10 SES 12 C, Research on Professional Knowledge & Identity in Teacher Education
Classroom situations can be characterized by multidimensionality, unpredictability, simultaneity (Doyle, 1986) and, in addition, they are highly dynamic. In such complex environments teachers have to organize the learning process and monitor students` understanding with regard to particular learning goals. Since a teacher cannot pay equal attention to all of the incidents he/she is confronted with during instruction, he/she has to notice such classroom interactions which appear to be relevant for students’ learning and disregard other ones.
Blömeke, Gustafsson, and Shavelson (2015) put forward a model of teacher competence in which they explicitly emphasizes teachers` noticing during instruction as an important part of teacher competence. They introduce teacher competence as a continuum, linking teachers` cognitive, affective, and motivational dispositions to their performance. Blömeke et al. argue that teachers` dispositions are mediated by situation-specific skills which result into teachers` performance. The situation-specific skills are specified as teacher`s perception (P), interpretation (I) and decision-making (D). The authors highlight the importance of teachers` situation-specific skills in their professional framework, however, they remain cautious concerning the details of the situation specific-skills. To further our understanding of teacher noticing it is helpful to consider an additional construct, which is prevalent in the American context and is called “noticing” (Schack, Fisher & Wilhelm, 2017; Sherin, Jacobs & Philipp, 2011). Noticing focusses on teachers` cognition during instruction and same as the situation-specific skills divides teacher noticing into different processes similar to the above mentioned PID (Blömeke, Gustafsson & Shavelson, 2015). Same as the PID model, it is “an emerging construct without an established definition” (Jacobs, 2017).
It is known from expertise research that expert teachers perceive more meaningful patterns in the domain in which they are experienced and that expert teachers have faster and more accurate pattern recognition capabilities (Berliner, 2001; Carter, Cushing, Sabers, Stein & Berliner, 1988; Sabers, Cushing & Berliner, 1991). On this basis further research has been carried out, which focusses on the development of teacher noticing with regard to classroom management (Gold, Hellermann & Holodynski, 2016; Wolff, van den Bogert, Jarodzka & Boshuizen, 2015). One central finding comprised that “Experts focused on learning in the classroom and the teacher’s ability to influence learning, whereas novices were more concerned with maintaining discipline and behavioral norms” (Wolff et al., 2015).
Besides aspects of classroom management, a geography teacher needs to notice subject-specific incidents. For example it is beneficial, if a geography teacher notices that a student has trouble analyzing a map, the teacher can analyze the student`s map analysis skills and help the student accordingly. In geography education “noticing” as a competence facet of the geography teacher is a new construct.
The aim of this study is to explore the development of geography teacher noticing during geography instruction. Understanding how geography teacher noticing differ between expert and novices is useful for enhancing beginning teachers` expertise development. For this purpose the differences in teacher noticing of three groups, at different stages of their professional development, are compared with regard to three aspects: the thematic focus of participants` statements, the types of interpretations the participants offer in response to the teaching situation and the decision-making they provide.
A qualitative study in an expert-novice research design (Bromme, 1992) was conducted. The sample comprised seven bachelor students at the beginning of their studies, seven master students at the end of their studies and seven expert geography teachers. The experts are certified teacher trainees for geography education, who work in the second phase of pre-service teacher training in Germany. In preparation for the study two staged video vignettes were produced. Video vignettes are frequently used to operationalize the noticing construct (Jacobs, 2017; Stahnke, Schueler & Roesken-Winter, 2016) because they come close to the complexity of the classroom and are able to represent real time. The two video vignettes focus on key areas of geography teaching. The first one is dedicated to students` map analysis skills (Hemmer, Hemmer, Hüttermann & Ullrich, 2010) and the second one is about students` geographic thinking skills (Leat, 1998; Vankan, Rohwer & Schuler, 2007). The teachers` cognitions were generated by the Think Aloud Method (Someren, Barnard & Sandberg, 1994). In accordance with the theoretical framework, the participants were asked to stop the video whenever they noticed something, which is relevant for subject-specific learning, to elaborate why they stopped and to explain how they would proceed as a teacher. The audio reports were transcribed and segmented into statements. The statements were analysed applying Qualitative Content Analysis (Schreier, 2014) because the focus of this method is a descriptive reconstruction of textual material. The method reduces and structures the data (Schreier, 2014) according to the research questions. The smallest analysis unit was an idea unit and the entire material served as context unit. The coding frame for the topics and for the type of interpretation consists of concept-driven, deductive categories, which were based on the literature outlined in the theoretical part as well as data-driven, inductively derived categories, which resulted from our data and relate to our research question. The categories for the decision-making were entirely inductively derived duet to a lack of a sound theoretical basis.
