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Teachers' collegial consultation : a case study of dyadic interaction Varah, Carolyn Julie 1990

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TEACHERS' COLLEGIAL CONSULTATION: A CASE STUDY OF DYADIC INTERACTION by CAROLYN JULIE VARAH B.Ed., The University of British Columbia, 1980 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December 1990 © Carolyn Julie Varah In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2788) ii A B S T R A C T This study was an exploratory case study which examined the process of collegial consultation in relation to teacher development in two dyads of elementary teachers. The , purpose of the study was to understand the manner in which participants collaborate and mutually negotiate understandings in a conference following data-based classroom observation. The research questions addressed were: 1.0 How do the partners negotiate shared understandings in the consultation process? 2.0 How does context influence the consultation process? The primary data sources were fieldnotes from classroom observations, videotaped post-observation conferences, and audiotaped stimulated recall interviews. These data were collected from four rounds of observations for each dyad. Symbolic interactionism (Blumer, 1969,1972) was used as a framework for analyzing how the participants made collective and individual sense of their professional practice during the post-observation conference and conference review process, respectively. The data analysis was based primarily on the conference review audiotapes from each dyad member and the post-observation conference videotapes. After a comparative analysis of the two dyads, the following findings appeared to influence the negotiation of shared understandings in the consultation process and, therefore, teacher growth. First, a prior work relationship appeared to facilitate adaptation to the practice of collegial consultation. In contrast, prior interaction patterns appeared to inhibit adaptation to the practice of collegial consultation. Second, past experiences and training influenced how the participants interpreted and defined the collegial consultation process. Congruent definitions of the collegial relationship and the consultation process appeared to facilitate mutual negotiation of understanding, whereas incongruent definitions inhibited such negotiation. Third, the manner in which the participants defined the consultation process influenced their interpretation of the i i i observer and observee roles. A shared language of congruent definitions and interpretations of role appeared to facilitate negotiation of shared understandings of practice. Lack of an explicit shared language inhibited negotiation. Fourth, a supportive consultation climate appeared to also facilitate negotiation. Finally, teacher growth in understanding of teaching and consultation practice appeared to be developmental and influenced by the previous four findings. Five conclusions were derived from a comparative analysis of the findings from each of the two dyads. Five contextual factors appeared to influence the collegial consultation process. They were as follows: (1) district and school endorsement and support were both needed to facilitate the implementation of collegial consultation; (2) reciprocal interaction patterns were more likely to result in changes in teaching practice; (3) definitional congruence of the collegial relationship and consultation process facilitated clear communication and negotiation of shared understandings; (4) provision of a knowledge base and a support network enhanced understanding of teaching and consultation practice; and (5) the need for structured-in time was critical if participants were to be expected to practise collegial consultation. The main implications for theory were that collegial consultation was a viable vehicle for teachers to develop professionally with appropriate modelling, endorsement, and support from district and school administrators. Reciprocal interaction patterns appeared to foster growth and change in practice. The most important implications for practice were the identification of the need for structured time to engage in the collegial consultation process and the need for the provision of a knowledge base and on-site support network. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS x 1. CHAPTER ONE: BACKGROUND, PURPOSE AND RATIONALE__ 1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY 1 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY 3 JUSTIFICATION AND SIGNIFICANCE 3 LIMITATIONS AND DELIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY , 6 Limitations.. 6 Delimitations 7 Sample ; 7 Focus ; 7 OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY 7 2. CHAPTER TWO: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 9 COLLEGIAL CONSULTATION DEFINED 9 Collaborative Practice 9 Definitions and Variations 10 Collegial consultation 11 Colleague consultation 11 Peer coaching 12 Horizontal evaluation ', 12 Collegial practice 13 Collaborative supervision 13 Human resource supervision 13 COLLEGIAL CONSULTATION AS TEACHER EVALUATION 14 COLLEGIAL CONSULTATION AS EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING 15 Assumptions 17 General Principles 18 Experiential and Non-Experiental Learnings 19 TEACHERS AS EXPERIENTIAL LEARNERS 20 Consultation as Group Practice 21 Tasks in the Consultation Process_ 22 Planning the observation__ 22 Observation and data collection___ 23 Negotiation in the feedback conference 24 Facilitators of Negotiation 29 Inhibitors of negotiation 31 The quality of responses_____ 31 COLLEGIAL CONSULTATION AS AN EXAMPLE OF EDUCATIONAL CHANGE 34 Conditions Affecting Implementation 34 New norms and expectations 35 Factors affecting implementation 36 Workplace conditions 38 Contrived and Authentic collegiality ,^ 40 Contrived collegiality 40 Authentic or interdependent collegiality 40 An example of interdependent collegiality__ 41 SUMMARY . 41 CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH DESIGN .43 RESEARCH DESIGN: CASE STUDY 43 FRAMEWORK FOR THE STUDY: SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM 44 NATURALISTIC DESIGN 48 Sample Selection Procedures 49 Data Collection Procedures 49 Data Sources 51 vi Supplementary Information Questionnaire 51 Data Analysis 52 Experimenter Effect 54 Credibility 55 Transferability ; 56 Dependability 56 r^nfinriability 57 4. CHAPTER FOUR: CASE STUDY: JESSIE AND BETH 59 THE SFTTTNG 59 Teacher Participants_ , 60 School Context 60 OBSERVATION ONE: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES 61 Description 62 Analysis 65 ./ Negotiation of shared understandings • 65 Context ; 66 OBSERVATION TWO: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES 67 Description.. 67 Analysis 71 Negotiation of shared understandings \ 71 Context 73 OBSERVATION THREE: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES 74 Description 74 Analysis ; 80 Negotiation of shared understandings 80 Context^ 81 vii OBSERVATION FOUR: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES 82 Description 82 Analysis ', , 89 Negotiation of shared understandings , 89 Context, 91 FINDINGS.. 92 Prior Interaction Patterns 92 Past Experiences and Training 94 Role Interpretation 95 Teacher Growth 96 5. CHAPTER FIVE: CASE STUDY: HANNAH AND NANCY 99 THE SETTING,. 99 Teacher Participants 100 School Context 100 OBSERVATION ONE: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES 101 Description 102 Planning 102 Data collection ; 103 Feedback conference 104 Analysis 107 Negotiation of sharing understandings 107 Context ; 108 OBSERVATION TWO: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES 109 Description 110 Planning 110 Data collection 110 Feedback conference 111 Analysis 114 Vl l l Negotiation of sharing understandings 114 Context______ ; .116 OBSERVATION THREE: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES 118 Description ... , 118 Planning ,,• 118 Data collection^ ; 118 Feedback conference ; 119 A n a l y s i s _ _ 124 Negotiation of sharing understandings 124 Context ____ 127 OBSERVATION FOUR: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES 129 Description_. ____-129 Planning ; 129 Data collection ____ 129 Feedback conference_____ 131 Analysis 134 Negotiation of sharing understandings 134 Context 137 FINDINGS _ 1 4 0 Prior Work RelationsWps_______ 140 Definitional Congruence 141 Creating the Consultation Climate ; 142 Teacher Growth. ; 143 6. CHAPTER SIX: DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS 147 DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS. 147 The Research Questions ', 147 The Symbolic Interactionism Perspective 148 A COMPARISON OF THE DYAD FINDINGS 153 ix The District Context 153 The School Context 155 The Dyadic Context 156 The Nature of Prior Relationships 158 Experiential Learnings 160 The Nature of the Consultation Climate. ; 164 Communication and Negotiation 166 CONCLUSIONS 1 6 ? District and School Endorsement and Support 168 Reciprocal Interaction Patterns 169 Definitional Congruence 171 Provision of Knowledge Base and Network Support 172 Need for Time 173 IMPLICATIONS FOR THEORY AND PRACTICE 174 Implications for Theory 174 Collegial practice and teacher evaluation 174 Educational change 177 Experiential learning _ 178 Implications for Practice . 179 REFERENCES 183 APPENDIX 188 A. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION QUESTIONNAIRE 189 X A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S -First of all, I would like to acknowledge the contribution of the four teachers who are part of this case study. Their wish to develop their own practice and assist others interested in collegial consultation made this study viable. I would also like to acknowledge the encouragement, guidance and support of Dr. E . P . Crehan, Dr. P . P . Grimmett, and Dr. R. Jobe in the writing of this thesis. Special thanks are due to Dr. Crehan for her generous gifts of time and unerring support. Working with Drs. Grimmett and Crehan as a research assistant on the teacher development project was a unique and valued experience. In addition, I would like to express my appreciation to my colleagues on the research team, especially D'Arcy Bader and Robin Hansby, for their constant friendship and professional insights. Finally, I would like to thank my family, my parents, Mabel and Jack Doughty and my sons, Mark and Sean, for their faith in me. Most of all I thank my husband, Jim, for enduring two decades with a perennial student. The assistance of the above people helped to make the completion of this thesis possible. 1 Chapter One BACKGROUND, PURPOSE AND RATIONALE BACKGROUND OF T H E STUDY Recent waves of educational reform have brought to the surface issues such as school effectiveness, school improvement and school renewal, and finally, teacher empowerment (Futrell, 1988). Researchers studying these issues have found that collaborative or collegial practice is one of the factors contributing to and effecting positive change in schools (McLaughlin and Marsh, 1978; Little, 1982,1984; Lieberman and Rosenholtz, 1987). As an elementary school teacher with a special interest in teacher development, I found myself increasingly perplexed by teacher resistance to change. I assumed that other teachers were constantly experimenting with new ways to improve classroom practice. It was a shock to discover that not all my colleagues shared this enthusiasm for change and that they often had very good reasons for resisting new practices. One of the activities encouraged by our school district was peer coaching, and training and funding were available at that time for teams of five from selected schools. There was no problem with teachers volunteering for the Elements of Instruction workshops (Hunter, 1984) and participating in the accompanying peer coaching component. However, there was a problem continuing peer observations once on-site. The workshop designs have since changed and whole staffs are now trained on site, but the dUemma of continuing and sustaining peer supervision continues. The rationale for formative evaluation strategies, such as collegial consultation' or peer supervision, is based upon recent research on school improvement (Goodlad, 1983), educational change (Fullan, 1982, 1985; Huberman and Miles, 1984), staff development (McLaughlin and Marsh,1978; Little, 1982, 1984,1987; Sergiovanni and Starratt, 1988), 2 teacher empowerment (Lieberman, 1988), and teacher evaluation (House, 1986; Gitlin and Smyth, 1989). This research supports teacher interaction about practice to promote continuous professional growth. In the district under study, the rationale for developing a new teacher evaluation policy, with a formative rather than summative emphasis, was to facilitate on-going teacher development. In schools that had the capacity for renewal and change and were successful in implementing new programs, a collegial staff was found to be one of the critical factors (Goodlad.1983; McLaughlin and Marsh,1978; Huberman and Miles, 1984; Little, 1984). In collaborative or collegial relationships, the decisions that are reached about school practice are mutually negotiated (Chapman, 1988). This thesis, a case study of two dyads, is an attempt to understand how teachers working collaboratively in the collegial consultation process mutually negotiate understanding. Observing teachers working collaboratively in dyads was made possible by the Grimmett and Crehan teacher development research project being carried out through the Centre for the Study of Teacher Education at the University of British Columbia. The teacher development project is being conducted in two suburban school districts, one of which has a history of innovation. The two dyads in this case study come from different schools in this district. In 1988, the district, with input from all stakeholder groups (i.e., teachers, administrators, representatives from the teachers' association), initiated a new teacher evaluation policy. The emphasis is on formative, rather than summative evaluation. Formative evaluation places the responsibility for on-going teacher development with teachers. As part of the formative evaluation process, teachers choose and develop professional growth plans based on their perception of their own professional needs and concerns. These plans are discussed with school administrators and the resulting developmental progress is mutually assessed once or twice a year. Participating in the teacher development study on collegial consultation was one of the 3 options available for teachers wishing to work collaboratively on classroom concerns for the purpose of developing their practice. The remaining sections of this chapter will describe first, the purpose of the study; second, the justification and significance of the study; third, the limitations and delimitations of the study; and fourth, an overview of the remainder of the thesis. PURPOSE OF T H E STUDY The general purpose of this study was to exarnine the process of collegial consultation, a formative teacher evaluation strategy, in relation to teacher development. More specifically, the study sought to understand the manner in which the participants collaborate and the consequence of that professional dialogue in terms of negotiating mutual understanding during the post-observation conference. Contextual influences, such as the schools in which the participants work, were also explored. The research questions follow: 1.0 How do the partners negotiate shared understandings in the consultation process? 2.0 How does context influence the consultation process? JUSTIFICATION AND SIGNIFICANCE Although collegial practice has been identified as a factor in improving schools, little research using direct observation in the classroom and during the post-observation conference has been carried out to study how two teachers working collegially, experience and negotiate shared understandings during the process of consultation. Consultation specifically about observed classroom practice represents a change in interaction patterns for many teachers. Undertanding how teachers initiate and implement such practices 4 would provide objective data to complement the theoretical knowledge already in existence. For example, Lieberman (1986:6) states, "Schools cannot improve without people working together". Little (1982, 1984, 1987) and Lieberman (1988) describe and espouse building professional cultures by means of teacher collaboration. The current Grimmett and Crehan teacher development study (of which this case study is a part) represents one attempt to ground such theoretical claims in the empirical reality of practice. Knowing how teachers make sense of the process of collaboration would make it possible to identify the areas in which teachers need more support and assistance. Previous research (Fullan, 1982) has revealed that change is a learning process, requiring re-socialization over time, and that an individual's response to change varies and is influenced by past professional and personal experiences, knowledge, skills, abilities, beliefs, values and assumptions (Fullan, 1982, 1985; Feiman-Nemser and Floden, 1986). Any complex change requires substantial, on-going support services for teachers and the findings of this study might provide understandings about teacher collaboration that would be helpful in planning teacher education and staff development programs. For example, one of the dyads in the study attends workshops on classroom management and the consultation process, and one of the dyads does not.* The information from these workshops may, or may not enhance the negotiation of shared understandings in the consultation process. In addition, release time has been provided for the observation, post-observation conference and the stimulated recall interviews. However, the scheduling of a pre-observation conference has been left to the discretion of the participants. The provision or * Because of the design of the teacher development project Dyad #1 was in the control group. Dyad #2 was in the treatment group composed of teachers only who received both sets of workshops (i.e., classroom instruction and management, consultation skills and strategies). 5 non-provision of such time may, or may not, facilitate the implementation of the new practice. Gitlin and Smyth (1989) describe a teacher evaluation study in which teachers working collegially in dyads observed each other teach and conferred about classroom practices. "Horizontal evaluation", which is similar to collegial consultation, is an egalitarian, teacher-teacher, formative evaluation strategy proposed as an alternative to summative evaluation (usually carried out by administrators or outside supervisory experts in the bureaucratic hierarchy assessing teachers for contract renewal purposes). The rationale was to give teachers the opportunity to become actively involved in exploring together the habitual or taken-for-granted assumptions of classroom and school practices. In doing so, teachers were expected to develop a more critical perspective of their own teaching practices, particularly questioning the ends or intents of school programs and why they participated in and perpetuated certain instructional and curricular practices. Gitlin and Smyth (1989) suggest re-structuring teacher evaluation processes, placing the responsibility for evaluation on teachers, rather than on supervisory experts or administrators. This is, in fact, what the district in this study is advocating and beginning to initiate by encouraging teachers to work together in school professional development teams and in collegial relationships such as those fostered by the teacher development project. On-going self-evaluation and responsibility for professional growth is expected of teachers with the support of school and district resources. Data may emerge from this study to support or refute whether teachers do exarnine taken-for-granted assumptions or do examine the ends as well as the means of classroom practice when they observe each other teach and consult together. Formative evaluation strategies offer teachers the opportunity to collaborate on a regular basis for the purpose of continuously re-assessing their individual and collective instructional and curricular practices. Such strategies counter the isolation faced by teachers in their classroom "cells", and provide the feedback about classroom practice to 6 corifirm or disconfirm their perceptions, or as Lortie (1975) labelled them, "endemic uncertainties", about their teaching efficacy. The meaning of the descriptions and findings of the study will be interpreted by how they relate to the study's theoretical framework. The failure of summative evaluation practices to support continuous professional development has prompted interest in investigating and implementing formative evaluation strategies such as collegial consultation (Darling-Hammond, Wise and Pease, 1986). The teacher is recognized as being the gatekeeper of educational change. Without the cooperation of teachers innovations languish and the status quo is maintained. The current dissatisfaction with teacher education programs, professional development programs and teacher evaluation policies, highlights the need for more explorations into strategies that will support teacher development for the purpose of making schools more responsive to the changing needs of the students in their particular contexts. Collegial consultation is one such avenue of exploration. LIMITATIONS AND DELIMITATIONS OF T H E STUDY Limitations The case study sample has been deliberately confined to two dyads to enable ah in-depth analysis of how the participants experience the consultation process. Thus, no attempt can be made to generalize the findings from the case study of these four, female, elementary teachers to the rest of the sample dyads or the total teaching population of the district. However, a comparison within the dyads will be included to illustrate how the four teachers individually experience the consultation process. Insights into how the participants mutually make sense of the classroom observation in the collegial consultation process may emerge from the data but general conclusions about the general 7 teaching population can not be inferred from the small sample. Hypotheses about the individuals being studied and their relationships within the dyads may be generated from the data analyses. Delimitations Sample. The sample is delimited to four elementary school teachers. An in-depth, analytic study requires multiple data sources and the copious data generated by ' four classroom observations, four conference videotapes, eight stimulated recall interview audiotapes and the accompanying transcripts for each dyad precluded a larger sample. Focus. Many other aspects of the collegial consultation process could have been examined but exploring how the dyads mutually negotiated understanding during the consultation process seemed critical to analyzing whether collegial consultation is a worthwhile venture for the participants in terms of growth and development. The ultimate goal of collegial consultation is professional growth via an on-going exarnination of teaching practice with a colleague, based on objective data. Such data are purported to confront teachers with habitual behaviours invisible to the teacher, but made visible by the data. These behaviours may or may not have justification and may sometimes interfere with student learning. The study of negotiation in the consultation process is expected to shed light on how teachers begin-to appreciate the effects of their teaching on student development. OVERVIEW OF T H E STUDY The remainder of the study is organized into five chapters. Chapter two presents a review of the literature and describes collegial consultation as: a formative evaluation strategy, an experiential learning process, an example of collaborative practice, an 8 example of a context for educational change. The research design will be described in Chapter three, with an explanation of the symbolic interactionist framework that undergirds the study, and a rationale for using a naturalistic perspective for the case study. Data sources and data analysis techniques are also described. Chapters four and five will characterize Dyad #1 and Dyad #2 , respectively, and describe and analyze the interactions of the dyads as they negotiate teacher concerns from the first to the fourth observations. The analysis will focus on the two research questions, namely, the negotiation of shared understandings and contextual factors that appear to influence collegial communication and teacher development. The sixth chapter will present a discussion of the findings from the analyses of the two dyads in light of the two research questions; draw some conclusions about the findings in relation to the symbolic interactionism framework and literature review; and outline the implications of these conclusions for theory and practice. 9 Chapter Two A REVIEW OF T H E LITERATURE The purpose of this chapter is to explore the research relating to collegial consultation within the contexts of teacher evaluation, experiential learning, and educational change. Following descriptions and definitions of various collaborative and collegial practices, this chapter will explore collegial consultation from three different perspectives. The first perspective will be collegial consultation as a formative teacher evaluation strategy. A comparison of formative and summative approaches will be included. The second perspective will be collegial consultation as an example of experiential learning. The third perspective will be collegial consultation as an example of educational change. The conditions supporting and constraining such change will be outlined. A summary will assess collegial consultation in light of the literature review. C O L L E G I A L CONSULTATION DEFINED The following section will outline and define collaborative practices similar to collegial consultation. A broad definition of collaborative practice and the collegial metaphor will precede the introduction of descriptions of collegial consultation, colleague consultation and peer coaching, horizontal evaluation, collegial practice, and human resources supervision. Collaborative Practice Collaborative practice is defined broadly to mean teachers working together, planning together, negotiating mutually, and making decisions jointly concerning 10 instruction and curriculum. According to Ward and Pascarelli (1987: 192-193), working together collaboratively, or collegially, assumes four basic underlying conditions: 1. Members of the group [or dyad] have parity. 2. The reason for the collaboration is to address or solve a problem or concern relevant to the group [dyad] members' needs. 3. Responsibility and expertise to problem solve is shared. 4. Problem [teacher concern] solutions focus on a specific context. Werner (1987:44) describes the "collegual metaphor" [sic] of decision making and problem-solving as one in which the participants are "viewed as having different kinds of expertise...being involved at different times in the development of innovations". This collegial metaphor is in contrast to the prevalent producer-consumer model of decision-making in education which is hierarchical with authority at the top of the power structure. The collegial model offers a more horizontal and egalitarian structure with shared tecision-making and allowing for the mutual negotiation of problems or concerns. Collegial consultation, in this study, involves dyadic interaction in which the structural relationship is horizontal and egalitarian. Definitions and Variations Collegial consultation (Grimmett and Crehan, 1990a), colleague consultation (Glatthorn, 1987), peer coaching (Showers, 1985), horizontal evaluation (Gitlin and Smyth, 1989), collegial practice (Little, 1982, 1984, 1987), collaborative supervision (Glickman, 1985), and human resources supervision (Sergiovanni and Starratt, 1988) are terms used to describe various types of collaborative relationships that exist for the purpose of developing a teacher's classroom practice and for encouraging on-going 11 professional growth based on a "shared perception of individual strengths, talents and interests" (Sergiovanni and Starratt, 1988:428). Collegial consultation. Grimmett and Crehan (1990a:218) define collegial consultation as ... a form of instructional supervision in the tradition of Cogan and Goldhammer, in which both participants [in a joint learning experience] develop their potential as professional educators. Colleagues observe each other teach and through consultation proceed towards a mutual "quest for meaning of what [has] happened in the classroom" (Cogan, 1973:6). Direct observation of classroom practice by a peer allows for the collection and recording of objective data (ie., teacher-student interactions, verbatim statements of the teacher, teacher and/or student behaviours) which can then be discussed and analyzed collaboratively during the feedback conference. Grimmett and Crehan believe that the meanings negotiated during the conference constitute teacher development in the form of new learnings and insights gained from mutual and individual reflection during the process. In ^ fining the collegial relationship, Cogan (1973: 66-67) names two understandings of which the participants should be aware. Within the supervision context active participation is expected in all phases of the process by both members. Cogan's vision of the relationship between helper(observer) and helpee(observee) is one of equal status to foster interdependence, rather than dependence . Colleague consultation. Goldsberry (Glatthorn, 1987) refers to a similar collaborative practice as "colleague consultation" which is characterized by data-based observations, and collaborative and reciprocal assessment. Through consultation each participant tries to identify patterns of teacher and learner behaviour. There is a concern for both intended and unanticipated learner outcomes. The process involves a cycle of 12 observations and conferences and is confidential. According to Goldsberry, the emphasis is not on improving in the sense that a deficiency is perceived, but on developing practice by becoming more aware of habitual classroom practices, and moving towards the goal of continuous self-assessment for the purpose of improving the learning environment for teachers and students. Reciprocal assessment is the key to the mutual negotiation of understanding. Peer coaching. Glatthorn (1987:33), in his discussion of cooperative professional development strategies, distinguishes between colleague consultation and peer coaching. Peer coaching is skills oriented (teacher as technician), based on observing and practising models of teaching, such as those described in Joyce and Weil (1986). Colleague consultation goes beyond the "how" and "what" of teaching to include critical reflection and "professional dialogue" which, according to Glatthorn (1987:31), is peer-oriented and involves teachers relating their own teaching to "current developments in education". Horizontal evaluation. Gitlin and Smyth (1989: 62) offer another interpretation of collegial consultation which they call "horizontal evaluation". This process of peer supervision was initiated to encourage teachers to develop a more critical perspective of educational practice, beginning with their own classroom practices. The strategy is an attempt "to change people's basic understanding of themselves and their teaching world" (Gitlin and Smyth, 1989:62). Beginning with horizontal evaluation, teacher dyads would then proceed to larger group discussions to "question...the appropriateness of educational goals and their relation to practice". Developing a collectively "critical perspective", teachers would then be able to challenge instructional and curricular practices which perpetuate the reproduction of inequalities based on class, gender, and race. Developing "self-critical communities" (Carr and Kemmis, 1986) would represent the ideal for which school communities would strive. 13 Collegial practice. Little (1982, 1984, 1987), who writes about collegial practice, undertook pioneering studies which focussed on identifying characteristics of schools that were successful in initiating educational change. She found that (hlemmas associated with initiating change had to be important concerns of some complexity for the teachers involved that required group, as distinct from individual, problem-solving. Little did not study dyadic relationships but looked at total staffs or large groups involved in decision-making at the school, rather than at the classroom, level. The discoveries she made about collegial staffs and collegial relationships would seem to apply at the dyadic level and will be discussed later in the chapter. Collaborative supervision. Glickman (1985:128-132) describes several behaviours demonstrated by supervisors and teachers in collaborative supervisory relationships. In peer supervision practices, teachers share supervisory responsiblities. Collaborative behaviours include clarification of the observation focus and active listening to encourage mutual negotiation of understanding by discussing the findings and exchanging suggestions about possible alternatives, in a process of shared problem-solving. Both parties interpret the data and encourage the other as they resolve the dilemmas that have emerged from the data. Collegial consultation offers teachers the opportunity to receive data about concerns which may, or may not, require a future action plan as a result of the conference. Human resource supervision. All these collaborative practices might be placed under the umbrella, referred to by Sergiovanni and Starratt (1988:428) as "human resource supervision". Human resource supervision assumes a dynamic environment ...aimed at the human and professional growth of the people in the school. 14 C O L L E G I A L CONSULTATION AS T E A C H E R EVALUATION In this section, collegial consultation will be explored and compared within formative and summative contexts. The rationale for collegial consultation as a formative evaluation strategy will be explained and this "educative" approach will be contrasted with the "dominant" approach to teacher evaluation (Gitlin and Smyth, 1989; Sergiovanni and Starratt, 1988). The concluding paragraphs will outline the ultimate goal of collegial consultation as a means for critically examining the intents of educational practice to determine if school practices are in the best interests of the students. The use of clinical supervision for purposes of both summative and formative evaluation poses many mlemmas for teachers trying to make sense of the motives which underlie its use. Acheson and Gall (1987:38) describe the dilemma as follows: Although the primary purpose of clinical supervision is to help teachers to develop and improve through cooperative planning, observation, and feedback, it is often part of a larger system that has as its purpose decisions about tenure, promotion, retention, and dismissal. Sergiovanni and Starratt (1988:383) compare formative and summative evaluation. Formative evaluation, of which collegial consultation is an example, is for the purpose of "professional improvement and increasing understanding of teaching and enhancing practice" with the desired outcome being the encouragement and support of quality teaching and schooling for students. Summative evaluation is for the purposes of "quality control" and ensuring "that teachers meet acceptable levels of performance". The outcome is to "protect students and the public from incompetent teaching". The authors refer to formative evaluation practices as examples of professional supervision, and summative practices as examples of bureaucratic supervision. McLaughlin and Pfeifer (1988:83) comment on the latter as they describe summative evaluation "schemes" that: 15 ...create an organizational climate where little learning or accountability can take place. ....Teachers have incomplete information, or iriformation too general, to be useful about areas where change is needed. They have few, if any, resources to make the changes suggested by the evaluation. Principals lack resources to respond to their findings. ...Accountability, thus, is minimal or pro forma and learning or improvement is rare. Formative evaluation practices aim to promote teacher accountability by providing on-going opportunities for teachers to assess and develop practice. Professional and educative approaches assume teachers to be professionals capable of making responsible choices and of working collegially to develop and improve classroom practice. The goal of formative evaluation strategies, such as collegial consultation, is to create self-monitoring and self-directing teachers. Gitlin and Smyth (1989) propose that by observing each other, and examining the taken-for-granted assumptions of practice (habitual action), teachers can reflect more critically about their actions and decide about changes through "praxis" or "informed committed action" (Carr and Kernmis, 1986:190). The ultimate goal in practices such as collegial consultation, therefore, is for teachers to develop a more critical awareness of educational practice, and decide as colleagues how to identify and resolve the inequalities of practice within their own school. C O L L E G I A L CONSULTATION AS EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING In the following sections, collegial consultation will be explored as an active learning experience and process in which teachers working together inquire into practice. First, experiential learning will be defined, then the traditions, assumptions and general principles uncJerpmning experiential learning will be described A comparison of experiential and non-experiential learning will follow. Finally, a description of teacher as experiential learner will be presented. 16 Kolb (1984:xi), paraphrasing Vygotsky, states that learning from experience is the process whereby human development occurs. Learning involves change and is a "remaking of experience" (Walter and Marks, 1981:1). Learning, according to Walter and Marks (1981:2), is largely an emotional experience. Personal experience by "doing", or being actively involved in the learning experience, is a central tenet of experiential learning. Walter and Marks (1981:3) describe experiential learning thus: Experiential learning is operative when participants are fully involved, when the lessons are clearly relevant, when the individuals develop their own sense of responsibility for their own learning and when the learning environment is flexible and responsive to the participant's immediate needs. Consulting collegially, teachers choose concerns relevant to them for the classroom observation. They accept the responsibility for developing practice, control all aspects of the consultation process, and create their own learning environment. Kolb (1984:17) mentions the influence of the intellectual traditions of social psychology (Lewin), cognitive psychology (Piaget), and philosophy (Dewey), on the development of the theory of experiential learning. For the purposes of this study, only the work of Lewin will be emphasized. Lewin believed that, "learning was best facilitated in an environment in which a dialectic tension is created between immediate concrete experience and analytic detachment". Lewin's group interaction approach integrated scientific inquiry and social problem-solving (Kolb,1984:9). Collegial consultation is similar. Teachers engage in professional dialogue, examine data from classroom observations, and begin negotiating solutions to dilemmas that emerge. It is the kind of action research that Lewin advocated to promote growth and development. How individuals, subjectively and affectively, confront the learning experience according to personal values and beliefs is a feature of this tradition. The belief of proponents of experiential learning is that mutual inquiry into practice fosters such development. 17 Assumptions According to Hutchings and Wutzdorff (1988), experiential learning involves a change in behaviour which follows the integration and subsequent transformation of old and new knowledge and experiences into a new theory (knowing) which guides new practice (doing). In experiential learning situations, such as collegial consultation, the learner actively participates in the learning process by experimenting with new practices and then examining and analyzing the results of those practices with a peer. Kolb (1984:27-37) outlines various assumptions that underpin experiential learning theory, learning is a process, not a product. Ideas are constantly being formed, reformed and transformed through experience. Learning is a continuous process grounded in experience. New learnings can be integrated into the individual's repertoire if they fit with existing beliefs and make sense, or they can be substituted temporarily to determine whether or not they should be integrated and discarded in favour of maintaining the status quo. Learning is a tension and conflict-filled process, in which individuals must assimilate and accommodate new information in light of prior knowledge and experience. Learning is a holistic process of adaptation to the world by the individual, and is facilitated by the interaction of thinking, feeling, acting and perceiving. Learning involves transactions between the person and the environment. Learning is the process of creating knowledge. Experience refers to an individual's subjective (internal) and personal experience and the individual's objective (external) and environmental experience. It is the transaction of personal knowledge (subjective life experiences) and social knowledge (human cultural experience). learning, therefore, is an ongoing process of knowledge creation through the adaptation and transformation of experience by reflection and action. Learning is not simply the acquisition of knowledge. As Kolb (1984:32) states, "Learning is the major process of human adaptation". 