Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Education

Authors Say Teachers Can Influence Colleagues, Change Schools

By Diette Courrégé Casey — March 28, 2012 1 min read

Teachers are an untapped, powerful asset that can spur school-based changes, according to a new study.

In “Does your school have a Doug Franklin?”, an article published in February by the Journal of Staff Development, the authors studied a two-year partnership between faculty from a state university and three rural schools. The journal is published by Learning Forward, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting professional development, and the article is available online to members (or to nonmembers for a fee).

The study didn’t identify the schools or university involved, but it said the partnership was created to help facilitate professional learning communities in mathematics. Its major finding—teachers are powerful yet overlooked assets—has applicability to all types of schools, and it can be an especially important truth for rural schools facing diminishing resources.

Other lessons cited in the study include:
• Administrator and organizational support must be in place for teachers to meet;
• Participant roles for learning in a professional learning community must be clear and agreed upon; and
• Teacher/university partner relationships influence what gets accomplished during professional learning community time.

Researchers focused on Doug Franklin, a pseudonym for a first-year teacher who came to a small math department of four. They said Franklin had strong content knowledge and leadership skills but spent most of his first year listening.

“He knew he was an outsider in a rural, small community that wasn’t always welcoming,” according to the article. “The people in this community were accustomed to new teachers coming in with a lot of energy, starting new programs, and then leaving after a short time. As a member of the professional learning community his first year, Franklin was active but not in charge and often followed others’ leads.”

That changed in the second year. Franklin facilitated teacher meetings with clear objectives, and the teacher group talked through classroom problems and solutions. The meetings led to changes in teachers’ classrooms.

“Educators must consider each other the most valuable resource in a system, to be developed and supported with leadership, structures, tools, and processes for promoting continual professional learning,” according to the research.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

BASE Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Director of Information Technology
Montpelier, Vermont
Washington Central UUSD
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Director of Athletics
Farmington, Connecticut
Farmington Public Schools

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read