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Reflective Practice for New Teachers

Friday, April 2, 2004
Reflective Practice for New Teachers

New teachers in any subject in the Detroit Public Schools or the Public School Academies in Detroit sponsored by Oakland University are invited to enroll in the course “Reflective Practice for New Teachers.”  A new teacher is defined as a teacher with no more than three years of full time teaching experience.

This program is sponsored by the Meadow Brook Writing Project at Oakland University with grant support from the National Writing Project.  It is part of the New Teacher Initiative, a nationwide effort to support new teachers in urban schools.

The class will meet from 9:00 a. m. to 12 noon on the following Saturdays: May 8, May 22, June 5, June 12, September 16, and October 16 at the Detroit Schools Professional Development Center in the New Center area of Detroit (across from the Fisher Theater).  In addition, participants will be expected to attend one meeting of the Summer Institute of the Meadow Brook Writing Project at Oakland University between June 28 and July 28.

Successful participants will earn two graduate credits (in RHT 514) from Oakland University.  The tuition cost for two graduate credits is $586.00.  The New Teacher Initiative grant will pay 50% of the tuition, leaving a balance of $293.00.  It is expected that new teachers will be supported for the balance by professional development funds at their schools.  All other fees have been waived.

The Meadow Brook Writing Project will continue to support new teacher participants for two years after the conclusion of the program.

The program is directed by Mary Cox, co-director of the Meadow Brook Writing Project, and a teacher at Martin Luther King High School in Detroit with more than thirty years of experience.  Other members of the Meadow Brook Writing Project leadership team will participate, including Kathleen Reddy-Butkovich, co-director, Toni Gibson, Detroit Schools, Catherine Haar, Oakland University, and Ron Sudol, Oakland University.

For more information and application materials, please contact:

Mary Cox: 313-494-7363 (o) or 313-824-4774 (h)
Ron Sudol: 248-370-2199 (o)

Reflective Practice for New Teachers (RHT 514) Course Description

Purpose:  To encourage new teachers to become thoughtful, reflective instructors who take pride in their profession, develop skills in analysis and inquiry, and model best practice.

Curriculum:  Each class will begin with a sharing of successes and problems faced by new teachers.  Participants will keep journals to help with sharing experiences.

In most class meetings we will discuss and practice a protocol.  Protocols allow the identification and analysis of ideas by supporting inquiry, dialogue, and reflection and by encouraging participation by ensuring equity and trust.  Protocols specify who speaks and who listens, thus dividing talking and listening, describing and judging, proposing and giving feedback.  Protocols constrain behavior in order to enhance experience and promote analysis.  There are protocols to organize group discussions, to look at student work, to examine teacher assignments, and to organize classroom control.

We will introduce Guided Reflection and Problem Solving Protocol, Descriptive Review Protocol (which looks at a collection of student work), the Authentic Intellectual Assessment Protocol, and the Collective Assessment Conference.  The facilitators for these activities have been trained at national workshops and have presented this information to state organizations and local school districts.

The use of protocols will dominate the first four meetings in May and June.  Representatives of state professional organizations will be invited to speak about the importance of new teachers becoming involved with these groups.  Participants will develop an inquiry plan that they can begin to research for the fall of 2004.

The fifth meeting will be held during the summer.  Participants will attend a day of the Summer Institute of the Meadow Brook Writing Project at Oakland University, where they will meet and interact with experienced teachers.

The last two meetings will be held in the fall when members will be able to put to use the protocols and inquiry techniques they have acquired and report on results.

Journals will be extremely important as a record of inquiry, reflection, and growth.