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Urban Teaching Connection: Creating and Inquiring Through a Virtual Community of Practice
Unformatted Document Text:  are most frequently accessed are analyzed through descriptive statistics. A database has been created that will automatically store and categorize the participants position in schools, grade level, years of teaching and school setting (urban, suburban, rural) This will allow the creation of an on-going history over time that will identify and track changes in trends as new practitioners join the site each year. We will also be able to track geographical trends in urban sites to compare and contrast the experiences of new urban teachers. The analysis of the content of the discussion board will allow a clearer delineation of what constitutes accomplished practice and what is appropriate emerging practice, and what are the areas of practice that new practitioners find most challenging and difficult to problem solve. The data from the sight will be used by School of Education faculty and curriculum committees to improve and strengthen the teacher preparation program of study, as well as identify new areas to share with school partners that will facilitate the induction and development of beginning practitioners. Thus, through yearly analysis of data, the site provides continual feedback assessment loops on the preparation of students and the changing needs of new urban practitioners. Finally, the site provides graduates with an electronic community of practice to engage collectively in reflection on their emerging practice as they enter solo practice. The UTC site is currently used in pre-service training to demonstrate exemplary models of practice that make concrete the State Standards for teacher candidates, in both the undergraduate and graduate practicum seminars, and as a method to study teacher candidate’s reflective process. As part of the seminar, students review the standards, view application of the standards in various urban settings on both the elementary and secondary level, and process, through facilitator guided questions, the what and how of exemplary practice. Most importantly, the teacher candidates discuss why the video segments are an example of accomplished practice. Anecdotal evidence by the seminar leaders is beginning to show that the quality of the student micro-teaching exercise has improved in the area of understanding and applying the state standards to their own practice after viewing the professional clips on the site. Since the introduction of the website into the course, practicum students are choosing more sustentative clips of their own practice to review, are able to identify emerging practice in a more theory based format, and have a clearer understanding of which practices demonstrate accomplishment of state standards as a new practitioner. Implications for Action: The Urban Teaching Connection provides in a virtual learning community opportunities to explore major questions around beginning practice in the urban setting utilizing a model of delivery compatible with millennial learning styles. Data collected from three sources: new teachers questions/concerns, utilization of resources, and web statistics, enables School of Education faculty to understand the challenges of new practice in urban settings and rapidly adjust the curriculum to respond to changing needs. Longitudinal data from the site will be studied to create a feedback loop of information and empirical data to inform curriculum development. But perhaps most importantly, the UTC website offers new urban practitioners support and a virtual community to sustain their teaching practice and commitment during the first critical years, while they move from beginning to accomplished urban teachers. Outcomes and Methods: By the end of this session participants will have: • a new technology based model for enhanced beginning practice teacher development. • a model with the potential for application to there own teacher preparation programs. • informed, theory driven methods to enhance teacher preparation and retention. 3

Authors: Cokely, Micky. and Qualters, Donna.
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are most frequently accessed are analyzed through descriptive statistics. A database has been
created that will automatically store and categorize the participants position in schools, grade
level, years of teaching and school setting (urban, suburban, rural) This will allow the creation of
an on-going history over time that will identify and track changes in trends as new practitioners
join the site each year. We will also be able to track geographical trends in urban sites to
compare and contrast the experiences of new urban teachers.
The analysis of the content of the discussion board will allow a clearer delineation of what
constitutes accomplished practice and what is appropriate emerging practice, and what are the
areas of practice that new practitioners find most challenging and difficult to problem solve.
The data from the sight will be used by School of Education faculty and curriculum committees
to improve and strengthen the teacher preparation program of study, as well as identify new areas
to share with school partners that will facilitate the induction and development of beginning
practitioners. Thus, through yearly analysis of data, the site provides continual feedback
assessment loops on the preparation of students and the changing needs of new urban
practitioners. Finally, the site provides graduates with an electronic community of practice to
engage collectively in reflection on their emerging practice as they enter solo practice.
The UTC site is currently used in pre-service training to demonstrate exemplary models of
practice that make concrete the State Standards for teacher candidates, in both the undergraduate
and graduate practicum seminars, and as a method to study teacher candidate’s reflective process.
As part of the seminar, students review the standards, view application of the standards in various
urban settings on both the elementary and secondary level, and process, through facilitator guided
questions, the what and how of exemplary practice. Most importantly, the teacher candidates
discuss why the video segments are an example of accomplished practice. Anecdotal evidence by
the seminar leaders is beginning to show that the quality of the student micro-teaching exercise
has improved in the area of understanding and applying the state standards to their own practice
after viewing the professional clips on the site. Since the introduction of the website into the
course, practicum students are choosing more sustentative clips of their own practice to review,
are able to identify emerging practice in a more theory based format, and have a clearer
understanding of which practices demonstrate accomplishment of state standards as a new
practitioner.
Implications for Action:
The Urban Teaching Connection provides in a virtual learning community opportunities to
explore major questions around beginning practice in the urban setting utilizing a model of
delivery compatible with millennial learning styles. Data collected from three sources: new
teachers questions/concerns, utilization of resources, and web statistics, enables School of
Education faculty to understand the challenges of new practice in urban settings and rapidly
adjust the curriculum to respond to changing needs. Longitudinal data from the site will be
studied to create a feedback loop of information and empirical data to inform curriculum
development. But perhaps most importantly, the UTC website offers new urban practitioners
support and a virtual community to sustain their teaching practice and commitment during the
first critical years, while they move from beginning to accomplished urban teachers.
Outcomes and Methods:
By the end of this session participants will have:
a new technology based model for enhanced beginning practice teacher development.
a model with the potential for application to there own teacher preparation programs.
informed, theory driven methods to enhance teacher preparation and retention.
3


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