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AERA Presentation: PBL Model for Teacher Research


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AERA Presentation: PBL Model for Teacher Research

  1. 1. “See, try, research and reflect”: A model for supporting collaborative teacher research Meilan Zhang, Jan Eberhardt, Mary Lundeberg, Matthew J. Koehler, Joyce Parker 4/13/2009 PBL TPC Project Copyright © 2007 Michigan State University Board of Trustees Teacher Professional Continuum Project no. ESI - 0353406
  2. 2. Background  Ineffectiveness of traditional PD model  One-shot, one-size-fits-all  Irrelevant to teachers’ classroom practice  Teacher Research as a promising PD activity  Develop teachers as reflective practitioners  Empower teachers from “known” to “knower”  Close research-practice gap  Contribute to the knowledge base in education community Ref.: Lumpe, 2007; Wilson & Berne, 1999; Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999; Loucks-Horsley, et al, 2003; Roth, 2007.
  3. 3. “Rocky Road” of Teacher Research  Most teachers are unfamiliar with research  Confuse with library research  Stereotyped view of traditional quantitative research  The research process itself is difficult for teachers  Lack of time for research  Lack of support from colleagues and administrators Ref.: Christenson et al., 2002; Esposito & Smith, 2006; Price & Valli, 2005; Zeichner, 2003
  4. 4. Supporting teacher researchers  Teachers need support to engage in teacher research  Few studies have systematically explored what are important conditions for productive teacher research
  5. 5. Developing a teacher research model  Drawing upon previous research  Teacher research (Christenson et al., 2002; Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1993; Levin & Merritt, 2006; van Zee, Lay, & Roberts, 2003; Zeichner, 2003)  Professional development (Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman, & Yoon, 2001; Loucks-Horsley et al., 2003; Penuel, Fishman, Yamaguchi, & Gallagher, 2007)  Teacher learning (Schön, 1983; Shulman, 1986)  Japanese lesson study (Fernandez, Cannon, & Choski, 2003)  Problem-Based Learning (Gijbels, Dochy, Bossche, & Segers, 2005; Hmelo-Silver, 2004; Schmidt, 1993)
  6. 6. Developing a teacher research model  In the summer PD  Brainstorming research questions  Developing research plan  Getting feedback from peers and facilitators  Learning about the PBL approach  Learning about videotaping and editing skills  In the school year  Implementing research plan  Collecting data: videotaping, student work  Analyzing data  Meeting in small groups monthly  Presenting to the group  Discussing problems using the PBL approach  Searching literature on learning issues
  7. 7. Research question  From the teacher researchers’ perspectives, what components in the collaborative teacher research model are useful to support teachers in studying their own practice?
  8. 8. Methods  Participants:  45 in total: 34 females; 11 males  34 for one year; 6 for two years; 5 for three years  Year 1: 10 (3 males and 7 females)  Year 2: 28 (7 males and 21 females)  Year 3: 23 (2 males and 21 females) 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Females Males
  9. 9. Data sources Participants Data sources Number of participants Date of collection Year 1 Individual interviews* 10 End of Year 1 Year 2 Individual interviews* 17 End of Year 2 Focus group interviews 27 End of Year 2 E-stories/written reflections 28 End of Year 2 Year 3 Individual interview* 14 End of Year 3 Survey* 22 End of Year 3 Focus group interview 23 End of Year 3 E-stories/written reflections 22 End of Year 3 * Data was collected by the third party project evaluators. Table 1: Description of data sources
  10. 10. Data Analysis  Descriptive quantitative data  Qualitative data Identify themes from teachers’ statements in different data sources
  11. 11. Results  A model for teacher research  Motivation  Community  Data (evidence)  Time  Process
  12. 12. Self-directedprocess Externalhealthypressure Self-directedprocess Externalhealthypressure Motivation PeerteachersFacilitators PeerteachersFacilitators Com m unity Teachingvideo Studentwork Teachingvideo Studentwork Data Summerpreparation Extendedstudytime Summerpreparation Extendedstudytime Time PBLapproach Literaturesearching PBLapproach Literaturesearching Process Teacher Research Teacher Research
  13. 13. Results Mean* Std. Group discussion of my problem 4.6 0.75 Group discussion of someone else’s problem 4.5 0.75 Guidance of facilitator 4.5 0.81 Analysis of student work 4.5 0.68 Teaching problem development in summer 4.4 0.87 Analysis of my own video 4.2 0.87 Group research of literature 4.0 0.95 Video analysis of TIMSS teachers in summer 3.1** 1.03 * 1= Not useful, 5= Very useful. ** N=17. Table 2: Teachers’ ratings on the usefulness of PBL model components (N=21)
