Conceptual Framework for PDS Levine Notes

Levine, M. (1992). A conceptual framework for professional practice schools. In M. Levine (Ed.), Professional practice schools: Linking teacher education and school reform (pp. 8-24). New York: Teachers College Press.

Progressive Roots

Basic Assumptions Underlying Professional Practice Schools

·      Learning and Knowing

o   "Students and teachers are expected to use what they have learned and are expected to learn how to learn (p. 10)."

o   "In place of teacher as imparter of wisdom, the teacher becomes a facilitator of student learning, playing the role of the intermediary in helping the student to negotiate the curriculum (p. 10)."

·      Teaching Practice

o   Traditionally teachers have been users of research. In professional practice schools, practitioners are also generators of research.

·      An Ethical Base for Professional Practice

o   "Professions, by definition, have a moral structure that is meant to guide the professional's actions (p. 11)."

o   "The significance of the professional practice school in this respect is its ability to model the norms of practice that uphold the ethical standards defined by the profession (p. 12)."

·      Summary

o   Assumptions of professional practice schools (all quoted from pp. 12-13)

§  "The primary goal of schools is to support student academic and social learning.

§  Learning is an active process that occurs in different ways and at different rates.

§  Professional practice in teaching is knowledge-based, reflective, and inquiring.

§  Public schools are obligated to safeguard both equity and high standards for learning outcomes.

§  The environment that supports teacher learning will also support student learning; that is, the professional practice school is a community of learners.

§  If one hopes to have teachers teach in different ways, one must change the way teachers are themselves taught.


The Organizational Base for Professional Practice

·      "Professional accountability, in which teachers are responsible to each other for student outcomes, is supported through opportunities for public practice, joint planning, and review of practice (p. 13)."

·      The Knowledge Base for Professional Practice

o   "The first category would be what we know about how individuals, and specifically children, learn. The second area is what we have learned about the conditions that support learning, including the research on effective schools and effective teaching and especially those pedagogies that are related to teaching in restructured school environments (e.g., cooperative group learning, use of educational technologies, peer tutoring, and coaching) (p. 15)."

o   Pedagogical content knowledge: "This research focuses on identifying the effective ways of teaching the main understandings or concepts of a particular subject area, such as physics or history (p. 15)."

o   Connection to Holmes Group: "Teacher interns entering the professional practice school may be expected to have this knowledge base as well as to be prepared in the subject areas they will be teaching (p. 15)."

·      What Is Known About Professional Education?


Implications for Educating Teachers

·      "Since reflective practice defines a broader arena of usable knowledge than scientifically based professional knowledge, educating the professional must go beyond the transmission of scientific technical knowledge and the training in skill to use it (p. 16)."

o   Characteristics of the Clinical Education Experience

§  "The current model for clinical teacher education programs is grounded in a conceptualization of teaching as a craft. The practice teaching experience is designed for the novice to observe and imitate the experienced teacher (p. 17)."

§  "The apprenticeship model emphasizes the mentor or model teacher rather than the intellectual work of teaching (p. 17)."

§  "Professional practice is characterized by reflection, experimentation, and inquiry. It involves having a knowledge base on which to make professional judgments and the skills to implement those decisions as instructional strategies (p. 17)."

o   Education for Uncertainty

§  "Because teachers have little opportunity to work with colleagues and are not trained in collegial settings, they do not know the extent of others' knowledge and ability and therefore they maintain unrealistic views of what may be possible (p. 18)."

§  "Students learn that inquiry is a part of professional practice (p. 18)."

§  "Teachers in training, or in practice, for that matter, have no parallel opportunities to learn that the best knowledge available is often not fully adequate and that colleagues can function competently in spite of that inadequacy (p. 18)."

§  "The third principle learned is that what practitioners know is an important part of what students have to learn; practitioners' knowledge is different from the book learning that has preceded it and accompanies it (p. 19)."

§  "This (supporting interns' learning) requires a whole-school orientation, norms that support collegiality, opportunities for public practice, and some sort of support system for the interns to establish a sense of community among themselves, as well as within the school (p. 19)."

·      Institutional Requirements for Professional Practice

o   "Whereas the university is grounded in academic theoretical and applied research, reflective practice is grounded in inquiry in action. It requires the knowledge base that the university can provide, but the structure of the university itself and its norms and culture do not support the kind of educational experience implied by the characteristics of reflective practice (p. 19)."


Characteristics of Professional Practice Schools

·      Support of Student Learning

o   Shared vision

o   Knowing students well

o   Accountability measures aligned with goals

o   Clearly communicated high standards

o   Focus on results rather than delivery

o   Collaborative work to solve problems regarding students' collective and individual needs

·      Support of Professional Practice

o   Collegiality

o   Shared-decision making process and empowerment of faculty

o   Ongoing communication and feedback

o   Joint planning and peer teaching (coaching???)

o   Connections to and with university faculty

o   Self-analysis and reflection

o   Volunteerism

o   Professional development opportunities

·      Support for Professional Education of Teachers

o   Dedication resources including time

o   Selecting qualified individuals for professional education roles

o   In-service programs

o   Administrative support and support for administration

o   Differentiated staffing

o   Adjunct faculty to support interns

·      Support of Inquiry at the Improvement of Practice

o   "The concept of the school as a center of inquiry for both students and teachers is central to the professional practice school (p. 22)."

The Collaborative Nature of the Professional Practice School