Upcoming Research Presentations:
Recent Research Presentations:
AERA Annual Conference 2017 - San Antonio
Can Responsiveness Be Specified and Approximated? An Investigation into Approximations Within Professional Development
by Sarah Kavanaugh, Mike Metz, & Mary Hauser
The study in this paper draws on two primary constructs: the centrality of student thinking in the work of teaching and the role of practice in professional learning. All professionals need practice in order to improve their skills, and teachers are no exception. What exactly one might practice in an effort to improve teaching, however, remains an open question. We argue that, above all, teachers need a chance to practice being responsive to student thinking. When we are able to structure generative teacher education and professional development opportunities for teachers to grow in their ability to respond to a range of student thinking, we will be one step closer to classrooms where teachers are equipped to provide ambitious and equitable learning experiences for all children.
The paper uses data from a two-week professional development experience to explore the planning for, enactment, and debriefing of approximations of practice that allow teachers to practice responding to student thinking. The study presents a vision of a new turn toward practice-based teacher education that avoids the technical and behavorist tendencies of previous models. This version of practice-based teacher education places student thinking at the center of teaching practice, and allows teachers to develop their expertise in a low stakes setting. There is great potential for considering how this work helps both content area learning as well as culturally and linguistically responsive teaching practices.