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Medium 9781475819311

Documenting Preservice Teachers’ Work: A Tool for Influencing Reflections About Developmentally Appropriate Practices

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub

TERRI JO SWIM

ABSTRACT: This investigation examined how documenting preservice teachers’ work during engaging, authentic classroom experiences influenced their understanding of developmentally appropriate practices (DAP). A pragmatic action research design was used to systematically plan, document, and reflect on learning experiences to evaluate the impact of such instructional strategies on students’ learning. Preservice teachers’ responses reflected key components of DAP, including focusing on learning for themselves and children and creating a caring community. Conclusions include the following: First, when time and space are created for reflective practice through panel documentations, students link course experiences with important aspects of DAP. Second, if we as university instructors want students to engage in reflective practice and adopt DAP, we need to be willing to change the way that we teach.

Sometimes we as college students just go through the motions to complete an assignment and don’t think about the learning that goes along with it.

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Medium 9781475816105

Finland’s Ammattikorkeakoulu: Pursuing World-Class Higher Education

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

MALCOLM B. CAMPBELL

Professor of Education, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403-0251

Background: The Diversification of Western European Higher Education

Finland has made efforts over the past decade to develop parity between its nonuniversity and university sectors of higher education. These efforts are clearly visible in the creation of twenty-two experimental ammattikorkeakoulu (or “polytechnics”). This coincides with the general Western European trend of the past four decades to upgrade the status of nonuniversity higher education. In the past decade, this trend has encouraged the massification of Western European higher education. The existence of a viable nonuniversity sector of higher education, it is estimated, will increase access of traditionally underrepresented groups in Western European higher education.

Participation rates of traditionally underrepresented groups remain problematic in Western Europe. The Council of Europe’s Project Group on Access to Higher Education in Europe concluded:

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Medium 9781475816105

Strategies for Survival in Kenya: Women, Education, and Self-Help Groups

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

TATA MBUGUA-MURITHI

5735C Millbank Road, Columbus, OH 43229

Introduction

Women’s groups have existed in many parts of Africa for decades. These groups allow their members to adapt effectively to external changes in their contemporary societies. According to Staudt, there are more extensive female solidarity organizations in Africa than anywhere else in the world (1981). This is an indication of the importance among women of ties outside household boundaries. In the last few years, women’s groups in Kenya have increasingly focused on educational and economic issues. This change has been prompted in part by the Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (Robertson, 1995).

The United Nations Decade for Women (1975–1985), with a focus on the linkages between women’s education and their participation in economic and social development, was a turning point in research on African women and development. Related research on female education reveals that it has the potential for synergistic effects in both economic and human development. The United Nation’s Report on the State of the World’s Women 1985, based on a questionnaire completed by 121 member governments, revealed that:

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Medium 9781475816105

The Instruction Department

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

John M. Jenkins

6211 NW 93 Terrace

Gainesville, FL 32653

Karen Pelletier*

Students are excited about school. Teachers look forward to coming to school each day. The place is Three Oaks Elementary School in Fort Myers, Florida. Three Oaks was the first school in America to adopt and institute Core Knowledge, an approach to cultural literacy proposed by E. D. Hirsch, a Linden Kent Memorial Professor of English at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

Core Knowledge is an articulated curriculum K–6, based on the bestselling book, Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, published in 1987. The popularity of the book led Hirsch to organize various groups of educators around the country to design a curriculum based on knowledge that all students should know. Hirsch labels his approach anthropological because it is rooted in the culture of the country. He observes that schools in Japan, Germany, and France require a different body of core knowledge than schools in the United States. Core knowledge provides the foundation for the development of advanced reading, writing, and higher-order thinking. “It (core knowledge) is an attempt to define, in a coherent and sequential way, a body of knowledge taken for granted by competent writers and speakers in the United States” (Hirsch, 1991, xviii).

