470 Chapters
Medium 9781475819373

Validly and Reliably Assessing Teacher Candidate Dispositions Toward Teaching

Teacher Education and Practice Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub






ABSTRACT: Schools function primarily on two basic principles. The first focuses on the education of students in cognitive skills, and the second, on the education of students in the social skills. Both are necessary to function successfully within society, the workforce, and the political framework of the country (Fullan, 1993). Although these principles are met through the overt, the hidden, and the null curricula (Eisner, 1994), public and political outcry for accountability and the implementation of No Child Left Behind, requiring all teachers to be “highly qualified,” have led colleges of education to place more emphasis on knowledge of content than on disposition toward teaching. To focus more overt attention on dispositions, an instrument of measure was developed and implemented over a 4-year period at a private western New York university. The findings yielded a high reliability score for the data (Cronbach’s alpha = .987) and strong content validity. Although we hypothesized that the 21 items would factor evenly among three independent components, a maximum-likelihood factor analysis showed that all items were highly related and yielded a single factor.

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Medium 9781475819359

Fostering Global Awareness, or What I Learned on My Summer Vacation

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub


With regard to enhancing teacher candidates’ global awareness, teacher education currently faces two challenges: indifference and inaction.

I base this claim primarily on observation and personal experience. Fostering global awareness is not a topic to which I hear my colleagues giving a lot of time and attention; correspondingly, I cannot think of a single student who has ever asked about global perspectives, even though I am sure that this has been an interest and concern for some. Over my 18 years of university teaching, I have given short shrift to global awareness, largely because other goals have taken precedence—such as providing teacher candidates with informed perspective on strategies for teaching reading and writing. Perhaps because teaching in the United States is such a local endeavor, nurturing awareness of global perspectives is rarely a priority.

I have recently begun to question this state of affairs, and admittedly, my steps have been small. This semester, in a course on teaching literacy in the content areas, I began with an overview of the state of literacy, not just in the United States, but in the world. Opportunities are out there, I explained, for teacher candidates to apply their knowledge and skills in contexts beyond the local. In courses on teaching literature, I am integrating texts with strong international connections, such as American Born Chinese (Yang, 2006) and Of Beetles and Angels (Asgedom, 2002), and leading discussions about the changing demographics of American education and the importance of reading widely. Although these steps are minor, they represent my new enthusiasm for global perspectives.

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Medium 9781475819243

A Critical Incident Inquiry: Credentialed Teachers Who Do Not Teach

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub


ABSTRACT: This research study involved the identification and categorization of critical incidents related to individuals who completed the teacher education program but did not teach in public school classrooms. The methodology of the study followed the guidelines put forth by John Flanagan’s critical incident technique. This study was conducted during the spring and summer semesters of 2004. Participants included 32 credentialed teachers who graduated between August 2000 and December 2003 from a senior-level university field-based teacher education program. Data analysis was conducted by categorization of themes that emerged from the incidents reported. A total of 56 critical incidents were reported. The results of the critical incident study identified 11 categories as reasons for not entering the public classroom: job availability, student-teacher–mentor relationship, family issues, salary/benefits, poor teacher preparation, perception, politics/religion, more credentials, alternative employment, criminal background, and nondiscernable.

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Medium 9781475819168

Editorial: Mystification and the Work of Teacher Educators—A More Authentic Speaking

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub


[I]t is [education’s] business to cultivate deep-seated and effective habits of discriminating tested beliefs from mere assertions, guesses, and opinions; to develop a lively, sincere, and open-minded preference for conclusions that are properly grounded, and to ingrain into the individual’s working habits methods of inquiry and reasoning appropriate to the various problems that present themselves. (Dewey, 1910, pp. 27–28)

Education never was, is not, and can never be neutral or indifferent in regard to the reproduction of the dominant ideology or the integration of it. (Freire, 1998, p. 91)

The concept of mystification refers to the relationship between appearance and reality. It is a distancing of individuals, or collectives, from the world, from themselves and from others around them. Mystifications “disguise or transpose . . . real life” (Lefebvre, 1991, p. 146) by providing explanations which achieve the status of common sense. The point is to keep hidden an undisclosed purpose that is not concerned with its impact on individuals or collectives. Mystification occurs when individuals or collectives transpose a story of what reality is, into a belief that the story is reality based on facts. As Hanna Arendt (1968) explains,

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Medium 9781475819533

Field Experience as the Centerpiece of an Integrated Model for STEM Teacher Preparation

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub


ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to provide a descriptive account of one pathway for preparing high-quality STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teachers for work in high-need urban schools. In this account, we discuss the supports that STEM majors need in learning how to think about the content that they know well, through an educational perspective that focuses on teaching and learning. We also describe the approach that we use that integrates content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and three extensive teaching co-op experiences to facilitate the transition from successful STEM undergraduate students to effective teachers of STEM content. We suggest that by using the teaching co-op experiences to both filter and reflect on content and pedagogical content knowledge, the STEM undergraduates develop a particularly strong foundation of knowledge for teaching.

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