Currently we are analyzing the material, therefore the results are preliminary and will be finalized until the conference. The first results indicate that experts refer to topics, which have to do with teachers` preparation of the lesson. For instance the experts discuss the material the teacher chose for the lesson or the tasks set by the teacher. The two other groups refer predominantly to other topics such as the competence of the students they observe in the video vignettes. The number of topics, the participants offer in response to the entire video vignettes, seems to increase in the course of professionalization. Based on the participants` comments on the video vignettes, the second research question explores the types of interpretations. Different types of interpretation could be identified. For example the descriptive type is characterized by the fact that the participants restate what happens in the video vignette. This category was assigned when the participant verbally reproduced observable features (description of students` actions, repetition of students` comments) in the vignette in a neutral style. Another category is called “explanation/reasoning”. This category was assigned when the participant explains the incident in the video vignette either on the background of his/her disciplinary knowledge or subject-didactics. The first results show that all groups use all types of interpretation but to different degrees. The greatest distance to what is seen in the video vignette is gained by the experts. The bachelor students and the master students make fewer decisions than the experts and their decisions are less elaborate.
Berliner, D. C. (2001). Learning about and learning from expert teachers. International Journal of Educational Research, 35(5), 463-482. Blömeke, S., Gustafsson, J.-E. & Shavelson, R. J. (2015). Beyond Dichotomies: Competence Viewed as a Continuum. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 223(1), 3-13. Bromme, R. (1992). Der Lehrer als Experte: Zur Psychologie des professionellen Lehrerwissens. Bern: Huber. Carter, K., Cushing, K., Sabers, D., Stein, P. & Berliner, D. (1988). Expert-Novice Differences in Perceiving and Processing Visual Classroom Information. Journal of Teacher Education, 39(3), 25-31. Gold, B., Hellermann, C. & Holodynski, M. (2016). Professionelle Wahrnehmung von Klassenführung–Vergleich von zwei videobasierten Erfassungsmethoden. Der Forschung-Der Lehre-Der Bildung: Aktuelle Entwicklungen der Empirischen Bildungsforschung, 103. Hemmer, I., Hemmer, M., Hüttermann, A. & Ullrich, M. (2010). Kartenauswertekompetenz - Theoretische Grundlagen und Entwurf eines Kompetenzstrukturmodells [Map analysis competence - theoretical foundations and a concept of a comptence model]. Geogaphie und ihre Didaktik, 3, 158-171. Jacobs, V. R. (2017). Complexities in Measuring Teacher Noticing: Commentary. In Teacher Noticing: Bridging and Broadening Perspectives, Contexts, and Frameworks (S. 273-279): Springer. Leat, D. (1998). Thinking Through Geography. Cambridge: Chris Kington Publishing. Sabers, D. S., Cushing, K. S. & Berliner, D. C. (1991). Differences among teachers in a task characterized by simultaneity, multidimensional, and immediacy. American Educational Research Journal, 28(1), 63-88. Schack, E. O., Fisher, M. H. & Wilhelm, J. A. (2017). Teacher noticing: Bridging and broadening perspectives, contexts, and frameworks: Springer. Schreier, M. (2014). Qualitative Content Analysis. In U. Flick (Hrsg.), The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis (S. 170-183). London: SAGE Publications. Sherin, M. G., Jacobs, V. R. & Philipp, R. A. (Hrsg.). (2011). Mathematics teacher noticing: Seeing through teachers' eyes. New York: Routledge. Someren, M. v., Barnard, Y. F. & Sandberg, J. A. (1994). The think aloud method: a practical approach to modelling cognitive processes: Academic Press. Stahnke, R., Schueler, S. & Roesken-Winter, B. (2016). Teachers’ perception, interpretation, and decision-making: a systematic review of empirical mathematics education research. ZDM Mathematics Education, 48(1-2), 1-27. Vankan, L., Rohwer, G. & Schuler, S. (2007). Diercke Methoden. Denken lernen mit Geographie [Thinking through geography]. Braunschweig: Westermann. Wolff, C. E., van den Bogert, N., Jarodzka, H. & Boshuizen, H. P. (2015). Keeping an eye on learning: Differences between expert and novice teachers’ representations of classroom management events. Journal of Teacher Education, 66(1), 68-85.
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