When Magic Becomes Art: Educating Teachers

July, 2013

Source: Studying Teacher Education, Vol. 9, No. 3, 298–310, 2013
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

In this study, the authors were interested to understand their practice as teacher educators.

The participants were four assistant professors at four different universities in the USA and their 75 students. The students were pre-service teachers and practicing teachers, who enrolled in teacher education courses, which were taught by the authors.

The authors created metaphors which describe their teaching practice and asked their students to create metaphors, which characterize the authors as teachers.
The authors analyzed those metaphors, and identified several themes. These themes describe how the data represented the collective characteristics of the authors' work, the factors influencing their understanding of effective teaching practices, and their students’ perceptions of their teaching.

The authors argue that from their reflections on their own experiences, they now better understand the power of their personal apprenticeships of observation over their teaching practices. The authors argue that strategies and methods of teaching supported in the literature should be incorporated into courses in which future teacher educators are prepared. They suggest that in order to avoid issues of simple replication of practice during the induction years, these courses should include critical reflection as an integral component.
The authors also recognize that the students perceive their practices as part of their personae, as evidenced in their metaphors. They argue that this understanding has led them to appreciate more accurately the influence of the affective dimensions of their practice.
This understanding has also led the authors to recognize the importance of making overt connections between knowledge of instructional strategies and effective classroom practice, and uncover to their students their decision-making processes with all of their blemished histories and tensions.

The authors conclude that increased awareness of these findings will influence ways they establish relationships with their students as they plan and facilitate learning experiences that will teach them to value content, pedagogy, and personal interaction.

Updated: Oct. 28, 2018