Wednesday, August 1, 2012

From MUSE: Deprivatizing Teaching Practice

Following on my recent post about communities of practicethis post by KaiLonnie Dunsmore on Literacy Learning Exchange talks about "deprivatizing" teaching practice.  That is, 

the ways that educators, especially teachers, can begin to make the instructional practices and routines in their classrooms more open to collegial conversation and collective inquiry, or more "public."

The LLE post notes that

[g]ood teaching, skilled instructional leadership, effective administration all require a willingness to invite conversation, inquiry, and collaborative analysis of the everyday patterns of one’s practice. 

I think it's important that, as new teachers, we are doing all we can to participate in and to foster these sorts of learning environments. Even though

to effectively create change for students, this can’t be an individual action, but rather needs to be deliberatively fostered by organizational systems which put in place conditions designed to support educators in this process of deprivatizing—or making public—their work. 
We certainly need to encourage structural implementation of these conditions in our schools, districts, and states.  

For instance, such conditions might include: 
  • creating time for professionals to talk with one another as part of their work day.
  • ensuring that professional development is built around opportunities to observe practice, have conversations about it, and then safely try it out.
  • making it safe for professionals to admit areas in which they are engaged in their own learning and development.
Some of these things we can work toward right now on a grade-level or department-level basis.  Others will take more time.  And in the meantime, we can begin participating in outside communities, online and otherwise, that are working toward a more open model of developing the profession of teaching.

Also posted on MUSE '13.

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