Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Six Types of Educators according to KQED

From KQED.org:
Have you ever wondered what type of educator you might be? Are you a Teacher 2.0, a Motivator, or a Scholar? Maybe you’re more of a Social Justice Champion, a Cultivator, or a Project Planner? Take the quiz to discover your teacher type and refresh your teaching skills in time for the upcoming school year by signing up for KQED Teach. https://ww2.kqed.org/education/2016/07/08/what-type-of-21st-century-educator-are-you/

Six Types of Educators
  1. Teacher 2.0 - You're constantly looking for new tools and solutions to apply to the classroom. You believe that digital literacy is the most important skill students need for the future. Some of your key values include technology literacy, adaptability, creativity, collaboration, communication, and media literacy.
  2. Motivator - You focus on activating intrinsic motivation in students and inspiring students to be self-directed learners in order to prepare them for professional and personal challenges. Some of your key values include flexibility, self-direction, intrinsic motivation, tenacity, and resilience.
  3. Scholar: You value traditions and knowledge in your content area. Your lessons focus on building essential academic skills to prepare students for college. Some of your key values include cultural literacy, traditional literacy skills, accountability, and mastery of content knowledge.
  4. Social Justice Champion: Your lessons focus on a critical examination of society, institutions, and authority in order to empower students to lead change. Some of your key values include initiative, leadership, cross-cultural skills, global awareness, civic literacy, and media literacy.
  5. Cultivator: Your lessons focus on students social and emotional well-being. You make assignments personal, ensure all students needs are being met, and value reflection and emotional growth. Some of your key values include student health and well being, self-awareness, social skills, and resilience.
  6. Project Planner: You value deep learning experiences in order to make content relevant to your students. You consistently promote active engagement with real-world problems in your lessons. Some of your key values include critical thinking, problem solving, self-direction, collaboration, and producing for an authentic audience.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Core Practice in Science Ed - Facilitating Classroom Discourse

Facilitating Classroom Discourse
The teacher creates opportunities for students to engage in science related talk with the teacher and among peers. Fluency with this practice is demonstrated by the teacher providing opportunities for small group and whole class discussion; facilitates students’ sharing of evidence- and/or model-based explanations and arguments; and encourages students to take up, clarify, and justify the ideas of others. Furthermore, this practice focuses on the extent to which the teacher can establish the normative rules for discourse between students and model common discursive practices used in science. (p 1197)

from Kloser, M. (2014). Identifying a core set of science teaching practices: A Delphi expert panel approach. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 51(9), 1185–1217. doi: 10.1002/tea.21171

Core Practice Consortium

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Faculty First: The Challenge of Infusing the Teacher Education Curriculum with Scholarship on ELLs

Costa, J., McPhail, G., Smith, J., Brisk, M. (2005) Faculty First: The Challenge of
Infusing the Teacher Education Curriculum with Scholarship on English
Language Learners. Journal of Teacher Education, 56(2), 104-118.

This article describes the first of a 3-year project offered to the faculty of a TE program, as well as the ideas of and feedback from the institute participants as they worked together to change individual course syllabi.

Successfully engaging faculty in a learning activity requires careful attention to four broad factors:
1) the culture of the academic department,
2) the source of change efforts,
3) the external influences at play, and
4) the process of faculty education.

Educating TE faculty about ELLs requires that faculty be intellectually receptive to reflecting on issues and concepts of multiculturalism and multilingualism and to critically examining “the knowledge construction process and text analysis within different disciplines” (Nevarez et al., 1997, p. 166). Faculty must also be ready to examine personal assumptions and to sharpen their awareness of the cultures, languages, and the classroom experiences of ELLs. In this way, TE faculty will be better able to guide TE students.

TE program change could occur because of several concurrent factors.
+ First, the faculty was ready to participate in the institute, as demonstrated by their philosophical agreement with the university’s and department’s focus on issues of social justice and on their voluntary participation.
+ Second, funding for the institute allowed participants to be compensated for their time and made it possible for the facilitator to supply each participant with important reading material in the form of journal articles, data, and Internet resources, including some readings pertinent to the areas of each participant’s greatest interest.
+ Third, the facilitator provided expertise and guidance in navigating the theoretical and practical knowledge about educating ELLs, as well as a plan for enacting concrete change across the curriculum.
+ Fourth, the facilitator’s constructivist approach in the institute activities and interactions demonstrated flexibility in allowing participants to approach their learning as they wanted, acceptance of the variety of experiences and points of view that participants brought to the institute, and the valuing of cultural and linguistic differences among participants (Jackson & Caffarella, 1994).

