I’m excited to be participating in the Literacy and Contemporary Society: Spaces, Discourses, Practices conference in Nicosia tomorrow. At the conference I’ll be sharing our work on teacher professional learning.
Here’s the title and abstract:
Teacher learning on the job: towards pedagogical productive talk
Studies show that, on average, teachers’ effectiveness as measured on student outcomes peaks after three to five years, plateauing thereafter. This startling statistic suggests that we need to radically rethink our professional development systems. In this talk I argue that we have been looking for teacher learning in the wrong places, and that we should shift our focus – from formal learning activities in professional development workshop to informal processes of learning on the job. Such processes are closely related to the ways in which we talk to one another about teaching, students, learning and curriculum. I will share data from my own and others’ research about teacher collaborative discourse; advance a model of pedagogically productive talk, which has the power to advance teacher learning; and discuss the challenges of facilitating such talk in schools.
We’re now entering into our fourth year of a major research project on the topic, and finally have some published work to show for our efforts: an article on learner agency in coach-leading teacher scaffolding interactions (with Dana Vedder-Weiss, Iris Tabak and Aliza Segal), and an article on appropriation of conversational protocols (with Aliza Segal and Dana Vedder-Weiss) has been accepted but not yet published (I’ll post a link when it is available, or you can e-mail me and I’m happy to share a pre-print copy.