Teacher consultant transformation in a local National Writing Project site
Waterton, Nigel Paul
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Teacher professional development is both evidentially and emotively understood to be largely ineffective. Yet the National Writing Project's professional development model has established a long-term record of measurable impact on student writing improvement and profound influence on its participants' ways of thinking and living their teaching and writing lives. For many, the experience is transformative. This dissertation investigated two questions: First, what are the features of a professional development model that facilitate transformation learning over time? Second, how do participants view the way these features of a transformative professional development model inform their classroom instruction? This narrative inquiry is informed by the theoretical lens of adult transformational learning and investigated two practicing writing teachers who participated in the National Writing Project Summer Institute at least three years ago. The study found four resonant narrative threads: structure, risk, audience, and agency. Participants deeply restructured their classroom writing instruction over time in a way that shared agency with student writers and that posed risk to instructors and students. This occurred frequently through shifting writing audience away from teachers and providing greater authorial voice to student writers, which are practices both participants experienced in a National Writing Project local site.