and it is used in both special and mainstream settings. This study explores whether LS is perceived and operationalized in the same way across special and mainstream settings.
This study arose as a result of collaboration between UCL Institute of Education academics (principle investigators) and three special school leaders using LS in their own schools (practitioner co-investigators), who together formed the research team. The team first explored the literature base for LS in special education. They then investigated special and mainstream schools using LS for teacher PD. Research tools included semi-structured interviews and an online survey. Participants were obtained through opportunistic sampling via the networks of schools available to the researchers.
There were several key differences between LS in special and mainstream settings. Special teachers felt LS had a more positive impact on subject knowledge than mainstream teachers, and this impact extended to support staff. Special teachers were more likely to carry out multiple research cycles than mainstream colleagues and to quickly build LS into the existing timetable. Mainstream teachers focused on individual pupils in LS to seek learning about pedagogy more generally, whereas general learning about pedagogy was seen as a secondary benefit to special teachers.
One of the limitations of the research is that participants are more positively inclined toward LS than the general population of their school, since those not interested in LS would be unlikely to take the time to engage with the research. It will be important to conduct more research into the use of LS in mainstream schools, as this study is one of very few exploring LS in this special context.
The ease with which special schools can align LS to current practice due to greater flexibility of timetables and larger staff teams seems to result in a greater appreciation and “valuing” of the process in mainstream schools, where teachers seemed to feel their senior leadership teams had gone to extra lengths to enable LS to happen. LS seems to offer a framework within which senior leaders can prioritize such learning experiences for teachers, leading to positive benefits for pupils, teachers and the school, and is therefore a process worth considering both for special and mainstream school leaders.
The literature review found a limited number of studies of LS in a special educational needs and disability (SEND) context, all of which took place in the UK and focused on the impact of teacher participation in LS on teacher practice and pupil learning. All three studies show a positive impact and suggest that LS might have wider applications for both special schools and mainstream schools supporting SEND pupils. There has been no exploration of the different ways in which mainstream and special school teachers and pupils might experience or construct LS in their own contexts.
There has been a policy for including pupils with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties in mainstream schools in England since the 1980s. However, effective…
There has been a policy for including pupils with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties in mainstream schools in England since the 1980s. However, effective inclusive education has proved to be very difficult to achieve in practice. Currently, there is a mixed economy of special and mainstream schools offering inclusive education, and we argue that the place of education is less important than the quality of that education. Ideally, pupils with S/PMLD would be educated in their own local communities, alongside their non-disabled peers, but this situation is not yet established in English schools.
Teachers’ ability to identify and link content and language objectives is an important skill. This chapter explores how two-way immersion (TWI) teachers with a mainstream…
Teachers’ ability to identify and link content and language objectives is an important skill. This chapter explores how two-way immersion (TWI) teachers with a mainstream educator negotiated the shift to becoming a language-focused TWI teacher. We argue that it cannot automatically be assumed that these teachers have the knowledge and skills to attend to language issues. Specifically, our study examined how TWI teachers in three schools defined academic language and how they integrated language development into their practice through the use of language objectives. Our qualitative study features a constructivist framework using a thematic analysis of our data, which consisted of individual interviews and surveys with the teachers. Our analysis shows diverse interpretations of academic language and increased awareness of the role of language in their teaching and experienced benefits of making language objectives explicit, as teachers participated in professional development. Selecting and designing specific language-supporting activities, however, continued to be a challenge. We conclude that professional development needs to consider teachers’ different understandings and awareness of the role of language in the classroom. We also note that taking on the role of a language teacher may require a significant shift in assumptions about teaching and learning for teachers with mainstream teacher preparation and experiences and may depend on instructional context.
This chapter explores how TESOL teacher educators used self-study to respond to educational policies for emergent bilingual learners (BLs) and their teachers. The purpose…
This chapter explores how TESOL teacher educators used self-study to respond to educational policies for emergent bilingual learners (BLs) and their teachers. The purpose was to examine tensions, challenges, and opportunities in our efforts as teacher educators to prepare teachers to teach BLs in mainstream classes through a state-mandated sheltered English instruction (SEI) course. Data sources, including emails, course artifacts, meeting agendas, and journals, pre and post surveys and course assignments were analyzed using mixed methods. Practitioners and participants agreed one SEI course is insufficient. In a coherent approach to preparing mainstream teachers to teach language, learning would be reinforced from coursework to the classroom. Without self-studies that provide an informed response to external policies that shape teacher education, the danger is new policies result in no substantive change.
The future provision of education for pupils with special educational needs is at the heart of an international debate, and the inclusion of all pupils in mainstream…
The future provision of education for pupils with special educational needs is at the heart of an international debate, and the inclusion of all pupils in mainstream schools (established as a goal in UK legislation) has been the subject of many papers and discussions. In this paper, the authors observe that, despite general acceptance of humanistic arguments, there remains a dearth of research into the efficacy of inclusive practices. In calling for more evaluation, they suggest that the role of special schools for pupils with the most complex learning needs has been overlooked, and that their potential expertise should be harnessed in the move towards inclusion. To make real progress, LEAs and others charged with responsibility for inclusion will need to ensure that the skills developed by teachers in special schools are retained for the benefit of a much larger population ‐ a key challenge in developing a more inclusive education system.
