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Communities of Practice and Discourse Communities: Negotiating Boundaries in NBPTS Certification


by Robert Burroughs, Tammy A. Schwartz & Martha Hendricks-Lee — 2000

Certification from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) offers experienced teachers opportunities through a written portfolio to "match" their practice to the Board’s standards. In creating standards and requiring teachers to argue in writing that they have realized the standards in their teaching, the NBPTS may offer a national discourse about teaching, and as such may form a "discourse community." However, since teachers' working knowledge is local, contextualized, personal and oral, teachers may find difficulties in entering such a discourse. Using interviews and qualitative analysis, this study of four teachers applying to NBPTS certification found that teachers have difficulty representing their knowledge about practice in writing. Those candidates who were most successful were able to assume the NBPTS discourse values, which may be at odds with teachers' working knowledge.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 102 Number 2, 2000, p. 344-374
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10449, Date Accessed: 12/15/2018 4:05:12 PM

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About the Author
  • Robert Burroughs
    University of Cincinnati
    E-mail Author
    Robert Burroughs is an assistant professor in the College of Education at University of Cincinnati. He is co-director of the Cincinnati NBPTS Support Project, a state-funded consortium that works with teacher candidates applying for NBPTS certification.
  • Tammy Schwartz
    University of Cincinnati
    Tammy A. Schwartz is a doctoral student in the Literacy program in the College of Education at University of Cincinnati. She is a recent recipient of a Spencer Pre-Dissertation Fellowship.
  • Martha Hendricks-Lee
    University of Cincinnati
    Martha Hendricks-Lee is a research associate in the College of Education at University of Cincinnati. She specializes in research on situated cognition, especially as it applies in Professional Development Schools (PDS).
 
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