ERG SES H 08, Teacher Education
Over the last decades teacher preparation in the US and Israel has been changing its structure and goals (Borman, Mueninghoff, Cotner, & Frederick, 2009; Dror, 2008). These changes are part of a growing awareness and support among educators, since the mid 80's, for the professionalization of teaching (e.g., Holmes Group, 1986). There are different interpretations of what is a profession (Abbott, 1988; Collins, 1979; Freidson, 2001; Greenwood, 1957; Wilensky, 1964), however, all lead to the conclusion that the connection between theoretical knowledge and practice plays a major role in the definition. Yet traditionally, teaching has not been considered a true profession (Etzioni, 1969; Glazer, 1974), making recent efforts by educators to professionalize teaching particularly challenging.
In the U.S. this gradual tide in support of the professionalization agenda has manifested itself, among other things, in numerous reports of policy makers, teacher educators and academics (e.g.: Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy, 1986; Darling-Hammond, 2006, 2014; Grossman, 2010; Holmes Group, 1986; Levine, 2001; Ministry of Education, 2014; Shulman, 1987; Whitford & Villaume, 2014). More specifically, the emphasis on professionalization led to the restructuring of teacher preparation programs, in particular the establishment (and, in some cases, substantial expansion) of their clinical-experiential part (Alter & Coggshall, 2009; Blue Ribbon Panel, 2010; Imanuel-Noy & Wagner, 2016). This movement is a breakaway from the traditional teacher preparation model offered by universities and colleges, which favors the promotion of abstract knowledge and thinking over practical experience. The tension between these two poles reflect an ongoing dilemma in many countries about teachers' professionalism and the search for an effective teacher preparation model [see, New Zealand (Grudnoff, 2011), France (Escalié & Chaliès, 2016), England (Furlong, 2013), Australia (Lynch & Smith, 2012) and Oman (Al-Bulushi & Ismail, 2017)].
The search for an effective teacher preparation model also underlines more basic but contentious discussions regarding the nature of teaching and the ideal teacher. Specifically, what personal characteristics and dispositions should they possess? What type of academic preparation and qualifications are in line with the professional demands of teaching? And how can preparation programs structure, nurture and direct prospective teachers’ development toward meeting these amorphous goals?
Grounding our argument upon Dewey's distinction of the three types of experience, the intellectual the practical and the aesthetic (Dewey, 1934), we distinguish between three possible ideal types of preparation experiences and their correlated idealized teachers.
The intellectual experience is developed through theoretical and philosophical preparation, which envisions knowledgeable teachers (Eryaman, 2007; Feiman-Nemser, 2001; Gurney, 2007), who can use their intellect for two purposes. Abstract and theorize to create and improve pedagogical knowledge (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999, 2009), or use their position as embedded intellectuals for moral and political purposes (Giroux, 1988; Giroux & McLaren, 1988). Practical experiences are linked to preparation and involve training on the implementation of theoretical or quasi-theoretical models of teaching in practice (McDonald, Kazemi, & Kavanagh, 2013; Zeichner, 2012). Last, the aesthetic experience is cultivated in preparation programs through the ongoing learning, nurturing and development of the self and the understanding of teaching as a creative process (Eisner, 1992), which demands teachers to be personally involved and invested in their work (Reitman, 1990; Schonmann, 2005), so that their own uniqueness as human beings is vividly reflected in their practice. We argue, that when considering a professionalization agenda for prospective teachers, teacher educators and policy makers should consider a model based on a combination of these three experiences/ideals of teacher preparation.
We develop a conceptual model regarding the role and form of teacher preparation programs in light of the recent transformations, which elevated clinical teacher preparation to the center stage. This conceptual model considers teacher preparation programs as a central component in the professionalization of teaching. It also corresponds well with our own working experience as teacher educators and researchers with numerous teacher preparation programs. We started by conducting a broad review of the literature on teacher preparation in the US and Israel. While this review illuminates some particular idiosyncrasies related to the U.S. and Israel, a more scant review of the literature of EU countries reveals similar trends and concerns that make this discussion about the nature of teacher preparation within the overall conception of the profession, particularly relevant to teacher educators and policy makers throughout the EU. Grounding our claim on Dewey's (1934) distinction between intellectual, practical and aesthetic experiences, we also illustrate how these different experiences are aligned with and enacted by specific characteristics of preparation programs, that in turn direct prospective teachers towards different ideals of teaching. Finally, we depict this triangle model and discuss how the three ideals that establish it coexist or contradict each other in six exemplary preparation programs. The six divide into three American programs – Alliance for Catholic Education Services Through Teaching (ACE STT), Day School Leadership Through Teaching (DeLeT) and Relay Graduate Schools of Education (RGSE) – and three Israeli programs – Kibbutzim College of Education (KCE), Teach First Israel (TFI) and Waldorf education at David Yellin College of Education. Each program exemplifies one or two aspects of our theoretical model. We collected data about the programs from publicly available materials including their advertisements, publications and their courses syllabi. Textual and discourse analysis of the materials allowed us to identify and code for programs' visions; and to exemplify how different ideals match various preparation models.
