Developing a Vision of Teacher Education: How My Classroom Teacher Understandings Evolved in the University Environment

May. 20, 2009

Source: Studying Teacher Education, Volume 5, Issue 1 May 2009, pages 45-60
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

The objective of this research was to examine the development of the author's vision of teacher education as he moved from teacher to teacher educator. Here the author focuses on the sources of tension and growth that most challenged his classroom teacher understandings as he tentatively assumed his role as a beginning teacher educator.

A qualitative self-study methodology was used to identify and describe sources of tension and growth that contributed to the evolution of his classroom teacher understandings as he forged a distinct vision for teacher education.

Study Design and Methods

Data were collected in the form of field texts over the three-year period when the author worked as a graduate teaching assistant in a teacher education program. Field texts, or written interpretive accounts of the author's field experiences (Clandinin & Connelly, 1990), included personal journal entries, discussion board interactions with peers, discussion board interactions with colleagues, discussion board interactions with students, observation reports written for student teachers, formal papers written for professors, and conference papers written for the wider community of scholars. A total of 845 single-spaced pages of data were considered as part of this study.

Data were analyzed using the categorical content perspective described by Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiach, and Zilber (1998). The first step involved selection of the subtext: 'On the basis of research questions or hypothesis, all of the relevant sections of a text are marked and assembled to form a new file or subtext, which may be seen as the content universe of the area studied' (p. 112). The author extracted from his entire collection of field texts those narratives that addressed issues related to his development.

The next step required to define the content categories.

The third step was sorting the material into categories. The author grouped similarly themed narratives together under the research question.

The final step of the analysis required to draw conclusions based on how he coded and grouped the narratives.

The author identified four primary sources that contributed to the development of his vision of teacher education. These sources include completing graduate coursework, engaging in the work of teacher education, interacting and collaborating with peers, and studying my practice as it developed and unfolded.

Throughout the article, the author discusses the potential of self-study methodology to encourage new teacher educators to examine both the features and motivations behind their practice, as well as the effects of this examination on the development of a vision of teacher education.

Clandinin, D. J. and Connelly, M. (1990) Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative research. Jossey-Bass , San Francisco, CA.

Lieblich, A., Tuval-Mashiach, R. and Zilber, T. (1998) Narrative research: Reading, analysis, and interpretation. Sage , Thousand Oaks, CA.

Updated: Aug. 25, 2009