Developmental Environments for Teachers

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Teacher developmental environments are planned variations of support for different teachers undertaking various personal and instructional tasks. These environments may vary in scope and duration. In this paper, I chose to focus on a clinical environment which encompasses typical activities involved in teaching and learning in an elementary classroom. Teacher developmental environments may be described in terms of five characteristics. First, they have specific objectives. These may include helping teachers accomplish personal or instructional tasks of either a simple or complex nature. Second, teacher developmental environments follow a set of procedures. For example, an environment designed to work with teachers in the context of their classrooms begins by preplanning before meeting with a teacher, and is followed by joint planning in a pre-observation conference, observing classroom teaching, and discussing observational data in a post conference. Third, developmental environments for teachers have support systems. A support system may include the skills, knowledge, and attitudes of the teacher educator and other resources external to the teacher educator, such as training facilities and materials. Fourth, teacher developmental environments are characterized by a management strategy. A management strategy provides for the responsibility for decision making about what activities are to be accomplished, when they are to be done, and how progress shall be assessed. Finally, teacher developmental environments provide for their own evaluation. This may mean that teacher educators look to themselves, to teachers, or to students in order to assess the effectiveness of the support they have provided teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-247
Number of pages8
JournalTheory into Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 1980

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