Expansive openness in teacher practice

University of Idaho
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This mixed methods study seeks to identify and explore teacher perspectives on the potentials and barriers to openness in K-12 educational practice. Pulling upon previous work focused on open educational resources (OER), open source software, open scholarship, open publishing, and open courses, this study operates on an expansive or inclusive understanding of openness that emphasizes adoption, adaptation, and sharing of educational resources. Operating on this expansive definition, the researcher first conducted a series of summer institutes with practicing K-12 teachers to introduce them to the concept and to give them hands-on experience with openness in action. Participants were then recruited from institute attendees (n = 101), qualitative data was collected during incubator sessions, modeled as large focus groups, during the institutes, and an evaluation survey was completed immediately following the institutes. Qualitative data was analyzed phenomenologically to ascertain participants’ experiences and perspectives on the potentials and barriers of expansive openness in practice. Qualitative results were also utilized to construct a follow-up survey, which was distributed to participants six months after the institute. Results revealed that participants uniformly believed that openness offers pedagogical, economic, and professional potentials for practice, but that major barriers to diffusion exist at the macro and local levels.

Kimmons, R. (accepted). Expansive openness in teacher practice. Teachers College Record.

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