Section archive - Preservice Teachers
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Developing Preservice Teacher Conceptions of Effective Teachers Using Classroom Scenarios to Practice Difficult Conversations
Faculty from three different teacher preparation programs implemented classroom scenarios to help preservice teachers practice holding difficult conversations with students. The goal was to enhance critical reflection and discussion around creating culturally responsive classrooms to change preservice teacher conceptions of effective teachers' qualities. Results indicate that preservice teacher conceptions of effective teachers shifted from a focus on personal attributes to teaching skills. This study addresses the need for practice-based teacher education that has advanced in parallel with efforts to find new ways to the practical knowledge needed to be culturally responsive teachers.
Updated: Aug. 03, 2022
The early childhood workforce needs to be prepared to support children with disabilities within the inclusive preschool classroom. Early childhood personnel standards and requirements include competencies for supporting children with disabilities and their families. Teacher preparation programs should ensure that preservice teachers engage in coursework and placements that prepare them to teach in inclusive preschool classrooms. Existing qualitative studies exploring the inclusive preschool preparation experiences of preservice teachers provide insights into these experiences. Yet, a synthesis of these findings does not exist. Hence, a qualitative metasynthesis was conducted to provide insight to the field of early childhood teacher preparation in regards to preschool inclusion. Qualitative findings from 11 peer-reviewed studies were analyzed, synthesized, and interpreted to understand the experiences of preservice teachers and highlight what they learned from these experiences and the resulting impact on their dispositions and confidence in regard to inclusive preschool. Suggestions for early childhood preservice preparation programs and future research are discussed.
Updated: Jul. 25, 2022
Preservice teachers’ expressed awarenesses: emerging threads of retro-spection of learning and pro-spection of teaching
In this paper, the authors report an enquiry into elementary preservice teachers’ learning, as they engage in doing mathematics for themselves. As a group of researchers working in elementary Initial Teacher Education in English universities, they co-planned and taught sessions on growing pattern generalisation. Following the sessions, interviews of fifteen preservice teachers at two universities focused on their expressed awareness of their approach to the mathematical activity. Preservice teachers’ prospective planning and post-teaching evaluations of similar activities in their classrooms were also examined. They draw on aspects of enactivism and the notion of reflective “spection” in the context of teacher learning, tracing threads between preservice teachers’ retro-spection of learning and pro-spection of teaching. Their analysis indicates that increasing sensitivity to their own embodied processes of generalisation offers opportunities for novice teachers to respond deliberately, rather than to react impulsively, to different pedagogical possibilities. The paper contributes a new dimension to the discussion about the focus of novice elementary school teachers’ retrospective reflection by examining how deliberate retrospective analysis of doing mathematics, and not only of teaching actions, can develop awarenesses that underlie the growth of expertise in mathematics teaching. The authors argue that engaging preservice teachers in mathematics to support deliberate retrospective analysis of their mathematics learning and prospective consideration of the implications for teaching can enable more critical pedagogical choices.
Updated: Jul. 18, 2022
This study examines pre-service primary school teachers’ (PSTs’) possible selves in relation to science teaching and the ways in which these possible selves change over time. This longitudinal study adds to the body of knowledge by examining PSTs’ possible selves at various time points throughout their teacher preparation: three PSTs, selected from a wider sample, were interviewed three times about their future aspirations as science teachers. Narrative analysis was applied to show the changes in three PSTs’ possible selves in response to the science methods course and teaching practicum. PSTs articulated general, collective and specific hoped-for and feared possible selves. The findings highlight the changes in the possible selves that pertain to their cognitive and affective dimensions and occurred in different stages of teacher education. These changes were significant for the development of PSTs’ identity. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of science teaching.
Updated: Jul. 12, 2022
Linking demographic variables to motivation: investigating the motivation to choose teaching among Arab and Jewish students in Israel
The purpose of this paper is to explore the kinds of motivation driving Arab and Jewish students in Israel to choose teaching as a career. This study addressed several issues that have been largely overlooked in previous research such as the focus on Content Value motives (the motivation to teach specific subjects) as well as linking demographic variables to motivational factors, particularly cultural diversity and prior pedagogical experience. The present study yielded three central findings: the importance of Content Value motives; similar motivational patterns have been found between the two sectors despite demographic differences between them; prior teaching experience has been found to have an effect on the kinds of motivations for choosing teaching as career. The paper concludes by exploring the implications of the present study on teacher preparation programs and on future research on the motivation to choose teaching as a career especially in culturally diverse educational contexts.