This paper advances a theoretical model based on three ideal types of teacher preparation. The six programs that were chosen exhibit one main ideal that is often accompanied by one or two additional ideals. Previous research suggest that although the way in which programs integrate these ideals is closely related to their perceptions of good teaching, the teaching methods they promote and their overall goals and missions (e.g., Dallavis & Holter, 2014) , this amalgamation may cause conflict (e.g., Goldshmidt, 2017; Shani, Shadmi-Wortman, & Tabak, 2017). Therefore, it is important to understand whether structural conflict or tension is an anticipated outcome when programs incorporate more than one ideal in their curriculum and mission. Another critical place, where such internal tensions may play out is with how programs perceive their alumni as teachers. For example, some promote the ideal of an intellectual teacher (Feiman-Nemser, 2014; Yogev & Michaeli, 2011), while others focus on becoming a master practitioner (Dallavis & Holter, 2014; Shani et al., 2017) or a self-present teacher (Goldshmidt, 2017). But no matter where programs stand and which vision they seek to promote, emphasizing any single ideal involves the risk of being viewed as too narrow while advancing several ideals may spark confusion and incoherence. Yet, as Dewey (1934) claims, an experience is distinguished from the ongoing experience of the world, and has an internal unity. Thus, even if we try to divide an experience analytically, its intellectual, practical and aesthetical appreciation parts are inseparable. Clinical teacher preparation might seem a step forward, but in order to give student teachers a comprehensive sense of what teaching embodies, it needs to include all three types of experience.
Alter, J., & Coggshall, J. G. (2009). Teaching as a clinical practice profession: Implications for teacher preparation and state policy. Issue brief. National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality. Darling-Hammond, L. (2014). Strengthening clinical preparation: The holy grail of teacher education. Peabody Journal of Education, 89(4), 547–561. Dewey, J. (1934). Art as experience. New York, NY: Minton, Balch & co. Eisner, E. W. (1992). The misunderstood role of the arts in human development. Phi Delta Kappan, 73(8), 591–595. Eryaman, M. Y. (2007). From reflective practice to practical wisdom: Towards a post-foundational teacher education. International Journal of Progressive Education, 3(1), 87–107. Feiman-Nemser, S. (2001). From preparation to practice: Designing a continuum to strengthen and sustain teaching. Teachers College Record, 103(6), 1013–1055. Giroux, H. A. (1988). Teachers as transformative intellectuals. In H. A. Giroux (Ed.), Teachers as intellectuals: Toward a critical pedagogy of learning (pp. 121–128). New York, NY: Bergin & Garvey. Giroux, H. A., & McLaren, P. (1988). Teacher education and the politics of democratic reform. In Teachers as intellectuals: Toward a critical pedagogy of learning (pp. 158–176). New York, NY: Bergin & Garvey. Grossman, P. (2010). Learning to practice: The design of clinical experience in teacher preparation. Washington, DC: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and National Education Association. Gurney, P. (2007). Five factors for effective teaching. New Zealand Journal of Teachers’ Work, 4(2), 89–98. Imanuel-Noy, D., & Wagner, T. (2016). Unpacking the clinical and participatory dimensions of the Trump math-teacher-residency program. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 41(7), 88–109. McDonald, M., Kazemi, E., & Kavanagh, S. S. (2013). Core practices and pedagogies of teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 64(5), 378–386. Reitman, S. W. (1990). A preliminary model of pre-service teacher education as the preparation of professional artists. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 24(1), 21–38. Schonmann, S. (2005). Theatrical representations of teaching as performance. In J. Brophy & S. Pinnegar (Eds.), Learning from research on teaching: perspective, methodology, and representation (pp. 283–311). Burlington: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Shulman, L. S. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 1–23. Whitford, B. Lou, & Villaume, S. K. (2014). Clinical teacher preparation: A retrospective. Peabody Journal of Education, 89(4), 423–435. Zeichner, K. (2012). The turn once again toward practice-based teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 63(5), 376–382.
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