In short, through the institute, the facilitator modelled important practices that could be applied in teaching TE students about how to best serve ELLs.

article Outline

Intro / larger issue: TE for ELs

4 factors that influence faculty in a learning activity
TE Faculty Education on ELLs for Curricular Change: need for faculty to be intellectually receptive

Description of context
Institute Participants and Their Prior Experience
Institute Goals

Institute Activities
ELLs and the Sociopolitical Climate of Public Education
ELLs and School Climate
Classroom Context That Supports All Learners
Faculty Reflection and Syllabi Changes
Summer Seminar
Program Change

Individual change
Program change
Curriculum-wide changes
Future research


Participants - 7 T.E. faculty  (about 1/3 of total) - dept chair, plus linguistics prof., doctoral students, TEP placement director, local school reps (16 total)
- SOE prepares ~800 PSTs/year - 560 undergrads, 250 grad students

Institute Goals (p.107)
+ The purpose of the institute was to change the teacher education curriculum to better prepare teachers for work with linguistically and culturally different (LCD) students.
+ As an individual goal, each participant was expected first to look for ways to change his or her syllabus. Each new syllabus was expected to include material concerning the education of bilingual learners and delineate its objectives, topics and core knowledge, readings, assignments, and evaluation approaches. Faculty were to then implement all changes the next time they taught those courses.
+ To integrate changes at the departmental level, participants would then work together to define the core knowledge about ELLs, as reflected in individual syllabus changes, and then decide in concert the best way to present the core knowledge across the curriculum. In this way, the new knowledge could increase in sophistication from one course to the next and share a common vocabulary.

Faculty Institute Activities (Spring 2003 - Feb-May)
+ Sessions (7 meetings) in one semester
+ Discuss Readings & three overarching questions [see below]
+ Discuss videos of SIOP
+ School visits

Summer Seminar (one day meeting)
The summer seminar was a chance to present to the whole group those ideas for change that individual participants planned to incorporate in their individual courses.

Three (3) overarching questions cover in the Faculty Institute on ELL
1) How do we educate ELLs in the present sociopolitical climate of public education?
2) How can we create a school climate that is conducive to learning for all learners?
3) How can teachers create a classroom context that will promote learning for all learners?

+ Other activities included monthly workshops for practicum supervisors and the development of two handbooks for elementary and secondary levels. All supervisors and preservice students in field placements received a copy.

The Training All Teachers Project - Carla Meskill

Infusing English Language Learner Issues Throughout Professional Educator Curricula: The Training All Teachers Project 2005 TC Record
Carla Meskill, University at Albany, State University of New York

The federally funded Training All Teachers (TAT) project is an innovative program of curricular enhancement for preservice and inservice educators across disciplines. The project focuses on English language learners (ELLs) in U.S. schools and the fact that the training of school personnel in issues related to these learners’ needs has not kept pace with the growing numbers of these learners. The goal of the TAT project is to increase opportunities for all pre-/inservice teachers, pupil services personnel, administrators, and other education personnel to learn about issues specific to ELLs. To these ends, School of Education faculty across departments and disciplines participated in a variety of activities designed to support integration of ELL issues into their teacher/professional graduate courses. The goals and structure of these faculty development activities and their outcomes are discussed, as well as the implications of such training.

The goals of the Training All Teachers (TAT) program of activities are
(a) to infuse ELL issues throughout core curricula for teachers and school personnel in training and
(b) to extend this knowledge into on-site partnerships with in-service practitioners and school personnel.

Content of PD
+ present ELL-related information (change beliefs & knowledge about ELLs)
+ develop / revise course syllabi
+ "push-in" work

Professional development efforts concerning ELLs in U.S. schools must gently confront these often ingrained misconceptions. For the TAT Project, doing so consisted of sharing basic information with faculty in specific education courses and encouraging productive conversation. In the following section, specific activities designed for various participating faculty and students is detailed.
--> Beliefs targeted
Societal/Conceptual Challenges Regarding the Education of ELLs
1) beliefs about the English language
2) beliefs about ELLs' native language
3) beliefs about language & learning
4) beliefs about ELLs and their families

In an effort to undertake curricular revision and enhancement of core courses required of all preparing and practicing classroom teachers, school administrators, counselors, and area specialists training at the university, TAT forums consisted of (a) ‘‘push-in’’ work, wherein ELL experts worked directly in participating faculty classrooms to infuse ELL issues on an ongoing basis; (b) group workshops with follow-on support, wherein faculty grouped by discipline were provided with knowledge and tools as a group, then individual support throughout the academic year; and (c) peer presentations, wherein graduate students specially trained in ELL issues presented tailored information to faculty and their students on demand.

The training emphasized the following broad topics:
Language: the nature of language and its relation to society and culture;
Acquisition: the processes of first language (L1) and L2, including best instructional strategies and accommodations;
Culture: cross-cultural issues in schooling;
Regulations: roles and responsibilities of schools and school personnel regarding ELL children;
Communication: methods for communicating effectively with school personnel and parents regarding ELL children.

