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Tep Vol 27-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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11 Articles

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Editorial: Understanding the Demand of Place in Teacher Education—Giving Voice to Difference

ePub

PATRICK M. JENLINK

A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.

—Didion (1979, p. 146)

Place is the concept wherein the particularities of history, culture, and subjectivity become entwined.

—Pinar (2010, p. 3)

As teacher educators, we are all very different people in our Dasein,1 in our existence, our being in the world, yet we are all uniquely similar in our desire for understanding—understanding of self and place. Place has the effect of making us different, and at the same time place, in its particularities, it is not always kind to difference. Whether we are teacher educators or practitioners, we can thus all benefit from exploring that tension between the past and the present, between our goals and those ideologically embedded traditions that try to define us, between ourselves as individuals today and ourselves as teachers tomorrow.

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Autobiography, Disclosure, and Engaged Pedagogy: Toward a Practical Discussion on Teaching Foundations in Teacher Education Programs

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JENNIFER L. MILAM, JAMES C. JUPP, MEI WU HOYT, MITZI KAUFMAN,
MATTHEW GRUMBEIN, MICHAEL P. O’MALLEY, B. STEPHEN
CARPENTER II, PATRICK SLATTERY

ABSTRACT: In this research reflection, we develop a portrait of our engaged pedagogy for teaching educational foundations classes in teacher education. Our engaged pedagogy—based on autobiography and self-disclosure traditions—emphasizes instructors and students’ self-disclosure of lived experiences as being central to practical curriculum in teaching educational foundations. In developing this portrait of our teaching, we use topical narrative that provides a unique fit for studying practical curriculum and students’ responses. After discussing topical narrative as research methodology, we identify narrative patterns that emerged in our study with preservice teachers: searching for and finding words, opening eyes in relation to broader issues, and reconsidering worldviews. In continuation, we discuss “disclosure on disclosure,” which identifies benefits of working through autobiography and disclosure traditions alongside limits that emerge in practice. We conclude by emphasizing the importance of initiating a practical discussion on teaching foundations as a key area of professional activity in teacher education.

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Cultivating a Disposition for Sociospatial Justice in English Teacher Preparation

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SJ MILLER

ABSTRACT: This study highlights one semester of ongoing research reflecting how preservice English students performed dispositions for social justice. This work draws on a postmethod approach, observing participants’ artifacts and participation in a variety of classroom activities. By tapping into participants’ funds of social justice knowledge, it explored how their inner filters and inclinations have implications for spatializing social justice into future classrooms. Outcomes of this study provide the possibility for (1) understanding how a disposition for social justice can be cultivated, (2) spatializing social justice teaching across contexts, (3) disrupting educational inequities in English classrooms, and (4) developing performance-based assessments.

In 2006, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) removed social justice as a performance indicator for assessing teacher dispositions. This removal has enabled colleges of education to downplay emphases on preservice teacher dispositions that account for social justice as a strategy that could be used to remedy educational disparities. The NCATE has supplanted social justice as a performance indicator with emphases on linguistic and cultural diversity. Intentional absences in the revision of Standard 4 speak to larger political moves that exclude and deemphasize addressing the needs of specific populations of students, such as those whose gender identity or expression, national origin, or weight (size or height) is nonconforming. Patterned absences of language by the NCATE do generate educational climates that create and sanction inequities and privileges and so reinforce the binary of normal/abnormal, inclusion/exclusion, superiority/inferiority, and desirability/undesirability. Unless policy explicitly names social justice and draws attention to acts of injustice advocating equity for all populations of students, such unconscious or conscious patterning of discourse and behavior will continue to reinforce inequities in schools. The NCATE’s removal allows colleges of education to determine which students they want to serve and whom they want to purposefully exclude, and it positions particular populations of students as second-class citizens.

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Recognition-Based Pedagogy: Teacher Candidates’ Experience of Deficit

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PAUL T. PARKISON AND THUY DAOJENSEN

ABSTRACT: This study seeks to introduce what we call recognition-based pedagogy as a conceptual frame through which teachers and instructors can collaboratively develop educative experiences with students. Recognition-based pedagogy connects the theories of critical pedagogy, identity politics, and the politics of recognition with the educative experiences of students. Helping teachers understand and implement recognition-based pedagogy is essential to developing democratic and inclusive educational contexts. A case study of a group of teacher candidates demonstrates how pedagogy focused on recognition of student assets can be utilized to create the type of recursively elaborative experience that help future teachers come to value students’ intellectual, social, and political experiences. Having experienced deficit, teacher candidates come to understand the impact of the deficit perspective.

