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Topic: Tensions in Implementing Standards
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Posts: 1
Registered: 12/6/04
Tensions in Implementing Standards
Posted: Jul 11, 1995 5:14 PM
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** A request for shared thoughts, stories, suggestions, etc. for
master's thesis research:

I am a pre-service teacher currently working on my Master's thesis
(and looking for a job!). The focus of my thesis is exploring the
difficulties and tensions that teachers (especially new ones) face in
trying to shape their instructional practices around the vision of
the Professional Teaching Standards. In my student teaching (at the
HS level), I found that it was extremely difficult to teach in a way
radically different from the way that I was taught. I often felt
that my instruction fell out somewhere half-way between traditional
and reform practices; and while this may seem natural, I often felt
that the kids ended up with some kind of mush, not reaping the full
benefits of either approach. My goal then, is to identify more
clearly what exactly the tension are that we face in developing
classroom environments where we engage kids in meaningful tasks &
discourse, and hopefully suggest some ways that we can ease those
tensions (especially for those of us just beginning).

The literature (especially articles in the Mathematics Teacher's
*Implementing the Teaching Standards* series and the work of Deborah
Ball @ MI State) has been helpful here, identifying several sources
of tension which include: perspectives on the nature of math,
teaching for conepts vs. procedures, lack of time/competing
responsiblities, dificulty in developing meaningful tasks, etc.

But I would really like to hear more from you (particularly
practicing teachers). I would value tremendously any stories,
vignettes, insights, or suggestions that you could offer regarding
the tensions and dilemmas that you face or have faced in trying to
implement the Teaching Standards. You can send responses directly to
me if you don't think they would benefit the list. I will assume
that unless you specifically say otherwise, I will be able to use
your responses in my project.

I thank you in advance for any responses you offer!

Tim Herron <>
Masters of Arts In Teaching Student
University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA

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