Navigating Mandates: Teachers Face "Troubled Seas"

Jeanne Beck Cobb

Abstract


This descriptive research study presents the voices of four participating teachers who share how mandates have affected their classroom practices and their students. The teachers describe how they have struggled to maintain effective best literacy practices within this “pressure cooker” accountability culture. They discuss tools and coping strategies used by literacy specialists and classroom teachers to deal with conflicts and communicate with multiple stakeholders. The article describes Phase III of a longitudinal investigation conducted by a research team from 10 States (Phase I and II), focusing only on the mandates data from the large-scale study. Three of the 11 original literacy professors of the team who began Phase I of this research, conducted a more in-depth investigation of four cases/teachers who represented varying stances in response to the mandates. A continuum of teacher responses to restrictive mandates is presented.


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