Teachers on the move: the power of iquiry, collaboration, and adult learning in disciplinary literacy
Aulet, Elizabeth Wilson
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This is a qualitative case study examining how two cohorts of middle school teachers experience their learning in a multi-year, disciplinary literacy professional development project using collaborative, inquiry focused professional learning structures. The objective of this study was to understand teacher perceptions of their growth as practitioners and colleagues in disciplinary literacy teaching and learning. I also aimed to discern what professional learning structures were helpful, or not, and to track any instructional changes. Finally, I sought examine if teacher approach to their learning changed in any way. Findings from this study extend our knowledge along three avenues. First, the interaction of professional learning structures, teacher dispositions, and school leadership factors created conditions that encouraged widespread disciplinary literacy instructional change and curriculum development. Second, disciplinary literacy instructional change occurred within disciplines, across disciplines, and across grades in ways that suggest improved student engagement, self-efficacy, and content understanding. These changes run along a continuum between intermediate and disciplinary literacy instructional strategies. Third, the success of the literacy leadership initiative led to school-wide structural and cultural change.