Section archive - Preservice Teachers
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This study utilized cultural historical activity theory to explore the evolution of nine preservice teachers’ (PSTs’) conceptions of social justice teaching while enrolled in a social justice-oriented teacher education program. From three interviews conducted over one year, findings show that tensions PSTs encountered while student teaching in high-poverty schools predominantly shaped their thinking. PSTs’ conceptions of social justice teaching evolved to include navigating inequitable systems, loving students critically, and viewing social justice teaching as uniquely personal. Implications include the importance of teacher educators leveraging inevitable student-teaching tensions as learning opportunities to further PSTs’ commitment to social justice teaching.
Updated: Apr. 19, 2021
Research highlights the challenges of teacher preparation programs in adequately preparing teachers to meet the needs of diverse students often served in high-needs urban schools. Teacher preparation programs that include culturally relevant pedagogy, coursework specifically related to school-community interaction, and most importantly, internships with mentorship in urban schools, have demonstrated that teachers specifically trained to teach in urban schools are better prepared and stay in teaching longer. This study examined the perceptions of 11 clinical supervising teachers and nine pre-service teachers that received flexible University mentoring supports during student teaching in two high-need, urban schools. The findings illustrate that urban student teaching experiences, when supported by additional collaborative mentorship, have the potential to improve experiences for both pre-service teachers and supervising teachers. Further, collaboration with schools to link teacher preparation program course content to urban teaching experiences can improve the theory-to-practice gap.
Updated: Apr. 19, 2021
An Examination of Pre-Service Teachers’ Interpersonal Dispositions in the Readiness Assurance Stage of Team-Based Learning
Team-based learning (TBL) is a type of small-group collaborative learning that promotes students’ accountability and intellectual growth. The readiness assurance stage of TBL, though having a great potential of addressing the widespread course preparation problem, has not been given enough attention. This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of the readiness assurance stage in online and on-campus TBL and to enhance our understanding of how pre-service teachers’ interpersonal dispositions affected their learning in both environments. Results of the mixed-method study showed that both online and on-campus modes were effective in improving pre-service teachers’ understanding and applying pedagogies in teaching. Students’ conceptual understanding of pedagogies was positively associated with their learning behavior and negatively affected by the conformity in online TBL. However, none of the interpersonal dispositions were found to significantly affect pre-service teachers’ application of pedagogies in online TBL. Likewise, those interpersonal dispositions did not significantly affect pre-service teachers’ understanding and applying pedagogies in on-campus TBL. Based on these results, the authors offer suggestions for educators and researchers who are interested in implementing or examining TBL
Updated: Apr. 18, 2021
Rethinking teacher education in a VUCA world: student teachers’ social-emotional competencies during the Covid-19 crisis
Policy documents from OECD and UNESCO have been stressing the need to prepare students for what has been termed a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world. They emphasise social-emotional competencies as necessary for coping with such conditions. This qualitative research frames the COVID-19 outbreak as an extreme case of VUCA that grants the opportunity to examine whether our teacher preparation curriculum provides teacher students with these social-emotional competencies that they are expected to model and are necessary for coping with such circumstances. Fifty-four student teachers and 24 teacher educators responded to open-ended questionnaires, and 16 semi-structured interviews with teacher educators were analysed based on grounded theory. Results demonstrate that our student teachers struggle substantially with VUCA circumstances and do not seem to receive sufficient preparation in the domain of social-emotional competencies. These troubling findings serve as a wake-up call to increase a social-emotional orientation in teacher education curriculum.
Updated: Apr. 11, 2021
Voices on Data Literacy and Initial Teacher Education: Pre-service teachers’ reflections and recommendations
The purpose of study was gain insight into pre-service teachers’ experiences in using classroom data to make learning and teaching decisions. The qualitative study is based on the reflections and recommendations of three pre-service teachers’ that participated in a data-driven decision-making intervention whilst on an immersive 10-week professional learning experience. This study is underpinned by an action research framework. From the thematic analysis of the reflections, several recommendations were put forward by the pre-service teachers. They advocated for dedicated time to develop data collection, analysis, and visualisation skills and that these skills should be embedded in their degrees. Their reflections articulate the need to have a strong set of data related skills and competencies in order to be able to engage with professional practice.