18 Collegial consultation challenges teachers to make public the private act of teaching thus making them vulnerable to scrutiny by peers and therefore self-scrutiny. It also creates a new structure for interaction which runs counter to traditional norms of self-sufficiency and non-interference. Kolb (1984:29) quotes Paulo Friere's clefinition of "praxis" which integrates the dialectic nature of learning and adaptation. Praxis is defined as "reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it". Consulting with a colleague encourages an exchange of information about specific practices and reflection upon the teaching world with the possibility that the new knowledge created will enable an increased awareness of discrepancies in practice and thus prompt transformation of such practices. General Principles Hutchings and Wutzdorff (1988) outline four general principles of experiential learning which influence how individuals learn new patterns of behaviour: concreteness, involvement, dissonance, and reflection. learning is related to concreteness or concrete prior experiences in the history of an individual, both personal and professional. Past experiences or practices provide the foundations for building or creating new theory. Involvement is defined as the interaction of cognitive and affective components resulting from the effects of the concrete experiences which influence the behaviour of a particular individual in future actions and interactions. Learning has to have a purpose meaningful to the individual in order for it to be retained The emotional component in learning includes the learner's past experiences, feelings, attitudes, and values. learning, therefore, includes the concrete experiences, cognitive faculties, and the kinesthetic, affective, ethical, attitudinal and behavioural dimensions of the past experiences of the learner. Motivation and commitment to a new practice depend on the emotional reaction of the participants to the new practice, after "doing" it, as well as an intellectual evaluation of its 19 potential fruitfulness. It is this active involvement in the process of learning and the emotional component that differentiates experiential from non-experiential learning. Dissonance, cognitive and emotional, occurs when new information or experiences clash with past knowledge and experiences, and uncertainties creep into an individual's consciousness. Individual reflection can help resolve the dissonance, but the collegial consultation process offers a dialogic opportunity to reflect "out loud" with a colleague, and mutually to explore solutions to dilemmas that occur. Resolving the dissonance created by confronting undesirable practices requires a transformation of past knowledge and experience into new working hypotheses and new practices which are then tried and evaluated in a continuing cycle of experimentation, analysis, and new activity and learning. Cogan (1973:215) reinforces the importance of the personal experience in creating mutual "insights" which are "commonly supposed to result in more valuable learning than that gained by mere explanation". Insights gained from active and reciprocal participation in the conference enable the participants to make informed decisions about transforming less-than-desirable practices. Experiential and Non-Experiential Learning In traditional, non-experiential learning situations, the assumption is that what is to be learned is intellectual, "static and known" (Walter and Marks, 1981:282). The emphasis is on content or product, rather than on concepts and process. In a non-experiential setting, such as a lecture, the teachers would be informed about the consultation process and how to do it, but not actually have an opportunity to practise it and become involved through actual enactment, role-playing or simulation activities. In non-experiential situations, the learners would be involved cognitively and intellectually, but not have the concrete, personal experience of participating in and acting out or implementing the process. The learner in non-experiential settings is a passive recipient 20 or consumer rather than an active participant assuming responsibility for his or her own learning. TEACHERS AS EXPERIENTIAL LEARNERS The purpose of this section is to explore the new tasks and understandings required by teachers implementing collegial consultation. Teachers beginning formative evaluation practices, such as collegial consultation, are confronted with a new evaluation process requiring them to learn experientially by becoming actively engaged in observing peers and mutually negotiating understandings of teaching and consultation practice. Teachers working together to develop practice is a task-oriented endeavor. For some teachers, implementing collegial consultation will require changes in interaction patterns with colleagues, and thus changes in relationships and roles. Teachers participating in collegial consultation become observers of classroom practice, and consultants in the feedback (post-observation) conference, in addition to the role of observee, or teacher practitioner. The purpose of this collegial relationship is to foster understanding of practice and professional growth. In the following sections the tasks for teachers beginning the practice of collegial consultation will be outlined. First, collegial consultation will be described as a group practice, requiring changes in interaction patterns and changes in roles for teachers. Second, the tasks of the observer and observee planning the observation will be described. Third, negotiation will be defined and characteristics of interpersonal feedback will be outlined. Fourth, the tasks and understandings required for the observer and observee, in the roles of consultants in the feedback conference will be explained. Fifth, descriptions of negotiation processes by various authors will be given. Sixth, an explanation will be given about the conditions that support and constrain the initiation and implementation of collaborative practices such as collegial consultation. Collegial 21 consultation represents a change in practice. The development of various forms of collegiality will be explored. A summary of collegial consultation from the three perspectives of formative evaluation, experiential learning and educational change will be given. Consultation As Group Practice Working with a colleague to develop observed practice involves learning to collaborate with another adult on a professional basis. Group work involves new skills for teachers used to working privately, individually and invisibly. Research in experiential learning and learning to work in groups (Miles,1981; Walter and Marks, 1981; Kolb.1984) supports the view that development and growth are promoted by observation of, interaction with, and feedback from others. Lewin (Kolb, 1981:17) believed that social interaction promoted human development and growth because individuals contributed not only their thoughts, but also their feelings about decisions facing the group. Making implicit values and beliefs explicit enabled participants to become aware of the different points of view in the group, including their own. Each participant then became a group process observer, as it were, analyzing and interpreting the various viewpoints, including his or her own. Participants involved in social learning situations must be open to learning and change, trusting of others, and have a desire to learn. Support (training, and experience along with the psychological support of the group) helps counteract the resistance to change. Resistance to change is caused by fears of loss of control, order and organization, and loss of self-esteem and competence. Peer support lessens the anxiety that results from risk-taking and experimentation (because the relationship is reciprocal). If the experience is perceived as beneficial by the participants and rewards such as support, affiliation and reciprocity are present, the participants will be more likely to consider 22 changes in behaviour suggested by the information received during the conference interaction. Identification (the observer role) allows participants to learn through the observation of the actions of others. It can also foster an awareness of interpersonal skills needed in groups. Group discussion may precipitate new world views through the re-structuring of experience to fit new situations. Group interaction experiences often act to confront and "disconfirm" the learner's self-image, "promoting "unfreezing" [or unlearning] of existing beliefs and associated behaviours", upsetting the status quo or stable state of the learner, and prompting an examination of self, rather than the blaming of others (Miles,1981:45). Tasks in the Consultation Process From the literature on instructional supervision (Cogan,1973; Glatthorn,1987; Glickman,1985), there appear to be three major tasks involved in the process of peer observation and conferencing. The first task is planning the observation: selecting a relevant concern in practice to be addressed in the observation cycle and appropriate data collection techniques; the second is learning how to observe classroom practice and collect data; and the third, is negotiating understanding with a colleague, using the data from the observation based on that concern. Planning the observation. The first task for participants in collegial consultation is planning the observation. To enable participants to set objectives for the classroom observation, some knowledge of their professional goals, classroom concerns and individual strengths and weaknesses is necessary. One of the participants in Ritchie's (1989:78) study confessed, "I don't know how to tell the observer what I want, so I never seem to end up getting what I need". Selecting the observation focus requires teachers to reflect about their classroom concerns and evaluate their current practices. Traditionally (Cogan,1973; Glatthorn,1987), the observee chooses a focus or objective for 23 the observation based on a particular concern about practice. Then the observer and observee discuss and decide upon appropriate observational techniques to collect the data that the observee considers would be most helpful. Observation and data collection. This second task, learning how to observe and collect data, was found to be puzzling for some of the participant's in Ritchie's(1989) recent study. The observers and observees beginning peer observation didn't know what to look for in the observation or how to determine what data would be most helpful. Often a focus for classroom observation was not discussed and the observer simply "watched" the lesson. As one of the participants remarked, "Teaching a class and observing a class are two wholly different enterprises" (Ritchie, 1989:77). According to Acheson and Gall (1987:74), the selection of objectives and an observation instrument "helps to sharpen a teacher's thinking about instruction" by focussing "attention on the observable realities of classroom instruction". Sergiovanni and Starratt (1988:369) also state the importance of the selection of a focus: "Feedback that is not accompanied by some focus has been found to change behaviour, little, if at all". If teachers are unable to think of an observation focus, Cogan suggests the observer record as much data as possible on events during the observation period and then together observer and observee can analyze the data for "critical incidents" that occur or teacher patterns that emerge from the data. Such critical incidents include events and behaviours on the part of teachers or students that interfere with the learning process. Analyzing such incidents by mutual discussion, reflection and examination is part of the interpretive process in the feedback conference. The other procedure Cogan suggests is for the observer to record teacher behaviours throughout the lesson, those habitual, everyday, taken-for-granted patterns of behaviour (i.e., speech, circulation, teacher-student interaction patterns) that the observee is unable to "see" without the assistance of an observer. Later analysis with the observee can aim to identify habitual behaviour that may be interfering with student 24 growth and development. Such concrete scripting of teacher behaviours is a safeguard against "anecdotal" accounts or a random search through the data for something worthy of discussion and "insurance" against "undisciplined intuition" and "unconscious selection" (Cogan, 1973:182). The rationale for pattern analysis is to help order and organize the evidence or raw data into categories which assist the participants in making collective and individual sense of the information gathered. Attention is focused on teacher behaviours, rather than on the teacher as person. Investigating the characteristic behaviour of a teacher provides that individual with a view of "what is" which can then be compared to his or her perception of what happened during the observation. Negotiation in the feedback conference. The third task, negotiating shared understandings of the data-based observation requires new roles and relationships for the participants and new skills for enacting those roles. According to Blankenship (1977:266), negotiation is, "a form of communication that creates potential for joint action between self-conscious persons". In the following section the characteristics of the feedback conference will be described; understandings helpful to interactants regarding communication and behaviours that facilitate or inhibit communication, and, therefore, negotiation will be outlined. Negotiation of shared understandings in the planning and feedback conferences requires clear communication between the partners. This creates a dialogic situation which contrasts with summative, monologic approaches to teacher evaluation, and with normative teacher-teacher relationships and interaction patterns which are characterized by non-interference in the practices of colleagues. Gitlin and Smyth (1989:159) describe the goal of professional dialogue, in horizontal evaluation, as confronting differences between "what is" (the actual) and "what should be" (the possible), thus "problematizing" teaching. It is a form of evaluation that requires teachers 25 to engage themselves in a critical analysis of evidence about ideas and practices, and in the process to create dialectical forms of communication and exchange. The ultimate commitment is to the creation of a style of discourse...which is also capable of enabling participants genuinely to "hear" one another. Downs, Linkugel and Berg (1977) warn that the greatest obstacle to clear communication is the illusion that it has occurred when in fact it has not. "Hearing" the message does not necessarily ensure that the message is understood. They oudine two situations which may result in communication breakdown. In the first situation, different words are used to mean the same thing and the interactants do not recognize that they are in fact talking about the same thing. In the second situation, the interactants use the same words but have different personal meanings for them. Individuals, according to the authors, can also act as "communication filters" by selecting certain aspects of a message, event or person to focus on, and this process is an habitual, rather than a random process. Identifying patterns of selection in the feedback process can help individuals recognize how they order and organize events and make sense of them. Omissions in selection can also assist individuals in analyzing habitual responses and in exarnining how a person's "mental screens" of past experiences, habits of minking, and communication skills can inhibit or enhance the interpretation of communications about classroom practices. In addition, Downs et al. (1977) ascertain that meanings exist in people's minds and that the meanings that words have for people are learned through experience. Walter and Marks (1981:61) outline the purposes of interpersonal feedback in experiential learning situations as the following: it is intended to help the recipient; it is given direcdy and based on a foundation of trust between giver and receiver, it is descriptive rather than evaluative, specific rather than general, with good and clear examples; it is given when the recipient is ready; and no more is given than can be handled at a certain time. The authors also summarize Egan's suggestions for presenting 26 confrontational feedback (p.62-63). Confrontational feedback presents information that ttluminates inconsistencies between what actually happens and what is expected to happen. Before presenting confrontational feedback the confonter should "try to understand the relationship that exists" between the interactants. Only the behaviour of the confrontee is confronted, not the motivation for the behaviour. Confrontation should be done "clearly", indicating what is "fact", "feeling" and "hypothesis". According to Gitlin and Smyth (1989:62) another goal of professional discourse is for the interactants to make their "intentions understandable to each other". One of the tasks of the observer and observee within the feedback conference is to ensure that the "intentions" of the sender are understood by the receiver. Such a task involves participants in verifying and claryifying the meaning. Gitlin and Smyth (1989:70) suggest using Habermas' four validity claims: comprehensibility, truth, sincerity, and appropriateness. For example, if a speaker's statement does not make sense, the respondent can paraphrase the statement to verify the speaker's meaning. Evidence to support or reject the veracity of statements made, based on the recorded data, satisfies the truth claim. Sincerity involves the willingness of participants to be questioned "...about whether the statement made reflects the speaker's perceptions or feelings, or reflects the speaker being strategic and trying to please the speaker". Personal prejudices and values influence what the participants see and hear in the conference. Appropriateness covers whether the claims, resulting from the conference negotiations, are congruent with the norms of the institution, and whether those norms are acceptable given the situation, or need to be changed. Such dialogic communication, via speech acts, allows "access to the conceptual world of others" (Gitlin and Smyth, 1989:75). This mutual negotiation of understanding is verified by whether the teachers actually alter teaching practices or beliefs as a result of inconsistencies uncovered. There is always the possibility that teachers will talk about changes they intend to make, reflecting without acting (verbalism), or continue the same practices and actions without reflection 27 (activism). Gitlin and Smyth (1989:Chapter 5) concluded that the teachers using the horizontal evaluation model altered their views about teacher evaluation, challenged on an ideological level and in practice the prevailing rationality guiding school practices and "took some modest steps towards creating a dialogical community". The purpose of this kind of dialogic communication, challenging habitual practices and "taken-for-granted views", is "to change people's basic understanding of themselves and their teaching world" (Gitlin and Smyth, 1989:62). The authors base their notion of understanding on Habermas' definitions of the different levels of understanding. In a minimal sense, participants can gain understanding by coming to an agreement on the meanings or values embedded in the linguistic expression. Its maximal meaning takes the process a step further and encourages participants to rethink those values in relation to an agreed upon and debated normative framework. Horizontal evaluation, for Gitlin and Smyth (1989:62), is concerned with maximal understanding, "to see the world differently and transform what are often destructive patterns". The following paragraphs describe the new settings in which teachers might find themselves as they begin interacting and creating "dialogic" relationships. The communication environment can influence the behaviours of the communicants and the way in which shared understandings are inhibited or facilitated. The degree of skill and awareness of the interactants in sending and receiving messages can also influence the mutuality of learning. Pajak and Glickman (1989:94), in their study of informational and controlling language during feedback conferences, agree with Acheson and Gall (1987:71) that, "Communication is central to effective supervisory practice". They found that certain supervisory(observer) behaviours in communicating information were more likely to result in positive changes in teacher behaviours than others. For example, positive evaluation information resulted in a more positive attitude towards change. Informational 28 environments within the conference context were those such as are found in collegial consultation, which allow the participants to choose their own courses of action based on objective data. Controlling environments (i.e., summative evaluation contexts), restricted choice, with the course of action pre-deterrnined. Teachers with a more external locus of control preferred a more directive approach, including suggestions for change, while teachers with a more internal locus of control preferred a more indirect approach allowing them to draw their own conclusions from the information presented. Walter and Marks (1981:59) also recount the results of a study of evaluative feedback in which favourable feedback enhanced task orientation and unfavourable feedback increased negative social-emotional behaviour. According to the authors, internal locus of control is positively correlated not only with need satisfaction but also with self-esteem(p.32). The same authors (Walter and Marks, 1981:59-60) define positive feedback as confinning information and negative feedback as disconfirming information. Positive feedback is "confirming or congruent feedback [that is] every bit as crucial as disconfirming or inconsistent feedback" because it allows the respondents to "open themselves for change in other areas". They emphasize that "negative feedback is a necessary prerequisite for all purposeful behaviour". Negative, or disconfirrning feedback is information that is "directed towards a lack of awareness about incongruities in one's behaviour and matters having high personal meaning". Within the context of the collegial consultation process, confrontation with incongruities of practice via msconfirming feedback is necessary to enhance the interactants' awareness of discrepancies between their perceptions of the situation, and the reality as evidenced in the data. Lewin (Walter and Marks, 1981:60) used the analogy of "unfreezing" for the situation in which an individual is confronted with information about his/her behaviour that is inconsistent with his/her self-perceptions. Self-exarnination and self-doubt may result from this new conflicting information. If the observer interprets the behaviour, rather than giving "mere factual feedback., this generally contains more meaning [and] can stimulate 29 reconceptualization" (Walter and Marks, 1981:61). Interpretation is ^sed on the observational data and can raise "issues" and test "propositions" about the "phenomenon" (Sergiovanni and Starratt, 1988:318). The type of information, however, has to "be matched to the needs of the recipient in order to maximize changes for successful unfreezing" (Walter and Marks, 1981:61). "Refreezing" of the new behaviour results as the change is stabililized over time as a result of confirrning feedback. Miles (1981:45) found that changes in behaviour were best fostered in a climate of psychological safety, support and trust. According to Walter and Marks (1981:7), the ideal supportive relationship would be one of mutual acceptance, regard, interpersonal warmth, empathy, spontaneity, openness and equality. A balance of support and confrontation enables change. Participants can, however, "thwart each other's growth through personal insensitivity and unfamiliarity with the experiential learning experience" (p.6). Feedback, according to Walter and Marks (1981:59) can also be misinterpreted as positive or negative. Favourable observations can be "often incorrectly labelled as positive feedback". Similarly, unfavourable observations can be incorrectly labelled as negative feedback. This incorrect labelling occurs when interactants "focus on ihe impact of the feedback rather than specific content". The degree of support in the relationship, and the type of communication environment can influence whether change does or does not occur in the behaviours of individuals engaged in the consultation process. Facilitators of Negotiation Counselling literature also offers some insights into the various behaviours and skills utilized by interactants as they negotiate in feeback conferences. An awareness of behaviours that facilitate or inhibit communication might be helpful for the observers and observees involved in the consultation process. Ivey and Authier (1978:67-68) describe 30 communication skills that allow the participants in the conference to "hear others and describe the self' (p.229): Attending skills of open and closed questions, minimal encourages, paraphrases, reflections of feeling, summarizations and influencing skills of directions, expressions of content, expressions of feeling (self-disclosure), influencing summarizations and interpretations. Brief definitions of the skills follow. Glosed questions are those that begin with "is", "are" and "do" and can be answered in a few words. Open questions allow the respondent to explore intentions, and elaborate and extend explanations. A "minimal encourage" uses the exact words of the respondent with words such as, "Tell me more about ", or uses nonverbal nods, smiles, eye contact, and semi-verbal "uh-huhs" to acknowledge the words of the respondent and encourage them to go on. Paraphrasing re-words the essence of the content of the verbal statement given to clarify meaning. Reflection of feeling attends to the affective component of the message, acknowledging the speaker's interpretation of the respondent's emotions. Summarization allows the participants an opportunity to acknowledge key points made in the conversation or discourse. Influencing or negotiating skills include: directions, in which information is given by one or both of the interactants to resolve a dilemma; expression of content, in which advice is given, information is shared, and suggestions and opinions are given; expression of feeling, in which there is a sharing of the affective state of the interactants in the conference or interview; influencing summary, in which the main themes of statements during the conference are provided; and interpretation, in which the behaviours, and verbalizations of the interactants are shared, renamed, restructured and transformed into a new frame of reference. 31 Inhibitors of negotiation. In the literature on consultation (Downs, Linkugel and Berg, 1977; Cogan, 1973; Ivey and Authier, 1978) much emphasis is placed on the importance of communication skills and the barriers to clear communication. Without clear communication the participants may think they "hear" what the other is saying, but, by a process of selective listening, may interpret the message differently from its intended meaning. Negotiating meaning and making sense of the classroom observations may, then, be dependent on the existence or development of certain skills in communication and content analysis. Inhibitors of communication are outlined as: fear of disclosure due to a lack of trust; etiquette, in which perceived differences in role or values preclude an open response; or when a threat to a person's ego is perceived, in which case the respondent would behave defensively or act aggressively. Other barriers to communication that humans erect are listed by Downs (1977:120) as follows: 1. Resistance to change. Individuals have difficulty giving up long held beliefs and values. 2. Distraction by personal concerns (inner thoughts, and feelings) 3. Talking before thinking. When individuals talk before their ideas are clearly formulated, directions keep changing and often the message becomes confused. 4. Wishful hearing. People hear what they want to hear rather than what is actually being said. 5. Jumping to conclusions. Both speaker and listener make unwarranted assumptions about what the other person knows, accepts, expects. 6. Habitual secretiveness. Individuals withhold information because they don't wish their thoughts known. The quality of responses. According to Ivey and Authier (1978:67), the quality of the responses during communication can be evaluated using the dimensions of concreteness, immediacy, respect, confrontation, genuineness and positive regard. 32 Negotiating shared understandings during the conference can be influenced by the nature of the responses. Statements made during conferencing may vary in precision and range from vague and inconclusive to concrete and specific. References may be made to various phases of immediacy such as the past, the present or the future. Respect for self and the "other" in the conference may be obvious in positive statements that enhance and support. Confrontation is precipitated when discrepancies between the actuality and the perceived reality are observed. Genuineness is indicated when there is congruence between verbal and non-verbal messages. Ivey and Authier (1978:67) note that in "particularly effective communication ... verbal and nonverbal synchrony...may be noted". Positive regard is indicated by attention to the positive aspects of self and others and/or "demonstrated belief that people can change and manage their own lives" (p.67). Negotiating shared understandings involves the ability of the participants to "name" and "rename" their teaching reality in light of the new information emerging from mutual interpretation of the data. Throughout the dialogue, the participants are analyzing the relationship between intent and action and identifying what Cogan (1973) terms "critical incidents" and which Gitlin and Smyth (1989) name "living contradictions" which point to a mismatch between intention and action. Such intentions, under ideal conditions, are examined for their underlying values and "political, moral and ethical nature of teaching practices and ends" (Gitlin and Smyth, 1989:64). Decision-making, beginning with an examination of classroom practices, using such a dialogic process, ultimately empowers teachers. The dialogue allows communication to transcend mere conversation to professional discourse and reasoned debate about the implications of their current practices. Gitlin and Smyth refer to this process as "communication analysis". By probing questions, participants attempt to elicit the underlying reasons for habitual practices. Discrepancies between espoused theories (intents) and theories-in-use (actions) can be confronted in this way. 33 Kolb (1984:29) writes of Friere's concept of praxis as defining how individuals learn, adapt and change. Central to the concept of praxis is the process of "naming the world" which is both active~in die sense that naming something transforms it and reflective~in that our choice of words gives meaning to the world around us. By "naming the world", or making explicit the "critical incidents" or "living contradictions" teachers articulate their educational platforms and "experience the satisfaction of naming what they do and why they do it" (Sergiovanni and Starratt, 1988:234). Sergiovanni and Starratt (1988:318) refer to this type of evaluation as "disclosure". Attaining meaning by the process of disclosure involves "the interpretation of meaning by raising issues and testing propositions about the phenomenon" based on concrete, objective data collected by the observer. "Picturing" describes the classroom situation as closely as possible without interpretation. The ultimate goal of negotiation in processes such as collegial consultation is to create self-directed learners. Elliott (1988:48) reports that if teachers undertake the task of examining their practices with a colleague they begin the process of becoming more able to tolerate losses of self-esteem, become more open to student and colleague feedback, and more open to allowing access to their classroom practices. And the more teachers practise collegially, the more they self-monitor. Elliott (1988:49) concludes that, "The more able teachers are at self-monitoring...the more likely they are to bring about changes in it [teaching practice]". However, he states the main dilemma is "getting teachers to self-monitor in their practice". Collegial consultation offers one path towards enabling and encouraging the self-monitoring process. 34 COLLEGIAL CONSULTATION AS AN EXAMPLE OF EDUCATIONAL CHANGE Conditions Affecting Implementation Many school districts, such as the one in this study, are promoting collegial practice as a means of effecting change for the purpose of improving schools. Schools that are successful in implementing new programs share similar characteristics in terms of having a clear goal focus, strong instructional leadership by administrators, and strong and sustained support at all stages of implementation by the administration, central district office and internal and external staff development personnel (McLaughlin and Marsh, 1978; Fullan, 1982; Huberman and Miles, 1984). Researchers such as Goodlad (1983), Joyce, Hersh and McKibbin (1983), and House (1974) suggest that the behaviour of the people in the school and their roles and relationships are affected by the physical and social structure of the institution within which they find themselves. Goodlad (1983) maintains that each school has its own culture that has been created over time by the individuals and groups that inhabit it. From House's (1981) point of view, the image of the school from a cultural perspective is that of a community. Within that community are various groups such as students, teachers, administrators, support personnel and parents that make up the various subcultures within the total school culture. The larger social context outside the school includes the neighbourhood, and its location, rural or urban, also influences and helps shape and define the school as a culture. Creating collaborative cultures frequently requires changing the assumptions, beliefs and values of the individuals that make up that school community. Sergiovanni and Starratt (1988:126) define the culture of the school as the ...observed behaviourial regularities that describe the rules of the game for people. These rules are the norms 35 that define what is right and correct to do, what is expected and what is accepted. Lieberman (1988) and Little (1982) believe the norms of a culture can be changed to foster collegiality by re-smicturing the social organization within the school. Such restructuring , according to Lieberman (1988:vii) is part of "building a more collaborative culture" which would require "a new set of relationships between and among all members of the school community, including enlargement of the leadership team in schools, and new roles for teachers, and administrators" Sergiovanni and Starratt (1988) refer to collaborative cultures as having open climates in which teachers cooperate with and respect one another and principals are supportive. Such cultures value-rational discussion about change and are often more adaptive to change. Closed climates are characterized by directive, tight adrmnistrative supervision, low teacher cornmitment and little mutual support between teachers and administration. New norms and expectations. Different assumptions, beliefs and values underpin collegial practices with new expectations for teachers and administrators, such as shared leadership and participatory decision-making, creating new roles and relationships. For example, reciprocity is an important feature of collegial practice relationships. An obligation to interact and contribute to group discussions about shared concerns is assumed. Different points of view are expected, and conflicts accepted as necessary for effective problem resolution. Guarantors of reciprocity are described by Little (1987) as mutual trust and respect which develop from the following: a shared language for describing and analyzing problems in curriculum and instruction; predictability in group dealing, such as rules for conflict mediation and conflict resolution; talk that concentrates on practices and consequences rather than on people and competence; and sharing equally in the obligation to work hard, recognizing contributions and allowing risk-36 taking and experimentation. On-site modelling of collegial practice by adrninistrators is one factor in developing collegial norms (Litde, 1982,1984). Littie (1987) ouUines six dimensions of support necessary to sustain collegial practices in schools. The first is symbolic endorsements and rewards. Teamwork and interdependence are endorsed by persons of influence (i.e., central adrninistration) as valued goals. Time, materials and resources are provided to support collegial practice. The second is that there is a school level organization for shared leadership pertaining to curriculum and instruction decisions, and time scheduled for regular interaction of personnel. The third is latitude for influence on crucial matters of curriculum and instruction in which teachers discuss only problems of practice that are "compelling" and complex enough to require a joint attack. The fourth is that time is scheduled around the interaction needs of the teachers, collaboration is a priority. Therefore, the master schedule is based on providing time for teachers to work and plan together. The fifth is training and assistance in which teachers identify areas in which they wish training and participate in implementing such programs. Material support is the sixth dimension and includes resources such as personnel to provide for release time. Factors affecting implementation. When we speak of collaborative or collegial practice, we are really speaking of a change or an innovation to which the members of the school community are expected to respond Most research about change agrees that for change to occur the goal, or purpose of the change must be clear to, and perceived as relevant and needed by those expected to implement the change (Fullan, 1982,1985; Huberman and Miles, 1984; Werner, 1988). Teachers are the gatekeepers of implementation. As the users of new programs, teachers determine which programs are and are not put into practice. Fullan (1982:56) in his multi-factor view of educational change proposes that introducing, implementing and maintaining change is a shared endeavor. Characteristics of the change itself (need and relevance, clarity, complexity, quality and practicality of the program); characteristics at the school district (history of 37 innovative attempts, the adoption process, central administrative support and involvement, staff development services, implementation timelines); and school level characteristics such as principal-teacher, teacher-teacher relations, and teacher characteristics and orientations, are all factors that affect the implementation of new initiatives such as collegial consultation. The rationale for change must make sense and the need for change must be a high priority to the individuals involved. The complexity and the scope of the change is not a deterrent to change if the participants believe strongly that the change in practice is important. For teachers this means that the change being suggested will benefit student growth and development. However, change only occurs with the cooperation and commitment of people (teachers, administrators, district personnel). Implementation research (Huberman and Miles, 1984; Fullan, 1985; Guskey, 1986) reveals that changing behaviour about change, and gaining commitment to change occurs after actual use. Fullan (1982:72) states that "the quality of working relationships among teachers is strongly related to implementation". He cites the importance of supportive conditions necessary for change such as principal support and collegial relationships among teachers at the school level. He goes on to explain that, "Change involves resocialization" and "interaction is the primary basis for social learning" (Fullan, 1982:71-72). Therefore, trying the new behaviour (collegial consultation/peer supervision) and receiving valuable feedback may result in a change in teacher beliefs about the new practice. Educational change requires ...changes in beliefs [and] teaching style...which can only come about...through a process of personal development in a context of socialization. (Fullan,1982:121) Fullan also mentions that learning how to use a new practice and evaluate it requires opportunities for the teachers to progress "from the concrete to the abstract" (p. 121). In other words trying out the new practice comes first, with a discussion of the "underlying 38 principles" corning later. Stake (House, 1986) describes the evolution of a practitioner's personal internal conviction about change by directly (or vicariously) experiencing the process which promotes and enhances understanding of the change. Workplace conditions. The research of Litde (1982, 1984,1987) has been especially thorough in describing the conditions in the workplace, or school setting, that promote collegial practice. The structure of the organization is rearranged to formalize collegiality by scheduling in-school time for teachers to practise working together, to "talk" about instruction and practice, to observe colleagues, and plan together while demonstrating for each other the practice of teaching . Little (1982) believes that the norms of a school can be changed from those of individualism and isolationism, to collegialism, by creating conditions that change the interaction expectations. Schools with norms of "shared expectations" for extensive collegial work and continuous improvement were more adaptable to change and more successful implementing change "through analysis, evaluation and experimentation" (Little, 1982:339). Summarizing the conditions required for teachers to work "fruitfully" as colleagues and sustain collegial practice, litde (1987:513) writes the following: 1. The value that is placed on shared work must be both said and shown. 2. The opportunity for shared work and shared study must be prominent in the schedule for the day, the week and year. 3. The purpose for work together must be compelling and the talk sufficiently challenging. 4. The material resources and human assistance must be adequate. 5. The accomplishments of individuals and groups must be recognized and celebrated. The value that teachers place on consulting with other teachers, as a source of learning about teaching, has recently been verified. In a recent survey by Smylie (1989), 39 hundreds of elementary and secondary teachers identified consulting with other teachers, and observing other teachers, as the two most important sources of learning about teaching, in addition to the direct experience of the classroom. These results confirm the value that teachers place on interaction with other teachers. They want to discuss practice and learn from other teachers. This discussion clarifies for the participants that they do indeed possess valuable practical knowledge (Elbaz, 1983). By observing others, teachers learn more about themselves as teachers and gain a better sense of their efficacy. Teachers who feel they can make a difference in student learning are more likely to try new instructional strategies and attempt new curriculum implementation. A teacher's sense of efficacy has been found to influence the adoption and maintenance of innovations (McLaughlin and Marsh, 1978). Teachers working in schools with traditional norms of isolation, receive no such feedback from peers, and very litde from administrators. Their only feedback about the efficacy of their teaching comes from students (Sarason, 1982; Lortie, 1975; Jackson, 1968). Often a teacher's perception of his or her adequacy in the classroom can be flawed because information is based on a single perception of the reality, rather than on multiple perceptions of the actual situation. Improved student learning, subsequent to new instructional or curricular practices, offers teachers evidence of their efficacy, but collaboration with a peer offers the support and interpretation of the classroom reality allowing a perception check. Norms of continuous professional growth emerge as teachers come to value collegial practice because of increased professional satisfaction and the observable benefits to student development. The manner in which new initiatives are introduced in schools sometimes determines the success or failure of implementation. There is some concern among researchers such as Hargreaves (1989), Lieberman (1988) and Cooper (1988) that participants engaging in collegial practices imposed from above may simply be complying to satisfy external demands. Without supportive conditions, such as those outlined by Littie (1987:513), participants in such endeavours, go through the motions, without 40 understanding the rationale behind the initiative and how it will benefit their practice. Frequently, in such situations, participants do not receive adequate professional development opportunities to ensure adequate practice and transfer of learning. Contrived and Authentic Collegiality Contrived collegiality. Hargreaves (1989) refers to the above situation as producing "contrived collegiality". Contrived collegiality is a "mechanism to facilitate smooth, uncritical adoption of preferred forms of action...imposed by experts", satisfying a bureaucratic need and implying that teachers require remediation or have a deficit in their knowledge or practice. This is the situation Gitlin and Smyth (1989) refer to as the "dorninant" approach to teacher evaluation. Teachers in such situations comply and cooperate under duress. An element of coercion exists and teachers are expected to obey the edicts of the outside power and authority. Pressure, without support can result in participants working collegially infrequently, without understanding the purpose of consulting together which results in low cornmitment. Authentic or interdependent collegiality. Most new programs in schools are imposed. Such imposition can evolve into successful program adoption if leadership is strong, supportive of, and sensitive to the concerns of teachers (Huberman, 1983). "Interdependent collegiality" (Grrirnmett and Crehan, 1990b) or "authentic collegiality" (Cooper, 1988), evolves when teachers find that by working together they are better able to develop their practices and satisfy the needs of the students at a particular school site. Miles (1981:46) describes the dilemma faced by participants who enter into new programs to satisfy external demands. He notes that, When the primary motivation for improvement comes from an individual's concern about what "outsiders" want her to do, the changes in her behaviour are apt to be confused, transitory, unintegrated and irrelevant to the demands of the job. 41 In contrast, when the motivation for change ...comes from the strong desires of the person — aided by "insiders" who are members of the same work setting— to improve her own ways of working with others, then the changes in her behaviour can become increasingly systematic, permanent, integrated and job-related. The first description parallels the situation exemplified by contrived collegiality and the second parallels that exemplified by authentic or interdependent collegiality. Most new programs in schools are imposed but contrived situations can evolve into authentic and interdependent collegiality. An example of interdependent collegiality. Elliott (1988) offers an example of a motivation for change that developed from teacher concerns about student alienation. A small group within the faculty introduced some alternative programs that destreamed students and created mixed ability groups. Interdependence requires teachers to see beyond their own self-interest and consider decisions in the best interests of the student population. The teachers in Elliott's study experimented with new practices, and observed, examined and analyzed the new practices together. From this experience, Elliott (1988:3) recalls, I learned as a teacher that theories were implicit in all practices, and that theorising consisted of articulating those "tacit theories" and subjecting them to critique in free and open professional discourse. Colleagues working interdependently envision consultation as one avenue for facilitating their own professional growth for the ultimate purpose of improving student growth. SUMMARY Collegial consultation has been described as a process of formative evaluation, and as an educational change being explored by teachers experientially. Collegial consultation has also been defined as a group practice, requiring new roles and responsibilities for the 42 participants. It is a task-oriented process requiring an awareness of communication skills for the mutual negotiation of shared understandings of practice. Teachers participating in such formative evaluation practices are assumed to be professionals responsible for continuous development of their teaching practice. It is also assumed that inquiry into practice is better facilitated with feedback from a colleague based on classroom observation. The development of the participants as they experience collegial consultation is dependent on several factors. District, school, and staff modelling, endorsement and support facilitates implementation and institutionalization of such an innovation. The ultimate goal of collegial consultation as a formative teacher evaluation process is teachers as self-directed, self-monitoring experiential learners. 