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Title page for ETD etd-07212016-105215

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Brasel, Jason Thomas
URN etd-07212016-105215
Title Supporting learning opportunities in teacher workgroups: facilitators’ orientations towards tool use.
Degree Master of Science
Department Learning, Teaching and Diversity
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ilana S. Horn, Ph.D. Committee Chair
Barbara Stengel, Ph.D. Committee Member
  • teacher learning
  • situative theory
  • opportunities to learn
Date of Defense 2016-07-18
Availability unrestricted
Given the difficulty in learning teaching that aims for the ambitious student learning goals prescribed in current standards documents, supports are needed in order to develop and sustain teachers’ enactment of ambitious instruction. Teacher workgroups are a common strategy for instructional improvement, but how teachers engage in activities during workgroup time shapes the learning opportunities that can develop. In this comparative case study, I take a situative view of learning to examine the learning opportunities afforded in workgroup meetings with middle-school math teachers and pedagogically expert facilitators. Using interaction analysis, I analyze how tools are used by facilitators during workgroup meetings. Both the nature of the tool and facilitators’ orientations towards those tools shaped the learning opportunities available to teachers. This work provides an example of the not-sufficient nature of tool use and emphasizes that how tools are used mediates the extent to which the tools can support teachers’ learning.
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