You Had to be There: Improving a Telementoring Program through Classroom Observation

You Had to be There: Improving a Telementoring Program through Classroom Observation

Kevin O’Neill (Simon Fraser University, Canada) and Sheryl Guloy (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-861-6.ch004
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Abstract

This chapter makes the case that to fully realize the potential of telementoring for supporting student learning in P-12 schools, teachers and program developers should invest effort in a practice that they traditionally have not – routine observations of how telementoring programs play out in classrooms. Using observational data from a pilot program for secondary social studies called “Compassionate Canada?” we illustrate how classroom observations can enable program designers to ask better questions about how a program is working, and why. We also discuss contributions that classroom observations may enable teacher to make to program refinement and professional development.
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Context: The “Compassionate Canada?” Unit

Under funding from the Canadian Council on Learning (www.ccl-cca.ca), our team recently developed and piloted a telementored curriculum unit designed to develop 11th grade students’ conceptions about the nature of historical knowledge. It is necessary to explain some details of the program content and design here, as background to our classroom observations and the lessons they taught us about revisions that were needed in our design.

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