43 Chapter Three RESEARCH DESIGN The following chapter will describe the research design of the study. First, the background of the study will be briefly outlined and the research questions restated. The rationale for using the case study will follow. Next, the interpretive framework for the study, symbolic interactionism, will be explained. Lastly, the design components, including the sample, data collection procedures, and data analyses will be described. The participants in this study were volunteers in a larger teacher development study being conducted by Grimmett and Crehan. One of the purposes of the teacher development project is to explore how teachers,, and teachers and administrators, work together collegially in dyads to develop their classroom practice. The district in which the participants teach advocates and supports formative evaluation strategies, such as collegial consultation, as part of the individual professional growth plans that are expected of each teacher. The supervisory model selected and the areas of emphasis are to be chosen by the teacher and "the plan of action will make provision for thoughtful self-assessment and professional feedback" (1988:52). This case study explores two teacher-teacher dyads as they experience the collegial consultation. The research questions being addressed are: 1. How do the partners negotiate shared understandings in the consultation process? 2. How does context influence the consultation process? RESEARCH DESIGN: CASE STUDY The observational case study (Borg and Gall, 1989:403) was chosen for the research design in order to pursue a "holistic", in-depth study of two teacher dyads as 44 they experienced the process of collegial consultation. The inquiry was naturalistic (Guba and Lincoln, 1982) and ethnographic. In ethnographic research "the observer uses continuous observation, trying to record virtually everything that occurs in the setting being studied" which results in an "indepth analytical description of an intact cultural scene" (Borg and Gall, 1989:387). This is important for obtaining the teacher-participant or "insider's viewpoint" (Werner, 1980; Shulman, 1986; Erickson, 1986). The focus is on how "people define an event, through actions, perceptions, interpretations, beliefs, life philosophies, and world views" (Werner, 1980:17). The decision to use qualitative, naturalistic inquiry was based on the findings of the literature review on collegial consultation and the research design of the teacher development study. Studying teacher development, as facilititated by collegial consultation, is contingent upon the various contexts which influence the behaviour of the participants. To understand how the participants experience the process of consultation, direct observation of the interactions over time, in the classroom, conference, and interview situations, was necessary. Little is known about how teachers work together for the purpose of developing practice and improving instruction. The information gathered in this case study may generate theoretical insights about the meaningfulness of collegial consultation as it relates to instructional improvement and professional growth. FRAMEWORK FOR T H E CASE STUDY: SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM In order to analyze how the participants in collegial consultation make collective and individual sense during the post-observation conference and during the stimulated recall process, the perspective of symbolic interaction has been chosen. Blumer (1969:2) refers to this perspective as a "distinctive approach to the study of group life and human conduct", in which the world of everyday practice is explored and inspected by direct 45 observation. Symbolic interactionism is based upon following three premises formulated by Mead (Blumer, 1969:2): 1. Human beings act towards things (i.e., other humans, institutions.everyday encounters) on the basis of the meanings that the things have for them. 2. The meaning of such things is derived from, or arises out of, the social interaction one has with one's fellows. 3. These meanings are handled in, and modified through, an interpretive process used by the person in dealing with the things he [sic] encounters. In other words, from the perspective of symbolic interactionism, human beings are "...persons constructing individual and collective action through an interpretation of the situations which confront them" (Blumer, 1969:89). The context of the situation is important in social behaviourism, unlike psychological behaviourism in which context is downplayed. During the process of collegial consultation two human beings are placed in a social situation in which they are co-participants "interacting upon each other" (Blumer, 1969: 108). This interacting, according to symbolic interactionists, involves more than simply responding to a stimulus. The situation created by collegial consultation is considered to be a symbolic act. As the participants interact, they are continuously taking each other into account in an interpretive "transaction" (Blumer, 1969: 108). This interpretive transaction involves being aware of the other participant, identifying him or her, making a judgment or appraisal of him or her based on an identification or interpretation of the meaning of his or her verbal or non-verbal actions, and attempting to predict or anticipate based on this interpretation what the co-participant intends to do. This process of transaction informs the actions of each participant. Blumer summarizes the process of transaction as one of "perceiving, defining, judging the other person and his 46 [sic] action and organizing oneself [and one's actions] in terms of such definitions and judgements" (Blumer, 1969:108). How the participants define each other and act and interact depends on their individual definitions and expectations of appropriate behaviour in a given situation. A "defined situation" is described by Blumer (1972: 149) as being normative. From previous interactions, individuals develop "common understandings or definitions" of how to act. "Undefined situations" are those not defined in "a single way" by the participants, in which the "lines of action do not fit together and collective action is blocked". Redefining each other's acts creates new conceptions of the situation, and creates new relations via cooperation, conflict, domination, exploitation, consensus and disagreement (Blumer, 1969:66-67). Blumer writes about how actions and behaviours are also influenced by the individual's conception of self as it emerges from the social interaction. How others see the individual is conveyed by his or her (the other's) language and actions. From this perception of self, developed from interactions with others, the individual develops a conception of self, and is able to step back and view himself or herself in a detached way. The interactants' expectations of the process are based on this established sense of self, past experiences, and the current situation, as each participant engages in the transaction. Because it is an ever-changing situation, the interactants are continuously re-defining and re-interpreting the situation as it happens. Symbolic interactionism views human association as a developmental process, formative and exploratory. Blumer (1969:116) states that: Human group life is a process of formative transaction in which cultural norms, states and positions and role relationships are only frameworks inside of which the process goes on. The individual, therefore, possesses the capability of acting independendy and shaping his or her environment or situation, and initiating change. The influence of the surrounding 47 community in creating norms that influence the actions of the individuals is not denied, but the assumption is that individuals control their own behaviour and react and act based on their individual interpretation of the situation. The locus of control is assumed to be internal rather than external. The meaning that is mutually negotiated during the social interaction of the conference "arises in the process of the interaction between people" (Blumer, 1969:4,5). Thus, symbolic interactionism sees meanings as social products, as creations that are formed in and through the defining activities of people as they interact. Each participant in the interaction " selects, checks, suspends, regroups and transforms the meanings in light of the situation in which he is placed and the direction of his action" (Blumer, 1969:5). Meaning is thereby derived as the parties think out loud in speech, gesture and respond, and make decisions throughout the shared experience of consultation. Consultation thus provides participants with an opportunity to construct their own reality. The perspective of symbolic interactionism served as an interpretive framework in the exploration and analysis of collegial consultation. As Deegan (1987:6) states: Symbolic interaction with its assumption of human flexibility and creativeness ... is one of the few social theories that point to ways in which the individual can change the group and community. Through mutual negotiation of understanding during the conference and joint reflection, conflicting definitions of meaning may be clarified and result in positive change and development; for example, new perspectives on teaching and learning for the participants. One of the ways in which mutual negotiation is facilitated occurs when the participants assume positions or roles and share expectations and behaviours based on these roles. This is called "role taking". An individual puts himself or herself in the position of the other person and identifies with him or her. In this way the interactants share one another's experience. The individual in the process of role-taking is able to see 48 himself or herself as an object. There is an awareness, a consciousness of self as other. Each interactant defines his or her "self' by his relationships to others. As the hearer interacts with the speaker and vice versa, each takes on the role of the other in order to define the situation and anticipate the next action. The individuals involved in this transaction of meaning are constantly reflecting upon themselves in relation to that other individual. During this act of communication individuals select and organize what they see and hear in patterns that make sense to them. Downs, Linkugel and Berg (1977:39) speak of individuals as being communication filters in which certain aspects of a message, event or person are attended to or ignored depending upon what is important to that individual at that moment or what that individual's habitual response is to that kind of message, event or person. Such responses are predicated on an individual's past experiences, communication skills, attitudes, priorities, purposes, knowledge, language facility and habits of thinking. Negotiation is defined as a form of communication that creates potential for joint action between self-conscious persons (Blankenship,1977:226). Reaching understanding and influencing reciprocal change depends on the interactants coming to an agreement. How the participants jointly "fit together" their "lines of action" to make sense of the consultation is part of the naturalistic inquiry herein. NATURALISTIC DESIGN Comparing the collegial consultation process in two carefully selected dyads permitted an explication of how the negotiation mutual understandings occurs in different contexts. This not only allowed for an examination of differences and similarities, but also of the influence that context had on the consultation process. 49 Sample Selection Procedures This study focussed on four, female teachers, from two different elementary schools, who engaged in collegial consultation in two dyads. These dyads were selected from the larger teacher development project. The selection procedures were not random,, but followed the norm for qualitative studies in educational practice. The teachers volunteered and agreed to be part of the case study. The particular dyads were chosen ' because of the researcher's professional experience and interest in elementary schools, particularly, primary and early intermediate grades. The two in the sample were selected from 17 dyads with which the researcher interacted in her role as research assistant in the teacher development project. They represented the only dyads in,the primary and lower intermediate grades. Two different sites were desired to investigate the possibility of whether the setting had any influence on the dyadic interaction. Data Collection Procedures Each of the dyads participated in two observation cycles, the first between January and March, 1990, and the second in April and May, 1990. Each observation cycle consisted of three sequential events, which were structured by the teacher development project. The three events during each cycle were: classroom observations, videotaped collegial consultations (post-observation feedback conferences), and post-conference review (stimulated recall) interviews conducted individually with each dyad member. During the classroom observation there were three observers: two research team members who functioned as non-participant observers and the teacher/observer member of the dyad. For the teacher/observer and teacher/observee, the classroom observation was part of the consultation cycle in which they were engaged Throughout the classroom observation, the researchers recorded field notes of classroom events in the ethnographic 50 tradition, including the actions and verbatim statements (monologues and dialogues) of the teacher/student and student/student interactions. A wide-lens description of the events was documented in a non-evaluative manner. Immediately following the observation, each researcher independently dictated onto audiotape the written field notes. A typed transcript was then made, which was subsequently corrected by the researcher and a classroom diagram, drawn on-site during the observation, was added to the proof-read transcript. The post-observation(feedback) conference was video-taped and later viewed by each dyad member separately, in the company of one of the researchers for the post-conference review interview. This stimulated recall interview was audiotaped and later transcribed with the dialogue from both the post-observation conference and the stimulated-recall interview included in one transcript. Prior to re-playing the conference videotape for the stimulated recall interview, the teacher was asked by the researcher to stop the tape at any point at which the teacher could recall any thoughts he or she wanted to comment on during the conference or on the consultation interaction. At the conclusion of the videotape re-play, or sometimes following a tape stop during re-play, the researcher probed more deeply the teacher's understanding of the incidents chosen for comment, and elicited more information and explanation when necessary to clarify teacher comments, reflections, reactions, and analyses. The stimulated recall interview with the researcher, and teacher dialogue during the consultation conference, allowed the participants to "think out loud". Confronting the conference in a visual way as an observer/detached onlooker permitted the participants to see themselves as others see and hear them and to "relive", "recall" and "review" the conference prompting them to look inward, reflect upon the self, and relate those thoughts to the interviewer/researcher. By reflecting "out loud", the participants make explicit and concrete their implicit knowledge about practice, and clarify, construct, and reconstruct 51 their minking about the conference and the feedback received. It is an opportunity for self-evaluation and self-discovery by the participants. During the recall process, the researcher was mindful of the interviewing rules suggested by Borg and Gall (1989:401) such as establishing a conversational mode to communicate empathy and encouragment and a relaxed atmosphere; using open-ended quesitons to elicit "richer responses"; avoiding leading questions; effectively probing for more complete information; talking less than the respondent; and leaving complex questions to the end of the interview when rapport had been established. Data Sources For each dvad. the following data sources were available: 1. Demographic Questionnaires 2. 8 Transcripts of the Classroom Observation Fieldnotes (4 completed by this researcher and 4 completed by the research colleague) 3. Classroom Configuration Diagrams 4. 4 videotapes of the four conferences (two each from Cycles 1 and 2) 5. 8 audiotapes and 8 transcripts from the Conference/Stimulated Recall Interviews 6. 2 Supplementary Information Questionnaires Supplementary Information Questionnaire The rationale for using a Supplementary Information Questionnaire (SIQ) was to acquire additional information from the participants with regard to how they experienced the first consultation cycles (a perception check). The researcher was also interested in 52 how the participants decided on the foci and data collection techniques for the classroom observations. Participants were informed of the rationale and need for the questionnaire; completion was optional. The questionnaires, the completion of which indicated the willingness to become participants in the case study, were distributed and collected at the beginning and end of May, respectively. The questions (See Appendix A) were formulated using Borg and Gall's (1989: 401), "Interviewing Rules for Qualitative Researchers", as guidelines. Spradley's, "The Ethnographic Interview" (1979) was also utilized to decide on the type of questions, descriptive, structural or contrast, to be included, and the wording of those questions to acquire the necessary information. For example, the purpose of the descriptive questions was to elicit the participants' perceptions of the collaborative process . Examples of descriptive questions in the questionnaire are numbers 1,2,3,4, and 8. Structural questions, such as numbers 6,7 and 9, helped reveal how the participants organized or structured the collegial experience of conferencing and how they interpreted such aspects of the supervisory cycle as pre-conference planning prior to the observation and how this influenced the conferencing process. Contrast questions, such as numbers 10,12,13,14 and 15, helped the researcher understand how the participants understood or were frustrated with the process based on previous experience or training in supervision, or a lack thereof. Data Analysis The primary focus of the data analysis in this case study was based on the ' x conference review (stimulated recall) audiotapes and the post-observation (feedback) conference videotapes. The researcher was interested in how the participants were experiencing the process of consultation, and the fieldnotes were used to validate perceptions of the participants' about an observation not shared by the researcher or 53 supported by the data. The fieldnotes were thus used to validate or refute teacher perceptions of the classroom observation. The analysis began by transcribing the post observation conference and stimulated recall audiotapes. Each written transcript was checked against the audiotape twice to ensure accuracy of transcription. Then, by the process referred to as inductive analysis (Borg and Gall, 1989:404-5), the transcripts were examined to uncover patterns of collaboration, patterns of interaction, themes developing, and dilemmas arising within each dyad. This was done sequentially from the first through to the fourth observation. Each dyad was treated as a separate unit of analysis within the case study. Following the inductive analysis the videotapes of the conferences were re-viewed, and the accuracy of the transcript statements re-checked and body language gestures added to the transcripts. If there was a discrepancy between the speech acts of a participant and the body language, the mismatch was noted. This was done because one of the research questions was concerned with how the conference participants jointly negotiated meaning, and it was important that the researcher have an accurate portrayal of how each participant gestured verbally and non-verbally throughout the interaction of the conference. Concurrently with the viewing of the videotape, the stimulated recall audiotape was played to check the location of the stimulus points (i.e., where the tape was stopped) and to make a final check on the accuracy of the transcript. At this point, the researcher also examined the stimulus points of each participant in the conference to identify whether there was congruence between the colleagues' "stimulus stops" in the recall interview. The researcher's rationale for doing this was to investigate the possibility that the participants were defining and interpreting the situation in a similar way if they both stopped the tape at similar points during the conference. Within the data analysis, the researcher tried to include most of the nine elements described by Shulman (1986) that represent characteristics of a rigorous qualitative 54 study. These elements included: empirical assertions as evidenced in the transcriptions, audiotapes, videotapes, interview responses; quotations from the transcriptions,, interviews, questionnaires; interpretive commentary framing particular descriptions, framing general descriptions of rare or frequent events; and a theoretical discussion of the findings as they relate to current research. Experimenter Effect Experimenter effect is defined as the degree to which biases or expectations or the observer or interviewer have led to distortions of the data (Borg and Gall, 1989:404). This limitation is acknowledged but defended as inevitable by the holistic and interactive nature of the inquiry. Guba and Lincoln (1982:249) write that "the naturalistic paradigm has emerged....out of concern that research and evaluation studies reflect what is, rather than what some researcher thinks ought to be". The nature of the "reality" [of the collegial consultation process], ...is not fragmentable into variables and processes, but is rather experienced holistically and mediated heavily by values, attitudes, beliefs, and the meanings which persons ascribe to their experiences, and as a result, a) inquirers must approach human subjects and human phenomena holistically rather than in a piecemeal fashion; b) inquirer and subject invariably interact; it is not possible to maintain a discrete and inviolable distance between the inquirer and the subjects of the research. Guba and Lincoln, 1982:249. Naturalistic inquiry requires evaluation critieria which differ from those associated with positivistic inquiry, namely: internal validity, external validity, reliability, and objectivity. Guba and Lincoln (1982:247) have "translated" these terms into what they regard as more appropriate to the naturalistic context. Credibility (internal validity), transferability (external validity), dependability (reliability) and confirmability (objectivity) are the four criteria by which the data in this study were assessed. 55 Credibility The following "safeguards" against loss of credibility are suggested by Guba and Lincoln (1982:247): prolonged engagement at the site; persistent observation to gain a high degree of acquaintance; peer debriefing; triangulation to cross-check data and interpretation; referential adequacy materials, such as videotapes, audiorecordings; member checks whereby data and interpretations are checked by the members from whom the data are solicited. This study attempted to satisfy the above conditions in a number of ways. The observation cycles covered a period of several hours over a rninimum of three months time (prolonged engagement, persistent observation). Participants became familiar with the researchers over the four observations and during the extended periods that researchers were in the schools. Researchers held informal debriefing sessions on the telephone and at meetings with other team members (peer debriefing). Triangulation was made possible through the utilization of referential adequacy materials such as videotapes, audiotapes, and the conference/stimulated recall transcripts, questionnaires, and the overall perspectives of collegial consultation as symbolic interaction, and as an example of educational change. Member checks were not executed with the participants in the study because the information in the stimulated recall interviews or conference reviews was confidential and much of the analyses in the two dyads hinged on those reviews. Member checks would have violated the confidentiality of the participants. The Supplementary Information Questionnaires assisted the researcher in perception checks. Interpretive commentary from the inductive analyses of the conference/stimulated recall transcripts was authenticated by having an independent research team member check the case studies and transcripts and analyze them. She corroborated the interpretation; that is, she acknowledged that given the data sources used in the study, the link between the 5 6 data and the researcher's analysis was clear and that the interpretation based thereon was plausible. Transferability Purposive sampling, and adequate sources of data to "provide most stringent conditions for theory grounding" were used for substantiating transferability (Guba and Lincoln 1982:248). A "thick description" of the institutional, conference, and individual contexts has been included to "impart a vicarious experience" of them and "facilitate judgements about the extent to which working hypotheses from [those contexts] might be transferable to a second and similar context". The sample was limited to two dyads. The dyads taught within the same school district which advocated collaborative practices in the schools. The school context in which Jessie and Beth taught could be defined as a traditional non-collaborative setting. They were the only dyad in the school participating in the teacher development project. However, the school setting in which Nancy and Hannah taught, could be described as encouraging teacher collaboration. Three dyads in the school were participating in the teacher development project and team teaching was encouraged and in place in the intermediate grades. The detailed "thick" descriptions of the dyads make some transferability possible to similar contexts. Dependability Characteristics of dependability in naturalistic inquiry as described by Guba include the use of overlap methods and a dependability audit in which methodology is carefully described and delineated and access to data in the raw and process stages is 57 available. Overlap methods included the use of classroom observations, videotaped conferences, audiotaped stimulated recall interviews and a questionnaire. Research designs in naturalistic inquiry are emergent and remain flexible to allow for changes as the exploration proceeds. Such conditions preclude exact replication of the study because the human participants and the contexts created within the collegial consultation process vary. However, the design sequence of classroom observation, videotaped teacher-teacher consultation in the post-observation conference, and stimulated recall interview remained stable over the two observation cycles with both dyads. This sequence could be replicated by others, using inductive analysis and using the same research questions. The institutional contexts could be broadly matched, and the individual contexts of the participants could be matched in terms of years of experience and professional training. However, all individuals are unique, with unique histories and experiences. This study could be replicated within the limitations aforementioned. The "test" to verify mutual negotiation of understanding was provided by the statements of the teachers themselves about how they modified or transformed classroom practices as a result of the collegial consultation process. In other words, the meaningfulness of collaboration was evidenced in the concrete actions that the teachers undertook to change practice that were observed throughout the consultation cycles. Confirmability In naturalistic inquiry the "onus of objectivity ought...to be removed from the inquirer and placed on the data" (Guba and Lincoln, 1982:247-8). Confirmability takes place via triangulation, practising reflexivity or defining ...one's underlying epistemological assumptions, reasons for formulating the study, ...and implicit assumptions, biases, or prejudices about the context or problem. 58 The confirmability audit, in conjunction with the dependability audit, verifies "that each finding can be appropriately traced back through analysis steps to original data, confirming that the interpretations of the data clusters are reasonable and meaningful" and accurately depict the collegial consultation process for the participating dyads. In Chapters four and five, the four observations of each dyad will be described and. analyzed, respectively, in light of the two research questions, which focus on the mutual negotiation of understanding and the context in which that negotiation takes place. The interactions of the dyads will be interpreted within the symbolic interactionism framework. The dyads will be explored as they experience the collegial consultation process and attempt to negotiate understandings in the collegial consultation process within the context of each school. 59 Chapter Four CASE STUDY: JESSIE AND B E T H Chapters four will describe and analyze Dyad #1 (Jessie and Beth) as they experience the process of collegial consultation for the purpose of professional growth. The first section of this chapter will present demographic information about the teachers and the school context. The second section will include the four observations with a narrative description of the consultation process accompanied by an analysis of the data in light of the two research questions: How do the partners negotiate shared understandings in the consultation process? How does context influence the consultation process? A sequential presentation of the observations from the first to the fourth will permit the development of the dyad to be documented systematically as they learn together experientially. The third section of the chapter will summarize the dilemmas and patterns of negotiation that have emerged through the two observational cycles, and present the findings of the four analyses in light of the two research questions. T H E SETTING The purpose of this section is to provide demographic information about the teachers in Dyad #1, Jessie and Beth. Details of their professional histories in education will be provided including prior teaching and supervisory experience. In addition, information on the school context will include the size of the teaching and student populations, and a reference to the prevailing norms of collaboration among the teachers and administrators. The motivation of each teacher for participating in the project will also be described. 60 Teacher Participants Jessie and Beth have been teaching at the primary level for nine and ten years, respectively, and in the same elementary school for the past five years. Jessie has taught only at the primary level; Beth has experience at both primary and intermediate levels. Jessie is completing her fifth year of university study; Beth has completed the fifth year. The partners consider themselves to be close "school" friends, profess and share a commitment to the philosophy of whole language and activity-based learning, and enjoy discussing and debating such issues. These observational cycles are the first opportunities Jessie and Beth have had to observe each other teach. Both teachers have had prior collaborative work experiences, but not with each other; Jessie has team-taught on a full-time basis, and Beth has job-shared. Jessie has had prior supervisory skills training. Beth has also had training but does not admit this to her partner. School Context The school enrols two hundred and fifty-two students and has ten full-time teachers. These numbers do not include support and supplementary staff, such as nurses, psychologists, counsellors, teacher aides or office staff. This school could be characterized as a traditional school setting in which teachers generally work individually, with some team teaching of subject units occurring. When asked, on the Supplementary Information Questionnaire (SIQ), if their working relationship was typical of the school, Jessie wrote: Yes, in the sense no one else works together closely, just as my partner and I don't. Beth responded: 61 Teachers seem to work quite independently... although there is some teaming for special projects. Jessie's motivation for participation in the teacher development project was a combination of external "encouragement from the principal" and internal individual desire for "getting into professional growth teachings" (Jessie, SIQ). Beth responded that she was "interested in professional growth" and "somewhat curious" about the project and "the principal talked us into it". She admitted to feeling "somewhat pressured" to participate (Beth. SIQ). OBSERVATION ONE: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES This section and the three ensuing ones are structured in the same way. First, to trace their experiential development negotiating shared understandings, the observations are described in sequence rather than grouped according to the observee, observer roles. The roles of the dyad members are reversed from the first to the fourth observations. Jessie is the observee in the first and third observations, and the observer in the second and fourth observations. Beth is the observee in the second and fourth observations and the observer in the first and third. Second, the narrative description of the observation follows the sequence of clinical supervision phases: planning the observation, which includes selecting the observational foci and the data collection methods; and the post-observation or feedback conference. Additional data from the Supplementary Information Questionnaires, and conference reviews (stimulated recall interviews) augment the transcripts from the post-observation conferences. Third, the findings from the data analyses are reported in terms of the two research questions. 62 Description The initial observation was the first opportunity the participants had had to experience collegial consultation. Jessie was the observee and Beth was the observer. According to the SIQ information planning was "hurried". Jessie recorded: The observee told the observer what the focus was and said, "Please write down this [sic] particular data". Jessie repeated the focus for Beth in the opening of the feedback conference because Beth appeared uncertain how to begin. Well, the focus was on imaging and what part of the image the kids seemed to focus on. Jessie gave Beth a quick overview of the lesson sequence in which she used a stimulus story about animals of the Arctic, using guided imagery to promote ideas for a creative writing activity. (In role as polar bears the students examine their new bodies, their houses, and set out on an adventure in the Arctic in which they confront another polar animal and decide what course of action to take. They then share their stories with a partner.) After the overview Jessie looked over at Beth's notes on the observation and said, "I don't know what you wrote down there". Beth had recorded only a few sentences on a piece of paper. During stimulated recall Jessie stopped the tape and remarked that the focus was "pretty ambiguous" and "that was a pretty hard job for her to pick that up". After Jessie responded with the overview, she recalled: I was waiting for her to talk about the focus. ...I was hoping to get some feedback about my ability to present a good image. And I thought so far she's been talking about general overall things and I was waiting for her to get specific...get specific data. Beth continued to comment generally on the lesson events. Jessie tried to bring her back to the observational focus by asking: I was wondering what part of the image was most effective for them. I guess you wrote down some of the things they were writing about in hopes that would sort of tell me what part of the image they grabbed onto? Beth was giving an accounting of the lesson as she recalled the events. To the interviewer, Beth described what she was trying to do in the consultation. I'm looking at the whole picture I guess because tt was hard for me to focus on specifics as to what they were really into. Like she wanted to know was it the enemies, or what they looked like... and I found there wasn't too much evidence of that mp to this point. ...So I guess I tended to focus on a general kind of whole thing. Again, in the conference review, Beth stated that she, as the observer ...hadn't really focussed on what she asked me to do.I know that's the whole purpose (laughs). ...Only now and then does it come through, you know, what the kids focussed on, because I did find it difficult to do that. Viewing the tape of the conference, Beth also remarked on ...how much I'd gotten out of the lesson. And it's so much more of a "me" thing, rather than focussing. Jessie, in the conference, suggested to Beth that: It would be interesting for some other time for you to come in and ...instead of doing observations, try to do that image...and then you could tell me what helped you keep it going or what was confusing or whatever. The interviewer asked Beth what she thought of this suggestion. Beth reflected that: She thought I might better understand what areas of focus would be most stimulating. ...Our learning styles are very different. I have a difficult time imaging...and yet... I think it is a fantastic instructional aid. ...I would be willing to try it. ...In the situation at the university I had a difficult time doing it. L.xan't seem to image. 