Empowering Beginning Student Teachers: Implications for Teacher Educators.Report as inadecuate

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Empowerment implies that student teachers become more confident and autonomous learners, with more responsibility for, and control over, their learning. Traditionally, student teachers have been a disempowered group, as teacher educators have tended to emphasize the voice of experts rather than novices and the voice of theory rather than practice. Twelve student teachers in the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) program at Macquarie University (New South Wales, Australia) described reactions to the first year of their preservice program. Reactions were analyzed using M. Belenky et al.'s metaphor of voice as an indicator of empowerment, with five broad epistemological perspectives: silence (denial of voice), received knowledge (reliance on voices of external authorities), subjective knowledge (tuning into one's intuitive voice), procedural knowledge (faith in the voice of reason), and constructed knowledge (integration of voices). The voices of the student teachers varied enormously in their perception of their ability to take responsibility for their learning. These voices must be heard. Yet, simply listening will not be enough. Teacher educators must reconsider their practices in light of what student teachers are saying. Unless teacher educators are prepared to reconceptualize their roles and expectations, there is little likelihood that preservice programs will lead to development of autonomous, empowered, and reflective student teachers able to cope with the complexities of teaching. (Contains 34 references.) (JDD)

Descriptors: Case Studies, Early Childhood Education, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Personal Autonomy, Preservice Teacher Education, Professional Development, Student Development, Student Responsibility, Student Teacher Attitudes, Student Teachers, Teacher Education Programs, Teacher Educators, Teacher Responsibility

Author: Sumsion, Jennifer

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=12487&id=ED376139

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