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Tep Vol 14-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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10 Articles

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Editorial: Learning to Teach—Teaching to Learn: Symmetry in Preparation and Practice

ePub

Patrick M. Jenlink, Editor

[T]he prevalent conceptualization and organization of teachers’ learning tends to fragment practice and leave to individual teachers the challenge of integrating subject matter knowledge and pedagogy in the contexts of their work. We assume that the integration required to teach is simple and happens in the course of experience. In fact, however, this does not happen easily, and often does not happen at all. (Ball, 2000, p. 242)

Learning to practice in substantially different ways than one has ever before experienced can occur neither through theoretical imaginings alone nor through unguided experience alone. Instead it requires a tight coupling of the two. (Darling-Hammond, 1997, p. 319)

Learning to teach and teaching to learn are part of a larger symmetry of preparation and professional development experiences for preservice and inservice education. Implicit in this symmetry is an evolving set of questions concerned with the relationship between teacher learning, knowledge, and practice. Bound in the complexity of this symmetry and its emergent questions are ongoing tensions such as that identified by John Dewey (1904) over ninety years ago when he addressed concern for the proper relationship of theory and practice. As Ball (2000) notes in the framing quote, the tension persists and we continue to struggle for a proper relationship. Within the theory and practice tension, as well as other equally important tensions, emerge important questions that have dominated the discourse of educator preparation and professional development variously for decades.

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Successful Student Teaching Experiences: Conversations and Lessons from the Field

ePub

Roy Hurst, University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Abstract

This study explored some of the ways in which effective mentor teachers supported and guided student teachers. The author studied the experiences of successful mentor teachers and their student teachers, using reflective essays, anonymous surveys and one-on-one interviews. Respondents demonstrated a strong sense of ownership and commitment to providing a nurturing environment, and stressed the need to maintain open lines of communication. Effective mentors recognized their role as models, guides, instructors and counselors, while regarding their student teachers as full participants and colleagues in the professional community. Results of the study reinforced the crucial role of the mentor teacher in determining the success of a student teaching experience, and provided important guidance for the process of selecting future mentors.

Is field experience a good teacher of future teachers? If so, what are some factors that determine the success of a field experience? How can problems in the mentoring relationship be avoided or overcome? What themes do student teachers and mentors identify as important to establishing and maintaining a positive field experience? Many factors interact to influence the outcomes of a student teaching experience and all teacher educators involved in field-based programs need to consider the issues affecting the quality of such experiences.

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Responding to State Mandates: A Case Study of the Implementation of Local Professional Development Committees

ePub

Janet M. Herrelko, University of Dayton

C. Richele O’Connor, Wright State University

Abstract

The information gained from this study should be useful to districts that are trying to answer the question “What is quality professional development?” This qualitative study documented the variations found in five different school districts and one consortium as they implemented Local Professional Development Committees (LPDCs). Three of the sites were pilot districts in the state of Ohio, which mandated that districts/consortiums create LPDCs, effective in September of 1998. Six case studies emerged and were analyzed to reveal the major differences in the approaches to LPDCs. The districts varied in several ways but the most glaring ways were in respect to funding, remuneration for committee members, and the awarding of professional development units. Recommendations were made for incorporating more follow-up and reflection into teachers’ professional development plans as well as accepting teacher definitions of good professional development as additions to the lexicon of what defines an accomplished teacher.

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Questions Beyond Context: Facilitating Intentional, Autonomous Rehearsal, Practice, and Application

ePub

Patricia L. Hardre, University of Iowa

Abstract

Teachers face the dual challenges of teaching domain content and facilitating students’ learning-to-learn strategy development. Inquiry can be scaffolded through open-ended questions that support autonomous learning and challenge students to interact with the content in thoughtful, personally meaningful ways. This approach takes questions beyond the immediate context and helps students develop their own relevant cognitive connections. A framework, sample questions, and class management recommendations are offered to help teachers apply this approach to their classrooms.

Challenged to produce capable students and lifelong learners, upper elementary and secondary teachers face the dual challenges of teaching domain content and facilitating students’ learning-to-learn strategy development. These goals may seem to demand discrete strategies and separate allocations of precious teacher energy and instructional time. However, research with upper elementary and secondary students across disciplines and types of learning environments demonstrates the effectiveness of supporting students’ autonomous inquiry in order to enhance motivation and engagement for school-based tasks, and promote self-directed thinking about their learning. Low academic motivation and lack of autonomy in learning emerge in the upper elementary years for most students, and tend to become more pronounced through their educational careers, without intervention. Autonomous inquiry at levels relevant and appropriate for learners can be scaffolded through using open-ended questions that challenge students to connect with the content in thoughtful, personally meaningful ways.

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Building a Professional Learning Community: Lessons From a University/School Partnership

ePub

Christy D. McGee, University of Arkansas

Abstract

The call for improved schooling in the United States has forced schools of education to look for new ways to educate their students. One way some universities are answering that call is through the implementation of extended programs of education that require students to spend up to a year in an internship in a K-12 setting. These extended internships for students require the formation of partnerships between K-12 schools and universities.

This article is a report of a three-and-one-half-year qualitative study of the development of a university/public school partnership. The initial implementation of the partnership was unsatisfactory to all participants. Through extensive field notes, interviews, and participant observation, the author relates the story of the lessons learned by the participants as they attempted to make the partnership a viable one. The lessons learned by the participants were: all stakeholders must be committed to the partnership, roles must be clearly defined, listening and hearing is essential to building trust, stakeholders must be prepared to modify and adjust, and good partnerships are built over time.

