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21st Century Teacher Learning: Our Teacher Inquiry Group

Browse recordings: livestream.com/educon15

Session Six: Sunday 2:30pm–4:00pm
Room Drama Studio
Ted Domers, Andrea Gray, Peggy Kaplan, Kathryn May, Molly Thacker
Affiliation: Univ of PA, GSE / Philadelphia Writing Project, School District of Philadelphia / Philadelphia Writing Project, Christopher Columbus Charter School / Philadelphia Writing Project, Parkway NW for Peace and Social Justice / Philadelphia Writing Project, The Arts
Conversational Focus/Audience:
All School Levels
Conversation Description:

Struggles and Strategies (S&S) is a teacher-inquiry group that is a part of the Philadelphia Writing Project (PhilWP). S&S is a bi-monthly meeting place open for all Philadelphia teachers to explore their practice more deeply. As we enter our second full year as a group, we have reflected on what is needed for teachers to create a regular meeting space that is supportive for teachers and has meaningful impact on our practice. This interactive session will share the lessons we have learned in creating S & S and invite participants to become collaborators in ways we can build our network.

We intend to structure our conversation in a way that models our meetings. We begin by sharing a common text, writing to our topic, discussing the implications of our issue and then close out by making connections to our individual practice through writing. We believe that, too often, the profundity of the daily experience in classrooms becomes overshadowed by the pressures and realities of testing and teaching in a high stakes environment. Simply by creating an opportunity to write about and discuss the pressing concerns and questions of real classroom teachers, S&S gives voice to classroom teachers who so often go unheard. At S&S meetings, teachers have a real audience and purpose in their discussions of their practice. We look forward to sharing our understanding of teacher learning and inquiry and in creating our rich conversation, discuss the development of 21st Century teacher learning and networking.

Conversational Practice:
In structuring our conversation in a way similar to our meetings, we hope to utilize several discussion-based protocols. After we write, we ask everyone to share a sentence or two of what they wrote as a way to bring everyone's voice to the table. In all of our meetings, we allow conversation to push the topic forward and through our generative discussions that are rooted in the research we read together and our experiences in the classroom, we are able to create a meaningful and thoughtful discussion.


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