Sunday, November 3, 2013

Central tasks of learning to teach


1. Examine beliefs critically in relation to vision of good teaching
2. Develop subject matter knowledge for teaching
3. Develop an understanding of learners, learning, and issues of diversity
4. Develop a beginning repertoire
5. Develop the tools and dispositions to study teaching

1. Learn the context-students, curriculum, school community
2. Design responsive instructional program
3. Create a classroom learning community
4. Enact a beginning repertoire
5. Develop a professional identity

Continuing Professional Development
1. Extend and deepen subject  matter knowledge for  teaching
2. Extend and refine repertoire in curriculum, instruction, and assessment
3. Strengthen skills and dispositions to study and improve teaching
4. Expand responsibilities and develop leadership skills

Feiman-Nemser, S. (2012). Teachers as Learners. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. (p.143)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Contextual Teaching and Learning

Four essential assumptions of Contextual Teaching and Learning:

1. Teaching and learning are interactional processes.

2. Individual learners must decide to learn and to engage in the attentional, intellectual, and emotional processes needed to do so.

3. Teaching isn’t happening if learning is not occurring.

4. Learning is a developmental process that takes place throughout life (Sears, 2002, p. 2).

Title: Contextual Teaching and Learning: A Primer for Effective Instruction
Author(s): Susan Sears
Publisher: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Bloomington
ISBN: 0873678419 , Pages: 82, Year: 2002

TCR review

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Posner - Toward a theory of conceptual change

Posner, G. J., Strike, K. A., Hewson, P. W. and Gertzog, W. A. (1982), Accommodation of a scientific conception: Toward a theory of conceptual change. Science Education, 66: 211–227. doi: 10.1002/sce.3730660207

Four conditions necessary for accommodation of a scientific conception:
1) intelligibility (ability to understand the concept),
2) plausibility (believability and consistency of the concept),
3) dissatisfaction with existing conceptions, and
4) fruitfulness of the concept for use in external contexts

See Osborne, R. & Freyberg, P. (1985). Learning in science: The implications of children's science. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann


Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Goodwin (1994) - Professional vision

Goodwin, C. (1994). Professional vision. American Anthropologist, 96, 606-633.

Central to the social and cognitive organization of a profession is its ability to shape events in the domain of its scrutiny into the phenomenal objects around which the discourse of the profession is organized: to find archaeologically relevant events such as post holes in the color stains visible in a patch of a dirt and map them or to locate legally consequential instances of aggression or cooperation in the visible movements of a man's body. This article has investigated three practices used to accomplish such professional vision - coding schemes, highlighting, and the production and articulation of graphic representations - in the work settings of two professions: an archaeological field excavation and a courtroom.

First, the power to authoritatively see and produce the range of phenomena that are consequential for the organization of a society is not homogeneously distributed. Different professions-medicine, law, the police, specific sciences such as archaeology-have the power to legitimately see, constitute, and articulate alternative kinds of events. Professional vision is perspectival, lodged within specific social entities, and unevenly allocated.

Second, such vision is not a purely mental process but instead is accomplished through the competent deployment of a complex of situated practices in a relevant setting.

Third, insofar as these practices are lodged within specific communities, they must be learned (Chaiklin and Lave 1993; Lave and Wenger 1991). Learning was a central activity in both of the settings examined in this article, but the organization of that learning was quite different in each.

Examples/Evidence from the Rodney King trial testimony and archaeologists howing measurement techniques


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Galguera: Developing Teachers’ Critical Language Awareness in Digital Contexts

Galguera, T. (2013). Developing Teachers’ Critical Language Awareness in Digital Contexts. In M. B. Arias & C. J. Faltis (Eds.), Academic Language in Second Language Learning (pp. 103–124). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.


p. 105: Evidence from my research points to the power of electronic media and Web 2.0 tools in fostering critical language awareness, empathy, and in furthering pedagogical skills for language development among preservice teachers.

p. 105: For teachers responsible for the language development of students, language awareness is an important contributor to the development of the content knowledge (Shulman, 1987) they must possess to fulfill their obligations.

p. 106: Carter (2003) argues that, for teachers, language awareness can enhance their capacity to incorporate useful and meaningful learning tasks into their curricula, guide their assessment of students' learning and difficulties, inform their understanding of language varieties and appropriateness, and help them imagine links between language and learning in general.

