Medium 9781475819267

Tep Vol 19-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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9 Articles

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Editorial: Educational Aims and Democratic Dispositions—Finding Ariadne’s Thread in the Labyrinth of Teacher Education and Practice

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PATRICK M. JENLINK

We only need to bear in mind that, with respect to the aims of education, no separation can be made between impersonal, abstract principles of logic and moral qualities of character. What is needed is to weave them into unity.

—Dewey (1933, p. 34)

If the university does not take seriously and rigorously its role as guardian of wider civic freedoms, as interrogator of more and more complex ethical problems, as servant and preserver of deeper democratic practices, then some other regime or ménage of regimes will do it for us, in spite of us, and without us.

—Morrison (2001, p. 278)

In his poem “Gerontion,” T. S. Eliot (1970) writes, “History has many cunning passages, contrived contrived corridos,” creating a labyrinth across time and space, and with “issues, deceives with whispering ambitions” (p. 22). Much the same, when defining the educational aims and the dispositions of teachers necessary to an educational system in a democratic society, the complexities of the increasing demands placed on education are labyrinthian. Searching for the elusive thread that connects the preparation and practice of teachers, the aims of education, and the needs of a democratic society with the promise of standards and accountability and the reality of day-to-day teaching, teacher educators and practitioners find themselves moving through a multidimensional labyrinth.

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The National Board as Professional Development: Technical, Practical, and Emancipatory Dimensions

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PETER RENNERT-ARIEV

ABSTRACT: This study investigates what teachers learn from a graduate-level course that prepares them to pursue an advanced form of professional teaching certification based on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). The study draws from Habermas’s (1972, 1974) three knowledge constitutive interests—the technical, the practical, and the emancipatory—to interpret the effect of the course on students’ professional development and preparedness for the NBPTS assessment. The assertions reveal that although most students emerged fully prepared to take the NBPTS, they simultaneously resisted a hierarchical power structure that denied them control over the conditions of the NBPTS assessment.

This study investigates what teachers learn from a graduate-level course that prepares them to pursue an advanced form of professional teaching certification based on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS; 2004). The focus of the study involved the nature of this course’s curriculum and the ways in which course experiences support students’ professional growth and preparedness for the NBPTS portfolio assessment. The study was situated within a policy context that emphasized the use of standards-based portfolios to catalyze the professional development of teachers. Research reports (e.g., Athanases, 1994; Haynes, 1995) do show that teachers’ experiences with NBPTS portfolio assessment represent powerful, even transformative, learning experiences. Even so, there is currently a lack of research data providing detailed portraits of the pedagogical experiences that best help teachers prepare for NBPTS certification. To this end, this study focused on student experiences over 4 years in a single course, using participant observation, document review, and key informant interviewing as central forms of data collection. The overall goal was to construct a detailed qualitative case study that informs policymakers and teacher educators about the processes within higher education contexts that foster teachers’ professional development and preparedness for the NBPTS.

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A Comparison of Performance Effectiveness and Portfolio Assessment for Graduate-Level Teacher Candidates

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FRANK J. MASCI

ABSTRACT: This study examines the relationship between supervisor evaluation of classroom performance and exit portfolio ratings of candidates enrolled in the Professional Immersion Master of Arts in Teaching Program, a partnership between Johns Hopkins University and Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools. This graduate-level teacher preparation program provides candidates with more than a year of internship experience, a high degree of supervisory support, and significant financial assistance. The school district provides tuition assistance in return for a 3-year commitment by candidates to teach in the district. All candidates are evaluated several times during their internships by a university supervisor and must create and present a portfolio, which is scored by an independent panel of educators.

The Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) principles are used in the Professional Immersion Master of Arts in Teaching, or ProMAT Program as a basis for candidate performance evaluation and portfolio rating. This study found statistically significant degrees of correlation between candidate final evaluation scores and portfolio ratings on 9 of the 10 areas based on the INTASC principles.

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Personalizing the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium: Teacher Candidate Self-Perceptions of Performance

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LINDA M. HOLDMAN AND MARGARET SHAEFFER

ABSTRACT: Teacher candidates rated their self-perceptions of performance on the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium principles at the beginning and end of their 16-week student teaching semester to determine whether there was any significant difference between pre- and post-student teaching self-ratings. Findings indicate that candidates’ pre- and post-student teaching perceptions changed significantly (p < .001) during the semester. In addition, cooperating teachers rated their candidates’ performance at the end of the semester to determine if perceptions of performance would differ between candidate and cooperating teachers. No significant differences were found, indicating that teachers believed that their candidates performed as strongly as the candidates rated themselves.

A move toward performance-based assessment presses forward as the accreditation imperative for hard data to support the quality of teacher education programs continues to unfold. Although the notion is still in heavy debate that standards and test scores best demonstrate teacher candidate preparation, teacher education programs must find a process that satisfies the professional and academic demands of accreditation bodies and federal mandates. Cochran-Smith (2004) suggests that an agenda of contradictory but simultaneous efforts for “tightly regulated deregulation” (p. 4) exists at federal and state levels. To say that these efforts create tension for teacher education programsis an understatement (Sindelar & Rosenberg, 2000). Teacher preparation programs face the arduous task of documenting the development of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of their candidates. In the face of struggling to find data that not only respond to the questions of others but also inform our understanding of the quality of our programs, we are implementing a range of investigations into the professional development of our candidates as they progress through their programs. Of particular interest are assessments that focus on candidate performance.

