education

The education essay below has been submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies.

Critical Thinking And Problem Solving Education Essay

INTRODUCTION

Student achievement is the ultimate goal of every learning organization. Just how to make that happen is a question that schools struggle to answer. The 2002 Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965, better known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001, 2002 (U.S. Department of Education, 2n.d.) has pushed schools into a climate of high accountability. This legislation has had a profound impact on how schools provide education to all children. NCLB requires all states to create accountability systems based upon student scores on annual tests. The law increased math and reading testing requirements mandating annual testing in grades 3 through 8 and high school. The goal is to ensure learning for all students – “leaving no child behind.” NCLB provides a sequence of 31 interventions that vary in severity for states and policy makers to utilize to turn around low performing schools. By 2014, NCLB mandates that the achievement gaps of minority students be closed as well as gaps between students who are socio-economic disadvantaged and those who are not. Schools that do not meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) will face stiff corrective actions.

Other stipulations of NCLB included the right for students to transfer from low-performing to better-performing schools or to receive tutoring, and requiring states to ensure teachers were “highly-qualified.” Detailed reports are to be shared with parents stating school performance on testing and teacher quality. The current climate of high-stakes testing is sending waves of panic through the school systems. Policy makers, teachers, administrators, and parents have called for improvements in public education. These cries, however, come from different sources of information. The media reports that our nation’s schools’ tests scores are lower than those of other countries and America’s teachers are lazy, in over-protected positions and cannot be fired. Diane Ravitch claims that these complaints about public education are nothing new; they have been a part of the educational landscape for the last 60 years (Ravitch, 2011). “NCLB was a radical plan of action, particularly because there was no reason to believe that annual tests—coupled with fear and humiliation—would produce the miraculous goal of 100 percent proficiency, a goal not reached by any nation on earth (Ravitch, 2011). In a report titled, NCLB’s “Lost Decade for Educational Progress: What Can We Learn from this Policy Failure?” (2012, p. 1) Guisbond, Neill, and Schaffer submit the following findings:

NCLB failed to significantly increase average academic performance or to significantly narrow achievement gaps, as measured by the NAEP.

NCLB damaged educational quality and equity by narrowing the curriculum in many schools and focusing attention on the limited skills standardized tests measure.

So-called "reforms" to NCLB, such as “Race to the Top,” Obama Administration waivers and the Senate’s Education Committee’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization bill, fail to address many of the law’s fundamental flaws and in some cases intensify them.

American public education has been viewed as failing in their efforts to make our nation’s children competitive in a global economy constantly changing due to the emergence of new technologies. Twelve years into the 21st century, the public demands schools integrate 21st Century Skills. According to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21, 2011), learning and innovation skills include:

Creativity and Innovation

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Communication and Collaboration

Teachers are expected to enhance student learning in these critical areas yet the focus on high stakes tests often results in a focus on test-taking skills. Additionally, their own work continues in isolation focusing on test results provided long after the testing with little chance for reflection and the informing of future instructional design.

Educational achievement matters and should be considered yet from one more angle. “The one factor that surfaced as the single most influential component of an effective school is the individual teachers within the school (Marzano, 2007, p. 1). Researchers see an answer to this dilemma by providing teachers with quality professional development. Traditionally, professional development opportunities have been offered to teachers as a tool to enhance student learning from a top-down model; administrators provide staff development in a “sit-and-get” model, bringing in “outside experts” to share their opinions as to how to increase student success. In turn, teachers are expected to implement new approaches with little follow-up or support on the part of the administrator or staff developer – neither working to ensure concepts are implemented accurately and actually affect student achievement. Numerous studies (Guskey, 1986; Little, 1988; Putnam & Borko, 2000) suggest this method is ineffective. Learning opportunities for teachers have lacked authenticity, cohesion, and the timeliness necessary to make a difference in teacher learning not to mention student learning.

Prominent researchers such as Eaker, DuFour, and Hord have suggested Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) as one of the most successful strategies that schools can use for improving student learning. According to the 2009, study published by the National Staff Development Council (NSCD, A Status Report on Teacher Development in the United States and Abroad (Darling-Hammond, Wei, Andree, Richardson, & Orphanos, 2009), “sustained and intensive professional development for teachers is related to student achievement gains” (p. 2). Using nationally representative data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ 2003-04 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), the report provided a comprehensive survey of the existing research on effective professional learning in the United States and other industrialized nations. “We sought to determine whether current policies and practices are aligned with what research shows to be effective professional development practices. We also explored differences in opportunities and supports for professional development across school contexts (e.g., grade level, location, and student subgroup)” (p. 7). Findings from this survey that are pertinent to current study include:

Sustained and intensive professional development for teachers is related to student achievement gains.

