First Advisor

Thomas G. Chenoweth

Term of Graduation

Spring 2002

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Administration






Educational change, Educational acceleration, Teachers -- In-service training, School improvement programs



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, xiii, 345 pages)


Focusing on teacher learning, this study follows fifteen teachers in the crux of comprehensive school reform. These "regular" classroom teachers are the ubiquitous players of this theatre of school reform. "Regular" teacher is defined as a typical classroom teacher who is not actively involved in the district's school reform project or one who hasn't taken an active leadership role. The teachers in this study work in the challenging environment of a poor, diverse urban school district that was in its third year of a comprehensive school reform program, the Accelerated Schools Project. Fifteen teachers volunteered to take part in a teaching laboratory where they met, planned, taught, assessed and reflected on their practice. The study tells, analyzes and speculates about their journey.

The Accelerated Schools Project (ASP) is a national comprehensive school improvement model that provides professional development to schools. The study described the experiences of regular classroom teachers who engaged in a yearlong professional development program that is part of the ASP service to schools.

This study employs qualitative research methods in a multiple case study analysis. By examining the teaching practices of regular classroom teachers who are often depicted as "closing the door" to the outside influences of school, district, state or federal policy, the study seeks to fully understand the planning, teaching, assessing and reflecting of classroom teachers who are caught in the center of school reform.

The key findings of this study suggest teacher practice for all teacher cohorts (novice, mid-career and veteran) was influenced by participation in the Powerful Learning Laboratory. Each aspect of teaching (planning, teaching, assessing and reflection) was influenced, with differing emphasis by each cohort. The findings suggest the Powerful Learning Lab is a positive professional development experience for teachers, and that teacher learning labs should remain an integral part of the Accelerated Schools Project.


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