Medium 9781475820539

Tep Vol 28-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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The Beliefs of Second-Language Acquisition in Teacher Candidates

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The Beliefs of Second-Language Acquisition in Teacher Candidates

Sau Hou Chang

ABSTRACT: The present study investigated whether an elementary education program at a Midwestern university addressed teacher candidates’ misconceptions of second-language acquisition. Participants were 59 teacher candidates who enrolled at the first semester and 27 teacher candidates who enrolled at the last semester of the elementary education program. Development of the Beliefs of Second Language Acquisition Survey was based on studies on the myths and misconceptions about second-language acquisition. Results showed that teacher candidates at the end of the program had a significantly higher percentage of correct responses in 10 beliefs of second-language acquisition. The incorporation of second-language acquisition in elementary education courses and field experiences had an impact on clearing teacher candidates’ misconceptions of second-language acquisition and helped prepare them to work with English-language learners in mainstream classrooms.

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Mediating Deficit Views of Mexican-Origin Learners With Preservice Literacy Teachers

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Mediating Deficit Views of Mexican-Origin Learners With Preservice Literacy Teachers

Patrick H. Smith
Luz A. Murillo

ABSTRACT: The study introduces applied linguistics as a heuristic for preparing literacy educators to teach Mexican-origin students and other linguistically diverse populations. We share an example of such an approach to teacher education from the U.S.–Mexico border. We describe the border as context for teacher preparation, create a portrait of future literacy and bilingual teachers, and outline particular challenges facing educators in the region. Drawing on qualitative data in the form of informal surveys, language and literacy histories, and reflective writing about community literacy projects collected from students in courses focusing on reading, writing, language arts, and content area literacy at three universities on the U.S.–Mexico border, we identify themes of change in preservice teachers’ beliefs and attitudes toward language and literacy. We provide evidence to support the use of concepts from applied linguistics for addressing deficit views of bilingual Mexican-origin learners. The article concludes with recommendations for research and practice.

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Using Teaching Cases to Foster a Culturally Responsive Literacy Pedagogy

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Using Teaching Cases to Foster a Culturally Responsive Literacy Pedagogy

AnnMarie Alberton Gunn
Nancy L. Williams

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to describe the perceptions of a professor who used teaching cases that featured literacy and diversity issues in a course entitled Early and Emergent Literacy. The participants of this study are a literacy professor and the preservice teachers (n = 20) enrolled in the course. Interviews, a researcher reflective journal, a professor-kept journal, and nonparticipant observation notes were used to unfold the lived experiences of the participants throughout one semester. The use of teaching cases that feature diversity and literacy issues were shown to be an effective tool for fostering a culturally responsive literacy pedagogy. Recommendations and implications are discussed for teacher educators.

As literacy professors responsible for teacher preparation, we have held a long-standing interest in the inclusion of culturally responsive instruction, and we agree with Villegas and Lucas’s (2002) advocacy for a vision for teaching and learning in a diverse society. However, we recognize several converging factors that often place culturally responsive instruction along the margins of standard teacher preparation curriculum. First, our preservice teacher population mirrors the general population of elementary school teachers: predominately White, Christian, monolingual heterosexuals from middle-class backgrounds (Banks, 2006; Sleeter, 2001). These cultural elements are dissimilar to the lived experiences and cultural characteristics of the diverse students they teach. Teachers who have limited knowledge of the “funds of knowledge” (Gonzalez, Moll, & Amanti, 2005) that students bring to the classroom face challenges in designing effective and culturally relevant instruction for all students (Pang & Park, 2011). Additionally, many literacy textbooks for preservice teachers do not typically mention diversity until the final chapter, almost as an afterthought. Finally, the emphasis on high-stakes testing and mandated curriculum often focuses on the educational product rather than the process, with rewards for success and punishment for failure (Nichols & Berliner, 2008).

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Molding a Culturally Responsive Literacy Practice: Professional Development Within Diverse Schools

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Molding a Culturally Responsive Literacy Practice: Professional Development Within Diverse Schools

Nancy F. Hulan

ABSTRACT: As the diversity in our public schools grows, it is imperative that teachers receive professional development to effectively teach within diverse classrooms. This study investigated the effectiveness of ongoing, intensive professional development on culturally responsive instructional practices in four diverse elementary schools. Findings indicate that such professional development can indeed increase teachers’ knowledge of culturally responsive practices and their ability to discuss issues dealing with diversity. Future research should seek to determine the level of implementation that participants in such professional development attain in their instruction.

