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Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

Volume 26, Issue 2 April 2016

GATEways to Teacher Education Analyzing Online Graduate Science Courses: Voices from Students and Instructors

Inside this issue: Analyzing Online Graduate Science Courses

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Challenging Histlexia

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Influence of edTPA on Educator Preparation Programs

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Challenging Histlexia: The Call for Context in Teaching Historical Understanding

Pre-Service 27 Teachers’ Technology Self-Efficacy LEAPing into Literacy

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Project PARTNER

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Identity 48 Development of a Teacher Preparation Program

Don’t miss the back cover! Special points of interest:  GATEways call for manuscripts  2016 GATE conference information

This research identifies factors and challenges faced by students and instructors to improve the learning experience in online courses. Results suggest that adding more synchronous communication as well as a variety of virtual labs accommodate individual needs and improve student engagement, exploration ,and inquiry. Results indicate that instructor flexibility and presence are the most important factors.

There is sometimes a dichotomy between what administrators and legislators call for and the demands of research-based pedagogy. The authors share a case study of an in-service social studies teacher who struggled to integrate progressive pedagogy while enrolled in a graduate-level methods course and provide the teacher’s rationale for not utilizing inquiry-based teaching techniques.

The Influence of edTPA on Educator Preparation Programs Georgia’s educator preparation programs must prepare candidates to pass the performance-based edTPA. Because the edTPA is consequential during the student teaching internship, all elements of edTPA must be taught and practiced across prior coursework. To this end, the faculty of a secondary education program have worked together to carefully examine and align course assignments to mirror edTPA requirements.

Investigating Potential Demographic Factors Influencing Pre-Service Teachers’ Technology Self-Efficacy This research investigates potential demographic factors that influence pre-service teachers’ confidence with using technology as an instructional tool. Survey data were analyzed to determine if, and to what extent, technology self-efficacy levels increased from semester to semester and to what extent certain demographic factors are common among like self-efficacy levels.

LEAPing into Literacy: Study Buddies Help Students Improve Reading and Writing The Literacy Education Assessment Program (LEAP) is a tutoring program that pairs a pre-service teacher with a K-5 student for one-on-one reading and writing assessment and intervention. LEAP works in conjunction with an undergraduate course in literacy assessment and applications; pre-service teachers are trained to implement a variety of literacy assessments as well as reading and writing intervention strategies.

Project PARTNER: Promoting Awareness of Responsive Teaching This article provides a structured plan of action to support teachers in developing an interdisciplinary instructional planning team (IIPT) for collaboration in lesson design and implementation. In addition to inclusion of a step-by-step guide, benefits of such an instructional planning initiative are discussed in an effort to respond to the challenges often faced by teachers in contemporary classrooms.

Understanding Identity Development of a Teacher Preparation Program in the Face of Standardization Initiatives A relatively new Teacher Preparation Program’s structure and processes were evaluated in the quest to meet taxing conditions occurring within teacher education. The aim was to understand the challenges and complexities facing the TPP in order to (re)create and (re)build programs designed to graduate teacher candidates able to successfully and effectively rise to meet current demands within the teaching profession.


GATEways to Teacher Education A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

Sanghee Choi, April Nelms, and Chantelle Renaud-Grant, University of North Georgia

Online learning has increased tremendously in recent years and is still gaining in popularity. As reported in the most recent analysis of online student enrollment, over seven million students have completed online coursework in postsecondary institutions in the United States (Allen & Seaman, 2015). Online learning enrollment continues to trend upwards. Particularly, half of the students who take online courses are postsecondary level and almost half of universities that offer Master’s degree programs are delivered fully online (Allen & Seaman, 2015). Further, most universities require basic course information, such as the syllabus and resources, in the online platform for students even if the course is delivered face-to-face. Although not required, many instructors who teach face-to-face courses are increasingly utilizing online platforms for their classes (Song, Singleton, Hill, & Koh, 2004). The Need for Quality Research in Online Teaching and Learning Despite rapid growth of online teaching and learning in higher education, this form of delivery is not entirely grounded in empirical evidence to substantiate that it is effective and beneficial for student learning (Paecher & Maier, 2010). Until recently, few studies attempted to examine meaningful online learning and assess outcomes associated with its successes and challenges experienced by both students and instructors. Many

