10 SES 04 A, Second and Mid-Career Entrants to Teaching
Current research reveals the complex (and often hidden) challenges new teacher educators encounter (Boyd & Harris, 2012; McKeon and Harrison, 2012; Murray and Male, 2005); however, there is little systematic research on teacher educators beyond their induction (or lack thereof). Our large-scale research project, Literacy Teacher Educators: Their Goals, Visions, and Practices, examined literacy/English teacher educators (LTEs) from Canada, the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), and Australia. There are three phases to this study. This paper reports on the first two phases the goal of which is:
· to study in depth a group of literacy/English teacher educators, (LTEs) with special attention to their backgrounds, knowledge, research activities, identity, view of current government initiatives, pedagogy, and course goals.
Re-Conceptualizing the Work of a Teacher Educator
The knowledge and skills teacher educators need is vast and complicated (Ball, 2000; Darling-Hammond, 2006; Kosnik & Beck, 2009). In regards to teaching, Loughran (2006) argues that one cannot simply replicate one’s practices as a classroom teacher in the university setting; there is no direct application of the skills used for teaching children to teaching adults. Teacher educators come to their new position with substantial knowledge about classroom teaching, but Murray and Male (2005) note that “in order to achieve the dual focus of teaching about teaching, new teacher educators needed to develop further pedagogical knowledge and understanding, appropriate for the second-order setting” (p.137). Novice teacher educators find that their knowledge is insufficient because it needs to be “repackaged” and broadened.
Although teacher educators usually have extensive experience of teaching in a school classroom, they need new skills for a new context – the university. Murray (2005) states, “In making the career transition to HE they encounter the practices, norms and expectations of academic work, as instantiated in the settings of the teacher education departments of their Universities or Colleges of Higher Education” (p. 22). Kosnik (2007) describes how, as a beginning teacher educator, she focused her teaching on providing student teachers with a steady diet of practical teaching strategies because that was what she was missing as a new teacher; however, through self-study of her practices she realized this was inadequate because it did not provide a coherent approach to teaching undergirded by research. She needed to deepen her knowledge of all aspects of literacy research and teaching in higher education. Novice teacher educators need to figure out what they are trying to accomplish in their teaching while also learning about the politics and norms of their new workplace (Skerrett, 2008).
Ball, D. (2000). Bridging practices: Intertwining content and pedagogy in teaching and learning to teach. Journal of Teacher Education, 51(3), 241-247. Boyd, P. & Harris, K. (2010). Becoming a university lecturer in teacher education: Expert school teachers reconstructing their pedagogy and identity. Professional Development in Education, 36 (1-2), 9-24 Darling-Hammond, L. (2006). Powerful teacher education: Lessons from exemplary programs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Guyton, E. & McIntyre, J. (1990). Student teaching and school experiences. In W. R. Houston (Ed.), Handbook of research on teacher education (pp. 514-534). New York: Macmillan. Guzzetti, B., Anders, P., & Neuman, S. (1999). Thirty years of Journal of Reading Behaviour. Journal of Literacy Research, 31(1), 86-92. Kosnik, C. (2007). Still the same yet different: Enduring values and commitments in my work as a teacher and teacher educator. In T. Russell, & J. Loughran (Eds.), Enacting a pedagogy of teacher education: Values, relationships and practices (pp. 16-30). London: Routledge. Kosnik, C. & Beck, C. (2009). Priorities in teacher education: The 7 key elements of pre-service preparation. London: Routledge. Loughran, J. (2006). Developing a pedagogy of teacher education: Understanding about teaching and learning about teaching. London. Routledge. McKeon, F. & Harrison, J. (2012). Developing pedagogical practice and professional identities of beginning teacher educators. Professional Development in Education, 36 (1-2), 25-44. Merriam, S. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Murray, J. & Male, T. (2005). Becoming a teacher educator: Evidence from the field. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21(2), 125-142. Murray, J. (2005). Re-addressing the priorities: New teacher educators and induction into higher education. European Journal of Teacher Education, 28(1), 67-85. Punch, K. (2009). Introduction to research methods in education. London: Sage. Skerrett, A. (2008). Biography, identity, and inquiry: The making of teacher, teacher educator, and researcher. Studying Teacher Education, 4(2), 143-156.
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