Using the Reflective Teaching Model in a Year-long Professional Development: A Case Study of a Second Year Urban Elementary Teacher

Molly Weinburgh, Kathy Smith, Jennifer Clark (pseudonym)


This study examined the change in a third grade teacher (Jennifer) who engaged in a
year-long professional development model during her second year of teaching in an urban
district. In particular, she embraced the Reflective Teaching Model (RTM) which was
unique to this professional development. Jennifer and nine other teachers from her school
participated in 120 hours of professional development over a ten month period. In
addition to a 2-week summer institute, Jennifer engaged in 14 RTM cycles from
September to May, attended five Saturday workshops, and corresponded through many
email dialogues. Four themes emerged from field notes, teacher reflections, email
communication, observations and interviews. Three were not a surprise as they paralleled
the goals of the professional development (growth in content knowledge, increase of
pedagogical skills, and value of prolonged professional development, especially the
RTM). However, the fourth (alienation by her team) was a surprise and raised questions
about the professional development and the culture of schools.


Reflective Teaching Model; Urban; Elementary; Teacher; Education

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