THE EFFECTS OF TRIBES TRAINING IN A BEGINNING TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM
Doctor of Education, 2011
Gail Alison Phillips
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
University of Toronto
Research is emerging that documents the use of the Tribes process in elementary and secondary schools. Inquiry into the use of Tribes in beginning-teacher-education programs has not been conducted. This study investigated teacher candidates’ perceptions of the effectiveness of Tribes training in enhancing their learning, their concerns about implementing the Tribes process, and their levels of use of Tribes during the beginning-teacher-education program and their first years of teaching.
A mixed-method research design was employed to collect data to determine the value of Tribes training during the beginning-teacher-education program. The Concerns Based Adoption Model provided a conceptual framework to measure, describe, and explain the process of change experienced by teachers implementing Tribes in their classrooms as well as how that change process was affected by the leadership and collegial support in the schools.
The findings describe a belief in Tribes that was developed during the training in the beginning-teacher-education program. This belief in the value of Tribes and the importance of creating learning communities helped to solidify the teacher candidates’ belief systems about teaching and provided them with a vision of their future classrooms and a framework for their philosophies of education. The findings reveal that the knowledge and skills gained during the training in the beginning-teacher-education year were transferred into the practice of all graduates.
The findings from the interviews revealed that all but two teachers were using the Tribes process with their classes from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 Calculus. Participants highlighted the importance of school culture as well as leadership style and behaviours as important factors in the implementation of Tribes.