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studies focused on the quality of a course or technical instructional design from the point of view of the faculty and on a single aspect of students’ experiences and perspectives of online learning (Morris, Finnegan, & Wu, 2005; Song et al., 2004; US Department of Education, 2010; Young & Norgard, 2006). As online access to degree programs, courses, and course information is improving, there is a sizable need to understand areas of pedagogical strategies to improve online teaching and learning and to build a more effective and sustainable online learning experience. It is also imperative to examine the overall quality of online teaching and learning from the students’ and instructors’ perspectives to better understand the fundamentals. Literature Review Prevalence of Online Learning Online learning has become prevalent in higher education because it allows for flexible and convenient access to content and instruction (Aslanian & Clinefelter, 2013). More importantly, student populations are becoming more diverse which translates into the necessity for a variety of instructional settings to meet students’ diverse learning needs. In addition, online learning provides the availability of learning experiences for students who cannot attend traditional face-to-face courses (US Department of Education, 2010).

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GATEways to Teacher Education A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

Equally important to meeting students’ needs, universities are making a steady shift to delivering instruction online due to rising tuition costs, national economic trends, and competition for students. Abel (2005) reported that quality online learning should encompass four areas including selection of faculty, training faculty in online course design, student support, and quality control and evaluation. Concerns about Online Teaching and Learning Infrastructure. With the high demand for online instruction, educational institutions now have to address its pedagogical implications. Delivering content through an online platform raises many concerns. Yang and Cornelious (2004) argue that adjunct faculty instead of core faculty deliver many courses; these instructors are not trained to design and deliver instruction online effectively, and there are no certain standards that constitute learning quality. This research further points out that online learning should be structured differently from faceto-face instruction since the learners and their social dynamics are different. Studies are now finding that interaction is the common denominator for addressing online course structure. While it is center for all learning, interaction is vital to students’ learning experiences in online courses (Garrison & Cleveland-Innes, 2005). Interaction is often thought of as communication; however, learning involves more than social interaction, equated to online discussions (Vonderwell & Zacchariah, 2005), if the goal is for students to achieve cognitive success (Garrison & Cleveland-Innes, 2005). Garrison (2007) suggests that in order for online instruction to provide deep meaning and understanding, three essential elements, cognitive presence, social presence, and teacher presence, should be structured in student online learning experiences. These three elements form the community of inquiry framework that supports quality interaction and deep learning in online courses (Garrison, 2007).

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Research supports that teacher presence is necessary to establish social and cognitive presence (Baker, 2010). Therefore, attention must be focused toward addressing issues of structure and leadership, interpreted as teacher presence (design, facilitation, and direction) of cognitive and social processes. Online course development therefore addresses its issues of structure and leadership through design and facilitating discourse. This takes the form of defining clear expectations, structuring appropriate activities, selecting manageable content, providing transparent participation requirements, providing engaging questions, and ensuring progressive discourse (Garrison & Cleveland-Innes, 2005). These requirements allow an online course to focus on the students with a sustained teacher presence that moves discourse from exploration to integration to resolution (Abel, 2005; Garrison, 2007). Quality. As online learning continues to evolve, the research has found mixed outcomes for this instructional medium. Studies suggest that the quality of learning experiences and outcomes of online courses are equivalent to those in face-toface classes (Jahng, Krug, & Zhang, 2007; Sitzmann, Kraiger, Stewart, & Wisher, 2006; Zhao, Lei, Yan, Lai, & Tan, 2005). On the other hand, other studies indicate course-completion and program-retention rates to be generally lower in online courses than in face-to-face courses (BeattyGuenter, 2003; Carr, 2000; Moore, Bartkovich, Fetzner, & Ison, 2003). The 2014 Survey of Online Learning (Allen & Seaman, 2015) indicated 57.9% of academic leaders assessed student learning outcomes in online courses and found their experiences to be equal to traditional face-to-face courses in quality, and only 11.7% felt they were superior. However, this report also raises concerns about the quality of online courses, as there is no common measurement used to indicate quality beyond academic leaders’ perceptions. It is crucial to examine factors that support and challenge the quality and effectiveness of online learning. Shea (2007) suggests that there are two main factors that affect the quality of online learning:

