Section archive - Theories & Approaches
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This article draws on a broader qualitative study of professional learning in schools of the Peoples of the Book (Christians, Jews and Muslims) in post-colonial Australia, addressing the role that the growing number of Australian faith-based schools play in shaping a just and inclusive Australian society. By reviewing material in the public domain, the authors consider in their projection to the public the stated and implied commitment of six Australian faith-based schools of the Peoples of the Book to a transformative, liberatory education. They argue that faith-based schools should articulate their purpose and values to the wider secular society, recognizing that this task also calls upon the secular society to engage with the faith traditions, to strengthen mutual respect and tolerance.
Updated: Aug. 01, 2016
In this self-study, the author investigates the gap between best and actual practices, as experienced by a university teacher educator who spent a year as a student teacher in a middle and high school English language arts program. Occupying the identities of a student, a student teacher, a teacher educator, and a researcher, she explored the gap from these multiple perspectives, with the intent of learning how to better support student teachers' development. Her findings fall into three distinct phases: (1) In “Mind the gap,” she explains the dilemma she encountered as a student teacher. (2) In “Mine the gap,” she describes the process of exploring the nature and extent of this dilemma. (3) In “The gap is mine,” she analyzes a shift in her understanding of where the gap is located.
Updated: Aug. 01, 2016
The goal of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an implementation of teaching rounds as a practice-based approach to pre-service teacher education in mathematics. The main findings are that pre-service teachers found practice-based experience and the subsequent reflections using teaching rounds very valuable compared to other learning experiences. The authors also found that pre-service teachers undertaking a Masters teaching degree were significantly more insightful about planning for and reflecting about teaching practice than those undertaking an undergraduate degree.
Updated: Jul. 31, 2016
The present study follows three teachers through a practice-based elementary methods course. The course was focused on learning teaching practices through planning, rehearsing, enacting and reflecting on routine instructional activities that travel back and forth between field-based methods course and field placements. All three teachers grew in their capacity to lead goal-directed lessons by eliciting and responding to students’ thinking.
Updated: Jul. 31, 2016
This article aimed to investigate relationships between teacher preparation and teacher outcomes. The findings suggest that features of preservice teacher preparation are positively related to teacher outcomes. Teachers who completed more practice teaching and more methods-related courses felt significantly better instructionally prepared in their first year of teaching. Results suggest that estimated effects of preparation also vary by kind of school, and particularly by school level and urbanicity. Secondary school teachers, more than elementary school teachers, seem to benefit from additional preparation. The findings also indicate that estimated positive effects of preparation are stronger among teachers employed in urban and rural settings as compared to teachers in suburban settings.
Updated: Jul. 27, 2016
Teaching Assistants and Teacher Education in England: Meeting their Continuing Professional Development Needs
This article explores the role of teaching assistants in the training and assessment of primary initial teacher education students and considers their continuing professional development )CPD) needs in relation to this role. Most of the teaching assistants who participated in the research project worked in schools where initial teacher education (ITE) took place. However, teaching assistants were generally not given guidance on the needs of individual ITE trainees or information on Standards for QTS by their schools or by university-based tutors when visiting the school. Conclusions from the findings were that the majority of teaching assistants would welcome specific CPD in the area of ITE trainee support in schools and the potential role for teaching assistants within this.
Updated: Jul. 25, 2016
The Preparation of Highly Motivated and Professionally Competent Teachers in Initial Teacher Education
This study examines the relationship between different types of teaching motivation and (1) various facets of professional competence and (2) planned engagement in future teaching. The findings show the positive association between ‘intrinsic–altruistic motivation constellation’ and selected facets of professional competence. Two major professional orientations of the ‘intrinsic–altruistic motivation constellation’ were identified: (1) student-centred orientation and (2) subject-centred orientation.
Updated: Jul. 18, 2016
This article describes an aspect of reflective practice referred to as situated reflective practice. It is argued that there exist some situations where a person will find themselves in a position over which they have little control, avoidance or veto. This study's major conclusion was that key interview themes enabled the delineation of a series of five characteristics representing increasing structural distance in space and time between the reflective practitioner and the professional situation in which they work.
Updated: Jul. 04, 2016
This article explores in what ways student teachers’ learning activities in a teacher education programme can be characterised as deliberate practice. Based on an in-depth exploration of 574 learning activities, the results highlight the different ways in which activities in teacher education programmes can be designed, the different motivations students have to engage in them repetitively, and different ways in which feedback can be organised, within contextual constraints posed by all professional environments.
Updated: Jun. 30, 2016
Pre-service Teachers’ Growth as Practitioners of Developmentally Appropriate Practice: A Vygotskian Analysis of Constraints and Affordances in the English Context
This article reports on a research programme designed to explore the opportunities for, and barriers to, pre-service teachers’ growth as practitioners of developmentally appropriate practice for children aged 5–11. The analysis is framed by a Vygotskian cultural–historical perspective and points to personal, cultural and structural factors as potential constraints immanent in the various configurations produced by the pre-service teacher–environment interface.
Updated: Jun. 30, 2016