Sharing PDS Teacher Expertise with Pre-Service Teachers through Videos

Sharing PDS Teacher Expertise with Pre-Service Teachers through Videos

Cathy J. Siebert (Ball State University, USA), Vanessa L. Wyss (Ball State University, USA) and Tiffany Jackson (Anderson High School, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8632-8.ch084
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Abstract

The true power of Professional Development School collaborations rests in the expertise and resources each partner brings to addressing challenges facing them. This chapter describes an initiative in which PDS high school partners and students collaborated with university partners to develop an informational DVD regarding Teacher Professionalism to be used with teacher candidates as part of their preparation program. The process followed and resources required to complete the project are described, perspectives of various parties involved are shared, and initial results of a pilot implementation in an undergraduate teacher education practicum sequence are discussed. Products such as the DVD described in this chapter provide avenues by which to share practitioner knowledge and expertise with pre-service teachers in rich and sustainable ways.
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Sharing Pds Teacher Expertise With Pre-Service Teachers Through Videos

A fundamental premise of successful Professional Development School (PDS) collaborations is that each entity brings important knowledge, skills, and resources to the work of the partnership (Holmes Group, 1986; NAPDS, 2008). Similarly, pre-service teacher education is best when it involves a variety of on-campus and in-school experiences, essentially enriching the pre-service teacher experience by drawing on the expertise and resources of both entities of the PDS. Research indicates that pre-service teachers benefit most when university professionals and school professionals collaborate to share expertise (Beck & Kosnik, 2002a, 2002b; Bullough & Kauchak, 1997). In addition, research shows that classroom students gain when pre-service teachers work collaboratively with classroom teachers (Bacharach, Heck, & Dahlberg, 2008). These ideas demonstrate gains for all parties involved when PDS collaborations maximize involvement from as many parties as possible. However, sometimes it can be challenging to arrange pre-service education in a way that enables all learners and professionals to have ultimate involvement when dealing with multiple geographic locations and varying schedules. Yet the rewards of this generally outweigh the extra work it takes to offer input from both entities.

This chapter outlines the collaborative efforts of a PDS partnership to evaluate an area of need within the pre-service teacher preparation practicum experiences and develop a plan to most effectively meet that need. This project utilized the knowledge and experiences of both university and school professionals to optimize the experience of pre-service teachers and students in a secondary Professional Development School. Further, the process used, in combining the resources available at the university and high school, to develop an educational DVD for use in pre-service teacher practicum experiences is described, participants’ perspectives are shared, and the results of the pilot implementation are reported.

Origination of the Idea

Input from cooperating teachers in our secondary PDSs is continually solicited and valued in order to maximize the potential of individual students and our programs as a whole. It became apparent that cooperating teachers were making note of pre-service teachers struggling to appropriately respond to certain classroom situations or issues that were experienced often during practicum and student teaching field experiences. In addition, cooperating teachers shared observations regarding certain actions and dispositions that some pre-service teachers exhibited that could impede success as a professional educator. As teacher educators at the university teaching the courses that prepare pre-service teachers for the student teaching experience and for their careers as teachers, we made efforts to address these issues within our classes. We implemented class discussions about professionalism and discussed some of the situations pre-service teachers might encounter that could catch them off guard or lead to behaviors that may be considered unprofessional. While these efforts successfully allowed us to discuss these topics with students, the issues persisted in the schools.

We decided these issues could best be addressed with the input of professional teachers currently in the field, and we began to seek ideas for how to involve professional teachers in our classes on campus in sustainable ways. While inviting teachers into our classrooms has been successful in the past, when budgets are cut and teachers’ time becomes an issue, this is not always viable. In order to provide the voices of both university and classroom professionals for instructional topics that call for expertise from both contexts, we decided to create videos that engaged the expertise of high school educators in a Professional Development School to help pre-service teachers understand topics that are generally difficult to grasp at a practitioner’s level in the university classroom.

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