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GATEways to Teacher Education A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

faculty issues and student issues. Given their role as curriculum developers and teachers, college faculty are directly and indirectly responsible for the nature and quality of teaching and learning in online education. Consequently, faculty motivation and participation in understanding and practicing diverse modes of instructional technology are crucial for the quality of online learning experiences (Raffo, Brinthaupt, Gardner, & Fisher, 2015). Student issues, such as how to increase motivation for the completion of online courses and how to manage and assess progression of student performance, are imperative to increase the effectiveness of online learning (Caris, 2013; Jaggars & Bailey, 2010; Rao & Giuli, 2010). Often, the expectations instructors have of students and the expectations students have of instructors are higher than what they expect of themselves, which causes frustration on both the instructors’ and students’ behalf (Bork & Ahindiana, 2013). The Quality Matters (QM) program may offer a solution to student and faculty issues, as it provides a rubric specifically developed to evaluate the quality of online course design (Finley & Bichelmeyer, 2015). The QM rubric focuses on eight areas of online course best-practices recommendations: course overview, learning objectives, assessment, resources, learner engagement, course technology, learner support, and accessibility. It offers faculty and peer reviewers guidance on how to implement best practices and determine if they are being met appropriately (Wang, 2006: Legon, 2015). Over a three-year period, the QM program reviewed 111 online courses from 29 institutions and found that 53% of the courses initially met the QM rubric standards while the remaining 47% met the rubric standards following revisions (Legon & Runyon, 2007). The study found that the most commonly unmet standards centered on courses not providing adequate text alternatives, feedback on student progress, netiquette standards, learning objectives, links to academic support, student-tostudent centered activities, and instructor introduction (Legon & Runyon, 2007). More importantly, surveys conducted on the faculty and peer reviewers from the QM program

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study indicated a positive impact of the standards and the review process on instructors, peer reviewers, students, course design, and learning (Legon & Runyon, 2007). Eighty-nine percent of faculty whose courses were revised using the QM rubric felt that the quality of their course design improved and recommended the QM review process to their peers. Seventy-three percent of peer reviewers made changes to their own online courses after serving as a QM peer reviewer, stating that the professional development experience had been valuable. Student impact studies revealed that students accessed online course content more after courses had been redesigned with more students earning a grade of A in the course, students were able to easily navigate the course, students asked fewer questions, and student learning and satisfaction increased (Legon & Runyon, 2007). These findings are encouraging for course designers as the QM rubric may be the “roadmap” for developing quality and effective online courses that instructors and students can find confidence in when it comes to their instruction and learning. However, with positive research studies come challenges for the QM program. It must now measure the impact of its rubric on learner satisfaction, retention, grades, etc., which is not as simple as it may sound (Legon, 2015). The majority of the online courses submitted for QM review have experienced some exposure to QM standards, making it difficult to determine the impact of the rubric’s formal implementation. Also, since course developers strategically design their courses to maintain a significant level of value and worth, they are not required to meet the standards in the same way; therefore, they utilize various approaches to maintain their courses’ individuality (Younger & Ahern, 2015). Finally, common courses across institutions vary significantly due the instructor’s style, course structure, instructor’s presence, tasks, strategies, etc. These factors all make it difficult to quantify the QM rubric’s impact on learners and learning (Legon, 2015).

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GATEways to Teacher Education A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

Contextual Setting for this Research in the Literature in Science Education Although college science instructors are looking for effective and alternative methods of online science instruction, there are not many research studies specific to online science teaching or learning. Research specific to online science teaching and learning commonly notes similar advantages and issues as in general online teaching and learning research. Students expressed frustration toward learning independently and being responsible for their learning progress, lack of extrinsic rewards, and lack of motivation. However, students thought the introduction of their peers’ ideas was insightful and facilitated metacognition (Morris, Finnegan, & Wu, 2005). Other studies suggest that online science learning should include a learning environment that enables learners to develop skills to design investigations and inquiry practices to make relevant meaning of their exploration and extend their content knowledge (Davis & Synder, 2012; Lebec & Luft, 2007). Ideas along these lines make online science courses substantive ground for research as the structure of science course design aligns with Garrison’s (2007) community of inquiry framework for faculty development and course design. Therefore, the goal of this study was twofold: (a) to identify factors and common challenges experienced by students enrolled in online graduate science courses, and (b) to determine factors and challenges faced by instructors. This study also looks at the factors that helped students to stay on track and complete the course and how reflection has helped online instructors in addition to the strategies they employ to improve their courses. Methodology The purpose of this research was to identify factors and challenges faced by students and instructors as a means of improving the learning experience in online science courses. This study was designed to answer the following research questions: 1. What factors of online graduate science courses helped students succeed?

