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Tep Vol 21-N3

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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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6 Articles

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Editorial: The Nature of Invisibility and the Need for Recognition—Realizing Our Moral Capacities as Teachers

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PATRICK M. JENLINK

What I think about is the incredible extent to which people do not look at one another, do not do so in most communities and especially on my own campus; the extent to which we—professors and students alike—act as though we do not see one another and are not seen, act in such a way as to make ourselves and others invisible. And that seems scary to me, something to be afraid of. Is that perhaps what the invisible man is finally most afraid of—that terrible tendency in all of us to inflict invisibility on others and in some sense to choose it? Why do we do this? What is it we’re so afraid of? The discomfort of being and feeling human?

—Slatoff (1989, p. 36)

Our society, among many others, categorizes people according to both visible and invisible traits . . . to deduce fixed behavioral and mental traits, and then applies policies and practices that jeopardize some and benefit others.

—Nieto (2004, p. 36)

Arguably, the problem of escaping oppressive forms of social recognition is typically one of liberation from particular forms of ‘recognition’, a process which demands the critical scrutiny of social relations and in the attempt to transform these relations, the withholding of recognition from those aspects of social identities implicated in inequality.

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Tracking Changes in the Learner-Centered Beliefs of Candidates in an Urban-Focused Teacher Preparation Program

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KATHERINE L. KASTEN AND SHARON BUCKLEY-VAN HOEK

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this longitudinal study was to focus on the learner-centered belief systems of students in early field placements and as intern teachers. This study provided an empirical test of the strengths of the university’s clinical continuum and professional development school placements. The results indicate that perceptions of learner-centeredness among the preservice teachers compared favorably with those with whom the survey instrument was normed, particularly for students intending to teach at the primary and elementary grade levels. Perceptions of learner-centeredness appear to be modestly affected by internship placement in urban professional development schools. Some perceptions of learner-centeredness appear to change during the teacher preparation program, although only some of the statistically significant changes documented in this study support a shift toward increased learner-centeredness. The findings provide some support for the viability of learner-centeredness as a measure of preservice teacher dispositions.

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Teachers With High and Low Efficacy: Differences in Their Mentoring Experiences

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CHARA K. PAUL, SUSAN K. JOHNSEN, AND KRYSTAL K. GOREE

ABSTRACT: This qualitative comparative case study examined the differences between the mentoring experiences of 10 beginning teachers—specifically, between 5 who scored high on the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale and 5 who scored low. All the beginning teachers taught in the same school district during their 1st year of teaching, and all participated in the Texas Beginning Educator Support System, a mentoring program. Differences between high- and low-efficacy beginning teachers included mentor characteristics, teaching assignments, perceived student characteristics, school characteristics, interactions with the mentor, and the match with the mentor’s subject and grade level.

Teacher efficacy is a teacher’s belief in his or her ability to bring about desired outcomes of learning, achievement, and engagement in all students, even among those considered unmotivated or difficult (Bandura, 1977; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). Bandura (1977, 1986) proposes that efficacy might be most malleable in the beginning of one’s learning; as such, the development of teacher efficacy seems critical for beginning teachers in determining their success within the profession. Researchers have also suggested that mentoring holds tremendous potential for the development of a high sense of efficacy in new teachers during their initial years of teaching (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001; Walker, 1992). An important support system is created when a beginning teacher is paired with a capable, experienced teacher (Thomason, 1990). Although researchers agree that mentoring can have a significant impact on beginning teachers—namely, by providing emotional support and transmitting positive attitudes (Clifford & Green, 1996; Hoffman, Edwards, O’Neal, Barnes, & Paulissen, 1986; Odell & Ferraro, 1992; Sudzina, Giebelhaus, & Coollican, 1997)—few studies have examined the role of the mentor and the mentoring relationship in the development of the beginning teachers’ sense of efficacy (Clifford & Green, 1996; Walker, 1992). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to answer two major questions:

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Classroom Management Instruction in the Context of a School–University Partnership: A Case Study of Team-Based Curriculum Deliberation, Design, and Delivery

