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

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  • Bell, B., & Gilbert, J. (1994). Teacher development as professional, personal, and social development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 10, 483-497.

After attending an inservice course, many teachers feel frustration when they are unable to use the new teaching strategies effectively to help students learn. Bell and Gilbert report on a three year Learning in Science Project, which investigated the development of science teachers as they learned new teaching activities based on how children learn. The data were analyzed to give an overview of the adult learning process. The authors describe three main types of developmentÑprofessional, personal, and socialÑthat occurred within the context of the teacher development program. The program was characterized by support, feedback, and reflection. Development in each area seemed to occur in a loose and flexible sequence. For example, there were three stages in personal development: (1) accepting an aspect of teaching as problematic; (2) dealing with restraints; and (3) feeling empowered. Stages in social development were (1) seeing isolation as problematic; (2) valuing collaborative ways of working; and (3) initiating collaborative ways of working. On the professional side, stages were (1) trying new activities; (2) developing ideas and classroom practice; and (3) initiating other development activities. The interactions between personal, social, and professional areas are explicated in this paper. The authors conclude that teacher development can be viewed as teacher learning rather than as others getting teachers to change; learning can be viewed as a purposeful inquiry.

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