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Medium 9781475816174

The Impact of Leadership Style on Creating Community in Public and Private Schools

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

JEAN MADSEN*

Associate Professor, Department of Administrative Leadership, School of Education, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Enderis Hall, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413

KRISTINE A. HIPP

Associate Professor, Cardinal Stritch University, 6801 North Yates Road, Milwaukee, WI 53217-3985

Many studies on the principal’s leadership in decentralized and private schools indicate that visionary leadership is necessary for schools to be self-governed (Madsen, 1997). Both private and public school leaders share a common leadership style needed to administer a decentralized school (Bridges and McLaughlin, 1994; Chubb and Moe, 1990; Grace, 1995). In leading these self-managed schools, both types of principals not only build and reinforce goal consensus, but share their authority. Drawing on research conducted in both private and public schools, this paper explores the impact of administrative style on private and public school teachers’ commitment and efficacy in establishing a professional community.

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Medium 9781475816174

The Instruction Department

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

John M. Jenkins and Janet Weldon*

6211 NW 93 Terrace

Gainesville, FL 32653

Schools ain’t what they used to be and maybe they never was.

—Will Rogers

From the Oval Office to state houses across the nation, a clarion call is being sounded for an end to social promotion, the practice of passing students to the next grade regardless of whether they are academically prepared. It is presumed that by holding students accountable for performing satisfactorily on external tests, school districts and schools will better prepare all students for the tests. It is further presumed that the content of the tests are adequate indicators of what students should know at each grade level.

In Florida, newly installed Governor Jeb Bush has proposed the “A+ Program.” If this program is passed by the State Legislature, currently in session, it will mean that all students from grade three through grade ten will be tested each year to determine their readiness to advance to the succeeding grade. Failure to pass the test will be considered a major factor in determining whether students will be required to repeat the same grade the following year.

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Medium 9781475819526

A Change in Teaching Philosophy: The Effects of Short-Term Teaching Immersion on English Teaching Beliefs and Practice

R&L Education ePub

RUTH MING HAR WONG

ABSTRACT: Research has shown that the underlying teaching beliefs or theories of any particular teacher have generally been considered relatively stable and static throughout his or her career. However, this study investigates how one teacher’s beliefs regarding both teaching and learning were changed during a short-term study and immersion program abroad. The teacher at the focus of this research was studied over a period of 9 months using interviews and classroom lesson observations. By giving the teacher opportunities to test methodological hypotheses through actual teaching, this study proves that a short-term immersion program can change teacher beliefs and resolve some of the cognitive dissonance about effective teaching. It was found that some of the teacher’s fundamental beliefs were challenged and altered, such as those on task-based teaching and learning, as well as learning outcomes.

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Medium 9781475819526

Book Review

R&L Education ePub

(San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010), $24.95 (hardcover)

PAULA GRIFFIN

Within the walls of institutions of higher learning, one expects to find postsecondary students and the professoriate deeply entrenched in the processes of instruction and learning. For hundreds of years, the following scenario has been regarded as the norm, indeed a standard to be obtained, for learning on campuses of higher education: Students gather in a classroom or lecture hall to listen and learn as the professor pontificates about specific subject matter. Students document salient points gained from said lecture in preparation for an assignment or examination, which will eventually occur to measure acquisition of knowledge later in the semester. Grades are assigned and delivered for the course and posted to an academic transcript at the successful completion of the semester. The following semester, the cycle begins again.

What is the intended outcome of such endeavors in higher education? An education is the intended outcome. The answer seems simple yet deserves concentrated thought and discussion. What is an education? Should successful academic learning (e.g., grade point averages and successful class completion) be the primary focus of an education? How does the aforementioned scenario support and facilitate such an acquisition? Does an education exist apart from the development of an individual? What role could higher education play in facilitating and encouraging development of individual students? What are the possibilities? In The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal, Palmer and Zajonc explore the construct that a postsecondary education experience should be inclusive. Students should come away from the institution with not only great knowledge but also “a sense of meaning and purpose” (p. 2) as whole and complete human beings ready to engage society.

