At the state and national levels, staff development and teacher quality issues are part of the education reform efforts. Increased skills are requirement for all personnel in the current No Child Left Behind Legislation. This section will provide current research about content knowledge, teaching skills, recruitment and support, and other related information.
Research and Development
Journal of Special Education Technology
A refereed professional journal that presents up-to-date information and opinions about issues, research, policy, and practice related to the use of technology in the field of special education.
News from the Neurosciences
Articles of current interest on various aspects of brain research and its implications for education.
Inclusive Schools Program Pilots
In 1998, the Special Education/Inclusion team at OSPI in Washington State invited schools and districts to submit grant proposals for development of research-based pilot programs for identification of best practices for inclusion of students with special needs in general education programs. The programs described here won a development grant from the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Washington.
The Impact of Collaboration, Assessment-driven Instruction, and Site-based Professional Development on an Elementary School Kelly Aramaki
A teacher writes of his experiences in a program implemented in his school by NWIFTL.
Special Education in Restructured Schools: Findings from Three Multi-Year Studies
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, University of Washington, Vanderbilt University, University of Minnesota, Mt. Vernon School District, WA, and Central Florida University studied three innovative models for providing special education services for students. Their report supports continuation of the continuum of services for students with learning disabilities, and finds no simple answers to the challenge of delivering services to children at risk.
Circle of Inclusion (University of Kansas)
The Circle of Inclusion model presents six interrelated components involving materials and procedures to support the planning and implementation of practices.
Keys to School Success
Identified factors that all high achieving schools have in common. Based on more than five years of research by the NEA.
Recreating Schools for All Children trans-Morefield
In this article, the author identifies twelve characteristics of successful schools, and the common mistakes made by well-meaning educators that get in the way of success.
Teacher Development Through School Reform and School Reform Through Teacher Development
The case of teacher development and school reform in a small town Midwestern school gives an opportunity to examine how the two processes relate when a new principal takes over. Involving teachers in extensive decision-making about the changes appears to be a key to success, but there is more to it than that, according to Schoonmaker.
Teacher Collaboration And Ambitious Teaching: Reflections On What Matters
Based on studies in two different high school teacher learning communities, Ilana Horn offers readers ideas on what it takes to support teachers as they develop conversations that help them engage in ambitious teaching, that is, teaching that engages students in complex and sophisticated intellectual tasks. She also writes about the factors that can make those professional conversations break down.
Professional Development School Partnerships: A Place for Teacher Learning
This paper discusses the concept of professional development schools in the U.S. It addresses why the professional development school movement began and what we know about its impact thus far on schooling in the U.S.
Renewal through Collaborative Inquiry: The Critical Friends Group Process Jill Hudson and Judith Gray
This article describes how teachers can stay renewed by participating in activities that offer them rich opportunities to grow wiser and stronger in their practice-- Critical Friends Groups (CFGs). Using structures called protocols, CFG members help each other enrich the craft of teaching by analyzing and critiquing student and teacher work, conducting classroom observations and debating issues pertaining to their practice. In a safe and trusting collegial environment, teachers are encouraged to re-energize themselves and their work.
Learning to Teach through Problem-Based Conversations
The study summarized here examined the role of problem-based and evidence-driven conversations among preservice teachers. Such conversations created opportunities for them to deepened their understanding of teaching and student learning Findings from the study challenge claims that preservice teachers do not have the capacity to approach their problems without the aid of more experienced mentors and suggest the value of employing such groups as a mechanism for learning to teach.
Helping New Teachers Thrive
Washington State has a new set of standards for teacher induction programs, as well as descriptions of the knowledge and skills required for the mentors who help new teachers succeed. This effort, funded by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, was the result of a partnership between the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and The Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession.
Making Time For Professional Development And Personal Renewal To Meet
Tom Hunter and Richard Scholtz
For the last 10 years in early summer, 75 teachers, administrators and parents interested in education have gathered in a beautiful place north of Seattle to create a community that wrestles with issues of teaching and learning. It's called the Northwest Teachers Conference, a 5-day, creative, intentional blending of professional development and personal renewal. The topics are substantive, the nourishment goes deep, and the participants return to their teaching with renewed energies, practical ideas, and a deepened sense of what's important.
Courage to Teach Retreats Help Educators Rekindle Passion for Their Careers Scott Driscoll
Courage to Teach is a personal development and renewal program designed to provide teachers with time and support to rekindle their commitment and passion for teaching. Based on the ideas of Parker J. Palmer, the retreat series at the heart of the program is described here through the voices of participants, facilitators, and founders.
My Way to Finding Me
Anita Garcia Morales
For Anita Garcia Morales, learnings from her life, family, and self have found a home and a voice via her Courage To Teach journey. During her 18-month retreat series, and through ongoing work, Anita has learned to create and maintain a space for inner reflection and growth that continues to bring clarity to how she lives her life in the present.
Cortland-Belize Partnership in Special Education Teacher Development for a Developing Country
The article describes an innovative, extremely low-cost project to enhance the knowledge and skills of educators in Belize, Central America, to better serve special education students. Manuals that address major special-education conditions are in the last editing phase for the 282 primary schools. A Web CT site has been created, allowing interaction among teachers and with the project director. A series of CDs are being developed, where implementation strategies are demonstrated.
Teachers Learning: In Their Own Words
Genie Bingham Linn
Non-fictional narrative story method has given professional and personal voice to teachers' lives of change and learning in the classroom. Individual competence and professional knowing are part of the complex, interrelated system of learning that happen to teachers inside and outside of the classroom, in formal education settings, and from practical experience. This paper shares the findings from a study of five east Texas teachers from whom the author sought to learn what the teachers could tell us about themselves and their own learning experiences.
The IRIS Center for Faculty Enhancement: On-line course enhancement modules and materials for use in the preparation of education professionals
Deborah Deutsch Smith, Georgine Pion, Kim Skow, Naomi Tyler, Zina Yzquierdo, and Janice Brown
A new, free program developed at Vanderbilt University shows how on-line course enhancement modules and materials can be used in teacher education.
Teacher Talk: Teachers Building A Professional Community by Talking to Other Teachers About Teaching
Teacher Talk, a regular gathering of classroom teachers to talk about teaching, offers insight and collegiality to teachers and helps them to do an even better job in the classroom.
How Teacher Thinking Shapes Education
It is not only what teachers say and do, but how they think that can affect how students learn.
The National Institute for Urban School Improvement has posted a series of online workshops: http://www.urbanschools.org/professional.html. The topics available are Building Leadership Teams, Mining Data, Inclusive Schools, Co-Teaching and Assessment.
Preparing Special Education Teachers
This report contains a special section on collaboration and cross disciplinary teaching, with examples of inclusive programs.
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Learning Disabilities and Challenging Behaviors: A Guide to Intervention and Classroom Management
Nancy Mather and Sam Goldstein
Teaching With Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach
Edited by Sam M. Intrator and Megan Scribner
Motivation Matters: A Workbook for School Change
Margery B. Ginsberg
Teacher Evaluation: to Enhance Professional Practice
Charlotte Danielson and Thomas L. McGreal
Featured Item: Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist and Classroom Teacher
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