"It's Hard Answering Your Calling": Teacher Teams in a Restructuring Urban Middle School.

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    • Abstract:
      Considered a successful university-operated, urban middle school serving an overwhelmingly African American student body, "Charter" Middle School was dechartered suddenly, then merged a year later with students from a neighborhood school to become "Choice" Middle School, a school of choice in the urban district. Using a situated learning framework and an ethnographic methodology, this paper examines teacher teams in the school — one aspect of the schooling model the urban district promised to continue — before and after restructuring. Charter was almost a textbook case of a professional learning community before restructuring, but after restructuring leadership lacked a deep understanding of the interconnected nature of the model of schooling and of teacher teams' function therein. Over time, teacher teams lost their place in and importance to the school's operation. In particular, the school lost teacher empowerment, focus on all students, and communication within the building and between school and families. Restructuring destabilized reform and diminished the likelihood that teachers could meet the needs of students. Implications for teacher teams in middle grades education during times of administrative change and school restructuring are discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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