Evaluating the relative effectiveness of a variety of collaborative approaches.
Write an abstract of one scholarly research source on an argument that collaboration time is available without impinging on classroom or other activity time is present, distinctive, and compelling. Personal experience, observation, and scholarly research are provided but may not support claims. Research is authoritative. Clearly identify the abstract as a separate section of the paper entitled "Literature Abstract."
Use the following guidelines to write the abstract:
Scholarly research sources attached.
4 places to dig deep TO FIND MORE TIME FOR TEACHER COLLABORATION
BY KRISTI KHORSHEED
he idea of teachers work-
ing together to
ing and learning
seems so sensi-
ble that few would argue against it. So why don't
schools provide regular and ample
opportunities for teachers to collabo-
rate on their practice?
Some schools are hampered by
the limitations of union contracts and limited resources. However, the
most basic problem is that many have
difficulty finding new ways of using existing resources, such as time and
personnel. When principals can envi-
sion a schedule with unequal time
slots or music or physical education
classes with fluid sizes, they can
rearrange and reallocate limited
resources to allow for new concepts
of professional learning. For the last
eight years, teachers at Garfield
Elementary School in Livonia, Mich.,
have organized themselves into teams
and have created time to work collab-
"MAKING" TIME The rationale for teacher collabo-
ration has been stated in literature
(Darling-Hammond, 1998; Darling-
Hammond & Ifill-Lynch, 2006;
Little, 1999), is promoted in NSDC's
NANIONAL STAFF DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL 800-727-7288 VOL. 28, NO. 2 SPRING 2007 JSD 43
One benefit of working during
the school day is
to engage in
learning, such as
their existing time and resources more creatively to allow teachers to maxi- mize their professional learning through team meetings. First, teachers determined how much time teams needed to examine student work, analyze assessment data, and plan common les- sons.
William Green, Garfield's principal, said that teachers find 60 to 90 minutes of uninter- rupted time works well.
That is long enough to accomplish critical tasks and still hold team mem- bers' attention. In addition, he said, balancing teachers' time with time away from students is important. Garfield's teachers also found that this time needed to be in addition to regu- lar teacher preparation periods.
At some elementary schools,
KRISTI KHORSHEED is a researcher on the study of instructional improvement and an instructor in the educational administration program at the University of Michigan and a former Garfield teacher. You can contact her at 5148 Arbor Valley, Ann Arbor, M1, 48105, 734-769-7714, e-mail: [email protected]
Standards for Staff Development (2001), and is a common element of whole school reform programs. And the professional learning communities movement rests on the belief that col- lective effort is better than autonomous and isolated arrange- ments traditionally found in schools (DuFour & Eaker, 1998).
In a study of five high-performing schools, Karen Hawley Miles and Linda Darling-Hammond (1997) concluded that "the biggest constraint (to restructuring schools) may be a limited vision of the changes in school organization that can create a more professional organization and improve student achievement" (p.42).
In 1998, the principal and staff at Garfield set out to find ways to use
44 JSD SPRING 2007 VOL. 28, NO. 2
teacher teams meet during a common 45-minute planning time to collabo- rate (Choy, Chen, & Bugarin, 2006). But when one considers that elemen- tary teachers may spend a couple of minutes walking their classes to and from the special where students will go while the teachers meet, 45 min- utes may be reduced to 35 – not enough time for substantive work. And teachers need those time slots for tasks such as planning, copying, grad- ing, and assembling materials for their next lesson.
"When teachers at Garfield meet, Green says, "it is not planning time. They are not making phone calls or running things off at the copy machine." Setting aside regular time for collaborative professional learning requires thinking outside the box, he
said. Some schools schedule students to
arrive late or leave early, but time for collaboration can be created without modifying the school day schedule. One benefit of working during the school day is that having students present allows teachers to engage in practice-based learning, such as peer observations or modeling. For teach- ers to work collaboratively, the focus must be on ongoing, targeted activi- ties that involve engaging in practice with students and consulting with fel- low teachers (Ball & Cohen, 1999; Desimone, Porter, Garet, Yoon, & Birman, 2002). School leaders' goal, therefore, should be to build 60 to 90 minutes for professional learning into teachers' normal work day. At Garfield, teams accomplished the goal and allow teachers at least 90 minutes for professional learning every week by combining several strategies.
RETHINKING TIME, STAFF, AND STUDENT GROUPINGS
Use specials. For teachers to have 90 minutes during the school day, Michigan law requires that stu- dents be placed with another certified
Garfield Elementary School Livonia, Mich.
Grades: K-6 Enrollment- 454 Staff. 30 Racial/ethnic mix:
White: 65% Black: 31% Hispanic: 1% Asian/Pacific Islander: 3% Native American: 0% Other: 0%
Limited English proficient: 6% Languages spoken: Five to six Free/reduced lunch: 31% Special education: 10% Contact: William Green, principal 10218 Arthur Livonia, MI 48150 Phone: 734-744-2715 Fax: 734-744-2717 E-mail: [email protected]
staff member. Art, music, or physical
education teachers' schedules are valu-
able resources. Once special teachers
have fulfilled their meeting time with
each class, there may be another class
time available in their schedules that
principals traditionally might have used to assign these teachers other
tasks or to allow a class an extra music
period. Principals may consider addi-
tional staff members' time, as well. By
carefully reviewing the schedules of all
personnel, principals may uncover
opportunities to reorganize time.
