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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 study aims to better understand the role of mentor teacher–mediated experiences in preservice teachers (PTs)’ progress toward the vision of teaching advocated by their programs. Data were collected from multiple cohorts of preservice science teachers at two university-based teacher preparation programs. Employing a qualitative, multiple case study approach, a total of 35 cases were analyzed focusing on the quality of mentor teacher–mediated experiences (i.e., modeling program-advocated vision of teaching, supporting PTs’ experimentation, and providing feedback), and its relationship to PTs’ progress over time. The analyses show that mentor teachers’ supportiveness for PTs’ experimentation played a critical role in facilitating PTs’ desirable changes. Well-structured experimentation created conditions for PTs to notice, leverage, and expand students’ sense-making repertoires in classrooms. Mentors’ modeling of program-recommended practices was not necessarily related to PTs’ progress. This study raises questions about prevalent perceptions of a good mentor teacher as someone who models program-recommended practices.
Updated: Jun. 03, 2021
Calls for the renewal of teacher preparation through clinical practice have left many novice teacher educators to learn on the job. This article reports on the research of two such novices, studying their own practice. Addressing the need to better understand the approaches teacher educators take to clinically grounding their work, the authors used a hermeneutic approach to naturalistic inquiry to study their use of an inquiry community framework in a teacher preparation clinical setting. The authors found that within an arc of practitioner inquiry, explicitly teaching guided reflection and professional dialoguing skills within an inquiry community were key teacher educator practices. They found that an inquiry community approach holds promise as a structure and space for teacher educators to advance teacher preparation toward clinical practice.
Updated: May. 21, 2021
Crossing colleges: the impact of an engineering design collaboration on early childhood teacher candidate development
In this study, researchers examined the collaborative process that occurred when early childhood teacher candidates and engineering students partnered to design exhibits to be used in an informal learning setting for young children. The findings present data from 52 early childhood candidates who participated in the study over the course of two fall semesters in consecutive academic years. Utilizing case study methodology, observations, formal interviews, artifact collection, and student self/peer reviews were employed to collect data. The findings reveal that cross-college, project-based learning has the potential to positively impact early childhood teacher candidates’ professional identity and that clinically-based teacher preparation was significant in helping teacher candidates feel successful in the project. The research presents innovative practices for early childhood teacher candidate preparation.
Updated: May. 13, 2021
Relationships in early practicum experiences: positive and negative aspects and associations with practicum students’ characteristics and teaching efficacy
One aspect of teaching which has implications for teacher development is the practicum student-supervising teacher relationship. The current study examines this relationship. Over 100 pre-service teachers across 3 institutions of higher education reported on their relationship with their supervising teacher and their feelings of teaching self-efficacy. Results show that practicums students report both positive and negative relationship aspects; environmental stressors were associated with reported relationships. Furthermore, practicum student efficacy was associated with both positivity and negativity in reported relationships. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for teacher preparation and providing support to pre-service teachers during their practica.
Updated: May. 12, 2021
This study offers insights into the ways in which beginning elementary teachers do or do not replicate the kinds of classroom management systems used during their own childhood elementary education experiences as a result of what Dan Lortie calls the apprenticeship of observation. Results of this study indicate that, when designing their classroom management systems, first-year teachers draw from a range of both traditional and progressive influences including what they recall of their own childhood experiences, what they learned in their teacher preparation program, and what the more experienced teachers at their schools do. Possible conclusions point to the need for teacher preparation programs to remain engaged with graduates in order to help solidify what was learned through the program.
Updated: May. 11, 2021
This mixed methods study explores a comprehensive survey administered in one induction program of over 2000 novice teachers and 1000 of their coaches. Quantitative analyses through Structural Equation Modeling indicate the mediating impact that coaches have on various design features of induction, which then have an impact on novice teacher learning and pedagogy. Qualitative analyses of comments reveal respondent satisfaction with programmatic structures in influencing their induction experiences while reiterating the importance of coaching. Findings have two main implications: 1) the impact of quality coaching for novice teacher professional growth, in conjunction with the importance of matching novice teachers and their coaches appropriately, and 2) the significance of curriculum, technology, and customer service in having an impact on the overall novice teacher and coach experience throughout induction. These findings have implications for the work of coaching and design features of induction programs.
Updated: Apr. 20, 2021
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