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Tep Vol 23-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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8 Articles

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Editorial: Dare Teacher Education Build a New Social Order?

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PATRICK M. JENLINK

We live in difficult and dangerous times—times when precedents lose their significance. If we are content to remain where all is safe and quiet and serene, we shall dedicate ourselves, as teachers have commonly done in the past, to a role of futility, if not positive social reaction. Neutrality with respect to the great issues that agitate society, while perhaps theoretically possible, is practically tantamount to giving support to the forces of conservatism. . . .

To refuse to face the task of creating a vision of a future America immeasurably more just and noble and beautiful than the America of today is to evade the most crucial, difficult and important educational task.

—Counts (1932/1978, p. 51)

Arguably, the United States and the educational systems that provide the infrastructure for our society are more fragmented, uncertain, and politically polarized than at any time in recent history (Apple, 2002; Giroux, 2003a, 2003b; Kellner, 2004; Shulman, 2003). Contemporary public schools are hallmarked by rigid ethnic, racial, and class segregation, not only between schools, but also within (Anyon, 1997; Mickelson, 2003). Adding to these tensions, schools are equally hallmarked by politics of gender and sexual orientation (Lugg, 2003). The manifold pressures of accountability are growing both in number and in scope, within and across all educational systems. The frightening reality is that public schools are too often characterized by an inequitable social order and the erosion of their educational function in preparing students for democratic life and citizenship responsibilities. Scholars such as Michael Apple (2000) and Joel Spring (2000) contended that public schools have consistently functioned to reflect, reify, and replicate society, advantaging the dominant culture at the expense of those cultures perceived to be subordinate.

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“I Thought I Was Prepared!” Meeting the Challenges of Diversity in High-Need, High-Potential Schools

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EUNJOO JUNG, MAUREEN E. ANGELL, MARILYN K. MOORE, LANCE R. LIPPERT, STEPHEN K. HUNT, AND BRENT SIMONDS

ABSTRACT: This article reports descriptive findings of a qualitative investigation of early-career teachers’ perceptions of their preparedness to teach diverse learners in high-need, high-potential urban schools. Interviews revealed new teachers’ insights into their teacher preparation programs and the challenging expectations involved in teaching diverse learners. When these early-career teachers took on their first jobs, they thought that they were prepared, but they found out that they were not quite ready for what they encountered; several said that they were in for a “culture shock.” Teachers also provided suggestions regarding how teacher education programs can better prepare prospective teachers to meet the host of challenges awaiting them in today’s diverse classrooms.

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Meeting the Cultural and Social Needs of English-Language Learners: A Middle School ESL Teacher’s Practice

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BOGUM YOON

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to explore the teaching practices of an ESL (English as a second language) teacher with regard to middle school English-language learners’ participation in classroom activities. Findings suggest that the teacher’s approach based on the students’ sociocultural needs—more so than their linguistic needs—promoted their participation in literacy learning. The students who appeared to be quiet or silent in their regular classrooms participated more actively in the ESL classroom, where the teacher implemented cultural inclusivity in her approach. The study aims to help teachers become aware of their roles and teaching practices to support middle-grade English-language learners’ active participation in the classroom.

The ESL [English as a second language] teacher is like my mother.

I feel freedom here.

Nobody laughs at me in ESL class.

I feel more comfortable in the ESL class.

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Mentoring the Beginning Teacher During Student Teaching: An Illustrative Case Study

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WILLIAM A. JASPER AND ANDREA S. FOSTER

ABSTRACT: Mentoring and support of beginning teachers is a key element of reducing teacher attrition. Most schools have implemented an induction program with assigned mentors for inexperienced teachers. However, the problem of attrition begins before the induction year of teaching, given that many certified teachers never enter a classroom. This illustrative case study involves a young teacher who almost quit the profession during student teaching, thereby demonstrating the need for mentoring during that time. Good psychological support, along with responsive mentoring, helped her to become an effective teacher.