64 From the general conversation between the interactants, Jessie selected four pieces of information (the element of magic/transformation, confrontation in the boy's stories, the boys physically moving in the guided imagery, and the image of home and babies in the girls' writing) that appeared to influence the response to the images. To the researcher, Jessie commented: I'm not even sure that she was sure she was telling me what they were [the images]. I don't think she was 100% clear that when she was talking that was what she was telling me but those were four things I picked up from the discussion. Jessie also "found a lot of things that were confirniing to me" during the feedback conference. For the next observation Jessie would ...try to get very specific about the focus point and how the data was[sic] going to be collected so that it actually was data collection rather than an overall observation and even sometimes a judgment calL.like "I liked this" or "That was very good". ...Like at one point she said, "I thought the story was very good", and I thought, I wonder what was very good about it. She confirmed with the interviewer that she would like "objective data" based on what she "said" or "did". To Beth, her partner, she smiled and said, at the end of the conference, "Observers do see more than you see, you know". Beth disclosed to the interviewer that she was "unclear about what is relevant" in the process. She "didn't feel she had enough information to talk about" because "it was difficult to see what the kids were most into". She asked the interviewer, "So do I just say, I had a difficult time finding out that"? Beth conjectured that: We probably didn't have enough conferencing time before hand... . We...I had actually forgotten about it. Beth conjectured about the changes she would make for the next observation when she will be the observee: ...maybe something that's a little bit easier to 65 observe. ...if I wanted to be specific I might have something written down for her to check. The closing words of the stimulated recall interview with Beth illustrated her feelings about the outcome of this first consultation experience. I felt good about it. I guess what I was concerned about was whether it was focussed enough and if you (researcher) feel what we discussed was relevant. Analysis • The first part of the analysis exarnines how the partners mutually make sense of data collected and addresses the first research question; the second part how the context influences the negotiation of meaning which is the focus of the second research question. A summary of the findings of this observation will appear at the end of the chapter. Negotiation of shared understandings. The first dilemma faced by the dyad was that Jessie's definition of the observational focus, "imaging", had not been mutually negotiated and clarified prior to the observation. Beth understood that Jessie wanted images like "enemies" and "what they looked like", but the partners had not mutually defined the term "imaging". Jessie assumed that Beth understood what she meant and Beth did not realize until she began to record the data in the observation that she was confused as to what Jessie wanted her to observe. Consequently, Beth recorded only a few lines of data. During the feedback conference, Jessie was able to select four incidents from Beth's general recall of the lesson that were helpful to her work with visual imagery. Beth was unaware of what data Jessie really wanted and verbalized as many aspects of the lesson as she could that might have been "relevant". The exchange was dialogic at one point in the conference when Beth offered concrete examples of images the students verbalized or used in their writing. Beth informed Jessie that "the most popular one [image] seemed to be the polar bear". Jessie asked Beth what part of the image was 66 most effective for the students and Beth responded that they "seemed to be really into the transformation from themselves into the Arctic animal" and that the "magic part seemed to really interest them" and that the development of the boys' stories "seemed to be more on the confrontation, the enemy". In the girls' stories there was "no confrontation". The partners were contributing equally to the discussion, sharing and exchanging information about the classroom observation, and offering their different points of view about the writing activity and student involvement. At another point, Jessie suggested that Beth might try "imaging" so that she could share with Jessie her own discoveries about the process. Communication was mostly monologic, however, when Beth was presenting her general ideas of the lesson while trying to supply Jessie with information she thought might be related to the focus. Neither the focus nor the data collection techniques were clarified mutually in the planning session. Consequently, the feedback conference did not satisfy the observee's informational needs, because it was based, not on the "objective" data she had expected, but on the "subjective" opinions and impressions of the observer. There was no mutual disclosure of their confusion and lack of understanding about what they were doing. The partners did, however, individually evaluate the feedback conference difficulties in the conference review with the researcher. Context. The consultation process represented a change in practice for Jessie and Beth. They had not previously experienced this kind of peer observation situation and both were uncertain as to what the expectations were for planning, observing, and conferencing together. Selecting a focus for the observation , collecting data and reporting and negotiating in a conference based on events of actual practice were apparently new to the participants. Although Jessie had participated in supervisory skills workshops, this was her first "real" experience. She and Beth had frequently conversed informally in the staffroom about aspects of practice, but this was the first time Beth had observed Jessie teach and discussed specific aspects of practice on a professional basis, as one peer 6 7 supervising another. Being observed by a colleague and two researchers and then interviewed by researcher was not a normal situation. The teachers were taking risks and experimenting with teaching practice and supervisory practice. These new situations created not only a different kind of relationship for the participants, but also different role expectations. OBSERVATION TWO: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES Description The second observation took place three weeks after the initial consultation experience. Jessie was the observer and Beth was the observee. Beth was attempting to involve the students in sharing their experiences about wolves by using eliciting techniques such as paraphrasing and repeating their statements. She was introducing a unit on wolves and wanted the students to be active participants in creating their own knowledge via large and small group discussion, based on their personal experiences. For this observation Beth (SIQ) wrote: We planned very briefly. I was quite specific and had a specific coding sheet. One of the insights that Beth had shared with the interviewer in the previous observation was that more time should have been spent on the pre-conference. From Beth's statements it would appear that the planning process was again brief. As the observee, Beth selected ...quite a narrow focus, teacher questioning and student response (SIQ). Jessie agreed that there was a ...specific written out list of characteristics that could be tallied up...This was only a fluke...not 68 planned from the previous meeting. In the conference review, Beth recounted about the data collection method: ...I know this is kind of hard for someone to code that hasn't kind of...and I did go over them a little bit with her. Beth had learned how to code the response sheet as part of a thinking skills course, but did not share the background material with her partner prior to the observation. Jessie had no difficulty coding the responses, however. Once Jessie had presented the results of the tally to her partner, she became confused about what she should do next It was "difficult" because "the goal (observational focus) she was trying to get at, she had already met". Jessie had collected only the data that her partner had asked for and that was contained on the tally sheet. As a result of the absence of any other data, Jessie related to the interviewer that: I wanted to steer her into deeper reflection... . It was hard to get her to come to a point of what else she could do... . I was trying to think about what I could say that would help her think on the whole lesson and reflect about it. ...She seems to be reflecting a lot. The only trouble I had was trying to remain interested in having her reflect rather than getting into a...full discussion ourselves about the whole thing. Jessie elicited from Beth information that indicated Beth's rationale for using these particular instructional strategies. She asked direct questions about the process such as: What does the research say about optimum learning with these kinds of responses? Were you hoping they'd go further along one path? Beth's body language indicated she was uncomfortable with this questioning. She shifted body position, played with her pen and her bracelet. However, Beth answered Jessie's question that these reflecting and paraphasing strategies were "appropriate" as a "starting point" for eliciting student experiences, thoughts and feelings about the wolf pelt 69 they were examining and discussing. She explained to Jessie that in this teaching for thinking process, "we are supposed to try to work on what the children know already". Her personal dilemma is "to hold back" from providing information because "I am dying to tell them 11. In the stimulated recall, Beth realized that Jessie was really asking her what her objective was for the lesson and for using these strategies and she conjectured that this information "maybe should be gone over in the preconference, do you think?" Jessie suggested to Beth that for another time ...it would be interesting to write down what your response was to them...what the response of the kid was. Beth did not respond to Jessie, but commented later to the stimulated recall interviewer that this data collection process was exactly the one she had used in the thinking skills course. Jessie continued to "steer" the dialogue back to Beth's objective for using the strategies, asking: So as far as a person wanting to get better at this, what do you think is the next step for you? Beth replied: ...I might have given them a few more lead questions before they started. I don't know if I was very specific about that. ...I guess just doing it more. Yeah, doing it more. The kids obviously don't have enough practice at it. I think they're not comfortable with it. Jessie explained to the interviewer that she "persisted" with the question ...partly because I want to know the answer and ...so she would know what she did and then find out what she needs to do getting them better at that skill. In the conference interaction, Jessie paraphrased Beth's summary: So to get better...you'd get them really comfortable ...you'd keep up this reflecting and repeating until 70 you sensed they were...comfortable..that you could start pressing on. Beth replied: ...when I do this again...you could come in...I should probably [have the students] explain where [they] get [their] ideas from. ...But that's promoting analysis ...and they're too uncomfortable on that today. The conference appeared to end. But then the partners continued to brainstorm other ideas to extend this lesson, and negotiated which ones would be viable. At the "actual" conclusion of the conference, Jessie told Beth that as the observer, "Even just noting it for you it kind of internalizes it for me". When asked by the interviewer what she meant by that statement, Jessie replied: Just that it heightens your awareness of what the different kinds of responses might be...to see some [responses] that you know you never do, to see one that you know you always do and just even that much. Jessie also remarked being the observer, rather than the observee, this time that: ...I was trying to keep myself out of it in order to facilitate her [reflection] which was kind of hard to do. ...I wasn't having as many, "Yeah! I was thinking that...". I was thinking more, now she's talking. That's good. Now what will I ask next? In the stimulated recall session, Beth talked about how this thinking skills course had precipitated a re-thinking of her "whole philosophy" and ...what so many of us tend to do and what...it's very difficult to try get out of doing...finding it difficult to change...allowing children to think...and build confidence in their thinking. ...They're absorbing all our information and ...tend not to build up any confidence in their own ability to think and put things together. Beth related to the interviewer her dilemma of trying to initiate such new instructional strategies. I've known this [thinking skills strategies] for a 71 year...to implement it all into action is hard... I find I'm not doing it enough, I know. Both the teachers in the stimulated recall sessions, referred to the value of the consultation process. Jessie remarked that: Beth and I do the process already...reflecting and talking and asking questions of each other and commenting on the classroom responses of the kids, we do that already. The benefit to students of teachers conferencing about practice is perceived by Jessie as an opportunity to ...practice being an attentive listener, hearing exactly what they're saying and being able to draw out more...or just facilitate deeper reflection. For Beth, working with Jessie is "definitely, from what I can see the most effective way" for teachers to work on change, "but that'd take a lot of confidence in other teachers, and trust". Analysis Negotiation of shared understandings. Once again the planning session was brief. The observational focus was teacher responses that facilitated student thinking and student contribution of personal thoughts and feelings. The data collection method, chosen by the observee, seemed straightforward to both parties, until the feedback conference. Due to the lack of detailed discussion of the observation, and the lack of negotiation beforehand about the information the observee wanted from the data, the partners did not anticipate that the tally sheet would prove an inadequate data generator. Eighty percent of the observee's responses fell within the response facilitation categories. Unfortunately, there were no recorded verbatim statements of exacdy which paraphrases and reflections prompted the most student response, or the student 72 responses. The tally sheet was an inappropriate method for gathering the kind of information the observee wanted. In the post-observation conference, they negotiated what they should have done. The observer should have collected the verbatim statements of the teacher and students to allow for an analysis of the most effective categories in the feedback conference. The observee really wanted qualitiative data but chose a quantitative data collection instrument. Despite this limitation there was negotiation of shared understandings about teaching for thinking skills in general, and, in particular, about how the observee could improve the learning conditions for the students by using the strategies more frequently. The observer was able to "steer" and focus the conference by the use of persistent and direct questioning about the observee's intentions for that particular lesson and for future implementation. Beth conceded the goal was to get the students sharing their experiences rather than the teacher-as-expert providing all the knowledge. Jessie, as reflection-facilitator, prodded the observee with questions that enabled her to reach the conclusion that, to improve the students' ability to contribute their thoughts and feelings in a group, she would have to practice the strategies more with them. Mutual negotiation resulted in Beth clarifying her thinking about what direction she would proceed with these concepts, and in Jessie satisfying her curiousity about the underlying theory and practice. During the conference Jessie reiterated that the process of observing had heightened her awareness of teaching for thinking strategies, as well as her awareness of her own habitual behaviours in the classroom. Clarifying the observational focus, lesson objectives, and reaching an agreement about appropriate data collection were not planned before the observation, but rather in the feedback conference. Both participants appeared satisfied with the consultation and continued to generate more specific ideas for future practice after the main discussion of the lesson was over. 73 Context. Two interesting developments in the conference emerged. The first was the role confusion for both parties. Jessie, as the observer, was momentarily perplexed about how to continue the consultation once the coding sheet behaviours had been tallied and summarized as percentages. Her decision was to "steer" the dialogue towards sharing an understanding of the lesson by first eliciting the rationale from the observee, and then the "next step" to be taken in pursuing the new practice. Beth, as the observee, realized that her partner was questioning her motives for using the practice and that more explanation of her lesson objectives prior to the observation might have eliminated the necessity for a defence of the strategies in the feedback conference. Jessie also struggled with the dilemma of either acting as detached observer and attempting to facilitate the deeper reflection of the observee about practice or of actively becoming involved in satisfying her curiousity about the theory and practice of teaching for thinking. She perceived herself to have succeeded in satisfying both desires. At this point, Jessie still considered the collegial consultation they were engaged in to be the same process they were doing already in their staffroom discussions. The nature of the collegial interaction that the partners had previously established was valued and simply continued in the new collegial consultation context. In the conference review, Jessie perceived the value of the collegial consultation process as providing an opportunity for "attentive listening" which encouraged "deeper reflection" about actual observed events. Beth reflected about the value of observation for learning about different ways of teaching. She talked of collegial consultation as being the "only hope of teachers really changing, especially teachers being very set". With the current expectations for change, she noted that: There's a lot of teachers feeling very, very self-conscious about their teaching strategies and teaching styles. Teachers learning from other teachers, Beth recounted, was a reality for her and Jessie. Jessie and I are quite different in our ways and ... we have a lot to learn from each other, a lot. Beth identified the dilemma of changing practice as being more than just "knowing" and "believing in", but also the "not doing it enough" in practice. This observation made her aware that implementing new strategies required actually practising the strategies "more", and most importantly, that change required specific action. The observation provided that opportunity to practise new instructional strategies. OBSERVATION THREE: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES Description Once again, as in the first observation, Jessie was the observee and Beth, the observer. As the conference opened, the partners joked that the video camera should be turned off, since they had had no time to "pre-conference the conference". Jessie indicated that Beth should begin, "So. Go." Beth was clenching and releasing a pen, her arms crossed and in her lap, while sitting up very straight. She admitted to the interviewer that, "I'm slow starting" and "can't get the words out of my mouth". There was no eye contact at the opening of the conference. Between the observation and the conference Jessie had queried Beth about her data collection experience. Beth informed the interviewer: We were talking about it [the observation] afterward...about collecting objective data and just kind of talking to her about what I observed... my making judgments on the data. ...We're starting to realize we don't know how [to collect data]. ...She said we'd probably be much more elaborate...and I would be madly writing down... .And I thought, "Goodness! How can you do that? It'd be pretty hard ... I thought I would try to remember it ...as a whole, on how the group went. For this observation, Jessie reported asking Beth ...to look for when the kids responded, to note  down if she could the name of the kid, what was the response, and then write down what happened immediately previous to the response. I was trying to get an indication of what I did or what events spurred a response. Beth's interpretation of that request was the following: Jessie asked me to watch closely and notice what got the children to elaborate more..,or got them to speak more. Talking about their negotiations regarding how to collect data, Beth j replied that: It's not easy—because we know each other so well. [We're just] realizing you have to sit down and focus it more ...[and I should have] done a bit more in the pre- conference and more kind of, "How do you want me to record the data?" ...I admit we did not sit down and organize it well enough. Jessie accepted the responsibility for what ensued. She acknowledged: Maybe I didn't make it clear enough to write down exactly what words were said before, or if it wasn't me, what the kids said, or if it was a non-verbal thing that sparked the kids. In the conference dialogue Beth revealed that she understood what information Jessie wanted from the observational focus. You were interested in knowing just what it was precipitated the discussing it. ...I know we're not supposed to make judgments but perhaps because you paraphrased more it allowed them to elaborate more on what they were thinking. When Beth began the observation she almost immediately made the decision not to record what she was seeing because ...it seemed to be mostly the same, a lot of similar things happening...so I thought...even if I was jotting some of these things down they were quite similar, except for the interaction...the discussion with the boys... . Beth chose to record her impressions mentally, rather than physically record the actual events. Jessie interpreted this decision as Beth ... not totally understanding the data collecting because she's sitting back and making the odd note but saying, "I think" and ["I feel"]. Beth informed the interviewer that she liked "to get the feeling of the lesson as a whole", and was afraid that by trying to record a description she would "lose" this "whole" feeling. During the conference Jessie asked Beth a direct question based on the observational focus: So what do you think, do you think what sparked their response was each other? Beth responded, "Yeah!", and then proceeded to give her opinions about the different segments of the lesson. She noted, for example, that the brainstorming activity Jessie had used to elicit student ideas about the two characters in the story "may be a drawback" and not conducive to a discussion, and that recording student feedback visually on a chart for the visual learners might be helpful. This was an interpretation not substantiated by written data, but Jessie found it to be "a good little understanding". Jessie selected information from Beth's general impressions of the lesson that would facilitate student discussion about the topic. Asked by the interviewer if she thought more detailed data collection would have helped to improve the focus of the consultation, Jessie replied: It would have kept her objective more [although] the answers may have ended up being the same. ...She looked and she thought that's probably what helped [foster response] but it's not a clear cut, "Oh, yeah. Nineteen responses after you paraphrased". In the conference, Jessie gave Beth a concrete example of the kind of data that might have been recorded. A student verbalized and transferred an image from one setting, earth, to another setting, space. She explained the incident: 77 [He said], "The grass in the story is now the stars". He was taking specific details and transferring them. Beth, however, digressed during the conference into a discussion about story and action and analyzed the situation in the following way: We're not focussed from the very beginning, but I think it's all very valuable. We kind of discussed ... what kind of things got the kids talking ...and we've gone into other things. Watching this part of the conference, Beth realized that the consultation was "almost an informal discussion about what happened". Beth also disclosed that she had been introduced to training in data collection at university, but she found it "complicated", a "huge task". "I remember not being kind of, very [sic] into it". Jessie also remarked on this part of the conference and said: We're having a nice little discussion here. ...It certainly isn't step by step on the exact focus (laughter). ...You know I don't think we had enough data to do it. During the conference, Beth realized she had digressed at this point and questioned Jessie: Now what other things were you hoping that I would [do]? What precipitated their comments? Jessie then began to summarize the observer's thoughts on the lesson: You think the visual helps. ...I never thought of that before. ...That's a good thought. ...You mentioned too about the children facing the front which is more conducive to bramstorrning then it was to discussion. Beth reinforced the point: Well, I definitely saw more kids clued in when you started recording. Jessie continued to summarize: 78 ...So the visual helped, ...when the discussion got to where they were actually commenting on each other's comments. ...And that you thought they interacted more in smaller groups. They did more responding to paraphrasing. At the end of the conference, Jessie reiterated the four factors that had emerged from the observer's overall impression of the lesson and the observee's own deductions: changing the grouping from large group to smaller groups, changing the seating configuration to a circle for better discussion, recording the information from the discussion visually to address visual learners and providing more time for small group interaction and student sharing. To improve the data collection and foci clarification, Beth agreed that, ...it would need more pre-conferencing. I guess I'm not taking it very seriously. ...If you want to do a good job, you probably have to sit down and focus it more. ...We did not sit down and organize it well enough. Jessie explained her feelings to the interviewer after the conference: I mean, this is me talking. I think it is important to stick to the focus and stay on target...to get that [sic] data on that thing they're trying to work on to get them to that next step. Having an observer in the classroom for Jessie ...is a rare opportunity to have...that extra set of eyes that you don't really have. ...I think it's a almost a shame to have that extra set of eyes and not know what the eyes saw . Jessie explained in the conference review that: It's a matter of, Is this somebody's opinion or is this really what happened? In Jessie's opinion, actual recorded data, "don't lie". It was just after this third observation that Jessie discovered that Beth did not have or "doesn't remember" having had data collection skills courses. Jessie had been "assuming, she's got all this background knowledge [about supervisory skills] and she 79 hasn't". To the interviewer Beth remarked, "I vaguely remember doing a little bit in university". Beth had different thoughts, in her conference review, about specific feedback: That's probably what's lacking in this project right now, not that I see it as being very important to conferencing and the whole process progression... but perhaps we're not seriously trying to find something. At this point in the stimulated recall, Beth asked the interviewer if it "would be an advantage to have someone you didn't know"[doing the consultation process]. She felt this might make the post conference "more objective" because when you know "each other so well..it turns out to be more subjective". In spite of the subjectivity of the observational data, Beth reported on the benefits of observing Jessie teach. Jessie's quite different from me. She doesn't have a certain expectation right there and thinking that this is how far they'll go and this is what they'll do with this. [She's] more open...opens my eyes... . I'm a litde more ...close my eyes maybe. ...I'm going to give more guidance..more structure...to all of them ...and maybe I think sometimes you end up stilting or stunting some of the ones who could have gone further. For planning the next observation, when she was to be the observee, Beth informed the interviewer that: The expectations of the person collecting the data [should be] more clear...the objectives quite clear ...what I'm looking for and maybe more than one thing. One thing can be done very quickly. I feel I know the areas I need to improve on (laughter). In addition, Beth concluded that "some skills in recording data would be helpful". Jessie had decided that, "We'll spend a lot more time on the recording". She won't "just say fairly quickly what I want her to record" and won't, in the future, be "assuming she's got all this background knowledge". 80 Analysis Negotiation of shared understandings. In this conference, it immediately became apparent that the message Jessie had tried to convey to her partner prior to the observation about the observational foci and data collection methods had not been the message received by the observer. Beth heard "notice" and "watch", not "note" and "write down". Consequently, neither the foci nor the data collection methods were clarified until the feedback conference when it was discovered they were not mutually understood. The partners had also not mutually clarified their expectations for the feedback conference. The result, therefore, is a conference based on "three" lines of data. The "consultation" was a general discussion of the lesson rather than a specific discussion of the actual verbatim description of actions of teacher and students that precipitated the most student response. Both partners had different interpretations of the words "data", "data collection" and "feedback conference". To Beth, data collection meant an overall mental impression of what she remembered seeing and hearing in the lesson, what she felt and thought to be important rather than what the observee had asked to be collected. To Jessie, data collection involved a written recording of the actual events centering on the observee's observational foci. To ensure she received some feedback, Jessie guided the conference with direct questions to her partner to elicit any information she thought would help her learn more about the concern she had identified. The observer digressed from the focus but did come to recognize she was off-topic and brought the conference back to the focus by asking the observee what else she had wanted to know. Instead of receiving specific, recorded, objective data based on her identified concern, Jessie received opinions and a general impression of the lesson, recalled without the benefit of accurate descriptive data. Jessie deduced the four factors that appeared to influence student response and Beth agreed with her partner's assessment of the subjective feedback she had provided. Only minutes before this conference had Beth 81 become aware that her conception of "objective" data and her partner's were not congruent. Beth was also unaware that, to her partner, "objective" meant descriptive recordings of actual events. She provided her thoughts and feelings about the lesson and thought they were objective because they had been "observed". Beth was not aware that the data she was presenting did not fulfill the expectations of her partner. Jessie expected a written record of verbatim behaviours, not a recollection of what happened. Beth was also oblivious to the fact, that by her unilateral decision not to record the data asked for, she prevented her partner from gaining access to information she wanted and from drawing her own conclusions from the data. During the conference, neither partner was willing to negotiate further about their different expectations regarding the supervisory process. Subsequently, with the interviewer in the conference review, they were open and honest about their thoughts and feelings. During the consultation, they would only negotiate issues of teaching practice, not issues and individual concerns about the consultation process per se. From this consultation and the previous two, the partners had reached a new awareness of what they had to do in the next conference to enable both the observee and observer to negotiate more effectively. Although Jessie did not confront Beth about her supervisory history, she did so prior to the next conference. The partners did not directly negotiate their difficulties within the conference process itself, but reflected and analyzed their data collection and feedback dilemmas in the conference reviews. Context. Beth illuminated the dilemma faced by the participants in the feedback conference when she asked the interviewer if more objective data might be obtained if she was partnered by "someone you didn't know". As the observer in this observation, she had been made aware by her partner that her mental recall data collection "method" was not what her partner expected. Their prior "staffroom" interaction patterns were based on general discussions of practice, but both interactants were beginning to realize that this observational cycle was a new situation that called for different assumptions and 82 expectations. Beth, as the observer, was acting habitually in the way she would have in one of the general discussions about practice that typically occurred in the staffroom. However, observing classroom practice and providing specific data based on a concern identified by the observee, presupposed certain role expectations and obligations for both parties. There was an expectation for specific feedback, collected for a specific purpose, to improve or develop practice. Professional dialogue was to be accompanied by a decision for specific action or a decision that no action was necessary. The expected outcome for collegial consultation was, therefore, different from that of an unstructured staffroom discussion based on selected events recalled by the classroom teacher. A change in behaviour was expected to accompany the findings of the consultation, whereas no changes in behaviour or beliefs were necessarily expected to result from staffroom discussions. Jessie and Beth were beginning to realize in this observation that their interaction patterns would have to change in this new consultation context if the purpose of changing less-than-desirable practices was to be fulfilled. OBSERVATION FOUR: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES Description In this observation, Jessie is the observer, and Beth the observee. Both partners had separately reached the conclusion in the previous observation that they needed to spend more time pre-conferencing and planning the observation. Jessie, as the observer, takes the responsibility for organizing the two brief planning sessions. I guess for the first time, I've purposely taken on more of an organizing role, which is not the role I usually take. I'm usually quite happy to let somebody else [do it]". 83 There were at least two brief planning sessions, one the night before the observation and one the morning of the observation. Jessie admitted to the interviewer that, in the planning sessions, Beth was ambivalent about what focus she would like and what data she wanted to be collected. When asked how she accomplished the planning tasks of clarifying objectives and data collection techniques, Jessie replied: I nailed her down. ...She was giving me the same thing, maybe this, maybe that. That was last night. Early this morning she said, "Oh, I'm not going to do this, I'm going to do this". ...But the [new] focus was not that much different. To accomplish this task, Jessie recalled that she asked Beth direct questions such as, "What in your teaching do you want to improve most?", "What do you mean by this?" and "Do you want this or this?" If Beth suggested a data collection idea that Jessie could not manage, she said, "I can't do this". This was the process they used to reach the two foci and observational techniques that were finally used. In the conference review, Beth outlined the foci chosen: I wanted her to see how clear my instructions were 'cause I'm working on cooperative groups and ...I'm still fairly new at it and I'm trying to see if I'm...giving them adequate instructions to get going on the task, and also for her to look at the kids on-and off-task behaviours to see how they followed through on my instructions. Her rationale for choosing the cooperative groups focus was " 'cause that's one thing I want to improve on". Jessie admitted that the two foci were "a little bit" difficult to record but ...we decided the two would go well together... because, after the instructions if there's a lot of off-task, she would know how the instructions went...but it was definitely a handful doing both. In the stimulated recall interview, Beth stopped the tape and told the interviewer about the planning process: 84 We talked a litde bit about this before we decided about the whole objective...and so she made a seating plan and devised her way of collecting the data. It became much more objective as far as specific stuff. During the actual conference, Jessie explained to Beth how she had recorded the on and off-task behaviours: So I just put on this paper exactly what they were doing [and] you can decide what's on or off. Later when she read off the behaviours of the students as they began their group work, Jessie told Beth that: There may be some [behaviours] that you would term off that I wouldn't term off [task]. Jessie presented an account of five students sharpening pencils prior to going into their groups. This stimulated her to comment to the interviewer that: ... the discussion seemed a litde bit more specific than last time. Exacdy five kids sharpening pencils [and] whether that's a good or bad thing. In response to the pencil sharpening observation, Jessie remarked to Beth: I don't know if you want to call that off. This conference dialogue stimulated Beth to express to the interviewer that she found the data ...interesting...but I didn't notice...sharpening pencils.... I'm not one to say, "Okay, make sure you have sharp pencils on your desk". ...So everything has to be ready at the beginning of the day. And then she revealed that: Perhaps if somebody wasn't watching me I wouldn't be too concerned about the sharpening of pencils...but the fact that someone is watching me makes me think maybe I should be (laughter) concerned about the disruption that the sharpening has caused. 85 Although Jessie had not labelled sharpening pencils as on- or off-task, Beth apparently concluded that ...when she's looking, kids were off-task and most of the things she brought up were sharpening pencils. The interviewer asked the observee (Beth) if she considered this an example of off-task behaviour, to which she replied, "That was another example". With the interviewer in the conference review, Beth conjectured: But you can take it further and say, "Well, is it legitimate off-task behaviour?"...Is it something you would work on to try to eliminate? The observee did not answer those questions but instead thought that "my idea of having the kids only talking first in small groups" might have eUminated that behaviour. Later Beth commented to the interviewer that: Maybe the fact that someone's observing you makes you more reflective...because it makes you focus on something. ...It made me focus on the whole cooperative learning thing and instructions and how much instruction you need to give and what to do when there are problems working in groups and not keeping on task. To Jessie, in the conference, Beth commented: Well it is quite a disruption, when you think, if kids are all having to sharpen their pencils. ... You can kind of see how those kinds of things like sharpening pencils...how they do tend to take up time...when you've only got 5 or 10 minutes to do something. Her partner(Jessie), in the conference review, interpreted this as an indication of ambivalence and uncertainty in decision-making and suggested that it stemmed from: ...a personality trait that she has through most aspects of her life. ...It seems to me she has a hard time...choosing. After Jessie had presented the data to her partner in the conference, she asked her: How do you think you could get...I guess it depends 86 how you perceive the pencil sharpening thing to be... How do you think you could get them more on-task? Beth replied: You mean having sharpened pencils in the morning? Jessie responded that she was "tWnking more about the actual kind of interaction". Beth did generate some suggestions, like more "groundwork" and group selection. She then returned to the issue of the pencils and said she considered that "part of preparing them for the task". The part that would have bothered me was the kids that were not being part of it for other reasons... keeping everyone involved. However, in the conference review Beth revealed: What concerns me is #1, they should have been motivated to stay on-task a litde more and #2, they needed more experience in cooperative groups. Beth's statements about the observational feedback further illustrated her ambivalence. She seemed to hold a different view privately from what she expressed publicly in the conference about the classroom episode. At one point she recalled that she "observed it just as she [the observer] did, when I was going around". As for the helpfulness of the data, Beth replied: Mind you, I guess it does help to have it written down...Although... No, I didn't find it...but just the fact she was there doing it made me more aware, focussed...I might not have focussed so much on it, had she not been there. But the surprise she registered on hearing the data about the pencil sharpening incident appeared to contradict the observee's statements about observing the lesson just as the observer did. She subsequently repeated to the interviewer that ...when I finished the lesson, I could even feel that I could go through that whole lesson and decide exacdy what I did wrong and how I would change it. Yeah. And although Jessie gave me feedback I think I was...aware of most of that anyway. 87 Beth stopped the tape to inform the interviewer that the tallies of on- and off-task behaviours were "not all that helpful". Instead she would have preferred ...her [the observer's] feeling of the lesson as a whole. Like where did I lose the flow... . It's almost like I'm asking for advice. The interviewer inquired if what she wanted was "subjective professional feedback" and Beth responded: ...kind of what she noticed or what her perceptions of it were, her interpretations, and I can judge, I can accept them or reject them. Also Beth decided, after the conference, that she would have found it more helpful if Jessie had had "time to interpret her data and say generally, rather than all the little specifics". Beth continued: I'm not going to say, "Don't bug me with all those itsy bitsies. ...Just tell me how it all fits together and make sense of it". She recalled: ...We could have done that in the conference. I could have said, "Well, after looking at your observations what do you think?" Taking this action, however, might have made her partner feel "uncomfortable" or "appear critical". Beth commented: That's the hard part. ...You know what I'd find more helpful...my lesson to be videotaped. ...Although I think that is quite nerve wracking. ...In a sense it's like going back to student teaching. ...You'd be able to stop it ...so the objective would be there as well as making interpretations as you're going along. Musing on the type of feedback that she received, Beth related: ...I did find it a little bit confusing, the information she was giving me, because the way she recorded it which was making sense to her...but to me...it's too hard to keep a total enough picture...to make sense...'cause sometimes when you break it into little parts...it's harder to get the feeling...it is quite 88 hard to observe all of them...unless you've got an extremely easy-to-follow system. In her stimulated recall session, Jessie reflected: ...that what she was digging at was the quality of on-task behaviour...'cause she mentioned before that she really wanted to get good at putting effective groups together... . I think that... [she] was maybe trying to get at more than strict on and off. The conference saw the partners engaged in dialogue about ways to improve the quality of the data by coding exactly the on-task behaviours, "exactly what they are doing". Jessie then offered Beth concrete suggestions about what she would find "beneficial" to improve the group work. If it was my class I would find it beneficial to know who was being verbal, who was being non-verbal. Beth subsequently declared to the interviewer that "that would be extremely [helpful]". On the value of the feedback from this observation, Beth confided during the conference review that: ...This one was more objective...more formal... . I really didn't like it as much. ...We talked about it this morning...we really should be doing this... more of the objective instructional observation, and then just letting me interpret that. ...It wasn't ...conclusive...enough solid information. ...I'm more into an interpretation of the recorded data. Of all the observations, Jessie reported that she"liked this one the best", because: ...there were some cold hard things to look at ...and...Beth did a lot of reflecting about some specifics...she had some better ideas where she was going to go. 89 Analysis Negotiation of shared understandings. The partners attempted to follow through on some of their prior observational learnings. Jessie, as the observer, accepted the responsibility for organizing the planning sessions based on the realization in round three that Beth had experienced litde previous supervisory skills training. After Jessie's persistent and direct questioning about what she wanted to improve in her teaching Beth chose two foci. Together, they negotiated or "nailed down" what they thought at the time were specific foci. There were no difficulties mutually clarifying the first focus, which was clarity of teacher instructions. Jessie shared with Beth that she would write down the verbatim statements of the observee and those of the students to indicate if student confusion was evident. Beth agreed that this was appropriate. The data collection dilemma surfaced in the feedback conference with the pencil sharpening incident. This incident indicated that the second focus had not been mutually clarified in the planning sessions. When the observer presented the data that five students were sharpening pencils and not with their groups, the observee interpreted this as off-task although the observer made it clear that she had assigned no "on" or "off-task" judgment to the description. The partners had not mutually defined off-task behaviours prior to the observation. In the conference Jessie did not interpret pencil sharpening as on or off-task. Beth, however, perceived that the observer considered the incident as off-task and indicated to her partner, early in the conference, that she considered pencil sharpening to be off-task. Later she remarked that she did not consider it to be off-task, but rather preparation for the group activity. The pencil sharpening incident raised to a conscious level a taken-for-granted, habitual practice that Beth admitted she had not noticed as she was supervising the groups. Her ambivalence in deciding what category the behaviour fell into illustrated the dissonance the information had caused. The observer sensed her partner was becorning 90 defensive and felt threatened by the information and did not explore the issue further. The observee did not forget the incident and continued to reflect on it in the conference review but did not resolve it. She did not deal with the underlying issue about whether this was an appropriate use of student learning time. Jessie, as the observer, steered the conference dialogue back to the focus by asking Beth how she would promote more on-task behaviours in future cooperative work. After Jessie had presented concrete examples of what she found worked in the classroom, Beth was able to conclude that more "groundwork" had to be laid, more instructions had to be given to the students to teach them the skills of working cooperatively. The other dilemma that arose in this observation was the lack of negotiation about their different interpretations of meaningful feedback. In the planning session, the observee did not question or disagree with the observer's decision to use a seating plan and record the on- and off-task behaviours of the students. However, after the post-observation conference, the observee expressed her dissatisfaction with the "specifics" offered by such data, as "sixteen on-task and three off-task". After experiencing the conference, she had clarified what data would have been more helpful to her identified concern. Beth found the tally of behaviours did not provide what she wanted, which was a subjective interpretation of the data by the observer and the observer's general "advice" which the observee could then accept or reject. Her partner's view of objective data differed from this interpretation. Objective data for Jessie meant an accurate recording of the actual events in the classroom based on the observee's chosen focus. Beth conceded, by the end of the conference review, that both objective and subjective data were probably necessary, but her preference was for a subjective, "holistic" impression of the lesson. Her partner was pleased with this observation because Beth had identified some "specifics" for future directions in cooperative group work. The partners had not, at this point, made explicit to each other their different expectations of the feedback conference. 