Consider recess. Creatively shuf-
fling, stretching, and pairing time
slots can result in a longer time period that might have been buried in a
school's elaborate spreadsheet of
teachers' schedules. Most elementary
students have recess periods.
Coupling recess time with that extra
art or music class time may create 60-
plus minutes for a collaboration team
if the same time is available for other
members of a grade-level team.
Review funding sources. Title I schools may be able to rethink how
they use their additional funds or per-
NATIONAL STAFF DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL)WWWNSDC.ORG
Organizing schools for professional learning: Traditional and reformed
Traditional Reformed How collaboration was arranged weekly schedule weekly schedule for four teachers at a time
"* Teachers have • Teachers have • Two half-time teachers teach two five prep one half-day for classes and two art, music, library, periods, collaboration, or physical education teachers
"• Teachers work • Teachers have teach two classes. mostly alone, four prep
"* Collaboration periods. occurs by • Collaboration chance or occurs by among friends, design.
Allocating teachers to cover classes CD during collaboration B "* Use Title I funds, if available, to pay (D
for two half-time teachers. "* Find one FTE in the teaching roster by
balancing class sizes through multiage groupings.
"• Make a case to the district for extra personnel.
"• Use surplus special periods. "• Combine three classes into two for
special periods. "* Use a prep period combined with
recess or lunch.
sonnel to support student learning.
One year, Garfield's principal used
Title I funds to hire two part-time
teachers. The two managed two class- es, providing additional literacy
instruction and enabling two regular
classroom teachers to collaborate. The
part-time teachers provided this sup-
port for multiple classes throughout the week, supporting different teams
of teachers and providing students
with additional academic support.
Think about student grouping.
Principals can more efficiently group
students if they rethink how to do so.
For example, music and physical edu-
cation classes do not have to be limit-
ed to the same number of students as
the homeroom class. At Garfield, for
example, three 1st-grade classes of 20
were reconfigured into two groups of
30 students for their music and gym
periods, followed by a recess, without
exceeding the contractual maximum.
In this way, three classes were covered
by two specialist teachers, and three
classroom teachers were able to col-
laborate for at least an hour.
Although specialist teachers might resist this arrangement, principals and
teachers must acknowledge the need
for changes in work arrangements to make policies driven by the priority to
improve teaching and learning in the
NATIONAL SIAFF DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
core academic areas.
Rethinking how specials, person-
nel, and Title I funds are used and
how students are grouped may help
principals create time for teachers to
work collaboratively on improving
instruction. Then, when adequate
time has been carved out, the hard
work begins. Like any educational resource, the value of time depends
on how it is used.
REFERENCES Ball, D. & Cohen, D.K. (1999).
Developing practice, developing prac-
titioners: Toward a practice-based the-
ory of professional education. In L.
Darling-Hammond and G. Sykes
(Eds.), Teaching as a learning profes-
sion: Handbook ofpolicy and practice.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Choy, S., Chen, X., & Bugarin,
R. (2006). Teacher professional devel-
opment in 1999-2000." What teachers,
principals, and district staff report.
Washington, DC: U.S. Department
of Education, National Center for
Darling-Hammond, L. (1998,
February). Teacher learning that sup-
ports student learning. Educational
Leadership, 55(5), 6-11.
Darling-Hammond, L. & Ifill- Lynch, 0. (2006, February). If
they'd only do their work.
Educational Leadership, 63(5), 8-13.
Desimone, L.A., Porter, A.,
Garet, M., Yoon, K., & Birman, B.
(2002, Summer). Effects of profes-
sional development on teachers' instruction: Results from a three-year
and Policy Analysis, 24(2),
DuFour, R. & Eaker,
R. (1998). Professional learning communities at
work: Best practices for
enhancing student achieve-
ment. Bloomington, IN:
Little, J.W. (1999). Organizing schools for
teacher learning. In L. Darling-Hammond and
has been carved
out, the hard
value of time
depends on how
it is used.
G. Sykes (Eds.), Teaching as a learning
profession: Handbook ofpolicy and
practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Miles, K.H. & Darling-
Hammond, L. (1997). Rethinking the
allocation of teaching resources: Some
lessons from high-performing schools.
Philadelphia, PA: Consortium for
Policy Research in Education.
National Staff Development
Council. (2001). Standards for staff
development (revised). Oxford, OH:
VOL. 28, NO. 2 SPRING 2007800-727-7288 JSD 45
TITLE: 4 places to dig deep to find more time for teacher collaboration
SOURCE: Journal of Staff Development 28 no2 Spr 2007 PAGE(S): 43-5
The magazine publisher is the copyright holder of this article and it is reproduced with permission. Further reproduction of this article in violation of the copyright is prohibited. To contact the publisher: http://www.nsdc.org/
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