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Supporting Teachers in Schools to Improve Their Instructional Practice


by Hilda Borko & Janette K. Klingner — 2013

To meet the growing demand for teacher learning opportunities, the educational community must create scalable professional development models and study their effectiveness. In this chapter, we argue that design-based implementation research (DBIR) is ideally suited to these efforts, and we use two research projects in which we are currently involved as illustrative cases: CSR Colorado and Implementing the Problem-Solving Cycle (iPSC). The core of CSR Colorado is Collaborative Strategic Reading, an instructional approach designed to enhance reading comprehension in content classes. The focus of iPSC is the Problem-Solving Cycle, a mathematics professional development (PD) program designed to help teachers improve their instruction through closely examining mathematics problems, student thinking, and pedagogical practices. Each project works with a school district to bring a PD model to scale, and both projects are studying the structures and resources needed to build the district’s capacity to sustain the model beyond the duration of the research. The chapter describes each project and discusses the successes and challenges we experienced as we collaborated with the districts and schools to carry them out. By highlighting two very different projects we show how, through different means, it is possible to achieve the same ultimate end of a scaled-up program for improving instructional practices.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 112. No. 2.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 115 Number 14, 2013, p. 274-297
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18348, Date Accessed: 10/21/2017 10:02:47 AM

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About the Author
  • Hilda Borko
    Stanford University
    E-mail Author
    HILDA BORKO is a professor of education at Stanford University, and a member of the National Academy of Education. Her research explores the process of learning to teach, with an emphasis on changes in novice and experienced teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about teaching, learning, and assessment, and their classroom practices as they participate in teacher education and professional development programs. She is currently a co-principal investigator on two projects investigating the impact of professional development on the instructional practices of teachers: “Toward a Scalable Model of Mathematics Professional Development: A Field Study of Preparing Facilitators to Implement the Problem-Solving Cycle,” and “Researching the Efficacy of the Science & Literacy Academy Model.“ Recent publications include “Meeting the challenges of scale: The importance of preparing professional development leaders” (2011, Teachers College Record) with Karen Koellner and Jennifer Jacobs, and “Mathematics professional development: Critical features for developing leadership skills and building teachers’ capacity (2011, Mathematics Teacher Education and Development) with Karen Koellner and Jennifer Jacobs.
  • Janette Klingner
    University of Colorado Boulder
    E-mail Author
    JANETTE KLINGNER is a professor of bilingual special education at the University of Colorado Boulder. She was a K-8 bilingual special education teacher for ten years before earning a PhD in Reading and Learning Disabilities from the University of Miami. Currently, she is the principal investigator (PI) on an i3 validation grant, Collaborative Strategic Reading-Colorado (CSR-CO), and the PI on a model demonstration project, RTI Effectiveness Model for English Language Learners (REME). Recent publications include “What does it take to scale up and sustain evidence-based practices?” in Exceptional Children, with Alison Boardman and Kristen McMaster, and “Addressing the ‘research gap’ in special education through mixed methods,” in Learning Disability Quarterly, with Alison Boardman.
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