455 Slices
Medium 9781475819083

Power through Partnership: The Urban Network for the Improvement of Teacher Education (UNITE)

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub

Moreen Travis Carvan, Urban Network to Improve Teacher Education, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Amanda Nolen, The Holmes Partnership, Baylor University

Robert Yinger, The Holmes Partnership, Baylor University


The Urban Network for the Improvement of Teacher Education (UNITE) was created to address the notion that teachers need to be specifically prepared to teach in urban settings based upon the understanding that teaching and learning in urban schools is qualitatively different than that experienced in other contexts. This network emergedfrom the work of The Holmes Partnership carrying forth the concept of partnership as a vehicle for education reform. UNITE identified four areas where transformation was needed: a) the culture of colleges, b) the quality of instruction, c) the programs for preparing teachers for urban contexts, and d) working relationships with urban elementaiy andsecondaiy schools (Howey, 1992). This article documents the evolution of this national network as a strategy to address the complex issues in urban education.

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Medium 9781475812046

Learning and Leading for Growth: Preparing Leaders to Support Adult Development in Our Schools



ABSTRACT: Currently, scholars and practitioners seek to improve leadership programs so that educational leaders can more effectively support adult development—especially since it is connected to improved student achievement. Interview findings presented here stem from a larger mixed methods study. This research investigated how a university course on leadership for adult development influenced participating leaders’ thinking and on-the-ground practices years after course completion. Findings describe students’ reported course learnings, ways that they translated learnings to practice, and obstacles that they still encounter. This investigation offers insight into how leadership coursework can help leaders support adult development in schools and build systemic and school structures that would better enable them to build capacity.

Leadership today places implicit and explicit demands on leaders, requiring them to think more complexly to support the children and adults in their schools—which can serve as true learning centers for all participants (Capper, Theoharis, & Sebastian, 2006; Jacobson & Bezzina, 2008; Kegan & Lahey, 2009; Murphy, 2002, 2006; Normore, 2008; Peterson, 2002; Shoho, Barnett, & Tooms, 2010; Wagner et al., 2006). Helping practicing and aspiring leaders to support their own and other adults’ development and learning has become a central mission of leadership preparation programs. In other words, we must help leaders build their own and other adults’ internal capacities (Ackerman & Maslin-Ostrowski, 2004; Elmore, 2004; Kegan & Lahey, 2009; Normore, 2008). While this is important for its own sake, given the complexities of leading today, it is also essential, since we know that supporting adult learning is directly and positively linked to increasing student achievement (Guskey, 1999; Kaser & Halbert, 2009). In this article, when we use the term adult learning, we are referring to all educators in schools and school systems.

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Medium 9781475811988

The Legal Aspects of Bullying and Harassment of Students With Disabilities: School Leaders’ Legal Obligations




ABSTRACT: Research demonstrates that students with disabilities are harassed more than their nondisabled peers. Students with disabilities who have been severely harassed have argued that they are not receiving a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) as required by Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A school district’s failure to respond to known acts of harassment could result in district liability. In addition to IDEA, Title II of the American’s with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) also prohibit school districts from discriminating against students with disabilities.

Employing traditional legal research methods, this paper examines the legal issues surrounding the bullying and harassment of students with disabilities. Legal cases involving disability-based harassment under the IDEA, the ADA, and Section 504 will be coded to determine implications for schools leaders. It is hoped that school leaders will gain a better perspective on disability law and their school’s antibullying/harassment policy in order to minimize litigation and more importantly to provide a socially just public schooling environment for all students.

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Medium 9781475812039

Promoting Our Students: Examining the Role of School Leadership in the Self-Advocacy of At-Risk Students



ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research is to describe how an alternative school leader taught at-risk students and their parents to advocate for students’ educational interests and how this affected students’ academic and social success. In social justice leadership literature, parents and students are described as passive recipients of a strong social justice leader. But the process described in this research, which is referred to here as self-advocacy, demonstrates a way that principals can include stakeholders (i.e., parents and students) in the struggle for school inclusion and social justice. The study was a 2-year ethnographic study that closely examined the students, parents, staff, community members, and principal of an urban alternative high school. The findings suggest that principals can develop students and parents into self-advocates, who can themselves advocate for students’ school inclusion.

It is well documented that public schools are exclusionary toward students of color (Dunbar, 1999; Ferguson, 2000; McKenzie, 2009; Noguera, 2003). Although a number of scholars have described the central role of the school leader in advocating for marginalized students (Normore, Rodriguez, & Wynne, 2007; Siddle Walker, 1993; Theoharis, 2007), there is a gap in the literature demonstrating how parents and students can advocate for themselves along with the school leader. Even though Robert Moses (Moses & Cobb, 2001) argues that true school reforms will not happen until students begin to advocate for themselves, this research offers a glimpse of how school leaders may develop this largely untapped resource. Teachers are more likely to be professionally and socially supportive of White middle-class identities in school (Lareua, 1999, 2000; Noguera, 2003, 2009) and exclusionary toward marginalized Black and Latino indigenous identities. On these considerations, one can more easily accept the descriptions presented in Noguera’s (2003, 2008) works where, for example, “Black boys” are at risk because of factors related to their personal, home, and constructed school lives. In similar ways, Valenzuela (1999) found that schools delegitimize the understandings and cultures of Mexican American immigrants in Texas schools. Research on school dropout and completion rates, along with recent suspension gap research that illustrates trends of Black and Latino students being disproportionately suspended from school (Gregory, Skiba, & Noguera, 2010), all points to one lingering and inconvenient reminder: that schools continue to play a significant role in the failure of Black, Latino, Native American, and other marginalized populations of students. Thus, because students of color are often marginalized in school, they are at significantly higher risks of school failure. The purpose of this research is to describe not only how an alternative school leader enacted social justice in his leadership behaviors but, more important, how he taught at-risk students and their parents to advocate for students’ educational interests and how this affected their academic and social success. This process—referred to here as self-advocacy—can be used as a way to allow principals to include parents and students in the struggle for school inclusion and social justice. I utilize Theoharis’s (2007) definition of social justice leadership, in which school principals advocate for the inclusion of traditionally marginalized groups of children. What emerges is a way that school principals promote school cultures and enact administrative behaviors—with the help of parents and students—that embrace identities of Black and Latino at-risk students.

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Medium 9781475819236

Preservice Teacher Efficacy: Effects of a Secondary Education Methods Course and Student Teaching

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub


ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a secondary content-specific methods course and student teaching on preservice teacher efficacy. The study employed a single-group pretest–posttest 1–posttest 2 design. The repeated-measures analysis of variance indicated no significant change in overall teacher efficacy from the beginning of the secondary methods course until the end of student teaching; however, overall efficacy did increase significantly after the secondary methods course but by the end of student teaching had returned to its original pre–secondary methods course level. Classroom management efficacy over all three test times—before and after methods course and after student teaching—was unchanged. Instructional strategies efficacy was shown to be statistically significant and positively affected by the secondary methods course, but no significant change in instructional strategies efficacy was detected after student teaching. No significant change in student engagement efficacy was found immediately following the methods course, but student engagement efficacy significantly decreased after student teaching. Implications of the research on preservice teacher efficacy for teacher preparation and suggestions of strategies for improving efficacy are examined.

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