2017-2018 Academic Catalog 
    Oct 31, 2020  
2017-2018 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

EDUC 376 - Powerful Learning through Teacher Research


EDUC 376: Powerful Learning Through Teacher Research is a graduate seminar that will provide professional development, support, and a collegial learning community for pre-K-12 teachers.  The goal is to use teacher research – to support everyone to take their teaching to the next level of excellence, and to support teachers (and by extension, their students) as powerful, transformative learners and agents of change.

Teacher research - documentation and reflection of one’s own classroom practice - is a centerpiece of this seminar.  Participants will read about and practice a variety of ethnographic and discourse analytic tools and approaches for bringing their classrooms “to the table” with colleagues.  Participants will document – through video taping, collecting student work, and using a variety of epistemic tools – the participation and learning that takes place in key discussions over the course of the semester.  Therefore, the course will introduce participants to not only the principles and “ways of knowing” of teacher research, but also to the “tools” of data collection and analysis.

Throughout the course, we will grapple, individually and collectively, with several key questions, including

  • What does it mean to be a teacher researcher? How do teachers research their practice? What can be learned or known from researching our practice?
  • What does it mean to understand teacher research as a “way of knowing”?
  • What is the relationship between classroom research and teaching practice?  What is the relationship between knowledge and practice? What is the role of “theory” in the work of teachers?
  • What does teacher research have to contribute to our understanding of teaching and learning?

Teachers from all grade levels, K-12 and the university, and all subject areas - will work together on equal footing.  Together, we will use the tools of ethnographic and discourse analytic research to ask and answer our own questions, and generate new knowledge for the field, working toward presentations of our work for other educators involved in urban education, both locally and nationally. 

May be repeated one time for credit.

Fall 2017

This face-to-face graduate seminar – using the NGSX PD System – will provide professional development, support, and a learning community for K-12 science teachers, supporting the implementation of the new vision of science as set forth in the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (adopted by MA in Spring, 2016). The goal of the course is to support a cadre of science teacher leaders in Worcester, who can support other teachers in understanding the shifts in the NGSS using the Next Generation Science Exemplar System for professional learning (NGSX).  Teacher research and documentation and reflection on one’s own classroom practice is a centerpiece of this seminar.

Participants will engage in the NGSX Introduction to 3-Dimensional Science Teaching (6 Units) as well as the NGSX Facilitator Pathway (5 Chapters).  Taken together, these two pathways will not only prepare participants to lead an NGSX study group, but also provide quality professional learning for teacher leaders themselves – around model-based inquiry, evidence-based reasoning and talk, and adapting curriculum to align with the NGSS.  Participants who successfully complete this seminar will get 1.5 units of graduate course credit from Clark University, and become certified NGSX teacher leaders, able to lead other teachers in an NGSX study group back at their home site or elsewhere in the district or state.

The Next Generation Science Exemplar System (NGSX) for Professional Development is a new kind of PD environment for science educators composed of multiple learning pathways. It is a blended model of learning, combining face-to-face work in a study group that draws on resources in a web-based environment. This model enables study group participants to engage in and analyze three-dimensional (3D) science learning-learning that draws on the three major dimensions of the National Research Council’s Framework for
K-12 Science Education (NRC Framework)
and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-core ideas of science, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts. NGSX provides participants with guided practice in adapting curricular materials to reflect designated NGSS-based student performance expectations, and with ways of bringing this professional learning back into the participants’ own classrooms.

Anticipated Terms Offered: Fall or Spring