Flattening the Hierarchy: Taking a Holistic Approach to Teacher Learning

Saturday, January 8, 2011: 9:20 AM
Nantucket Room (Marriott Boston Copley Place)
Bonnie Garbrecht , Battle Creek Public Schools, Battle Creek, MI
A well recognized component of Lesson Study is the teacher collaboration that occurs in the lesson planning, observing, debriefing and revising segments of the process.  While a number of TAH projects around the country have now piloted this approach in their professional development sessions, little attention has been given to another critically important component necessary for success.  In this presentation the Turning Points’ project director, will share the ways in which this project addressed this component – flattening the hierarchy in order to achieve a truly collegial environment at every level of the partnership.  Garbrecht will describe the structures that intentionally were put into place flatten the hierarchy that normally separates groups of people into independent silos – university professors from the history department, university professors from the teacher education department, high school teachers, middle school teachers, elementary school teachers, teachers from small vs. large and public vs. private districts, K-12 building principals and district administrators.  The resulting inclusive, safe, equitable environment provided the context for teacher learning and teaching to thrive in new and unexpected ways.