As technology creates change at a faster pace than ever before, education battles to remain relevant. With no one right way to design schools, some teachers are hacking—that is, acting innovatively—in the public K-12 system. This chapter discusses a qualitative research aimed at examining characteristics and conditions under which teachers hack their classroom pedagogy in disruptive innovation, emphasizing the study’s implications for teacher education. Participants were eight public school teachers from Massachusetts with more than 1 year experience in the profession, working in the classroom at the time of the study, and demonstrating pedagogic innovation. The results show recurring notions connected to teachers as hackers, their professional identities, the ways they act, and common characteristics of idealism, motivation, reflection, adaptation, and resourcefulness. The framework of hacking to describe innovative actions of public school teachers adds to existing terminology and offers a fresh lens through which to view and re-structure teacher education. The recommendations can serve as a north star for preparing teachers to reform the twenty-first century public school system from within.
Part of the book: Contemporary Pedagogies in Teacher Education and Development