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Democratic Classroom Practice and Implications for Teacher Education in the U.S., Czech Republic and Ukraine
Unformatted Document Text:  in other nations; it also compares how these issues are similar or different from issues faced in by teachers the United States. The authors gave a Lickert scale/constructed response survey to three groups of K-12 teachers, in each of three countries (90 teachers total). The survey asked participants to rate the frequency with which a particular democratic practice, like cooperative learning, was conducted in their classrooms. It also asked the frequency that they would ideally want to include this practice. Open-ended questions asked teachers to clarify their answers. Qualitative and quantitative results outlined which democratic IDEALS were the most present and/or desired. Such findings will help teachers and teacher educators in the U.S. question their assumptions about education at home and in new democracies. By establishing relationships with educators in two developing democracies, we can learn from each other's struggles and successes. C. Relevance The work described in this proposal uses quantitative and qualitative evidence to inform policy. Presenters will show data from surveys taken by teachers in the U.S. and two developing democracies. Data shows similarities and differences. For example, in all three countries, teachers reported using a moderate amount of inquiry and discourse, yet included few opportunities for service in the curriculum. While these teachers saw service as desirable, commonly they perceived it as requiring too much time away from required curriculum. Findings such as this suggest that educators in the U.S. and developing democracies have similar challenges and that teachers and teacher eduators could work together in building instruction that meets democratic IDEALS. It might be valuable, for example, to educate teachers about service learning (Wade, 1997), and how to build service that meets community needs and the demands of state and national content requirements. In addition, the study represents exemplary practice. It defines democratic concepts, and it calls upon teacher educators to challenge their assumptions about developing democracies. Rather than purely "exporting" knowledge about teaching, the U.S. should be importing as well, and creating mutually beneficial relationships (Bloem, 2001). There is much to be learned from watching how international educational systems successfully balance demands for accountability with the notions of democratic practice. B. Implications The work presented here has several implications for action. Findings of studies on democratic classroom practice will be used to adapt and modify teacher education that U.S. programs offer for developing democracies. Future research will include educators in other developing democracies, including Afghanistan and Iraq. Additionally, the study challenges educators to look to our world community as a source of help and inspiration in approaching many of the dilemmas that we face in an era of accountability.

Authors: Miller, Mimi. and Kohen, Bob.
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in other nations; it also compares how these issues are similar or different from issues
faced in by teachers the United States. The authors gave a Lickert scale/constructed
response survey to three groups of K-12 teachers, in each of three countries (90 teachers
total). The survey asked participants to rate the frequency with which a particular
democratic practice, like cooperative learning, was conducted in their classrooms. It also
asked the frequency that they would ideally want to include this practice. Open-ended
questions asked teachers to clarify their answers. Qualitative and quantitative results
outlined which democratic IDEALS were the most present and/or desired. Such findings
will help teachers and teacher educators in the U.S. question their assumptions about
education at home and in new democracies. By establishing relationships with educators
in two developing democracies, we can learn from each other's struggles and successes.
C.
Relevance
The work described in this proposal uses quantitative and qualitative evidence to inform
policy. Presenters will show data from surveys taken by teachers in the U.S. and two
developing democracies. Data shows similarities and differences. For example, in all
three countries, teachers reported using a moderate amount of inquiry and discourse, yet
included few opportunities for service in the curriculum. While these teachers saw
service as desirable, commonly they perceived it as requiring too much time away from
required curriculum. Findings such as this suggest that educators in the U.S. and
developing democracies have similar challenges and that teachers and teacher eduators
could work together in building instruction that meets democratic IDEALS. It might be
valuable, for example, to educate teachers about service learning (Wade, 1997), and how
to build service that meets community needs and the demands of state and national
content requirements.
In addition, the study represents exemplary practice. It defines democratic concepts, and
it calls upon teacher educators to challenge their assumptions about developing
democracies. Rather than purely "exporting" knowledge about teaching, the U.S. should
be importing as well, and creating mutually beneficial relationships (Bloem, 2001). There
is much to be learned from watching how international educational systems successfully
balance demands for accountability with the notions of democratic practice.
B.
Implications
The work presented here has several implications for action. Findings of studies on
democratic classroom practice will be used to adapt and modify teacher education that
U.S. programs offer for developing democracies. Future research will include educators
in other developing democracies, including Afghanistan and Iraq. Additionally, the study
challenges educators to look to our world community as a source of help and inspiration
in approaching many of the dilemmas that we face in an era of accountability.


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