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Preservice Teachers’ Understanding of Gender Equity in K–6 Mathematics Teaching

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MAUREEN D. NEUMANN

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research was to examine what preservice teachers learned about their intentions to provide equitable instruction in comparison to their actual teaching acts. Preservice teachers in a K–6 mathematics methods course analyzed their verbal interactions from their teaching of a mathematics lesson and used guided reflection to examine their practice for equitable instruction. The systematic investigation into their teaching helped many participants identify hidden beliefs and inequitable teaching practices. As a result of the project, many participants discussed the potential impact on student learning and planned to modify their instruction to respond to those exposed inequitable teacher actions. A small group of students, however, did not recognize any areas of concern as a result of their analysis and reflection.

Mathematical proficiency is critical to the future careers of all students. People who are innumerate in the 21st century will increasingly find themselves marginalized socially and economically, just as those who were illiterate in the 20th century. Most high-paying STEM positions (i.e., science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) require strong mathematical skills. Historically, White males have filled these positions, while women and minorities have been poorly represented in these fields. Women constitute more than 50% of the population in the United States, yet in 2008 only 27% of those employed in STEM fields were women (Hill, Corbett, & St. Rose, 2010).

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Fostering Knowledge and Skills to Teach for Diversity: “There Is Nothing So Practical as a Good Theory”

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CAROL A. MARCHEL AND SUSAN K. GREEN

ABSTRACT: Increased use of field-based teacher preparation offers important opportunities to develop skills with diverse learners. However, limited focus on theoretical content restricts understanding and generalization of well-proven theoretical approaches, resulting in fragmented field applications unlikely to result in broad application. Inspired by Kurt Lewin’s often-repeated maxim that “there is nothing so practical as a good theory,” we show how one theory tied to learning and motivation yields coherent pedagogical insights and strategies. Using key theories, teachers can develop approaches for effective use with all learners, rather than requiring a special type of strategy for each type of learner.

Sharonda Lincoln is a student teacher. She has already completed the additional coursework for certification in teaching learners with special needs. Her internship placement is a third-grade classroom in an elementary school with recently shifting demographics. Whereas the school’s diversity had primarily reflected students with special needs, a newly constructed low-income housing project nearby has changed the makeup of Sharonda’s school and classroom. She finds that she is teaching students who come from low-income backgrounds, including many with non-English-speaking backgrounds.

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Conceptualizing Difference: Exploring Preservice Teachers’ Constructions of Disabilities

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AUDRA K. PARKER, PATRICIA ALVAREZ-MCHATTON, AND THOMAS CRISP

ABSTRACT: Teacher educators have an obligation to prepare pre-service teachers to understand and work with the diversity represented by students across K–12 schools. However, diversity is much broader than the categories of race or ethnicity. Because of current legislative mandates’ emphasis on providing access to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities, we critically interrogate elementary preservice teachers’ understandings and constructions of disability as difference. We pay particular attention to the ways in which these elementary preservice teachers discuss children with disabilities in their work with students with disabilities in classroom internships. Implications for teacher educators are discussed, including the need for providing opportunities for preservice teachers to examine prior knowledge and develop constructions of disabilities.

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Purple Boas, Lesbian Affection, and John Deere Hats: Teacher Educators’ Role in Addressing Homophobia in Secondary Schools

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JOSEPH R. JONES

ABSTRACT: This article examines how one group of teachers discussed their perceptions of homophobia in their schools. A qualitative study was conducted that utilized the following: individual and group interviews, participant reflective journals, professional development sessions, and a research journal. The study illuminated how the role of hegemonic masculinity perpetuates homophobia through an accepted affection, an accepted masculinity, and student behaviors. Implications of the study suggest that teachers must be trained to acknowledge and address the role of hegemonic masculinity and heterocentricity in their schools and classrooms to address homophobia.