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Medium 9781475816761

Analysis of Factors That Influence Beginning Teachers’ Perception of Their Instructional Competency

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Sylvia Chong

Wai Mun Loh

Xueling Mabelene Mak

ABSTRACT: Literature concerning teacher quality indicates that there is a core body of knowledge and skills that a teacher must be equipped with to develop competencies of effective teaching. Beginning teachers (n = 3,353; 1–3 teaching years) participated in an online quality evaluation project at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. Factors underlying beginning teachers’ perceptions of their teaching competencies were explored. First, the tool proved to be a reliable and valid measure. Second, analysis focused on a hypothesized path model of how the factors interact and contribute to beginning teachers’ preparedness to teach. Possible implications are presented and discussed.

Beginning teachers’ self-perceptions of their instructional competency is integral to construct meaning about their teaching processes. These self-perceptions and beliefs affect choices, level of motivation, quality of functioning, resilience to adversity, and vulnerability to stress (Bandura, 1997). Teachers are central to the implementation of education reforms and change; it is through them that we understand the nature of educational processes (Feiman-Nemser, 2001). Researching these perceptions can provide meaningful insights into potential educational reform efforts for policy-making, accountability to stakeholders, and support for teachers’ professional growth aimed at enhancing the early teaching experience.

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Medium 9781475816112

What Can Business Learn from Education? Who Should Be Benchmarking Whom?

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

ROGER KAUFMAN

Professor and Director, Office for Needs Assessment and Planning, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2022

Educational agencies are constantly encouraged to benchmark the private sector to find ways to “be like a business” and get “hard-nosed” and “practical.” We are being pushed to improve both our effectiveness and efficiency and thus are among many public and private-sector organizations seeking ways to improve. Benchmarking of other public and private-sector operations, including educational systems, is a popular approach intended to identify ways to improve.

While benchmarking others might be a useful process, it is not without potential pitfalls. In order to avoid common errors, one should: (1) be certain you are benchmarking a useful educational performance model, (2) assure that the processes and procedures being benchmarked will be appropriate for your educational organization, (3) have full confidence that your benchmarking performance model as well as your own organization are headed in the right direction in the first place.

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Medium 9781475816419

Why Do Fewer Women Than Men Pursue the Superintendency?

International Journal of Educational Ref Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Mary J. FeKula

Laura Roberts

In education today, there is an increasing call for quality leadership. Despite this need for highly competent individuals, the candidate pool of aspiring administrators is shrinking significantly. This appears to be especially true of the top administrative position in a school district, the superintendency (McAdams, 1998). Pennsylvania is experiencing this shortage of candidates even though the number of educators receiving their superintendent’s letter of eligibility has increased dramatically in recent years. According to J. C. Rose, assistant executive director for school board and management services from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (personal communication, February 28, 2003), the number of candidates for each superintendent’s position is drastically down from 10 years ago—creating a crisis situation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

This problem is likely to grow even larger, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10% to 20% increase in all levels of school administrative openings through the year 2005. Most of the positions will result from retirements (Keller, 1998). Paul D. Houston, the executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, reports receiving numerous examples in the past few years of districts having no applications submitted for a superintendent opening. School boards and search firms are recognizing that the number of viable candidates is not enough to fill the need (Houston, 1998). Quite often openings for superintendents continue with no candidates.

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Medium 9781475819427

Editorial: Teacher Preparation and the Promise of Partnerships—Toward Democratic Engagement

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

PATRICK M. JENLINK

Unless education has some frame of reference it is bound to be aimless, lacking a unified objective. The necessity for a frame of reference must be admitted. There exists in this country such a unified frame. It is called democracy.

—Dewey (1937/1981, p. 415)

Colleges and universities across the nation have found in community engagement a unique opportunity to renew the civic mission of higher education and to strengthen and expand the learning and discovery that has been at the foundation of the academy. . . . Through community collaborations, students are discovering the value of experiential and service-learning, and academic and civic leaders are finding new, mutually beneficial partnerships that unite town and gown in enriching the common good.