91 Context. In this consultation process, Jessie confronted Beth with the information that the expectations for collegial consultation were different from their prior "shooting the breeze" sessions in the staffroom. Therefore, Beth understood that this consultation would be based on the collection of specific, objective data rather than simply the general thoughts and opinions of the observer. Beth accepted this decision. As the observee, she was not responsible for data collection. Her partner, Jessie, was now aware that her prior assumptions that Beth's supervisory skills were similar to her own were incorrect and, in her role as observer, set out to help the observee (Beth) identify foci important to her and data collection devices that would satisfy her feedback needs. Jessie was aware that carefully focussed collegial consultation was not what she and Beth had been "doing" in their past staffroom discussions. She realized that this new relationship was task oriented and "interdependent" with specific roles and responsibilities for the participants. The value of the consultation process was clear to Jessie because it provided an opportunity for feedback and for evaluating teaching practice. Beth, at this point, was ambivalent about the value of the observation and objective feedback but she did concede that being observed made her focus more on what she was doing in the lesson and reflect more about the lesson. She appeared to be struggling to make sense of her teaching practices and the consultation process. The new consultation context required the partners to interact in new ways. In this observation, Beth did not confront Jessie with the fact that she was dissatisfied with the feedback just as Jessie did not probe more deeply into the issues underlying the pencil sharpening incident. The new consultation context required a re-negotiation of the relationship and the re-establishment of trust and rapport. The partners were able to discuss openly their thoughts and feelings about the consultation process with the interviewer but were unable, at this point in time, to be open with their partners. 92 Confrontation about practice and an expectation to change or develop practice were not part of the staffroom discussion context and their prior interaction patterns. FINDINGS In this section, the four major findings from the analyses, within and across the four observations, will be reported. The first finding is that the prior interaction patterns of the dyad interfered with negotiations of shared understandings. The second finding is that past experiences and training in the supervisory process created different understandings regarding definitions and expectations of collegial consultation, data sources, data collection, and meaningful feedback. The third finding is that, because of the variations in definitions, the participants had different interpretations of the observer and observee roles. The fourth finding is that despite the negotiational dilemmas that occurred because of the three previous findings, the dyad exhibited growth in understanding of their teaching and consultation practices. What follows is an elaboration of each of these findings. Prior Interaction Patterns The prior interaction patterns established in the staffroom context interfered with the negotiation of shared understandings in the new collegial consultation situation. Habitual patterns of interaction had been created in the dyadic relationship over five years. General discussions in the staffroom about classroom practices were the norm for Jessie and Beth. The new consultation process using data-based observations created new expectations, new roles, and responsibilities for the participants. The nature of their staffroom interaction was based on sharing different points of view and aspects of their classroom practice. The two teachers believed that they shared 93 a very similar philosophy of teaching, although they recognized and accepted that their teaching styles were quite different. They had developed a norm which allowed them to disengage from their dialogue when they disagreed about some aspect of practice. Within their staffroom interaction, there was no expectation nor cornmitment to change classroom practice even though they may have found their conversation (which they believed, until the third observation, to be synonymous with collegial consultation) to be enjoyable and thought-provoking. The new situation, however, demanded a task-oriented relationship and differentiated focus, with new role responsibilities for the observer and observee. More reciprocal patterns of interaction were demanded by the consultation cycle which assumed a commitment to professional growth and a cornmitment to take action to change less-than-desirable practices. Because Jessie and Beth believed that they knew each other so well, they seemed to take for granted that they understood each other's teaching practice and therefore raised no questions about it. Based on their staffroom conviviality, they similarly believed that there was no need to query their understanding of the meaning of collegial consultation. These beliefs created obstacles as they began experiencing the consultation cycle. With respect to their teaching practice, they did not engage in negotiation in the sense of reaching an understanding which would lead to a change in practice. Until the fourth observation, they were able to do litde more than exchange information and opinions about the observational focus. With respect to the practice of consultation, they were unable to negotiate their feelings, thoughts, and different understandings and expectations because their prior social relationship had led them to believe that they already understood these things, when, in fact, the conference feedback and review data made it clear that they did not. 94 Past Experiences and Training The second finding is that past experiences and training in the supervisory process created different understandings, definitions, and expectations of the consultation process. Their personal definitions of collegial consultation were influenced by their previous experiences and training. Jessie had had training, but no actual experience in practising the process on an on-going basis. Her experiences in the first three observations increased her awareness and understanding of data-based observation and the added dimension of the expectation of change in practice. Beth's interpretation of collegial consultation was influenced by her most recent experiences with the supervisory process which were in a summative evaluation context. The different interpretations of collegial consultation influenced their expectations and definitions of what constitued data, data collection and feedback. Jessie interpreted "data" to be specific, objective, non-evaluative description of the actual events in the classroom. Beth defined "data" as general, mental recollections of observed events. Data collection was defined by Jessie, therefore, as recording verbal and non-verbal behaviours and interactions of teachers and students using selected instruments. Beth rarely recorded more than a few lines of information and relied on mental recall in the post-observation conference. For her, objective data was constituted by quantitative data, coding sheets and check lists or tallies. These contrasting interpretations meant that neither participant received the feedback they expected in the conference. Jessie expected facts, based on the chosen observational focus, supported by a written description of the observed events. Beth presented what she expected in the feedback conference which was her opinion and subjective interpretation or overall general impression of the lesson based on mental recall. Neither partner confronted the other about their different expectations for the conference sessions, although they expressed their views in the stimulated recall sessions. This suggested that, while both participants 95 were able, to a certain extent, to transcend their past experiences and training during interaction with a non-colleague (in the recall interview), their actions in the live collegial consultation process rarely did, at this point in time. Role Interpretation The variation in how each dyad member interpreted the consultation process, and the component parts, influenced their interpretations of the role of the observer and observee in the post-observation conference. Jessie's view was that the observer remained detached and presented the objective data from which the observee drew her own conclusions. Jessie's role as observer was to facilitate the reflection of her partner. In addition, Jessie perceived that one of her responsibilities was to offer support to her partner. In this sense, she interpreted her role as that of helper, assisting her partner to make decisions about future directions to improve practice. Beth's view was that the observer should interpret the data for the observee. The observee could then accept or reject the interpretation. There was no expectation that the observee would change practice. Again, they did not make explicit these views to each other in the post-observation conferences. By the fourth observation, Jessie, with her new awareness of Beth's lack of understanding about data collection, deliberately set out to organize the planning conference so that as observer she could collect data that met the stated needs of the observee. To this end, she met briefly with the observee twice to identify the observee's observation foci and to show the observee the data collection instruments she would use. As a result of these short planning sessions, the feedback conference in the fourth observation was based on specific, objective data. Beth was unaware that she, in the role of observer, had not been meeting the feedback needs of the observee. Therefore, the data she presented were not objective, 96 but subjective. Beth delivered opinions, hypotheses, and interpretations, but not a scripted, specific, factual account of the actual behaviours and interactions of the observee and students. The general discussions that resulted satisfied her definition of meaningful feedback but not the observee's expectations. After the third observation, Jessie, the observee, did inform her partner that instructional supervision was based on objective data. Beth had persisted in the old patterns of behaviour established in their prior staffroom discussions in which undifferentiated perceptions of classroom practices, and not data- based observation, provided the basis for the general conversations about practice. In the observee role, neither Jessie nor Beth defined or clarified the observation foci. Similarly, data collection methods were not negotiated until the fourth observation, and then only briefly. The feedback needs and expectations of the observee were not made known to the observer, nor sought by the observer until the last observation. Teacher Growth The fourth finding is that, despite the difficulties arising from the nature of their prior relationship and from their differing interpretations of various aspects of the collegial consultation process, the partners did experience some growth in their understanding of both teaching and consultation practice. In spite of the lack of objective data, Jessie managed to elicit helpful information from the general impressions of the lessons given by her partner. Each time she was the observee, she asked the observer direct questions based on the focus she had identified as observee. However, she was never confident about the validity of this information because it was not based on a recorded description of events. These subjective data did, however, offer Jessie confirmation of her own hypotheses about what had worked or had not worked as she experimented with instructional strategies in the writing process. She was constantly analyzing her own 97 practice, always aware of proceeding to the "next step" to improve her practice. Being observed had, indeed, made her more aware of her own classroom practices; self-monitoring became not only a personal goal, but also her interpretation of the purpose of collegial consultation. With Jessie's support and guidance, Beth was able to interpret her own teaching in a way that helped her conceive of what her "next step" would be for developing a particular practice. Beth learned that she had to practise the new instructional strategies more to increase her skill before the students could feel comfortable about sharing their experiences and their knowledge. She was questioning the role of teacher-as-expert, controlling knowledge selection and delivery. Beth was more comfortable talking about changing practice, than actually undertaking the change. She recognized and named this dilemma in the stimulated recall sessions. "Believing" and "knowing" were aspects of reflecting about change, but the actual "doing" or implementing, taking the risk and experimenting with change was difficult for her. Jessie understood her dilemma and actively supported her efforts to change. The structured time for the observations, conferencing, and stimulated recall sessions, provided the opportunity or catalyst to spur Beth on to try out these strategies that previously she had only talked about. Without the outside pressure of the upcorning observation, Beth admitted she probably would not have tried out the new practices. The opportunity to experience and practise the consultation process four times enabled the partners to gain a better understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and tasks involved. Not until after the third observation, did either partner realize that her prior definition of collegial consultation was not congruent with the reality of the new situation. By the fourth observation, Jessie had undertaken to organize and model her interpretation of "how-to" practise collegial consultation because she was now aware that Beth did not have the background knowledge and experience she had previously assumed. Despite specific objective data collection, and a focussed, specific feedback 98 session, Beth was not wholly satisfied with the data or the conference. The quantitative data on the on- and off-task behaviour did not match her expectations for a more descriptive accounting of the specific behaviours. The partners did not negotiate an understanding of this matter, because Beth did not make her feelings known to her partner. From this and the previous three observations, the participants identified the need to spend more time planning and clarifying the observational foci and data collection method as a priority for future observations. The partners were developing an enhanced understanding of how to consult together about practice, but the reciprocal nature of the relationship, for shared work and shared responsibility, was, at this point in time, only understood by Jessie. Beth was only beginning to become aware of the new task-oriented expectations of the newly defined collegial consultation process. She was still constructing the process and its various components in light of her recent personal and professional experiences. 99 Chapter Five CASE STUDY: HANNAH AND NANCY The purpose of this chapter is to describe and analyze Dyad #2 (Hannah and Nancy) as they experience the process of collegial consultation. The first section of this chapter will present demographic information about the teachers and the school context. The second section will include the four observations with a narrative description of the consultation accompanied by an analysis of the data in light of the two research questions: How do the partners negotiate shared understandings in the consultation process? How does .context influence the consultation process? A sequential presentation of the observations from the first to the fourth will permit the development of the dyads to be documented systematically as they learn together experientially. The third section will summarize the findings from the four analyses highlighting the dilemmas the dyads have confronted and the patterns of negotiation that have emerged through the two observation cycles. The influence of the context on the negotiation process will also be addressed. This last section addresses direcdy to the two research questions. T H E SETTING This section will provide demographic information about the teachers in Dyad #2, Hannah and Nancy. Details of their professional histories in education will include their prior teaching and supervisory experience. In addition, information on the school context will describe the size of the teaching and student populations, and a reference to the prevailing norms of collaboration among teachers and adrninistrators. The motivation of each teacher for participating in the project will also be reported. 100 Teacher Participants At the time of the first observation Nancy and Hannah had been WOTking in the same school for six months. Hannah had spent her first year teaching half-time and coaching the swim team half-time, at a middle school (grades 6-8) in a third world country. This is her second year teaching, her first in the intermediate grades. Three and one-half years ago, Nancy returned to teaching part-time after an absence of fifteen years. Prior to leaving teaching she had taught for two years in another country. Hannah teaches a combination four/five class and grade six and seven music. Nancy teaches general music classes from kindergarten to the fifth grade, including Hannah's class. Both teachers have completed their baccalaureate degrees; Hannah three years ago and Nancy twenty years ago. Their decision to work together was prompted by their mutual interest in music. Prior collaborative experience with others included coaching athletic teams for Hannah and job-sharing for Nancy. From the beginning of the school year the two of them have worked collaboratively with intermediate choir; Hannah directs and Nancy accompanies on the piano. In terms of previous supervisory training and experience, Hannah had recent training whereas Nancy had no training. School Context The dyad teaches in a community school with a student enrollment of 392, and 25.5 teacher equivalents. These numbers do not include support and supplementary professional staff. The designation of community school mandates collaboration with the community. Support staff within the school coordinate a range of activities which take the students into the community and bring the community into the school. Within the school, team teaching is encouraged and modelled by the head teacher/librarian, who also volunteered to participate so that she could experience first-101 hand the consultative experience with a peer. From the information available, the setting in this school could be described as actively fostering collegiality and collaboration. In addition to Hannah, Nancy and the head teacher, three other teachers from this schoool are also participating in the teacher development study. A total of six teachers on the staff are participating in the teacher development study. Collegiality is endorsed and actively supported by the principal and head teacher who often cover classes while teachers observe each other and conference together. When asked to elaborate on whether their working relationship was typical of the school, Hannah wrote in the Supplementary Information Questionnaire (SIQ): Definitely. Oar school is dedicated to teachers collaborating at a high level, as we are trying to have full integration with severely learning disabled students. Nancy responded: ...The TDP [Teacher Development Project] people are extra supportive of each other. Hannah described her motivation for participating in the project as ...working on an more intimate basis with my colleagues, as well as learning more about my own teaching arnd how I could become more effective.... [I thought] it would fit well in the new Professioisal Development contract we have with the board. "Curiosity" and a "desire to improve my own teaching methods" prompted Nancy to become involved after "our priacipal announced it". OBSERVATION ONE: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES This section and the tferee ensuing ones are structured in the same way. First, to trace their experiential development negotiating shared understandings, the observations 102 are described in sequence rather than grouped according to the observee/observer roles. Hannah is the observee in the first and third observations, and the observer in the second and fourth. Nancy is the observee in the second and fourth, and the observer in the first and third observations. Second, the narrative description of the observation follows the sequence of clinical supervision phases: planning the observation which includes selecting the observational foci and the data collection methods; and the post-observation or feedback conference. Additional data from the Supplementary Information Questionnaires (SIQ), the observation, and the conference reviews (stimulated recall interviews) augment the transcripts from the post-observation conferences. Third, the findings from the data analyses are reported in terms of the two research questions . Description This is the first opportunity for both participants to experience the process of collegial consultation. For this observation, Hannah is the observee and Nancy is the observer. Planning. Planning for this observation consisted of a "brief discussion (Nancy, SIQ). To choose a focus for the first observation, Hannah asked Nancy ...to look at those ...things my Faculty advisor told me to work on during my student teaching. According to Nancy "those things" were "charting the observee's movements" and "tone of voice". Hannah, in the conference review, related: In both student practicums I was told I had a tense high-pitched voice...it wasn't very well modulated. A third foci, not mentioned by Nancy, was the tally of teacher-student interaction that was coded on the same instrument as the observee's movements. In the stimulated recall session, Hannah remarked: 103 I sort of asked her to do that anyway, 'cause she had a seating plan and she checked off everytime I spoke to a student or called on them because I was also worried about responding to, asking the same students too much. Hannah's rationale for selecting movement patterns was that I just wanted ...to see if I have to change my patterns in the classroom. Data collection. Deciding on how the data were to be collected for this observation was done together. Hannah (SIQ) wrote: I suggested an idea to Nancy, one that works for me, and it seems to work for both of us. Data collection included recording the verbatim statements made by Hannah, noting the volume, loudness and softness throughout the lesson. Using a seating plan, Nancy also mapped Hannah's circulation patterns and teacher student interactions. Nancy, in the conference, shared that it was "...difficult to log everything in a readable sort of way". Hannah also remarked in the conference review that: It's hard for her to do everything That was really good the way she mapped it so I could see my path where I went everytime. In the conference review, Hannah indicated that Nancy's data "just went on the loud and soft, rather than the pitch and tone". By saying, "I'm not sure how easy that would be to log", Hannah recognized that request may have been difficult to achieve. For the next observation, Hannah related to the interviewer, she would like to know how much time she was "spending with individual students rather than the whole class". Times were not noted in the data. As the observee, Hannah reflected: ...it would have been nice to see how much time they were working in their groups and stuff. 104 Feedback conference. Nancy complimented Hannah at the opening of the conference. I was really impressed with the way you handled it... . You used one or two really good techniques ...saying things only once. ...I felt from the mapping here you covered most rows. Throughout the conference dialogue after Nancy presented portions of data Hannah would explain and justify the lesson objectives. If Nancy did not understand the data she said , "I didn't quite understand...", and Hannah would explain. Nancy made summarizing statements throughout the presentation of the feedback, for example: ...[when] you wanted to bring out the big points you raised your voice, but that's normal. Hannah expressed uncertainty: I don't know if that's good or not. Nancy replied: I don't know either [but] it seemed to work with the class. Hannah referred to the day before: ...I was doing it when I was stressing what I was going to put on the test, I would say it louder. Nancy responded: They pick up on that. I didn't find it obnoxiously loud in any sense. Throughout these interchanges the interactants maintained eye contact. Nancy then commented on the last segment of the lesson: ..."Listening", you must have said. "Who can make a sentence showing what we've learned?" I noticed you were really soft-voiced here. So you do use a softer voice! Nancy then asked Hannah: I wasn't sure it [use of softer voice] was because 105 you knew that I was here. Hannah exclaimed: Oh, no! I just ...find to me that comes naturally ... if I wanted them to think about something ...start them thinking in the right direction. Once again, Nancy reminded Hannah, "Oh, so you do use a soft voice!" At this point, in the stimulated recall interview, Nancy remarked: I think she underrates herself. ...I think she feels quite unsure. ...I don't think she realizes she's quite a natural teacher. Nancy went on to comment that: I was surprised she was so eager for feedback. ...I guess she needs that reassurance. ...She has high expectations to live up to. ...She downrates herself. In Nancy's mind, Hannah ...seemed to be reassured by what I was telling her. ...She's afraid of always using this louder voice. At this point in the conference the partners had a general discussion about Hannah's "on the spot" decision to have a student record the lesson summary on the board, and the two discussed their comfort with "teacher-dominated" lessons while noting how involving the students in the lesson "works". Nancy then continued with the presentation of the data, recapping: So you use your voice for important things. She was looking directly at Hannah. Hannah looked up, made eye contact and asked: So was it ever like screeching? Nancy looked at her notes: No. I didn't find it...that's my opinion. I did not find it tense. Hannah responded: 106 All right, because I was a little bit tense with having... you know, three people. Nancy rejoined: I bet. But you've watched me. I've never watched you. I was really impressed. Hannah reminded Nancy that she (Nancy) had watched Hannah in choir, and Nancy replied that she was "impressed there, too". The conference ended with a sharing of general classroom concerns, which were not part of the observational foci. In the conference review sessions, Hannah expressed some of her concerns based on what she observed watching the re-play. She remarked: I was really pleased with the conference...except, something else I want to personally work on is not interrupting other people when they're talking. I noticed near the end I was getting excited and I was talking over Nancy more than listening. Earlier, Hannah had mentioned that ...Nancy really looks at me and she's listening to what I'm saying. That helps me get out what I want to say. ...She's got excellent listening skills. Furthermore, she observed: ...I saw I was talking over things she had to say ...and I should probably listen to that because I'm going to be watching her teach, you know. I should know some of the things ...she wants...had concerns about or whatever. Nancy's view of the conference was that ...it was confidence building to be able to be observed. It's really stressful. When asked by the interviewer what she "got out of it for yourself', Nancy responded: Well, I have to go through it really myself but I've kind of felt that I was supporting her...because I understand what she's going through with those kids and ...I think it builds closeness. Yeah. I'm hoping she'll be supportive of me. 107 Analysis Negotiation of shared understandings. Although the planning session was brief, the participants faced no major dilemmas in this first experience with the collegial consultation process. The primary focus was the observee's "tone of voice" which was not mutually defined. The observer interpreted the phrase to mean volume or loud and soft; the observee had in mind the pitch or emotional tone of her voice. This difference in interpretation of the vague, "tone of voice", meant that the data gathered were not what the observee anticipated, but she was not overly concerned as there were ample data to satisfy her feedback needs. Data collection was a challenge for the observer, because the volume of data collected for three foci on two different recording instruments made presentation "difficult". The observer had verbatim notes for the voice data, and the seating plan to record movement and interaction patterns. There was no time between the observation and the conference for her to organize the data for more efficient presentation. The observer proceeded to read chronologically from the beginning of the lesson to the end, highlighting the voice data, and just showing the seating plan data to her partner in passing at the beginning of the conference. Negotiation of shared understandings during the feedback conference was evident. Nancy reinforced positive incidents to illustrate that Hannah did not always use a loud voice, and asked her at one point very direcdy if she was using a soft voice because she was aware of being observed. Hannah assured her that this was an habitual practice. Near the end of the conference, Hannah confronted Nancy with the direct question, "So was it ever like screeching?" Nancy responded that in her "opinion" the voice was not "tense". The researcher found this part of the conference puzzling. The researcher's observational data were not congruent with the observer's interpretation. The observee's voice, while not "screeching", was definitely "abrasive", from the researcher's point of 108 view. She noted that Nancy did not answer the question exactly, and chose her words carefully. One explanation that made sense was that Nancy viewed her "job" or role as one of supporting her partner. She sensed Hannah's low self-esteem and lack of confidence and disagreed with her partner's negative assessment of her own teaching. As she presented the data, she positively reinforced those aspects of the lesson that revealed an appropriate use of the voice. Another explanation for Nancy's responses was that, as the observer, she was collecting data on three foci and was concentrating on loud and soft, rather than the emotional tone, and that she was not selecting her words carefully to keep the tone positive, but expressing her honest reaction. The strategy worked because, in the conference review, Hannah did not refer again to the voice concerns, but moved on to analyze her attending and responding skills as she interacted with Nancy. Nancy felt she was supporting her partner and expressed the hope that in the next observation her partner would reciprocate. Context. This was the first experience for Hannah and Nancy working together in the collegial consultation process although it was not their first experience collaborating (they already work together supervising the choir). Hannah had shared with Nancy her knowledge of the different aspects of the process because of Nancy's lack of supervisory training. Nancy, other than having copious amounts of data to present, seemed quite clear about her role as the observer. Her "job" as observer was to be "supportive" and this conception influenced the data presentation in the feedback conference. The feedback she presented provided reassurance for her partner who "learned [she] was doing an okay job, better than [she] thought" (Hannah, SIQ). One dilemma alluded to by the observer was that she had no time to organize the data prior to the conference. This situation was created by the fact that both teachers had release time immediately following the observation to conference. In addition, the researchers' schedule was such that in order to complete the cycle efficiently, the 109 observation, conference and conference reviews had to be completed on the same day. Therefore, the schedule prevented the observer from organizing the data. Planning time had been brief and the interactants had not discussed the observee's lesson objectives, teaching styles or strategies planned prior to the observation and so there was some sharing of information about the teaching and classroom context during the conference. This meant that some of the consultation time was not specifically spent discussing the observational foci. In the conference review, both participants focussed on their partners and how they were experiencing the consultation process. Hannah was concerned that she was not actively listening to Nancy, as Nancy was to her, and vowed "to work on" not interrupting her partner and to listen more carefully to her concerns. Nancy voiced concern for her partner "underrating" herself and attempted to reinforce, positively, the appropriate behaviours she observed. Both partners seemed very aware of attending and responding skills that facilitated a supportive communication environment. Hannah felt secure enough to risk asking the question that surnmarized her voice concerns. The relationship being created was built on support, trust and mutual respect. The observee was able to leave behind her concern about her voice, and concentrate on how she would address her partner's concerns in the next observation when their roles would be reversed. The reciprocal nature of the relationship seemed to be appreciated by both parties. OBSERVATION TWO: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES Description Although Hannah had often remained in her classroom while Nancy taught her class, this was the first opportunity Nancy had had to receive actual feedback from Hannah about her teaching. Hannah began the conference by praising her partner: 110 I wanted to tell you. I really like the way you handled the kids. It's like you have a way. It fascinated me at the beginning of the year when I started watching you. Nancy, in the conference review, shared her feelings with the interviewer: I just love all this positive feedback. I had no idea she felt that way about me. To her partner, Nancy commented: I didn't know you thought that. I always think I'm just so terrible. Hannah rejoined: Oh, you're not at all. I think you're wonderful. At the end of the stimulated recall session Nancy disclosed how she felt at the beginning of the classroom observation: ...I was nervous. I walked in and I just felt I can't do this. ...Then I just decided to ignore [the observers]. Planning. Planning was brief for this observation. Hannah was the observer and Nancy was the observee. Nancy had selected two students, Cindy and Karl, for Hannah to observer. Data collection methods, chosen by the observer, were explained in the conference. Data collection. After this opening segment of the conference, the participants began to discuss the data collection method chosen by Hannah. Hannah had divided a sheet into four columns in order to record the behaviours of the two students selected as the observation focus. Two columns are for student behaviours and two for the interactions of the observee with each student. To the interviewer, Nancy remarked about this method: I'm impressed with how thorough her coverage is. ...She had a good set-up in her book and I really learned a lot about Cindy but I don't know how typical this I l l was for Karl. ...You know how when you know you're being watched and that someone is recording movements? Nancy appeared to think that Karl knew he was being observed. This is difficult to comprehend. Perhaps she perceived that the. presence of three observers in the classroom had made him behave atypically for this lesson. Hannah also had a system for marking "what they were supposed to be doing" and "what they weren't supposed to be doing". This method of collecting the data "was pretty tough, but I did it!" Hannah shared with the interviewer how much she learned by gathering the data about the two students, Cindy and Karl: ...It really opened my eyes. ...I'm surprised at how off-task she [Cindy] is and I'm wondering if she's that off-task with me too, you know. ...It helps me get another look at them[Cindy and Karl] other than when I'm trying to teach them. Feedback conference. Hannah commenced with the presentation of the data. She listed Cindy's behaviours over a certain time period. Hannah was concerned that the data might be ...offending Nancy because she was asking me to observe the behaviour and maybe I shouldn't have been so aggressive in the manner I told her Cindy was doing all these off-task behaviours but...later on I sort of made up for it when I was telling the things that Cindy was doing that were good, you know. Nancy did not remark on this section of the data other than to disclose in the conference review that, "I don't know how to get to Cindy". Hannah continued to read from the data and noticed that ...when Karl was singing he was always looking at the words on the page because he had a hard time memorizing it. Nancy responded: The visual. That's good to know. 112 •This was an new insight for Nancy who commented in the review that, "I didn't know that he had the visual". Then Hannah went on to describe another incident from the data in which Nancy was selecting a new music monitor for the class. Cindy immediately became attentive ...and she's listening and she's clapping...really stretching her arm up...and then as soon as the monitor was chosen Cindy made a really bad face. Like, I never get to do anything. In the stimulated recall, Hannah commented that, in the conference Nancy had said, "I missed my chance there". Hannah realized she should have ceased reading of the data and responded: I should have given a positive comment instead of keeping on talking. ...I've noticed when I make a comment she would stop and listen to me. I just keep rattling on. ...I should probably work on my listening skills. The observer pressed on delivering the data and noted that Cindy was ...more on-task for the song...I think...because it's more familiar to her. About this time, in the conference, Hannah also told Nancy that ."This is where Karl starts to go downhill". She went on to recount that when Nancy presented an opportunity for a student to perform, Cindy would immediately attend, but if she was not selected, her body language indicated she had decided not to attend anymore. Cindy was a mutual concern because they both taught her. Together they began to discuss their concerns about her. Nancy summarized Cindy's behaviours as indicating that: She likes the limelight. Hannah disclosed that: She likes the limelight, especially with me, and I think you do really well in ignoring the stuff that she does...whereas she upsets me. 113 Nancy expressed surprise and puzzlement and exclaimed, "Does she?" She can't have it all the time. It's impossible. In the stimulated recall session, Nancy elaborated on this puzzlement: It's funny, Hannah seems such an excellent teacher to me and I sense she feels rather inadequate. ...She has the class all the time and it's different. I can waltz in and out. ...I guess she's been sort of hooked in ...by this...slouchy behaviour, and I just don't have time. ...so that I haven't got hooked in. ...There's no easy answer that's for sure. Nancy reiterated, to the interviewer, that the conference had been "helpful" although no "great insights" had been "reached". She proceeded to summarize what had been helpful in understanding Cindy and Karl: Helpful to know she likes to be monitor, I mean sort of a special position, any status gained not through academics...means a lot to her...and also the familiarity...and...not needing the visual stuff, whereas Karl it's the other way I guess. ...I didn't think he was that good at reading...'cause he's been in learning disabilities ever since he's been at this school. The remainder of the conference was a general discussion about the class, and other students that were of concern to Hannah. At the end of this general conversation the partners returned to the two students under observation. Nancy remarked: Highly interesting. I'm glad to hear about Karl. Hannah rejoined: Well, I was a little bit surprised about Karl. In the conference review she remarked: ...I was very surprised...at how on-task he was. I think he's been really trying to be on-task. As for the information about Cindy: I find Nancy manages her much better than I do. 114 However, she admitted that she was still "worried" about Cindy. For Nancy, the consultation process was "very positive". ...I was never quite sure what she thought of my handling her class. ...I'm used to being told [by other teachers],"They're never like that for me". ...So this was great for the old ego...great for the feeling of support which I don't always get as a wandering music teacher, with other teachers... and instructive...not standing in front of kids when they want to see the board...quite basic things...and Karl and Cindy as well. Analysis Negotiation of shared understandings. There was no difficulty reaching a shared definition of the observational focus. Selecting two students was equally beneficial and interesting for both participants because they shared the same class for all the observations. Data collection satisfied the observee and the observer, although recording all the behaviours of the two students and their interactions was "tough". Three dilemmas arose in this conference. The first was the observer's concern about giving what she perceived to be negative feedback when describing Cindy's off-task behaviours. Although she was merely listing actual behaviours that indicated Cindy was not attending, she was projecting how she would feel in Nancy's position if someone listed a series of behaviours that she was not aware of while teaching. She assumed that Nancy would also feel uncomfortable receiving such information. In the conference, she felt she had balanced this "negative" feedback with "positive" when she also recounted Cindy's on- task behaviours. Hannah focussed on the perceived impact of the feedback rather than on the specific content. She did not check with Nancy to see if her perception of the situation was accurate. In fact, Nancy did not take offense and found the information "helpful". 