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Tep Vol 20-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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8 Articles

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Editorial: Totalizing Fictions, Democratic Pedagogy, and the Search for Truth in Teaching

ePub

PATRICK M. JENLINK

In every era the attempt must be made anew to wrest tradition away from conformism that is about to overpower it.

—Benjamin (1968, p. 255)

Our commonality is not a substance of essence . . . but a process of social existence predicated on the espoused if not always realized principles of cultural democracy, political rights, community responsibility, social justice, equality of opportunity, and individual freedom. When these principles are subordinated to totalizing ideologies seeking to invent or impose a common culture, the actual multicultural life of Americans suffers under oppression that is in no one’s best interests.

—Jay (1991, pp. 265–266)

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, there are major debates about teaching quality, teacher preparation, high standards, and high stakes. . . . These debates are highly visible, often contentious, and enormously consequential for America’s schoolchildren. Some of these debates invoke versions of the “all children can learn” or “leaving no child behind” slogan, emphasizing that all schoolchildren need to have basic skills in literacy and numeracy so they can enter the workforce.

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The Digital Age Literacy Professional Development Initiative: Factors Influencing Teachers’ Implementation of Skills and Strategies

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JENNIFER C. RICHARDSON, PEGGY A. ERTMER, HANS AAGARD, ANNE OTTENBREIT, DAZHI YANG, AND NAYO C-G MACK

ABSTRACT: This research examines factors that influenced teachers’ decisions to participate in professional development activities and, subsequently, to implement ideas gained through their participation. Twenty-four teachers who were employed by an urban school district shared their perceptions regarding the content, context, and process of a districtwide professional development initiative focused on digital age literacy skills. Results emphasize how factors that are internal and external to the teachers influenced their decisions to adopt and implement initiative-promoted strategies. Teachers’ perceptions of the sustainability of new classroom practices, as gained through the initiative, are also discussed.

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Elementary Teacher Attrition: A Comparison of the Effects of Professional Development Schools and Traditional Campus-Based Programs

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CHARLENE FLEENER

P. FREDERICK DAHM

ABSTRACT: The price of teacher attrition is high, not only financially, but also in terms of human and institutional costs. The inability to retain beginning teachers contributes significantly to teacher shortages. This study investigates the effect of the preparation program on teacher attrition. Attrition rates of elementary teacher graduates from two types of university teacher preparation programs—the professional development school program and the traditional university campus–based program—are quantitatively compared with respect to gender, ethnicity, academic performance, and site. Program type was found to have a significant effect on teacher attrition rates. Traditionally trained teachers had higher attrition rates than did those trained through PDS programs for all strata. Males were found to be exiting the teaching profession in greater numbers than females. All ethnic groups were found to be leaving in similar numbers as those in past studies, with the exception of African Americans, whose rate of attrition was lower. Finally, moderate differences in attrition rates were found among university sites.

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Consultation and Collaboration: Novice Educators’ Reflections on Their Learning Experiences

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ELEANOR T. ROBERTSON

ANGELA BREIDENSTEIN

ABSTRACT: This article describes a project to teach consultation and collaboration to high school teacher interns and school psychology students at the university level. For 4 years, students participated in a performance-based project as part of a class. Surveys were mailed to graduates to determine the impact of the experience and their current perspectives. Feedback was assessed for the relevance of the university program and for participants’ views regarding collaboration and consultation in their practice. Most respondents felt confident about their skills. When teachers and school psychologists rated the frequency of their consultations and collaborations with each other, the teachers reported them as occurring less often. Parents were the teachers’ primary consultees; school psychologists usually met with teachers on special education issues and used consultation more often than collaboration. The study concludes by exploring the implications of the graduates’ perceptions for teachers and school psychologists and for educators at the university level.

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Inside Connections: Local Teachers’ Perspectives on Parental Engagement in an Urban Elementary School

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WAYNE A. REED

ABSTRACT: This study examines the engagement of local teachers and parents in a low-income urban elementary school. Based on participant observation and interviews with 10 teachers who have residential histories in their school’s neighborhood, this phenomenological study examines the ways in which the presence of teachers in the neighborhood and their social ties to local residents contribute to trusting collaborative relationships with parents. By affirming the resources offered by local teachers and their important ties to parents, a school demonstrates its commitment to partnering with the community for the betterment of both students and families.

Over the past 15 years, two professional experiences—first as a community educator, then as a teacher educator at an urban university—have given me numerous opportunities to observe the tension between parents and teachers in low-income urban neighborhoods. An example of these observations took place several years ago on a day when I was supervising student teachers in an elementary school. Walking from the subway to the school, I ran into a woman I had known for years. She was standing on the corner outside the housing project where she lived. When I mentioned that I was bringing my student teachers into her child’s school, it was like striking a match to a firecracker. She said,

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Opening Windows of Understanding for Learners in a Global Community

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PAMELA ASHMORE AND CAROLE MURPHY

ABSTRACT: This article presents an innovative approach to diversity education. The approach is multidisciplinary, and it was developed by blending the expertise of anthropological research with the pedagogical skills developed by education specialists. To institutionalize this approach, a unique university-level collaboration occurred between students and faculty from an anthropology department and a college of education. This collaboration facilitated the development of a program that uses a hands-on approach to teach participants about the origin of humans on Earth and the importance of biological diversity. This program has also become a formal component of a teacher education program exposing pre- and in-service teachers to content not usually encountered in their educational careers. Data based on the participation of middle school students indicate that this is a successful strategy for teaching members of our global society an appreciation for and understanding about human diversity.

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Moving Teacher Education Forward: A Model for a New Pedagogy

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CHRISTY FOLSOM

ABSTRACT: Although the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 dismisses the role of pedagogy in teacher education, teacher educators see the need for a deeper pedagogy that includes the teaching of thinking and socioemotional processes, which are missing in traditional teacher preparation programs. This article outlines criticisms of teacher education found in the No Child Left Behind Act and in the document Meeting the Highly Qualified Teachers Challenge (U.S. Department of Education), as well as criticisms made by teacher educators and researchers. It presents a new pedagogical model—TIEL (Teaching for Intellectual and Emotional Learning)—that strengthens the preparation of teachers and outlines four principles that a new pedagogy must address. These principles include connections from teacher preparation coursework to preK–12 classrooms and across national, state, and local program guidelines; communication about thinking and socio-emotional processes; integration and balance in curriculum design; and valuing the experience of both the learner and the teacher. Applications of the TIEL framework to teacher education and K–12 education are included.

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Book Review

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(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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