maybe of interest

From: Peg Griffin (
Date: Thu Sep 16 2004 - 15:32:28 PDT

Many of your probably already got this but just in case it is of interest:
"TCRecord for the Week of September 13th, 2004 --
This Week's Featured Article:
It was 4:30 on a Thursday afternoon. Eighteen women were gathered around Lucy dining room table, passing cheese and crackers, fruit and cookies, coffee and water. Bags full of papers and books hung from the chairs and crowded the floor. Before the meeting officially began, the room was filled with the stories of schools and children, family life and work. The women in this room had a lot in common. Most were, or had been, elementary school teachers. Some were administrators, counselors, teacher educators, and researchers. Most of the women were White. The majority worked in the public schools of a large city in the United States. The meeting started with brief introductions and announcements before the group turned its attention to one teacher, one child and one question. For a full 2 hours, the group engaged in a process called The Descriptive Review of the Child. Theresa, a third grade teacher, spent the first 45 minutes giving an uninterrupted description of her observations of a 9-year-old boy, Matthew. As she spoke a rich portrait unfolded of Matthew as a scientist, visual artist, and poet. As she painted this picture, she noted concerns and posed the question to the group: "How can I help Matthew to be more focused and organized in order to benefit more from classroom instruction and to pursue his interests independently?" After listening carefully to Theresa's description of Matthew, the participants asked Theresa questions to clarify and extend their understandings of this child. Finally the group made a series of recommendations for how Theresa could change her practice to address her questions in a manner that accounted for Matthew's passions, interests, and styles of learning. These recommendations embodied a central tension for practice in their suggestion that Theresa must walk a fine line as she figured out how to help Matthew meet essential requirements of the official curriculum while at the same time supporting his strongly held standards and values.
Thea Renda Abu El-Haj discusses this and other such collaborative events in:
Practicing for Equity From the Standpoint of the Particular: Exploring the Work of One Urban Teacher Network

Peg G.

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