10 SES 02 B, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
Recent curricular change in Scotland (Scottish Government, 2008) has been accompanied by a critical review of teacher education (see Donaldson, 2011). Many changes to the way we prepare teachers are proposed in that report, but notable by its absence is any reference to a developmental perspective on how students grow in pedagogical terms. At the University of Dundee, a series of projects is looking at the student experience of undergraduate teacher education. Data have already been collected in relation to students’ engagement with learning processes on campus (Knight & Shimi, in preparation). The work reported here looks at issues related to professional learning on placement and how this impacts upon students’ self-perceptions at different stages of their development. Although situated in the Scottish context, the issues of professional learning on school placements will be of interest to teacher educators in other European systems also.
The research literature on how student teachers develop during the course of their training is not extensive. It has often focused on the role of the placement teachers or mentors in the development of professional competence (see, for example, Edwards & Protheroe, 2003; Zeichner, 2002) or the nature of knowledge for teaching (e.g. Colucci-Gray & Fraser, 2008). In the literature which looks more closely at the perceptions of student teachers themselves, studies have highlighted the extra pressures that students feel when out on placement (Macintyre & Tuson,1995; Miller & Fraser, 1998, 2000). However, with few exceptions (e.g. Calderhead, 1991; Maynard & Furlong, 1993) there seems little on how students’ beliefs are actually influenced from a developmental perspective.
Some insights can be gained from writing which looks at the nature of professional knowledge more widely and such work has alerted us to qualitative differences in the ways that novices at different stages of professional development interpret experiences (Dreyfus, 2001; Berliner, 1988). These different perceptions also include the extent to which individuals focus on themselves and/or on the nature of the task facing them (Fuller & Bown, 1975) A further perspective on differences in student thinking and reflection can be conceptualised in terms of McIntyre’s levels of reflection in teacher education (see McIntyre 1993).
Our work in this area is an attempt to bring together several of these perspectives to better understand the process of student teacher development. The focus of this presentation will be data collected from undergraduate students which point to qualitative differences in how they interpret experiences in primary classrooms. Issues emerging include the nature of (mainly technical) reflection at different stages of the teacher education programme and the interpretive repertoires which appear to be in evidence. Quantitative data relating to perceptions of self-competence and self-worth are correlated with data from a content analysis of student narratives to further investigate relationships. Taken together these analyses provide insights into the relationship between individual self-perceptions and development in students’ understanding of the complexities of classroom teaching. They provide useful information for teacher educators planning for student progression over the course of a four-year primary teaching degree.
Calderhead, J. & Robson. M. (1991) Images of teaching: Student teachers' early conceptions of classroom practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 7 (1), 1-8. Colucci-Gray, L. and Fraser, C. (2008) “Contested Aspects of Becoming a Teacher: teacher learning and the role of subject knowledge” European Educational Research Journal, 7 (4) 475-485 Donaldson, G. (2011) Teaching Scotland’s Future, Report of review of teacher education in Scotland. Edinburgh: The Scottish Government. Dreyfus, H. (2001) On the Internet. London: Routledge. Edwards, A. & Protheroe, L. (2003) Learning to see in Classrooms: What are student teachers learning about teaching and learning while learning to teach in schools? British Educational Research Journal, 29 (2), 227-242. Fuller, F.F & Bown, O.H. (1975) ‘Becoming a teacher’. In K.J. Rehange, (Ed) Teacher Education. Chicago: University of Chicago. Knight, M. & Shimi, J. (in preparation) Evaluating Students’ Perceptions of Collaboration in Initial Teacher Education. University of Dundee. Macintyre, C. and Tuson, J. (1995), ‘Stress in school experience’, Education in the North, 3, 71-73. McIntyre, D. (1993) Theory theorising and reflection in teacher education. In J. Calderhead & P Gates, (Eds.) Conceptualizing reflection in teacher development. London: Falmer Maynard, T. & Furlong, J. (1993) ‘Learning to teach and models of mentoring’. In D. McIntyre, H. Hagger & M. Wilkin (Eds) Mentoring: Perspectives on school-based teacher education. London: Kogan Page. Miller, D.J. & Fraser, E. (1998) A dangerous age? Age-related differences in students’ attitudes towards their teacher training course. Scottish Educational Review, 30 (1), 41-51. Miller, D.J. & Fraser, E. (2000). Stress associated with being a student teacher Scottish Educational Review. 32 (2), 142-154. Scottish Government (2008) Curriculum for Excellence. Edinburgh: Scottish Government. Tafarodi, R.W. & Milne, A.B. (2002) Decomposing Global Self-Esteem. Journal of Personality, 70 (4), 443-483. Zeichner, K. (2002) Beyond Traditional Structures of Student Teaching. Teacher Education Quarterly, Spring, 59-64
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