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

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  • Peterson, P. L., McCarthey, S. J., & Elmore, R. F. (1996). Learning from school restructuring. American Educational Research Journal, 33, 119-153.

This article describes a study that explores the connection between school organization and classroom practice. Successful restructuring experiments from three elementary schools were analyzed. Changes included new student grouping patterns, new ways of allocating time for subject matter, teachers meeting together as a whole school or in teams, and access to new ideas through professional development. The study found that (1) teaching and learning are mainly a function of the teacher's beliefs, understandings, and behaviors within the context of specific classroom problems; (2) changing classroom practice is primarily a problem of continuous learning resulting in improved practice for teachers, not a problem of school organization; (3) school structures can provide opportunities for learning, but structures by themselves do not cause learning to occur; and (4) where teachers have a shared vision, teaching practice and student learning are successfully connected.

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