This study, the second in a series examining the shifts in the roles and responsibilities of K-12 educators as a result of evolving instructional models, focuses on teachers implementing elements of blended learning in their classrooms. The aim of this study is to understand better the ways in which teachers practicing blended learning think about their work with students and colleagues, the mindsets they adopt when implementing change within their settings, and the benefits they anticipate by applying blended practices in their classrooms. Blended teachers exhibited the following characteristics:
- Comfort with risk and flexibility
- Focus on personalized instruction and attention for students
- Emphasis on leadership supportive of change
- Desire for applicable professional learning
Justin Bruno, Michigan Virtual
WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THIS TOPIC
The roles and responsibilities of educators are constantly shifting as a result of evolving instructional models, including the adoption of blended learning. The creation of the blended learning coach, a role established to help teachers implement blended learning strategies, is evidence of this trend.
WHAT THIS REPORT ADDS
This research effort is designed to understand the experiences of blended learning teachers better as they go through the process of implementing change within their own settings. The study revealed that blended learning teachers exhibit comfort with risk and flexibility, focus on personalized instruction and attention for students, value leadership supportive of change, and have a desire for applicable professional learning.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE AND/OR POLICY
The observations and insights offered by these teachers can be helpful in thinking about creating environments that are conducive to change and innovation in the K-12 education setting. The ways that these teachers conceptualize their own practice and consider what has been advantageous for their own growth as blended teachers can be useful for others endeavoring in similar pursuits. Furthermore, those interested in how teaching as a profession is evolving, specifically as a result of instructional shifts thanks to the continued integration of technology, can learn from their experiences.