Faculty book club in an urban elementary school
Eady, Arnetta Alicia
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to explore how the learning needs of seven kindergarten teachers and an assistant principal were impacted when they participated together in a discussion of the book The Dream-keepers during the context of the school day. Specifically, I wanted to know whether or not a book study group would be an effective means of professional learning for teachers and administrators when the book discussions occurred during the classroom teachers’ designated planning period. My interest in exploring what endures from job embedded books studies led me to seek theories and methods that are sensitive to individual stories and flexible enough to allow connections between stories. The principles of qualitative research were well suited to the study of such a phenomenon and formed the methodological framework for my research. Case study was used to focus on the experiences and perceptions of seven kindergarten teachers and an administrator. I employed narrative as a means to access the lived experiences of the participants. I retold the participants’ accounts by producing a short story, Head, Heart and Hands: We Construct a Legacy, which includes two narratives. The first narrative, We Gather Together, is a combination of individual stories shared by seven kindergarten teachers and an assistant principal during the eight week book study. The second narrative, Share My World, is a collection of self -study essays that burst on the scene while I was engaged in analyzing my original data sources. The lived experiences of the kindergarten teachers alongside my own provided insight and helped formulate implications for job embedded book discussion groups. This research study is connected to a second research study of Dreamkeepers at the same research site focusing on fifth grade teachers as book study participants. The researcher for the second study (Poems of Practice: An Arts Based Study of Professional Development through Book Studies with Elementary Educators) is the principal who employed poetry as the method of analysis. The principal and the assistant principal as participant researchers for both studies utilize a convergence of analysis to report combined research findings.