What Makes Teacher Community Different from a Gathering of Teachers?

This CTP Occasional Paper details the formation and development of teacher community through a project that brought together 22 English and social studies teachers, a special education teacher, and an ESL teacher to plan interdisciplinary curriculum. It includes colorful sections of dialogue among the teachers and sheds new light on definitions of professional community, its stages of development, and the challenges that confront community building in a fast-paced high school workplace.

Making Subject Matter Part of the Equation: The Intersection of Policy and Content

This conceptual paper offers a framework for understanding how educational policy is related to subject matter. Drawing on literature concerning instructional policymaking and the cultures that surround teaching in different subject areas, the paper distinguishes and illustrates three types of policy, that ignore, target, or differentiate among subject matter areas, respectively. The paper then demonstrates, for each type, how subject matter acts as a crucial context for policy implementation and effects, affecting the policy's impact in often unintended ways.

Curriculum Materials: Scaffolds for New Teacher Learning?

Derived from a study of beginning language arts teachers (see District Policy and Beginning Teachers: Where the Twain Shall Meet, elsewhere on this web site), this Research Report captures the ways curriculum (or its absence) guides what is learned level about instructional practice, and how, by new language arts teachers in secondary schools. The report underscores how potent curriculum policy can be for shaping teachers' early attempts to establish a secure professional repertoire.