Additional topics of concern were determined for each of the focal groups: for example, special methods and accommodations for the teaching of mathematics to ELL children for math teacher educators, issues associated with biliteracy for reading specialists, and particular emphasis on state and federal regulations regarding ELL children for special education specialists and school administrators.

Collaboration groups (~30 participants?)
+ Math education
+ Reading
+ English language arts (ELA)
+ Ed administration
+ School counseling
+ Ed psych
+ Special ed

In part because of the complexities of such a potentially sensitive issue (individual faculty course content) and in part because of the dearth of models for working with higher education faculty on curricular enhancements, in addition to the core elements described above, project staff relied almost exclusively on planning and processes that emerged from work with individual faculty. As such, our project evaluation efforts, like our negotiations with participants, were structured to be as open-ended and responsive to individual contexts as possible.

Each of the participating faculty completed a questionnaire to assess
(a) any shifts in their beliefs concerning issues related to ELL children;
(b) whether and how they had integrated training session content into their curricula; and
(c) additional ELL-related issues they would be interested in pursuing in subsequent trainings
5 faculty responses

Additionally, 123 graduate students in participating courses completed a questionnaire concerning their knowledge of ELLs (see Appendix B). Students (n=123) from seven of the courses taught by participating faculty completed a questionnaire concerning their knowledge and understanding of ELLs.

The TAT Project used push-in workshops in Math, ELA, School Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education classes, where TAT trainers infused ELL issues directly through minilectures, class activities, and discussions.

+ faculty's perceptions of ELLs changed
+ In terms of faculty, participating instructors reported undertaking integration or plans to integrate this information in their professional educator curricula and consistently underscored the need for additional efforts at integrating ELL issues for future education professionals of all kinds.
+ After working with the TAT Project, these faculty expressed eagerness to expand the role of ELL issues in their future courses.
+ TAT-related course experiences appear to have provided students not only with increased awareness, but also with specific strategies for working with these children.

UConn - Toward Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teacher Education

Toward Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teacher Education
The Impact of a Faculty Learning Community on Two Teacher Educators
Mileidis Gort, Wendy J. Glenn, and John Settlage

Gort, M., Glenn, W., & Settlage, J. (2008). Toward Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teacher Education. In T. Lucas (Ed.), Teacher preparation for linguistically diverse classrooms: A resource for teacher educators (pp. 178–194). New York: Routledge.

The work presented here represents an initial step in a larger process of TE curriculum reform. We describe a faculty development initiative, including goals, activities, and resulting curricular changes, through the eyes of two focal participants—an English teacher educator and a science teacher educator— responding to the question: “What did participants learn as a result of this professional development experience?”

Faculty development initiative

  • goals, 
  • activities, and 
  • resulting curricular changes

Theoretical Framework
Our work is informed by work on faculty learning communities (FLCs) as powerful catalysts for initiating, developing, and sustaining faculty involvement in professional development (Cox, 2001, 2004; Decker Lardner, 2003; Hubball & Burt, 2004; Richlin & Cox, 2004; Richlin & Essington, 2004). FLCs are promising contexts for constructing meaningful local knowledge, challenging assumptions, posing problems, studying faculty/student learning and development, and reconstructing curriculum (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999; Cole & Knowles, 2000; Cox, 2004).

At the time of the study, Wendy, the English educator, was in her fifth year of teaching at the university.
John, the science educator, is also a White, monolingual native English speaker.
Millie, the bilingual educator, taught and directed the graduate program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education at the research site for five years.

Monthly meetings: to expand their knowledge about the processes of language acquisition; the role of language in learning and assessment; cultural awareness and sensitivity; and classroom implications in the areas of planning, instruction, and assessment. Two faculty members in Bilingual Education served as mentors and provided participants with various readings and related materials and activities.

Representative activities included:
• Reviewing and discussing the stages of second language acquisition and application of this knowledge to sample teacher–student linguistic exchanges in an imagined classroom setting with the goals of (1) identifying the stage of second language proficiency represented, and (2) evaluating the teacher’s response from a linguistic perspective.
• Evaluating ELL writing samples and discussing classroom teachers’ responses to these pieces and the larger issue of ELL assessment in school settings.
• Sharing and discussing state and national policies related to the education of ELLs and reflecting on how this information might help pre-service teachers recognize the necessity for differentiated instruction for ELLs.
• Reviewing and discussing the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) (Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2004) and considering how the tool might be used in conjunction with existing lesson plan formats.
• Writing personal journals focused on their experiences throughout the process.

Mentoring/individual meetings / course revision work
Between monthly whole group meetings, participants met individually with a mentor to receive more personalized support and guidance in the revision of the methods course curriculum.