Collaborative approaches to professional learning can promote school change that extends beyond individual classrooms.

Effective professional development is intensive, ongoing, and connected to practice; focuses on the teaching and learning of specific academic content; is connected to other school initiatives; and builds strong working relationships among teachers.

U.S. teachers report little professional collaboration in designing curriculum and sharing practices and the collaboration that occurs tends to be weak and not focused on strengthening teaching and learning. (Darling-Hammond et al., 2009, p. 8)

The current model of professional development offered within many school districts is a series of disconnected information sessions in which teachers are expected to be compliant listeners (DuFour and Eaker, 1998; Elmore, 2004). After listening with little hands-on experience, teachers are expected to replicate the newly learned practice in the classroom. Very few schools offer situated “support” or even a means to ensure the professional development is applied. Most teachers report little knowledge is gained from this professional process. (Darling-Hammond et al., 2009).

If collaboration is seen as a factor in enhancing teacher learning, how to bring in collaboration between the teacher and student must be incorporated into the experience. Black and Wiliam (2001) took a deeper look into the action of the classroom which they affectionately refer to as “the black box.” For students to learn at deep levels, they must be actively involved in the learning. It must be a cyclical process between the teacher and the student; both teaching and learning must be interactive.

Despite the negative impact of “high-stakes testing” has brought about, assessment is a key component to effective instruction (Wiliam, 2010). A comprehensive assessment plan includes both formative and summative assessments; formative assessments are for learning and summative assessments are assessments of learning (Stiggins, Arter, Chappuis & Chappuis, 2004). A body of research supports the implementation formative assessment strategies as an effective means to improve student achievement (Black & Wiliam, 1989; Brookhart, 2009, Chappuis, Chappuis, & Stiggins, 2009; Clark, 2005; Marzano, 2007).However, in the shadow of NCLB, confusion has arisen regarding the assessments and attempting to use them as formative assessments. Many school districts have begun administering various tests such as curriculum based assessments, benchmarks, and interim tests (Chappuis, 2005). The problem lies with the intent of the test. These types of tests were designed to provide accountability data. Often the results are not communicated in ways teachers understand and therefore feedback lacks clarity with little direction for improvement. Results are generally revealed months after instruction. In reality, these types of tests function as summative assessments.

“For assessments to be effective and useful for educators in instructional practice, they must be deeply entwined with the classroom teaching and learning driven by standards” (Menken, 2000). They must be embedded at key points of instruction. Current research indicates that improving learning through assessment depends on five factors (Clark, 2005):

Effective feedback to students;

Active involvement of students in their own learning;

Adjusting teaching based upon the results of the assessment;

Recognition of the impact of assessments on student self-esteem and motivation;

Students’ ability to access their own learning and that of their peers.

Applying formative assessments is not a program, product, or technology that can be dropped into a learning activity. Rather it is a process that continually evolves as a relationship develops between students and teachers. Stiggins (2002) proposed that a missing element from many teachers’ repertoires is “assessment literacy”. To develop this skill, sustained professional development is necessary to train and support teachers to effectively implement strategies that promote student achievement. A protocol-guided approach will support this type of teacher learning. The National Turning Points Center defines protocol as “a structured format with a set schedule and specific guidelines for communication among participants. Through the use of protocols, teachers clarify problems, identify evidence to support opinions, share perspectives, and reflect on their practice” (Looking at Student Learning, p. 2).

Senge extended the theory of a “learning organization” in his work, The Fifth Discipline (1990). He suggests that an organization’s ability to learn together, reflecting upon their practices and assumptions, is vital to the organization’s sustainability. An organization striving to become a learning organization must attend to five critical disciplines for continual growth: personal mastery; mental modes; shared vision; team learning; and systems thinking. These disciplines support collegial inquiry in which members explore their perceptions of the group’s collective reality as their individual practices are made public. Kruse, Louis, and Bryk (1994) continue this thought by suggesting that an effective professional learning community develops when five critical elements are present: reflective dialogue; deprivatization of practice; collective focus on student learning; collaboration; and shared norms and values.