115 Secondly, the partners made an attempt to reach a shared understanding of how to cope more effectively with Cindy's behaviour. Hannah shared information from her experience about Cindy responding positively to recognition rewards such as being monitor. She offered her interpretation of Cindy's behaviours such as attending being more frequent in the more familiar song, and when opportunities to perform individually were presented to the class. Nancy tried to convey to Hannah that it was "impossible" for Cindy always to receive recognition and be in the "limelight". The partners did not delve more deeply into the issue of strategies that might encourage attending behaviours or into the issue of why Hannah was having management problems with Cindy and Nancy was not. This was perhaps due to the fact that Hannah was the observer, rather than the observee, and the concerns being addressed were supposed to be those of the observee. Nancy commented on her interpretation of the situation in the conference review, but did not offer her viewpoint to Hannah in the conference. Perhaps such confrontation would have negated the supportive atmosphere that Nancy felt was so important in the conference setting. Hannah, however, reiterated at the end of the conference review that her partner managed Cindy more effectively by ignoring Cindy's lackadaisical body language. Hannah expressed that her concerns about the student still remained, but her partner was not apprised of these feelings. Sharing the same class for the observations provided both partners with appropriate opportunities to discuss mutual concerns about the same students. However, as the review interviews make clear, these opportunities were not always used to the full. The third dilemma that emerged during conference review was that the partners did not share the same understandings about Karl's atypical on-task, behaviour. The partners did not confront each other with their different views or probe the views of the other in the consultation conference. Hannah thought this on-task behaviour indicated a a new pattern of attending behaviour, a positive change for Karl, although it was a bit "surprising". Nancy thought that Karl was aware of the observers, and this kept him on-116 task for this lesson. Neither appeared to connect the on-task behaviour to the fact that Nancy, during the lesson under observation, constantly kept Karl on-task throughout the lesson by unexpectedly requesting that he play an "E" on the recorder to begin the singing segments. Neither suggested that this expectation to participate, to be ready to perform at unanticipated moments, perhaps explained the increase in Karl's attending behaviours for this lesson. Nancy had indicated an awareness that Hannah's knowledge of the students exceeded her own because of daily contact with them and perhaps she decided that she had insufficient evidence to challenge Hannah's interpretation of Karl's behaviour. Nancy disclosed that no "great insights" emerged from the data or conference, but that the information about the students was "helpful". Hannah also appreciated the focus on the students and the opportunity to discuss her concerns about them and to learn about them from the perspective of the observer rather than observee. Context. The format of this conference was similar to the first observation. The conference opened with the observer praising the performance of the observee. This segment was followed by a presentation of the data by the observer and mutual negotiation of the various issues that arose from the data and the interpretations of the data by both parties. A general discussion of classroom concerns followed with Nancy giving a brief summary prior to the end of the conference. The interaction patterns in this conference differed from the first. The observer noticed the difference when she voiced her concerns that once again she was not actively listening to the observee and not allowing her to comment when it appeared she had a concern. Hannah, as the observer, realized that Nancy, in the role of observer and presenter of feedback, had given the observee ample time to respond during the feedback conference in the first observation. Watching the re-play of the conference, Hannah became aware that she had not reciprocated in this observation. Part of her rationalization of her behaviour was that she had so much data to present. She remarked 117 that she had failed to acknowledge her partner's indications that she wished to respond. However, Nancy seemed content to nod, paraphrase or summarize the data as they were delivered and entered into the dialogue and began questioning and negotiating shared understandings of issues that were of importance to her such as the "monitor" and "limelight" issues. In addition, Hannah as the observer, mentioned that she and Nancy needed to work on "communication skills" because at one point Nancy mentioned the discomfort of the students learning a song from a country from which many of their students originated. Hannah had interpreted Nancy's message in a different way and realized," I probably should have said...", and checked with Nancy to verify the meaning of her remarks. As the observer, Hannah was cognizant of how much she had learned about the students by recording their behaviours for Nancy. She was confronted by the fact that Cindy, in her opinion, was off-task frequendy and wondered if this behaviour was typical of Cindy in her classes as well. That prospect was "scary" for her. The findings from this observation did not assuage her concern for this student who then became one of the observational foci she selected for the third observation. Both observee and observer found the experience to be "positive". The observee was reassured that Hannah found her teaching fascinating and "excellent". As an itinerant music teacher, she rarely received such positive feedback from the teachers whose classes she taught. She assessed the conference as "supportive" and "instructive". Hannah concluded in the conference review that, "This is very good for both of us". Furthermore, Hannah indicated that their shared interest in music, and then-working relationship with the choir, was enriched by this consultation process. 118 OBSERVATION THREE: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES Description In the interval between Cycle One (Observations One and Two) and Cycle Two (Observations Three and Four) of the teacher development project, Hannah and Nancy attended three days of workshops on classroom and instructional management, and the collegial consultation process. Throughout the workshops the participants were given frequent opportunities to interact with their partners and other dyads to solve various dilemmas proposed by the workshop leaders and by the participants themselves. Nancy remarked in the conference review that as a result of the workshops: We are really more conscious of our teaching practices. ...We both thought we learned a lot from those workshops. ...We're trying to apply what we learned. Throughout the feedback conference and conference review, Hannah and Nancy made references to the helpfulness of die information and insights into their practice gained from the workshops. Planning. For this observation, Hannah was the observee, and Nancy the observer. Hannah had chosen two students to be observed: Cindy again, because of her continuing concern, and Carter, a student she felt was "backsliding". For this observation, only half the class were present. The other half were with another teacher engaged in another activity. Data collection. Data collection techniques were discussed briefly with the result that Nancy wrote descriptions of the student behaviours and a verbatim script of interactions the teacher had with the two students. A dUernma arose almost immediately for Nancy in the observation phase. The two project researchers had perched on the windowsill to get an overall view of the teacher and students. The teacher's desk was too 119 far away for the close observations that Nancy, as the observer, was required to do. The observee was teaching on one side of the room only, leaving Nancy to sit almost direcdy in front of the students she was to observe. Nancy explained this problem to Hannah: I was in a funny position...so I had to pretend I wasn't looking at them. Hannah replied: I should have told you that before. Hannah then hypothesized about other viewing locations Nancy might have selected, for example, from her desk. Nancy rejoined: At your desk, I couldn't have seen Carter much at all. Hannah then conjectured to Nancy: I guess we should have had that organized. Once again very litde time has been spent planning the observation and details of data collection. Hannah disclosed in the conference review, We're mixed up...because we just have not had the time to get together and we've known about this. ... When we actually get to it we realize we haven't planned any time to talk. ...So it was just a matter of communication again. I wish I had let Nancy know... so she could have had a better view without them looking straight at her. [It] made it a bit difficult. Feedback conference . The opening of the feedback conference did not follow previous patterns. An incident involving Cindy, one of the students under observation, and Nancy, as the rehearsal director, had occurred during the concert rehearsal earlier that same day. As a result of the incident Nancy had told Cindy she would not be singing the solo she had been scheduled to sing in the upcoming concert. Hannah, however, had witnessed the whole scene and knew that Cindy had followed Nancy's instructions. Hannah decided that Nancy had to know this information and that she was the one who could tell her. The two partners had already decided (in Observation Two) that one way to reach Cindy was to provide non-academic opportunities for recognition. Singing a solo 120 in the concert was one such opportunity for Cindy to obtain that positive recognition. As the conference opened, Nancy was telling Hannah about the incident Nancy asked Hannah: What was she doing over there? Do you know? Hannah described the situation: Well, I think she got mixed up. What happened is you told her to go there first and then you said, "No. No. Just afternoon singers". She was a night singer so she went back. Nancy immediately said: I owe her an apology. Hannah, in the conference review, disclosed that: I found this really hard to say, that Nancy had really made the mistake. ...Yeah, this was for me kind of tense but Nancy picked up on it totally. Nancy agreed to put Cindy back in the concert. Hannah responded: I would appreciate it if you would because I think she needs it. Nancy commented: ...That's good advice. Thank you for telling me. Later in the stimulated recall session, Nancy confirmed her appreciation for this observation from Hannah. Cindy, she remarked, "causes some distress to both of us because she [often] behaves uncooperatively". Nancy admitted there was confusion with several classes getting organized in the gym for the concert and that "it was my lack of being clear to her" that created the problem. She further stated: Hannah has really helped me out here and no one else could have. ...So I was really glad that Hannah told me. Nobody else could have cleared that up for us. And Cindy needs all the help she can get. 121 During the conference review, Hannah also disclosed some other information about Cindy's recent behaviour in Hannah's science class, which immediately followed the music class taught by Nancy. She recalled: ...last Thursday she and Nancy had a bit of a fight as well and [Cindy] didn't want to do any work in science and science class is right after music, so that's something. She's having problems with Cindy and I've resolved my problems with Cindy. ...It's not nice to see someone else having the same problems but I know it's not just me now. She would like to be able, ...to give suggestions [to Nancy] on what to do if Cindy acts out...in a nice way...but we're both so busy right now I [don't know] how that would be taken. Hannah did not confront Nancy with this information during the conference. Up until this point in the conference the roles of observee and observer appeared to be in reverse. The rehearsal incident being discussed occurred before the actual lesson under observation. Hannah had observed the incident in which Nancy was directing the rehearsal. Once that discussion ended Nancy's role as observer emerged in a clear way. Later in the conference Nancy was relating Cindy's behaviours, which involved what Nancy referred to as "slouchy behaviours", throughout the lesson. Nancy told Hannah: ...Cindy is like this [Nancy demonstrates] and in the slouchiest position. [She's] still following you. ...It didn't really interfere with her attention. Prior to this Nancy had described Cindy's active involvement in the lesson, answering and asking questions. At one point, Cindy even asked if she could do more examples than Hannah had asked for in the assignment. Nancy expressed her delight with Cindy's enthusiasm for the project. Hannah appeared to see and hear only the comments about Cindy's body language, and her varied postures during the lesson. Hannah responded: Yeah, that's something...[I'll have to be] a little stricter 122 on her posture. I think if she thinks it's important she'll do it, but if it's not important then I don't think she'll do it. Nancy made eye contact with Hannah and asked, "Do you?" and started a sentence, "I don't think she...", then stopped, rubbed her eyes and looked straight ahead. Nancy restated her interpretation of the situation again: I don't know if that's something she can come forth with. She still seemed to be paying attention without bothering anyone. In the conference review, Nancy related to the interviewer that: Hannah seems concerned about how Cindy is sitting. So I am trying to tell her that it [slouchy behaviour] didn't really interfere, first of all, with her listening, and second of all, it's hopeless! (laughter) Hannah and Nancy both stopped the conference re-play at this incident. Hannah reflected: This. This I felt was really good because of Nancy feeling like she can't get Cindy to do anything right now, whereas I feel I still have a bit of positive feeling in there. ...I'm still trying to be positive... and maybe Nancy isn't as positive. ...Cindy and I are over that now and we have to try and get on. Nancy continued to make an effort to get her point of view across and said: Well, I don't know about Cindy. She hasn't been bothering anyone, has she ? Hannah agreed, "No". Earlier in the conference, Hannah had disclosed to Nancy that, "Everytime I looked at her [Cindy] she was really tuned in". Later on in the conference, Nancy recounted another incident about Cindy. Cindy had offered to sharpen a pencil for another student. Hannah responded: Part of the problem is our finicky pencil sharpener. Cindy is one of the few kids that has figured out how it works. Nancy recalled: 123 But she just took that on. Hannah rejoined: But I think sometimes she does it because she doesn't want to be working. Nancy replied: Well, I don't know. Looking by what she was doing, she was mostly on-task. She came right back. She didn't take that long. At the end of her conference review, Nancy agreed that the message about Cindy being on-task had been acknowledged by Hannah, "But she didn't seem to really believe it". By the end of her conference review, however, Hannah had verbalized her decision: I'm not going to fight with her [Cindy] over it [the way she sits]. I've decided that's it, you know. I'm willing to overlook some of her... behaviour if she gets her work done. Carter had been the second student under observation but Cindy seemed to take precedence in the feedback conference. Hannah was concerned about his slipping academic performance and she'd been "feeling like I haven't been paying enough attention to him". The feedback had "opened my eyes to Carter". Her recent perceptions were that he had appeared more on-task and she had found the observational feedback had confirmed this perception. She had also been concerned about his relationship with his half-brother who is in the same class. The feedback disconfirmed her perceptions that there was animosity between the two ("I don't have to worry about that."). Other observations about his behaviours, such as constantly having things in his mouth, have provided information that she will "look at" further. In addition to the information gained about Cindy and Carter, Hannah referred to her new awareness about planning her lessons more carefully, as a result of the teacher development workshops she had attended. 124 Nancy summarized the observation and brought the conference back to the intended focus: All in all I thought they [Cindy and Carter] seemed quite on-task without disturbing the kids around them. After the discussion of the data, the partners engaged in a general discussion about Hannah's dilemma about "how structured I should be". In the conference review Hannah disclosed, "...my whole philosophy is in a tug-of-war". She recalled how her beliefs about management had changed since the beginning of the year from, "It's this way, it's my way" to "becoming more open to a lot of these other ways of doing things" as a result of the teacher development workshops and other district workshops. She spoke of "having my expectations too high" and being "too inflexible". I take too much ownership I think and I have to give the ownership to the kids more. ...And that's what I have to do with Cindy. Analysis Negotiation of shared understandings. There was more active negotiation of mutual understanding in this observation than in the previous two. The choice of two students for the focus proved fruitful for both participants. Cindy's behaviour especially was a mutual concern. Several dilemmas surfaced during this consultation process. Planning was once again brief with the result that the partners had not agreed upon the most suitable location for the observer, Nancy, to collect data. Hannah, as the observee, accepted the responsibility for not having shared the appropriate information with her partner. Hannah also disclosed that the lack of prior planning had caused confusion in the observation and created difficulties for the observer. Following the pattern in the previous observations, the interactants carried out typical preconference activities, such as talking 125 about data collection strategies, discussing the lesson objectives, and teaching strategies throughout the presentation of the data in the post-conference. Hannah and Nancy, at the beginning of the conference, resolved the misunderstanding about Cindy. Although it was difficult for Hannah to present information that indicated her partner had made an error in judgment, her prior experience in the previous observations had prepared her for presenting such information in a descriptive, non-evaluative manner. She described exacdy the events she witnessed and allowed Nancy to draw her own conclusions. In the previous observation, the teachers had agreed that providing opportunities for Cindy to receive recognition outside the academic arena was one way to facilitate more positive behaviour. Nancy appreciated the information from her partner, acknowledged her responsibility for the situation, and acted to reinstate Cindy. The next dilemma which came to light in the conference review, was Hannah's wish to inform Nancy, that she had noticed the "altercations" Nancy had been having with Cindy in music class (in which Hannah continued to work, and informally observe, while Nancy taught). Essentially, Hannah was attributing Cindy's off-task behaviour in science, to Nancy in the prior music class. Hannah did not introduce this topic in the conference, but wanted to give suggestions to Nancy about the situation. Interestingly, on the one hand, Hannah remarked that she, herself, had already "resolved" her "problems" with Cindy. On the other hand, Hannah also admitted Cindy was still acting out in her class, but appeared to blame Nancy because she had had Cindy in the class just before. This assessment of the situations between Nancy and Cindy, and between Cindy and herself, interfered with Hannah really hearing the feedback that Nancy presented in the conference. Nancy had recounted positive information relating to Cindy and Carter's behaviour in the lesson. But Hannah misinterpreted and selected aspects of the information from which she formed the hypothesis that Nancy was negative about Cindy. 126 Her perception of the reality of the actual situation was in conflict with the evidence of the actual situation as revealed in the transcripts and videotape of the conference. Nancy was persistent about returning to the evidence that Cindy's behaviours were not disturbing other students and that, in spite of her slouchy inattentive-looking body language, her verbal interaction indicated she was actively participating in the lesson. Hannah, habitually, was sensitive to body language, and on this occasion focussed only on the non-verbal behaviour to the exclusion of the verbal. At the end of Nancy's conference review, she still was unaware that Hannah had accepted the observer's information about Cindy's behaviour and decided to ignore the body language if Cindy completed her tasks. Hannah had needed more time to integrate the information and make sense of it herself. It was also clear after Hannah's stimulated recall interview that the past two observations which had focussed on Cindy, and the management workshops, had catapulted Hannah into a state of dissonance and uncertainty regarding her classroom management techniques and how best to encourage on-task behaviours in students like Cindy. Early in the stimulated recall she verbalized that she had resolved her problems with Cindy. Later she disclosed that she realized after watching Nancy deal with Cindy, and learning more about facilitating effective classroom management, that she was faced with a real "tug of war" and was questioning her past beliefs about teaching styles and management and considering changing these practices to adapt to situations involving students like Cindy. A small exchange with Nancy illustrated this "tug of war" Hannah was attempting to reconcile. Cindy had sharpened a pencil for another student because she was one of the few students that could "work" the pencil sharpener. Nancy interpreted this behaviour as helping another student, whereas Hannah perceived it to be a way of avoiding work. Nancy tended to be positive about Cindy's behaviour, whereas Hannah tended to be negative. This incident further iUurninated the discrepancy between Hannah's view (that Nancy was more negative about Cindy than she was) and the reality 127 of the situation. The partners did not confront each other about their different interpretations of the pencil sharpening incident nor delve into why their views about Cindy's attentiveness were not congruent at that point. In the end, Hannah appeared to reach an understanding of her situation with Cindy, which was congruent with that of her partner (i.e., that Cindy's slouchy body positions did not indicate inattentiveness or a lack of participation in the lesson), but her partner was unaware of it. Hannah had apparently accepted the responsibility for improving the learning conditions for Cindy, rather than Warning either her partner, or Cindy, herself, for the situation in her classroom. Context. The format of this conference did not follow the format of the previous two. This conference opened with Nancy and Hannah discussing what Hannah had witnessed in the gym regarding Cindy. Hannah skilfully presented the "data" she had collected as an observer of the incident in the gym. Her prior experiences, in the role of observer, enabled her to describe the situation rather than attribute blame. In this way, Nancy had the choice of drawing her own conclusions and acting or not acting. Nancy was the observer in this round, but Hannah had been the observer in the gym incident, and so Nancy's role became reversed at the beginning of the conference. Later on, Hannah took on the observee role as she tried to resolve her own dissonance about her relationship to Cindy. Focussing on students who were of equal concern to both parties meant that this role reversal situation occurred unconsciously. The remainder of this conference the followed previous patterns, with observation negotiations, closure, and a general discussion of classroom concerns. The partners were becoming increasingly aware of their responsibilities and obligations within the consultative process, in their roles as observee and observer. Planning was once again recognized as important, but the partners did not act upon this realization. Data collection was awkward for the observer because the parties had not planned this detail. In addition, the influence of the teacher development workshops was evident in Hannah's increased awareness of the role of planning, not just in the 128 observation process, but in her classroom practice. Communication skills were identified by Hannah as being important in planning the observation. These skills had been part of the foci in the workshop on consultation process. As the observee, Hannah was also increasingly conscious in this observation of the other observers in the classroom. One of the workshop tasks had been observing a videotape of a teacher teaching, and Hannah remarked in the conference review that she was even more aware of her lack of lesson planning and preparation because of what she learned from the videotaped performance of that teacher. She assumed, incorrectiy, that the project researchers were evaluating her teaching practice just as she had evaluated the teacher on the videotape. The influence of external factors on the negotiation of meaning was illustrated in the observee's screening and selective hearing of and attending to the message about Cindy. Even the observer's reinforcement of the "actuality" of the verbal and non-verbal behaviours (of Cindy) failed to change the observee's perceptions during the conference. What Hannah had observed on two occasions outside the "here and now" situation of this particular observation interfered with an accurate interpretation of the data during the conference. However, viewing the re-play of the conference allowed her the opportunity to reassess her interpretation and she was able to re-frame the situation and begin to resolve the dilemma with her decision to change her teaching behaviour rather than attribute blame elsewhere. The additional opportunity to view the conference and reflect on the interactions of the participants and data permitted Hannah to re-evaluate her previous assessment of the situation. She was able to accept the responsibility for the learning situation in her classroom and that her expectations of the student (Cindy) might have been unreasonable and be in need of change. 129 OBSERVATION FOUR: DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSES Description In this conference, Nancy was the observee, and Hannah, the observer. Hannah, as the observer, "... couldn't remember what we decided to ...talk about". Nancy, as the observee, revealed to her partner that she felt "really badly" about the situation. Nancy disclosed to Hannah that: I felt very vaguc.and unclear myself. I just jotted this stuff down. We didn't really verify them. Planning. For this observation, Nancy wanted Hannah to observe her "patterns of teaching". The idea for the focus of the observation came from the teacher development project workshops the two had attended prior to the third observation. Nancy had handed Hannah three sheets with several "common patterns" such as: interaction patterns (e.g., teacher-student-teacher, student-student); speech patterns (e.g., habitual phrases and words, use of the voice, patterns involving incomplete sentences); reinforcement patterns (e.g., praise statements); and teacher-centred patterns (e.g., ratio of teacher to student talk precise or vague explanation patterns, and lesson organization patterns). Data collection. Hannah began the observation by trying to record and concurrently categorize all the patterns! Ten minutes into the observation she realized the lesson was going too quickly to categorize all the patterns and record examples as they happened. Instead, she told Nancy that: ...[I] resorted to writing down the things I thought were important. ...I drew a couple of patterns [to indicate movement patterns]. Hannah told her partner there were "too many things" to record In the conference review, at the beginning of the conference re-play, Nancy recalled: 130 There was a problem in our method of observation. I wanted to use stuff from the workshop...teacher patterns ...to find out what my patterns of teaching were...the repeated things that I do...in my face, in what I say, in how I stand. Furthermore, upon receiving the sheets with the various patterns to look for, Hannah had said, "Oh, I'll just make notes". The result of this "planning conference" was that Hannah ended up, in Nancy's words, ...just writing everything down, looking for the things I was interested in. She did a good job of pulling out things, but we should have, I don't know how we could have improved on that. In the conference itself Hannah told Nancy: I was hoping to see where they [teacher patterns] fit afterwards. She had planned to categorize the teacher patterns after the observation and before the conference. This did not occur due to the tight scheduling of the conference immediately following the observation. Later, in her conference review, Hannah reflected: So something that I should do before I give feedback is go sit down for five minutes before we get together...go over the lesson [data] and get it in my head, so I can really be specific..on my feedback. During the conference Nancy did say, "We should have worked on the chart more", but the partners did not pursue the chart idea together. Later in the conference, Hannah tried to relate her difficulties collecting the data to Nancy: I find your lessons really difficult to take notes on ...'cause it's [the focus] not super specific. You switch so quickly from one task to another, you know, it's difficult. Nancy stopped the tape at this point and commented: I didn't know my pacing was so fast as she makes out. So that was an interesting observation. At the end of her conference review, Hannah conjectured: I think if I have a more specific focus it will help me ... come closer to giving her better feedback. 131 Because of the sheer amount of data, Hannah recalled that she felt pressured ...to get everything out. I tried to get as much [out] as I could and I wasn't completing my thoughts. Hannah expressed concern that by not completing her thoughts, Nancy might not be "understanding what I'm saying". If Nancy "give[s] a little nod", Hannah assumed "she's got it". Hannah wondered if Nancy did get her message if she (Hannah) had not completed her thoughts in speech. As the observer , Hannah perceived her role as "being able to [give her] feedback", and Nancy's role, as observee, "understanding what it is exactly ...I'm talking about". Hannah related that because of the vague, general foci, she found herself "just clarifying in my head", and organizing the data as she went along in the conference. Hannah was "upset, I couldn't give her better feedback". In the conference review, she hypothesized about why she did not "do a very good job" presenting the data: ...because she went so quickly and because we hadn't narrowed it down. I think...we have to be really specific with what she wants because otherwise I just can't get everything down. Hannah also disclosed that, ...we didn't have time to sit down...and that's what we're both finding...the pressure of finding time to sit down and do the consulting. Feedback conference. During the consultation, Hannah described to Nancy the behaviour of a student who was not attending at a particular point. Nancy was surprised that she had missed this event. Nancy stopped the re-play tape and commented that the information about the particular student was ...something I didn't really ask her to observe [but] ... she knows that I care about that. At this point in the conference, Nancy began reflecting out loud with Hannah about how she might monitor such off-task student behaviours while teaching the whole group. She conjectured: 132 So I guess if I do that by visual scanning and auditory scanning again, but I don't know how you can... just like circulating around. Hannah replied that Nancy had done "more of that in the second half [of the lesson]". Nancy then stated: Yes, I was glued to that chart. Maybe I don't need to be . . . . It's pretty evident what it is. I don't need to stand up there. Very tentatively, Hannah commented: I think...a suggestion would be...to circulate maybe at that point in time. Hannah related that giving this feedback to her partner was "really hard". Nancy accepted this suggestion as a "good idea" and threw back her head and gave Hannah a big nod and reaffirmed, "Certainly, I could!" Nancy, in the conference review, identified this information as "key" and stated that: There's no reason for me to be up there. This [information] was the best thing I learned from this whole thing. ... I'm so glad that she told me that...because I'd still be doing that ten years from now. It's just amazing. That was very valuable. Hannah related in the conference review that as she presented this information about the student and Nancy's position at the chart: ...I didn't want to make her feel uncomfortable. ...We're supposed to just tell them what we've seen, but she did say the word "circulate" so this was a bit of an opening. Another observation that Nancy, as the observee, identified as "key", in the conference review, was the information about the student who was off-task, and whose behaviour precipitated the "circulation" insight. Hannah related to Nancy that: I...noticed Kelsey off-task a lot. ...He and Tom were ...fooling around.... Kelsey was turning around and doing this [conducting with his hands]. You asked the boys to play and Kelsey...actually had his left hand on top and his right ...underneath the recorder. 133 In the conference review, Nancy recalled: I want to know this and I think she knows that it won't offend me. So this is really eye-opening to me. I didn't know this was going on. She focuses in on Kelsey a lot through this and it really helps me out. She provides background information that I don't have and she's very positive. Hannah commented to Nancy that Kelsey's behaviour was also "eye-opening" for her. From previous observations Hannah had ...noticed that...while you're working with the whole class you really do miss a lot. That's eye-opening forme! Hannah decided that she had better contact Kelsey's parents immediately. Nancy, in response to the information about Kelsey, exclaimed : Gosh! You know what I'm thinking, I'll have to check next time. I'm really concerned about it, because working with the group I miss so much. Later in the conference, Hannah praised Nancy for calling on Kelsey and waiting patiently while he came forth, or as Nancy phrased it, "gives birth" to an answer. Hannah told Nancy: And you waited until he got it out, and I thought that was really good. Nancy appreciated this encouragement and remarked in the stimulated recall interview: ...she is so tuned in. She is really there with me, maybe because she teaches music and choir. She was saying it's always a dilemma whether to wait ...and she's saying she's glad I did wait. Hannah disclosed that she was uncomfortable with the way she phrased this feedback: I think she got the message anyway. ...I don't think she thinks I'm being judgemental towards her. [I] didn't put it across as well as I could have. Nancy "liked" this praise from her partner who she perceived was ...really doing her best to show me positively, and I don't think it's too positive. 134 In the recall interview, Nancy stated that she ...will pick a few things out [from this feedback conference] and apply them. Nancy reiterated: [I feel] very supported and very good about this happening. It boosts me up and that is really valuable. I'm not alone in this world. At the end of her conference review Hannah disclosed that she had identified what it was that Nancy did with the students to enable their "echo" responses from the second observation. I guess they're routines because the kids know what's expected...and they all do it...all know they're supposed to repeat it. They don't repeat after me [when I try it] but they do with her. Hannah told the interviewer that she was thinking throughout the conference that, "I really want to be positive". The general discussion at the end of this conference was brief, but Hannah informed the interviewer that the partners had stopped the tape because they had completed the feedback portion and continued the discussion for "a good ten minutes" afterwards. Analysis Negotiating shared understandings. In this consultation process, Nancy and Hannah did not mutually clarify either the foci or the data collection methods prior to the observation. They "didn't have time to sit down" because of the many other extra-curricular activities for which they were both responsible. Consequently, the foci were too general and too numerous for Hannah to be able to give her partner specific feedback. Nancy referred to the data presentation as a "rambling narrative" that "was also 135 valuable". Nancy (SIQ) and Hannah(conference review), both recognized that the foci and data collection had to be "narrowed down" and "verified". At the beginning of the conference, they both identified the dilemma of the vague foci and data collection difficulties. Lack of planning before the observation had been acknowledged by one or both parties from the first observation, but no action was taken by the partners to address this situation. For the first time, however, both participants verbalized, accepted, and shared the responsibility for the lack of negotiation about the foci and data collection methods. Hannah also tried to communicate to the observee the difficulty she had had recording the data. The observee only commented on the part of the message that related "switching" quickly from one task to another, and did not appear to hear the words, "I find your lessons really difficult to take notes on". The interactants did not pursue this issue together, but individually, both reached the conclusion by the end of the conference reviews, that for "next time", these issues should be discussed and clarified before the observation. Another dilemma arose for Hannah, the observer, presenting the data. Because there was so much of it, she had hoped to have time before the feedback conference to categorize the data according to the specific teacher patterns. This was prevented by the fact that the conference was scheduled immediately to follow the observation to facilitiate the most efficient use of the substitute teachers. Hannah ended up mentally trying to categorize the data before the conference. Hannah's increasing skill in helping her partner reach the "key" insight about improving the monitoring of the whole class by "circulating", was evident. Although her interpretation of the role of observer is to "just tell them what we've seen", Hannah actively listened to her partner interpreting that data. When Nancy reached the conclusion to "circulate", Hannah positively reinforced her partner's decision by paraphrasing what her partner had just concluded with her "suggestion" that Nancy might 136 want to circulate more at that point. This resulted in the "amazing" and "key" insight gained from the observation. For this dyad, this incident was perhaps the most significant example of negotiating a shared understanding. With the assistance of the observer, the observee named the problem, which was how to monitor the whole class more effectively; framed the context, in which she was "glued" to the chart; and restructured the situation with the word, "circulate". Interestingly, the catalyst for uncovering and making explicit this habitual practice were the data about Kelsey's off-task behaviour. Kelsey was not one of the observational foci, and once again, Hannah, in her role as observer, was hesitant to present these data which she perceived as "negative" and "judgmental". This dilemma had also surfaced in the second and third observations. Hannah continued to perceive objective data to be negative if it described the off-task behaviour of a student. In her estimation, teachers should be aware of off-task behaviours and, if they are not, this is a reflection on their competence. She considered such data sensitive and judgmental. Hannah assumed Nancy would be uncomfortable receiving these data. However, Nancy was not offended and appreciated the information, although she may have sensed that Hannah was uncomfortable presenting these data because she commented in the recall session that she thought Hannah knew she wouldn't be "offended". Hannah seemed to be unaware that throughout the observations, Nancy always received such information with appreciation. Again, she did not check with Nancy after she had presented the data to confirm her suspicions. Nancy, in the conference review, found this information useful and made no comment to indicate she was uncomfortable. Hannah, in her role as observer, expressed concern in the conference review about communication. She was concerned that she and Nancy were not always sharing the same understanding of the message being sent. One of the teacher patterns being recorded was speech patterns, under which incomplete and complete sentences is a sub-category. Hannah, as the observer, had noticed that Nancy completed her sentences. 137 When reviewing the re-play of the conference tape, however, Hannah realized that she (Hannah) did not complete her sentences in the conference. She became aware that although Nancy nodded agreement or acknowledgement to her comments about the data, she might not be receiving the same message as Hannah was sending. From the transcripts it appeared that Nancy did interject and interrupt if an event was of importance to her, such as Kelsey's off task behaviour and the monitoring. In addition, the copious amounts of data, and the lack of time to organize it for clear presentation, meant that Hannah herself was often confused as to exacdy when certain events occurred and what their significance was. In the stimulated recall session, she reached the conclusion that providing specific feedback to her partner was important, based on more specific foci. She was also aware that completing her sentences and thoughts was important to ensure that her partner received a complete, rather than incomplete message. Hannah had not reached the understanding that a verbal check of her partner's interpretation of the message would have verified whether the meaning of the message sent was that which was received. Context. The format of this observation followed much the same pattern as the previous observations. Planning, as usual, was brief. This conference, however, began with the interactants right on task, dealing with the dilemma of the undefined foci. Both shared the responsibility for the lack of planning. This was followed by the feedback session in which the participants attempted to make sense of the data, individually and mutually. A brief general discussion preceded the conclusion of the conference. Once again, lack of planning resulted in the foci being too general and not mutually clarified, and the appropriateness of the data collection methods not being discussed prior to the observation. The "pressure" to find time to plan was disclosed by Hannah. Finding time for planning was assumed to be the responsibility of the participants and with busy schedules this was difficult. "More time to plan the observation beforehand" was 138 identified by Hannah (SIQ) as the resource that would make the working relationship easier. Nancy (SIQ) noted that "time is our scarcest resource". An interesting phenomenon appeared in this consultation process. Hannah, the observer in the classroom was asked to look for teacher patterns, which she did. When she was reviewing the conference, again in the role of observer, she began noting her own speech patterns, and reinforcement patterns as she watched herself interact in the conference setting. She gradually became aware that she was not completing her sentences and became concerned that Nancy was not understanding what she meant. In addition, Hannah began noticing her own reinforcement patterns conferencing with Nancy. Hannah had already decided her goal was to be "positive" in the conference. After noting her partner's constant modelling of positive behaviours and positive reinforcement of the students, Hannah, herself, began to exhibit sirnilar behaviours in the conference (and in the classroom). She had made several references in the conference to the fact that Nancy only lost her smile once or twice through the entire lesson. In this observation, Hannah was influenced in the conference review by the foci chosen for the classroom observation, and focussed on those same foci as she observed herself in the conference context. Using the same foci, Hannah had transferred the role of observer from classroom observation to conference review . The information gleaned from the workshops continued to influence the partners as they discussed lesson objectives and the strategies they were observing and trying out. Hannah praised Nancy for waiting for Kelsey to "give birth" to his response. Transitions and monitoring by circulating were part of the classroom management sessions. Both observee, and observer, mentioned and discussed these strategies to improve instruction and management. In this observation, there was evidence of an increasing awareness and practise in this observation of active listening by Hannah. She had mentioned this as an area of communication and consultation that she needed to "work on", but in this observation she 139 actively engaged in listening carefully for the word "circulating" which gave her the "opening" to reinforce her partner's discovery that she should circulate more if she wanted to monitor all the students when teaching the whole group. She did not tell Nancy the solution but waited for her to draw the conclusion for herself based on the data. Nancy became a "believer" in consultation in this observation. The insight about not standing at the front of the room in one place was "amazing" in her words. In her previous observation in role as observee, Nancy had termed the feedback helpful but there were no "great insights". This information about an habitual practice that would have remained hidden without the eyes of the observer appeared to have convinced Nancy about the value of the consultation process. The relationship became truly reciprocal in that meaning was mutually negotiated through equal participation, collaboration and reciprocal assessment of the situation. Prior to this occasion, Nancy had viewed her role as a supporting one. In this observation, Hannah was able to help Nancy reach a new awareness that was significant to Nancy's teaching practice. The relationship became equalized as the two worked together to reach this shared understanding about monitoring and circulating. Through experience, Hannah and Nancy were becorning more certain of the roles and responsibilities of the observer and observee. Both were concerned that the tone of the conference be "positive". The partners together had created a supportive climate in which to engage in the practice of collegial consultation. They were confronting taken-for-granted assumptions about their teaching and consultation practices, and uncovering habitual everyday behaviours that interfered with the learning of their students in teaching practice, and their own learning in the practice of consultation. Nancy's advice to other teachers wishing to try collegial consultation was a hearty endorsement of the process. She advised, "Find a compatible partner and do it.. The rewards are unexpected and powerful". 