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Implications From Research: Using Classroom Teachers' Responses to Policy to Inform Teacher Education
Unformatted Document Text:  This presentation speaks to policy implications and to exemplary practice. Our evidence suggests that the two teachers we worked with found ways to work successfully in their respective classrooms and in doing so developed exemplary, policy-responsive practice. The ways the teachers responded to the policy however, infers a number of implications for policy makers to consider. In designing and mandating one-size fits all policy, policy makers often fail to consider the diverse needs of the students in our schools. This presentation is relevant and timely because policies such as NCLB and Reading First are impacting a great number of teachers as they strive to develop exemplary practice. Implications for action: This work addresses the gap that exists between the practical realities of the failing, urban school and the teacher preparation students typically receive in their undergraduate education. As high-stakes testing, standards based teaching, and federally funded mandates become the norm at more and more schools, our teacher candidates must be supported in learning about how to navigate and understand the context of schools. Schools of education must consider how and where in their programs they will address issues of policy, context, and curriculum. Our research will point to the need for teacher preparation to focus on decision making and collaboration. We found that teachers cannot implement every policy in exactly the way that it is presented to them. In order for teachers to remain true to their own identities, experiences, and beliefs, and to meet the needs of their diverse and particular students, teachers must find ways to work collaboratively with colleagues to come to understandings of the various policies and their consequences, and then to make rational, informed decisions that make sense for their unique and particular contexts. Additionally, we found that effective teachers must engage in critical reading and discussion of important texts, and that having common goals for student learning, based on research and theory, supports their abilities to be successful. One thing that teacher preparation courses can do is help teacher candidates realize that a teacher’s context is complex and continually shifting (Britzman, 2003). Beginning teachers experiences should help them identify the potential collisions or tensions in the various aspects of their context and to provide them with ways to sort through these tensions to make instructional decisions. Using case studies is one way that teacher preparation can help teacher candidates explore and examine teachers’ decisions, and look at instances of resistance, acquiescence, and finessing. Since these kinds of discussions are not visible in most teacher preparation programs, this session will contribute to the growing understanding of the field in this area. Section II: Learner/participant Outcomes: We hope that participants will learn more about the possibilities for program and course changes within schools of education. We will facilitate interactive participation so that additional ideas and dialogue can push the conversation further. We hope to hear about similar work from other colleges to add depth and a wider perspective to this issue. Methods: This proposal is for a paper presentation where both authors will be engaged collaboratively in the presentation. We will use visuals (e.g. PowerPoint slides) in order to engage the audience as actively as possible during a short paper presentation period. Artifacts Implications from researchPage 2 of 3

Authors: Pardo, Laura. and Kersten, Jodene.
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This presentation speaks to policy implications and to exemplary practice. Our evidence
suggests that the two teachers we worked with found ways to work successfully in their
respective classrooms and in doing so developed exemplary, policy-responsive practice. The
ways the teachers responded to the policy however, infers a number of implications for policy
makers to consider. In designing and mandating one-size fits all policy, policy makers often fail
to consider the diverse needs of the students in our schools. This presentation is relevant and
timely because policies such as NCLB and Reading First are impacting a great number of
teachers as they strive to develop exemplary practice.
Implications for action:
This work addresses the gap that exists between the practical realities of the failing, urban
school and the teacher preparation students typically receive in their undergraduate education.
As high-stakes testing, standards based teaching, and federally funded mandates become the
norm at more and more schools, our teacher candidates must be supported in learning about how
to navigate and understand the context of schools. Schools of education must consider how and
where in their programs they will address issues of policy, context, and curriculum.
Our research will point to the need for teacher preparation to focus on decision making
and collaboration. We found that teachers cannot implement every policy in exactly the way that
it is presented to them. In order for teachers to remain true to their own identities, experiences,
and beliefs, and to meet the needs of their diverse and particular students, teachers must find
ways to work collaboratively with colleagues to come to understandings of the various policies
and their consequences, and then to make rational, informed decisions that make sense for their
unique and particular contexts. Additionally, we found that effective teachers must engage in
critical reading and discussion of important texts, and that having common goals for student
learning, based on research and theory, supports their abilities to be successful.
One thing that teacher preparation courses can do is help teacher candidates realize that a
teacher’s context is complex and continually shifting (Britzman, 2003). Beginning teachers
experiences should help them identify the potential collisions or tensions in the various aspects
of their context and to provide them with ways to sort through these tensions to make
instructional decisions. Using case studies is one way that teacher preparation can help teacher
candidates explore and examine teachers’ decisions, and look at instances of resistance,
acquiescence, and finessing. Since these kinds of discussions are not visible in most teacher
preparation programs, this session will contribute to the growing understanding of the field in
this area.
Section II:
Learner/participant Outcomes:
We hope that participants will learn more about the possibilities for program and course
changes within schools of education. We will facilitate interactive participation so that
additional ideas and dialogue can push the conversation further. We hope to hear about similar
work from other colleges to add depth and a wider perspective to this issue.
Methods:
This proposal is for a paper presentation where both authors will be engaged
collaboratively in the presentation. We will use visuals (e.g. PowerPoint slides) in order to
engage the audience as actively as possible during a short paper presentation period. Artifacts
Implications from research
Page 2 of 3


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