10 SES 06 A, Professional Identity & Teacher Identity: Motivations
Internationally, there has been a trend towards developing teacher education programs that are clinically rich (Lunenberg & Korthagen 2009; OECD, 2010). The opportunity to see theory in practice, as afforded by extensive clinical practice in teacher preparation programs, has been identified by pre-service teachers as significant in their learning to teach (Holste & Matthews, 1993), possibly because it allows for knowledge mobilisation (Cain, Wieser, & Livingston, 2016) across the university and cooperating school settings. To take full advantage of this increase in clinical experience, teacher educators have identified a need for quality pre-service teacher supervision (Darling-Hammond, 2014) so that pre-service teachers are provided the assistance needed to gain a deeper and more critical understanding of their experience rather than simply learning how to mimic their mentor teachers (Ellis, 2010) and so that collaboration among K-12 schools and universities becomes more “systematic and intentional” (Burns, Jacobs, & Yendol-Hoppey, 2016).
Although student teachers consider the cooperating teacher to be a critical element of their field experience (McIntyre, Byrd, & Foxx, 1996), the university supervisor has been portrayed as having an underdeveloped (MacDougall et al. 2013) or unclear (Garcia, 2005) role. The distinction between the roles of the university supervisor and the cooperating teacher is often blurred (Richardson-Koehler, 1988); as a result, the university supervisor’s role is frequently devalued because the supervisor spends less time with the student teacher and is thus viewed as simply an inadequate cooperating teacher (Wilson, 2006).
However, the university supervisor links clinical experience to the university curriculum, and performs additional crucial roles. Feiman-Nemser and Buchmann (1987) differentiate the supervisor’s role as supporting the student teacher in understanding the transferability of skills within and across contexts. Performing this role requires knowledge of bureaucracies, school culture, and teacher candidates. Recent findings (Montecinos et al., 2015) suggest that an expansion of supervisors’ role in both the placement process and the supervisory process could further support the clinical experience.
Our study takes place within a clinically rich teacher residency model of teacher preparation that aims to prepare teachers to work in high-needs schools in a particular urban district in the United States. The purpose of this study is to understand the unique role that university supervisors play in supporting and guiding residents to transfer and integrate knowledge and skills across various contexts including the classrooms they are placed within, the urban school district, the university setting, and the broader sociopolitical context of education.
As we seek to build upon the limited existing literature on the roles of university-based supervisors (Steadman & Brown, 2011), we draw upon the concept of knowledge mobilisation as a starting point for understanding supervisors’ roles. Knowledge mobilisation refers to “the multiple ways in which stronger connections can be made between research, policy and practice” (Levin, 2011, p. 15); specifically, knowledge mobilisation involves “the process by which knowledge is transferred from its originating community...to other communities” (Cain, Wieser, & Livingston, 2016, p. 529). We argue that supervisors work as knowledge mobilisers, marshalling knowledge across the university, K-12 classroom, and district settings in order to help residents develop knowledge-of-practice (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999). Knowledge-of-practice is generated primarily by practitioners, but includes knowledges generated across the research-practice nexus (Cain, Wieser, & Livingston, 2016). This type of knowledge bridges knowledge-for-practice, which is frequently produced by university researchers and often referred to as theoretical knowledge, and knowledge-in-practice, which is often considered more exclusively practical.
Cain, T., Wieser, C., & Livingston, K. (2016). Mobilising research knowledge for teaching and teacher education. European Journal of Teacher Education, 39(5), 529-533. Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S.L. (1999). Relationships of knowledge and practice: Teacher learning in communities. Review of Research in Education, 24, 249-305. Darling-Hammond, L. (2014). Strengthening clinical preparation: The holy grail of teacher education. Peabody Journal of Education, 89(4), 547-561. Ellis, V. (2010). Impoverishing experience: The problem of teacher education in England. Journal of Education for Teaching, 36(1), 105-120. European Commision. (2015). Shaping career-long perspectives on teaching: A guide on policies to improve initial teacher education. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/repository/education/library/reports/initial-teacher-education_en.pdf Feiman-Nemser, S. & Buchmann, M. (1987). When is student teaching teacher education? Teaching and Teacher Education, 3(4), 255-273. Garcia, M.P.P. (2005). ¿Se pueden determinar las funciones del supervisor universitario? Revista de Investigación Educativa, 23(2), 315-332. Holste, D. & Matthews, D. (1993). Survey of 1991 teacher education graduates conducted in May 1992. Champaign, IL: Council on Teacher Education. Levin, B. (2011). Mobilising research knowledge in education. London Review of Education, 9(1), 15-26. Lunenberg, M., & Korthagen, F. (2009). Experience, theory, and practical wisdom in teaching and teacher education. Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 15(2), 225-240. Macdougall, L., Mtika, P., Reid, I., & Weir, D. (2013). Enhancing feedback in student-teacher field experience in Scotland: The role of school-university partnership. Professional Development in Education, 39(3), 420-437. McIntyre, D. J., Byrd, D. M., & Foxx, S. M. (1996). Field and laboratory experiences. In J. Sikula, T. J. Buttery, & E. Guyton (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Teacher Education (171-193). New York, NY: Macmillan. Montecinos, C., Walker, H., & Maldonado, F. (2015). School administrators and university practicum supervisors as boundary brokers for initial teacher education in Chile. Teaching and Teacher Education, 49, 1-10. OECD (2010), Lessons from PISA for the United States, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264096660-en Richardson-Koehler, V. (1988). Barriers to the effective supervision of student teaching: A field study. Journal of Teacher Education, 39(2), 28-34. Steadman, S.C., & Brown, S.D. (2011). Defining the job of university supervisor: A department-wide study of university supervisors’ practices. Issues in Teacher Education, 21(1), 51-68. Wilson, E. K. (2006). The impact of an alternative model of student teacher supervision: Views of the participants. Teaching and teacher education, 22(1), 22-31.
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