TALK SMART: A PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT IMPLEMENTING ACADEMIC DISCOURSE IN AN URBAN MIDDLE SCHOOL
Purpose: This participatory action research study explores how the central office of an urban school district, and the leadership of a middle school, work collaboratively to support a school-based instructional initiative in order to change outcomes for students who have been traditionally underserved in public education. In particular, the study focuses on the necessity of coherence and alignment on the part of both central and school-based staff in service of increasing the quality and depth of student academic discourse in the classrooms of an urban public middle school. Research Approach: A case study was conducted from 2017 to 2018. Data were collected, coded and analyzed from observational notes of central and school site team meetings, classroom visits, school learning walks, and professional learning sessions. In addition, notes and personal memos were collected and analyzed from regular one-on-one meetings with central partners and school leadership. Findings: Analysis of the data provides insights into how we can continue to improve the coherence and alignment of central office teams and site leadership, including instructional coaching, in support of improved outcomes for students. Results from the study highlight how, despite the best intentions of team members, competing priorities and interests can easily derail a school's instructional focus. While the structures and systems established to align the work of teams clearly improved the way central office supported a school to stay on track, personal interests and alternative focus areas threatened to take the school down other paths. Fortunately, the development of strong, collaborative relationships between site and central partners built a culture of trust and reflection that enabled the school to get back on track when the focus was derailed. The study surfaced particular structures and dispositions necessary for a central office partner to effectively align and engage with school-based leadership to best support instructional change. Implications for Research and Practice: These findings have implications for both central and site-based leaders as they collaboratively plan and implement instructional reform efforts for maximum impact.
Triplett, Mark. (December 2019). TALK SMART: A PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT IMPLEMENTING ACADEMIC DISCOURSE IN AN URBAN MIDDLE SCHOOL (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7614.)
Triplett, Mark. TALK SMART: A PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT IMPLEMENTING ACADEMIC DISCOURSE IN AN URBAN MIDDLE SCHOOL. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, December 2019. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7614. March 02, 2021.
Triplett, Mark, “TALK SMART: A PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT IMPLEMENTING ACADEMIC DISCOURSE IN AN URBAN MIDDLE SCHOOL” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, December 2019).
Triplett, Mark. TALK SMART: A PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT IMPLEMENTING ACADEMIC DISCOURSE IN AN URBAN MIDDLE SCHOOL [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; December 2019.
East Carolina University