The Choreography of Conversation: An Exploration of Collaboration and Difficult Discussions in Cross Disciplinary Teacher Discourse Communities
- The High School Journal
- The University of North Carolina Press
- Volume 100, Number 2, Winter 2017
- pp. 130-145
- Additional Information
This qualitative study explores three years of data from an ongoing professional development program for alumni of one university’s varied teacher education programs. Participants cross secondary grade levels and disciplines. Researchers examine what transpires when controversial topics are raised within this diverse teacher discourse community. Findings across the data suggest that when faced with more difficult topics such as race and sexual orientation, participants engage in comfortable collaboration rather than critical colleagueship, preferring to provide uncritical, though helpful, support rather than challenge one another. Implications for current teacher education programs include encouraging more open and analytical dialogue that moves students beyond their comfort zones, both inside and outside of their respective grades and disciplines.