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Tep Vol 19-N4

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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: Teaching in Dewey’s Democracy—The Educational Situation Today

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PATRICK M. JENLINK

I believe that education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform…. I believe that education is a regulation of the process of coming to share in the social consciousness; and that the adjustment of individual activity on the basis of this social consciousness is the only sure method of social reconstruction…. Through education society can formulate its own purposes, can organize its own means and resources, and thus shape itself with definiteness and economy in the direction in which it wishes to move.

—Dewey (1897, p. 79)

“My Pedagogic Creed,” for John Dewey (1897), establishes his belief of education’s role in a democratic society, that of furthering social process and reform, enabling society to formulate and reformulate its purposes, a process that he believes is ongoing if society is to truly become democratic. Writing a half decade later in The Educational Situation, Dewey (1902) shares his conception of democracy, which he envisions as a dynamic one. Democracy, he believes, is not a static concept or one that can be achieved in a finite sense. Schools, as the major educative institutions through which most children pass, have the responsibility to prepare children to become democratic citizens. In Dewey’s perspective, the teacher is a primary force in preparing students for the responsibility of democratic citizenship. The school is “a miniature community, an embryonic society” (p. 18), and it is well suited to prepare the child to function in the larger and rapidly changing democratic society that exists outside. By extension, higher education institutions are also embryonic societies, within which teachers are prepared to teach in the school—that is, prepared to teach children how to function in the larger democratic society.

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Experience as Art: The Process of Valuing and Appreciating the Work of Children in Teacher Education

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CAROL ROGERS

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this article is to explore how the descriptive processes developed by the Prospect School (1965–1990), in North Bennington, Vermont, and used in the Prospect School Teacher Education Program (1968–1990) managed to grasp to art in everyday experience and serve as a way of revealing, supporting, and celebrating the emerging humanness of its students and student teachers. Additionally, it investigates how the processes cast students as creators, and teachers as appreciators, of such art, understood in Deweyan terms, and how this in turn taught teachers to be present to students as learners and human beings. It draws on interviews with former Prospect teachers and student teachers, including an in-depth look at the work of one student teacher’s descriptive review of a child’s drawing. It concludes that description is a powerful tool for learning to see students, their strengths, and one’s own practice (Rogers, 2006a).

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Professional Development Through Teacher Inquiry and Dialogue: Teachers Discuss John Dewey’s and Their Own Ideas About Education, Art, and Experience

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ELIZABETH MEADOWS

ABSTRACT: Teachers from an urban public high school and from a preK–12 private school in one metropolitan area discussed selections from John Dewey’s works on education, art, and experience, in small study groups between 1996 and 1998. I facilitated these study groups as a joint inquiry with teachers about connections between Dewey’s aesthetics and thinking about teaching and teachers’ thinking about teaching. My purpose in documenting the results of this research is to add to the body of work describing examples of meaningful professional development for in-service teachers and examining what constitutes such experiences. Teacher inquiry through dialogue in these study groups seemed to be an essential method for supporting teacher reflection and learning among these teachers.

Teachers from an urban public high school (here called Ardmore) and from a preK–12 private school in the same metropolitan area (here called Bellwood) discussed selections from John Dewey’s works on education, art, and experience, in small study groups. I facilitated these study groups as a joint inquiry with teachers about connections between Dewey’s aesthetics and thinking about teaching and teachers’ thinking about teaching. My purpose in documenting the results of this research is to add to the body of work describing examples of meaningful professional development for in-service teachers and examining what constitutes such experiences.

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Dewey’s Theory of Reflective Thinking: A Needed Reality Check for Teacher Education

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AMY C. MCANINCH

ABSTRACT: An underexamined yet critical aspect of any theory of reflective thinking is its ontological foundations—the view of reality that it embraces. This article makes an argument that realist assumptions, such as those advanced by John Dewey, provide a basis for teacher learning superior to theories of teacher reflection resting on nonreal foundations. Dewey’s theory of reflective thinking is explicated with an emphasis on his theory of reality. Implications for teacher education are discussed.

