Areas of Interest
Instructionally focused collaboration among teachers
I have a professional practice background in physical therapy, special education, and facilitating collaboration between general and special educators to foster learning in inclusive classrooms and schools. In 1980 I began my public school career in a highly collaborative, learning culture. What a remarkable, positive and supportive induction this was to my career as an educator! I experienced the energy and efficacy realized through effective interdisciplinary teamwork focused on student learning. My early career experience clearly set the course for my professional path: advancing collaborative teacher learning and teacher leadership so that all children learn well.
I am particularly interested in the means by which isolated group and school cultures shift to be more collaborative. More specifically, I focus on ways that teachers and principals, leading together, can positively influence the culture and learning in schools by fostering high quality, ongoing, relevant learning opportunities for all staff. I believe that educators, like other human beings, are driven to learn and want to make a difference in this world. I also believe that if the grown-ups in schools keep learning they will be more successful fostering student learning. If we, as educators, are not excited about learning, why would we expect kids to be? As a faculty member at the University of Minnesota I am fortunate to have many opportunities to engage in learning and development work with practicing educators in their schools and school districts in Minnesota and elsewhere.
In our department, I teach and advise in several programs, particularly those that enroll practicing PreK-12 administrators and teachers. I have specific responsibilities in the educational leadership doctoral and masters programs and in the certificate programs in professional development and disability policy and services. It is a privilege to work with our graduate students as they seek to enlarge their leadership knowledge, perspectives and capacities. I learn so much from them and am continually inspired by their commitment, courage and competence in advancing teaching and learning in the complex arena of day-to-day educational practice in schools. They are leaders in service to our next generation of citizens whose contributions will influence the ways in which our future local and global communities grow. What could be more important than this? Kudos to them!
York-Barr, J., Sommerness, J., & Hur, J. (2008). Teacher leadership. In T. Good (Ed.), 21st century education: A reference handbook (Vol. 1, pp. 12-20). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
York-Barr, J., Ghere, G. S., & Sommerness, J. (2007). Collaborative teaching to increase ELL student learning. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 12(3), 1-34.
York-Barr, J., Sommers, W. A., Ghere, G. S., & Montie, J.K. (2006). Reflective practice to improve schools: An action guide for educators (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
York-Barr, J., Sommerness, J., Ghere, G., & Duke, K. (2005). Special educators in inclusive education programmes: Reframing their work as teacher leadership. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 9(2), 193-215.
York-Barr, J., Sommerness, J., & Ghere, G. (2005). Teachers as leaders of inclusive schooling: What, why and how. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, National Institute on Leadership for Disability and Students Placed at Risk. [peer-reviewed]
York-Barr, J., & Duke, K. (2004). What do we know about teacher leadership? Findings from two decades of scholarship. Review of Educational Research, 74(3), 255-316.
York-Barr, J., Bacharach, N., Salk, J., & Heinz, J. (2004). Team teaching in teacher education: General and special education faculty team experiences and perspectives. Issues in Teacher Education, 13(1), 73-94.
York-Barr, J., & Kronberg, R. (2001). From isolation to collaboration: Learning from effective partnerships between general and special educators. In W. Sailor (Ed.), Inclusive education and school/community/family partnerships. New York: Teachers College Press.
Rainforth, B., & York-Barr, J. (1997). Collaborative teams for students with severe disabilities: Integrating therapy and education. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
York-Barr, J., Kronberg, R., & Doyle, M. E. (1996). Creating inclusive school communities: A staff development series for general and special educators. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.