Updated: Jul. 11, 2022
"I worry about money every day": The financial stress of second-level initial teacher education in Ireland
In Ireland, the past ten years have seen the emergence of new policies and practices in initial teacher education (ITE) in response to national priorities and the professed aim of progressing standards. A key mechanism of this process was to universally extend the duration of postgraduate ITE programs from twelve to twenty-four months to broaden student teachers' professional development. While this has been a positive move in many aspects, it has also been rendered problematic due to the inability of policymakers to reconstruct financial mechanisms to support student teacher enrolment, retention and progression. This paper examines second-level student teachers' experiences (N = 391) regarding the costs, both financial and emotional, of becoming a teacher in Ireland. The results show that while enrolled on their ITE course, there is a mean deficit of €151 per week in student teacher spending. Over 40% of student teachers rely on their family and/or partner to fund their participation. The qualitative data reveals that this has a huge impact on their personal and family finances and leads to high levels of financial stress. Suggestions on how this financial pressure could be alleviated include paid teaching while on school placement and lowering the cost of the course.
Updated: Jun. 13, 2022
Policies on inclusion are being increasingly embedded within education systems and teacher education across the world, with schools and teachers called upon to add ‘inclusion’ to their already large set of skills and tasks. There is, however, no consistent definition of what inclusion means or how it can be best promoted. The purpose of this paper is to explore the dilemmas that student teachers face when they encounter policy requirements to practice inclusion, and how they mediate the tensions. Drawing on two exploratory studies with science student teachers in two Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes in England, the authors focus on the conceptions of inclusion held by the student teachers and the links between inclusion and teacher education. Their findings suggest that conventional understandings in relation to ability still dominate, with ability-based differentiation viewed as the key teaching strategy to promote inclusion. In addition, student teachers find themselves having to negotiate contradictory and often conflicting approaches to inclusion, diversity, and academic attainment. The discrepancies highlighted by this study have implications for how teacher education courses need to be organised to promote the practice of inclusion.
Updated: Jun. 02, 2022
This study used two training sessions and two focus groups with 17 preservice teachers (aged 20–36) completing their first teaching practicum placement during their Bachelor of Education program at an urban research university in western Canada. The aim was to implement ideas from terror management theory (TMT) during their teaching practicum. Participants explored how to facilitate contentious issues so as to prevent defensive reactions when worldviews clash in the classroom. A dramaturgical analysis identified participant objectives, conflicts, tactics, attitudes, emotions, and subtexts as they explored how to anticipate and avoid worldview and self-esteem threat, navigate tense pedagogical spaces, build capacity for expressing uncomfortable emotions, and diffuse threat with humor. Because difficult emotions are central to teaching potentially polarizing content, participating preservice teachers explored when compensatory reactions might emerge and, as a result, developed their own emotional awareness—TMT became both an experience and a teachable theory.
Updated: Jun. 01, 2022
“We’re More than Cows and Plows”: Preservice Agriculture Teachers Use Young Adult Literature to Construct Professional Identities
The purpose of this collective case study was to explore the impact of using young adult literature in a content area literacy course to leverage the development of professional identities in preservice agriculture teachers (n= 4). Empirical studies of the literacy-based experiences and professional development of agricultural education majors are often absent in teacher education scholarship despite a growing need for agricultural expertise in schools. Interdisciplinary groupings, disciplinary textual study, and teaching demonstrations comprised participant activities in which participants catalyzed their pedagogies through literature. The study followed the qualitative principles of case study methodology and employed interviews, field notes, and artifactual analysis over the course of eight weeks. Results show participants cultivated professional identities by constructing literacy-based learning communities, practicing agricultural instructional design, establishing themselves as experts across multiple fields, and exhibiting feelings of isolation and skepticism in their ability to transfer literary-infused agricultural education from the preservice setting to practice in schools. Implications, interpretations, and recommendations for research are also discussed.
Updated: May. 14, 2022
Possibilities for using visual drawing with student-teachers: Linking childhood memories to future teaching selves
Drawing from memory-work, this study examines the relationship between childhood and the pedagogical perspectives and practices of 16 pre-service student-teachers enrolled at one large university in the United States. In an analysis of their visual drawings and written narratives of childhood memories, student-teachers link childhood pasts with teaching futures in three distinct ways: 1) intimate connections with former teachers, 2) difficult life circumstances involving loss or trauma, and 3) the primacy of family and culture. Each set of memories is tied to a range of responsibilities that student-teachers vow to uphold, leading towards more reflexive practices in teacher education programs.
Updated: Apr. 28, 2022