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Against the Odds: Professional Development and Innovation Under Less-Than-Ideal Conditions
Article

, Piedmont Research Institute, United States

Journal of Technology and Teacher Education Volume 9, Number 4, ISSN 1059-7069 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

This article reports surprising accomplishments of teachers who, despite overwhelming obstacles, are creating new learning opportunities for their students and are taking advantage of electronic technologies to support those innovations. Prior research has found that certain conditions should exist in a school for teachers to pursue professional development so they can implement useful applications of technologies in their classrooms. Examples of these conditions include administrative leadership, shared vision, opportunities for reflection and collaboration, a long-term professional development plan, and other supportive conditions. However, in many schools those desired conditions do not exist and there are formidable obstacles to creating those conditions. This report summarizes some of the findings of a research project conducted over a period of two and a half years with about 100 teachers in a pre-k-12 school complex that is part of a large, hierarchical school system. Teachers having a common vision for innovative practices worked in small teams to plan, implement, and evaluate new practices in their classrooms and school community. In this article some aspects of these innovations are described. Essential elements of the strategies Vanguard for Learning used for professional development are described and factors contributing to the teachers' ability to make such dramatic accomplishments "against the odds" are described. Ways in which these strategies can be adapted in other school settings are suggested.

Citation

Hunter, B. (2001). Against the Odds: Professional Development and Innovation Under Less-Than-Ideal Conditions. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 9(4), 473-496. Norfolk, VA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved June 26, 2019 from .

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