Some participants implemented the first revised syllabi when they taught the methods course the following semester. Wendy implemented the syllabus changes in the subject area methods course required for secondary English Education students in the fall of their senior year, just prior to student teaching. John implemented the syllabus changes in an elective, graduate-level course for Science Education students in their third (and final) year of the program. Throughout the implementation process (including first and subsequent iterations), study group participants and a mentor (Millie) engaged in electronic discussions surrounding plans, processes, successes, failures, and emerging and lingering questions.

Impact of the Faculty Development Initiative / Findings

Lesson 1: Conscious Effort is Required to Move Beyond Ignoring, Pretending to Understand, and/or Skirting ELL Issues in “Mainstream” Content Area Methods Courses
In their methods courses prior to participation in the study group, both John and Wendy treated ELL issues as subsumed under working with culturally diverse learners.
Study group activities and experiences led to a heightened awareness of the
lack of specific attention to linguistic diversity in general, and ELLs in particular,
in John’s and Wendy’s methods courses.
By explicitly addressing language issues and the ELL population, John created
a space in his course to explore the impact of cultural and linguistic diversity
in teaching and learning science.

Lesson 2: ELL Infusion Requires a Shift in the Roles of Instructor and Student
ELL infusion compelled instructors to relinquish control of some course components to give voice to those who possessed cultural and linguistic funds of knowledge and were able to speak from experience in ways they themselves could not.

The language immersion experiences generated relevance, empathy, and understanding for pre-service teachers in John’s and Wendy’s classes. More significantly, the lessons highlighted Wendy’s and John’s own limitations as instructors. Collaboration with other experts (i.e., Carolina and Katy) who possess appropriate linguistic and cultural funds of knowledge led to an educational experience that John and Wendy themselves could not have provided given their English monolingualism and majority-culture histories and identities.

Lesson 3: FLC Experiences Led to a Revised Definition of Effective Educator
In John’s and Wendy’s revised definitions, effective educators create supportive spaces in which both language and culture are explicitly addressed so that culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogical decisions can be made.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Examples of science talk - Pauline Gibbon

Examples of science talk

1. Look, it’s making them move. Those didn’t stick.
(Student talking in a small group)
2. We found out the pins stuck on the magnet.
(Student talking to a teacher)
3. Our experiment showed magnets attract some metals.
(Text from a student’s written report)
4. Magnetic attraction occurs only between ferrous metals.
(Text from an encyclopedia)

Source: Pauline Gibbon, Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Predictors of the Instructional Strategies that Elementary School Teachers Use with English Language Learners

Predictors of the Instructional Strategies that Elementary School Teachers Use with English Language Learners by Lucy Rader-Brown & Aimee Howley (2014), Teachers College Record Volume 116 Number 5, 2014, p. 1-34, Number: 17437


  • Findings showed that teachers reported frequent use of research-based strategies, but their preference was for strategies recommended for all learners. They were less likely to use strategies specifically intended for ELLs. 
  • Regression results showed that teachers’ attitudes and the percentage of ELLs in their schools were significant predictors of teachers’ use of research-based strategies - a positive predictor in the first instance and a negative predictor in the second. 
  • Ancillary analyses revealed that teachers’ years of experience and bilingualism, as well as the schools’ resources, were significant predictors of teachers’ attitudes toward ELLs, with more experienced teachers exhibiting more negative attitudes, and bilingual teachers and those in higher resource schools exhibiting more positive attitudes.

Background/Context: According to demographers, the number of English language learners (ELLs) in U.S schools has been increasing and is likely to continue to increase in coming years. For various reasons relating to language acquisition, cultural adjustment, and persistent discrimination, these students tend to experience academic difficulties. Improvement in their performance depends on teachers’ use of effective instructional strategies, but few surveys have investigated the extent to which teachers use such strategies or the conditions that encourage them to do so.
Focus of Study: This study addressed the following research questions: (a) To what extent do elementary content-area teachers use various research-based practices for teaching ELLs? (b) In consideration of appropriate statistical controls, to what extent are elementary content-area teachers’ professional training, attitudes, bilingualism, and their schools’ characteristics, singly and in combination, associated with their reported use of a set of research-based strategies for teaching English language learners?

Participants: Participants were a random sample of Ohio elementary school teachers (n = 419) in schools in the highest quartile of ELL enrollment.

Research Design: The current study surveyed elementary teachers in Ohio and then used multiple regression methods to identify significant predictors of teachers’ use of research-based strategies with ELLs.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Findings point to the likelihood that continued efforts to prepare elementary school teachers to work with ELLs will entail the provision of additional resources to schools with large and increasing ELL populations. In addition, efforts to increase teachers’ use of research-based strategies with ELLs will involve professional preparation powerful enough to change attitudes. Instruction in a second language appears to be an approach that bears consideration.