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Teacher Induction and Learning through a Professional Development School: The St. Anne Inquiry-Based Learning Community. Acknowledgements. Dr. Stirling McDowell Foundation for Research into Teaching Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools University of Saskatchewan

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slide1

Teacher Induction and Learning through a Professional Development School: The St. Anne Inquiry-Based Learning Community

acknowledgements
Acknowledgements
  • Dr. Stirling McDowell Foundation for Research into Teaching
  • Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • Students, teachers, parents and community of St. Anne School
st anne s school
St. Anne’s School
  • Built in 1976; River Heights; GSCS
  • Serves 16 different neighborhoods in River Heights, Richmond Heights, North Park, & Central Business District
  • Diverse population
  • Current enrolment 204
  • 12% FNM, 25% with other country of origin, 15% have diverse needs
  • Focus on 21st century learners
the study
The Study
  • Purpose
  • Objectives
  • Participants
  • Method
  • Findings
  • Implications
purpose
Purpose
  • The purpose of this study was to determine the inputs, processes, and outcomes of teacher induction and professional development in an inquiry-based professional development school in Saskatchewan.
objectives
Objectives
  • to conduct a case study into the learning and professional development of teachers (pre-service and in-service) and of students as they teach and learn in an inquiry-based professional development school; and
  • to report on the study through a paper and a high-quality video capturing:
    • the theory behind the study,
    • the education in action at the school, and
    • the student, teacher and parent narratives throughout the study.
participants
Participants
  • Administrators (2)
  • Teachers (5)
  • Teacher candidates (3)
  • Students (31)
  • Community members (3)
  • Entire student body through climate surveys
method
Method
  • Student likert-scale surveys,
  • Video and photo documentary,
  • Teacher and student interviews,
  • Parent and community focus groups, and
  • Collections of artifacts, photographs, and work samples.
  • All qualitative data were analyzed using structural and descriptive coding.
  • Results were collated by theme and presented by question
findings
Findings
  • The purpose of this study was to determine the inputs, processes, and outcomes of teacher induction and professional development in an inquiry-based professional development school in Saskatchewan.
quantitative data
Quantitative Data
  • Most responses achieved a positive score of 80% agreement or higher, making differentiation between Fall and Spring surveys difficult and not statistically significant.
  • Responses that revealed the greatest increase in positive perceptions included:
    • 1) I ask questions to inquire about new things (increased from 87% to 93% agreement);
    • 2) I research using a variety of sources (increased from 85% to 93%);
    • 3) I challenge myself to represent my learning in different ways (increased from 82% to 87%); and
    • 12) I look for opportunities to share my learning at school (increased from 83% to 90%).
quantitative data1
Quantitative Data
  • Responses that revealed a slight decline in agreement included:
    • 5) I am reflective of my learning and strive to make it better (decreased from 91% to 85%); and
    • 13) I look for opportunities to share my learning outside of school (decreased from 81% to 75%).
  • Although this data provided limited usage for this study because of its already high positive orientation, it will be used by the school staff for further discussion.
inputs
Inputs
  • Student-Centered Learning Environment
  • Prioritized Teacher Learning
  • Dissonance
slide15

Student-centered learning environment

    • “I never start with a binder full of materials when approaching a unit, it’s always going to be different, fresh and inquiring on how to tackle two different years with different learners” (Grade 3/4 teacher).  
    • “In terms of the learning environment it’s not only about the physical environment, but an environment that extends beyond the classroom.  Collaboratively teachers and students work together to create real life experiences that foster learning” (Vice-principal).
slide16

Prioritized teacher learning

    • I noticed that growth myself. I’m getting into the flow of things. It’s becoming easier, it’s helping me grow as a learner as well. (Kindergarten Teacher)
    • I had read about inquiry learning, or inquiry style teaching and thought ‘ Oh great another thing to learn,’ and I sort of did some stuff that I thought might be inquiry and I didn’t think it went very well. Then last year I was working with one of our catalyst teachers . . . and she helped me with a unit that I already had on the go. She said to me, “This is inquiry based learning, this is fabulous,” and I went, “It is? I’m doing it?” and I didn’t even know. So that kind of put this idea in my head that probably some of the integration I was doing between different areas of the curriculum was part of the inquiry stuff. (Grade 6/7 Teacher)
slide17

