Collaborative Dialogues and Interventions – Understanding Middle-Grades Student Disengagement

Teacher Development Grant

 2016-2017 Project Summary

Erica Koudelka

South Shore Fine Arts Academy • Forest Park, IL

This project is made up of a team of six middle school teachers at a diverse Chicago district. They will be utilizing critical inquiry to learn how their own teaching practices contribute to student disengagement in school. Key indicators of disengagement are: low appreciation for the importance of being in school every day; feeling unsupported when having trouble learning; feeling teachers don’t listen to their ideas; readings are unrelated to their lives; and teachers don’t respect them. The team of teachers will organize 12-15 collaborative dialogues each year where they will examine how their everyday practices contribute to students’ disengagement. As they think critically about classroom and school practices, they will learn effective strategies that improve student engagement. They will adopt/adapt research-based strategies to address unique circumstances in their middle school.

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