Monday, October 11, 2010

Theory to Practice and Vice Versa

It has always surprised me that many teachers only want to attend professional development opportunities where they can learn practices they can implement on Monday. They don't seem to have much interest in the theory--the why. This could be one explanation as to why there is such a strong disconnect between university professors/researchers and practitioners.

Effective teachers seem to be able to cross this divide. They use generalized principles that they learn from research done by researchers about what constitutes good teaching and learning for the student population in their classrooms to develop classroom practices. They also reflect on other practices they implement to see if generalized principles support those practices. Part of this reflection may include teacher action research projects and/or keeping a reflective journal that they then can share with a university professor/researcher or publish in an academic journal.

When teachers participate in this kind of learning they will experience continued professional growth resulting in better teaching and student learning.

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