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2. What factors of these courses posed challenges for students? 3. What factors/strategies do online instructors report facilitate their online teaching? 4. What factors posed challenges for online instructors? The study employed a qualitative research methodology, and this method is especially effective for obtaining culturally specific information about the values, opinions, perceptions, behaviors, and social contexts of particular populations (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2003). Participants The participants in this study were 104 in-service middle grade teachers who were enrolled in summer graduate online courses and 3 course instructors in Georgia. Among participants, 83 were women and 20 were men. In addition, 80 participants were Caucasians, 22 were African-Americans, and 2 were Asian. Participants were between 20 and 55 years of age. Data were collected from graduate online courses including four sections of Physical Science, two sections of Earth Science, two sections of Life Science, and two sections of Mathematics and Science Curriculum and Assessment in the summer of 2013 and 2014. All courses were fully online as part of a statewide online graduate degree program. Course Design The literature suggests that the structure and coherence of the curriculum components and the ease of using a learning management system are major factors for online course satisfaction and performance in the course (Shee & Wang, 2008; Zhao et al., 2005). To design the online courses effectively and meaningfully, this study adopted Garrison’s (2007) community of inquiry framework, which places an emphasis on three elements: cognitive presence, social presence, and teacher presence in online learning experiences. The QM rubric, which was specifically developed to evaluate the quality of online course design, was used to develop the courses for the study. The QM rubric

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GATEways to Teacher Education A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

focuses on eight areas of online course best practices recommendations: course overview, learning objectives, assessment, resources, learner engagement, course technology, learner support, and accessibility (Finley & Bichelmeyer, 2015). In this study, each course was organized into weekly modules so that it was easy for students to navigate. Each module was divided into guided notes (e.g., lecture note, example calculations), labs and other hands-on activities (e.g., online labs & simulations, hands-on activities, Google Tour, Wiki), quizzes, discussion topics, homework (e.g., practice problems, lesson plans applying the content and pedagogy), and related links to support successful cognitive development. Additionally, unit tests, pre/post tests, and specific assignments (e.g., curriculum topic studies, reading assignments) were added for each unit. At the end of each week, the instructors added additional notes and feedback to students’ work and updated individual student grades. For the technical aspects of the course, these courses adopted asynchronous communication tools (e.g., learning management system, email, threaded discussion boards, virtual labs) and synchronous tools (e.g., chat rooms, Skype, Elluminate Live) to deliver lectures and hold virtual meetings with the students in order to encourage teacher presence for cognitive and social processes as well as a sense of community. Data Collection and Analysis Data were collected using end-of-course surveys with students and end-of-course interviews with course instructors and the instructors’ journals throughout the study. The end-of-course student survey contained 13 open-ended questions and the end-of-course instructor interview contained six open-ended questions. Student Survey. The student survey was developed based on previous research (Davis & Snyder, 2012; Young & Norgard, 2006) and adapted from that used by Rao and Giuli (2010). The survey contained 13 open-ended questions and was

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administered through the course management system at the end of each course. Student perceptions about online courses in the areas of course design (i.e., curriculum, instruction), course content, the benefits and challenges of online courses, and online course support were collected. The survey was distributed via online and the participation of the study was voluntary. The response rate for the survey was 76.92% (about 104 responses for 128 invitations sent). The response rate for on-paper surveys is usually higher than the rate of online surveys, with a range of 50% to 85% (Nulty, 2008). Therefore, our response rate of 76.92% was acceptable. Instructor Interview. The interview was adapted from that used by Rao and Giuli (2010). It consisted of six open-ended questions and it was conducted at the end of each course. The questions were developed to better understand the perceptions and experiences of teaching online courses. All three instructors completed the interview. Data Analysis. Gall et al. (2003) proposed that the qualitative research method seeks to understand a given research problem or topic from the perspectives of the local population it involves. Thus, the student survey and instructor interview were coded to identify themes and patterns. The descriptive coding was used for the data analysis. According to Saldana (2012), “Qualitative codes are essence-capturing and essential elements of the research story, that, when clustered together according to similarity and a regularity (a pattern), they actively facilitate the development of categories and thus analysis of their connections.” Three researchers generated categories (pattern codes) from the excerpt and then coded each response excerpt with these categories. A coding frequency, counting frequency of occurrence of each category, was made to have a better understanding of a large qualitative data set (Saldana, 2012). The analysis includes direct quotes, tables and interpretive commentary. The interrater agreement among three researchers for coding were 78%.