Understanding the sociocultural and discourse-level features of the variety of language favored in academic settings is an essential component of the content knowledge required of teachers.

p.107: Building upon Lee Shulman's framework, Galguera uses "Pedagogical Language Knowledge" (PLK) (Galguera, 2011) as a construct to make it clear to the preservice teachers in my courses that the pedagogy I want them to begin developing is more than "just good teaching." Indeed, in a similar manner in which we must make a conscious effort to focus our attention on the structural and surface features of language, beyond meaning, it requires especial effort on the part of beginning teachers to notice the important, yet subtle characteristics of pedagogy for the development of language proficiency for academic purposes.

p109: Tigchelaar and Korthagen (2004, pp. 665-666) note that the predominant approach in preservice teacher education courses, a "technical-rationality approach," which aims to link theory-to-practice. The authors cite convincing research evidence that demonstrates that, even when student teachers recognize the value and importance of theories, the demands and immediacy of field experiences limit their ability to apply their theoretical knowledge to practice.

Tigchelaar and Korthagen also mention an alternate "practice-based" approach that depends on guided induction of teacher candidates at school sites, sometimes in partnership with institutions of higher learning. Yet, this approach has also failed to integrate practice with theory, often resulting in teachers who are socialized into a profession that is viewed as a collection of technical know-how that rejects and devalues theory.

Tigchelaar and Korthagen's (2004) provide evidence for the potential of experience in preservice teacher preparation utilizing a "realistic approach" that incorporates preservice teachers' reflection on specific experiences and behaviors in a cooperative setting while examining "Gestalts," which are automatic teaching behaviors that make up the bulk of what teachers say and do and that have cultural origins (p. 677)

Walqui (2006) Scaffolding instruction for English language learners: A conceptual framework

Walqui, A. (2006). Scaffolding instruction for English language learners: A conceptual framework. The International journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 9(2), 159-180.

p. 164: In education, scaffolding can be thought of as three related pedagogical ‘scales’. First, there is the meaning of providing a support structure to enable certain activities and skills to develop. Second, there is the actual carrying out of particular activities in class. And, third, there is the assistance provided in moment-to-moment interaction. Schematically, this can be represented in the following way:

Scaffolding 1: Planned curriculum progression over time (e.g. a series of tasks over time, a project, a classroom ritual)
Scaffolding 2: The procedures used in a particular activity (an instantiation of Scaffolding 1)
Scaffolding 3: The collaborative process of interaction (the process of achieving Scaffolding 2)

We can see how the sequence here moves from macro to micro, from planned to improvised, and from structure to process (Gibbons, 2003; van Lier, 1996). As we all know, plans have a way of changing as they are being carried out. In particular, pedagogical action is always a blend of the planned and the improvised, the predicted and the unpredictable, routine and innovation.

Features of pedagogical scaffolding (p.165)
All three scales of pedagogical scaffolding have six central features, according to van Lier (2004). As in any type of scaffolding, they are contingent, collaborative and interactive. However, in an educational setting, these features are further refined and features specific to schooling are added:

  1. Continuity: Tasks are repeated, with variations and connected to one another (e.g. as part of projects). 
  2. Contextual: support Exploration is encouraged in a safe, supportive environment; access to means and goals is promoted in a variety of ways. 
  3. Intersubjectivity: Mutual engagement and rapport are established; there is encouragement and nonthreatening participation in a shared community of practice. 
  4. Contingency Task: procedures are adjusted depending on actions of learners; contributions and utterances are oriented towards each other and may be coconstructed (or, see below, vertically constructed). 
  5. Handover/takeover: There is an increasing role for the learner as skills and confidence increase; the teacher watches carefully for the learner’s readiness to take over increasing parts of the action. 
  6. Flow Skills: and challenges are in balance; participants are focused on the task and are ‘in tune’ with each other.