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BELINDA GIMBERT

ABSTRACT: This case study explored a process of team-based curriculum deliberation, design, and delivery, used to teach a classroom management course in the context of a school–university partnership. A team of university and school-based teacher educators negotiated how best to prepare preservice teachers with effective classroom management knowledge and skills during a yearlong student teaching internship. The research questions driving this study were as follows: How does a team-based approach toward the design and implementation of a classroom management curriculum evolve in a school–university partnership? What are the outcomes of this process for preservice teachers, mentor teachers, students, and teacher educators? In the first section, a review of the existing scholarship highlights a sustained research agenda that has drawn attention to effectual classroom management and its relationship to environments for teaching and learning. The next section portrays the context of a school– university partnership and offers a description of a classroom management course as taught by a team of mentor teachers and university faculty members. The following section describes the process that emerged as the partnership’s teacher educators designed, cotaught, and assessed the classroom management curriculum. Then, the article describes the themes that emerged from the study. The last section draws a set of assertions from the study’s overarching finding—namely, a course that was designed, taught, and evaluated during a yearlong practicum in a school–university partnership enhanced elementary pre-service teachers’ understanding about how to establish, maintain, and sustain effective classroom management.

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Using Role-Play and Case Studies to Improve Preservice Teacher Attitudes Toward Classroom Management

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AMANDA RUDOLPH

ABSTRACT: Classroom management is a concern for preservice teachers (Charles, 2008). Teacher educators struggle to find the most effective ways to teach preservice teachers classroom management. Role-playing, combined with classroom management content, may offer a productive approach. As such, this study focused on the use of role-play with case studies to teach a classroom management course for preservice teachers. One dependent variable—namely, attitudes toward classroom management—was measured via an attitudes survey, the items of which corresponded to research on preservice teachers’ attitudes toward classroom management. The treatment group received instruction in classroom management that included role-play and case studies. The results found no significant difference between groups; however, there was a change in attitudes over time. Many implications are discussed.

Classroom management is a major concern for preservice teachers (Laut, 1999; B. P. Smith, 2000); consequently, many preservice teachers struggle with discipline issues and classroom management techniques. In a qualitative study that focused on two interns—specifically, preservice teachers who spent a year in the classroom, as opposed to the traditional 8 weeks—Key (1998) found that both participants had problems with the relaxed attitude toward discipline within their schools. The participants also thought that the discipline problems in the schools negatively affected their effectiveness as teachers (Key, 1998). Charles (2008) states that discipline is a primary concern of teachers and the public—one that does not seem to be declining. These concerns should be signs to the preservice teacher educator that the classroom management course is a priority in teacher education programs.

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Book Review

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(Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007), 288 pages, $23.13

STARLYNN R. NANCE

Jules Benjamin articulately provides a new best friend for the history student: A Student’s Guide to History is a nonthreatening, interesting, and useful guide for students to become successful scholars of history. His “cut to the chase” writing style organizes topics in a concise and logical manner, with examples presented to elaborate on the topics. The chapters are appropriately designed to follow a history course—from the beginning of a semester to the periods of test taking, formal research, and research paper composition.

Scholarship is the major theme in A Student’s Guide to History, as conveyed throughout five chapters. The book identifies history in broad terms, examining historians’ rationalizations and interpretations of history and offering a thorough examination of primary and secondary resources. It is a how-to guide for success in a history course—discussing appropriate note-taking devices, explaining how to locate main themes in reading assignments, and providing a comprehensive approach to preparing for different styles of exams. Benjamin emphasizes the significance of writing in a history course and so outlines two distinct accomplishments for learning writing skills: “[Writing] demonstrates that your thinking about a subject is logical. . . . It enables you to convey to your readers in a convincing way exactly what you want them to understand” (p. 4). Based on the skills of writing, chapters 4 and 5 prepare the student to compose a research paper. The chapters focus on forming theses and themes, collecting resources, interpreting primary and secondary resources, and avoiding plagiarism. In generating a scholarly research paper, the main objective for student success is clear writing. Throughout the text,

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