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

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  • Beattie, M. (1995). Constructing professional knowledge in teaching: A narrative of change and development. New York: Teachers College Press.

Beattie tells the story of a collaboration between an educational consultant (Beattie) and a classroom teacher (Anne). Her study is situated in the group of studies that explore the personal, practical knowledge of teachers. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of teaching and teacher learning from the teacher's perspective and to understand how the teacher's personal practical knowledge develops through narratives of practice. She uses literary formsÑstory, poetry, dialogueÑto describe the everyday details of classroom life, to reveal the qualities and complexities of professional development, and to evoke the lived experiences of learning and change through stories of practice. Beattie presents three interwoven stories: her story of teaching and learning, Anne's story of professional growth and development, and the story of the collaboration. She develops the concept of research as increased self-knowledge and explores the literature on narrative, story, and personal practical knowledge. She tells how Anne, through experience and the reflection on experience during inquiry, was able to gain new understandings of herself as a professional and of her knowledge of teaching. The process of the reconstruction of her story as a professional was bound up with her interactions with colleagues and with her environment. Beattie documents Anne's professional learning, and says that "Anne's new sense of competence, coherence, and confidence empowered her to take on new challenges and to deal with the ongoing dilemmas..." The concluding chapters in this book describe the collegial partnership and the opportunities for learning it provided. It was not always an easy process, but was one that offered openings for learnings for both participants.

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