“If Not Me, Then Who?”: An Integrated Model of Advocacy for Early Childhood Teacher Education

“If Not Me, Then Who?”: An Integrated Model of Advocacy for Early Childhood Teacher Education

Elizabeth Ann Ethridge (University of Oklahoma, USA), Vickie E. Lake (University of Oklahoma, USA) and Amber H. Beisly (University of Oklahoma, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2906-4.ch001
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Abstract

Research has indicated that teachers typically do not view themselves as advocates for many reasons such as fear of personal and professional risk (Peters & Reid, 2009). Participants include both preservice teachers and graduates of an early childhood teacher education program. This chapter addresses how the program utilized intentional assignments and group and individual scaffolding as preservice teachers moved from experiencing service learning to pure advocacy. Through a mixed methods study, preservice teachers began to see themselves as agents of change with increased confidence and sense of power. These transformations continued as graduates of the program reported they were still engaging in advocacy.
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Background

In the US, there are three widely used conceptions of teacher training pedagogues found in university educational programs: knowledge for practice (formal knowledge and theory), knowledge in practice (practical knowledge), and finally, knowledge of practice (use the classroom for intentional investigation) (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999). Knowledge for practice implies that knowing more leads to additional effective practice. For example, once PSTs have enough knowledge of theorists, methods, and subject matter they will be better prepared to enter a classroom and be good teachers. This construct identifies that the difference between novice and experienced teachers is based purely on the amount and depth of content or methods.

The second conception, knowledge in practice, focuses on practical knowledge stating that PSTs will learn while they are observing, collaborating, and reflecting on the practices of more experienced teachers. Lastly, knowledge of practice is unlike the first two, [because] “…this third conception cannot be understood in terms of a universe of knowledge that divides formal knowledge, on the one hand, from practical knowledge, on the other hand” (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999, p. 251). It assumes that through inquiry, PSTs make their own epistemology and, through problematic practice, research ways of making pedagogy and implementation better for their school and community. We implement the conceptual framework of knowledge of practice to immerse faculty and PSTs in communities of advocacy and inquiry.

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