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GATEways to Teacher Education A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

Results Student Comments: Success factors The results indicated that the majority of the participants described their online learning experiences as positive (see Table 1). The factors that helped students succeed included organization and clarity of the course (93.2%), weekly lectures/guided notes (79.6%), personal interactions during the course (79.8%), online labs and activities (69.2%), instructor’s consistent feedback (62.5%) and inclusion of teaching resources that are immediately applicable to teachers’ practice (62.5%). Many of the students also noted that they valued opportunities to interact with one another as part of their course activities (43.4%). The student participants further believed that the course instructors must be available to the student for online courses to be effective. Students emphasized they valued course content that had relevance to their science teaching practices. They found the resources used in courses, such as textbooks and relevant reading materials, to be useful and thought provoking. The discussion forum in the online course was useful and engaging. Virtual labs and differentiated homework were helpful to understand and improve their content knowledge in science.

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Table 1. Student Comments: Success Factors Item

Percentage

Sample Prompt

Course Organization and Clarity

93.2% (97)

Everything was laid out so that it was easy to understand the assignments

Weekly lecture/guided notes

76.9% (80)

Engaging, easy to read and understand

Personal interactions

79.8% (83)

Enjoyed instructor’s sense of humor in the notes; a positive and friendly attitude

Online labs and activities

69.2% (72)

Use of gizmos to facilitate learning

Instructor feedback: quick & helpful

62.5% (65)

Quick to respond to questions; provide explanations to incorrect answers

Pedagogical support (e.g., teaching tips)

62.5% (65)

Use the information that I learned during this course to aid in creating differentiated lessons for my students

Example calculations

59.6% (62)

Helpful to understand the process

Multiple opportunities to work on difficult assignments

43.4% (45)

Learning enforced by retaking homework assignments

Discussion board

43.4% (45)

Nice to get snippets of information from reading others’ reports without having to dig through piles of resources

Assignment reminder

37.5% (39)

Appreciated upcoming due dates posted

Pre/post tests

24% (25)

A good guidance for a clear understanding of all concepts taught in class

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GATEways to Teacher Education A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

Student Comments: Challenges Student comments about challenges they faced are summarized in Table 2. Finding time to do coursework was the most common challenge stated (46%). As professionals who had jobs and obligations to family and community, most students reported difficulty keeping up with deadlines and completing coursework, even during summer time. Interestingly, personal factors such as low levels of content knowledge (36%) and self-discipline (30.8%) were the second most prevalent challenge. Students reported low self-confidence in science and mathematics and lack of motivation to initiate weekly modules on time made for a big challenge for them to complete the online courses. Issues with technology was another challenge for the participants. Students cited various problems such as slow Internet connections, using both an eLearning and Livetext platform for program requirements, and a lack of knowledge about basic computing skills to complete course assignments. While these students were experiencing virtual labs, hyperlink connections to them from individual computers and the system requirements needed to operate the virtual labs presented an added challenge. Therefore, it is necessary for students to have the right equipment and technology for successful online learning. Students further reported that it was important for them to be self-regulated by having the ability to monitor their own progress and by having structured assignment due dates. Lastly, students requested concrete examples of assignment products in order to facilitate clarity in the curriculum course.

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Table 2. Student Comments: Challenges Item

Percentage

Sample Prompt

Keeping up with due dates

46% (48)

Managing between work and school

Subject itself: science & math

36% (37)

Science/math is not favorable subject; difficulty with computations and balancing equations

Self-discipline

30.8%(32)

Lack of motivation to get started; no sense of urgency

Operating online labs (e.g., Gizmo)

24% (25)

Operating Gizmos, connection issues

Adjusting to weekly study routine

22.5% (23)

Setting aside defined time to work on assignments

Online course

17% (18)

Getting used to online course platform

Weekly Modules not opened all

14% (15)

Wish to work ahead of time

Timed assignments (e.g., quiz)

9.5% (10)

Need more time to complete the quiz

Personal Obligations

7.6%(8)

