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

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  • Briscoe, C. (1996). The teacher as learner: Interpretations from a case study of teacher change. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 28, 315-329.

What counts as a knowledge source for the teacher as learner? How do existing conceptualizations of teaching and learning influence a teacher's learning and construction of alternative images? What kind of knowledge is valued as a basis for constructing new images and changing practices? Briscoe's questions imply that part of the change process for teachers is the creation of a personal curriculum for learning. She reports on the learning process of a science teacher who was attempting to incorporate cooperative learning into his teaching practice. The study involved weekly conversations with the teacher as well as classroom observations. Through the promotion of reflection and provision of feedback and resources, the research process itself sustained and influenced the teacher's change. Briscoe describes the teacher's multiple images of teaching and learning and relates these images to the teacher's construction of teaching roles. His success in changing his practice depended on his being able to learn new ways of interacting with his students. However, the understanding of his students' learning needs that led him to consider cooperative learning conflicted with how he made sense of his teaching role. His personal orientation toward technical interestsÑpredicting and controlling actionÑhad to be reconciled with an innovation that is grounded in practical interestsÑunderstanding how individuals make sense of their actions. Although he did not change his practice to the extent desired, he did shift his orientation to teaching. Implications for creating learning environments which foster conceptual change among teachers are discussed.

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