463 Chapters
Medium 9781475819205

“More Than I Bargained For”: Confronting Biases in Teacher Preparation

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub


ABSTRACT: The author of this article presents a case study of four undergraduate students who participated in a semester-long study at an East Coast Catholic university. The students were involved in critical reflection about their identities within a critical multicultural education class. They were asked to connect their personal experiences to the class requirements, which included a reflection journal about the readings, an interview of a community activist, writing poems, and critiquing children’s books. These four students were selected for the in-depth case study analysis because they were representative of the response patterns of the other students in the class, not because they were representative of the class population in terms of gender, race, or ethnicity. Student-generated work and participant observation notes were used as data. The findings show that this critical multicultural class had an impact in four different ways: (1) it spurred a desire to become a change agent in light of a newfound awareness of structural inequalities; (2) it created an awareness of inequality at a superficial level; (3) it validated the voices of students of color; and (4) it allowed for honest reflection about personal biases. Consistent with the research on multicultural education, this paper argues that if teachers are to increase learning opportunities for all students, they must uncover and identify their personal attitudes toward racial, ethnic, language, and cultural groups and they must learn about diverse perspectives.

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Medium 9781475811322

Is This Dialogue Falling Upon Deaf Ears? Exploring the Deliberative Process Among School Administrators



ABSTRACT: This case study explores the deliberative process involved in the conceptualization and implementation of a new and innovative program in one school. After introducing the concept of deliberation, the case study focuses on the communal deliberative process that occurred in the school. The themes that emerged offer insights for schools and deliberative communities regarding the deliberative process.

In order to promote the reorganization of schools and the reconceptualization of schooling, the Israeli Ministry of Education initiated the experimental schools program. The program permits any school in Israel to submit a detailed proposal for creative school restructuring. Schools that are accepted into the program are entitled to additional academic and monetary resources for a period of five years. During the 5-year period, the school is granted the right and privilege of implementing its new program. In order to sustain its status as an experimental school it must be able to show progress from the implementation of the program.

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Medium 9781475819274

Revisiting “Education and Our Present Social Problems”: What Would John Dewey Say Today?

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub


ABSTRACT: In 1933, Dewey presented a speech in which he linked democracy, social class, and teacher activism as integral factors when addressing educational issues. This article argues that those issues include social issues as well. It examines democracy, social class, and present problems in the preparation of teachers, organized around the 1933 questions that Dewey raised in his speech: Where do we as teacher educators derive our objectives for our programs? Where are social problems in the curriculum? And what stand shall a teacher take in viewing them? In acting upon them? What would Dewey say today?

John Dewey, writing prophetically in “The Art of Education” in 1939, captured the tensions that educators are challenged with today, when he stated,

The history of schools … shows a swing of the pendulum between extremes, though it must be admitted that the simile of the pendulum is not a good one, for the schools remain most of them, most of the time, near one extreme, instead of swinging periodically and evenly between the two. (p. 604)

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Medium 9781475812022

African American Women Aspiring to the Superintendency: Lived Experiences and Barriers





ABSTRACT: Focused on the absence of a viable population of African American women in the superintendency, this study addressed barriers described by 10 credentialed, district-level Southern women who hold advanced education degrees coupled with years of leadership experience. This phenomenological study used interview methodology to uncover the lived experiences of African American women who were positioned professionally to apply for the superintendency. A Black feminist construct was employed to interpret personal themes— early expectations, family influences, ethical beliefs, vigilant preparation—that converged with external themes—disconnection from networks, oppression, and selection processes—to reveal obstacles to applying for the superintendency. Profiles of well-credentialed African American women educators are provided.

The superintendency is a complex political position often referred to as a gender-stratified executive position (Bjork, Glass, &Brunner, 2000), with men 40 times more likely than women to advance from teaching to the top leadership position1 within a school district (Skrla &Hoyle, 1999). In a report for the American Association of School Administrators, Glass and Franceschini (2007) stated that 21% of school superintendents were female and only 2% identified as African American female. These numbers are similar to those of North Carolina, the state where this study was conducted. During the 2007–2008 school year, 12 (10.43%) North Carolina superintendents were female, and 2 (1.73%) were African American women. The numbers changed somewhat within the next 2 years, as more women were selected for the superintendency. Twenty-one women (18.26%) held the North Carolina superintendency during the 2009–2010 academic year; however, the number of African American women remained the same—2 women (1.73%) were in the position (North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2009, 2011). In essence there have been very small gains in the numbers of women in the superintendency position and some indication of static growth in the numbers of African American women holding this position. This article examined the perceptions of African American women educators in North Carolina who were qualified for the superintendency but expressed varying levels of concern about seeking the position through their articulations of personal and externally imposed barriers.

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Medium 9781475819328

Readability and Item Difficulty of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Fifth-Grade Science Tests

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub



ABSTRACT: The development of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test involves input from educators across the state. The development process attempts to create an assessment that reflects the skills and content understanding of students at the tested grade level. This study attempts to determine other factors that can affect student performance on this test. Specifically, it set out to determine the readability of the test. Readability of the “most easy” and “most difficult” items, as identified by Rasch difficult-item analysis, was performed. Readability of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills fifth-grade science test reveals grade levels higher than fifth grade in readability and no difference between readability of the “most difficult” and “most easy” questions.

In 2002, the statewide assessment of educational progress for students in Texas changed from the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills test to the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. The TAKS test was heralded as a dramatic improvement over the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills test, as an instrument that tested higher-order thinking skills rather than memorization and simple operational skills.

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