As schools struggle to transform into learning organizations conflict arises as less-effective practices must be abandoned. Often attempts to develop practices rooted in reflective dialogue, exposing one’s teaching practices in public settings, and a spirit of collaboration are opposite current realities existing in public schools. For these reasons, employing a protocol-guided approach provides the necessary structure to create a safe environment for teacher discourse.

In order for teachers to enter into reflective dialogue, a high degree of trust must be developed. Using a protocol establishes common rules for participant’s interaction making it safe for all members to participate fully, question each other’s ideas respectfully, and understand one another’s points of view. They can avoid potential problems between participants by providing time for participants to voice concerns. They also help reassure participants that time devoted to collaboration will be beneficial (McDonald, Mohr, Dichter, & McDonald, 2007).

Statement of the Problem

External efforts, those made outside “the black box,” made by policy makers sitting outside the classroom, are not creating the necessary change in schools to impact student learning. Policy makers have suggested structural changes such as accountability testing. Researchers such as Darling-Hammond, DuFour, Hoard, and Fullan are calling for a cultural change. Schlechty described the change as moving from a “bureaucratic model of containment, corrective action, and punishment to a learning organization in which the teacher is a leader of learners designing learning activities that engage students in the learning process” (Schlechty, 2005).

According to A Status Report on Teacher Development in the United States and Abroad (Darling-Hammond, et al., 2009) researchers found a link between low student performance and low quality professional development; i. e., isolated, traditional, one-time workshops that limit effective learning opportunities. The use of a professional development approach such as these provide little incentive for teachers to change practices. The NSDC (Darling-Hammond, et al., 2009) suggested that high quality Professional Learning Communities provide teachers with on-going professional development that focus on teacher learning, a collaborative culture, collective inquiry, action orientation, commitment to continuous improvement, and results orientation (DuFour , Eaker, & DuFour, 2005; Hord & Sommers, 2008). Thus, PLCs have potential to provide the basis of connected experiences that will lead teachers to learn together through social construction of knowledge.

DuFour, DuFour, & Eaker define professional learning communities (PLCs) as

Educators committed to working collaboratively in ongoing processes of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. Professional learning communities operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous, job-embedded learning for educators (2008, p. 14).

Six characteristics of PLCs have been identified:

Shared Mission, vision, values, and goals

A collaborative culture with a focus on learning

Collective inquiry into best practice and current reality

Action orientation: Learning by doing

A commitment to continuous improvement

Results orientation

The PLC model not only empowers teachers to pool their collective knowledge, it allows them to work in collaboration using 21st century skills with purposeful focus on student achievement. DuFour (2008) suggests that PLCs are “framed” around three “big ideas”:

The fundamental purpose of the school is to ensure all students learn at high levels, and the future success of students will depend on how effective educators are in achieving that fundamental purpose.

Schools cannot achieve the fundamental purpose of learning for all if educators work in isolation. Therefore, school administrators and teachers must build a collaborative culture in which they work together interdependently and assume collective responsibility for the learning of all students.

Schools will not know whether or not all students are learning unless educators are hungry for evidence that students are acquiring the knowledge, skills, and dispositions deemed most essential to their success.

Organizations such as the National Commission on Teacher and America’s Future (NCTAF), the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and the National Education Association (NEA) support the PLC model (DuFour, Dufour, & Eaker, 2008, p. 72-79). Even with the backing of these organizations, PLCs are not being implemented or sustained in schools.

Purpose of the Study

Because of the increased demands of accountability, schools must operate more efficiently. Knowing that the “teacher is the most important factor affecting student learning” (Marzano, Marzano, & Pickering, 2003, p. 143) it important to understand teacher learning. This study contributes to the body of research on formative assessment practices guided by a PLC model of professional development. Therefore, the purpose of this mixed method study is two-fold: a.) examine the relationship between a PLC model of professional development and teachers’ use of formative assessment and; b.) determine the effect of a PLC model of professional development and the level of implementation of a PLC. If Professional Learning Communities have the potential to ignite the “Unfortunately, despite the growing evidence of the power of PLCs, many educators continue to engage in superficial application of the process” (DuFour & DuFour, in Bailey& Jakicic, 2012, p. xi).

Elementary teachers from two campuses in a suburban school district in a southern state will participate in this study. One campus will serve as the control group. Each elementary school serves students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 6.