140 FINDINGS In this section the four major findings from the analyses, within and across the four observations, will be reported. The first finding is that the prior work relationship of the dyad facilitated the negotiation of shared understandings. The second finding is that the dyad members shared similar definitions of the collegial consultation process, including data, data collection, the observer and observee roles, and the presentation of feedback. The third finding is that the dyad individually, and together, created a climate for consultation. The fourth finding is that teacher growth in the understanding of teaching and consultation practices was enhanced as a result of the previous three findings. What follows is an elaboration of these findings. Prior Work Relationship The first finding is that the prior work and task-oriented relationship facilitated, rather than limited, the mutual negotiation of understanding in teaching and consultation practice. Prior to their involvement in the teacher development project, the dyad worked together extra-curricularly with the intermediate choir. They had, therefore, already established a work- and task-oriented collaborative relationship with norms for shared work and responsibility. Observing each other teach was not a totally new experience. Nancy had observed Hannah directing the intermediate choir, and Hannah had observed Nancy teaching music to her class. The dyad also shared a common interest in music, and the music program. Together they were responsible for teaching and coordinating the general music program in the school. Participation in the consultation process did not require much change in the interaction patterns already in existence within the relationship. Elements of reciprocity, mutual respect and support, shared work and responsibility, and shared interests and goals in music, were already established. 141 Definitional Congruence The second finding is that the dyad held congruent views of the consultation process. Nancy had no past experience with peer observation and data collection, but Hannah shared her interpretation of the process, which Nancy adopted. Therefore, both interpreted data to be an objective, descriptive and non-evaluative recording of observed events. Data collection was discussed during the brief planning sessions but if the foci were multiple and not mutually defined, as in the first and fourth observations, data collection lacked specificity. A lack of negotiation about the suitability and the feasibility of using multiple collection instruments resulted in copious amounts of general, rather than specific, data. The dyad members also held similar views of the role of the observer and observee. In their view, the observer presented the data, and the observee selected meaningful incidents on which to comment to which sometimes the observer would offer an interpretive response. However, the final analysis of the "critical incidents" or identified discrepancies in practice was left to the observee. The observer did not tell the observee the solution to the dilemma, but rather guided and reinforced the observee's interpretation to facilitate the drawing of conclusions by the observee (as in the fourth observation). In addition, both Hannah and Nancy, independendy, decided that the role of the observer was to support and encourage the observee in the conference. This mutual agreement about the role of the observer meant that the presentation of feedback was similar in the conferences. There were always sufficient data collected. In the observee role, however, Nancy and Hannah interacted in different ways with the observer in the conference. Hannah would interject to explain and justify various aspects of the data, whereas Nancy would only interject to question, or comment selectively on particular incidents of importance to her. 142 One dilemma shared by both members of the dyad, in the role of observer, was how to present masses of data from one or more instruments whose relationship to the observation foci was not always clear. The scheduling of the conference immediately following the observation made it impossible for the observer to organize the data for coherent presentation. A particular dilemma for Hannah was that she was uncomfortable presenting data which described off-task behaviours of the students. She perceived such data to be negative feedback because, in her opinion, such data imputed a negative judgment on the observee's competence. She projected her own feelings of discomfort about receiving such data onto her partner, without ever validating Nancy's position. In fact, Nancy always expressed appreciation for such information. Hannah, similarly, perceived positive feedback as that which described on-task student behaviours. Creating the Consultation Climate The third finding is that the dyad consciously strove to create a positive, supportive climate in the conference setting. In the first observation, Nancy, in the observer role, perceived her "job" to be one of supporting the observee, Hannah. She sensed that Hannah "down-rated" herself as a practitioner, and needed reassurance about her teaching practice. Nancy began the conference with a praise segment in which she used descriptive statements that highlighted her positive regard for specific aspects of Hannah's teaching during the lesson. During the first conference she positively reinforced aspects of the data that illustrated the appropriate behaviour of the observer (i.e., when Hannah used her voice normally). She presented all the data, but did not comment on that which reflected an inappropriate use of voice. This positive reinforcement was successful, because Hannah felt "good" about that first observation experience, despite her tenseness at being observed by three people. 143 Hannah noted Nancy's active listening and positive regard from the first conference and attempted to reciprocate in the second observation, when Nancy was the observee. Hannah also began the conference with a praise segment, which delighted and surprised Nancy, and which she recalled really "boosted" her "self-esteem". Nancy explained that the positive regard of Hannah was important to her. Although Hannah had observed her informally many times, Nancy had no idea about how Hannah regarded her teaching until the second observation. Receiving descriptive and evaluative praise was appreciated by Nancy, and on-going feedback from a supportive colleague meant that she was no longer "dependent" on the principal for information about her practice (Nancy, SIQ). This concerted effort by both parties to support each other created an atmosphere in which both members felt psychologically safe and this enabled them to take risks in the role of observee, trying new strategies, and risks within the consultation conference itself. For example, Hannah was able to ask Nancy direcdy in the first observation, "So was it ever like screeching?" Had she not felt comfortable and secure in the relationship, Hannah would not likely have been able to ask such a potentially risky question. Teacher Growth The fourth finding is that due to the conditions described above, teachers' growth and development was promoted in teaching and consultation practice. Within the conference context, an interesting phenomenon occurred. Often the observer, observee roles reversed or became blurred as the partners exchanged information, and questioned and compared each other's practices with the same students (i.e.,Cindy). The shared class was a mutual concern. Whether in the observee or observer role, both shared involvement and commitment to the class. Both the members were able to learn more, and share more information by teaching and observing the same class. For example, information shared about the students in the second and third observations benefitted 144 both teachers. Hannah was prompted to examine Cindy's behaviour in her own class and compare it to her behaviour when Nancy was teaching. The dissonance created for her as the observer, observing Cindy for Nancy in the second observation, influenced her selection of Cindy as the observational focus when she was the observee in the third observation. The partners did not negotiate a shared understanding about Cindy in the conference for the third observation, but Hannah was able redefine the situation after the re-play of the conference in the stimulated recall session. The conference review provided an additional opportunity for the dyad members to reflect about the conference learnings and about their interactions during the conference. Hannah was a visual learner, and very aware from the first conference review of her partner's active listening skills, and her own need to "work on" becoming a better listener. In addition, in the conference, she was aware of non-verbal behaviours, often to the exclusion of verbal behaviours. The conference review offered time to practise listening without the distraction of the active involvement demanded by the conference. In the third observation, the recall interview allowed Hannah to check and verify her perceptions from the conference. The review revealed disconfirming evidence which prompted Hannah to reevaluate her thinking and attitudes about management and instruction with students such as Cindy. Another example of Hannah's behaviour in the conference review illustrated another dimension of awareness that spilled over from her observer role in the fourth observation. In this observation, she transferred the role of observer in the conference to the conference review and began commenting on her own teacher patterns, just as she had noted Nancy's teacher patterns in the observation. She particularly focussed on her own speech patterns, and became concerned that she was not completing her sentences and yet Nancy was indicating by "rninimal encourages" that she understood Hannah's meaning. Hannah realized that the messages she was sending were often incomplete and 145 might have been misinterpreted by her partner. Hannah did not check to verify if her partner's understanding was congruent with her own. The teacher development project workshops also increased the dyad's awareness of instructional and classroom management, and the consultation process. Throughout the third and fourth conferences, the observer and observee commented upon instructional strategies being used in the observed classroom lessons that were from the workshops, such as transitions, wait-time, pacing, and waiting for attention. The multiple foci of teacher patterns which Nancy selected for the fourth observation were from the workshop learnings on consultation. In addition, as a result of the workshop videotape, Hannah, in the third observation, became very aware of the role of the project observers, and monitored and assessed her own performance during the lesson. She particularly commented on her lack of planning and preparedness for the lesson (which was one conclusion drawn by her about the teacher under observation in the videotape). By the fourth observation, the growth in awareness about negotiating shared understandings was evident. Hannah presented data about Kelsey's off-task behaviour, which was of immediate interest and concern to Nancy. Indeed, he was one of the students that concerned them both. Nancy then reflected out loud about the difficulties monitoring the whole group while teaching from the music chart. Hannah reinforced that comment by agreeing that she noted, too, how much is missed by the teacher with a large group. Nancy continued to brainstorm with herself and arrived at the solution to "circulate" more. Hannah then reinforced that decision with the remark that Nancy had done more of that in the second half, implying that, when she was not using the chart, she circulated more. Nancy then was able to draw her own conclusion that there was no reason to stay "glued" to the chart. Hannah did not tell Nancy what to do, but waited for Nancy to reach that conclusion herself. Thus, Nancy was able to experience the joy of uncovering an habitual practice that she would not have been aware of without the data 146 collected by her partner. This "amazing " insight convinced her of the value of data-based observation and gained her whole-hearted cornmitment to the consultation process. 147 Chapter Six DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS The purpose of this chapter is to frame and discuss the fmdings, to draw some conclusions about them, and to suggest some implications which emerge from them. In an attempt to achieve this purpose, the chapter is divided into three main sections.. The first section will discuss the findings from three different perspectives. The second section will offer some conclusions about the meaning of the findings. The third section will outline the implications for theory and practice. DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS The Research Questions The findings reported in Chapters four and five will be discussed using three different frames. First, the findings will be examined briefly in light of the research questions. Second, the findings will be explored in terms of symbolic interactionism. Third, the findings will be compared and linked to the literature review., As the findings emerged from the analyses, it became apparent that contextual factors were inextricably intertwined with the first research question, "How do the partners negotiate shared understandings in the consultation process?" The findings from Dyad #1 were that the prior interaction patterns, past experiences and training influenced the interpretation of roles within the process, which, in turn, influenced the negotiation of understanding, development of practice and teacher growth. The findings from Dyad #2 were that the prior work relationship influenced the congruence of definition of the consultation process between dyad members. In addition, the dyad members made a 148 conscious effort to create a supportive, positive climate in the conference setting, which also influenced negotiation of mutual understandings, development of practice, and teacher growth. Therefore, it was concluded that contextual factors such as prior interaction patterns between the dyad members, and past experiences and training inhibited or facilitated the negotiation process. These two contextual factors together influenced how the dyad members defined the consultation process, interpreted their roles within the process, created differing consultation climates, and developed understandings of teaching and consultation practice. Given the analyses from both dyads, the two research questions could have been reformulated to ask, "How^  does the context influence the negotiation of shared understandings in the consultation process?" The Symbolic Interactionism Perspective < The perspective of symbolic interactionism was chosen as a framework within which to understand how the partners negotiated shared understandings in the consultation process. Furthermore, given the interrelated nature of the findings and the fact that context influences the negotiation of understanding, the framework of symbolic interactionism can be used to interpret why the prior interaction patterns of Dyad #1 inhibited the negotiation of shared understandings, and why the prior work relationship of Dyad# 2 facilitated the negotiation of shared understandings of teaching and consultation practice. The major finding of this study was that the nature of the prior relationship between the dyad members had a strong influence on the extent to which understanding was negotiated in the consultation process. Within the symbolic interactionism framework, the view expressed by Blumer (1969:116) is that: ...human group life is a process of formative transaction in which the cultural norms, states and positions and role relationships are only frameworks inside of which the 149 process goes on. \ The belief is that the locus of control in individuals is internal and that individuals have the capability of acting independently, shaping their environments and initiating change. In the symbolic interactionism view, meaning "arises in the process of interaction between people" and meanings are "social products" or "creations" formed "in and through defining activities" as individuals interact (Blumer,1969:4-5). According to Blumer (1969:89), the interactants in collegial consultation construct "individual and collective action through an interpretation of the situations which confront them". In this way the dyads individuaUy and collectively constructed and reconstructed their own reality of the situation as Jhey experienced the consultation process over the four observations. Blumer (1972:149) describes "defined" and "undefined" situations which can facilitate or limit the transaction of meaning between two parties. Collegial consultation presented an "undefined" situation for Dyad #1, and a "defined" situtation for Dyad #2. An "undefined" situation is one in which collective action is "blocked" because the interactants have different interpretations of the same situation and their "lines of action do not fit together". A "defined" situation is one which is normative, and in which the "lines of action" collectively do "fit together" and collective action is not blocked. Dyad #1 (Jessie and Beth) thought that the collegial consultation process being introduced by the teacher development project was a similar situation to that already established in their prior interaction patterns in which conversation about classroom practices in the staffroom was the norm. Their perception was that the new situation was a "defined" situation and normative for them. They did not become aware until the third observation that their respective definitions of collegial consultation and the situation created by data-based observation of practice were not congruent. In addition, the dyad members remained unaware, through all four observations, of the lack of congruence in their individual definitions and interpretations of aspects of the consultation process, such as 150 data, data collection, and meaningful feedback. Their negotiation of shared understandings about teaching practice were not negotiations that resulted in a joint cornmitment to examine the underlying issues and change less-man-desirable aspects of practice (Gidin and Smyth, 1989). Their conversations did not transcend into professional discourse until the fourth observation. At that point some mutual negotiation did occur which resulted in decisions by the observee to refine and improve instructional strategies. Collective action to negotiate shared understandings of teaching and consultation practice were inhibited by the unrecognized "undefined" situation created by the new data-based observation collegial consultation situation. Collective or individual action was limited by the additional, "undefined" situation within the dyad itself, whereby their differing interpretations of roles within the process, and differing definitions of data, data collection, and what constituted meaningful feedback were not made explicit and therefore not known to each other. During the third observation, Jessie did begin to "redefine" collegial consultation and shared this re-definition with her partner (that the observations should be based on recorded, descriptive data), and actually modelled the re-defined role of observer in the fourth observation. Beth, however, did not have an opportunity to practise this re-defined process, but the data indicated she was still ambivalent about the value of ' data-based observation and had not personally re-defined the process. Dyad #2 (Hannah and Nancy) were not faced with an "undefined", but a "defined" situation. Their prior established work-and task-oriented relationship appeared to be congruent with that required for the practice of collegial consultation. Their habitual patterns of interaction were based on collaboration with the work of the choir and coordinating the music program for the school. In addition, they were used to observing each other informally in the classroom, and in the choir situation. This dyad was familiar with collegial practice, with norms of shared work and responsibility already established. Although Nancy did not have supervisory experience, Hannah shared her interpretation of 151 collegial consultation which Nancy adopted. Therefore their definitions of the process were congruent, unlike those of Jessie and Beth. The familiarity of Jessie and Beth, due to their lengthy association, meant that assumptions were made about each other, about prior experience and training in teaching and supervisory practice that were neither questioned nor made explicit until the last two observations. They assumed that their definitions of collegial consultation were congruent until Jessie questioned Beth about the lack of specific data in the third observation, and Beth disclosed that she had only a vague recollection of data collection from university training ten years previously. At this point, Jessie accepted the responsibility for organizing the fourth observation to demonstrate clearly to her partner her own interpretation of collegial consultation. From their previous interactions,^  established over time, the interactants in Dyad#l had defined each other in a certain way which interfered with the development of the new and different task-oriented, relationship required by the consultation cycle. The recent acquaintanceship of Hannah and Nancy meant that assumptions were less likely to be made, and inquiries more likely about teaching and consultation practice. These defined and undefined situations, created by their prior interaction patterns, and past experiences and training thus influenced the growth and development of teaching and consultation practice in each dyad. Dyad #1 had to re-define both their relationship and the collegial consultation process. Until the fourth observation, their negotiations of understanding about teaching practice were limited by a lack of recorded data. The dyad members shared information and offered suggestions to each other about practice, but it was only in that observation that they began to interpret together the data collected, and reach agreements about how data collection could have been improved to meet the needs of the observee, and about how the observee could develop cooperative learning instruction. The dyad's awareness of their different understandings of collegial consultation were not made explicit. As Jessie and Beth practised collegial consultation, 152 they gradually became aware of the lack of congruence between their perception of collegial consultation and the reality of the process. However, within the two observational cycles, they did not make explicit to each other the discrepancies between what occurred in the conference and their expectations for the process. These discrepancies between what "was" and what was expected were made explicit to the researcher in the conference reviews by each dyad member, but not to the partner. Collegial interaction only became data-based collegial discourse in the last observation. Their prior interaction patterns were being re-defined by Jessie, in role as observer, into a more collegial relationship as an increased awareness of the collegial consultation process developed. In contrast, Dyad #2 did not have to re-define their relationship nor the consultation process, because the norms established in their work relationship were congruent with those needed in the consultation process, and their definitions of collegial consultation and the components of consultation were also congruent. These conditions facilitated the negotiation of shared understandings of practice in the third and fourth observations. The difference in negotiation between the two dyads was that Dyad #2 mutually examined the underlying issues of less-than-desirable practices that arose from the data, with the observee drawing conclusions about changing habitual attitudes or practices that were inhibiting the learning situation. Dyad #1, only explored instructional practices in a general, undifferentiated manner. Hannah (Dyad #2) was able to name the dilemma with Cindy in the feedback conference of the third observation , but was able only to frame and restructure the situation in the conference review. In the feedback conference of the fourth observation, however, the partners in Dyad #2 were able to negotiate a shared understanding of the data, with the observer offering supporting data while the observee named, framed and re-structured the habitual behaviour that was permitting off-task behaviours to occur. In Dyad #1, this opportunity to name, frame and re-structure less-than-desirable practices or attitudes was prevented by the lack of data 153 in three of the four observations. Jessie, as observee, elicited information (from her partner's recollections) to develop specific practices but was uncertain as to its validity. Beth, in the fourth data-based observation, was able to name pencil sharpening as a possible off-task behaviour and frame it, but chose not to delve into the underlying issue of appropriate use of time, and did not restructure the situation. Dyad #2 was able to reach decisions about changing less-than-desirable practices, and question the intents of those practices. Dyad #1 focussed on improving the skills of instruction in the feedback conference, and examined the underlying issues, on occasion, within the conference review setting. The understanding of the consultation process remained an undefined situation for them at the end of the second observation cycle. A COMPARISON OF T H E DYAD FINDINGS In this section the similarities and differences between the findings for the dyads will be examined in relation to one another and in light of the literature review. Seven themes emerged from the comparative analysis: (1) characteristics of the district context, (2) characteristics of the school context, (3) characteristics of the dyads that influenced their adaptation to the consultation process, (4) the prior relationships of the dyads which influenced negotiations in the consultation process, (5) the characteristics of experiential learning which were manifested in dyadic interaction, (6) the nature of the consultation climate in each dyad, and (7) the development of communication and negotiation. The District Context The collaboration between university and school district facilitated the implementation of the teacher development project as part of the district's new teacher 154 evaluation initiatives. The district actively modelled, endorsed and supported the initiation of collaborative practices. Strong district support for formative teacher evaluation and the teacher development project, created the opportunity for the teachers to experience the collegial consultation process on an on-going basis. This district is unique in the manner in which it has fostered and provided peer consultation and supervisory skills training as part of the overall professional development program over j the past decade. The district in which the dyads worked satisfied the characteristics put forth by Fullan for the successful implementation of educational change. Fullan (1982:56) listed the characteristics within the district that affect implementation of change. The implementation of change is a "shared endeavor" according to Fullan. The district in which the two dyads work has a positive "history of innovative attempts"; there was central adiministration support and involvement; adoption decisions were shared with stakeholder groups; staff development support was and is available on an on-going basis; and the timelines for implementing the new formative evaluation program are realistic. The district has also satisfied what Little (1987) refers to as the six dimensions of support to sustain the implementation of collegial practices. The district has offered symbolic endorsements of formative evaluation strategies by making explicit through the teacher evaluation policy their support and belief in such practices, and by the active modelling of collaborative practices by the central administrative staff. At the school level, the district created the support mechanism of the school professional development team. Teachers and administrators share leadership and decision-making responsibilities for disseminating professional literature, and demonstrating various supervisory models to the staff. The district supported the teacher development project which provided structured-in time for classroom observations, conferences, and conference reviews. Project leaders in the teacher development project (endorsed by the district) provided training and assistance. For example, workshops were offered by the project leaders in classroom and instructional management, and the consultation process 155 between the second and third observations. The district also provided their own professional development days which focussed on peer consultation. Material support was available in the form of release time for which substitutes and other school personnel were made available. The district, therefore, while advocating a change in teacher evaluation from summative to formative practices, offered support in a variety of forms to offset the "pressure" of the implementation of formative evaluation strategies. The expectation was that each teacher would develop his or her own professional growth plan based on a supervisory model of his or her choice. Mclaughlin and Pfeifer(1988) advocate a balance of pressure and support if such teacher evaluation strategies are to be sustained in practice. Hargreaves (1989), Grimmett and Crehan (1988), Huberman and Miles (1984), Fullan (1982), McLaughlin and Marsh (1978) all note the importance-of on-going support if innovations, such as collegial consultation are to be sustained and institutionalized in the school. The School Context The school context within which each dyad worked was different. Goodlad (1983), Fullan (1982), and House (1981), have reported that the characteristics of the school community, and physical and social structure of the school, influence the interactions of the teachers, administrators, students, and support staff within. Dyad #1 comprised the only teachers in their school participating in the teacher development project. The principal was supportive in that he covered classes while the dyad observed and conferenced if a substitute was not available. The staff was characterized by the dyad as working independently, for the most part, with occasional teaming for special projects. Fullan (1982:71) noted that change requires resocialization and that teacher interaction promotes social learning. Teachers working in isolation have difficulty learning and implementing new skills and behaviours. This school could be characterized in 156 Sergiovanni and Starratt's (1988:87) terms as having a "closed climate". Teachers in closed climates typically have a low commitment to shared work and shared relationships. Dyad #2 taught in a community school which fostered collaboration within the staff and with the outside community. A full-time professional coordinated activities between the school and the community and vice versa. One of the administrators was-a participant in a reciprocal dyad in the teacher development project, and also actively modelled collegial practice in her non-adrninistrative role as librarian. Both administrators actively endorsed and supported collaboration in the school. Litde (1984), Miles (1983), and Fullan (1982) have all recorded the importance of the support of school administrators in the implementation of new initiatives, and of the modelling of collegial practice at the adrriinstrative level. In addition to Hannah and Nancy, there were two other dyads participating in the study, and who, according to Nancy (SIQ) actively supported each other. McLaughlin and Marsh (1978) noted that for an innovation to be sustained, a critical mass of supporters was needed within the school. The climate of the school in which Hannah and Nancy taught could be described as an "open climate" (Sergiovanni and Starratt,1988:87). Teachers in open climates typically share a high cornmitment to shared work and shared relationships. The conditions for the successful implementation of collegial consultation within the school setting were more supportive for Dyad #2, therefore, than for Dyad #1. The Dyadic Context Fullan (1982:72) reported that sense of efficacy was the teacher characteristic linked to the successful implementation of change, such as that required by the new practice of collegial consultation. He suggested that efficacy is "more an organizational feature" of schools that have a "school wide emphasis" and "expectation that they can improve learning"(p.72). The school in which Dyad #2 taught was enaged in a school-157 wide integration of learning disabled students and the program was working because teachers and adminstrators had planned the implementation carefully and believed it would work. Dyad #2, therefore, worked in a setting that encouraged shared work and shared problem-solving. Dyad #1 did not work in this type of setting. Collegial consultation represented a change in practice for both dyads, but the degree of change varied with the dyad because of the nature of their respective contexts. In addition, Beth (SIQ), in Dyad #1, acimitted to feeling "somewhat pressured" by the principal to participate in the project. Jessie, her partner, did not appear to share this feeling. Throughout the observations there is evidence of Beth's ambivalence about the need for and value of peer observation, and confusion about its purpose. Miles (1981:46) noted that, if motivation to change behaviour or improve came from a fear of punishment (from non-compliance to the "outside" pressure), the changes in behaviour were apt to be "transitory" and "unintegrated" within practice. Beth seemed to be participating to satisfy external demands (e.g., contrived collegiality, Hargreaves, 1989), whereas the rest of the participants appeared to lack this feeling of external pressure. Beth's behaviour indicated that she preferred to attribute undesirable circumstances for learning and change on external factors beyond her control. She appeared reluctant to accept the belief or the responsibility that an individual could re-shape, improve or change the environment or situation. Given the data, her locus of control was external. Beth's behaviour and preference for a more directive supervisory approach in the conference is in accordance with Pajak and Glickman's (1989) findings that teachers with an external locus of control preferred the supervisor (observer) to make suggestions for change, rather than identify desirable changes themselves. Walter and Marks (1981:32) also reported that need satisfaction and self-esteem was positively correlated with internal locus of control. Beth's lack of satisfaction with the consultation process, and her ambivalence throughout both cycles perhaps is further evidence of her external locus of control, lack of self-esteem and personal fears of changing practice. 1 5 8 Within the dyadic context, the motivation for participation was not congruent for the members, with one willing and one "pressured" participant withinJDyad #1. In addition, Jessie appeared to possess an internal locus of control, and the belief that she could initiate and effect change, whereas Beth required external pressure to participate, and needed the structure of the consultation cycle, to "force" her to try collegial practices. Hannah and Nancy, in Dyad #2, exhibited in their actions the belief that as individuals they could shape their environment and change practice. Their loci of control were internal and congruent. Miles (1981:46) described how for individuals, such as Hannah and Nancy, "aided" by "insiders" (the administrators and other dyads participating in the teacher development project), changes of behaviour became "increasingly systematic, permanent, and integrated". This was evidenced as Hannah and Nancy integrated the workshop learnings about classroom and instructional management into their classroom practices, and also in their increased awareness of communication in the consultation process. The Nature of Prior Relationships The influence of the nature of prior relationships on the negotiation of shared understandings has been fairly thoroughly explored within the discussion linking it to symbolic interactionism. To reiterate, the lengthy prior interaction patterns in Dyad #1 inhibited the development of shared understandings of teaching and consultation practice, whereas the recent prior work relationship of Dyad #2 easily adapted to the task-oriented collegial consultation process and more readily facilitated negotiation of shared meaning. Fullan (1982:72) commented that the working relationships among teachers were strongly related to the successful implementation of new practices. Dyad #1 had to develop a working relationship, the establishment of which took time. Dyad #2 did not have to reestablish their relationship nor redefine it. Mutual respect, trust and support 159 existed and did not have to be renegotiated as in Dyad #1. It was therefore not surprising that Dyad #2 were able to tackle the task of consulting right away while Dyad #1 had to begin re-defining the relationship by re-establishing trust and support They had to establish new patterns of interaction in order to fulfill the new task-oriented responsibilities of data-based observation. If a discussion in the feedback conference was not to their liking, disengagement from the consultation was no longer a legitimate option for them. The expectation was for professional dialogue, and shared work and responsibility for the purpose of changing less-than desirable practices. Elements of reciprocity already existed in the relationship of Dyad #2. The cormnitment to improve or develop practice did not exist in the prior interaction patterns of Jessie and Beth, whereas Hannah and Nancy already shared a commitment to develop the choir and the music program. Some of the conditions described by Little (1987:513) to support fruitful collegial practice existed for both dyads (i.e., the opportunity for shared work was scheduled in, release time was available). However, the "value for shared work" was not "said" and "shown" by both members of Dyad #1, nor was the "purpose for work together", equally "compelling or challenging", for both members. In addition, the "accomplishments" of the dyad were not made explicit to each other nor "celebrated". In contrast, Dyad #2 members did make explicit to each other the value of then-shared work, and both expressed an appreciation of the opportunity to receive feedback about their teaching from a colleague. They also constantly "recognized" and "celebrated", in the feedback conference, classroom accomplishments that occurred during the observation. Jessie and Beth, in Dyad #1, did recognize and appreciate the accomplishments of each other, but did not make these explicit to each other in the feedback conference, only to the interviewer in the conference review. Jessie also appreciated and valued the opportunity to receive feedback about her practice. Beth, however, was still making sense of their new "undefined" relationship, and the 160 consultation process, and even at the end of the fourth observation was uncertain as to the value of the interaction. By actively participating in the collegial consultation process, she was confronted with the high personal costs in terms of time, effort, and risk, and appeared uncertain as to whether, for her, the benefits outweighed the costs. Ritchie (1989:94) elaborated on the tensions and paradoxes created by peer observation in his study on collegiality and commented on the conflicting emotions felt by teachers putting their teaching reputations on the line through peer observation, thus making their practice visible and vulnerable. Beth disclosed in the conference reviews that she was disappointed about being in the control group because she would have appreciated more knowledge about data collection in particular and the process in general. The prior interaction patterns of Dyad #1 were only beginning to evolve into a collegial relationship by the completion of the fourth round of observations, whereas the prior work relationship of Dyad #2 meant that a collegial relationship had already been established. Experiential Learning Hutchings and Wutzdorff (1988), describing experiential learning theory, stated that past experiences and practices provide the foundations for building or creating new theory. Experiential learning was the process the dyads were engaged in as they practised observing each other, collecting data and giving feedback. Such experiential learning involved the active participation of the learner in the concrete experience of the observational cycle. This active involvement, which includes the affective as well as cognitive component of learning was what distinguished experiential from non-experiential learning. Collegial consultation, as an example of group interaction, represented a change in practice for both dyads. Neither dyad had previously experienced collegial consultation in an on-going situation such as that offered by the teacher development project. Dyad #1 161 had conversed informally about practice, in their prior interaction patterns, but had not observed each other teach. Dyad #2 had informally observed each other teach in the choir and classroom music situations, and worked together collegiaUy with the choir and coordinating the school music program but had not involved themselves in systematic data collection. The past experiences and training of the dyads also influenced the assumptions the partners made about each other regarding their understanding of the consultation process. In Dyad #1, the manner in which the partners had defined each other over their five-year association meant that they expected they could predict the behaviour of the other. The past experiences and training of Dyad #2 provided some familiarity therefore with observation and sharing work. Dyad #1 lacked this experience. This resulted in definitional incongruence in Dyad #1. Dyad #2 with their more recent association did not assume this prediction of behaviour and gave and sought information about the prior experience and understanding of each other regarding collegial consultation which resulted in definitional congruence. Walter and Marks (1981:3) wrote that experiential learning was operative when the participants were fully involved, the activity was "relevant" to the learner, the individual had developed his or her own responsibility for learning and the learning environment was "flexible" and "responsive" to the participants' needs. From the data it appears that Beth, in Dyad #1, was more comfortable learning non-experientially. She found the "doing" of the consultation process difficult, and the implementation of new instructional practices difficult. Throughout the observations her ambivalence about the value of the process in terms of her own development was apparent. She did not accept responsibility for the "work" of the consultation process, and she did not support her partner in her attempt to make the learning environment flexible and responsive to both their needs. 