Types of instructional scaffolding to use with English learners (pp. 170-177)
Assisting English learners’ performance in the English as a second language class or in subject matter classes taught in English can be done in many different ways. Six main types of instructional scaffolding are especially salient: modelling, bridging, contextualisation, building schema, re-presenting text and developing metacognition.

Modeling is the explicit presentation of examples of the products, learning processes, and the types of language that are most appropriate for each situation.

Text representation can be thought of as helping students learn conventions associated with particular language uses by translating content across genres, engaging in genre transformation.

Contextualization is scaffolding that links particular academic tasks with situated variables to enhance the students' ability to derive meaning from language and produce language that is both appropriate and effective.

Bridging is scaffolding that aims to make clear and explicit links between content and each student's prior knowledge, experiences, and interests as well as previously taught content.

Metacognitive development is ensuring that students choose strategies consciously for each activity and evaluating their choices and future choices based on results.

Schema-building is related to text representation in that the goal is to help students organize knowledge according to subject-specific frameworks (e.g., cycles, causeeffects, contrasts, whole-parts) and norms and conventions associated with oral and written discourse.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lucero: Pedagogical Language Knowledge and the Instruction of English Learners

Lucero, A. (2013). Pedagogical Language Knowledge and the Instruction of English Learners. In M. B. Arias & C. J. Faltis (Eds.), Academic Language in Second Language Learning (pp. 57–81). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

p. 58: Lucero defines academic language as the language that students need to understand and produce in order to be successful in schools (Cummins, 2000; J. Gibbons & Lascar, 1998; P. Gibbons, 1993)

Five instructional moves that faciliate academic language development:
1) integration of content and language
2) dialogic interactions
3) movement along the context continuum
4) explicit instruction
5) linguistic scaffolding (pp.60-62)

Three Recommendations (p. 75-77)
  1. teacher education courses need to help teachers understand the multiple elements of academic language.
  2. pedagogical language knowledge requires that teachers be able to conduct linguistic analyses of their curricula because it is clear that, "content is not separate from the language through which it is presented" (Schleppegrell & Achugar, 2003, p. 21).
  3. a responsive teacher education program would explicitly teach pedagogical practices to develop academic language in concert with content learning.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Scaffolding Academic Language in Science for English Learners - Ramirez-Marin & Clark (2013)

Ramirez-Marin, F., & Clark, D. B. (2013). Scaffolding Academic Language in Science for English Learners. In M. B. Arias & C. J. Faltis (Eds.), Academic Language in Second Language Learning (pp. 171–199). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

This chapter reviews literature in science education related to cultural and linguistic diversity, including English language learners, in the United States. Further, two prevalent frameworks for teacher preparation and development in science education (the instructional congruence framework and the effective science teaching for English language learners framework) are broadly described with the purpose of illustrating the theoretical and pedagogical practices advocated by researchers for content, language, and literacy learning in science education. Based on the literature reviewed, we argue that the systemic functional linguistic (SFL) approach to the study oflanguage (Halliday, 1973, 1980, 1994) could synergistically augment these models for science education.

p. 172: While there is general agreement on the need for high standards and achievement expectations for all students in core curriculum, there is also strong disagreement on how best to bring about high academic achievement for English language learners (ELLs) (Crawford, 2004).

p. 172: Based on what research indicates, Hart and Lee (2003) conclude that there may be a lack of the support and time that teachers need to develop the complex set of beliefs and practices that will enable them to assist ELLs in attaining challenging academic standards while developing English language and literacy (Garda, 1999; McLaughlin, Shepard, & O'Day, 1995).

p. 173: SFL has not been widely considered in the science education literature, but SFL can provide teachers with a clear understanding of what academic language entails and at the same time highlight the importance of providing students with access to the specialized language embedded in the practices through which scientific knowledge is construed and represented. We also argue that SFL as a framework is extremely useful for teachers to identify the potential linguistic demands of school language and literacy. SFL, therefore, offers great potential for augmenting exemplary approaches in science education for supporting teachers of English language learners.

p. 173: Lemke (2001) explains that science, as a cooperative activity, is only possible because people grow up and live within social organizations or institutions (family, school, church, research lab, etc.) that provide meaningmaking tools, such as language, beliefs systems, discourse practices, representational systems, and other specialized practices that constitute the culture of a community (e.g., American scientists).