Research Questions

This study will examine the following questions:

How will professional development provided in a protocol-guided PLC model enhance teacher’s uses of formative assessment for learning?

What is the relationship between professional development guided by a protocol-based PLC model and a sustaining PLC?

After implementing professional development guided by a PLC model, what differences exist between the small group PLC and the campus PLC?

Significance of the Study

“Nations that outperform the United States on international assessments invest heavily in professional learning and build time for ongoing, sustained teacher development and collaboration into teachers’ work hours” (Darling-Hammond et al., 2009, p. 48). Current research demonstrates that traditional models of professional development have not made the significant impact necessary to increase student achievement (Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman, & Yoon, 2001; Borko, 2004). Just-in-time, job-embedded professional development has become a popular model employed by teachers ((Ball & Cohen, 1999; Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995; Desimone, Porter, Garet, Yoon, & Birman, 2002). While high-stakes testing has multiplied the administrator accountability exponentially, funding limitations have concurrently reduced the resources previously available to campus principals to support teacher learning. However, the opportunity to build leadership capacity on campuses – using the expert knowledge that teachers possess collectively is available with little monetary costs. The Professional Learning Communities model fulfills this role for teacher learning. It is important to study PLCs as they exist and their effect upon student achievement.

In addition to knowing more about teacher learning, it is important to understand how this correlates to student learning. Black and Wiliam define formative assessment as “encompassing all those activities undertaken by teachers, and/or by their students to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged” (Wiliam, 2011, p. 37). Formative assessment is seen as a process. Stiggins refers to this same process as “assessment for learning” (2005). Understanding that teachers select a specific sequence of learning activities with the best of intentions to guide instruction in a particular path, “formative assessment involves getting the best possible evidence about what students have learned and then using this information to decide what to do next” (Wiliam, 2011, p. 50). Implementing formative assessment through a professional learning community model will allow teachers to build team knowledge about students and then work differently to support student learning. Working within a PLC will address common difficulties teacher’s experience with assessment. Black and Wiliam state that “the questions and other methods used are not discussed with or shared between teachers in the same school, and they are not critically reviewed in relation to what they actually assess” (2001, p. 4). Bringing about student success will focus on the current learning that can be assessed while knowledge is forming rather than at the end when little can be done to affect student success.

Definition of Terms

The following terms are relevant to this study:

Professional Development. Continual learning by an educator about student learning and curriculum. It should include clear learning goals, focus on student achievement, promote a collective responsibility for student success, and take place on a continuous cycle. According to the National Council of Staff Development, professional development “means a comprehensive, sustained, and intensive approach to improving teachers’ and principals’ effectiveness in raising student achievement. Professional development fosters collective responsibility for improved student performance and may be supported by activities such as courses, workshops, institutes, networks, and conferences.”

Learning Organization. According to Peter Senge (1990, p. 3) learning organizations are “organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together.”

Professional Learning Community. Educators committed to working collaboratively in ongoing processes of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. Professional learning communities operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous, job-embedded learning for educators (DuFour, DuFour, & Eaker, 2008, p. 14).

Formative Assessment. Black and Wiliam define formative assessment as “encompassing all those activities undertaken by teachers, and/or by their students to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged” (Wiliam, 2011, p. 37).

Student Achievement. A standard for student learning usually measured by standardized tests. For this study, student achievement will be measured by the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test and reported by the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System.

Assumptions of the Study

For the purpose of this study, the researcher made the following assumptions:

The schools studied support PLCs and that the teachers of the schools studied are active participants in the PLCs.

The survey instruments were reliable and valid measures of the constructs they professed to measure.

Individuals providing data were interested in participating in the study and responded to the questions accurately and honestly.

Each participant followed the directions for the self-appraisal instruments used for data collection.

Method of Procedure

Selection of Sample

For this study, a purposeful sample of grade level teachers from two elementary campuses will be selected from within the same suburban southern school district. The researcher will invite elementary campuses from one district near her residence. Permission from each campus principal will be attained as well as permission from participants.

The independent school district received a rating of “Academically Acceptable” by the Texas Education Agency for the 2010-2011 school year. Grade configuration in elementary schools in this district includes Pre-Kindergarten through the sixth grade. The population for all students in elementary schools is 7,613 students. District student population contains 6.4% African American, 20.4% Hispanic, 66.5% White, and 0.7% Native American, 2.6% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 3.1% of students come from mixed-race. Economically disadvantaged students make up 25.6% of the student population. Limited English Proficient students make up 6.8% of the student population. Average class sizes range from a low of 20.1 in first grade and a high of 22 in sixth grade.

