Matching Items (6)

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Graduation is not the finish line: building professional teacher identity in preservice teachers

Description

Teacher candidates completing their senior year student teaching practicum as part of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University are expected to graduate as professional, high-quality teachers

Teacher candidates completing their senior year student teaching practicum as part of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University are expected to graduate as professional, high-quality teachers who are classroom-ready and dedicated to the profession. One lacking component of the program is the opportunity for teacher candidates to have personalized learning experiences that develop professional teacher identity in addition to the development of enhanced teaching skills. To address this, an intervention of an Action Research Project (ARP) was added to the final semester of the student teaching practicum. The goal of the project was to increase professional teacher identity, which would lead to increased teaching practices and a more favorable outlook on real-world problem solving in teaching elementary students.

This mixed methods action research study included data collection methods to measure how integrating action research into a cohort-based student teaching experience improved teacher candidates’ teaching practices, how it affected their professional teacher identity and how they perceived the project contributed to the formation of their professional teacher identity. Frameworks that guided the study included principles from the Theory of Self-Organized Learning and Social Identity Theory.

The participants of the study were seven teacher candidates completing their student teaching experience in an Arizona school district. Data gathered included teacher evaluation scores, results from a “Teacher Candidate Experience Questionnaire,” narratives collected from Teacher Learning Conversations and written responses on a Final Reflection.

Results suggested that teacher candidates’ teaching scores either slightly improved or stayed the same following the intervention. Professional teacher identity increased through the integration of the project, while student identity decreased. Through narratives collected from the participants, observations of other teachers and classrooms emerged as the most impactful component of the intervention. Participants perceived that observations contributed to their growth as teachers by providing exposure to more diverse situations, prompting them to feel engaged and inspired, encouraging high expectations and fostering ways for them to make personal connections. Observing in other classrooms did not always provide the examples and structures the participants had hoped for, yet this disappointment also added value to their growth as teachers.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Innovating everything: examining teacher learning of unfamiliar texts

Description

This dissertation explored how a teacher learned to teach with and about unfamiliar (to her) media texts in her high school English classroom. This study also examined my role as

This dissertation explored how a teacher learned to teach with and about unfamiliar (to her) media texts in her high school English classroom. This study also examined my role as the researcher/mentor in the teacher’s learning and development process. Through situated learning theories (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and discourse through identities (Gee, 2001; 2014a) theoretical frameworks, this study explored the ways the teacher accepted, resisted, and enacted her figured worlds and identities as an English teacher. Historically, texts in the English classroom consist of novels, poems, plays, and the occasional nonfiction book or essay, and English teacher education and development often keeps these texts at the center of English teachers’ content knowledge. However, research exploring students’ use of multiliteracies in out-of-classroom contexts advocates for a multiliteracies perspective within classrooms. Still, there is a lack of professional development opportunities for teachers to support multiliteracies practices in their classrooms. Further, teachers’ professional development is often provided in stand-alone experiences where teachers learn outside of their classroom teaching contexts. Taking place over a six-month time frame, this study is situated as one-on-one professional development mentoring and included researcher and teacher collaboration in multiple contexts including planning, teaching, and reflection. This qualitative case study (Merriam, 1998) sought to address a gap in the literature in how the collaboration of teachers and researchers impacted teacher learning. Using interpretive analysis (Erickson, 1986) and discourse analysis (Gee, 2014a; 2014b) I developed two assertions: (1) The process the teacher underwent from finding resources to teaching and reflection was complex and filled with many phases and challenges, and (2) I, as the researcher/mentor, served as a sounding board and resource for the teacher/learner throughout her process of learning about, teaching with, and reflecting on unfamiliar texts. Findings of this study indicate the teacher’s identities and figured worlds impacted both how she learned about and taught with unfamiliar texts, and how I approached my role as a researcher/mentor in the study. Further, findings also indicate collaborative, practice-based research models (Hinchman & Appleman, 2017) offer opportunities to provide teachers meaningful and impactful professional development experiences situated in classroom contexts.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Exploring Identities of Second Language Writing Teachers

Description

This qualitative study examines second language (L2) writing teachers’ identities. The study explores L2 writing teachers’ narrated identities (i.e., the teachers’ perceptions of themselves), enaction of these identities (i.e., students’

This qualitative study examines second language (L2) writing teachers’ identities. The study explores L2 writing teachers’ narrated identities (i.e., the teachers’ perceptions of themselves), enaction of these identities (i.e., students’ perceptions of those teachers; those teachers’ classroom behaviors), and identity enaction’s positive impacts on students. In order to investigate these issues, I conducted interviews with three L2 writing teachers of first-year composition in the United States (U.S.), along with student interviews and classroom observations. Findings showed that there were 10 narrated identities of these L2 writing teachers. All of these narrated identities were enacted except for one. The findings also indicated that there were positive impacts on students from enaction of these identities when that enaction involved certain teaching practices. Enaction of L2 writing teacher identity had a positive impact when it involved the teacher paying attention to L2 writers’ needs, showing empathy toward L2 writers, and avoiding overemphasis on L2 writers’ language issues. Enaction of writing teacher identity had a positive impact when it involved the teacher providing an enjoyable writing experience, focusing on content knowledge learning, and focusing on writing issues over language issues. Enaction of language teacher identity had a positive impact when it involved the teacher providing language help. Enaction of freedom teacher identity had a positive impact when it involved the teacher providing guided freedom. Enaction of American teacher identity had a positive impact when it involved the teacher focusing on U.S. academic experience. Enaction of general teacher identity had a positive impact when it involved the teacher displaying positive attitudes towards teaching in general. Enaction of individual coach identity had a positive impact when it involved the teacher providing individualized help.
These findings suggest that L2 writing teachers can maintain positive L2 writing teaching practices. L2 writing teachers can make their teaching practices more informed by seeking out teaching resources and insights from various disciplines as pedagogical content experts in L2 writing. They can also teach L2 writers by addressing L2 writers’ needs with positive emotions, providing guided freedom and individualized help, and understanding L2 writers’ educational backgrounds.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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A measure of goodness: art teacher identity as a measure of quality

