Courtney Glazer, Ph.D.

During the summer of 1998, I engaged in a close study of one learning environment. I worked on this project with Damon Kerby and Kristin Palmer. We observed the Stanford Summer Leadership Development Institute. Our observations formed the basis for a report which discusses the question, "What elements of learning design are necessary to engage the back row thereby engaging all members of the class?"

This particular experience was a rewarding one for several reasons. First, the group dynamics and work output were amazing. Although our styles of observing, note-taking, organizing ideas, and writing varied greatly, we were able to complete our tasks with little added effort. The respect and combined talents of the group made it both an enjoyable and a successful project. Specifically as an educator, I found this exercise refreshing as I was able to observe several teaching styles. In addition, I was able to identify those successful elements of my own teaching style which engaged learners. Finally, through these observations, I realized how much I already knew about design successful lessons and a successful physical learning environment. This reinforcement will help me when I return to a teaching situation.

Also during the summer of 1998, I worked with various LDT students to apply various learning theories to educational situations. Through all of these projects I understood the specifics of learning theories. My understanding grew through studying them in context.

Our first assignment was a behaviorist task analysis for teaching a linear function. I worked with Damon Kerby and Debbie Stephens. Through this assignment I remembered back to my days in Mrs. Bennett's class at PHJH. More importantly I learned the advantages to linear thinking for some assignments and the benefits of planning ahead and getting instructor feedback.

This was followed by the construction of a cognitive model for teaching the meaning and relationship between independent and dependent variables. I ultimately worked with Caitlin Kennedy Martin. Here I learned that open communication is the most important part of group work and that conflicting conviction makes concensus difficult.

Finally, we applied multiple theories to two case studies: a call center environment and a classroom using a computer-based curriculum. I worked with Caitlin Kennedy Martin, Josh Sheldon, and Debbie Stephens. These assignments allowed me to stretch my creative thinking while bouncing ideas around in a group. They also taught me that sushi-eating and hat-shopping make you smart.

For Larry Cuban's course, Teaching and Teacher Education, I initially explored my conception of good teaching by writing a description of an outstanding teacher. The teacher who I documented was Karen Kraft, a former colleague from Allen High School. Through this writing I found out that my conception of good teaching rested mainly in personal traits, beliefs, and characterisitcs. My classmates helped me to understand that these ideas were important to them also.

Instead of researching one teacher's conception of teaching and how it played out in his or her classroom, I proposed to conduct case study research on a teacher education course being taught through TAPPED IN. My research focused on the traditional norms and practices which occured in this non-traditional learning environment. This research paper taught me not only how to plan and conduct a research project (albeit small scale), I also learned how to negotiate requirements from the course and my internship, and also I used APA style for the first time (bye bye MLA). Also, I took advantage of some free time in the Spring to rewrite my case study to address the weaknesses that Larry, Misty Sato, and I had noticed in my original paper. I am very satisfied with the final copy.

Finally, Larry gave me the opportunity to reflect on our readings, my research, and my personal experiences as I revisited my conception of good teaching.

As a part of the Winter quarter LDT seminar I investigated successful teacher professional development programs in public school districts and also at universities. My aim was to find out what is being done in the area of teacher reflection as well as what organizational issues are being tackled successfully. Originally this research was intended to support my initial master's project-an artists' colony for teacher-but instead served to reframe my learning problem and to send me in a completely new direction.

My Spring quarter was occupied mainly by work on my Master's project. In my design of a real time network for teacher collaboration, the problem was a learning one: teachers are typically isolated from one another and typical teacher professional development does not allow for integration into the classroom.

Additionally I worked with Nomi Martin on a paper regarding the evaluation of technology use in the classroom. We investigated current practices and created a model to support evaluative dialogue regarding the constructivist use of technology in instruction.

I took a final look back on my experiences as part of the Stanford Community just after graduation and identified some
defining moments which allowed me to expand my learning.