p. 175: Two prevalent frameworks for teacher preparation to support diverse students studying science are: 1) the instructional congruence framework; and (2) the effective science teaching for English language learners framework (ESTELL)

The Instructional Congruence Framework
p. 175: The instructional congruence (IC) model (Lee & Fradd, 1998, 2001) builds on theoretical views of cultural discontinuity. The IC framework is grounded on the tenet that it is essential to incorporate ELL students' home languages and cultures in the educational process to provide meaningful context for the construction of new understandings. Lee and Fradd (1998, 2001) argue that effective science education incorporates students' prior linguistic and cultural knowledge in relation to science disciplines. Thus, the researchers propose the IC framework as a way to integrate specific scaffolding for language and literacy into standards-based science inquiry and learning.

According to Lee and Fradd (1998, 2001), teachers make academic content and inquiry (e.g., science) accessible, meaningful, and relevant for diverse students (e.g. linguistically diverse students) through instructional congruence. To achieve effective science and literacy instruction within the IC framework, "teachers need to integrate knowledge of (a) the students' language and cultural experiences, (b) science learning, and (c) literacy development" (Lee & l<radd, 2001, p. Ill). Through instructional congruence, teachers make academic content and inquiry (e.g., science) accessible, meaningful, and relevant for diverse students (e.g., linguistically diverse students).

The Effective Science Teaching for English Language Learners (ESTELL) Framework
p. 177: A second prominent framework is the effective science teaching for English language learners (ESTELL) framework (Stoddart, Solis, Tolbert, & Bravo, 2010). ESTELL is an instructional approach that integrates the teaching of scientific inquiry, science discourse, and language and literacy development in a contextualized curriculum that is culturally, socially, and linguistically responsive.

p.179: The common driving principles under which these body of research and development studies is that the relationship between science learning and language and literacy learning is reciprocal and synergistic.

p. 180: The ESTELL framework conceptualizes language in this framework in sociocultural terms as a (symbolic) tool that mediates and structures the ways in which scientists think and communicate with one another. The use of this mediating symbolic tool is realized within particular cultural contexts in which communities of people realize specialized practices (i.e., scientists doing science). In this context, academic language is better characterized through the concept of "discourse" (see Lemke, 1990; Gee, 1996, 2008). Stoddart et al. (2010), for example, cite Cervetti et al.'s (2007) assertion that "science activities are achieved through a social process where the language used for competent participation requires specialized ways of talking, writing, and thinking about the world in scientific ways" (p. 164). Thus, the language used by scientist is better described as discourse.

p. 181: From ESTELL's perspective, teacher talk within instructional conversations is a pedagogical practice through which teachers engage students in scientific discourse and the instructional conversation is the means by which teachers and students relate formal, schooled knowledge to the student's individual, community, and family knowledge.

Summary: General Agreement in Science Education Research on Core Issues for Supporting Diverse Students (p. 182)

Across these science education frameworks and studies, several points of consensus arise in terms of scaffolding ELLs studying science:
1. There is a need to provide language minority students, including ELLs, with pedagogical approaches that promote ELL's achievement in content areas while simultaneously developing literacy and language proficiency in English (e.g., Lee & Fradd, 1998; Rosebery, Warren, & Conant, 1992; Stoddart 1999, 2005; Stoddart et al., 2002; Tharp, 1997; Tharp et. al, 2000).
2. Content-area instruction provides a meaningful context for English language and literatcy development, while the language processes provide the medium for analysis and communication of subject matter knowledge (e.g., Casteel & Isom, 1994; Hart & Lee, 2003; Lee & Fradd, 1996; Stoddart et al., 2002).
3. Hands-on and inquiry-based science instruction can help students develop scientific understanding and engage in inquiry practices while also supporting academic language and literacy development (e.g., Lee, 2002; Lee & Fradd, 1998; Rosebery, Warren & Conant, 1992).
4. Integrating language and literacy research into contextualized science inquiry instruction has a positive effect for ELL students (e.g., Lee, 2005; Stoddart et al., 2010).

