Medium 9781475830569

Tep Vol 29-N2

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Teacher Education and Practice, a peer-refereed journal, is dedicated to the encouragement and the dissemination of research and scholarship related to professional education. The journal is concerned, in the broadest sense, with teacher preparation, practice and policy issues related to the teaching profession, as well as being concerned with learning in the school setting. The journal also serves as a forum for the exchange of diverse ideas and points of view within these purposes. As a forum, the journal offers a public space in which to critically examine current discourse and practice as well as engage in generative dialogue. Alternative forms of inquiry and representation are invited, and authors from a variety of backgrounds and diverse perspectives are encouraged to contribute. Teacher Education & Practice is published by Rowman & Littlefield.

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10 Articles

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Editorial: Socialization of Teachers in an Era of Neoliberal Accountability

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Socialization of Teachers in an Era of Neoliberal Accountability

PATRICK M. JENLINK

Learning to teach is a complex process, made so in large part by the “interaction of personal factors, such as the teacher candidate’s knowledge and beliefs about teaching, learning, and subject matter, and situational factors, such as expectations, demands, and feedback from key actors in the university and public school settings” (Varrati, Lavine, & Turner, 2009, p. 484). Learning to teach in this sense is a socialization1 process into the teaching profession that places many demands on the preservice and novice teacher, often overwhelming and frustrating these individuals as they are socialized into the profession.

Situated in a rapidly changing society, with its massive social and economic inequalities among individuals, the preparation and socialization of preservice and novice teachers into the teaching profession is met with unyielding pressures in today’s public schools and universities. Many of these pressures in educational systems are a result of the spread of neoliberal2 politics and policies about markets, privatization, deregulation, and the private versus public good (see Ball, 2012; Beyer, 2007; Dahlstrom, 2009; Kumashiro, 2010; Ross & Gibson, 2006; Zeichner, 2010). The domination of public education by business interests and political lobbyists is a direct result of the current era of neoliberal capitalism focused on openly promoting “the spirit of competition among schools, educators and students through a policy of high-stakes accountability for immediately measurable educational outcomes” (Guerrero & Farruggio, 2012, p. 553). This same market-driven competition has been invasive in higher education, in particular targeting teacher preparation.3

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Mentoring to Support Teacher Retention in Urban Schools: Reenvisioning the Mentoring Services Offered to New Teachers

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Reenvisioning the Mentoring Services Offered to New Teachers

BRIANNE MORETTINI

ABSTRACT: Each year, U.S. schools spend over $7 billion on issues related to teacher turnover. In particular, low-performing, high-needs schools, particularly in urban areas, experience higher rates of teacher turnover than higher-achieving, suburban schools. The study was conducted in a large urban school system that is plagued by teacher turnover. Participants in the study were first-year alternatively certified teachers with STEM backgrounds who decided to change careers and teach middle school science and/or mathematics. The study found that mentoring services given to first-year teachers was one of the reasons that new teachers decided to stay teaching in their current school despite the many challenges new teachers faced. Therefore, this article describes a process for developing mentoring services that can be implemented by all teachers working in a difficult teaching context. Further, the article outlines suggestions for teacher educators to enable beginning teachers to effectively co-mentor each other.

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Flattening the Field of Teacher Education: Using Nested Communities of Practice in Place of Expert–Novice Dyads in Clinical Practice Placement Schools

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Using Nested Communities of Practice in Place of Expert–Novice Dyads in Clinical Practice Placement Schools

LISA S. GOLDSTEIN, MICHELLE BAUML, ALISON MORT, AND BARON CANNON

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this conceptual article is to propose how the field might improve teacher education by deliberately preparing new teachers for professional collaboration within nested communities of practice. The authors suggest disrupting the existing “grammar of teacher education” by replacing the traditional cooperating teacher–student teacher dyad model with a more collaborative approach that involves teams of preservice teachers working with teams of practicing teachers. This approach may alleviate problems inherent to the dyad model, such as replication of the status quo and isolation from other colleagues.

