Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Notes- The New Meaning of Educational Change.

Six recent studies, among many I could have selected, show that going deeper into reculturing is proving far more difficult than previously realized (Ball & Cohen, 1999; Cohen & Hill, 2001; Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform, 2005; Oakes et al.  1999; Stigler & Hiebert, 1999; Timperley & Parr, 2005). Ball and Cohen (1999) and Cohen and Hill (2001) talk about the persistent superficiality of teacher learning: “Although a good deal of money is spent on staff development in the United States, most is spent on sessions and workshops that are often intellectually superficial, disconnected from deep issues of curriculum and learning, fragmented and noncumulative” (Ball & Cohen, 1999, pp. 3–4). Teachers do not fare much better on the job, argue Ball and Cohen: “Teacher learning is usually seen as either something that just happens as a matter of course from experience or as the product of training in particular methods or curricula” (p. 4). Cohen and Hill’s (2001) study of California’s decade-long effort to change and improve mathematics teaching is another case in point. Their conclusion is stated up front.


The policy was a success for some California teachers and students. It led to the creation of new opportunities for teachers to learn. Teachers were able to work together on serious problems of curriculum teaching and learning in short-term professional communities. The policy also helped to create coherence among elements of the curriculum, assessment, and learning opportunities for certain teachers. Such coherence is quite rare in the blizzard of often divergent guidance for instruction that typically blows over U.S. public schools. Only a modest fraction of California elementary teachers—roughly only 10 percent—had the experiences summarized. (p. 9, emphasis added)




Thoughts:

In India, in the budget spent on Education, the least goes to teacher training. I echo the thoughts of Cohen and Ball on this. “Teacher learning is usually seen as either something that just happens as a matter of course from experience or as the product of training in particular methods or curricula”


I attended a couple of teacher training courses in different places. "At least people are sitting now." reminisced the old facilitators. "There's a lot of progress in the training." mentioned another experienced person. "Teachers are apathetic towards learning or teaching," observed another friend. 

The design of the teacher training course was far away from what was being implemented at the teacher training centers. Centres in the district have a few things to have adhered. And there are a few more centres in which the training is done according to the whims of facilitators. 

In such situations, I realised that restructuring takes a lot of time than reculturing. But, doesn't restructure initiate reculturing? What triggers for a reculturing?

 

 



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