As a former high school English teacher in the Southeast, I recognized and attempted to address homophobia in my classroom and school. Additionally, in graduate school while working with schools and teachers in upstate New York, I became more aware of the problem of homophobia and its prevalence in those schools and classrooms and the necessity to address this challenge. Moreover, with the recent gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning student suicides across the country, it is even more imperative to begin addressing how homophobia is addressed in our schools and classrooms. That being said, to begin addressing the challenges, I believe that one must begin conceptualizing how heterosexism functions within schools and classrooms. Thus, the following article discusses one research study that I conducted with a group of teachers.

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Are Teacher Candidates Learning What They Are Taught? Declarative Literacy Learning in 10 Teacher Preparation Programs

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DANA L. GRISHAM, KAREN KREIDER YODER, LINDA SMETANA, ELIZABETH
DOBLER, THOMAS DEVERE WOLSEY, SUSAN J. LENSKI, JANET YOUNG,
SANDRA CHAMBERS, ROYA QUALLS SCALES, LINDA S. WOLD, KATHY
GANSKE, AND W. DAVID SCALES

ABSTRACT: This article describes the first phase of a longitudinal study that examines the impact of teacher preparation programs on the literacy instructional practices of teacher candidates. Case summaries and cross-case analysis by 12 researchers of 10 teacher preparation universities across the United States determined (1) the signature aspects of university teacher preparation programs, (2) how these compared to the International Reading Association’s standards for reading professionals, and (3) the extent to which teacher candidates stated that they learned what was taught in the programs. Preparation programs represent undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, public, and private universities in urban, suburban, and rural settings. Findings for Phase 1 indicated 70% congruence between what was taught in the program and what candidates say that they learned. Candidates have strong declarative knowledge of curriculum and instruction, assessment, and what makes for a literate environment but limited knowledge of diversity and professional learning, and candidates before student teaching are unsure of how to implement their knowledge in practice. Implications for teacher preparation and future research are discussed.

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Do You Want Single-Gender Science Classrooms in Your Middle Schools?

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PAULINE M. SAMPSON, GLORIA GRESHAM, MELISSA M. LEIGH,
AND DENICE MCCORMICK-MYERS

ABSTRACT: Controversy surrounds the issue of single-gender education, with advocates debating that the initiative decreases discrimination, improves educational experiences for males and females, and provides parents more choice. Opponents argue that single-gender education is a form of segregation and negates the gains that women have achieved in the area of equality. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of male and female single-gender instruction on eighth-grade students in the areas of science achievement, classroom discourse, self-concept, and perception, when compared to a mixed-gender class. Findings revealed that single-gender classrooms support mixed-gender instruction for females; males preferred single-gender classrooms, achieved better, and grew in science self-concept. Achievement gains in science were higher in the male single-gender classroom. Discourse analysis indicated that females spoke less often in the single-gender classroom and students displayed more abstract utterances in the mixed-gender classroom. Self-concept was negatively affected by single-gender instruction for females but positively for males. Male and female perception was positive concerning single-gender instruction.

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Book Review

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(Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2012), ISBN: 978-1-61048-610-1

CHANCE MAYS

It’s All About People Skills: Surviving Challenges in the Classroom, by Jerry Boyle, presents a very practical look at the teaching profession and introduces interpersonal skills as an emerging area of competency needed in the face of growing complexity and challenges in today’s classrooms. Boyle emphasizes the importance of the teacher as an integral part of successful society and seeks to reemphasize the value of teachers and the profession of teaching as a respected profession. Boyle suggests that a recognition of the interpersonal skills and their worth can help teachers meet the demands of classroom management, including the increasing diversity and the difficulties situated within the ever-evolving classroom setting.

One of the most impactful aspects of Boyle’s work is his inclusion of discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Cognizant of the fact that there is no “one size fits all” solution to people skills, Boyle offers the discussion questions to the reader as an opportunity to reflect on the content just gleaned from the chapter and to draw their own inferences from a reflective sense. The inclusion of such questions also makes It’s All About People Skills an interesting proposition as a book study or for use in chapters as in-service and professional development at the campus level. The conversations related to the discussion questions could produce some interesting insights into the mind-sets and climate of the campus. Boyle’s book is thus a very viable option for the scholar–practitioner who not only wants to raise self-awareness on campus but also is mindful of the power that such awareness can bring and the positive impact it can have on the students in our classrooms.

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