Section archive - Theories & Approaches
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Educating Klaren: neoliberal ideology in teacher education impacting candidate preparation and the teaching of science to Black students
This study employs a qualitative case study approach of one elementary preservice teacher as a critique of neoliberal ideology on teacher education for equity and teaching Black children. The study specifically seeks to understand the role of science teacher education in the preparation of an elementary teacher candidate and her learning about sociocultural perspectives in science education and how her ideas about teaching converge within the larger framing of neoliberal ideology. Sociocultural perspectives are defined broadly to include diversity, equity, and identity with a neoliberal ideology to focus on how the teacher candidate talks about equity issues and the teaching of Black children. The case is constructed using multiple course artifacts collected over one semester (i.e., reflective papers, informal conversations, and a semi-structured interview). The case study discusses the importance of science teacher education in the preparation of teacher candidates for classroom practice where sociocultural perspectives are given attention and how neoliberal ideology may impact teacher candidates’ teaching and learning of science in culturally and racially diverse classrooms.
Updated: Jun. 28, 2022
Creating Greater Awareness of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in Initial Teacher Education
Throughout their initial teacher education training in Australia, students are informed about the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) and the necessity of gathering evidence to achieve these for teacher registration. Whilst the use of digital technologies as tools for reflection has become increasingly popular, there remains a paucity of research around the types of digital technologies that students use to document their ability to achieve accreditation requirements. This study presents details of how PebblePad, a specialised ePortfolio platform, can assist teacher education students to gain increased awareness about the 37 APST descriptors through the use of tagging. Results demonstrate that students found tagging an invaluable practice and that they recognised the importance of using this ePortfolio platform after graduation to build on their growth as educators in alignment with the APST. In this way, the study addresses a significant gap in teacher education literature in this era of accountability.
Updated: Jun. 26, 2022
Drawing on data from 16 teacher candidates in an elementary literacy methods course, this qualitative study seeks to understand how literature circles can help candidates critically reflect on social justice and equity as well as encourage reflection on race and privilege. Upon analyzing recorded classroom discussions, written artifacts, and interviews, findings indicate literature circles in a methods class can provide candidates entrance into conversations about social justice, support candidates to better understand themselves and their students, and represent an initial step in disrupting a system. Equity-centered literature circles are an instructional practice that teacher educators can utilize to provide teacher candidates a space to engage in difficult conversations and support teacher candidates in working to disrupt a normalization of Whiteness in schools.
Updated: May. 22, 2022
The Double-voiced Nature of Becoming a Teacher in the Era of Neoliberal Teaching and Teacher Education
As policy makers’ neoliberal reforms continue to impact teaching and teacher education, stakeholders across both fields of teaching continue to seek out alternative practices that assist educators in fostering democratic learning experiences for children in schools. However, many continue to struggle with the impact of these reforms on their teaching. Thus, there is a need to better understand how to support preservice teachers in authoring themselves so that they enter the profession in a manner that allows them to speak back to policy makers’ demands and engage in democratic teaching and learning processes with their students. The instrumental case study examined in this article investigated this issue by examining how a sample of preservice teachers in a large urban teacher education program authored themselves as teachers who spoke with and against policy makers’ neoliberal reforms. These findings demonstrate that while preservice teachers appear willing to pursue alternative visions of schooling they still seem to focus on individualized choices in avoiding policy makers’ reforms. Thus, there appears to be opportunities for teacher educators to support preservice teachers in developing the skills required to speak back to policy makers’ neoliberal reforms so that they can author themselves as the teachers they want to be.
