Instructional Change Through Collaboration and Peer Coaching

Instructional Change Through Collaboration and Peer Coaching

Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4622-2.ch006
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This chapter explains the connection made between Japanese Lesson Study (JLS) and adult learning theory. For the purpose of further understanding the action research process and how it connects to teacher learning, Phase 3, learning in context with a peer coaching emphasis, will be discussed. This chapter will inform leaders as they develop their own system of professional learning for teachers.
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If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

-John Quincy Adams

Time for professional learning is often sacrificed in school settings due to efforts to increase instructional time in order to meet all the requirements of the standards and state testing targets. For this reason, pressure to cover curriculum supersedes continued learning for teachers during the school day. Schools have cut back on planning time allotted for teachers with most permitting 45 minutes each day. This has caused collaborative study among teachers to lessen.

When discussing barriers to professional development, teachers often say that time is the biggest obstacle. A peer coaching strategy could alleviate lost time and place more emphasis on instructional techniques that provoke learning among students. Phase three in this action research study will shed light on peer coaching among a group of teachers.


Phase Three: Learning In Context With A Peer Coaching Emphasis

Phase Three consisted of sessions five, six, and seven including the teaching of the initial lesson, revision of the lesson, and teaching of the revised lesson. Action research is a cycle of activities resulting in reflective problem solving, which enables practitioners to better understand and solve pressing problems found in their practice (Herr & Anderson, 2005). Critical reflection is inherent to both action research and Japanese Lesson Study. A Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ) is used to find out what and how participants are learning (Phelan, 2012). It focuses on critical moments or actions in a class, as judged by the learners. At this point in the study, teachers observed one teacher teaching the collaboratively designed lesson. Following the initial lesson, teachers reflected on their experiences as a basis for further planning, subsequent action, and continued through the next cycle of instruction.

Teachers transitioned through this process while learning in the context of the classroom with students present. This was essential as the practitioners had a wealth of tacit knowledge that they would apply to their learning. During the initial and revised lessons, teachers sat around the perimeter of the classroom while the lesson took place. They each had the scripted lesson in their hands and took notes directly on the lesson plan. After the completion of the initial lesson, the teachers left the room and not only revised the lesson but learned how to be critical friends as well. This process proved to be challenging for some. The following section will explain what resulted as teachers learned in context through observation. Several themes resulted including: too many chiefs, learning from each other, and looking through a different lens.

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