Search results for: USA
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Developing (as) Critically Reflective Practitioners: Linking Preservice Teacher and Teacher Educator Development
This article describes a U.S. based multi-year study focused on understanding how a critical reflective practice informs the identities and practices of two teacher educators and a group of preservice teachers. Using a self-study methodology, the authors have examined the processes and practices of their own identity development, alongside that of their preservice teachers. Using a framework as a tool for reflection, they posited a series of questions as a prompt for collaborative reflective writing. In their analysis of these written reflections, they discovered a process of becoming more reflective and expansive through writing, explicitly identifying the contextual factors at play in their personal development as educators. In addition, they found that this method of self-study became a space for transformational learning, where educators could share, be vulnerable, take risks but also care for one another in the process. The findings from this study highlight the importance of careful, critical reflection when supporting new educators.
Updated: Jul. 20, 2021
Exploring elementary teacher self-efficacy and teacher beliefs: are we preparing teachers to teach culturally diverse students?
As student demographics continue to change in countries across the world, questions remain as to how well teacher education programmes are training teachers to teach students who are culturally diverse from their teacher. Preservice teachers (N = 523) from six different teacher education programs across one state in the U.S. completed a teacher self-efficacy scale used to determine their beliefs about teaching culturally diverse students at the end of their training and again after their first year of teaching. Teacher education programme descriptions across six programs suggested programs are provided and it was determined that these varied in their structure and in required coursework. Furthermore, findings revealed statistically significant differences across programs. Generally, preservice teachers rated their capability to teach diverse students as “adequate” to “well” on a five-point Likert scale. Scores dropped after one year of teaching full-time. However, these differences in mean scores as participants moved from the preservice to the inservice stage were not statistically significant. These findings suggest that teacher self-efficacy to teach culturally diverse students remain fairly stable as teachers make this critical transition so the work done at the teacher training stage is critical. Recommendations and implications for teacher education programs are provided.
Updated: Jul. 20, 2021
Results of Practice-Based Professional Development for Supporting Special Educators in Learning How to Design Functional Assessment–Based Interventions
Content-focused practice-based professional development (PBPD) with active learning is one avenue to support teachers in learning new strategies, practices, and programs. This type of professional development moves away from traditional lectures. In this descriptive study, the authors used a pre–post group design to examine the extent to which a PBPD was effective in teaching participants how to design, implement, and evaluate functional assessment–based interventions. Results indicate participants increased perceived knowledge, confidence, and usefulness and made gains in actual knowledge. The authors conclude with implications, limitations, and suggestions for research and practice.
Updated: Jul. 14, 2021
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
Teacher educators’ practices include providing written feedback to preservice teachers. Aims of written feedback include providing information to preservice teachers about their ideas and practices as well as sustaining ongoing relationships. In this article the authors argue that factors mediating written feedback practice support the informational purposes of feedback while displacing time and space for relational purposes. This argument stems from their self-study using dialogic analysis of three mathematics teacher educators’ conversations and narratives about their written feedback. Analysis of their narratives and transcripts of conversations focused on written feedback practice through the lens of relational teacher education. They found three factors that mediated their written feedback practices: their mathematics identities, assignment structures, and accreditation. To illustrate the factors they share three vignettes crafted from transcripts of conversations and narratives of their written feedback. These themes, while unique to their contexts, illustrate ways teacher educators’ explicit values and goals for teaching about teaching can be crowded out by unexamined factors living within enactments of professional practice. Their findings are contextually bound, but coupled with other self-studies of written feedback illustrate that written feedback practice is informed by teacher educators’ values and context.
Updated: Jul. 01, 2021
Examining the Tensions between Rapport with Pre-Service Teachers and Authority in Becoming a Teacher Educator
The purpose of this self-study was to examine an internal conflict the lead author was feeling about her credibility to teach pre-service elementary teachers when she was similar in age to them and had no K-12 teaching experience. Having taught only as an undergraduate science teaching assistant, she was now assigned in her doctoral program to be an early field experience instructor for elementary education majors. Using Relational Cultural Theory and the framework of deliberate relationship, the role of rapport was analyzed in relation to authority and credibility. Findings show the lead author’s rapport with her pre-service teachers was valuable in supporting her authority and credibility as an instructor, but only when boundaries to rapport were maintained. Specifically, findings show the difficulty in balancing caring for pre-service teachers with appropriate boundaries, and need for diligent transparency of practice. Implications for successful teacher-student relationships when feeling tensions between developing rapport and authority are discussed. Positive, mutually-beneficial relationships with high rapport are possible as long as the instructor maintains appropriate boundaries with pre-service teachers by focusing on the teacher-student relationship rather than attempting to establish friendships.
Updated: Jul. 01, 2021
Examining Diverse Perspectives of edTPA Policy Implementation Across States: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Since 2009, the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) has been rapidly implemented as a policy tool for strengthening teacher professionalization across the United States. However, its national assimilation has become a target for both praise and critique among teacher educators. In this article, the authors examine such diverse perspectives. Highlighting the sensemaking of administrators, faculty, staff, and teacher candidates (n = 75) across eight teacher preparation programs (TPPs) in two states, they examine how they have responded to varied edTPA policy designs and program contexts. Results show that both policy design and programmatic differences influence how these stakeholders have perceived and implemented edTPA—either as a framework for inquiry or compliance. In the process, they contend that edTPA has many promises and pitfalls as a scalable policy tool for preparing and assessing future teachers.
Updated: Jun. 24, 2021
“Becoming” a mentor between reflective and evaluative discourses: A case study of identity development
This case study interpreted the experiences of a teacher as she grew her coaching and mentoring practices by working with preservice teachers and participating in professional development focused on reflective coaching, mentorship, and literacy teaching. The authors drew on the notion of “becoming” from critical and sociocultural theories in analyzing how she constructed a teaching identity through mentoring, and how her identity enabled her to enact reflective coaching practices. Their findings outline her agentic moves to provide the preservice teacher with reflective support, rather than evaluative critique, in opposition to the surveillance and regulation that characterize many existing teacher evaluation models.
Updated: Jun. 16, 2021
To prepare pre-service teachers to work with diverse student populations, many teacher educators have developed community-engaged projects. This study analyzes data collected from pre-service teachers in the U. S. South as they completed a community-engaged project, where they spent time learning about the community, created a virtual tour, and revised a lesson plan to align with the information gained. The project is offered as a mediational tool contributing to pre-service teachers’ conceptions of community and teaching. Findings suggest that pre-service teachers need explicit instruction about how to analyze communities and opportunities to learn with community members during teacher education.
Updated: Jun. 15, 2021
These aren’t the kids I signed up for: the lived experience of general education, early childhood preservice teachers in classrooms for children with special needs
Effective inclusive teaching practices continue to be an area of uncertainty for preservice and practicing teachers. This qualitative study examined the lived experiences of three, general education, early childhood, preservice teachers (PST) completing a field experience in preschool classrooms for children with significant disabilities. All three PSTs in the study were completing a semester long requisite field experience while concurrently completing an introduction to special education course. Both the field experience and the introduction to special education course were required for their early childhood, general education certification program. While the PSTs initially acknowledged anxiety related to working with children with significant disabilities, the levels of anxiety decreased during the experience. Additionally, PSTs noted the importance of the pedagogical skills they acquired from their special education mentor teachers. Highly skilled, special education mentor teachers were noted being critical to a successful experience.
Updated: Jun. 09, 2021