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February 2009 | Volume 66 | Number 5
How Teachers Learn
Sheila Danaher, John Price and Paula Kluth
At one school's celebration of differentiation, teachers learned that sometimes the expert is in the very next classroom.
It is a busy December morning at the John J. Audubon School, a K–8 public school in Chicago, Illinois. Students have not yet arrived, but their teachers are already busy. They are moving quickly between their classrooms and the staff lounge, most with their hands full of teaching materials. One is hauling posters used to teach fractions, another is carrying a huge box of picture books, and still another is dragging a life-size Albert Einstein puppet. A special education teacher is running through the hallway wearing a sign around her neck that reads "Come to the fair!" All of this commotion can only mean one thing—the kickoff of the school's annual celebration of differentiation.
During a summer school meeting in 2006, our leadership team outlined a plan to renew our commitment to meeting the needs of diverse learners. We began by planning workshops on inclusive schooling, adapting curriculum, and creating multilevel lessons. We also brought in instructional coaches and a consultant to work with individual teachers and develop new methods for literacy instruction. However, it occurred to us that we weren't giving our teachers formal opportunities to share ideas and teach one another about their successes with differentiated instruction. We decided to design a teacher-to-teacher professional development experience.
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Copyright © 2009 by Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
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