The Impact of Classroom Learning Labs and an English Workshop Model of Instruction on Teacher Knowledge and Practice
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This narrative inquiry attempts to uncover and discover experiences secondary educators had while navigating a new instructional model, specifically its core concepts and ideas, design and structure, tensions and accomplishments, and did so in a collaborative classroom learning lab environment. The narratives from four participants in the program – two classroom teachers, one campus specialist, and one district administrator – elucidate how teachers constructed and reconstructed personal practical knowledge (Clandinin, 1985, 1989) over their two-year involvement in the program, and how the experience continued to influence their practices one year after its conclusion. Engaging in the narrative inquiry approach allowed me to burrow deeply into teachers’ stories of the experience (Clandinin & Connelly, 1990), excavating how the model had an impact on their instructional planning and how the learning lab expanded their knowledge and practice. Furthermore, the study shares how the collaborative spirit among educators fostered an environment conducive to creating sustainable growth with the hope that the workshop model components become internalized and continue to flourish, not only in the intentional design of lessons, but in the daily pursuit of expanding knowledge of practice and of self. Understanding the structure and the components of the workshop model (Bennett, 2007), as well as the struggles and successes of enacting the workshop model in their classrooms and in front of colleagues is important for drawing attentions to how educators grapple with new knowledge in the context of peer groups.