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Teaching Principles of Assessment Literacy Through Teacher Work Sample Methodology

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ART BANGERT AND LYNN KELTING-GIBSON

ABSTRACT: Recent accountability efforts at state and national levels highlight the importance of preparing future teacher in the skills required to produce sound classroom assessments that are capable of improving student learning through informed instruction. Stiggins (1995) suggests that the quaity of classroom assessments will not improve unless teacher candidates are trained to apply the key principles of assessment literacy when creating classroom assessments. Problem-based learning methods have been recommended as an effective strategy for training preservice teachers in a number of classroom skill areas (Sears, 2003). Teacher work sample methodology is one type of problem-based learning activity that offers preservice teachers practice in applying the principles of assessment literacy when creating assessments for a unit of classroom instruction. This case study evaluated the effectiveness of teacher work sample methodology as a strategy for teaching the principles of assessment literacy for 41 preservice teachers enrolled in an introductory assessment class.

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An Empirical Examination of Gender Stereotype From the Result of National Board Certification

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JIANJUN WANG, TRACY W. SMITH, AND J. STEVE OLIVER

ABSTRACT: The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is designed to recognize accomplished teachers in the profession. Validity of National Board certification hinges on a fundamental concern whether confounding factors other than teaching performance have contributed to the certification outcome. In particular, gender stereotypic influence is examined in this study, using a large-scale national database in four subject areas. Besides confirming gender differences in the scoring outcomes, the results suggest that the outcome difference was subject specific. Male candidates outperformed their female counterparts in science despite the stereotypic view of teaching as a female occupation. However, female candidates consistently received higher scores in so-called nonmasculine subjects, such as English and social studies.

Certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is an important initiative to recognize accomplished teachers across the United States. Currently, nearly 50,000 teachers have achieved National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) status. Other professional organizations, such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, are taking steps to align their accreditation processes with the National Board standards (Goldhaber, Perry, & Anthony, 2003). As a result, the state licensing systems that are designed to set minimum standards for novice teachers are using standards Similar to those of the NBPTS, which were developed to delineate what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do for advanced certification (Margolis, 2004).

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Electronic Teaching Portfolios: Technology Skills + Portfolio Development—Do They = Powerful Preservice Teachers?

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MARY MARGARET CAPRARO

ABSTRACT: Electronic portfolios are a “collection of work captured by electronic means, that serves as an exhibit of individual efforts, progress, and achievements in one or more areas" (Weidmer, 1998, p. 586). Because of the rapid growth and updates in technology, keeping electronic portfolios is becoming increasingly common in a variety of educational settings. In fall 2002 at one large public university, 24 field-based preservice teachers designed professional portfolios using either an electronic format (n = 11) or a traditional three-ring binder format (n = 13). On a 10-point rubric scale, preservice teachers received a mean score of 9.21 and 7.14 with a Cohen's d effect size of 4.42, respectively, on their electronic and traditional portfolio presentations, as determined by school-site administrators. Through interviews, it was determined that the videos clips that were included in the electronic portfolios proved to be valuable to administrators in determining teacher candidate effectiveness.

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Commentary: Teacher Education and the Struggle for Voice—A Critical Analysis From Texas

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CAMERON WHITE

ABSTRACT: Teacher education is undergoing considerable restructuring and transformation worldwide, and Texas is no exception. Teacher shortages, societal issues, accountability, and rethinking the concepts of education and schooling are a few concerns affecting teacher education. Teacher education programs are now susbject to strict accountability measures in the form of preservice teacher testing. This article offers a critical analysis of the state of teacher education and accountability in Texas.

Teacher education is undergoing considerable restructuring and transformation worldwide, and Texas is no exception. Teacher shortages, societal issues, accountability, and rethinking the concepts of education and schooling are a few concerns affecting teacher education. As a result, traditional teacher education and certification programs in colleges of education are under fire, and a crisis has emerged. For example, the state of Texas has now taken the accountability movement, so prevalent in the public schooling of its youth, into teacher education. Teacher education programs are now subject to strict accountability measures in the form of preservice teacher testing. How preservice teacher candidates perform on these content knowledge and pedagogical tests determine whether teacher education institutions retain their accreditation.

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Kaleidoscope Feature: Designing a Thesis Requirement in a Graduate Program Based on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

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Kaleidoscope Feature

SANDRA M. STOKES, TIMOTHY U. KAUFMAN, AND LINDA TABERS -KWAK

ABSTRACT: In the fall of 1999, the first cohort group and the faculty in the new master of science in applied leadership for teaching and learning degree at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay began their journey. The tales of the journey, as told by its sojourners, would undoubtedly be as individually rich as the tales of the pilgrims described by Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales, “whose characters’ lifelike reality surpasses anything previously known in English" (Cook, 1961, p. xvii); however, the purpose of this article is to describe the designing of the thesis requirement (including the rationale for the requirement) and explain what form the thesis will take. This article also gives examples of several theses that have been successfully written and defended, and it discusses how several of the candidates were affected by their portion of the journey, a journey that, though freely chosen by the pilgrims/scholars, resulted in experiences that were unforeseen by all—a “mingling of seriousness and levity [among] the group assembled" (Cook, 1961, p. xvii).

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