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Talk that Teaches

IImagine having opportunities for teams of educators to come together regularly to engage in rich conversations about teaching — conversations so rich that they address problems of practice and support educators to learn on the job (Little, 2002). The instructional leadership team — principals, coaches, and other school leaders — works together to transform instruction by developing school-wide professional communities that help teachers learn alongside their colleagues. What types of talk promote teachers’ professional growth? In the following vignettes, 4th-grade teachers and instructional leaders examine student work and observe classroom instruction. These learning designs encourage teachers to talk in ways that develop a shared understanding of teaching, which is instrumental to their professional growth (Lampert et al., 2013). A close look at these vignettes shows how instructional leaders establish school-wide professional communities in which teachers and leaders continually converse about their practice

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