Dissonance

    • “I discovered I need to take my teaching outside of the box and to be comfortable with letting things go with the students…their imaginations and thinking is way broader than I ever thought it could be” (Grade 1/2 teacher)
    • I discover that myself as a teacher it's going to be a lot different than what I thought it was going to be when I started education. (Teacher Candidate)
processes
Processes
  • Teacher Dissonance
  • Teacher Dispositions
  • Student Engagement as a Guidepost
slide19

Teacher Dissonance

    • Teachers had an opportunity to experiment; it was a risk-taking endeavor. By about Christmas you could see that teachers were getting more comfortable; starting to see that it was definitely different but it wasn’t such a big paradigm shift initially thought. It was comforting for teachers to know that they would certainly have to do some things differently but not as much as maybe they thought . . . you could see that there was almost a yearning to change. (Principal)
    • You develop, you have to trust and develop a sense of trust with people . . . There’s lots of collaboration that is going on, lots of sharing of ideas, and things that are working, things that aren’t working. (Grade 4/5 Teacher)
slide20

Teacher Disposition

      • I’m no longer working with teachers and telling them ways they need to differentiate their instruction for the kinds anymore. It’s happening. They are responding to the student’s needs and they are responding to student interest without a whole lot of support. (Vice Principal)
      • Last year, for example introducing a topic I would [have done] some direct instruction and then the students would have done a work sheet to show what they know. This year I have had more hands on activities, more exploring to find out [about] the kids, how they interact with what we’re doing, and then they help develop the questions. (Grade 1/2 teacher)
slide21

Student Engagement as a Guidepost

    • Learning is fun for me because of the hands on stuff. I like presentations, being in front of the class, instead of handing in just an essay. I like showing stuff I made. (Grade 5/6 student)
    • I think they [teachers] are trying to make us show it in multiple ways. It is kind of plain when you show your learning with just one project and everybody does the exact same. So then some people made a video, some did a PowerPoint, some did a poster, some did plays. It was really awesome how you got to see everyone’s different learning in multiple different ways. (Grade 5 student)
outputs
Outputs
  • Deepened Engagement (from student to teacher to parent)
  • Authentic Student Learning and Metacognition
slide23

Deepened Engagement (from student to teacher to parent)

      • So that’s what I think that our kids are being taught. To ask questions and that you have your own mind and you ask questions and you learn because it’s what we are meant to do, not because I’m telling you to. (Parent, Focus Group Participant)
      • “I’m noticing about how these kids are learning. They are not just memorizing. They are retaining this information, and like I said before, they are applying it.” (Parent, Focus Group Participant)
slide24

Authentic Student Learning and Metacognition

      • I like working in groups because by yourself you can’t do as much as you do in a group; because in a group . . . you learn more because I have my group members telling me stuff I never knew. (Grade 5/6 student)
      • Learning is fun for me because we work in groups, looking up on the internet, searching in books. You can do your own thing. It’s fun because we get to decide and search. You don’t want someone to tell you the answers. (Grade 3/4 student)
      • I got a little bit smarter. I am learning in different ways than before, because now we are doing art projects that I like, because I like getting messy. (Grade 3 student)
implications
Implications

Theory and Research:

  • The study of inquiry-based learning reveals much about the positive effect on student and teacher learning and engagement. There is a potential intersection for future research between the concepts of communities of practice, professional development schools, and teacher induction.

Practice:

  • This study reveals effective, targeted professional development. Investing in the study of local, school- centric initiatives such as this one through the PDS model presents schools, school divisions, and local associations with alternative responses to standardized testing in order present evidence of authentic student learning.