In the recent scholarship on teacher education, conversations about practice-based approaches to improving teachers and teaching have taken center stage (Ball & Forzani, 2009; Hiebert & Morris, 2012a, 2012b; Lampert, 2012; Lewis, Perry, Friedkin, & Roth, 2012; Zeichner, 2012). The practice-based approaches documented in this body of literature differ according to the professional status of the teachers under consideration. When discussing the use of practice-based education in initial teacher preparation, preservice teachers are depicted as learning specific high-leverage practices through observation, rehearsal, study, and repetition in methods courses (see Boerst, Sleep, Ball, & Bass, 2011; Charalambous, Hill, & Ball, 2011; Zeichner, 2012). The work on practice-based approaches to continuing teacher education portrays groups of in-service teachers “working on teaching as a collective practice” (Lampert, 2012, p. 361). This work includes sharing highly effective lesson plans, engaging in collaborative lesson study, and participating in other “practice-based opportunities to learn” (Lewis et al., 2012, p. 368).

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Mentoring and Professional Development Opportunities as Perceived by Novice Physical Education Teachers in the Induction Year

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MARY E. LAVINE

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to identify how novice teachers in physical education perceived their mentoring in their induction year. A qualitative case study approach was used to describe the induction mentoring experiences of five first-year elementary physical education teachers. The data sources included field notes, a semistructured interview, informal interviews, and document analysis of the school’s context. The primary data source was a 65-minute semistructured interview focused on mentoring experiences that each novice received in their first year of teaching as well as professional development opportunities they attended. Results revealed that first-year teachers reported needing a mentor who could provide them with guidance in navigating the policies and procedures of the school system in addition to assistance with content planning, delivery, class management, and feedback and reflection on their practice.

As we enter 2017, over 2 million new teachers will be needed in our nation’s schools (National Center for Education Statistics, 2002; National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, 1996). Not only is there a national shortage of teachers, but within the teaching profession, there is high rate of attrition. Teaching is a demanding and complex profession that places many demands on the novice teacher, often overwhelming and frustrating these new professionals (McCaughtry, Cothran, Kulinna, Martin, & Faust, 2005). The novice teacher enters the profession eager, excited, and ready to make changes in schools (Johnson & Birkeland, 2003) yet is not always prepared for the challenges of teaching. The administrator must become a key figure in establishing and sustaining a supportive community of school faculty, students, and parents (Schmoeker, 2001; Sergiovanni, 2001).

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Peer Coaching in Preservice Teacher Education: Different Approaches and Different Effects

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Different Approaches and Different Effects

YASAR BODUR AND KATHLEEN M. CRAWFORD

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of three different types of peer coaching on preservice teachers’ (PTs’) skills in analyzing classroom events, their perceptions of the value of giving and receiving peer feedback, and the quality of their peer coaching. Thirty-seven PTs in an early childhood education program engaged in structured, unstructured, or semistructured peer coaching and provided data that included a video analysis, a survey on attitudes toward peer coaching, and actual peer coaching notes. Analysis of the data indicated that using some form peer coaching was more effective than not using peer coaching. Among the peer coaching groups, the unstructured group produced the most positive results. Implications for PT education programs are presented.

Field experiences in preservice teacher (PT) education hold special importance. These experiences afford future teachers with the opportunity to bridge theory and practice and apply their learning in real classrooms. Perhaps more important, PTs view field experiences as the most influential aspect of their preparation for teaching. Therefore, it is in the best interest of all parties involved in teacher education to provide PTs with meaningful field experiences.

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Is “Good Job” Good Enough?: A Content Analysis of the Quality of Feedback to Teacher Candidates During Field Experiences

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A Content Analysis of the Quality of Feedback to Teacher Candidates During Field Experiences

KARINA CLEMMONS AND AMANDA NOLEN

ABSTRACT: Quality feedback to teacher candidates about performance and progress is an essential assessment component of teacher education programs that can lead to candidate professional growth. This study (1) examines the quality of actual feedback from university supervisors to teacher candidates during field experiences and (2) examines how supervisor characteristics of experience and content area may relate to feedback. Results showed a lack of negative and constructive feedback and that supervisor background and years of experience affected feedback quality. Findings suggest a need for focused preparation of university supervisors and suggest additional areas for future research.

