Funded by a Google CS-ER grant and conducted in collaboration with the Computer Science Teachers Association, this pilot project includes K-12 CS teachers and researchers working together to develop Teacher Practice Briefs. Defined as a condensed document designed to support teachers with research-based information, practice briefs are often focused on teachers’ problems of practice, particularly as they relate to equity (Bell and Rhinehart, 2016). As further defined by Hatch-Tocaimaza and Xiaodan Hu (2019), a practice brief “…is an article that provides empirically based, conceptually coherent recommendations and guidance using the best and most current research to tackle a specific, urgent challenge in everyday language that practitioners can use in immediate, real-world scenarios they face every day.” they take the position that the creation of teacher practice briefs can be integrated into pre-service training due to their rigor and their impacts on teachers.

We used Bell & Rhinehart’s equity-focused Framework for Creating Teacher Practice Briefs, which is a step-wise method that provided structure for implementation. The framework defines important elements of the process, including:

  • Integrate a focus on equity throughout each tool
  • Focus on a specific, broadly felt problem of educational practice
  • Gather the best knowledge from both research and practice to help readers more fully understand each issue
  • Highlight what people in different roles can do to address this problem of practice, providing context, actionable advice, strategies, and tools, all of which should connect to educators’ everyday work
  • Suggest ways to take action with respect to the problem of practice by linking off to other tools, articles, websites, and resources
  • Prompt further reflection and support discussion among colleagues

The framework contains three parts: a description of how to launch a brief development initiative, a description of how to research and write the brief, and an example of a brief. Launching a brief development initiative has several steps to prepare for the design, development and dissemination of the brief, including the identification of teachers and researchers who will participate and of an editorial team for polishing the final product.

The process engages both teachers and researchers working together to create the briefs.

Practice brief development process

 

For piloting this project, five teachers and three researchers worked together to create the first three practice briefs centered on different problems of practice:

For more information about the briefs, the creation of these briefs, or how you might be involved in creating briefs in the future, feel free to contact us.

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References

P. Bell and A. Rhinehart. 2016. How to identify and develop practice briefs. Retrieved November 15, 2020 from http://stemteachingtools.org/assets/landscapes/How-to-Develop-Practice-Brief-Initiative.pdf

Deryl Hatch-Tocaimaza and Xiaodan Hu. 2019. The Case for the Practice Brief in Community College Studies: Writing to Bridge Research and Practice. SocArXiv.