Doctoral Candidate Schiera Presents on Collaborative Teaching in Middle East School

Posted on 5/11/2016 11:35:56 AM

Rachel Schiera, doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction, under the mentorship of Sue Rieg, Department of Professional Studies in Education, presented the paper “Collegial professional development: Collaborative teaching in a school in the Middle East” at the 2016 New England Educational Research Organization Conference, in April in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

In the 21st-century classroom model, students are increasingly asked to collaborate, communicate, think critically, and be creative in the classroom. To facilitate these “soft skills”, teachers are asked to teach collaboratively while also promoting engagement and delivering subject matter content.

Rachel presented a paper that spotlights content teachers’ experiences when transitioning from an environment with limited collaboration between teachers into a highly collaborative teaching environment. Using the Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement guidelines for collaboration (2006), Rachel examined teachers’ experiences when collaborating with other content teachers.

The paper presented an overview of the adjustments and challenges of collaborating teachers, identified institutional characteristics that support content teachers’ collaboration, and described how the theory of heutagogy (Hase & Kenyon, 2000) can help guide schoolwide professional development initiatives which aim at creating more collaborative workplaces. 

Through a phenomenological study approach, Rachel demonstrated that, for a group of multinational teachers in the Middle East, colleagues were perceived as playing the most important role in teachers’ acceptance of and adjustment to institutional requirements for collaboration.