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Medium 9781475837537

RL_006 - Wessels et al. FINAL

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Pre-service Teachers’ Confidence and Attitudes toward Teaching English Learners

Stephanie Wessels, Guy Trainin, Jenelle Reeves, Theresa Catalano, and Qizhen Deng

Abstract: Research has shown that many pre-service teachers do not feel confident in their abilities to work with English learners (ELs), and that attitudes toward ELs can have an effect on their confidence in working with these students. The purpose of this quantitative study is to find out what factors affect the confidence and attitudes of pre-service teachers in regard to teaching ELs. Data consisted of a four-part survey of 244 pre-service teachers entering an elementary teacher education program. Findings revealed that attitudes toward ELs’ use of L1 correlated with reported second language proficiency and diversity experience, and indirectly with international travel experience. In contrast, confidence levels did not correlate with these variables. The authors conclude with suggestions for ways that teacher education programs can change attitudes toward L1 use, develop confidence, and foster greater understanding of ELs in pre-service teachers.

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Medium 9781475817270

Dilemmas of Assistant Principals in Their Supervisory Role: Reflections of an Assistant Principal

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

JEFFREY GLANZ1

ABSTRACT: Attention is focused, in this article, on the dilemmas of the supervisory role and the shift from a bureaucratic to a collegial culture. This article, based on practitioner reflection, provides anecdotal evidence to support the move from a bureaucratic culture to a collegial one. The author documents a basic conflict he has experienced which hindered his ability to function effectively. Specifically, the article explores an unresolved dilemma between the necessity to evaluate and the desire to genuinely assist teachers in the instructional process. This problem, although seemingly intractable, can, in fact be mitigated through more collaborative efforts which strive to foster participatory democratic leadership. These efforts are discussed.

Public education has received much criticism (Johnson, 1990; Katz. 1987; Sizer, 1984). Particularly over the last several years. Various committees and commissions have highlighted the dire state of public education. As a result of the scrutiny into educational policy and practice, research into effective or quality schooling has proceeded at a feverish pace. Research has indicated several important factors that contribute to effective schooling (see, for example, Blase and Kirby, 1992). Much of this literature has focused on the principalship as vital for successful school reform (see, for example, Lipham, Rankin, and Hoeh, Jr., 1985; Lucio and McNeil, 1969). Less attention, however, has been given to the role and function of the assistant principal (Gorton and Ketterman, 1985).

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Medium 9781475816433

Social Anxiety in University Students

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Guzin Subasi

Social anxiety occurs when people feel doubtful about their particular impressions, real or imaginary, on others (Schlenker & Leary, 1982). Social anxiety, as denoted by its name, is a situation that arises in social settings as an outcome of interpersonal relationships. What lies in the basis of social anxiety is the fear of being evaluated by others as inadequate.

The literature survey demonstrates that studies conducted on social–evaluative anxiety, shyness, dating anxiety, communication apprehension, social phobia, performance anxiety, and so on, are studied under the title of “social anxiety.” Leary and Kowalski (1995) claim that these are not different types of social anxiety: the individual anxiety experience arising in each of them is the same; what changes is not the type of anxiety but rather the medium of interpersonal relationships that gives rise to anxiety.

The means of the studies carried out by the Interaction Anxiousness Scale, developed by Leary (1991), varied between 39 and 43 but were generally 41 (Buren & Cooley, 2002; Camanho & Paulus, 1995; Cecil & Pinkerton, 1998; Leary, 1986; Leary, Atherton, Hill, & Hur, 1986; Leary & Kowalski, 1993; Leary & Meadows, 1991; Oakman & Gifford, 2003; Pontari & Schlenker, 2000; Sabini, Siepmann, Stein, & Meyerowitz, 2000; Sanz, 1994). Leary’s scale comprises 15 items in Likert style; thus, these means are typically below 3.0, which indicates the midpoint.

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Medium 9781475818512

Bridging Structure and Agency: Exploring the Role of Teacher Leadership in Teacher Collaboration

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Stacy Agee Szczesiul

Jessica L. Huizenga

Bridging Structure and Agency: Exploring the Role of Teacher Leadership in Teacher Collaboration

ABSTRACT: Building on York-Barr and Duke’s (2004) conceptual framework for teacher leadership, this article explores teacher leadership as an informal influence that arises out of interactions and is exerted through group processes and norms. Through a 4-month qualitative study of two teacher teams’ work during structured teacher collaboration, we sought to understand how teachers’ informal action and interaction influence their colleagues’ sense of self-efficacy and motivation to engage in collaborative work. Given our findings, we theorize an emergent framework for teacher leadership to promote understanding and future investigation of teacher leadership as an informal, socially distributed phenomenon.

Recent research provides an empirical base for what has long been theorized about teacher collaboration: It can promote teacher learning (Goddard, Goddard, & Tschannen-Moran, 2007; Horn 2005; Horn & Little, 2010), reduce the effects of isolation (Bryk, Sebring, Allensworth, & Luppescu, 2010; Supovitz & Christman, 2003), increase the social capital and collective efficacy of teachers (Goddard, Hoy, & Hoy, 2000; Penuel, Riel, Krause, & Frank, 2009; Schneider, 2000), and promote job satisfaction and commitment among teachers (Johnson, Kraft, & Papay, 2012). We now know that its effects are also related to growth in student learning (Goddard et al., 2007; Johnson et al., 2012). In response to these findings, school administrators are increasingly introducing organizational routines intended to promote collaboration (Giles, 2007; Levine, 2011; Spillane, Parise, & Sherer, 2011), such as interdisciplinary, grade-level, or subject area teacher teams. In doing so, they hope to “unlock leadership capabilities and capacities among teachers,” thereby “relinquishing the notion of structure as a means of control” (Harris, 2003, p. 321). Indeed, emerging from the body of literature dedicated to the study of teacher leadership is the finding that teachers influence one another to improve teaching and learning practices when they engage in collaborative discussions about their professional work (Supovitz, Sirinides, & May, 2010; York-Barr & Duke, 2004). Teacher leadership—as a process of individual and collective influence—is therefore theorized by many scholars to be the critical bridge between organizational structure and teacher agency that makes building collective capacity for instructional improvement possible (Horn & Little, 2010; Muijs & Harris, 2006; Slavit, Kennedy, Lean, Nelson, & Deuel, 2011).

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Medium 9781475819304

Book Review

R&L Education ePub

(Lanham, MD: ScarecrowEducation, 2004) 144 pages, $24.95

ALINA SLAPAC

Classroom management is an essential feature of effective teaching, and it is a current and challenging problem for practicing teachers and preservice teachers. Eggen and Kauchak (2007) argue the complex aspect of well-managed classrooms, as well as the influence on motivation and learning of productive versus unproductive classroom environments.

With 27 years of K–12 teaching experience as an art educator, Nicole Gnezda offers readers who are interested in efficient discipline techniques a facile but powerful text that promotes a strength-based humanistic approach for developing personal growth in students. In Teaching Difficult Students: Blue Jays in the Classroom. Gnezda embraces a positive attitude regarding difficult relationships with students who are, like blue jays, “disruptive and irritating” (p. xi). By using personal examples intertwined with educational psychology theories (Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Piaget’s cognitive development theory, Skinner’s behaviorism, etc.), Gnezda explains the reasons why children misbehave, why it matters how we treat difficult students, what are some wrong assumptions about students and teaching, and the disadvantages of the behaviorist discipline strategies.

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