Bilingual and Literacy Studies Faculty Publications and Presentations

Challenging Inquiry and Building Community: Analyzing ESL and Bilingual Teachers’ Narratives

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The study explores English as a second language (ESL) and bilingual teachers’ narratives within a learning community as they collectively engage in reflecting on practices to more effectively support English learners. This longitudinal qualitative study integrates narrative inquiry approach and critical incident methodology. Participants were seven ESL and bilingual teachers involved in a collaborative professional development project. First, the study explores a critical incident around defining inquiry-based instruction in the ESL/bilingual classroom illustrating the productive role of conflict and contrasting perspectives on inquiry to collectively construct knowledge amidst a learning community. Second, the study shows the possibilities of team teaching as a productive space for reflection on practice and a key element of ESL/bilingual learning communities. Ultimately, the study contributes to the understanding of teacher professional learning communities as a place and a process in which teachers are active agents of their development, collectively and individually inquiring about students’ needs, and generating new practices.


© 2017 Association of Teacher Educators

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Action in Teacher Education