Multi-Stage Research Focused on Instructional Redesign and Organizational Reculturing

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University of Alabama Libraries

Improvement science enables school leaders and practitioners to tackle local problems of practice via the design and implementation of interventions aimed at the advancement of overall performance. This improvement science project targeted change in classroom practices, specifically the need to reorient staff toward instructional norms that promote participatory learning. The following objectives guided the research: (a) to design an intervention that might observe and evaluate teacher efforts to implement new instructional norms in the classroom; (b) to evaluate the extent to which the intervention can be successfully implemented and to identify the conditions that might facilitate or impede successful implementation; (c) to evaluate whether the intervention might generate desired outcomes and to assess the intervention's adaptability and utility for other contexts. The resulting theory of improvement called for the researchers to engage participants in professional learning and subsequent coaching sessions designed to support teachers as they redesigned instruction to facilitate collaborative inquiry and learning. Lesson plans, classroom observations, coaching transcripts, and teacher interviews were used to document the implementation process and its effects. A thorough analysis of the data revealed the conditions that facilitated student collaboration and discourse: integration of collaborative learning structures; consistent use of conversation stems; effective time management; and quality questioning that inspires higher-order thinking. Likewise, initial findings suggest an improved culture of teaching and learning that boasts increased student engagement and achievement. Implications for future improvement work include the need to test the scalability of the intervention in more classrooms and different schools.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Coaching, collaboration and dialogue, improvement science, instructional redesign, participatory learning, Professional development