Architectures for learning: Acomparative analysis of two urban school districts

Mary Kay Stein, Cynthia E. Coburn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


This article explores the usefulness of communities of practice theory for understanding how districts can create organizational environments that foster teachers' opportunities to learn the new ideas and practices required to carry out ambitious reforms. It draws on data from a longitudinal study of the implementation of ambitious mathematics curricula in two urban districts. By analyzing the contrasting ways that teachers in two schools in each district were linked to each other and reform efforts at the district level, the article shows how the district reform effort in one district led to significant opportunities for teacher learning and alignment with reform goals while efforts in the other district coordinated action but failed to spur meaningful opportunities for teacher learning. The article closes with implications for policy and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-626
Number of pages44
JournalAmerican Journal of Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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