Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Critical Issues in School Reform


I N N O V A T I O N S  I N
P R O F E S S I O N A L  C O L L A B O R A T I O N

Making Teaching Public
with Activities and Resources

I. About the Program | II. On-Line Activities | III. Viewer Activities | IV. Resources

Research in educational reform consistently points to the value of collegiality and its role in improving schools. At Pasadena High School in southern California, teachers use peer observations to improve both their own and their students' work. Making their work "public" in this way is having a positive impact on students, their learning, and their view of teachers.

Making Teaching Public is appropriate in various contexts with a variety of participants, including teachers, administrators, parents, interested community members, and business partners.

This video can be useful to:

  • Introduce the idea of peer observations and peer coaching as seen in the work of a critical friends group.

  • Understand the collaborative nature of documenting student progress through peer observation and examination of student work in a professional development portfolio

  • Raise questions about the nature of adapting teaching practice and tracking student achievement

  • Provide an example of how teachers work with each other in using professional development portfolios.

About Pasadena High School

Pasadena High School, situated at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains in southern California, is an urban, four-year (9-12) comprehensive high school. Its diverse student population of approximately 2100 includes Latinos (43 percent), African Americans (25 percent), Asians/Filipinos (6 percent), and whites (26 percent, of whom the majority are of Armenian descent). The Structured English Immersion Program offers Limited English Proficient students an intense curricular experience in a three-hour block, which focuses on accelerated English language development. A comprehensive special education program provides special-needs students with a variety of educational experiences as well as access to the core curriculum.

Pasadena High offers Advanced Placement classes in physics, calculus, biology, U.S. history, English, and Spanish. In the last two years Pasadena High School has had twenty-two nationally recognized AP Scholars and over fifty Golden State Scholars who have received state recognition in biology, chemistry, geometry, algebra, U.S. history, government, economics, and written composition.

Despite a high mobility rate (approximately 25 percent of the student body moves to another school each year), Pasadena students have made enormous academic gains over the last five years. SAT scores have increased every year since 1994. The 1998 graduating class won $480,000 in academic scholarships and $29,000 in athletic scholarships.

In addition to academic achievement, students are involved in community service projects, especially through the two business partnership academies on campus, the Visual Arts and Design Academy and the Graphic Communications Academy. Students also participate in a variety of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, including twelve interscholastic teams and over forty clubs.

The faculty and administration have been involved in school reform since 1989 and, specifically, with the Annenberg Institute's National School Reform Faculty project since 1995.


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