Professional Development That Addresses Professional Community in Urban Elementary Schools.Report as inadecuate

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This study examined the level of professional community in seven urban elementary schools that served large proportions of low-income students and that had engaged in innovative, schoolwide professional development and reform. The study points out to what extent and in what ways professional development at each school addressed professional community and the other dimensions of school capacity. Schools were chosen to represent different approaches to professional development and different kinds of assistance from district, state, and independent providers. Researchers made two to four visits to each school for up to 4 days at a time, observing professional development activities and classroom instruction, interviewing school and district staff and external providers of faculty development, and collecting pertinent documents (e.g., achievement data and demographic and fiscal information). Data analysis indicates that urban elementary schools serving high percentages of low-income students can attain a healthy degree of professional community, and that professional development in such schools can strongly address professional community. Evidence from two schools suggests that professional community can be strengthened by either scripted approaches to professional development or more organic, school-based approaches. (Contains 18 references.) (SM)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Collegiality, Educational Innovation, Elementary Education, Faculty Development, Low Income Groups, Teacher Collaboration, Teacher Improvement, Urban Schools

Author: Youngs, Peter; Kings, M. Bruce


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