Common Plan Time at the middle school level
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In this study, supporting conditions necessary to study the common plan time phenomenon at the middle level school were present. This study investigated what occurs during common planning time for two middle school level teams of teachers. A middle school level team of teachers in this study consisted of four teachers that shared a common planning time together at least four days a week and taught the same set of students. Student outcomes for middle level schools that implement common planning time are higher overall self-concept (Warren & Muth, 1995) and greater academic efficacy (Mertens, Flowers, & Mulhall, 1998). Teachers implementing common plan time report higher levels of job satisfaction (Flowers, Mertens, & Mulhall, 1999), and more positive interactions with their colleagues (Flowers, Mertens, & Mulhall, 1999). Schools report higher levels of student achievement (Flowers, Mertens, & Mulhall, 1998, 1999, and Mertens & Flowers, 2003). The benefits for students and staff that practice the common plan time are plentiful. This study investigated what occurs during common plan time for middle school level team of teachers in an effort to better understand the connections between what occurs during common plan time and student achievement. The methodology used in the development of this study was a qualitative case study of two middle level teams of teachers. Multiple data sources in the study include observations of common plan time, individual interviews of the interdisciplinary team of teachers, and document analysis of lesson plans. Specifically, one sixth grade team and one seventh grade team participated in the study with a total sample of eight teachers. The non-participant observer was an elementary level principal administrator from 2002 through 2011. The documented findings were examined. The interviewer was trained through the Middle Level Educational Research Special Interest Group (MLER SIG) during the summer of 2008. The research protocol and questions are copyrights of the MLER SIG 2007. The data collected in this study contributed to this national pool of research.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the study -- Review of the literature -- The research design -- The middle school experience -- Common Plan Time -- Appendix A. Project information sheet and informed consent -- Appendix B. Letter to the Superintendent of Schools -- Appendix C. Common Planning Time (CPT) observation protocol -- Appendix D. Common Planning Time (CPT) interview protocol -- Appendix E. Description of observed behaviors -- Appendix F. Interview transcript data guidelines