The journal of the Conference on English Education
Volume 50, Number 2, January 2018
Nicole Sieben and Lindy L. Johnson, Guest Editors
Allison Skerrett, Amber Warrington, and Thea Williamson
This article investigates the experiences of three early-career secondary English urban teachers who sought to strengthen their perspectives and practices of social justice teaching through professional development. Data include teacher interviews across their first three years of teaching, artifacts across three participants representing their professional development experiences and teaching and learning in their classrooms, and interviews of three informants who participated in professional development with two of the teacher participants. We then conducted a thematic analysis. We found six generative features of professional development/professional learning that promoted these urban teachers’ development as equity-oriented English teachers. This paper contributes to the knowledge base on professional development/professional learning in urban contexts in that it is the first to foreground urban teachers’ needs for professional development that promotes their equity-oriented educational stances and practices and that illuminates how productive principles for professional learning can facilitate meeting those needs.
Valerie Kinloch and Kerry Dixon
In this article, we describe the promise of professional development for teachers by considering the following questions: (1) What do teachers who work in urban public schools see as the intended purposes of professional development, and what do they identify as their needs? (2) Can a move from professional development as absent of what teachers say they need to professional development as publicly engaged scholarship center justice, equity, and humanization in teaching and learning? To address these questions, we analyze qualitative data from preK–12 teachers, teacher educators, and education support professionals who participated in a professional development initiative in an urban school district in the U.S. Midwest.
Lindy L. Johnson, Nicole Sieben, and Dana Buxton
In this study, we examine a multiyear professional development program designed to help English teachers incorporate connected learning into their classrooms. We propose a model of professional learning we term collaborative design as mediated praxis, which refines and extends the five features of high-quality professional development and takes into account a focus on social justice and equity. A variety of data were collected for the study including recordings of planning meetings, teachers’ reflections, and teachers’ unit plans. Analysis focused specifically on rich points (Agar, 2000) that occurred during the workshop and follow-up meetings, revealing tensions between university- and school-based educators as they engaged in the collaborative design process.
This play draws from the participants and contexts highlighted in the scholarship included in this special issue—and also current events surrounding education policy, practices, and national attitudes about teachers—to offer a satirical account of professional development in the City of Essa’s most unfortunate surrounding school districts. Modeled after Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, this play illustrates a dystopian model of professional development called The Knowledge Games. Importantly, no grizzly bears were harmed in the creation of the games. And may your students’ test scores be ever in your favor.