Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Wasley, P. A., Donmoyer, R., & Maxwell, L. (1995). Navigating change in high school science and mathematics: Lessons teachers taught us. Theory into Practice, 34 (1), 51-59.

Science and mathematics teachers appear to be more resistant to change than teachers from other disciplines. In the study reported here, 17 teachers from schools participating in the Coalition for Essential Schools were invited to investigate the barriers to change. They discussed reform documents, participated in a problem-based learning activity, and conducted an action research project. The most significant barrier to change was identified as the absence of concrete strategies for operationalizing reformers' vision. The teachers wanted heuristics rather than recipes or formulas to guide them in implementing the new ways of teaching advocated by the reform efforts. The authors also found that teachers tended to overestimate the significance of certain external barriers to change and to underestimate their own ability to overcome some barriers. The authors conclude that teachers are not so much resistant as they are lost at sea.

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