The Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne School of Education site-director of the Appleseed Writing Project (AWP) designed this project to explore the dialogue between writers’ workshop, peer coaching, and narrative methods as a reflective process for professional development within a National Writing Project site (NWP). In the introduction to this special issue, the coeditors explained the 1974 foundation of the National Writing Project by Jim Gray (2000). In keeping with the NWP mission to improve writing and learning in K–12 schools and to provide a professional development model that connects learning and classroom teaching (Lieberman & Wood, 2003), the AWP has promoted writers’ workshop and peer coaching as philosophical changes. Writing workshop requires a philosophical shift from traditional spelling, grammar, and mechanics drills leading up to mastery of the five-paragraph theme, which Moss (2002) believes under-prepares children for college. Peer coaching requires a shift in perspective of professional development by external experts to collegial engagement in learning communities. The purpose of this peer coaching action research was to professionally develop classroom teachers who were in a philosophical change process while implementing aspects of writers’ workshop in their classrooms. The process included professionally developing Lindsay as an AWP teacher-consultant (TC) so that she could coach classroom teachers in the processes of teaching them how to peer coach.
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