Research on Urban Teacher Learning

Examining Contextual Factors Over Time

Edited by:
Andrea J. Stairs, University of Southern Maine
Kelly A. Donnell, Roger Williams University

Published 2010

This book presents a range of evidence-based analyses focused on the role of contextual factors on urban teacher learning. Part I introduces the reader to the conceptual and empirical literature on urban teacher learning. Part II shares eight research studies that examine how, what, and why urban teachers learn in the form of rich longitudinal studies. Part III analyzes the ways federal, state, and local policies affect urban teacher learning and highlights the synergistic relationship between urban teacher learning and context. What makes this collection powerful is not only that it moves research front and center in discussions of urban teacher learning, but also that it recognizes the importance of learning over time and the way urban schools’ contexts and conditions enable and constrain teacher learning.

Foreword, J. Amos Hatch. Acknowledgments. PART I: THEORIES OF URBAN TEACHER LEARNING. Why Research on Urban Teacher Learning Matters: An Introduction, Andrea J. Stairs and Kelly A. Donnell. Urban Teacher Learning: A Review of Related Literature, Alyssa Hadley Dunn, Kelly A. Donnell, and Andrea J. Stairs. PART II: RESEARCH ON URBAN TEACHER LEARNING. We Know You’re Black at Heart”: A Self-Study of a White, Urban High School Teacher, Alyssa Hadley Dunn. Becoming an Urban Teacher in a Professional Development School: A View from Preparation to Practice, Andrea J. Stairs. Navigating the First Year: The Experiences of Alternatively Certified Urban Teachers, Katie Tricarico and Diane Yendol-Hoppey. The Impact of Teacher Preparation for High-Need Schools, Dorene Ross, Stephanie Dodman, and Vicki Vescio. Connecting Teaching and Learning: A Comparison of First- and Second-Year Urban Teachers, Jennifer Mueller, Debra Wisneski, and Nancy File. Making the Transition from Preservice to Inservice Teaching: Critical Literacy in an Urban Elementary School, Wendy Meller. “Preparing Students for the Test is not Necessarily Preparing Them to be Good Writers”: A Beginning Urban Teacher’s Dilemma, Laura Pardo. A Grounded Theory of the Conditions and Resources in Learning About Urban Teaching, Kelly A. Donnell. PART III: IMPACT OF POLICY ON URBAN TEACHER LEARNING. Professionalism > Politics + Policy + Pedagogy: The Power of Professionalism, Audrey A. Friedman and Frank Daniello. Conclusion: Developing Synergy Between Learning and Context, Kelly A. Donnell and Andrea J. Stairs.

"This unusual book helps meet the need for more—and better—research about how teachers learn to teach in urban schools and what makes them stay. The book combines trenchant analysis of the current research literature with a rich collection of wisely-selected new longitudinal studies. Researchers, teacher educators, policymakers, and teachers themselves will find the book’s insights about teacher preparation, urban school contexts, and teacher learning compelling." Dr. Marilyn Cochran-Smith Boston College

"As an active practitioner in an urban setting, recruiting and retaining outstanding teachers for urban schools is critical to student achievement. Stairs and Donnell’s collection exploring the state of affairs of urban teacher learning is a springboard for further research on the importance of investing in urban teaching and learning. Urban teachers must not only teach content but navigate around complex social conditions when working with diverse student populations. Stairs and Donnell’s multiple lens approach will assist teacher preparation programs specifically interested in research-based best practices of urban teaching, thus improving teacher quality." Dr. Jacqueline E. Ash Nathanael Greene Elementary School