How teachers adapt to curricular and structural change : a multi-case study of three middle school language arts teachers
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This study examined the experiences of three middle school language arts teachers during a time in their teaching careers where their school district underwent structural and curricular changes. During the restructuring of the grade configuration, curriculum, course assignments, teachers, teams, start time, and schedules, teachers at Smiley Middle School teachers experienced a radical change. Through interviews, blogs, professional learning team observations, and field notes, this qualitative case study examines the experiences of three language arts teachers one and a half years after the transition. The findings indicated that these teachers were largely impacted by the transition. They relied on their teacher identity to ground their day-to-day classroom changes. Their agency was disrupted, but the teachers were able to rely on professional learning teams and units of instruction to help them build back their agency. Finally, resilience was a large factor in helping the three teachers power through the changes. This study has lasting implications for building leaders, teachers, and pre-service teacher. Understanding and building up identity, agency, and resiliency among teacher may play a role in helping teachers negotiate complex changes in their school structure.
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