The accurate assessment of competence is of primary concern to diverse teaching and teacher preparation worldwide. Differentiating among those preservice teacher candidates who possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for effective practice and those who do not is central to the critical role of university-based teacher preparation programs. These programs are gatekeepers of the profession and as such carry the onus of ensuring that those entering the field are well prepared in pedagogical (i.e., general principles of how to teach), content (i.e., science content), and pedagogical-content knowledge (i.e., the principles of how to teach science). Teacher candidates acquire these capabilities through their course work and field experiences (e.g., internships, practicum, and so on) under the supervision of the program faculty.

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Improving the Internship Model: Instructional Coaches for Teacher Candidates

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Instructional Coaches for Teacher Candidates

JUDITH J. SMITH, JOY N. STAPLETON, KRISTEN C. CUTHRELL, JASON BRINKLEY, AND VIVIAN M. COVINGTON

ABSTRACT: Meeting the challenge of increased accountability for novice teachers requires colleges of education to facilitate meaningful improvements in field-based internship. In this article, the authors posit that adding instructional coaches to the traditional internship is a model that can positively impact the effectiveness of teacher candidates. Situated within the pedagogies of practice framework of Grossman et al. (2009), researchers developed an instructional coaching model and conducted an efficacy study. The study was guided by the following research question: What impact does instructional coaching have on teacher candidates’ use of effective instructional practices? Using results from observations, researchers found that teacher candidates who received instructional coaching significantly increased their use of instructional practices while also notably improving levels of student engagement during their yearlong internship.

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Rehearsals as a Mentoring Strategy: Supporting Teacher Candidate Practice “On the Front End”

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Supporting Teacher Candidate Practice “On the Front End”

WENDY L. GARDINER

ABSTRACT: “Rehearsals” are one aspect of a broader practice-based theory of teacher learning currently gaining purchase in higher-education settings intended to combat the pervasive problem of enactment. This qualitative study investigated the impact of rehearsals (defined as a verbatim enactment of a lesson with feedback prior to implementation with students) as a mentoring strategy with teacher candidates in a clinical setting. Two research questions were addressed: What do mentors and teacher candidates do during rehearsal sessions? Do rehearsals influence teacher candidates’ practice? Results indicate that teacher candidates are reticent to rehearse and that implementation fidelity requires support; rehearsals “redistribute” mentoring time, whereby allocating time to rehearse subsequently reduces time spent debriefing or reteaching lessons; and the contextually specific feedback and problem solving that mentors provide during rehearsals contribute to improved lesson enactment. This article also describes how rehearsals were enacted, discusses implementation challenges, and provides recommendations for implementing rehearsals in clinical settings.

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Learning to Facilitate New Teacher Development

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JENNIFER LOCRAFT CUDDAPAH

ABSTRACT: The learning of facilitators who participated in an intensive immersion professional development experience aimed at preparing them to work with new teachers was investigated through case study. The intensive immersion experience was documented, and the facilitators’ perceptions of their roles were explored. Analysis and discussion of data highlight what the group of 28 participants learned about facilitation as they interacted with the program curriculum. Working with clay as an alternative medium for exploring roles, reflecting on learning, and sharing ideas surfaced as particularly effective practices for helping participants understand the distinctive nature of the facilitator role.

The group of facilitators had been there for over eight hours on that day when they were invited into a circle for a reflective closing. It was the fourth of 5 days of intensive professional development, and the meaning of intensive had been underscored most likely during the ninth hour on the first day. By this point, the group was fairly used to the experience of coming together for long days of professional development in order to experience the new teacher support program that they would be going back to their home districts to enact with their own new teachers.

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Framing Conceptual, Procedural, and Emotional Support for Supervision

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REBECCA WEST BURNS AND BERNARD J. BADIALI

ABSTRACT: The importance of supporting preservice teacher (PST) growth within the clinical setting has received increasing attention (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, 2010). Understanding how supervisors who are responsible for supporting PST growth within the clinical setting learn about their work is important in meeting the expectations demanded of those who support PST learning in the field. This qualitative case study explores the question “What experiences within a professional development school (PDS) context influence novice supervisor learning?” by examining novice supervisors’ perceptions of their learning throughout their first year as PST supervisors in a PDS context. This article identifies and describes three kinds of mentoring that supported their learning and suggests that meaningful supervisor preparation should occur in the clinical setting, where developing supervisory practices can be supported through participation in communities of practice.

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