Updated: Apr. 06, 2021
Factors Influencing Preservice Teachers’ Self-Efficacy in Addressing Cultural and Linguistic Needs of Diverse Learners
How preservice teachers perceive their readiness to work with diverse learners can indicate their future success in the classroom. Using self-efficacy theory as a conceptual base, this study examined what factors contribute to preservice teachers’ self-efficacy level in addressing English Learners’ (ELs) cultural and linguistic needs, while adopting a multi-method design. Data sources included a self-efficacy survey of a group of preservice teachers, written rationales for their self-efficacy ratings, and suggestions for improving their self-efficacy. Data analyses revealed that the preservice teachers lacked self-efficacy in communicating with ELs while showing high self-efficacy in employing different learning modalities. In addition, direct exposure through field and/or life experiences and curriculum emphasis were identified as key factors. Findings further illuminate the preservice teachers’ incongruent understandings of mainstream school culture versus ELs’ cultures, the role of culture in academic versus social and emotional domains, and lack of interconnectedness between academic excellence and cultural competency.
Updated: Mar. 11, 2021
Confrontation, negotiation and agency: exploring the inner dynamics of student teacher identity transformation during teaching practicum
Despite a surge of research interest in pre-service teachers’ identities over the past years, scant attention has been paid to the process of their identity construction during their teaching practicum. Adopting a qualitative case study approach, this study seeks to fill this gap by examining the identity construction experiences of four pre-service school counselling teachers who have just completed their teaching practicum in a university in China. Informed by possible selves theory and identity conflicts theory, the study shows that the participants’ identity construction emerged from the interactions between their core identities and new forms of identities arising from their daily practice and social interactions in different school settings. While some participants’ identities updated and expanded in a supportive work environment, some experienced identity conflicts and deficits with a reduced sense of commitment towards teaching in a constraining school context. However, facilitated by their self-agency and contextual affordance, some navigated their identity conflicts by developing a negotiated identity and/or enriching their ideal identities for their continuing practice and development. The study argues for an explicit focus on teacher identities in current teacher education programs to raise student teachers’ identity awareness and facilitate their reflective learning and identity building.
Updated: Feb. 27, 2021
This article presents the results of a qualitative study which aimed to develop an understanding of the emotions experienced by pre-service English language teachers during their teaching practicum and the emotions’ effects on instructional teaching. Attribution theory was used as a framework for analysing the results, while the data were gathered through classroom observation, reflection journals, and semi-structured interviews. Results revealed a need for language teaching programmes to include classroom management strategies; however, there is also evidence of the urgent need for socio-emotional support to be provided to pre-service teachers to help them shape their teaching practice through reflection. Providing a space for pre-service teachers to reflect on their beliefs and discuss the emotions experienced during practicum may help to instill commitment and responsibility in future teachers.
Updated: Jan. 28, 2021
“Maths outside of maths”: Pre-service teachers’ awareness of mathematical and statistical thinking across teachers’ professional work
This paper reports on an aspect of a project that aimed to develop pre-service teacher awareness of the mathematical and statistical thinking required across the breadth of primary teachers’ professional role. This thinking is conceptualised as the mathematics and statistics embedded in each of the curriculum learning areas, in data literacy, and administration and management tasks. Mentor meetings indicated pre-service teachers who were completing a one-year graduate diploma initially had a limited awareness of the extent of this thinking. Through focus group discussions across the year participating pre-service teachers’ commentary showed an increased awareness and appreciation of the breadth of contexts where teachers might encounter mathematics and statistics thinking beyond mathematics lessons. Given awareness is fundamental to learning and subsequent action we posit that developing this awareness during teacher education is important.
Updated: Jan. 04, 2021
Finnish pre-service teachers’ perceptions of their strategic learning skills and collaboration dispositions
To support the development of pupils’ 21st-century skills, teachers themselves must also be competent in these skills and learn them during pre-service teacher education. The aim of this study is to investigate what kind of profiles emerge among Finnish first-year pre-service teachers’ (N = 872) in terms of perceptions of their strategic learning skills and collaboration dispositions and what background variables explain membership of the profiles found. Latent profile analysis showed five student profiles corresponding to perceived strategic learning skills and collaboration dispositions. The most robust factor explaining the membership of the profiles was life satisfaction. Pre-service teachers in a profile group of high strategic learning skills and high collaboration dispositions showed the highest anticipated life satisfaction after five years. Obtaining a better understanding of pre-service teachers’ skills and dispositions will provide the basis for deeper exploration of how they may acquire these skills and how instruction can better be designed to assist students in developing these skills.
Updated: Dec. 29, 2020