Teachers need support to conceptualize academic language as a discourse type. Traditional language professional development or/and teacher training practices do not provide this support. More specifically, academic language is "a socially accepted association among ways of using language, other symbolic expressions, and artifacts of thinking, feeling, believing, valuing, and acting that can be used to identity oneself as a member of a socially meaningful group or social network, or to signal (that one is playing) a socially meaningful role. (Gee, 1996, p. 131)"

(p. 183) While the instructional congruence, ESTELL, and other science frameworks
outlined above provide a solid foundation for supporting diverse
students learning science, science teachers need further support so that
they can scaffold their students into these discipline specific discourse
types and registers.

(p. 185) In light of these challenges, science teachers need further theoretical and instructional support in terms of academic language to augment the supports provided by the instructional congruence, ESTELL, and other science education frameworks. Essentially, the instructional congruence, ESTELL, and other related science education frameworks provide an excellent foundation, but teachers also require explicit supports in terms of academic language.

Research on systemic functional linguistics (Halliday, 1978, 1980; Schleppegrell, 2001, 2004) could provide specific approaches to such language supports that would synergistically augment and enhance the current frameworks in science education, such as the IC and ESTELL frameworks. The systemic functional linguistics (SFL) approach to language analysis would provide significant assistance to content-area teachers and English language learners in identifying linguistic features common to "school language."

p. 186: In her work, Schleppegrell demonstrates how particular linguistic features are used in science texts to display knowledge, organize information, and to convey an authoritative voice, all of which comprises features of scientific discourse.

Schleppegrell: (1) the development of academic registers typically does not occur unscaffolded in students' ordinary language development; (2) approaches to content-based language instruction can be enriched through an understanding that language and content are never separate; (3) approaches to teaching content while developing language and literacy with English learners should emphasize the use of academic registers to help students understand new ways of using language.

p.187: In terms of instructional practices drawing on SFL, important work is already underway. de Oliveira and Dodds (2010), for example, provide specific instructional sequences used to assist ELL students identifY challenges they can encounter, specifically when reading science textbooks. de Oliveira and Dodds demonstrate that a language dissection approach in science can be applied in teaching science to ELLs.

p. 188: Oliveira argues that there is a need to pay explicit attention to language in elementary science methods science, so that both teachers and students develop linguistic awareness of some typical discourse features of science. SFL would provide this foundation to support students throughout their K-12 experience.

p. 188: Learning academic language involves linguistic and social processes that are not separated from particular social practices (Schleppegrell, 2004); rather, linguistic resources are used within those practices to construe and represent new knowledge (Halliday, 1978). SFL can synergistically complement the Instructional Congruence, ESTELL, and other science education frameworks toward these goals.

p.190: In order for teachers to support students in the ways pointed out above, science teacher preparation and development programs need to incorporate theoretical and conceptual views of language consistent with the research that supports instructional frameworks found in the literature for the teaching of science with culturally and linguistically diverse students.

As a result, it is necessary to provide teachers with a clear understanding of what "academic language" entails and how it is intrinsically tied to learning the content of academic disciplines and their specialized practices and language conventions.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Binet and the history of intelligence testing

Cole, M. (1996). Cultural Psychology: A once and future discipline. Harvard University Press. Chapter 2 - pp 52-68

[p52] To begin with, Binet and Simon offered a definition of the quality they sought to test for: "It seems to us that in intelligence there is a fundamental faculty, the alteration or lack of which is of the utmost importance for practical life. This faculty is judgment, otherwise called good sense, practical sense, initiative, the faculty of adapting oneself to circumstances. To judge well, to comprehend well, to reason well, these are the essential activities of intelligence" (Binet and Simon, 1916, p. 43).

[p54] Although Binet and Simon specifically warned against the procedure, their test, and tests like it, began to be used as measures of overall aptitude for solving problems in general, rather than samples of problem-solving ability and knowledge that are important to formal education in particular. They also ignored Binet and Simon's warning about dealing with children from different cultural backgrounds.

[p57] Whatever IQ test performance is not related to, it most certainly is related to schooling.

