By Joel Westheimer
What are instructor groups? What are they after? How do they start? Do they evolve via levels? How alike or assorted are they from each other? and the way are such groups outfitted? This account of an city and a suburban college, the writer makes an attempt to supply solutions to those questions.
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Extra info for Among schoolteachers: community, autonomy, and ideology in teachers' work
Previous school research suggests that moving from a view of schools as formal organizations to one of schools as communities highlights "strategically different aspects of the school environment and fundamentally different levers for policy" (McLaughlin, 1993, p. 80; Sergiovanni, 1994). "The community metaphor," writes McLaughlin (1993), "draws [policy] attention to norms and beliefs of practice, collegial relations, shared goals, occasion for collaboration, problems of mutual support and mutual obligation" (p.
We frequently hear words like tolerance, diversity, and multicultural perspective. One can nod at the value of dissenting views, but without creating institutional structures that encourage and manage them, dissent is more likely to be suppressed or ignored than heard and considered. It is an important first step to advocate working together, overlooking differences, and creating friendlier, more open work settings; but it is an equally important second step to acknowledge insidious power imbalances and the resulting sense of impotence that threatens to undo so many reform efforts.
Voices from the field indicate otherwise. In the schools where I have worked, as well as in those where I have observed, teachers and principals expressed an assortment of often contradictory beliefs about community. Some believed that professional community requires a sense of common mission; others pursued individual professional autonomy. Many teachers welcomed team-teaching and scheduling changes that allowed them to watch colleagues in the classroom; others preferred not to have their teaching observed.
Among schoolteachers: community, autonomy, and ideology in teachers' work by Joel Westheimer
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