An underexamined yet critical aspect of any theory of reflective thinking is its ontological foundations—the view of reality that it embraces. Most discussions of teacher reflection focus on epistemological issues—that is, how knowledge is generated or how knowledge claims can be made. Schön’s quest in The Reflective Practitioner (1983) for a new epistemology of practice may have contributed to this emphasis. Theoretically, teacher educators have ignored or only tacitly dealt with the question of what there is to learn through reflective thinking, the ontological problem. This article makes an argument that realist assumptions, such as those advanced by John Dewey, provide a basis for teacher learning superior to theories of teacher reflection resting on nonreal ontological foundations. Although Deweyan reflection aims at connection making or meaning making (Rodgers, 2002), a closer look at the ontological side of his theory reveals that it is more precisely aimed at finding out what things mean.

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The Need to Develop Independent Intelligence: The Roles and Responsibilities of Teacher Educators

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DORIS SANTORO GÓMEZ

ABSTRACT: This article builds a case for generating a new metaphor for teacher education that will sustain and nourish teacher intelligence. This intelligence requires that teacher educators prepare their students to be highly sensitive to dynamic classroom relations, to be aware of their positions as teachers, and to develop purposeful educational destinations. This article draws on the work of John Dewey to examine the moral quality of movement, the need for responsiveness, and the purpose of the metaphor of a map in cultivating social and independent intelligence. It sets forth a fundamental tenet in the article: that responsiveness to classroom relations (between teachers and students; students and their peers; teachers, students, and their subject matter; the educational environment and its sociopolitical context) should have primacy over generalized methods and that attending to the aims of educational relations must guide the methods that teachers employ.

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Revisiting “Education and Our Present Social Problems”: What Would John Dewey Say Today?

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ROSALIE M. ROMANO

ABSTRACT: In 1933, Dewey presented a speech in which he linked democracy, social class, and teacher activism as integral factors when addressing educational issues. This article argues that those issues include social issues as well. It examines democracy, social class, and present problems in the preparation of teachers, organized around the 1933 questions that Dewey raised in his speech: Where do we as teacher educators derive our objectives for our programs? Where are social problems in the curriculum? And what stand shall a teacher take in viewing them? In acting upon them? What would Dewey say today?

John Dewey, writing prophetically in “The Art of Education” in 1939, captured the tensions that educators are challenged with today, when he stated,

The history of schools … shows a swing of the pendulum between extremes, though it must be admitted that the simile of the pendulum is not a good one, for the schools remain most of them, most of the time, near one extreme, instead of swinging periodically and evenly between the two. (p. 604)

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Preparing Teachers for Culturally and Cognitively Diverse Classrooms: What Would Dewey Say?

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GAY GOODMAN

ABSTRACT: Educational and legislative reforms occurring in the last half of the 20th century appear to have been initiated in response to the writings of John Dewey. The field of teacher education has responded to these reforms by adopting many new models of teacher preparation, technologies, and innovative best practices. Many of these changes were designed to meet the perceived needs of at-risk students and thus improve their chances for school success. Presumably, Dewey would be pleased with these reforms. Nevertheless, schools continue to be inhospitable for many members of minority and disability groups who cannot compete favorably with peers. This article examines educational, societal, and legislative barriers that preclude the possibility of educational reform’s significantly increasing democracy in education. It discusses the futility of teacher education’s striving for reform and its promoting a measurable level of educational democracy in the absence of broader social discourse.

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Book Review

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(Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2005) 160 pages, $34.95

JAROD M. LAMBERT

The idea that democratic education—democratic classroom practice—has any place in our public schools faces nearly innumerable challenges in the teacher education classroom. By and large, today’s teacher education students come to their teacher education programs having experienced decidedly undemocratic classrooms. And the adage that makes so many teacher educators’ cringe rolls so readily off these students’ tongues: “If it was good enough for me, it is good enough for my students.”

In this environment, Democratic Practices in Education: Implications for Teacher Education is needed. With an emphasis on teacher education, Art Pearl and Caroline R. Pryor have edited a volume that provides an immediately needed basis for discussion of principles and practices of democratic education. In chapter 2, Pearl and Armando Laguardia, identify seven attributes of democratic classrooms:

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