Updated: May. 15, 2022
Identifying primary and secondary stressors, buffers, and supports that impact ECE teacher wellbeing: implications for teacher education
Stress has been shown to negatively impact early childhood teachers’ abilities to provide high quality, responsive environments for young children. Previous studies of early childhood teacher stress have focused on the tasks and responsibilities inherent in the job as well as on structural conditions within the field of early childhood education. The present study explored inter- and intra-personal dimensions of early childhood teacher stress and applied the Stress Process model to teachers’ experience of work-related stress. Results from this qualitative study suggest that teachers experience primary stressors associated with the work itself and interactions with others within the workplace. They also experience secondary stressors when their work interferes with other domains of their lives. Despite these stressors, teachers have developed a variety of coping strategies and created networks of social support to buffer the impact of stressors on their practice. These findings use teachers’ own experiences to inform the types of pre-service training, professional development, and policy interventions that have the greatest potential to reduce ECE teacher stress and enable them to provide the highest quality early care and education for all children.
Updated: Sep. 24, 2021
Meaningful teacher–student relationships are linked to a range of positive student outcomes. However, there is limited research on how teacher education programs attempt to prepare teachers to form relationships with students. This article employs comparative case methodology to explore how two different teacher residency programs—No Excuses Teacher Residency and Progressive Teacher Residency—attempt to prepare their teacher residents to form meaningful relationships with students. Drawing on theoretical work by Martin Buber and Paulo Freire, this article finds two very different approaches to teacher–student relationships: Instrumental and Reciprocal. It concludes by discussing the implications of each.
Updated: Aug. 25, 2021
Disability and the Meaning of Social Justice in Teacher Education Research: A Precarious Guest at the Table?
Although disability is assumed to be part of the teacher education social justice landscape, its position in the context of social justice is contested and has not been informed by an analysis of the empirical record. To address this gap, the authors examined 25 years of research on social justice in teacher education, focusing on how disability is presented in relationship to other social markers of identity. Disability is only modestly visible within this literature; when included, it is typically treated as an isolated marker of identity, absent considerations of intersectionality. Overcoming this marginalization of disability requires new, robust cross-faculty alliances in conceptualizing research on social justice in teacher education; adopting discursive practices that complicate disability in terms of its intersectional, reciprocal relationship with the full range of social markers of identity; and intersectionality-driven instruction connecting multiple identities and the multiple instructional strategies required to transform teacher education for social justice.
Updated: Jun. 03, 2021
This qualitative metasynthesis investigated students’ meaningful learning experiences amid andragogical teacher education programmes. The programmes catered to the specific learning needs of adult students in the context of university-based teacher education. This study aimed to provide a wider picture of the frames of students’ meaningful learning in andragogical teacher education programmes. The findings revealed three major learning worlds of adult students’ meaningful learning, which formed a common system widening from the professional awakening to the transformative community and agency in society. Based on the findings, this study argues that in andragogical teacher education, which emphasises collaboration and networking in accordance with the current trend in higher education, teacher students may become empowered participants and active agents in society. The findings can be used in planning curricula, and developing programmes of higher education in general and teacher education in particular.
Updated: Apr. 17, 2021
Feedback sessions as mediation spaces: empowering teacher candidates to deepen instructional knowledge and engage in the construction and transformation of theory in practice
In this paper, the authors present what they believe to be important elements of action research (AR) that emerged from their final feedback sessions with 13 teacher candidates in their program as they prepared for the professional presentations. They found that considering these feedback sessions as mediation spaces (1) empowers teacher candidates to externalize and deepen personal understandings of their research through dialogical discourse with expert others, and (2) negotiate their power and emerging practitioner researcher identities.
Updated: Feb. 03, 2021
Glassner and Back, authors of the new book Exploring Heutagogy in Higher Education: Academia Meets the Zeitgeist, present the principles of Heutagogy approach in which let the students decide what and how to learn, with whom and from what resources. Since the success of this learning method is mostly teacher depended, they present the main two roles of the teachers in Heutagogy as motivators and facilitators. The authors suggest the COVID19 pandemic emphasizes the need to develop self-determined learners who take responsibility for their learning to enriches their knowledge, capabilities and personalities.
Updated: Apr. 30, 2020