A Multiple Case Study of Two Teachers’ Instructional Adaptations

Authors

  • Seth A. Parsons George Mason University
  • Margaret Vaughn University of Idaho

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.11575/ajer.v59i2.55714

Keywords:

Adaptive Teaching, Teacher Metacognition, Teacher Decision Making, Classroom Complexity, Case Study

Abstract

Scholars contend that effective teachers adapt their instruction to meet the particular needs of each student. However, little research has studied the ways in which teachers adapt their instruction or their reflections on these adaptations. This article describes a yearlong multiple case study focused on two teachers from different contexts: a Kindergarten teacher in a rural school in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and a sixth-grade teacher in a suburban school in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. This research replicates previous studies of adaptive teaching. Two researchers used classroom observations, post-observation interviews, and artefacts to document these teachers’ instructional adaptations and their reflections on these adaptations. Findings demonstrate the complexity of classroom instruction and the metacognitive processes teachers need to succeed in this complex environment. This study has implications for policy, teacher education, and professional development.

 

Les chercheurs affirment que les enseignants efficaces adaptent leur enseignement de sorte à répondre aux besoins particuliers de chaque élève. Toutefois, peu de recherche a porté sur les façons dont les enseignants le font ou sur leurs réflexions relatives à ces adaptations. Cet article décrit une étude de cas multiples qui a duré un an et a suivi des enseignants de contextes différents : un enseignant à la maternelle d’une école rurale dans le nord-ouest du Pacifique aux États-Unis et un enseignant en 6e dans une école de banlieue dans les états du centre du littoral de l’Atlantique des États-Unis. Cette recherche reproduit les études antérieures sur l’enseignement adapté. Pour recueillir les adaptations à l’enseignement et les réflexions des enseignants sur celles-ci, deux chercheurs ont eu recours à des observations en salle de classe, des entrevues après les observations et des artéfacts. Les résultats démontrent la complexité de l’enseignement en salle de classe et fait ressortir les processus métacognitifs dont ont besoin les enseignants afin de réussir dans ce milieu complexe. Cette étude a des retombées sur les politiques, la formation des enseignants et le développement professionnel.

 

Author Biographies

Seth A. Parsons, George Mason University

Seth A. Parsons is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. He teaches graduate courses in the Elementary Education and Literacy program areas and works closely with a Title I Professional Development School. His research focuses on adaptive teaching, metacognition, and student engagement. His work has appeared in journals such as Teaching and Teacher Education, Journal of Literacy Research, The Reading Teacher, Language Arts, Literacy Research and Instruction, Phi Delta Kappan, and Journal of Reading Education.

Margaret Vaughn, University of Idaho

Margaret Vaughn is an Assistant Professor in College of Education at the University of Idaho. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses centered on literacy and research methodologies. Her research interests include adaptive teaching, issues of agency, and literacy instruction. She works with pre-service and in-service teachers to explore and generate ideas and practices meaningful to literacy instruction. Recently, she worked with the Nez Perce Tribe and the local elementary school located on the Nez Perce Tribe Reservation to publish six dual language books during a year-long professional development project.

 

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Published

2014-04-15

Issue

Section

ARTICLES