Facilitating Authentic Practices in Teacher Education Through Pedagogies of Enactment

Facilitating Authentic Practices in Teacher Education Through Pedagogies of Enactment

Amanda R. Hurlbut (Texas Woman's University, USA) and Karen Dunlap (Texas Woman's University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8543-5.ch010

Abstract

There has been a renewed interest in practice-based teacher education, in which teaching candidates don't just learn about teaching but actually acquire instructional experiences during their time in the educator preparation program. Teacher educators and scholars have called for the creation and acceptance of a coherent curriculum centering around a research-based set of core or high leverage practices. Grossman's pedagogy of enactment framework has provided one method of studying how teacher educators prepare future teachers for enacting successful instructional practices. In this pedagogy of enactment framework, teaching candidates learn about effective instructional practices through artifacts and other representations, decompositions of these practices, and then approximate the practices through rehearsals in simulated environments. This chapter specifically details three cases studies of authentic practice that one university program uses to prepare teacher candidates within this framework of practice-based teacher education and high leverage practices.
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Introduction

Teacher education has undergone a dramatic shift in recent years. Driven by emerging theories about learning to teach (Ball & Forzani, 2009; Grossman, Hammerness, & McDonald, 2009), national groups committed to improving teacher preparation (Core Practice Consortium, 2017; Deans for Impact, 2016; TeachingWorks, n.d.), and growing pressures from accreditation and policy-making bodies, many teacher certification programs are implementing approaches to practice-based teacher education (PBTE) (Forzani, 2014; Zeichner, 2012). Historically, teacher education has been highly scrutinized for teacher training practices that rely heavily on theoretical practices and generalized knowledge about teaching, but fail to produce competent measures to ensure that teachers are ready to effectively implement these practices once they have graduated from their initial preparation program (Green, 2014). In recent years, there has been renewed interest in practice-based teacher education (Zeichner, 2012) and an emerging line of inquiry supports research in this area, especially among students who come from diverse learning backgrounds (Peercy, 2015). Statistics indicate that the population of students identified as English Language Learners (ELLs) is rapidly growing in classrooms today (NCELA, 2015). Additionally, there is a documented lack of preparation for teachers in how to engage these students in meaningful ways that build upon students’ existing content knowledge and linguistic resources (Bunch, 2013; Kibler, Walqui, & Bunch, 2015). While a great need exists in preparing teachers to work with these linguistic differences, little is known about how practice-based teacher education methods can facilitate this process (Dubetz & Coffey, 2015; Peercy, 2015).

Some evidence indicates that graduates from traditional teacher education programs are more effective than non-certified teachers or teachers who participate in alternative certification programs (Darling-Hammond, Holtzman, Gatlin, & Heilig, 2005), but there are still major concerns about how novice teachers are equipped to actually enact effective instructional practices (Ball & Forzani, 2011). Furthermore, studies on effective teaching preparation have long been conducted in isolation without common goals, lack of a shared vocabulary, or inconsistent communication about the field (Grossman & McDonald, 2008). While studies in teacher preparation seem to occur at a slower pace than in other professional fields, researchers are finally seeking to identify research-based high-leverage practices (HLPs) of effective teachers (Forzani, 2014), develop congruence in terminology used in the field (McDonald, Kazemi, & Kavanaugh, 2013), and research effective methods of implementation (Ball & Cohen, 1999; Ball & Forzani, 2011).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Practice-Based Teacher Education: A method of preparing teachers through a focus on the enactment of teaching practices rather than knowledge of teaching theory.

High-Leverage Practices: A common, general collection of instructional practices grounded in educational research that all teachers should possess to be proficient in the teaching profession.

Decompositions: A process by which complex teaching practices are analyzed and broken down into smaller, individual parts for analysis.

Approximations: Simulations or rehearsals of instructional practice that teacher candidates engage in during their teacher preparation coursework.

Field-Based Experiences: Experiences that teacher candidates receive in authentic K-12 classrooms with students and one or more experience mentor teachers.

Teacher Candidate: A college or university student seeking specialized instruction and training in education that leads to teacher certification.

Representations: Authentic models or artifacts of teaching practice shown in real-life observations, teaching videos, or written artifacts such as lesson plans or student data sets.

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