Medium 9781475819366

Tep Vol 22-N1

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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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Editorial: On the Public and the Civic Responsibility of Teacher Education

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PATRICK M. JENLINK

The public still exists—yes, very much so, for it is all around us, and we are it. But it is a public that eschews politics and pursues private interest, it is a public in a new context, one in which society no longer supports the conditions under which what once was referred to as “the public” came into being.

—Hannay (2005, p. 25)

There is no point to educating children for a citizenship that will not be there to practice when they become adults.

—Westbrook (2005, p. 234)

Because schools are among the last recognizably public institutions that exist (at least for now) in many communities and because teachers that enter classrooms are among the last and perhaps most important agents of a public institution that can affect the lives of students, teacher education should be in the forefront of cultivating civic responsibility. Simply stated, teacher education should focus on preparing teachers with respect to the nature and importance of the public and on drawing the public into relief, to foster an understanding of the teacher’s role with respect to preparing the next generation of citizens for democratic contemporary life. With this caveat in mind, any teacher education program examining the public aspects of schooling should be articulated around a deep-seated belief in the public, and it should not only fundamentally address the public as elements of curriculum but equally represent the public through its pedagogical practices such that the public—its parameters, norms, and assumptions—are woven into the experiences of learning to teach at all levels.

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Do Students Learn More With a Certified Teacher? A Comparison of Algebra I Students Taught by Certified and Noncertified Teachers

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LAURA RINGROSE

JUDITH ADKISON

ABSTRACT: All states have authorized alternatives to traditional teacher preparation programs, and many allow school districts to hire noncertified instructors. Broadening access to teaching has increased the number of available teachers, but the effects on student learning are debatable. This article discusses the research on certification and student learning in mathematics and the overall inconclusive results. It presents a study focusing on Algebra I teachers, which found a significant performance difference between the students of certified and noncertified teachers. The effect size of having a certified teacher was small. The article examines reasons for this result and suggests other research directions.

The No Child Left Behind requirement that all teachers in core academic subjects be “highly qualified” by the end of 2005–2006 has intensified the ongoing debate over traditional teacher training and certification requirements. Traditionally, prospective teachers had to complete college-level teacher education programs to be eligible for state teacher certification. Since the 1950s (e.g., Bestor, 1953; Lynd, 1953), critics have attacked those programs, charging lack of academic content and rigor (Ravich, 2000) and inconsistency across programs (Feistritzer & Chester, 1996, 2000). Evidence demonstrating that poor teachers have a significant negative impact on a student’s long-term academic success (e.g., Mendro, Jordan, Gomez, Anderson, & Bembry, 1998; Sanders & Horn, 1998) has heightened concern over teacher qualifications. Although critics have raised concerns about the quality of traditional teacher preparation programs, the general public and the education profession worry about the placement of noncertified teachers into public schools because they consider them unqualified (Darling-Hammond, 2001).

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Student Teachers in Search of Help

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MARLA HOUCK

JOHN J. CHIODO

ABSTRACT: This study examined to whom 43 elementary and secondary teacher education students at a large Southwestern university turned for help regarding problems during their student-teaching internship. Participants were asked to complete a survey related to student teaching. In addition, 5 students were interviewed as a follow-up to the survey. Of the stated requests for help, 47% were to cooperating teachers or other individuals at the school. However, 39% of the requests were to peers and friends, whereas only 14% were to university supervisors. The results of the study raise questions regarding the possible role that peers play in the support process for student teachers and how university supervisors may access this resource.

Most teacher education programs include some types of field experiences before the final internship to introduce students to the profession of teaching and to allow for more integration of practice with their university coursework (Barrett, 1995; Morehead, Lyman, & Foyle, 2003; Posner, 1985). Students are usually given increasing responsibility with each field experience until the internship, at which time student teachers assume the responsibility for teaching a whole class for an extended period under the watchful eyes of a cooperating teacher and a supervisor from the university.

