Date of Award

2002

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Second Advisor

James A. Tucker

Third Advisor

John T. Dellegrotto

Abstract

Problem . People ask what I do as an instructional support consultant. Over time, I have created my own approach to instructional support. This study uncovers the beliefs and attributes that drive my practices as an instructional support consultant, as well as those that comprise my model of instructional support.

Method . Using a narrative autobiographical approach, I analyzed early experiences that provided a foundation for beliefs I have about teaching and learning. With the help of close colleagues, I analyzed my current beliefs,attributes, and practices. I wrote stories using my journals and conversations I had with close colleagues. I also presented my findings using stories, poems, readers' theaters, and metaphors so that readers can experience what I do and draw their own conclusions, as well as read about the results I found after doing this study.

Results . After analyzing my early experiences and stories about my current role as an instructional support consultant, I found six major beliefs, eight attributes, and five major practices that exist in who I am now. To help all students learn, educators believe that all people can learn. Linked to this driving belief is that all people are different, success breeds success, learning is situated and dependent upon need, learning is social, and learning is a process of risk-taking and problem solving. Bringing these beliefs alive requires educators to use curriculum-based assessment, differentiated instruction, cooperative learning, and incremental instruction while honoring and meeting people's basic human needs. The driving practice causing these practices and beliefs to be fluid and interacting is the need for constant reflection on our beliefs and practices. When we reflect, we see what we can do differently and what we can alter to continually bring our beliefs alive in the classroom.

Conclusions . To increase student achievement, I help teachers and students apply learning theory and implement the beliefs and practices stated above. Through continual reflective journaling and dialoguing with close colleagues and people with whom I work in the classroom, I constantly learn and grow in discovering how to bring my beliefs alive in my model of instructional support.

Subject Area

Educational consultants--United States

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