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Challenged by parents' misconceptions about the role of cooperative learning activities in developing their gifted children, a teacher began to mentor the parents. The act of mentoring those parents resulted in the teacher's longer-term professional development: specifically, creating a process of seeking structured feedback from parents and following up through iterative cycles of reflection, appraisal, and revision.
Many teachers can identify a critical learning juncture that has had a notable influence on their learning and professional growth. Often, teachers locate such epiphanies within everyday teaching practices, advanced studies, or opportunities for professional development (Clarke and Hollingsworth 1994, 2002). The author, an elementary schoolteacher faced with parental opposition to using cooperative learning (CL) and group work in her classroom, set out to clarify parents' assumptions by designing opportunities to uncover and untangle their beliefs. Surprisingly, as a result of responding to the above challenge and achieving success in her initially established goals, the teacher experienced a transformative growth in her processes of communicating with parents.
Copyright © 2010 Phi Delta Kappa International. This article originally appeared in Educational Horizons, http://pilambda.org/about-plt/publications/educational-horizons/. Reprinted with permission by Phi Delta Kappa International.
Kumar, R. (2010). The Surprise Element: How Allaying Parents' Misconceptions Improves a Teacher's Communicative Process. Educational Horizons, 89 (1), 5-16. Retrieved from http://repository.upenn.edu/vpul_papers/1
Date Posted: 30 August 2016
This document has been peer reviewed.