—Brukardt, Holland, Percy, and Zimpher (2006, p. 243)

As a nation defined by both our diversity and our democratic ideals, we are faced with significant societal challenges, and higher education as an agency of society, it is argued, has a primary role in responding to these challenges. There is widespread agreement that institutions of higher education—colleges and universities—have distinct civic and public responsibilities, “including the preparation of an enlightened and productive, democratic citizenry and engaging in scholarship that illuminates and addresses pressing problems” (Saltmarsh, Hartley, & Clayton, 2009, p. 3). In this sense, scholarship provides access to solutions and serves as a mirror within which society can self-reflect on past practices and self-correct accordingly.

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Medium 9781475819427

Dialogues of Teacher Education

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

PATRICK M. JENLINK

Editor’s Note: With the “Dialogues of Teacher Education” section in Teacher Education and Practice, we invite our readers to join us in a venture to create a venue for giving voice to difficult problems of the day. Specifically, our purpose is to bring individuals together and engage in a meaningful, critical examination of selected topics that concern teacher educators and practitioners. We hope the readership enjoys the dialogue on “The Promise, Potential, and Problematics of University Partnerships and Collaborations” in this issue and that our contributing authors stimulate important and needed conversations among teacher educators, practitioners, policymakers, and other cultural workers concerned with improving teacher education and practice.

Toward a deeper understanding of the viability of partnerships and collaboratives, a central framing question is of importance: What are the promises, potentials, and problematics of university partnerships necessary to informing teacher educators in preparing teachers for the challenges they face teaching in today’s schools? The issue addressed by this question is one of examining current perspectives of teacher education and the importance that university partnerships hold for preparing teachers to teach. Specifically, it is concerned with how university partnerships contribute to necessary levels of engagement between institutions of higher education and schools, forming partnerships for teaching teachers to teach. Along this line, the focus of the question is concerned with substantive treatment of identifying and exploring what are the critical factors in fostering and sustaining partnerships. As well, the focus is concerned with what is critical in creating sustained engagements between institutions and schools and what promise, potential, and problematic this engagement presents with respect to teacher education.

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Medium 9781475819434

Dialogues of Teacher Education

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

PATRICK M. JENLINK

Editor’s Note: With the “Dialogues of Teacher Education” section in Teacher Education and Practice, we invite our readers to join us in a venture to create a venue for giving voice to the difficult problems of the day. Specifically, our purpose is to bring individuals together and engage in a meaningful, critical examination of selected topics that concern teacher educators and practitioners. We hope you enjoy the dialogue in this issue, “A Social Justice Imperative for Teacher Preparation and Practice,” and that the contributing authors stimulate important and needed conversations among teacher educators, practitioners, policymakers, and other cultural workers concerned with improving teacher education and practice.

As a democratic society, we are faced with increasingly complex and, at the same time, destructive challenges to our way of life—none more destructive or dehumanizing than those imposed by the daily reality of injustices in every quarter of society. Importantly, injustices have been and continue to be, in Dewey’s (1927) term, a social pathology that disarms and disadvantages all who fall victim to the myriad ways that injustices pervade society. The critical necessity of reimagining an ethic of fairness and justice in social practices concerning society and its educational systems could hardly be more pressing.

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Medium 9781475819458

Making Teacher Education Better: The Impact of Polling Data on a Methods of Teaching English Course

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

DAVID LEE CARLSON

ABSTRACT: Weekly poll results were used as an intervention in this action research project to determine whether a Methods of Teaching English course could meet the needs of local preservice teachers. Results indicate that students believed that they were better prepared to teach English in secondary schools because of course materials and activities.

Arne Duncan (2009), the new secretary of education of the United States, made the following comment at Teachers College, Columbia University, about teacher education programs:

In the end, I don’t think the ingredients of a good teacher preparation are much of a mystery anymore. Our best programs are coherent, up-to-date, research-based, and provide students with subject mastery. They have a strong and substantial field-based program in local public schools that drives much of the course work in classroom management and student learning and prepares students to teach diverse pupils in high-needs settings. And these programs have a shared vision of what constitutes good teaching and best practices—including a single-minded focus on improving student learning and using data to inform instruction. (para. 35)

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