Hammerness, Darling-Hammond & Bransford - How teachers learn and develop

Hammerness, K., Darling-Hammond, L., & Bransford, J. (2005). How teachers learn and develop. In L. Darling-Hammond & J. Bransford, (Eds.), Preparing teachers for a changing world: What teachers should learn and be able to do, pp. 358 - 389. San Francisco, CA: Wiley & Sons.

Becci Burns' summary

Friday, March 22, 2013

Conceptual Change and Learning to Teach

Excerpt from: Feiman-Nemser, S., & Remillard, J. (1995). Perspectives on Learning to Teach. National Center for Research on Teacher Learning, East Lansing, MI. Retrieved from  [pp22-24]

Conceptual Change and Learning to Teach

We have already described the kinds of beliefs about teaching, learning, subject matter, and diversity that many teacher candidates bring to teacher preparation. While teacher educators often intend to change those beliefs, prospective teachers frequently leave teacher preparation with their beliefs intact. When such beliefs limit the range of ideas and actions that teachers consider, this consequence is problematic.

Feiman-Nemser and Buchmann (1986) report a case of mislearning during teacher preparation which illustrates the problem. The researchers describe how Janice, an elementary education major, fits ideas she encounters in her courses into a framework of beliefs based on what she saw and heard growing up, leaving her with beliefs that work against equal educational opportunities. Asked to describe an article that stood out to her, Janice selected Anyon's (1981) critique of the unequal distribution of school knowledge by social class and school location which she misinterpreted as simply a description of the way things are. She connected this to something she read in math methods on motivation—that poor children are more present-oriented and require immediate reinforcement. Asked whether she had any experiences with children from backgrounds different from her own, Janice talked at length about Mexican migrants who worked on the family farm and whose children were not interested in going to school. Adding a final piece to the picture, she recalled a discussion in her curriculum class about "why teach poetry to lower class, low achievers" which made her think that "maybe certain things should be stressed in certain schools, depending on where they're located" (p. 247).

While current beliefs and conceptions can serve as barriers to change, they also provide frameworks for interpreting and assessing new and potentially conflicting information. That is the paradoxical role of prior beliefs. Like all learners, teachers can only learn by drawing on their own beliefs and prior experiences, but their beliefs may not help them learn new views of teaching and learning advocated by teacher educators (Bird and Anderson, 1994) Recognizing the challenge of transforming prospective teachers' beliefs and committed to promoting new visions of teaching and learning, some teacher educators have turned to conceptual change models for insights about the conditions under which people are more likely to change their minds.

Conceptual change theory (Posner, Strike, Hewson, and Hertzog 1982; Strike and Posner 1985) suggests that changing teachers' beliefs depends on their recognizing discrepancies between their own views and those underlying new visions of teaching and learning. Research on human judgement suggests that change is more likely to occur if alternatives are vivid, concrete, and detailed enough to provide a plausible alternative (Nesbitt and Ross 1980).

From these theoretical perspectives and from the work of teacher educators interested in transforming teacher candidates' beliefs (see, for example, Florio and Lensmire l990; Feiman-Nemser and Featherstone 1992; Bird, Anderson, Sullivan, and Swidler 1993; Wilcox, Schram, Lappan, and Lanier 1992; Holt-Reynolds 1992), several conditions seem necessary to induce conceptual change. First, teachers need an opportunity to consider why new practices and their associated values and beliefs are better than more conventional approaches. Second, they must see examples of these practices, preferably under realistic conditions. Third, it helps if teachers can experience such practices firsthand as learners. If we also want teachers to incorporate these ideas and practices into their own teaching, we need to provide ongoing support and guidance (Kennedy 1991). All these requirements find additional justification in theories of situated cognition.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Conceptual orientations in teacher education

Conceptual orientations in teacher education
by Sharon Feiman-Nemser

1. The Academic Orientation
The academic orientation in teacher preparation highlights the fact that teaching is primarily concerned with transmitting knowledge and developing understanding. Traditionally associated with liberal arts education and secondary teaching, the academic orientation emphasizes the teacher's role as intellectual leader, scholar, subject matter specialist. Supporters stress the importance of teachers' academic preparation, which some associate with subject matter knowledge and others with the ideals of liberal learning.

