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This longitudinal study followed 10 beginning teachers from their last year of preservice education into their first two years of full-time teaching. Using sociocultural theory as a theoretical framework, it describes how these teachers appropriated a set of pedagogical tools for teaching writing. Data sources included approximately five interviews a year with the teachers, at least five classroom observations a year, as well as observations and interviews with cooperating teachers, supervisors, mentor teachers, and others. The analysis suggests that teachers drew on pedagogical tools introduced during teacher education to develop their classroom practice. Conceptual tools that were buttressed with practical strategies seemed to be most influential. The settings in which teachers taught, including their relationships with cooperating teachers and colleagues and the kinds of curriculum materials available, also shaped teachers' developing understanding and practice. Finally, pedagogical tools developed during teacher education were even more evident during the teachers' second year of teaching, as they tried to approximate their goal of good language arts instruction. The results of this study suggest the danger of making claims about what teachers do and do not learn during teacher education based only on data from their first year of teaching. (Contains 7 notes and 31 references.) (Author/RS)

Descriptors: Beginning Teachers, Case Studies, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Interviews, Longitudinal Studies, Teacher Education, Teaching Methods, Writing Instruction

National Research Center on English Learning and Achievement, University at Albany, State University of New York, School of Education, B-9, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222. Tel: 518-442-5026. For full text:

Autor: Grossman, Pam; Valencia, Sheila; Evans, Kate; Thompson, Clarissa; Martin, Susan; Place, Nancy


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