470 Chapters
Medium 9781475819526

Where They Go for Help: Teachers’ Pedagogical and Content Support Seeking Practices and Preferences

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub





ABSTRACT: Teachers’ professional learning can occur in many spaces and assume a multitude of forms. Professional learning communities (PLCs) are anticipated to be effective structures to support teachers’ professional learning, and there is increasing pressure to utilize online configurations for structuring PLCs. However, teachers’ practices and preferences for seeking professional support suggest that online PLCs may not meet many teachers’ needs. To determine the best configuration for PLCs, we asked a population of in-service teachers to share their preferences for different configurations of PLCs. Furthermore, we assessed the educators’ knowledge and experience with PLCs and their current and preferred sources for seeking pedagogy and content support to teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Analysis of data from 119 responding K–12 teachers revealed a high preference for seeking support from educators known to them, immediately accessible, or physically present and low preferences for online configurations. In addition to our results, the implications for teacher practice and suggestions for further research are discussed.

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Medium 9781475829761

Powerful and Personal Professional Development

Teacher Education and Practice Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: This article examines professional development experiences from the National Board for the Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) in the United States. Ten National Board–certified teachers were interviewed on three separate occasions about their professional development from the NBPTS. The data analysis suggests that teachers who earn their National Board certification are empowered and actively involved in their profession. They self-report that the professional development from NBPTS has been engrained in them as a result of their participation, denoting that this professional development is ideal for teachers. With the recent focus on teacher performance and increased accountability, such examination provides an even deeper understanding of professional development for teacher educators through National Board certification.

The United States is in the midst of a vast and sweeping education reform. This reform has produced an environment in which the standards of accountability have been increased in the wake of policy initiatives such as the Common Core State Standards (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of State School Officers, 2010) and Race to the Top (U.S. Department of Education, 2009). This potent recipe for reform encompasses principal and teacher evaluations that will include student test scores, widespread adoption of rigorous academic content standards, and the development of high-stakes standardized tests that align with these new standards (Gulamhussein, 2013).

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Medium 9781475819359

Preparing Teachers for a Global Society That Is Yet Unknown to Teacher Educators

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub



The depression, World War II, and the elation of a nation revered throughout the world that branded a whole generation has slipped into the deep past tense of history. Succeeding generations basked in the warmth of an economy that grew at unprecedented rates; along the way, the population of the United States shifted, and shifted again, and now prepares for yet another major shift. Sociologists refer to the youth of these cultural shifts with such monikers as Gen X, Gen Y, and the Millennium Generation.

With generational shifts in society, other changes have occurred in the new America—changes in the economy, expected living standards, increasing diversity and greater cultural identity, a declining level of international prestige, and a widening gulf in technological competence. Those among us who print out computer documents so that we can read or edit them—that is, digital immigrants—are drifting further apart from digital natives, those who deftly juggle cell phones, text messages, MySpace, and iPods and are at home with the rapidly shifting technological revolution because it is a world that they have always known (Prensky, 2006).

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Medium 9781475831368

There Is Honor Among Thieves

Jenlink, Patrick M. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

There Is Honor Among Thieves

(Re)teaching Dewey’s Democratic Ideal in the Neoliberal Era

M. C. Breen

ABSTRACT: Two crosscurrents compound teacher preparation 100 years after the publication of Dewey’s Democracy and Education: (1) millennial digital literacy environments yield practically infinite sources and amounts of information and the consumers without the skills or will to question or evaluate the information they are receiving and (2) neoliberal educational environments yield heavily controlled, monitored, and assessment-driven curricula that offer little room for choice, reflection, or dynamic interaction. Dewey warned against the “honor among thieves,” or the niche values of narrow cliques. This chapter explores the critical junction between millennial knowledge bases, teacher candidates as products of neoliberal education systems, and teacher educator preparation programs as sites of both democratic education and preparation for neoliberal systems of education. This contested site and contradictory space serves as an entry point for examining Dewey’s notions of democracy and education as teacher candidates move from one knowledge clique into another. Specifically, changing environments in the past 100 years provide educational contexts that have evolved; however, Dewey’s theories of inquiry and communication are especially relevant as millennials identify with democratic education experiences that are merely “fantasy-constructions” that must be reconstructed and reexperienced. Further, how do we situate ourselves as teacher educators in the feedback loop from and into a contemporary educational system that is largely undemocratic?

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Medium 9781475819281

Immigrant Students and Caring Practices: A Tale of Two Teachers

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub


ABSTRACT: School efforts aimed at improving academic outcomes of immigrant students largely emphasize curricular, structural, and programmatic strategies. Such task-driven practices, when conducted in isolation from the social and cultural domains that connect immigrants to school, fail to fully engage or motivate students, thus betraying the promise of such strategies. This qualitative study explored the belief-driven caring practices of two teachers toward immigrant students and the ways that such practices influenced students’ engagement with and motivation toward school. This comparative case analysis reveals the widely divergent practices employed by individual teachers despite school attempts to provide uniform curriculum and instruction believed to support the academic achievement of immigrant students. Implications for this study include school assessment of caring practices, reflection on development of institutionalized and explicit definitions of caring, and guidelines for implementation of such practices.

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