With rapidly growing diversity in our public schools, it is important that practicing teachers have knowledge of instructional practices that work well with a wide range of students. Traditionally, teaching has been geared toward White middle-class students, with attention to European American icons and ideals (Gay, 2000). In addition, most teachers do not have the same cultural frames of reference as the majority of their students (Heath, 1983). This situation has left a gap in teachers’ skill sets when it comes to working within more diverse classrooms.

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Beginning Teachers: Supporting One Another and Learning Together

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Beginning Teachers: Supporting One Another and Learning Together

Hoa Thi Mai Nguyen
Richard B. Baldauf Jr.

ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, language education in Asian EFL (English as a foreign language) contexts, including Vietnam, has been dominated by concerns associated with the issue of quality, with teacher education and teacher professional development being key focus points. The support provided to English-language teachers in general and beginning English-language teachers in particular is critical to the quality of their immediate professional experiences as well as to their long-term professional learning. Numerous claims have been made regarding the benefits of participating in a mentoring program for beginning teachers. Less attention has been paid to more equal and collegial relationships in mentoring, such as peer mentoring. This article reports a case study that explores the experience of groups of Vietnamese in-service EFL teachers and their participation in a formal peer mentoring model over one semester. Through interviews and reflective journals, this study offers insights into the participants’ experiences as well as the application of formal peer mentoring as a model of EFL teacher professional development.

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“All of a Sudden I Have These Real Students”: Preservice Teachers Learning to Teach English

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“All of a Sudden I Have These Real Students”: Preservice Teachers Learning to Teach English

Bailey Herrmann

ABSTRACT: This article investigates how future secondary English teachers construct an understanding of teaching literacy and how teacher educators can help prepare secondary English teachers to teach literacy. In addition to the typical practicum experiences, teacher education programs should afford preservice teachers opportunities that allow them to apply the theories they are learning in courses to practice. This research suggests that teacher education programs should include authentic projects—and the uncomfortable moments that come with them—in methods courses to allow preservice teachers to practice teaching for social justice.

Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn.

—Often attributed to C. S. Lewis and a favorite quote of Emma, a preservice teacher in the study

In reading the reflections that the preservice teachers in my Young Adult Literature for Schools class wrote after teaching a novel online to high school students, almost all of the papers began something like Paige’s:

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Developing Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Multicultural Competency: Some Reflections From Russia

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Developing Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Multicultural Competency: Some Reflections From Russia

Ilghiz M. Sinagatullin

ABSTRACT: The ever-increasing cultural and ethnic diversity in Russia fosters the design and implementation of the ideas of multicultural education. The article focuses on the issues of developing preservice elementary teachers’ multicultural competency. I describe the specificity of human diversity being unfolded on the vast territory of Russia, and I concentrate on the fact that teachers’ multicultural competency should consist of at least three components: attitudes, knowledge, and skills.

Russia is currently witnessing an unprecedented growth of human diversity. Growing numbers of people from different cultural and ethnic groups are interacting with increased regularity and frequency. The country is divided into 7 federal districts, which include 49 provinces, 28 autonomous republics, 6 territories, 1 autonomous region, 10 autonomous districts, and 2 federal cities. Ethnic Russians constitute 80% of the entire population; the Tatars make up 4%. The rest of the peoples of non-Russian ethnic descent are represented by the Bashkir, Chuvash, Udmurt, Ukrainian, Mari, Mordva, and other nationalities. The overall ethnic mosaic encompasses more than 130 ethnic groups. The language diversity is determined by monolingual, bilingual, and multilingual speakers. Russian is a state and official language: Every citizen of Russia can converse in it with different degrees of proficiency. Ethnic and language affiliations may not necessarily coincide. For instance, some young people of non-Russian ethnic background do not possess their indigenous language and converse exclusively in Russian, although they may be strong adherents of their native traditions and customs.

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Do We “Walk the Talk” in Preparing Teachers to Work With Language Learners?

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Do We “Walk the Talk” in Preparing Teachers to Work With Language Learners?

Megan Madigan Peercy

ABSTRACT: During the 2011–2012 school year, I shifted from my position as a tenure-track teacher educator at a large research university and returned to my roots as a teacher of language learners, teaching Spanish to secondary students. I used self-study to explore my practices, and I sought implications for my work as a teacher educator. The constant comparative method was used to identify and explore recurring themes across these data sources.