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Parent Involvement Strategies in Teacher Education Programs: Applying a Four-Tier Model

ePub

Paula K. Greene, NAU-Yavapai

Mercedes S. Tichenor, Stetson University

Abstract

The logical place to begin educating teachers on the importance of parent involvement and encouraging them to become parent advocates is in pre-service teacher education. In this article, we discuss how parent involvement (PI) may be incorporated as a more natural component in the teacher education curriculum. Borrowing terminology from Enid Lee’s titles for stages of development in anti-racist education curriculum (Miner, 1994), we describe a similar format to examine PI instruction in teacher education programs. Further, we outline key elements of parent involvement instruction and offer practical activities useful in pre-service teacher education. We hope this framework will help teacher educators reflect on their PI integration and promote discussions that elevate programs to new levels.

Teaching and learning, done well, are done not by disembodied intellects but by whole persons whose minds cannot be disconnected from feeling and spirit, from heart and soul. To teach as a whole person . . .is not to lose one’s professionalism as a teacher but to take it to a deeper level. (Palmer, 1999, p. 10)

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Oklahoma Teacher Education Collaborative (O-Tec): A Road to Reform

ePub

Chris Moseley, Oklahoma State University

Sarah Ramsey, Oklahoma State University

Abstract

The Oklahoma Teacher Education Collaborative (O-TEC), a group representing nine higher education institutions, was established to effect change in teacher education to meet student needs in science and mathematics from pre-Kindergarten through college. A common vision that is systemic in nature (teacher education begins with recruitment, continues with education at the college level, and extends into experiences as a practicing teacher) drives the Collaborative’s strategy. The O-TEC strategy develops common innovative ways to promote careers in mathematics and science teaching; builds on the experience of other collaborative projects and teacher input to provide a high quality preservice education; expands the support network new teachers are provided in science and mathematics during their entry years of professional service; supplies timely training for experienced teachers; and promotes effective communication among collaborating partners to share successes and identify potential problem areas. This paper provides a detailed description of O-TEC, its programs, and accomplishments.

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Adapting Graduate Degrees to Meet Teaching Challenges: Emphasizing Technology for Teachers

ePub

Susan D. Myers, Texas A&M Kingsville

Sandra B. Eiriksson, The University of West Florida

Abstract

Teachers are encouraged to expand their teaching and technology skills both at the undergraduate and graduate level in education. In an attempt to meet these specific needs, universities are developing programs to address these issues.

The University of West Florida initiated a dialogue with local elementary administrators and designed a master’s degree for elementary teachers that emphasized the integration of technology into the curriculum. A cohort program combined interested faculty from two elementary schools to embark on this collaboration. Courses were included that would enhance and develop technology skills for teachers to integrate technology into their curricula.

Teachers today face many challenges in the classroom. Not only are they responsible for direct instruction for the acquisition of fundamental concepts, but they must also be prepared to integrate current technology in their instruction. Although initiatives exist on the local, state, and national levels to assist teachers to incorporate technology in the classroom, the barriers to technology integration for teachers seem to overshadow the benefits. Computers may be in classrooms but often are used on a limited basis (Meltzer & Sherman, 1997). Prior experiences with technology in school districts suggest that supplying classrooms with computers and providing teachers short-term training workshops produces limited results of integration and implementation of the technology (Hoffman, 1997).

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The Review Process and Beyond

ePub

Raymond A. Horn, Jr., Associate Editor

Abstract

The Review Process and Beyond offers advice on how to move efficiently through the publication review process. The developmental philosophy of Teacher Education and Practice (TE&P) is explained along with an overview of the review process, the role of the editors, the role of the reviewers, author preparation for the review process, and the role of the author in the post-review process.

This article is the result of my reflection on the multiple roles that I play in the publish or perish process that guides promotion and tenure in the scholarly community. I am involved in this process as author, reviewer, and editor. In an earlier issue of Teacher Education and Practice (14(2)), I provided commentary on how to get published. In this article, I will elaborate on the publication process by discussing the current publication philosophy of TE&P, an overview of our review process, author preparation for the review process, the role of the reviewer, the author in the post-review process, and the role of the editors. Hopefully, this insight into the workings of TE&P will be helpful to others who are beginning their involvement in the publish-or-perish process.

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Book Review: The Simplicity and Complexity of Transforming Teaching

ePub

Teaching Transformed: Achieving Excellence, Fairness, Inclusion, and Harmony

Roland G. Tharp, Peggy Estrada, Stephanie Stoll

Dalton, and Lois A. Yamauchi

Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000. 274 pp.

$30 (paper)

ISBN No. 0813322693

Kathryn Kinnucan-Welsch, University of Dayton

It is so simple: “All school reform has one final common pathway: instructional activity.” With this bold statement, the authors of Teaching Transformed: Achieving Excellence, Fairness, Inclusion and Harmony, Roland Tharp, Peggy Estrada, Stephanie Dalton, & Lois Yamauchi (2000, p. 1) introduce to the reader the underlying theoretical and practical premises of how we can achieve the four goals highlighted in the title of the book in our increasingly beleaguered and diverse schools.

The authors ground their vision of transformed classrooms in sociocultural theory as a theory of development (Vygotsky, 1978) and vision of learning that acknowledges that assisting learners to higher levels of performance in the zone of proximal development is the very essence of teaching and learning (Tharp & Gallimore, 1988). Building on the frame of scoiocultural theory, Tharp et al. develop the premise in Teaching Transformed that multiple and diverse activity settings emanating from a shared value system within a social context will result in achieving the goals that have dominated the discourse of school reform in recent decades: excellence, fairness, inclusion, and harmony. Although the development of the origin and substance of these four goals is limited in the text, the authors make a clear and compelling case that reform efforts have typically emphasized one goal resulting in counterproductuve results for the other three goals. Can we achieve all four goals simultaneously? Yes, through quality instructional activity. It is so simple.

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