Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
teacher education, reflective practice, professional development, community of practice, knowledge communities
This study involves the program evaluation of the Conversations About Education pilot, developed as a community collaboration to offer professional development involving participants from a Faculty of Education, local school partners, and community organizations offering programming to Newcomers to Canada. The program sought to provide a collective forum where educational issues could be examined and discussed through a multi-epistemic lens. During the program events participants were encouraged to share their personal perspectives of the classroom experience, and together discuss the implications that lived/life experience has on confronting bias in teaching. The evaluation of the pilot program employed a qualitative approach involving two focus group sessions; each focus group session used semi-structured questions to explore participants’ perceptions of their experiences. The outcomes of the pilot program evaluation were found to include processes that promoted community-building, as well as the professional development of teaching professionals. This pilot program may provide an exemplar for teacher education programs to use to support similar initiatives to bring together educators in a community building activity to explore, share and learn about the world and themselves, and in this process, support critical pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning to contest cultural hegemony in classrooms and schools.
Karen, Roland; Colella, Julia; and Igbokwe, Blessing. (2014). Conversations About Education: Professional Development through a Multi-Epistemic Lens. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 20 (4), 483-498.