162 According to Guskey (1986), Huberman and Miles (1984), and Fullan (1982), cornmitment to a new practice, such as collegial consultation, can occur after actual use because the opportunity to practise assists the participants gain understanding through active involvment in the concrete experience. Fullan (1982) noted that effective implementation was fostered by a progression from the concrete to the abstract. In other words, the participants begin to understand the underlying principles of the innovation only after experiencing the process. Of the four dyad members, only Beth did not seem to be fully involved and committed to collegial consultation. Walter and Marks (1981), and Kolb (1984) stated that when an individual, such as Beth, seems unable to integrate her past summative with the new formative experiences, it is because the new learnings do not fit with her existing beliefs. Beth had felt pressured into participating in the project, and the process was not relevant or meaningful to her. Therefore, she was not truly involved in the experiential aspect of the consultation process nor committed to the undertaking. Stake (House, 1986) commented that personal conviction about change is fostered by experience. The experience with collegial consultation had not changed Beth's personal convictions about the value of observation-based consultation compared to general discussions about practice although by the fourth observation she did comment that a combination of objective data and subjective feedback might satisfy her feedback needs. Jessie, Hannah, and Nancy, however, appeared to be personally convinced about the value of observation and feedback. Walter and Marks (1981) and Kolb (1984) supported the view that participants in social learning situations must be open to learning and change, trusting of others and have a desire to learn. Hannah, Nancy and Jessie exhibited these characteristics, but Beth appeared to resist whole-hearted involvement. The fact that one member in Dyad #1 was a willing experiential learner and one was participating hesitandy and reluctandy created an interesting learning situation. According to Walter and Marks (1981:61) participants "can thwart each other's growth through personal insensitivity and unfamiliarity with the 163 experiential learning experience". Beth did "thwart" Jessie's opportunities for growth by not collecting objective data when she was the observer, and by not sharing the work and responsibility involved with planning the observation. However, Jessie did learn through observing Beth, noting, in the recall interviews, practices that Beth utilized that she did not, and observing their interactions in the conference. Although the feedback data were not based on the facts she desired, Jessie consciously elicited from Beth's interpretations and opinions information that could be incorporated into future lessons. She found the feedback confirming even though she was not convinced about its reliability since it had been "screened" through her partner's values. Cogan (1973:182) warned about this situation when objective data are not collected and "undisciplined intuition" and "unconscious selection" of perceived, rather than actual events can occur on the part of the observer. In spite of everything, Jessie became more aware of her practice through the classroom observation and conference review aspects of the consultation process. Kolb (1984:17) paraphrasing Lewin stated that learning was best facilitated in an environment in which there was tension between the concrete experience and analytic detachment. Both classroom observations and the conference videotape reviews provided this opportunity for the participants. In addition, Jessie became more aware of the discrepancy between their prior definition of collegial consultation and "what should be", and took action in the fourth observation to change the situation, another example of experiential learning. Dyad #2, with their work collaboration already established and a shared motivation for participation, cornmitment to and understanding of the process, were able to begin practising collegial consultation in the first observation. By the fourth observation they were mutually negotiating understandings, forming, reforming and transforming old and new experiences into new learning. 164 The Nature of the Consultation Climate Two factors appeared to influence the nature of the consultation climate. The first was the nature of the prior relationship of the dyad members and the second was that the consultation climate had been previously created in Dyad #1, and was consciously created by Dyad #2. The communication environment that resulted was different in each dyad and influenced the negotiation of understanding. Walter and Marks (1981:7) described the characteristics of the ideal supportive relationship as the following: mutual acceptance, interpersonal warmth, empathy, spontaneity and equality. Within Dyad #1 mutual acceptance and interpersonal warmth existed. Dyad #2 exhibited all the characteristics. The one major difference between the dyads was the lack of equality in the relationship of Dyad #1. Litde (1987) outlined the guarantors of reciprocity, the main ingredient of which is equality. Dyad #2 possessed the guarantors of reciprocity whereas Dyad #1 were reestablishing mutual support and trust and only beginning to create a shared language in collegial consultation. Conflict was avoided in Dyad #1, and accepted in Dyad #2 as an opportunity for increasing awareness and solving problems. Dyad #1 continued in the informal conversational climate that had been previously established over time. Dyad #2 consciously set out, in Blumer's terms, to shape their environment. Nancy in the first observation set the positive, supportive tone, which Hannah reciprocated in the second observation. Walter and Marks (1981:59) reported that favourable evaluative feedback enhanced task orientation; Pajak and Glickman (1989) reported that positive feedback created more positive attitudes to change. The tone set by Dyad #2 in the first two observations enabled them to begin in the third and bring to fruition in the fourth observation mutual negotiation of understanding. In contrast, Dyad #1 did not mutually support each other. Jessie was conscious of her supporting role to enhance the confidence of her partner, but Beth did not understand her role in this way. 165 Disclosure was frequent in the consultation conferences of Dyad #2, but disclosure in Dyad #1 usually occurred in the conference review. Miles (1981) noted that changes in behaviour were fostered in a climate of psychological safety and support. Jessie and Beth did not appear to feel this sense of safety and support in the feedback conference. The climate that existed and was being re-created in the fourth observation in Dyad #1, could be described in Pajak and Glickman's (1989:94) terms as controlling and informational. In each conference, whether in the role of observer or observee, Jessie attempted to guide the conference in relation to the observational focus, with or without objective data. In this way, she acted in a supervisory role directing the consultation. The observation offered an opportunity to receive feedback to improve practice and her goal was to elicit information that would lead the observee, whether herself or Beth to the "next step" in improving practice. This direct supervisory approach was congruent with Beth's summative expectations of the conference. The communication environment created by Dyad #2 was characterized by what Walter and Marks (1981:59) described as effective interpersonal feedback. In contrast to the general, evaluative feedback given in Dyad #1, the feedback presented in Dyad #2, was descriptive and specific. The environment was informational and characterized by professional discourse (Gitlin and Smyth, 1989) rather than conversation about practice (as in Dyad #1). In addition, a confrontational environment (Walter and Marks, 1981:61) developed in the third and fourth observations. Walter and Marks (1981) reported that, in order for enhanced understanding and growth to occur, a balance of support and confrontation were needed. Dyad #1 was in the process of establishing support in the last observation. As they began to build a reciprocal relationship and develop guarantors of reciprocity they were able to give and receive information and increase their awareness of teaching practice, but they were only beginning to confront the discrepancies between "what was" and "what should be" in their teaching practice and the process of 166 consultation (Gitlin and Smyth, 1989). Dyad #2 appeared to be more able to confront discrepancies in teaching and consultation practice. Communication and Negotiation Over the four observations, both dyads developed an enhanced understanding of teaching and consultation practice. Dyad #1 were just beginning to engage in dialogic communication in which colleagues exarnine observed practice and identify "living contradictions" between perceived practice and the actuality (Gitlin and Smyth, 1989). Dyad #2 were identifying the "living contradictions" and attempting to assess the underlying issues. For example, Hannah presented the data about Kelseys' off task behaviour, Nancy then queried the behaviour, identified the dilemma of monitoring the whole group when teaching from a static position, identified alternatives and derived the solution which was to circulate more. Walter and Marks (1981) explained the importance of both msconfirrning or negative feedback and positive or confirrning feedback when individuals are making decisions about changing behaviour. Positive feedback confirmed behaviours and actions and allowed participants to "open themselves for change in other areas"(p.60). Negative or disconfirming feedback, however, was necessary for growth and change to occur. Negative feedback confronted the individual with incongruities between perceptions of the reality and the actuality. Gitlin and Smyth (1989), Sergiovanni and Starratt (1988), and Cogan (1973) all referred to the importance of individuals "narning" their world. Through the process of professional dialogue in the consultation conference the colleagues in Dyad #1 and Dyad #2 were able to name their world but were at different developmental stages in the process of being able to re-construct that world. In Sergiovanni and Starratt's terms (1988:318), Dyad #1 were able to "picture" or describe (in the fourth observation) the actual classroom events. Dyad #2, however, 167 were able to engage in "disclosure" in which the classroom events were mutually interpreted by the dyad members. The colleagues in Dyad #2 (in the fourth observation) were able to engage in what Grimmett and Crehan (1990b) referred to as "reflective transformation". Nancy was able to name the problem, reframe the problem and re-structure it with the support of the data and her partner. Support and confrontation enabled a decision to be made to change a less-than-desirable, habitual practice recorded by the observer. The issues underlying the off-task behaviour were examined and an "amazing" insight created. Working together the partners had negotiated shared understandings about teaching through the consultation process. Nancy's (SIQ) advice to other teachers wishing to try collegial practice was a testimonial to her positive collegial consultation experiences to date: Find a compatible partner and do it! The rewards are unexpected and powerful. CONCLUSIONS Five conclusions were derived from the findings that emerged from the comparative analyses of the two dyads as they experienced the collegial consultation process. The five contextual factors that appear to enhance or inhibit the practice of collegial consultation and therefore the understanding of teaching practice are: (1) district and school endorsement and support, (2) reciprocal interaction patterns, (3) definitional congruence, (4) provision of knowledge base and network support, and (5) need for time. An explanation of the conclusions follows. 168 District and School Endorsement and Support The district provided the supportive conditions that facilitated the implementation of formative evaluation practices, such as collegial consultation, in the schools. Central adrninistrative staff modelled collaborative practices in the development of the new teacher evaluation policy. They cooperated with the team leaders in the teacher development project in coordinating the installation of the program in the district. The teacher development project structured in time within the school day for observing, conferencing, and reviewing the conference. This major factor made collegial consultation a priority, and provided the opportunity for teachers to try the new practice in school time, rather than trying to coordinate and schedule the time within their already intensified workloads. The placement of the school development team support mechanism in each school encouraged shared administrative and teacher leadership and responsibility for on-site professional development. Endorsement of collegial practice and active modelling by administrators, in addition to teacher motelling of collegial consultation, appeared to be conditions that developed further support for sustaining collegial practice. The absence of active modelling of collegiality by administrators and teachers (e.g., Dyad #1) meant that those teachers willing to risk initiating the practice were struggling against norms of individualism and independence, rather than being supported by norms of collegialism and interdependence. The stmctured-in-time within the school organization allowed the teachers to observe other teachers and learn via the process of identification in both classroom and conference review settings. Receiving feedback based on specific data of actual classroom events permitted teachers to engage in mutual reflection, participate in professional discourse, and examine the suitability of certain practices. It also enabled them to decide about refining or developing instructional practices and to uncover 1 6 9 previously unidentified habitual practices or taken-for-granted assumptions that rernained unspoken and invisible to the observee until the eyes of another made such events visible. The process of negotiation was seen to involve learning new ways of interacting in a "group" situation in a manner that was developmental and experiential for the teacher-learner participants. The insights gained from working together in the collegial consultation process were grounded in instructional practice; however, the beginnings of the development of a critical perspective of immediate practice were evident. Hannah expressed the philosophical "tug-of-war" she was experiencing about her classroom and instructional management attitudes. She, perhaps, was beginning to examine the inequalities being perpetuated by her former rigid management attitudes in certain aspects of her classroom teaching. Both dyads valued the opportunity to reflect and talk more about teaching practice. Because of the supportive consultation climate they created and their definitional congruence Dyad #2 was able to reflect, dialogue and change teaching behaviours more easily than Dyad #1. Consequentiy, it can be concluded that district support for and endorsement of collegial consultation was not, in itself, sufficient to sustain this innovative practice. Rather, as Dyad #2 indicated, district support must be supplemented by active support and endorsement at the school level. Reciprocal Interaction Patterns Reciprocity, using Little's (1987) definition, was not part of the interaction pattern of Dyad #1, but was part of the interaction pattern of Dyad #2. Equality had not been established in the relationship of Dyad #1, sharing the work and responsibility for the consultation process. The effect of one dyad member being uncomfortable with learning experientially in Dyad #1 created a situation for both members that did not prevent but definitely inhibited the establishment of reciprocity. Jessie and Beth defined each other 170 and collegial consultation in terms of their past experiences and association, whereas Hannah and Nancy defined themselves and collegial consultation in light of the current situation. During consultation, Jessie always took on a supervisory role, guiding the interaction, prompting her partner to reflect about practice and make decisions about taking action to change or improve practice. The relationship of Dyad #2 also exhibited helper/helpee behaviour but the partners reversed roles and contributed equally in their responsibilities to collect objective data and mutually negotiate. Dyad #1 and Dyad #2 also differed in their ability to role-take or place themselves in the position of the other in order to share the experience of observation and consultation. Beth's identification with the observee was so strong when she was observing that she forgot the observee's needs and became totally involved with watching Jessie teach. As a result she was unable to support her observations with recorded data. Not until the fourth observation did Jessie become aware of the importance of recorded data, and the lack of it and changed the situation, thus initiating a basis for reciprocity by supplying the data needed by the observee, on which to base the consultation and negotiation. Hannah and Nancy in Dyad #2 were able to role-take and their negotiations in the last two observations were evidence of this. The conference review also created an additional opportunity for the dyad members to role-take and see the conference from a detached observer point of view. Beth and Jessie were able to role-take in the conference review, but because of the lack of a supportive climate in the consultation they only began to role-take and reverse observee/observer roles and negotiate on a more equal basis in the last observation. In order to gain access to the conceptual world of each other, the partners practised role-taking or reciprocal identification in order to share each other's experience, and then tried together to make sense of the actual, rather than the perceived situation. The members of Dyad #2 consciously created and reciprocated by creating and maintaining a supportive consultation climate which created supportive interaction patterns that permitted confrontational feedback to be negotiated and 171 enhanced understanding of teaching and consultation practice. Dyad #1 was only beginning to create reciprocal interaction patterns, and beginning to make sense of patterns of interaction that supported the negotiational process (such as collecting objective data for their partner). Consequently, it can be concluded that dyads which understand how to enter experientially into a reciprocal give-and-take, both in feedback and role exchange, are more likely to engage in a form of collegial consultation that results in changes in teaching practices than dyads which do not enjoy such reciprocity. Definitional Congruence Because of the defined nature of the situation for Dyad #2, they were more able to adapt their relationship to the new situation of collegial consultation. There were fewer changes in behaviour required for Hannah and Nancy than there were for Jessie and Beth. Adaptation problems, for the latter dyad, were influenced by the informal, conversational orientation of their prior interaction patterns. In addition Jessie and Beth assumed, incorrectly, that they had a defined situation in the first two observations. They assumed their previous staffroom conversations equated to collegial consultations. They had defined each other in terms of the past relationship which limited the inquiry into what the terms collegial consultation, data, data collection, and feedback meant to them individually. Dyad #2 were in the process of defining their relationship and made no assumptions about the past experiences and training of the other. They therefore made inquiries and made their definitions of these terms explicit to each other. The fact that the definitions of these terms were incongruent in Dyad #1 led to confusion, frustration, a lack of accurate picturing of the observational events, and a lack of mutual interpretation of actual events. Making explicit personal definitions of terms created a shared language on which to develop shared understandings of practice in Dyad #2. Nancy adopted Hannah's interpretation and definitions of the consultation processes. Because their definitions of 172 the relationship and the consultation process were defined and congruent they were able to proceed with the task of negotiation. By the end of the second cycle of consultations, Dyad #1 were only becoming aware that they did not share the same language. Consequently, it can be concluded that definitional congruence lays the foundation for equal participation in and contributions to the process of consultation by dyad members. It can also be concluded that the way in which the terms of a collegial relationship and the collegial consultation process are defined depends, to a large extent, on how the context is framed by previous experiences. It would seem that the presence of a prior collegial work-based relationship is to be preferred over a prior relationship based on collegial interaction for interactants participating in the collegial consultation process. Provision of Knowledge Base and Network Support The information and experience gained in the teacher development workshops also enhanced the understanding and awareness of Dyad #2 regarding classroom and instructional management and consultation practice. Hannah, in particular was aware of communication skills (e.g., active listening) and non-verbal behaviours (e.g., body language) and the workshops served to increase this awareness. The workshops gave the participants in Dyad #2 opportunities to talk about the dilemmas of consultation and learn more about their partners, in a setting away from the distractions of the school. Dyad #1 did not have this opportunity to learn more about management and instructional practices, nor about consultation. The workshop setting provided an additional experience to communicate and network with other dyad members and participants (in the teacher development project) from other schools. Jessie and Beth, in Dyad #1, remained isolated in their non-collaborative school setting unaware of the other participants in the study, and lacked the additional support network of which Hannah and Nancy became part. Thus, it can be concluded that the provision of knowledge-based 173 experiences and of a support network can enhance the readiness of participants to continue the practice of collegial consultation. Need For Time More time for planning the observation was a need identified by members of both dyads. With the press of classroom and extra-curricular activity demands, time for planning was snatched and brief. Release time was not provided for planning the observation. The observational focus which provided the framework for the feedback conference was often not clarified either mutually or individually, and data collection was often non-existent or too detailed due to a similar lack of discussion about what data the observee really wanted. Frequently, the observee was not aware of what data would have been most helpful until after the feedback conference when she had become aware of what feedback had not been helpful. Thus, it is possible to conclude that the feedback conferences might have been more specific and focussed on the observee's needs if the dyads had spent more time on the planning phase. Time is the scarcest resource for teachers and building in time for observations and consultation made collegial consultation a priority in the school day. Release time appeared to be critical if teachers were to be expected to participate in the program and practise together on an on-going basis. Establishing norms of collegiality required changes in roles, interaction patterns and relationships; this process also required time and frequent opportunities to practise consulting and observing. Collegial consultation is a group practice requiring new ways of interacting, and new ways of communicating on a professional basis about practice. As such, it involves changes in beliefs and behaviour for some teachers which appear to be facilitated by additional training and extensive support services and resources, especially time to practise together. Even in Dyad #2, the dyad in which some mutual negotiation of understanding occurred during the collegial 174 consultation process, the provision of time was most consequential. Thus, it can be concluded that without structured-in time at the school level, it is possible that the collegial consultation process would not be implemented by the teachers. IMPLICATIONS FOR THEORY AND PRACTICE The purpose of this section is to outline the implications of the findings and conclusions for theory and practice. First, the implications for theory will be discussed. The findings and conclusions support research in the areas of collegial practice (Littie.1982,1984,1987; Grimmett and Crehan,1988,1990ab; Elliott,1988; Cooper,1988; Hargreaves,1989 and Ritchie,1989) and teacher evaluation (Gidin and Smyth,1989; McLaughlin and Pfeifer,1988); educational change (McLaughlin and Marsh,1978; Fullan,1982; Huberman and Miles,1984; Guskey,1986); and experiential learning and group practice (Miles, 1981;Walter and Marks,1981; Kolb,1984). Second, the implications for the practice of collegial consultation will be outlined based on the findings, conclusions, and the researcher's field experiences. Implications for Theory Collegial practice and teacher evaluation. Within the limits of this study, it appears that collegial consultation is an example of a collegial practice and a viable vehicle for teachers to develop professionally. The experiential nature of the process means that development varies with the individuals involved, their past professional experiences and training, and the support they receive from the district and within the school. The study supports the validity of Little's (1982,1984,1987) studies about the supportive conditions necessary at the district and school levels (e.g., role of the administration) to initiate, implement and institutionalize new collegial practice programs. 175 In addition, this study serves to add further evidence to support and extend Little's (1982,1984,1987) assertions about the importance of the norms of shared work and responsibility, and guarantors of reciprocity being present and necessary if challenging problems of practice are to be addressed collegially. Reciprocal interaction patterns were found to be a critical feature of Dyad #2 that were absent in Dyad #1. Strong district and school endorsement and support, and an awareness of the contextual factors facilitating negotiation may not be sufficient in and of themselves to stimulate teacher growth and development. The sufficient conditions appeared to be the interaction patterns present in the relationship of Dyad #2 in which the guarantors of reciprocity were evident. The two characteristics that typified the reciprocal interaction patterns of Dyad #2 were equality of influence, participation and contribution between the dyad members throughout the consultation process, and their ability to reverse roles or role-take which enabled the experience to be shared. A mutual desire to create supportive conditions, mutual concern for the students and shared responsibility for the obligations involved with the collegial consultation process facilitated the negotiation of shared understandings and enabled the partners in Dyad #2 to risk exarnining the underlying values of their teaching practice, rather than simply improving the technical aspects of instruction as occurred in Dyad #l(Gidin and Smyth, 1989). Because the situation in Dyad #2 was in Blumer's terms a defined one, and a supportive climate was established, the guarantors of shared, congruent language, predictability in group dealing, and ground rules for dealing with conflict were in place. Therefore, there were adequate supportive conditions existing in the form of psychological safety and a knowledge base provided by experiential and workshop learnings to balance confrontations about practice, thus enabling decisions about changes in practice to occur. This implication supports Grimmett and Crehan's (1990a:234) claim that, "Collegiality...is a necessary but not sufficient condition to bring about reflective transformation" and that in order to "name" the problem the teacher "must feel secure enough professionally to risk reconstructing..." and refrarning or transforming 176 the less-than-desirable practice. The sufficient condition may be the presence of reciprocal interaction patterns in the dyad. Little (1987) also emphasized the importance of time being re-structured in the school organization to facilitate collegial practice. This study strongly supports her claims. The teacher development project provided time within the school day to observe, conference and review the conference. All the interactants in the case study agreed (SIQ) that time was the resource most needed to make the consultation relationship possible. Time was not provided for planning and this aspect of the consultation process was neglected by both dyads because of the press of other demands in their busy schedules. Therefore, scheduled in time is important to facilitate the implementation of collegial practices. This study also confirms that collegial consultation is an example of a formative evaluation strategy that offers a practical and effective alternative to summative evaluation practices. Teachers working with other teachers were able to "name", "frame" and "re-frame" their teaching experience. Observation and feedback from an adrninistrator were not needed for teachers to develop an awareness of practice. A balance of pressure and support does appear to facilitate the implementation of such practices and accountability for practice does come about through such formative practices as theorized by McLaughlin and Pfeifer (1988) and Elliott (1988). Three of the four teachers did appear to be on the road to becoming increasingly self-monitoring and more accountable for their teaching practices. Dyad #1 perhaps illustrates Hargreaves' (1989) definition of contrived collegiality. Dyad # 2 offers an illustration of interdependent collegiality as described by Cooper (1988) and Grimmett and Crehan (1990b). Although the situation for both dyads was externally introduced, only one dyad member, Beth, felt pressured to participate. The process was not relevant or meaningful to her and therefore her commitment to making the relationship and situation work was less than that of her partner and the members of 177 Dyad #2. Dyad #2 shared a coirjmitment to developing practice and developed an interdependent relationship characterized by horizontal evaluation, rather than the dependent relationship, characterized by the summative and directive supervisory behaviours of Jessie as helper, and Beth as helpee, in Dyad #1. This study also agrees with many of the findings of Ritchie (1989) in relation to the challenges posed by peer observation and collegial practice, which require new skills that are not part of the skills repertoire of many practitioners. The lack of experience of teachers in observing colleagues and giving feedback posed challenges for the four teachers in this case study. The anxiety, and uncertainty experienced by the teachers as they were observed by a colleague and two researchers is similar to that outlined by Ritchie. The teachers in both studies felt the press of immediate demands "at the expense of investments in personal growth" (Ritchie, 1989:92). The teachers in this study had difficulties finding enough time to plan the observations, or even plan at all. Beth's desire to learn from others was countered by a similar desire not to know how others practised in a struggle to maintain a "serviceable self unage". Participating in the collegiality study added more pressure for teachers, like Beth, exposing their previously invisible practice to the scrutiny of other professionals. Educational change. This study illuminated the importance of contextual factors (e.g., district, school, dyadic relationship) in facilitating or inhibiting the negotiation of understanding in the consultation process. The nature of prior relationships, past experiences and training can support or constrain communication between the interactants. Collegial consultation represented a change in practice for the interactants. Fullan's (1982:56) factors affecting the implementation of change were confirmed by the study: the district had initiated change in an appropriate manner, with input from all stakeholder groups, and appropriate support mechanisms placed within the social organization of the school to facilitate and sustain formative evaluation practices. 178 The quality of the work relationship did prove to be a factor in the Dyad #2's success in initiating and implementing collegial consultation. The research of Guskey (1986), Huberman and Miles (1984) and Fullan(1982), stating that understanding and cornmitment to an innovation often come after actual use, was supported by this study. All the interactants were better able to define collegial consultation, data, data collection, feedback conference and gained in their understanding of their roles and responsibilities as observer and observee as they experienced the process on an on-going basis. Experiential learning. The development of the individuals within the dyads was prompted by the observation of, interaction with, and feedback from other colleagues, as proponents of group interaction such as Kolb (1984), Miles (1981), and Walter and Marks (1981) suggest. Peer support does appear to lessen the anxiety of risk-taking and experimentation. In addition, the importance of a supportive climate advocated by these authors, and the role of positive feedback in enhancing task-orientation was evident in Dyad #2. The rewards of collegial interaction are not only cognitive but also affective as Walter and Marks (1981) reported. The rewards of such a relationship are support, affiliation and reciprocity as demonstrated by Dyad #2. The positive, supportive, communication environment established by Dyad #2, and the effect of positive feedback on the observee supports the work of Pajak and Glickman (1989). The role of confrontational feedback, or negative feedback that disconfirms the observee's perceptions and confronts the observee with inconsistencies between the actuality and perceptions of reality and prompts changes in behaviour was characterized by Dyad #2 in observations three and four. The two conditions identified by Walter and Marks (1981) as necessary for growth, a balance of support and confrontation, were evidenced in the last consultation of Dyad #2. An awareness of interpersonal skills needed in groups (Kolb, 1984; Miles, 1981; Walter and Marks, 1981) was fostered via the medium of observation in the conference 179 review. Jessie, in Dyad #1, and Hannah and Nancy in Dyad #2, became aware of the importance of active listening skills in the conference, verbal and non-verbal behaviours, and speech patterns. Hannah was just coming to an awareness that the message sent by the sender should be verified with the receiver to ensure congruence of understanding. Implications for Practice There are numerous implications for practice, the most important of which is that time must be structured into the school day for teachers to plan, observe, and conference. Because the conference review is a valuable way for teachers to continue to reflect about happenings during the observation and the conference, videotaping the conference would be a valuable means for the colleagues to continue the reflection cycle and professional discourse about practice. The active endorsement, support, and modelling of collegiality by school administrators helps demonstrate their commitment to the process and encourage others to emulate collegial behaviour. Expectations within the school for teachers to work together collaboratively, and opportunities to do so, help promote the initiation and implementation of such practices within a school. Training and assistance are other important factors in the successful implementation of new practices such as collegial consultation. Dyad #2 received such training and it enhanced their understanding of teaching and consultation practice. Some awareness of what to expect in the conference, and how to interact to facilitate mutual learning would allow participants to get right down to the task of debating, interpreting, and drawing conclusions from the data without having to worry if their behaviours were blocking collective action. Watching teachers farniliar with these actions, consulting together in the feedback conference would also provide interested teachers with a general idea of what the process 180 looked like and how they might implement the process with a colleague. It also helps to have a support group on-site, including other teachers practising consultation activities. They can share experiences with each other and become visible models to others in the school. The consultation process can offer a sense of affiliation and belonging to non-enrolling teachers such as Nancy. In addition, the shared professional interests in music made Nancy appreciate the feedback from Hannah even more. Watching Hannah teach science, a subject she did not teach, was also informative for Nancy. Hannah also gained a sense of how their two music programs articulated by watching Nancy teach her class. There are many ways for teachers to consult, and each dyad will develop their own ways of working together based on the individuals involved, their prior relationships, past experiences and training and learning needs. Similar philosophies were mentioned by the dyad members (SIQ) as characterizing the ideal working relationship. Different teaching styles and practices opened the partner's eyes to new strategies and points of view in Dyad #1 and Dyad #2. The act of being observed made the observees more aware of and more reflective about their actions as they were teaching. Seemingly insignificant habitual incidents (e.g., pencil sharpening) can lead teachers into examining much deeper issues of practice such as the discrepancies between their stated intents and their actions in the classroom. Planning was identified by the dyads as being important. Finding time to plan and discuss the observational focus, and what the observee means by that focus is important, because, unless the focus is mutually clarified, the data collection methods may not be appropriate for the needs of the observee. Talking about the focus can also illuminate whether the observee really means what she is saying, or really wants something else. Only dialogue can help clarify such matters. The observer should also explore what concrete behaviours will illustrate the focus, so that the appropriate data will be recorded. If the focus is vague or abstract, it should be put into more concrete observable terms. A 181 specific focus will make data collection and the feedback conference more specific as a result. The teachers in the study also found some of the feedback not based on the focus to be just as helpful, or more helpful than those data the observee had requested. As the partners became more knowledgable about each other (as Hannah and Nancy did) they became aware of the more general concerns of their partners and could then record data based on that knowledge as well. The participants should also determine if their definitions of collegial consultation, data, data collection and meaningful feedback are congruent. If they are not, they should reach an agreement on all the terms that they can both live with prior to beginning the consultation process, otherwise confusion, frustration and dissatisfaction may result and feedback expectations may not be satisfied. Lack of experience and training should not discourage participants from jumping into the process. It is important, however, that the conference be based on data describing the actual events of the classroom and that some focus be chosen, even if it is only that a wide-lens observation (Acheson and Gall, 1987) be undertaken and the data be examined together. This case study has explored two dyads as they experienced the process of collegial consultation over four observations. In that short period of time all the participants increased their awareness of their teaching practices through the process of collegial consultation. Their understanding of the practice of consulting collegially, communicating and negotiating, was also enhanced. In spite of many obstacles, the members of Dyad #1 were able to receive confuming feedback about their teaching practices based on classroom observations. The addition of specific data enabled them to discourse, rather than converse, about instruction. 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(2) .The University of Alberta: Department of Secondary Education. APPENDIX A SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION QUESTIONNAIRE 189 APPENDIX A Supplementary Information Questionnaire 1. Describe how you came to be a participant in this study? 2. Why did you want to participate? 3. How did you decide to work with your partner? 4. Have you worked collaboratively with this partner or another before? For how long? 5. What kind of experiences have you had in the past that involved working closely with another teacher or teachers? 6. Describe the ideal collegial or working relationship with another teacher. 7. What resources (people, time, space), materials, or activities would make this working relationship easier for you? 8. Would you say your working relationship with X is typical of this school, or not? Please elaborate. 9. Describe how you planned the focus (foci) for the classroom observation(s). 10. a. After the experience of the first observation and conference did you change anything before the next observation? (e.g., Did the observation conference change in any way?) lO.b. What did you learn from the first observation that helped you with the second? 1 l.a. Who decided on how the data would be gathered for that particular focus? 1 l.b. Did the data gathering method work, or need modifications? 12. Describe the ideal observer. 13. a. Did you anticipate the way in which the first post-observation conference unfolded? 13.b. How were your anticipations different from the reality of that conference? 13.c. Would you change anything next time? 190 14. What kinds of situations might cause you to continue and might cause you to discontinue working with another teacher? 15. What advice can you offer other teachers wanting to work together in this kind of collaborative relationship? 16. Describe a positive and/or negative experience you've had since establishing this working relationship? What were the circumstances surrounding the experience? 17. If you were the interviewer, what questions would you have eliminated from the questionnaire and what questions would you have added? 18. Any additional comments? 


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