2. The Personal Orientation
The personal orientation places the teacher-learner at the center of the educational process and shifts the emphasis from teaching to learning. Learning to teach is construed as a process of learning to understand, develop, and use oneself effectively. The teacher's own development becomes a central goal of teacher education.

3. The Critical Orientation
The critical orientation combines a progressive social vision with a radical critique of schooling. On the one hand, there is an optimistic faith in the power of education to help shape a new social order; on the other, is a sobering realization that schools have been instrumental in preserving social inequities. Just as the teacher plays an important role in social reform, so teacher education plays a part in the larger strategy of creating a more just and democratic society.

4. Technological Orientation
The technological orientation focuses attention on knowledge derived from the scientific study of teaching. The primary goal is to prepare teachers who can apply professional knowledge to the tasks of teaching. Learning to teach means acquiring and using research-based principles and practices. Competence is measured in performance terms.

5. Practical Orientation
The practical orientation focuses on the elements of craft, technique, and artistry that skillful practitioners reveal in their work. Supporters emphasize the unique, local, uncertain aspects of teaching. They also endorse the primacy of experience as a source of knowledge about teaching and a means of learning to teach.

Source: Feiman-Nemser, S. (1990). Conceptual orientations in teacher education. Issue Paper 902 from the National Center for Research on Teacher Learning at Michigan State University  Retrieved from  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Zeichner & Tabachnick (1981). Are the effects of university teacher education “washed out” by school experiences?

Zeichner, K. M., & Tabachnick, B. R. (1981). Are the effects of university teacher education "washed out" by school experiences? Journal of Teacher Education, 32(2), 7–11.

It now has become commonly accepted within the teacher education community that students become increasingly more progressive or liberal in their attitudes towards education during their stay at the university and then shift to opposing and more traditional views as they move into student teaching and inservice experience

The Commonly Accepted Scenario: The Liberal Impact of Professional Education and a Progressive-Traditional Shift in Teaching Perspectives

British and American studies seem to provide overwhelming evidence for the position that the impact of the college is "washed out" by school experience. Zeichner (1980) has outlined various explanations which have been offered in the literature for the shift in teaching perspectives that occurs with the onset of school experience. Cooperating teachers and others with evaluative power over student teachers and teachers (Edgar & Warren, 1969), the ecology of the classroom (Copeland, 1980), the bureaucratic norms of schools (Hoy & Rees, 1977), teaching colleagues (McPherson, 1972), and pupils (Spradbery, 1976) all have been seen to play major roles in the reversal of views formed at the university.

Alternative Scenario 1: The Low Impact of Professional Training and the Maintenance of Traditional Teaching Perspectives Throughout Professional Education

Lortie (1975) argues a position on teacher socialization that questions the existence of the supposedly liberalizing impact of university teacher education. He sees biography, as opposed to formal training or teaching experience, as the key element in teacher socialization. According to this view, teacher socialization occurs through the internalization (largely unconscious) of teaching models during the thousands of hours prospective teachers spend as students in close contact with teachers ("apprenticeship of observation"). The activation of this latent culture with the onset of school experience is seen as the major influence in shaping one’s conceptions of the teaching role and role performance. Formal training in pedagogy at the university is seen as playing little part in altering earlier and traditional teaching perspectives.

Alternative Scenario 2: Schools and Universities, Partners in the Development of Traditional Teaching Perspectives

Universities and schools work together to provide a powerful conservative force for defending existing institutional arrangements from close scrutiny and challenge. According to this scenario, the effects of the university are not "washed out" by school experience, but are in fact strengthened by school experience.

Bartholomew argues that universities are just as traditional as the schools with respect to practice. Although teacher education institutions encourage students to use liberal phrases and to affirm liberal slogans about the education of people in places other than the university, Bartholomew contends that the facts of social interaction in the colleges (e.g., separation of theory from practice) are similiar to those found in the schools. The emphasis in both the schools and colleges is generally on the transmission of approved views and information, and on students’ demonstration of mastery of this knowledge.