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Local Theories of Teacher Change: The Pedagogy of District Policies and Programs

by James Spillane - 2002

This paper examines district officials’ theories about teacher learning and change, identifying and elaborating three perspectives—behaviorist, situated, and cognitive—based on a study of 9 school districts. The behaviorist perspective on teacher learning dominated among the district officials in the study. The author also considers whether the prominence of the behaviorist perspective on teacher learning among district officials may be cause for concern when it comes to the classroom implementation of the fundamental changes in instruction pressed by state and national standards.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 104 Number 3, 2002, p. 377-420
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10849, Date Accessed: 7/27/2021 1:36:00 AM

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About the Author
  • James Spillane
    Northwestern University
    E-mail Author
    JAMES P. SPILLANE is associate professor of education and social policy, and a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, where he teaches in both the Learning Sciences, and Human Development and Social Policy graduate programs. His research explores the policy implementation process at the state, school district, school, and classroom levels, focusing on intergovernmental relations and policy-practice relations. Spillane is principal investigator of the Distributed Leadership Project (http://www.letus.org/dls), a program of research investigating the practice of school leadership in urban elementary schools. He is associate editor of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Recent publications can be found in Cognition and Instruction, Education Researcher, Journal of Curriculum Studies, Teachers College Record, Educational Policy, and Sociology of Education.
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