Inquiry as a Tool for Professional Development School Improvement: Four Illustrations

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Given the increasing pressures of high-stakes accountability associated with state mandates and No Child Left Behind (U.S. Department of Education, 2002), linking teacher preparation within professional development schools to the goal of school improvement has become essential. This article illustrates the University of Florida's efforts to understand the ways that prospective teacher education can be linked to individual school improvement efforts. It explains how teacher educators and their school-based partners collaboratively craft their professional development school work with prospective and practicing teachers to target school improvement and teacher learning. Four models for engaging in inquiry-oriented school improvement are illustrated and the factors that underlie their design are outlined. The four models illustrate the ways that inquiry-oriented professional development school work contributes to individual school improvement efforts while cultivating in its participants an inquiry stance, a pedagogical content knowledge base, and a favorable disposition toward participating in school change.

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Action in Teacher Education, v. 30, issue 3, p. 23-38