10 SES 13 C, Teacher Motivations, Preparation and Pedagogical Knowledge
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).
University supervisors are considered gatekeepers and teacher educators (Cochran-Smith, 2003) in their respective teacher education programs and the link between the clinical experience and the university campus (Bates, Drits, & Ramirez, 2011; Gimbert & Nolan, 2003). However, university supervisors continue to be excluded and held in low regard by colleges of education (Beck & Kosnik, 2002; Hoover, O’Shea, & Carroll, 1988; Zeichner, 2005), and wide variation exists in how supervisors’ roles are conceptualized both within and across programs (Steadman & Brown, 2011; Jacobs, Hogarty & West Burns, 2017), revealing that the role of the supervisor continues to be undervalued and undefined (Marrou, 1989).
In a previous study (Authors, 2016) we identified four ways supervisors described their roles, each supporting the development of residents’ knowledge in a unique way (pushing, activating, brokering, and mobilising). We use the term knowledge pusher to describe instances in which supervisors explicitly told residents what to do in particular situations, without necessarily making connections to other knowledges the resident might acquire from classes, readings, or other settings. For the supervisors interviewed, knowledge pushing was consistently linked to classroom practice and technical suggestions. Knowledge brokers “work collaboratively with key stakeholders to facilitate the transfer and exchange of information in a given context” (Bornbaum, Kornas, Peirson, & Rosella, 2015). When supervisors asked residents to solve problems of practice themselves by drawing upon prior knowledge from the university or other sources, we argue that supervisors acted as knowledge activators. 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 then sought, in this study, to understand how supervisors chose to enact their work (pushing, activating, brokering, and mobilising). This study takes place within a clinically rich urban residency model of teacher preparation. Within the larger program, student teachers, also known as residents, participate in a 10-month long residency focused on developing inclusive educators who aim to meet the needs of all students in their classrooms. During this time, each resident is placed in two clinical settings within the urban public school district in which the program is located. The residency program is designed to recruit, prepare and support teachers for schools that have traditionally been difficult to staff in this large, urban school district. Interactive journals, used during the residency as space for residents to deepen their understanding of teaching and critically think about experiences in dialogue with their supervisors, provided insights into how supervisors supported residents’ reflection by challenging assertions and providing alternative views (Bain, Ballantyne, Packer & Mills, 1999).
Using the framework of the four ways supervisors develop resident knowledge, we selected supervisor/resident communication, specifically interactive journals, to analyze. Study participants included 10 residency supervisors who worked with a total 24 residents across two cohorts (2015-2016, 2016-2017) in an urban teacher residency program. All supervisors have higher education degrees as well as backgrounds teaching and certification in TESOL, Special Education, or Science content areas. The research team met regularly to discuss the data. We ultimately analyzed the data iteratively, using both inductive and deductive coding (Bogdan & Biklen, 2007). Our inductive codes included the knowledge development terms identified in a previous study (Authors, 2016), namely, pushing, brokering, activating, and mobilising. Some of the deductive codes that emerged included encouragement, relation of prior experience, storytelling, and relationship building. Our analysis was guided by our research question: In what ways do supervisors in an urban residency program guide and support resident knowledge development? This study draws from a larger set of data collected to capture the experiences of students, mentor teachers, and supervisors in an urban residency program. The full data set includes a variety of data collected on the program, including surveys, focus groups, individual interviews, and artifacts such as admissions materials and work completed by participants while in the program. Interactive journals are a required aspect of the residency program. These journals reveal multiple access points to residents’ knowledge development through both thinking ahead and reflecting on their experiences in the classroom. Supervisors provide regular weekly feedback to residents through these journals, which opens up discussion between themselves and their residents, allowing supervisors to provide structures and support, and to help residents think through and unpack their experiences such that their teaching practices can be enriched. We used purposive sampling of supervisors’ feedback found in supervisor/resident discussion within the interactive journals.
Preliminary analysis indicated that supervisors provided guidance for resident knowledge development through storytelling and that complexities exist within the four identified forms of knowledge development (Authors, 2016). Due to the space constraints of this proposal, we will briefly focus on the first finding. All supervisors shared personal experiences around teaching and learning with their residents through differentiated storytelling, where the supervisor elaborated upon an experience for multiple end goals (Carter, 1993; Oliver, 1998), combining use of knowledge and experience to engage intentional learning. Supervisors differentiated their storytelling in three specific ways, using relational, critical or provocative prompts, most frequently developing their storytelling responses from a relational foundation establishing an empathetic connection. In multiple examples, supervisors validated residents’ experiences through sharing of positive and negative anecdotes. The supervisor below is responding to her resident’s expressed concerns over a lesson not going as planned: I remember having a planned lesson go off the rails in a really wonderful way one year …. I had a cart full of books from the school library, and the kids just grabbed them as they walked into the room and started reading…. I wound up just letting them read for the entire 40 minute period, which was not something I would have planned to do. As this supervisor continues on, the resident is required to think critically about her own practice. The resident’s knowledge development is activated through questions and brokered as the supervisor offers suggestions as to resources she could use to explore these questions. At the same time, the supervisor is able to establish rapport with her resident. These findings complicate the four discrete forms of knowledge used by supervisors; the forms of knowledge development overlap and intersect throughout communications and styles of storytelling, indicating that there are multiple intentionalities within the supervisor’s role.
Authors. (2016). Bain, J. D., Ballantyne, R., Packer, J., & Mills, C. (1999). Using journal writing to enhance student teachers’ reflectivity during field experience placements. Teachers and Teaching, 5(1), 51-73. Bates, A. J., Drits, D., & Ramirez, L. A. (2011). Self-awareness and enactment of supervisory stance. Teacher Education Quarterly, 38(3), 69-87. Cain, T., Wieser, C., & Livingston, K. (2016). Mobilising research knowledge for teaching and teacher education. European Journal of Teacher Education, 39(5), 529-533. Carter, K. (1993). The place of story in the study of teaching and teacher education. Educational Researcher, 22(1), 5–12. Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S.L. (1999). Relationships of knowledge and practice. Review of Research in Education, 24, 249-305. Darling-Hammond, L. (2014). Strengthening clinical preparation. Peabody Journal of Education, 89(4), 547-561. Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.). (2011). The Sage handbook of qualitative research. Sage. 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. 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. 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. 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 Oliver, K. (1998). A journey into narrative analysis. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 17, 244–59. Wilson, E. K. (2006). The impact of an alternative model of student teacher supervision. Teaching and teacher education, 22(1), 22-31.
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