At its core, this study is concerned with the relationship between theory and practice in teaching and teacher education. LaBoskey (2004) asserted, “Self study researchers are concerned with both enhanced understanding of teacher education in general and the immediate improvement of our practice. We are focused on the nexus between public and private, theory and practice, research and pedagogy, self and other” (p. 818). It is exploration at this nexus that attracted me to design this study and the questions that I engage with here. During the 2011–2012 school year, I shifted from my position as a tenure-track teacher educator at a large research university and returned full-time to my roots as a teacher of language learners, teaching Spanish to middle and high school students. I wanted to use self-study to explore how my current teacher self interacted with the theory–practice nexus once in the classroom full-time again. My current self was one who—since I last was a teacher of language learners (rather than my teacher educator role teaching about teaching language learners)—had now studied much more of the research about language teaching and learning and who had spent the last 9 years sharing research about the teaching and learning of English and world language learners with preservice and in-service teachers in my courses. To explore my practices as a teacher of language learners, I engaged with the following research questions:

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Cultivating Teacher Empathy for English-Language Learners

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Cultivating Teacher Empathy for English-Language Learners

Marcia Baghban

ABSTRACT: Twenty-seven elementary and middle school teachers in a graduate college course experienced assignments designed to increase their empathy for English-language learners. The first experience asked teachers to examine their cultural and linguistic backgrounds through shoebox autobiographies. Once the teachers became more aware of individual and universal characteristics of human life, they were ready for a second experience. A native speaker of Korean taught the class in Korean for 15 minutes. None of the teachers knew Korean. This experience provided the teachers with the opportunity to feel the same emotion or highly similar emotion that English-language learners feel in an uncomfortable educational setting. Both assignments required reflection papers, and the teachers’ significant observations as they progressed into culturally responsive practitioners are shared here.

As human beings, we probably never understand ourselves so well as when we meet someone who is unlike us and who makes us define what we believe. For many teachers, such encounters are happening daily as more and more English-language learners (ELLs) join their classrooms. Between 1994 and 2004, surveys indicated that the numbers of ELLs enrolled in U.S. public schools prekindergarten through Grade 12 had nearly doubled (Peregoy & Boyle, 2012, p. 6), and between 1999 and 2009, U.S. federal education statistics indicated that English-learner enrollment had increased at almost seven times the rate of total student enrollment (http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/faqs/).

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The Influence of Early Childhood Educators’ Teacher Preparation and Efficacy on Culturally Responsive Teaching Practices

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The Influence of Early Childhood Educators’ Teacher Preparation and Efficacy on Culturally Responsive Teaching Practices

Cara M. Djonko-Moore
Linda C. Traum

ABSTRACT: In the United States, teachers are held accountable to ensure that all students—including culturally and linguistically diverse students—meet state and national academic standards. Culturally responsive teaching (CRT) is a strategy that addresses the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse children. This article examines the relationship between undergraduate teacher education in diversity and in-service teachers’ CRT practices. We developed a survey designed to measure early childhood CRT practices. More than 100 early childhood teachers (K–2) from a school district in the southeastern United States completed the survey. Results indicate that four components of CRT were measured reliable and that efficacy and job satisfaction were significant predictors of CRT practices. These findings and their implications are discussed.

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Project-Based Learning: Innovative Pedagogy for 21st-Century English Learners

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Project-Based Learning: Innovative Pedagogy for 21st-Century English Learners

Isela Almaguer
Zulmaris Diaz
J. Joy Esquierdo

ABSTRACT: Today, more than ever, our nations’ school-age population is culturally and linguistically diverse. As such, the number of English learners in school settings is rapidly growing. These changing demographics make it important to utilize pedagogy that will support English learners’ language and academic development. Teacher preparation programs across the country are preparing preservice teachers to meet the needs of 21st-century English learners through an effective, innovative, and dynamic pedagogy recognized as project-based learning. Project-based learning supports higher-order thinking skills that positively influence the linguistic and academic development of English learners. The interactive and collaborative nature of project-based learning will support English learners’ achievement in the classroom and beyond.

“How do I motivate my students while keeping them engaged and focused?” “How do I help my students develop their language skills while understanding academic content?” These are probing questions that many teachers may be asking. Teachers are searching for ways to promote student engagement in the classroom while simultaneously mastering important academic content. With the growing number of school-age English learners, teachers are charged with helping learners succeed and attain linguistic as well as academic success in their classrooms.

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