  14. 14. Results  Self-directed process (or choice for studying “my own” issues) I was not “told what to do”, but allowed to explore my own issues. I had “ownership” and learned more by doing my own research, then being able to discuss it. It was relevant to my immediate teaching practice. (Year 2, Kindergarten teacher, written reflection, 4/10/2007) I had never thought that this could be so meaningful to do your own research project. We are [doing it for] our own. We really got excited with thinking of our own little assessments and testing ourselves and seeing if we could see changes in our kids and their achievements. (Year 2, Kindergarten teacher, Focus group interview, 05/16/2007)
  15. 15. Results  Self-directed process (or choice for studying “my own” issues ) Moderator: One thing we struggle with is trying to figure out how this professional development differs from other professional development that you’ve experienced in the past or also are doing at the same time. Teacher 1: [In this PD] no one is telling us, “This is what you should do.” Teacher 2: Yes, [This PD is] self-directed in many ways. Teacher 3: Yes, it’s not like, “Here’s a book. Follow along while I speak. Read my PowerPoint.” (Year 3, Focus group interview, 5/14/2008)
  16. 16. Results  Healthy pressure to maintain teachers’ focus and effort … it forced me to stay focused on what I wished to change … There is something about knowing that you are going to meet next month, and you have to kind of talk about something, so you should do something, or you are going to have nothing to talk about. So there is a little pressure. You work hard on that. You have to work. You know if you were not involved [in the PD], you might think this [strategy] would need to try, but you wouldn’t probably, because you don’t have to. (Year 2, Kindergarten teacher, interview, 4/25/2007)
  17. 17. Results  Healthy pressure to maintain teachers’ focus and effort “The [monthly] meetings required research for our problems. Without this, I would not take the time to research but would use the “trial and error” method to evaluate changes. I feel I’ve gained 10 years of experience by pooling our group (peers and mentors) and research.” (Year 3, 4th grade teacher, survey, 5/14/2008) I’ve always questioned my practice but this just gave me the forced time to deal with the things that I’ve always wanted to address and look into. (Year 3, 6th grade teacher, Focus group interview, 5/14/2008)
  18. 18. Results  Collaborative learning community One of the best things about this process is watching everybody else as we went through because it made me think about my own classroom practice every single time. When we went to Sue's classroom and she did science talks, it was like I couldn't wait to wake up the next day and get to my classroom so I could do that in my class. And watching the assessment stuff with Leslie and I was like, “Oh, I have to think about that the next time I do this.” I just don't think that we do that enough as teachers. (Year 2, Kindergarten teacher, Focus group interview, 5/16/2007)
  19. 19. Results  Collaborative learning community The usefulness, I think the main thing would just be having people you are required for three hours to sit down and talk about science with just because I don’t get that very often here. Yes, we have staff meetings but maybe ten minutes are spent when you are actually talking with other science people in your department. So just having that opportunity to discuss “What are you doing in your classroom, what is working for you?” I think that is huge because we all teach science, I mean people may teach other things but the one thing we all have in common is we all teach science. (Year 1, 8th grade teacher, interview, 5/2006)
  20. 20. Collaborative learning community  Too nice to each other In our group, it's just everyone is positive. If anyone brings up the negative, it is the person who is presenting, usually we brought up with "Er, ... Not a problem!" ... We probably are too nice to each other. You know, you don’t want to hurt any people's feelings; (Year 2, 8th grade teacher, interview, 4/9/2007)  Group problems  Grade level  School  Research topics
  21. 21. Results Table 3: Teachers’ ratings on facilitators’ role (N=22) Mean* Std. The facilitator has helped me think more deeply about my students and classroom practice. 4.8 0.43 I believe my group could meet effectively even without a facilitator. 2.1 1.04 •1= strongly disagree; 2= disagree; 3= varies or uncertain how to respond; 4= agree; 5= strongly agree. •(17 teachers rated 5 and 5 rated 4 on the first question.)  Facilitator guidance
  22. 22. Results  Facilitator guidance I have been thinking about the importance of the guidance of the facilitators. I learned about how small groups work in our group and have been thinking about how difficult it is even for us as adults to work productively and cooperatively in our small group. It is the guidance of our facilitator that has given us the success we've had this year. We could not be effective without them. (Year 3, Kindergarten teacher, Survey, 5/14/2008) Our facilitator really did a great job questioning and making me think more deeply about question or problem. She was really great at making me think! (Year 3, 3rd grade teacher, Survey, 5/14/2008)
