High stakes assessment, accountability for student achievement and top-down mandates have standardized education to the point where teacher voice in their profession is limited at best. Failure to bring students to benchmark standards regardless of their personal issues, economic status, or ethnic background results in sanctions and penalties, forcing teachers to abandon creativity for compliance with instruction geared toward realizing student success on standardized assessments.
This case study looks at five practices implemented in a Title I elementary school in the northwest region of the Unite States; self-reflection, identifying voice, professional learning communities, data driven decision-making, and feedback loops, and how these practices validate teacher voice as teachers address the challenges of standardization. The research on these practices clearly acknowledges how they can enhance collaboration within the school system as teachers address requirements. The literature often fails to demonstrate a relationship between these practices and how they validate teacher voice. This case study looks at the relationship between practices implemented to address standardization, and the sense of voice that teachers have as a result. Specifically, this study utilized personal interview, survey, and observation analyses to determine correlations between the implemented practice and validation of teacher voice. Results found teacher voice was validated at the school building level as a result of the practices that were implemented. Results also found that teachers in this case study felt that they had little or no voice when it came to matters of the central office of their school district. Implications for teachers, building administrators, central office administration, and future study were determined from the findings of this qualitative case study.
This study adds to the body of research by providing evidence of relationships between practices implemented to address the challenges of standardization and the validation of teacher voice as a result. It also adds to the body of literature by identifying and discussing factors attributed by teachers to facilitate or hinder teacher voice in a time of standardization.
|Commitee:||Greene, Tom, Pedersen, Laura|
|School:||Lewis and Clark College|
|School Location:||United States -- Oregon|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Professional learning teams, Research-based practices, Standardization, Teacher voice|
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