Professional staff are 64.1% of the employees. Teachers constitute 50.2% of this group. Of the teachers, 1.2% are African American, 7.5% are Hispanic, 89.3% are White, 0.9% are Native American, and 0.3% are Asian/Pacific Islander. All teachers in are degreed teachers. The majority of teacher hold Bachelor’s Degree – 70.2%. Those holding Master’s degrees are 29.1%. Teachers with Doctorates are 0.7%. Teachers with 1-5 years’ experience make up 25.3% of the teaching staff. Teachers with 6-10 years make up the next largest group with 29.5 years of experience. Experience of 11-20 years is 29.2%. Those with more than 20 years of experience make up 16.2 %. (Academic Indictor System, 2010-2011).

Campus A consists of 576 students. Student population contains 9.0% African-American, 42.3% Hispanic, 39.9% White, 0.2% American Indian, 6.4% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 2.3% coming from mixed-race. Economically disadvantaged students make up 52.1% of the student population. Limited English Proficient students make up 26.2% of the student body. This campus was rated as Exemplary by the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) of Texas for the 2010-2011 school year. Special programs on this campus consist of Bilingual/ESL Education, Gifted and Talented Education, and Special Education. It has a student mobility rate of 11.6%.

Campus B consists of 662 students. Student population contains 9.1% African-American, 36.4% Hispanic, 49.2% White, 0.3% American Indian, 1.7% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 3.2% coming from mixed-race. Economically disadvantaged students make up 42.4% of the student population. Limited English Proficient students make up 19.9% of the student body. This campus was rated as Recognized by the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) of Texas for the 2010-2011 school year. Special programs on this campus consist of Bilingual/ESL Education, Gifted and Talented Education, and Special Education. It has a student mobility rate of 8.6%.

Two grade levels from Campus B will serve as focus PLC groups: one a lower self-contained grade level and the other an upper grade departmentalized grade level. This will provide the researcher with data relating to two different ways teams operate within an elementary school. Each campus was purposefully selected for the study. Implementing professional learning communities as a means of professional development is a goal written into each campus improvement plan for campuses in this district.

Campus A’s principal will serve her second year as instructional leader for the campus. When approached by the researcher, she agreed to offer the opportunity to her staff members. In September of 2012, the researcher will recruit grade level teachers as participants at a faculty meeting. The purpose of the study, expectations of participants, and timeline will be presented to the staff. The researcher will obtain informed consent from all participants. Campus A will serve as the control group for the study. They will receive the formative assessment training from the researcher, but will not be given the protocols to use in the PLCs.

Campus B is also served by a second-year principal for the campus. This campus began implementing PLCs during the principal’s first year on campus. This principal is interested in implementing flexible grouping and sees the exploration of formative assessment strategies as a means of supporting the teachers. He agreed to offer the opportunity to his staff members. In September of 2012, the researcher will recruit grade level teachers at a faculty meeting. The purpose of the study, expectations of participants, and timeline will be presented to the staff. Two grade levels will be purposely selected to act as focus PLC groups. These two groups will receive the intervention of protocols to be specifically used to analyze formative assessment strategies employed by the team. A lower grade containing teachers who teach in self-contained classrooms will be recruited as will an upper grade whose teachers departmentalize core subjects will be recruited. These varying grade levels will provide two unique situations from which to gather data and analyze looking for particularities that make implementation of PLCs different.

Quantitative Data:

Professional Learning Communities Assessment-Revised (Olivier, Hipp, & Huffman, 2008) This survey will be used at the beginning and end of the study to measure changes in perceptions of the school community in regard to the five dimensions of a professional learning community. Teachers will complete this survey on-line in approximately 20 minutes.

Formative Assessment Questionnaire created by Researcher. This questionnaire will also be used at the beginning and end of the study to measure potential growth within their professional knowledge and use of formative assessments.

Qualitative Data:

Classroom Observations, Observations, Anecdotal Notes, Transcripts from meeting of Focus Group PLCs

Focus Group Interviews with two grade levels from each campus

Collection of Data

Participants from the Campus B (the intervention group)

At a regular faculty meeting October 2012, researcher will invite teachers to participate in the study. The study will be fully explained, possible risks and benefits will be discussed, and consent will be obtained.

