463 Articles
Medium 9781475819533

Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs and Confidence After Working With STEM Faculty Mentors: An Exploratory Study

R&L Education ePub

PAMELA A. MAHER, JANELLE M. BAILEY,

DALE A. ETHERIDGE, AND DALE B. WARBY

ABSTRACT: This study investigates the impact of a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program that provided preservice teachers access to faculty mentors for advice and feedback in the preparation and delivery of science and math content to elementary school students. Fifty preservice teachers attending a 2-year college in the Southwest taught a STEM lesson to children visiting the college planetarium as part of a school field-trip program. The project partnered teachers in training with faculty in the School of Science and Mathematics to build a support network for these new teachers, thus furthering their understanding of STEM disciplines. Presurveys, postlesson reflections, and interview data were analyzed to determine how working with STEM faculty mentors affected preservice teachers’ beliefs about their ability to teach these fields. The results reveal changes in beliefs and increased confidence toward teaching.

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Medium 9781475819267

Editorial: Educational Aims and Democratic Dispositions—Finding Ariadne’s Thread in the Labyrinth of Teacher Education and Practice

R&L Education ePub

PATRICK M. JENLINK

We only need to bear in mind that, with respect to the aims of education, no separation can be made between impersonal, abstract principles of logic and moral qualities of character. What is needed is to weave them into unity.

—Dewey (1933, p. 34)

If the university does not take seriously and rigorously its role as guardian of wider civic freedoms, as interrogator of more and more complex ethical problems, as servant and preserver of deeper democratic practices, then some other regime or ménage of regimes will do it for us, in spite of us, and without us.

—Morrison (2001, p. 278)

In his poem “Gerontion,” T. S. Eliot (1970) writes, “History has many cunning passages, contrived contrived corridos,” creating a labyrinth across time and space, and with “issues, deceives with whispering ambitions” (p. 22). Much the same, when defining the educational aims and the dispositions of teachers necessary to an educational system in a democratic society, the complexities of the increasing demands placed on education are labyrinthian. Searching for the elusive thread that connects the preparation and practice of teachers, the aims of education, and the needs of a democratic society with the promise of standards and accountability and the reality of day-to-day teaching, teacher educators and practitioners find themselves moving through a multidimensional labyrinth.

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Medium 9781475819267

The National Board as Professional Development: Technical, Practical, and Emancipatory Dimensions

R&L Education ePub

PETER RENNERT-ARIEV

ABSTRACT: This study investigates what teachers learn from a graduate-level course that prepares them to pursue an advanced form of professional teaching certification based on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). The study draws from Habermas’s (1972, 1974) three knowledge constitutive interests—the technical, the practical, and the emancipatory—to interpret the effect of the course on students’ professional development and preparedness for the NBPTS assessment. The assertions reveal that although most students emerged fully prepared to take the NBPTS, they simultaneously resisted a hierarchical power structure that denied them control over the conditions of the NBPTS assessment.

This study investigates what teachers learn from a graduate-level course that prepares them to pursue an advanced form of professional teaching certification based on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS; 2004). The focus of the study involved the nature of this course’s curriculum and the ways in which course experiences support students’ professional growth and preparedness for the NBPTS portfolio assessment. The study was situated within a policy context that emphasized the use of standards-based portfolios to catalyze the professional development of teachers. Research reports (e.g., Athanases, 1994; Haynes, 1995) do show that teachers’ experiences with NBPTS portfolio assessment represent powerful, even transformative, learning experiences. Even so, there is currently a lack of research data providing detailed portraits of the pedagogical experiences that best help teachers prepare for NBPTS certification. To this end, this study focused on student experiences over 4 years in a single course, using participant observation, document review, and key informant interviewing as central forms of data collection. The overall goal was to construct a detailed qualitative case study that informs policymakers and teacher educators about the processes within higher education contexts that foster teachers’ professional development and preparedness for the NBPTS.

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Medium 9781475819267

Kaleidoscope Feature: Designing a Thesis Requirement in a Graduate Program Based on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

R&L Education ePub

Kaleidoscope Feature

SANDRA M. STOKES, TIMOTHY U. KAUFMAN, AND LINDA TABERS -KWAK

ABSTRACT: In the fall of 1999, the first cohort group and the faculty in the new master of science in applied leadership for teaching and learning degree at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay began their journey. The tales of the journey, as told by its sojourners, would undoubtedly be as individually rich as the tales of the pilgrims described by Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales, “whose characters’ lifelike reality surpasses anything previously known in English" (Cook, 1961, p. xvii); however, the purpose of this article is to describe the designing of the thesis requirement (including the rationale for the requirement) and explain what form the thesis will take. This article also gives examples of several theses that have been successfully written and defended, and it discusses how several of the candidates were affected by their portion of the journey, a journey that, though freely chosen by the pilgrims/scholars, resulted in experiences that were unforeseen by all—a “mingling of seriousness and levity [among] the group assembled" (Cook, 1961, p. xvii).

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Medium 9781475819533

Perceptions, Engagement, and Practices of Teachers Seeking Professional Development in Place-Based Integrated STEM

R&L Education ePub

LOUIS S. NADELSON AND ANNE SEIFERT

ABSTRACT: As science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) continue to grow in economic and social importance, it is critical that citizenry are prepared to be STEM literate. Furthermore, the workforce demands on STEM necessitate students seeking STEM degrees and pursuing STEM careers. Primary and secondary (K–12) teachers play an important role in helping students develop fundamental understanding of STEM and the motivation to consider STEM professions. However, many teachers are in need of professional development to enhance their effectiveness to teach STEM. Our summer institute (attracting more than 350 teachers per summer) is structured to increase teacher STEM-teaching capacity. With a desire to move to a place-based approach (e.g., leveraging STEM resources in the local community), we sought to establish the perceptions and practices of the teachers who attend our summer institute, as well as the impact of the institute. Of particular interest was how the teachers were using local resources, opportunities, and people to support their STEM teaching. Our results show preinstitute averages for a range of measures with significant increases postinstitute. We also found a range of engagement in place-based STEM practices. Implications and recommendations are provided.

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