Journal of Educational Change

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 511–533 | Cite as

Infrastructure for teacher reflection and instructional change: An exploratory study



In the US, instruction reforms, especially those intended to help teachers move beyond typical teaching practices, have regularly fallen short of aspirations. An important reason for this state of affairs is that reforms, often fail to provide teachers sufficient infrastructure they need to overcome fundamental uncertainties of teaching. Progress has been made in recent years in developing conceptual frameworks that help explain why some professional learning experiences provided by infrastructure might be more effective than others. Despite the progress that has been made, however, these new ways of thinking have generally not made deep inroads into practice and there is a scarcity of research on what happens when new ideas about professional learning are put into practice. This study of 887 teachers in a large urban district attempts to address some of these gaps in the literature by investigating how teachers’ engagement in a range of different professional learning experiences provided through infrastructure are associated with two learning outcomes—reflective practice and changed literacy instructional practices. We found that teachers were more likely to reflect on their practice and change their literacy instruction when their learning experiences focused directly on classroom teaching. We also found that teachers who worked with coaches more often and who engaged in reflective practice more regularly were more likely to report changing their literacy teaching.


Teacher professional learning Reflective practice Reflection Professional development Instructional change 



This research was supported with a Grant from the US Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, award #R305E040085.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.University at Buffalo, The State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA

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