This chapter examines in-service teachers’ transformed perspectives and practices for educating emergent bilinguals resulting from graduate study in a bilingual education…
This chapter examines in-service teachers’ transformed perspectives and practices for educating emergent bilinguals resulting from graduate study in a bilingual education graduate program in Chicago. This examination is contextualized in consideration of emergent bilinguals relative to the changing face of P-12 classrooms and gaps in teacher education. Findings from autoethnographic and discourse analytic inquiry suggest that teacher preparation in bilingual education (1) prepared and empowered in-service teachers to meet the academic, social, and cultural-linguistic needs of emergent bilinguals in their classrooms and (2) fostered a conscious inner transformation in in-service teachers that resulted in new ways and purposes of interacting with emergent bilingual students, their families, and colleagues. Findings also suggest that although there is institutional progress in meeting emergent bilinguals’ needs, it is incremental and insufficient. There are three major deficiencies: (1) new and increased teacher education standards lack the required specialized coursework in the education of emergent bilinguals; (2) teacher preparation of emergent bilinguals is inadequate; and (3) teacher preparation programs resist requiring specialized coursework in teaching emergent bilinguals.
Preventing and tackling bullying effectively are important agenda for schools to safeguard all children’s well-being, engagement and sense of belongingness. Children…
Preventing and tackling bullying effectively are important agenda for schools to safeguard all children’s well-being, engagement and sense of belongingness. Children perceived to be different from their peers tend to have a higher risk of being bullied at school, in particular, children with disabilities. It can be challenging for teachers to stop bullying that targets children with disabilities. This chapter considers bullying as a barrier to ensuring inclusive and quality education for everyone. It draws on findings from an ethnographic study concerning the status of inclusion of children identified as having learning difficulties in mainstream schools in China, by listening to what children and teachers have to say (Wang, 2016). The study found that the child participants were subject to forms of bullying. They found it useful to gain support from others when bullying happened, and they showed empathy towards peers’ well-being. The teacher participants reflected on the dilemmas and challenges of dealing with bullying and were keen to share experiences about what they found helpful in addressing the issue. The chapter discusses how insights about bullying learned from children and teachers can be used to inform the enactment of inclusive pedagogy. It is concluded that an inclusive pedagogical response that recognizes every child’s voice is necessary for tackling bullying and co-creating an inclusive environment.
This paper aims to deal with the processes and experiences of teaching English as an additional language (AL). More specifically, it deals with the research question of…
This paper aims to deal with the processes and experiences of teaching English as an additional language (AL). More specifically, it deals with the research question of which teaching methods are used when teaching English as AL and why.
It concerns a case study approach conducted in an English primary school situated in North Yorkshire, where bilingual pupils also participate. The research methods used include observations in the classroom and in the playground, interviews with the teachers and the bilingual pupils of the school, as well as analysis of policy school documentation related to the topic examined.
The picture revealed by this study suggests that a number of different approaches and teaching methods, which contribute to teaching English as an AL, are used. The results indicate that great importance is attributed to teacher-pupil and pupil-pupil interaction, as well as to the employment of specific teaching techniques such as key visuals, corrective feedback. In addition, certain types of questions are addressed to bilingual pupils depending on their current language proficiency level. Teachers seem to emphasise the significance of activating the prior knowledge of non-native speakers (NNS). Progression in the content of the activities set, motivation and differentiation are seen as important. The implementation of the aforementioned approaches and teaching methods are supported by the policy and organisation of the school, where the research study was conducted.
As stated in the National Curriculum and within the framework of inclusion, all pupils for whom English is not their first language have to be provided with opportunities to develop the English language, the acquisition of which will help them to have access and take part in all subject areas. The present study explores what certain teaching approaches and methods can provide NNS with equal opportunities to develop English as an AL and why.
Demographic changes across the United States have led to dramatic shifts in the composition of public school enrollments. While these shifts are manifest across multiple…
Demographic changes across the United States have led to dramatic shifts in the composition of public school enrollments. While these shifts are manifest across multiple dimensions of diversity, the influx of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students is particularly pronounced. As the numbers of CLD students rapidly grow across all geographic regions, from rural to suburban to urban, school leaders face the daunting responsibility of responding to ensure that these students receive equitable opportunities to learn. Some guiding principles for accomplishing this generalize across settings, yet ultimately this leadership needs to be context-specific. In this chapter we discuss these guiding principles and apply them narrowly to the context of medium and small urban districts. We argue that school leadership – particularly district and school administration – plays a crucial role in supporting the design and delivery of supports for CLD students and their families, who constitute a “new mainstream” in many of these settings.