There is widespread agreement in the educational community that beginning teachers need mentoring by experts to be successful in the early stages of their careers (Smith & Ingersoll, 2004; Wang, Odell, & Schwille, 2008). Mentoring and support of beginning teachers have been recognized as key elements in reducing teacher attrition. In Texas, we have the Beginning Teacher Induction and Mentoring Program (2007–2009). Programs such as this are essential to retain qualified teachers; that is, retention of teachers who receive initial-year support is higher than that for teachers who do not receive initial support. Even so, Texas experienced teacher attrition rates that averaged 17.44% from 2001 to 2004 (State Board of Educator Certification, 2004). Nationally, more than 90% of the teachers in 1999–2000 participated in some type of a mentor program; furthermore, those teachers who were mentored were only half as likely to depart at the end of the 1st year, compared to those who were not mentored (Smith & Ingersoll, 2004). Analysis thus revealed “a strong link between participation in induction programs and reduced rates of turnover” (p. 706). Guarino, Santibanez, and Daley (2006) reviewed research data and found that “schools that provided mentoring and induction programs, particularly those related to collegial support, had lower rates of turnover among beginning teachers” (p. 201).

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On the Rough Ground: Instantiations of the Practical Across the Teacher Professional Continuum

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MISTILINA SATO, ANNE L. KERN, ERIC MCDONALD, AND CARRIE ROGERS

ABSTRACT: We draw on the philosophical works of Aristotle, Gadamer, Arendt, and Sockett to argue for a return to the rough ground of reason and deliberation in teaching. We offer a conceptualization of teaching and teacher development within a framework that honors the technical and practical nature of knowledge, experience, and practice. Through examples from our professional lives, we illustrate how the technical and practical views of knowledge and practice influence teacher education pedagogies, teacher inquiry, teacher practice, and professional development program design. We suggest ways for teacher education to free teachers from the binds of theoretical certainty, for teacher development to refocus on the concept of becoming, and for teachers to bring virtue back into teaching.

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An In-Depth Examination Into the Status of Minority Teachers in U.S. Public Schools: Crisis and Strategies for Improvement

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CHANCE W. LEWIS, JEFFREY SHEARS, AND RICH FURMAN

ABSTRACT: As student enrollments in U.S. public schools continue to become increasingly diverse, it is imperative that the demographics of the teaching population become diverse as well (Lewis, 2006). As such, this study provides an examination of the status of minority teachers in U.S. public schools. It has three interrelated objectives: to document the causes of significant shortages of minority teachers in U.S. public schools, to detail current methods being used to recruit minorities in teacher preparation programs, and to provide a descriptive analysis of the status of minorities in the teacher pipeline. Based on this study, recommendations are made to education professionals and education policy-makers on the means and methods that may be implemented to improve minority representation in the teaching ranks.

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“Tipping” Teachers Toward Change: Developing Leadership Characteristics Through Book Club

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JOANN FRANKLIN KLINKER, PATRICIA A. WATSON, PAIGE FURGERSON, PAMELA HALSEY, AND CAROLE JANISCH

ABSTRACT: Teacher leadership is difficult because teachers often lack encouragement and opportunities to implement ideas that deliberately and strategically interact with and tap power structures in schools. In this study, a book club of university faculty and middle school teachers provided teacher leaders with a template for change around concepts explained in The Tipping Point (Gladwell, 2000). Armed with sticky ideas, the teachers overcame internal and external organizational mind-sets and obstacles that inhibited teacher leaders to get their ideas implemented within their schools. A moral imperative to help others fueled those ideas that succeeded. One idea “tipped” throughout the university learning community itself.

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Book Review

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(Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education and the Association of Teacher Educators, 2009), 318 pp., $36.95

PATRICK M. JENLINK

In Visions for Teacher Educators: Perspectives on the Association of Teacher Educators’ Standards, editors Cari L. Klecka, Sandra J. Odell, W. Robert Houston, and Robin Haskell McBee present a collected work of contributing authors focused on the Association of Teacher Educators’ (ATE’s) standards for teacher educators. The book is divided into four parts, the first offering three chapters that discuss the history of teacher education, the definition of a teacher educator, and how the ATE standards have been or are being conceptualized, developed, and tested. Part II presents a chapter for each of the nine ATE standards, encapsulating their salient points. A common framework organizes each chapter, beginning with a rationale and followed by the theoretical or empirical base, a focus of the standard, and a section on demonstrating the standard. Part III reflects on how those who identify themselves as teacher educators might apply and use the ATE standards. As well, the nine chapters in this section expand the readers’ thinking about the standards and how they may or may not apply to others. Part IV includes four chapters that provide viewpoints on the standards for teacher educators, and it examines the potential impact of the ATE standards on the profession, with teacher education as a central focus.

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