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Document Number: 6756

Professional Communities and Instructional Improvement Practices: A study of small high schools in Chicago - This report examines the instructional improvement practices of teacher professional communities in seven Chicago High School Redesign Initiative schools. The authors note that teachers most commonly talked about instruction in informal one-on-one exchanges rather than through group activities to improve their members' collective instructional capacity and change core instructional practices. The researchers likewise report that the daily demands of teaching left teachers with little time to address instructional issues in a systematic or sustained manner within teacher teams, though one school with clear instructional priorities and strong leadership was able to facilitate ongoing discussions on building core instructional practices. The study provides questions school leaders and policymakers should ask in implementing professional development programs for teachers. (W. David Stevens, with Joseph Kahne, Consortium on Chicago School Research, January 2006)...

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