  23. 23. Results  Analysis of teaching videos You have one perception of what is happening when you are going through any experience and a different one when you view it as a witness. (Year 2, 6th grade teacher, Survey, 6/2006) What I really realized is that the videotaping of myself, watching all of that. It lends itself not just to teaching science, but it taught me so much about teaching in general and so that was a really an eye opener for me to go back and look at that… (Year 2, Kindergarten teacher, focus group interview, 5/16/2007) It is really helpful to look at your teaching through video, because how often do you film yourself? You have a feeling for what’s going on but how often do you actually sit down and watch yourself doing it? (Year 3, Kindergarten teacher, Focus group interview, 5/14/2008)
  24. 24. Results  Limitation of video Not suitable for all tasks, e.g., individual writing work. Capture only partial classroom practice Analyzing video is time consuming
  25. 25. Results  Analysis of student work Analyzing student work was the line that allowed me to clearly reflect on my teaching effectiveness and on guiding future instructional practices. (Year 3, 3rd grade teacher, Survey, 5/14/2008) Something we all need time to do because it is so important to understanding what our students know and need to know. We are kind of forced to do it, and I'm thankful for the time. (Year 3, 5th grade teacher, Survey, 5/14/2008)
  26. 26. Results  Summer preparation I don’t think you can do it without the time in the summer, where you get to really focus on it without any distraction in the school year. (Year 2, Kindergarten teacher, Interview, 4/25/2007) I just feel like I hop on a merry-go-round at the beginning of the year and it just goes around faster and faster and doesn’t slow down. (Year 1, 5th grade teacher, Interview, May, 2006)
  27. 27. Results  Extended studying time By being a one-year experience, I had the time and opportunity to “see, try, research and reflect”. (Year 2, Kindergarten teacher, written reflection, 4/10/2007) I also like that it goes through the whole year, because you know you go to something for one day and even though it is great, you go back, you mean to try it but you just forget. You put it on the shelf, and you don’t do it. But when the last year like that, we meet each month, work on things, so it is a continuous process. You know you stay involved with that. It is just not something that you think is neat, but do not try. So your really have time in a year to try stuff. And because of that, I really have tried things in my teaching, not just talk about it, or learn about it. But with that whole year of time, I have time to try something that I might not try. It changed my science teaching I think for the better. I am excited about these changes. (Year 2, Kindergarten teacher, interview, 4/25/2007)
  28. 28. Results  Analysis of teaching problem using PBL approach I really enjoyed working through the PBL process with my peers. It was a great way to talk about, discuss, and analyze what had worked and what had not worked. Through this analysis the group and I came to several conclusions. (Year 3, 3rd grade teacher, Written reflection, 5/14/2008) I really enjoyed the brainstorming sessions that we had before we started each task. It allowed the group to discuss the task and get several different perspectives of how to solve the problem before going off and getting started on it. (Year 1, 7th grade teacher, Interview, May, 2006)
  29. 29. Results  Literature searching [The] group research of literature helped me better understand how to get all children involved in discussions! (Year 3, 4th grade teacher, Survey, 5/14/2008) It is still hard for me to know when to step in and correct misconceptions and when to let my students figure things out for themselves....and though it was a learning issue for us nearly every month we could not find a significant amount of research on young children and inquiry. (Year 2, Kindergarten teacher, Written reflection, 5/2008)
  30. 30. Discussion  Contribution: Developed a comprehensive model that supports teacher research  Importance of using video as evidence to examine teaching  Only 12% of teachers in 78 studies used video evidence (Roth, 2007)  Importance of self-directedness in teacher research  In many teacher research studies, teachers were not self-directed. (e.g., Honan, 2007)
  31. 31. Limitation and future research  Limitation  Coding for frequency  Reliance on self report data  Lack of evidence on teacher learning and student learning  Future research  Case studies of teacher research  Impact of teacher research on teacher learning and student learning