10 SES 10 C, Teacher Educators: Research methods and perspectives
In teacher education the three main factors for successful teaching are: (1) cognitive ability; (2) background experience; and (3) non-academic capabilities (Cochran-Smith & Fries, 2005). Internationally there is an increasing focus on the assessment of pre-service teachers’ (PSTs) non-academic capabilities (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, 2013). Despite the variety of measures used to assess non-academic capabilities (e.g., personality tests, interviews, personal statements), results on the validity of these methods have been mixed (e.g., Metzger & Wu, 2008; Young & Delli, 2002).
Australian teacher education is currently under increasing pressure to identify and assess PST’s non-academic capabilities prior to entry (AITSL, 2015, Bowles, Hattie, Dinham, Scull, & Clinton, 2014). However,greaterattention is needed on how to best support the development of non-academic capabilities within teacher education programs. Since Situational Judgement Test (SJT) methodology has been shown to be a reliable and valid way of assessing non-academic attributes (Patterson, Zibarras, & Ashworth, 2015). The aim of the study was to explore the reasoning processes of a group of PSTs by using context-specific scenarios and follow up Think Aloud interviews.
- What PSTs’ reasoning processes emerge when they are asked to verbally respond to a complex teaching scenario?
- What beliefs and motives underpin the cognitive reasoning of PSTs when they consider a range of responses to a challenging teaching situation?
The overarching theoretical framework for this study is Bandura’s (1997) Social Cognitive Theory, with learning defined as an active cognitive process. Critical to the learning process is recognition of the reciprocal interactions occurring amongst personal, environmental, and behavioural factors. This study focused on the personal component and how some aspects of beliefs and motivations are operating ‘on the surface’ (explicitly) and other aspects are operating implicitly or without conscious thought (Motowidlo & Beier, 2010; Schultheiss & Brunstein, 2010). The research was carried out using a modified model based on current SJT research with PST’s (see Klassen, et al., in press). This model of implicit and explicit beliefs and motives was used to frame and draw inferences on the reasoning of pre-service teachers.
Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership [AITSL] (2015). Strengthened accreditation of initial teacher education programs. Accessed 6 December 2016 from www.aitsl.edu.au/initial-teacher-education/ ite-reform-strengthened-accreditation Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman. Bowles, T., Hattie, J., Dinham, S., Scull, J., & Clinton, J. (2014). Proposing a comprehensive model for identifying teaching candidates. The Australian Educational Researcher, 1-16. Charters, E. (2003). The use of think-aloud methods in qualitative research an introduction to think-aloud methods. Brock Education Journal, 12(2) Cochran-Smith, M., & Fries, K. (2005). Researching teacher education in changing times: Politics and paradigms. Studying Teacher Education: The Report of the AERA Panel on Research and Teacher Education, 69-109. Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation [CAEP] (2013). Standards. Accessed 15th December 2016 from http://www.caepnet.org/standards/standard-3 Fonteyn, M. E., Kuipers, B., & Grobe, S. J. (1993). A description of think aloud method and protocol analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 3(4), 430-441. Klassen, R. M., Durksen, T. L., Kim, L., Patterson, F., Rowett, E., Warwick, J, Wolpert, M.A.(2017). Developing a proof-of-concept selection test for entry into primary teacher education programs. International Journal of Assessment Tools in Education, 4(2), 96-114. Klassen, R., Durksen, T., Rowett, E., & Patterson, F. (2014). Applicant reactions to a situational judgment test used for selection into initial teacher training. International Journal of Educational Psychology, 3(2), 104-124. Motowidlo, S. J., & Beier, M. E. (2010). Differentiating specific job knowledge from implicit trait policies in procedural knowledge measured by a situational judgment test. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(2), 321. Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. L. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods research (2nd ed). London: Sage Publications Metzger, S. A., & Wu, M. (2008). Commercial teacher selection instruments: The validity of selecting teachers through beliefs, attitudes, and values. Review of Educational Research, 78(4), 921-940. Schultheiss, O., & Brunstein, J. (2010). Implicit motives. UK: Oxford University Press. Swanson, H. L., O'Connor, J. E., & Cooney, J. B. (1990). An information processing analysis of expert and novice teachers' problem solving. American Educational Research Journal, 27(3), 533-556. Young, I. P., & Delli, D. A. (2002). The validity of the teacher perceiver interview for predicting performance of classroom teachers. Educational Administration Quarterly, 38(5), 586-612.
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