478 Slices
Medium 9781475819328

Crossing Educational Boundaries: Text, Technology, and Dialogue as a Critical Pathway

R&L Education ePub




ABSTRACT: Can the perceived boundary between professor and student be crossed? Can technology be used as a pathway to cross that boundary? These questions were answered as a result of a project initiated to meet the requirements in creating an honors option for an undergraduate educational psychology course. In constructing the course requirements, the professors set a goal of reflecting with a student on critical issues as they reviewed a book of such articles written by Alfie Kohn. The sequence of analysis took place throughout the semester, using electronic media dialogue following the reading of each chapter. Through the reflections of the professors, the student connected theory and practice while crossing the perceived boundary between professor and student. In addition to crossing the perceived boundary and using technology to facilitate dialogue, the student and the professors experienced intellectual and professional growth. This project explores the reflective comments of both professors and a student that occurred during this reflective exercise.

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Medium 9781475819281

From Student to Teacher: Circumventing the Alternative Certification Process

R&L Education ePub



ABSTRACT: Alternative certification programs were designed to recruit individuals with work experiences into the teaching profession. This article synthesizes two studies of teachers and teacher candidates who circumvented the alternative certification process. The teachers who participated in the quantitative portion of the study were neither mature in their developmental processes nor disposed to critical thinking. Although the teachers entered the career of teaching at a strange place (void of pedagogical training and field experiences), the participants in the qualitative study viewed themselves as successful teachers, and as evidenced by their rehire status, they were viewed as successful teachers by their supervisors.

No longer a new concept, alternative certification still provides a great deal of mystery to certification program administrators and employing school districts in terms of effectiveness and comparative viability to traditional teacher preparation. Although literature on the topic now dates back more than 20 years, much is still unknown or, worse, misunderstood. In an effort to shed additional light on this important issue, this article synthesizes two studies: one qualitative and the other quantitative, each conducted in a southwestern state (though not the same state). One study investigated the critical thinking skills of alternatively certified teachers at the elementary and secondary levels; the other examined the experiences that led to the resiliency of alternatively certified secondary teachers. A common theme is apparent in the combined research: Some alternatively certified teachers circumvent what alternative certification was designed to do—that is, encourage individuals with authentic work experiences to share those life experiences with students through their role as teachers.

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Medium 9781475819403

Meeting the Cultural and Social Needs of English-Language Learners: A Middle School ESL Teacher’s Practice

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to explore the teaching practices of an ESL (English as a second language) teacher with regard to middle school English-language learners’ participation in classroom activities. Findings suggest that the teacher’s approach based on the students’ sociocultural needs—more so than their linguistic needs—promoted their participation in literacy learning. The students who appeared to be quiet or silent in their regular classrooms participated more actively in the ESL classroom, where the teacher implemented cultural inclusivity in her approach. The study aims to help teachers become aware of their roles and teaching practices to support middle-grade English-language learners’ active participation in the classroom.

The ESL [English as a second language] teacher is like my mother.

I feel freedom here.

Nobody laughs at me in ESL class.

I feel more comfortable in the ESL class.

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Medium 9781475819359

Identifying Challenges Faced by Teacher Education in an Increasing Global Society

R&L Education ePub


Identifying the challenges faced by teacher education as our global society becomes increasingly complex requires our understanding the current contexts for teacher preparation while projecting what needs to be done to prepare for the future. As such, I chose to look back to identify the lessons learned from scholars in teacher education who addressed the perceived challenges of their time. Several articles written more than 50 years ago addressed the direction of teacher education from the vantage point of a time when the field attempted to reconcile its identity through course credits, accreditation, and a sense of purpose. For example, Keppel (1952) explored whether teacher education should keep a traditional—and, as some would claim, more prestigious—liberal arts approach or adopt a teachers college approach focused squarely on the real-life problems of education and the preparation of teachers who can address those problems. Evans (1952) accurately assessed trends toward an emphasis on more “rigid standards” for teachers, increased subject matter preparation, and expanding the “professional laboratory experiences” that should precede student teaching. Olsen (1951) provided a different angle, suggesting that according to “abundant evidence,” education was moving from the traditional “book-centered school of yesterday to the community, life-centered school of tomorrow.” This model stressed an all-important need to organize curriculum around the processes and problems of the local community, thus addressing the quality of life of individuals within that community. According to Olsen, in-service and preservice teachers should continuously engage in community observation, community participation, and community contribution.

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Medium 9781475819472

Dialogues of Teacher Education: Whither Scholarship in the Work of Enhancing the Quality of Teaching and Learning?

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


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 in this issue—“Whither Scholarship in the Work of Enhancing the Quality of Teaching and Learning?”—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.

Entering a conversation where the framing question begins with the term whither draws into specific relief the importance of examining how that term is used—that is, its meaning or connotation. One might interpret whither interrogatively or relatively, with either interpretation being correct in the syntax of a question, such as “Whither scholarship in the work of enhancing the quality of teaching and learning?” When the question is approached interrogatively, it could pragmatically, critically interpret as a query of whether there is a role for scholarship or what is the role of scholarship, whereas if the question is approached relatively, there is an inference that scholarship has a role or relationship; therein, the question focuses one on examining the nature of the relationship. To extend this point, in the case of enhancing the quality of teaching and learning, the question prompted by whither could be construed either interrogatively or relatively. That is, “whither scholarship . . . ” could be approached as interrogating the role of scholarship in enhancing the quality, or it could be approached relatively, with a purpose of understanding the relationship presumed to exist between scholarship and quality of teaching and learning.

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