Description

ABSTRACT This qualitative study examines how high school art teachers conceive of being a good art teacher. Motivated by my own experiences as an art teacher, I designed this study

ABSTRACT This qualitative study examines how high school art teachers conceive of being a good art teacher. Motivated by my own experiences as an art teacher, I designed this study to add teachers' voices to the conversation surrounding quality in education. My research design included a narrative strand and an arts-based strand. In the narrative strand, I interviewed and observed 12 high school art educators from a major city in the southwest. I conducted an autoethnographic reflection exploring my connection to the research topic and research process. In the arts-based strand I used fiber-arts to further understand my topic. I wrote this dissertation using a narrative approach, blending the traditional research format, voices of participants, and my autoethnographic reflection. I included the results of my arts-based approach in the final chapter. Findings suggest that the teachers in this study conceptualize being a good art teacher as a process of identity construction. Each of the teachers understood what it meant to be a good art teacher in unique ways, connected to their personal experiences and backgrounds. As the teachers engaged in identity work to become the kind of art teacher they wanted to be, they engaged in a process of identity construction that consisted of four steps. I propose a model of identity construction in which the teachers chose teaching practices, evaluated those practices, identified challenges to their identities, and selected strategies to confirm, assert, or defend their desired identities. The findings have implications for teachers to become reflective practitioners; for teacher educators to prepare teachers to engage in reflective practices; and for administrators and policy makers to take into account the cyclical and personal nature of identity construction. This study also has implications for further research including the need to examine the dispositions of art teachers, teachers' evolving conceptions of what it means to be a good art teacher, and the effect labeling teachers' quality has on their identity construction.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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The right to write: novice English teachers write to explore their identities in a writing community

Description

ABSTRACT This research studies the effects of a writing community on three novice, middle school, Title I language arts teachers' perceptions of themselves as educators and as writers. The participants

ABSTRACT This research studies the effects of a writing community on three novice, middle school, Title I language arts teachers' perceptions of themselves as educators and as writers. The participants wrote on topics of their selection, on a bi-monthly basis, for one semester, to explore their teaching and learning. The teachers are in their first five years of instruction and work in Title I, urban schools with ethnically diverse students. All participants are National Writing Project fellows. The researcher analyzed teachers' journals, narratives, conversations, interviews and pre-surveys to collapse and code the research into themes. Findings suggest that teachers need time and support to write during the school day if they are going to write. They also need a supportive, honest, and friendly audience, the writing community, to feel like writers. Findings generated have implications for teacher preparation programs. The participant, who was not an education major, in her undergraduate program, is the only teacher who feels confident in her writing abilities which she connects to her experience in writing and presenting her work as an English and women's studies major. More teacher education programs should offer more writing courses so that preservice teachers become comfortable with the art of composition. Universities and colleges must foster the identities of both instructor and writer in preservice language arts teachers so that they become more confident in their writing and, in turn, their writing instruction. It may be implausible for novice teachers to be effective writing instructors, and educate their students on effective writing strategies, if they do not feel confident in their writing abilities. Although writing researchers may posit that English teachers act as gatekeepers by withholding writing practices from their students (Early and DeCosta-Smith, 2011), this study suggests that English teachers may not have these writing skills because they do not write and or participate in a writing community. When preservice English teachers are not afforded authentic writing opportunities, they graduate from their teacher education programs without confidence as writers. Once ELA teachers transition into their careers they are, again, not afforded the opportunity to write. In turn, it is difficult for them to teach writing to their students, particularly low-income, minority students who may need additional support from their teachers with composition. K-12 teachers need the time and space to write for themselves, on topics of their selection, during the school day, and then, must be trained on how to use their writing as a model to coach their students.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Beginning teachers' production of pedagogical content knowledge: a cultural historical perspective

Description

Few would argue that teacher effectiveness is a key lever in education reform and improving the overall quality of public education, especially in poor and working class communities. To that

Few would argue that teacher effectiveness is a key lever in education reform and improving the overall quality of public education, especially in poor and working class communities. To that end, the importance of supporting and developing beginning teachers is of utmost importance in education, thus requiring deep understandings of the process of learning to teach. Yet, most conceptions of teacher learning struggle to capture the social, cultural, and historical context of teacher learning, particularly in understanding how learning and the production of knowledge is situated, active, and complex. One example of this limitation comes from the field of research on pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and its importance in developing effective beginning teachers. This study characterizes beginning teachers' production of PCK within a cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) framework. This study finds that the teachers produce PCK mostly based on their own individual experiences and reflections, receiving little assistance from the structures intended to provide them with support. The self-produced PCK is uneven, underdeveloped, and relies on teachers to use their sense of agency and identity to navigate dissonant and unbalanced activity systems. Over time, PCK production remains uneven and underdeveloped, while the individual teachers find it more and more difficult to bring balance to their activity systems, ultimately resulting in their exit from the activity system of teaching in their district and school.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012