After consent is obtained, researcher will ask participants to complete the Professional Learning Communities Assessment – Revised (PLCA-R). She will explain the purpose of the survey. Teachers will also be asked to complete a Formative Assessment Questionnaire regarding their knowledge and use of formative assessment. These instruments will be used to develop a baseline for data yet to be analyzed.

The researcher will conduct four formative assessment trainings which will presented at regular faculty meetings. Topics for trainings include:

What is Formative Assessment? Where Do We Begin?

Questioning and Feedback Techniques;

Student Self-Regulation (Metacogntiion);

Using Formative Assessment in Instructional Planning; and Setting Future Goals.

Each whole group session will begin with a sharing of experiences with formative assessment strategies. The researcher will share new information and strategies pertaining to the current topic. Group questions will be answered. Teachers will have the month to implement strategies and reflect upon their impact.

Between the whole group trainings, the researcher will meet with the focus group grade level PLCs. Each session will begin with a sharing of teacher observations in regard to implementing strategies. Researcher will provide a protocol that will be used to assess practice and reflect upon strategy. Strategies will be taken from Active Learning Though Formative Assessment by Shirley Clarke. This book will be studied and read throughout the duration of the study. Conversations from these meetings will be audio recorded and transcribed. To increase the accuracy of interview data, member checks will be completed after the audio recordings from meetings have been transcribed by all participants of the focus group PLCs. This will allow members to affirm that summaries are a true representation of what was said and experienced within the PLC meeting.

At the end of the study, March 2013, participates will once again be asked to complete the online version of the PLCA-R. It should take approximately 20 minutes. Participates will be asked to complete the Formative Assessment Questionnaire.

At the end of the study, March 2013, participates from the Grade Level PLC Focus Groups will participate in a Focus Group Interview.

Participants from the Campus A (the control group)

At a regular faculty meeting October 2012, researcher will invite teachers to participate in the study. The study will be fully explained, possible risks and benefits will be discussed, and consent will be obtained.

After consent is obtained, researcher will ask participants to complete the Professional Learning Communities Assessment – Revised (PLCA-R). She will explain the purpose of the survey. Teachers will also be asked to complete a Formative Assessment Questionnaire regarding their knowledge and use of formative assessment. These instruments will be used to develop a baseline for data yet to be analyzed.

The researcher will conduct four formative assessment trainings which will presented at regular faculty meetings. Topics for trainings include:

What is Formative Assessment? Where Do We Begin?

Questioning and Feedback Techniques;

Student Self-Regulation (Metacogntiion);

Using Formative Assessment in Instructional Planning; and Setting Future Goals.

Each whole group session will begin with a sharing of experiences with formative assessment strategies. The researcher will share new information and strategies pertaining to the current topic. Group questions will be answered. Teachers will have the month to implement strategies and reflect upon their impact.

At the end of the study, March 2013, participates will once again be asked to complete the online version of the PLCA-R. It should take approximately 20 minutes. Participates will be asked to complete the Formative Assessment Questionnaire.

At the end of the study, March 2013, participants from the same grade levels as the Grade Level PLC Focus Groups from Campus B, will participate in a Focus Group Interview.

Treatment of the Data

Subject identities will be kept confidential. The data collected in this study will not be shared with anyone other than those directly involved with in the study. The use of pseudonyms will be used throughout the research process to maintain the confidentiality of the subjects. Recordings will be coded and masked; no teacher name, student name, or school will exist in the data collected. Because data are collected at two points in time, there will be a coding sheet that links the campus, teacher, and grade level. Only my faculty advisor, co-researcher, and I will have access to the data collection information. The artifacts collected from the field (surveys, audio samples, test scores) will be stored in a locked cabinet in the researcher’s office, and will be destroyed within three years of completing the data gathering process.

Limitations

Limitations are existing constraints that the researcher cannot control. Several limitations may exist for the study:

All participants may be female in gender.

The PLCs may not meet on a weekly basis.

Not all teachers may be willing participants of the PLCs.

Accuracy of self-reporting

Lack of participation and nonresponse to survey instruments

Summary and Organization of Remaining Chapters


Request Removal

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please click on the link below to request removal:

Request the removal of this essay


More from UK Essays