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Preservice Educators’ Confidence in Addressing Sexuality Education

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TAMMY JORDAN WYATT

ABSTRACT: This study examined 328 preservice educators’ level of confidence in addressing four sexuality education domains and 21 sexuality education topics. Significant differences in confidence levels across the four domains were found for gender, academic major, sexuality education philosophy, and sexuality education knowledge. Preservice educators considered positive communication with family, physical/social changes with puberty, and abstinence as the most comfortable topics to address and masturbation, condom demonstration, and sexual orientation as the least comfortable topics to teach. Study results suggest the need for academic preparation in health education and sexuality education for individuals seeking teacher certification, regardless of grade level or specialized certification. Preservice training in sexual health education through teacher preparation programs can serve as the foundation for effective sexuality education in Grades K–12.

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Connecting to the Community: A Model for Caregiver–Teacher Conference Instruction

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MICHAEL J. MAHER

ALAN J. REIMAN

ABSTRACT: Professionals throughout the field of education agree on the importance of teacher–caregiver communication. Yet teacher education programs still do very little to prepare future teachers for these interactions. This exploratory study investigated the use of a standardized caregiver model, with 12 teacher education students involved in a simulated caregiver conference. The results indicate that participating in simulated practice conferences with caregivers provides an opportunity for teacher candidates to engage in trial and error, develop personally and professionally, and address some of their entrenched beliefs related to caregivers.

Over the next 10 years, U.S. schools will need 1.7 to 2.7 million new teachers, and each teacher will face similar challenges: classroom management, motivating students, assessment of student learning, and relations with parents (henceforth referred to as caregivers in an effort to be more inclusive; Stansbury & Zimmerman, 2002). These new teachers, who have gone through either traditional or alternative teacher education, will have received training in the first three of the aforementioned teaching competencies. Few, however, will receive any type of training in caregiver–teacher communication (Houston & Williamson, 1990; Radcliffe, Malone, & Nathan, 1994; Shartrand, Kreider, & Warfield, 1994) despite a growing belief that teacher education programs need to incorporate a caregiver-involvement component into their programs (Shartrand et al., 1997; U.S. Department of Education, 1993).

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High School Teachers’ Experience of Student Behavior Problems: A Phenomenological Approach

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ROY A. BEAN

KYLE S. GILLET

ABSTRACT: In this article, we examine the findings of a qualitative study exploring high school teachers’ perceptions of student behavior problems. Four focus groups, each including four to eight teachers, were conducted through major school districts in two Southwestern states (Texas and Arizona). Descriptive phenomenology was used to identify patterns and themes in terms of the teachers’ experiences with student behavior. Findings centered on key types of behavioral problems manifested by students, interventions for dealing with problems, and stated needs for additional institutional assistance in managing student behavior in the classroom.

The educational system in the United States can be described as providing children with a knowledge and skill set designed to help them live and function in current society. The proposition is not without its challenges: Instructional methods are constantly updated to keep pace with advances in technology, and textbooks and course materials are revised to reflect historical and scientific discoveries. Instructional strategies and administration policies also operate in a state of dynamic change owing to internal and external pressures (e.g., fluctuating tax bases, new federal and state educational programs). The consequences of these macrolevel institutional factors have been highlighted and can be tracked (e.g., Borman, 2003; Simpson, LaCava, & Graner, 2004); however, it is much more difficult but still very relevant to investigate how microlevel student behavior problems and family difficulties affect the educational process.

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Illustrations of Engagement Styles: Four Teacher Candidates

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NORMA S. GUERRA

ABSTRACT: The inherent complexity of preparing future teachers and the associated high stakes upon graduation continue to motivate educators to examine how best to engage teacher candidates as students so that they will be skilled and adaptable once they become teachers. To this end, a new conceptualization of engagement styles is presented and illustrated in four case studies. Information about engagement styles is important because it provides the individual with a context with which to self-monitor one’s responses to distinct social–cognitive expectations. This article begins with a brief description of the literature pertaining to the development of engagement styles, which are identifiable as an assessed product of the LIBRE model problem-solving activity. Included is a discussion of the implications of the use of the LIBRE model for the preparation of future teachers, with explicit attention to the relationship to teacher identity development and how self-monitored engagement styles can assist novice teachers in the classroom.

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