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Dilemmas of design and predicaments of practice: adapting the 'Fostering a Community of Learners' model in secondary school English language arts classrooms

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This study examines three middle school and secondary school English teachers' attempts to adapt and enact the principles and practices of the 'Fostering a Community of Learners' (FCL) model. As a systemic pedagogical model designed to foster authentic dialogue and inquiry, FCL challenges deeply held traditions of English as both a school subject and academic discipline. Three critical incidents, selected from separate extended case studies, reveal the conceptual challenges teachers face when bringing to life practices consistent with constructivist learning principles. The study shows that through simplification of the model and gradual experimentation, the teachers began to approximate the systemic integrity of FCL. The study identifies key curriculum-planning strategies employed by the teachers that led to pedagogical innovation (e.g. double-planning, renaming, isolation, retrenchment, and fusion).

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2004

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