Pattern language development in the preparation of inclusive educators.

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Pattern language is the lexicon used to express the schema of a field of professional practice (Smethurst, 1997). This lexicon is frequently presumed to exist in communities of practice in educational settings, although the findings derived from the longitudinal study of schools (Elmore, 1996; Goodlad, 1984; Lortie, 1975; McLaughlin & Talbert, 2001; Sizer, 1987) indicate that the presence of such a lexicon is much more likely to be the exception than the rule. This study sought to establish the differential effects on pattern language of embedding evidence-based practice in the design of an inclusive education teacher preparation course. Embedded design involves creating selfrepeating patterns in the instructional design of a course by expressing essential design features at multiple levels in the teaching and learning experience. In this case study, classroom communities of practice were employed as a learning context for students to develop their pattern language and as vehicle for applying the embedded design principle. The study also sought to establish whether increases in the frequency and sophistication of pattern language use increased as the pre-service course progressed through four teaching cycles and students learned more about inclusive approaches. The results indicate that pattern language frequency and sophistication covaried with participation in the course, and increased over time. The findings are discussed within the context of building more rigorous teacher preparation programs and the role of embedded design in pre-service inclusive education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-349
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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