- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1240127
- First Name Lisa
- Last Name Lamb
- Discipline Biology, Chemistry, Math
Susan Nickerson, SDSU, firstname.lastname@example.org; Meredith Vaughn, SDSU, email@example.com; Randy Philipp, SDSU, firstname.lastname@example.org; Donna Ross, SDSU, email@example.com; Kathy Williams, SDSU, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Nickerson, SDSU, email@example.com
We supported the development of leadership skills for a cohort of secondary mathematics and science Noyce MTF, in part, through the use of rehearsals. TEs and scholars of teacher education have begun to organize the work of teacher education around core practices of K-12 teaching (Grossman, Hammerness, & MacDonald, 2009). TEs have used rehearsals to help novices practice how to teach rigorous content using particular instructional activities (Arbaugh, Adams, Teuscher, & Van Zoest, 2018; Lampert et al., 2013). Deliberate practice in the company of others helps prospective teachers understand not only what to do, but under what circumstances (Lampert et al., 2013). Much less frequently, rehearsals have been used with practicing teachers (Hawthorne & Gruver, 2018; Webb, Wilson, Martin, & Duggan, 2015). In these examples, the TEs used rehearsals targeting instructional activities. We show how rehearsals can be effectively used with practicing secondary teachers to build leadership practice.
We explored two questions: 1) how rehearsals can be used to build communal knowledge for leadership practice by drawing on networked expertise and 2) what the rehearsals reveal about teachers’ perspectives on supporting colleagues in ambitious teaching.
In our use of rehearsals, MTFs were tasked with writing scripts and enacting scripts for scenarios created by TEs. The scenarios dealt with a range of situations, including MTFs supporting student teachers and addressing the concerns of reticent colleagues. On one occasion the MTFs were placed in small groups of 3-4 that represented both disciplines, as well as the range of teaching and leadership experience. The groups were then given four scenarios written by the TEs. The MTFs were asked to review the scenarios and develop a full script for one describing how they would leverage the colleague’s challenging comments. The TEs framed the script writing as an opportunity to share expertise. We used Hakkarainen, Palonen, Paavola, & Lehtinen (2004) framework and content analysis (Berelson, 1952) to explore how conversations contributed to communal knowledge building, including how differing perspectives and expertise were leveraged to establish principles for leadership practice.
We identified three principles that emerged in conversation: 1) Know Your Audience, 2) Attending to Context and Culture, and 3) Teachers are Professionals. Collectively, the MTFs agreed that an appropriate beginning was to understand their colleague’s concerns. The MTFs acknowledged that their colleagues are embedded in a culture and context, which can impact the efforts to shift towards ambitious teaching. They recognized that all teachers wanted their students to learn and recognize when students had learned.
We see promise in the use of rehearsals with practicing secondary teachers in mathematics and science, in particular in service of supporting teacher leaders. We encourage others to reflect on the use of rehearsals to build capacity and increase effectiveness and retention of STEM teachers.