Section archive - Instruction in Teacher Training
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Teacher educators who seek to advance social justice perspectives and promote equity-oriented dispositions often engage with challenging and controversial issues relevant to schooling, the lives of students, and the work of teachers. Addressing equity issues and controversial topics can be challenging and fraught with tensions for both students and teacher educators. The purpose of this self-study was to gain insight from a critical incident about a class discussion on an issue (i.e., gender normativity in curriculum and classrooms) that occurred in a graduate course for in-service teachers. The critical incident represented a challenging pedagogical moment given diverse perspectives on the issue. The qualitative inquiry was anchored in LaBoskey’s framing elements for self-study. Conceptual frameworks employed in analysis were Berry’s tensions in teacher education and Noddings’s ethic of care. Findings suggest that classroom discussions in moments of tension can be facilitated productively by (a) teacher educators acknowledging that the content under discussion may be of both political and personal relevance; (b) disclosing that the intent of discussions on controversial issues is to share and learn, not indoctrination; and (c) recognizing when continuing a discussion on a controversial issue is pedagogically unproductive. Implications for teaching practice and research are provided.
Updated: Jul. 14, 2021
This paper considers aspects of a course redesign that focuses on motivating Pre-service Teachers to engage in negotiating relevant literacy teaching pedagogies in their discipline. The purpose of this article is to describe how the authors approached the teaching of literacy with Pre-service Teachers, in ways that valued the Pre-service Teachers’ relationships with secondary students using notes of gratitude. These notes provided the Pre-service Teachers with an opportunity to communicate in plain language to the students what they learnt from them about literacy pedagogy. The shift from the focus on the subject matter of literacy to the enactment of literacy teaching and learning through valued pre-service teacher and student relationships shifted the tenor of the course. Their conclusion emphasises how this innovation in assessment enabled us to emphasise the importance of relationality in teaching and to uphold ideals of social inclusion of school students and the professional growth of Pre-service Teachers.
Updated: Mar. 17, 2021
This design-based study explores what kind of reflection in-service or student teachers produced in case-based discussion workshops, and how. Worksheets on the case and tasks facilitated discussion in small groups. In this study, the targets of reflection written on those sheets are analysed. Three levels and seven categories of reflection emerged, ranging from context and practices to principles and power relations. Most of the reflection was superficial or on the meso-level, the level of deepest reflection was reached to greatly differing degrees depending on the group or case concerned. Both some in-service and some student teachers needed scaffolding by the instructor, but certain tasks in the case discussion sheets could also serve as scaffolds. Intercultural competences are often defined as knowledge, attitudes and skills, and reflection produced by the case-based tool covers all the three areas.
Updated: Mar. 17, 2021
Teacher education is a leading issue in education research, and creativity has been targeted as an important goal in teacher education. This study investigated little-c creativity in first-year preservice teacher candidates, as manifested in their yearlong fieldwork. It was designed as a qualitative empirical study. Three major themes related to the candidates’ creativity and the components that fostered it were revealed. The first was the process the candidates underwent to construct and implement their initiatives; the second was related to the process that the candidates underwent as they transitioned from feelings of chaos to creativity; and the third was the candidates’ interpersonal relationships. The authors conclude that preservice teacher education should provide unique experiences that foster creativity.
Updated: Mar. 15, 2021
In the field of teacher education, the disconnect between university-based coursework and practical field experiences has long been a concern. To make teacher preparation coursework more meaningful, some programs partner with P-12 schools to offer site-based courses. Although situated learning for novices in practice-based professions makes sense, more research is needed to determine if, how, and why site-based courses in particular may be beneficial for teacher candidates’ (TCs) learning. In this study, the authors used surveys and interviews with TCs, who had taken the same site-based literacy methods course, to identify which aspects of the course they found most facilitative of connections between the course content and the field. Our findings suggest working with children in classrooms, course instructors’ involvement at the school, and opportunities to discuss and reflect upon their experiences immediately after they had been in the field were the primary features of a site-based course TCs found valuable.
Updated: Mar. 09, 2021
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of question prompts on the process of journal writing by comparing unstructured and structured journals from pre-service teachers in the context of a Teaching Practicum course. Four early childhood pre-service teachers in their final year of undergraduate study constituted the case of this study. The unstructured and structured journals they kept in this process were compared in terms of content and reflection levels, and a questionnaire was utilized to determine their views. The study showed that when compared to unstructured writing, the use of question prompts assisted the pre-service teachers in achieving an advanced level of reflection in their journal writing.
Updated: Feb. 27, 2021
This paper presents a narrative inquiry study on agency development in student-teachers of an English language teacher program at a public university in the south of Colombia. The authors’ goal was to understand how student-teachers develop agency when narratively inquiring their community by planning and conducting community-based pedagogy projects on issues they found pertinent to investigate. The data were gathered through semi-structured focus group interviews, individual journal entries, and video-recorded talks about their inquiries. As a conclusion, they acknowledge that certain social and narrative practices such as interacting within their inquiry groups, interacting with their communities, voicing their communities’ necessities, and acting upon the inquired necessities facilitated developing agency and contributed to rethinking their roles as transformative members of their communities.
Updated: Jan. 30, 2021
Delivery of a western-centric initial teacher education award in a Chinese-centric context. What constitutes good practice?
This paper has two purposes. First, to explore ways in which a western-centric in-service teacher education programme has transformed the teaching of 14 teacher participants who hitherto used a more Chinese-centric approach to teaching. Second, to investigate if any changes that have occurred have diffused beyond the teacher participants’ classrooms and if so, to whom and to where. The teacher participants belonged to one of four cohorts of teachers who, between 2014–2019, enrolled onto a UK accredited, level seven, Post Graduate Certificate (International) Education (PGCIE), blended learning programme. All used English as the medium of instruction to teach English, Accounts or Business subjects to Chinese students, aged 18–23. Underpinned by principles of pedagogical gains through reflective practice, the programme’s aim was to develop teacher participants’ practice, with an emphasis on student-led approaches to teaching and learning. Tenets of two theoretical frameworks (transformational learning and diffusion of innovations) furnished a lens to view the data. Data were gathered from interviews with teacher participants and managers. Available and relevant statistical data were also used. The paper presents evidence of how transformational learning leads to improved teacher effectiveness and how changes in practice can become diffused beyond the classroom and to others.
Updated: Jan. 26, 2021
The use of virtual simulations in teacher education to develop pre-service teachers’ behaviour and classroom management skills: implications for reflective practice
The use of virtual simulations is increasingly seen as an opportunity to provide pre-service teachers with unique opportunities to experience examples of classroom life in a controlled and structured environment. With these benefits in mind, this paper explores the growing use of virtual simulations in pre-service teacher education and in particular their use in developing pre-service teachers’ behaviour and classroom management skills. It highlights issues that teacher educators need to be cognisant of in using them with student teachers, particularly the extent to which they cement existing stereotypes about pupil behaviour and the extent to which they subsequently limit rather than enhance opportunities for critical reflection.
Updated: Jan. 09, 2021
To identify the tasks student teachers perform during the practicum, a quantitative study was designed using a questionnaire completed by 248 students in their final year of teacher training. The results show that the student teachers did not have the chance to tackle the broad range of teaching tasks, limiting their view of teaching and reducing their training potential. It is necessary to clearly establish the obligations of institutions who collaborate in the practicum, defining participants’ roles and ensuring that this experience encourages appropriate learning.
Updated: Dec. 31, 2020