Conflict with personal schedules

Wait for professor’s response to questions

6.3% (7)

Need feedback to take the test

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GATEways to Teacher Education A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

Student Comments: Changes in Perception Students in the online master’s program overcame challenges of the online learning environment in order to be successful in the courses. In their success, they also reflected on how their perceptions changed about the content, pedagogy, and online learning in general. In many cases, the students’ realizations came through an experience they could translate into practice in their own classroom. The students’ perceptions of their own engagement in the courses indicated changes in how they perceived online learning. Students in online science and math courses improve their content knowledge, which they in turn apply in their own context. One student commented about improved efficacy saying, “I came into this course extremely nervous and with little knowledge of the subject . . . I am certainly sure more comfortable with the subject,” while another spoke to application of the content saying, “Through this course, I’ve actually learned content and how to teach my content.” In taking courses in both math and science content, a student saw the possibility of integrating the content and said, “I could possibly incorporate a lot of science in with the math I teach.” Students also reignited their passion for a subject they may have neglected. One student excitedly explained, “I have a completely different outlook on science being a possible subject for me to teach” after completing an online science content course. Since the student participants in these online courses were classroom teachers, the students reported how they could transfer the pedagogy modeled by instructors into their own classroom. One student said s/he can now “Infuse technology . . . let students investigate and question theories . . . and find their own information and supporting evidence.” Another student thought the technology made the content more engaging saying, “I feel I could make learning Earth Science fun and engaging. Earth Science has never been appealing to me until now.” Enriching the curriculum and faceto-face classroom environment was an additional

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application of the pedagogy and resources in the online courses. One teacher planned to do just that and stated, “I will include sections of the readings in the materials for advanced students for differentiation. Also, create a virtual tour of [a local] zoo to teach ecosystems.” Students’ preconceptions of online learning indicate that they initially think it is an isolated and controlled environment with taciturn correspondence with instructors and peers. They are surprised to find freedom in working independently, while also having the opportunity for group work and discussions with peers and instructors. For example, one student remarked, “I was very apprehensive of not having the chance to interact with peers and instructors, now I know that online communication is just as helpful.” Another student found the course timeline favorable saying, “The flexibility of the scheduling and due dates. I could effectively work ahead during slack times and then that helped me survive really busy times at work!” Instructor Comments: Challenges and Strategies for Effective Online Learning Instructors commented it took longer to establish rapport with students in the online format than it does in a face-to-face format. They noted it was far more time consuming to teach online, and at times, they felt as though they were conducting multiple individual tutorials. Courses employed a variety of web interfaces, which were unfamiliar to students and led to technical difficulties. They also pointed out that a student’s individual drive played a large part in his or her success, to which they suggested it would be critical to take personal accountability in designing online science learning environments to increase effectiveness of learning. Many students said they liked having virtual conference meetings throughout the courses, during which they could interact with instructors and other students synchronously. Students also reported they liked discussion and feedback from their instructors. Online interaction is defined as interaction with

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GATEways to Teacher Education A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

course content, conversation and collaboration, interpersonal/metacognitive skills, and need for support (Northrup, 2002). Lao and Gonzales (2005) insist that these are important factors for a quality online learning environment. Adding more synchronous tools such as chat rooms and virtual conference meetings would accommodate individual needs, and using a variety of virtual labs improved student engagement and enhanced students’ scientific exploration and inquiries. Lastly, over two years, a trend has emerged indicating the instructors’ flexibility and personal touches were also important factors that made students persevere when it became difficult to juggle coursework and other life responsibilities. Discussion The results of this study indicated that the structure and organization of the course, interactions with classmates and the course instructor, and technical components were identified as success factors of online learning. Consistent with these results, Young and Norgard (2006) reported that students agreed that structure across all online courses was a success factor. These students further suggested that organization of the courses should be consistent and easy to navigate and use the learning management system. Paechter and Maier (2010) added that students’ satisfaction with the online courses significantly increased when they made the online courses more structured and provided more technical support. The results support the findings in other research which show group discussions and incorporation of collaborative learning as being essential for a quality online learning experience (Robertson, Grant, & Jackson, 2005). Students especially value the instructor’s presence during online learning when there is prompt feedback, facilitation during the discussions, consistent rapport with students, and flexibility and availability for their students (Shee & Wang, 2008). Swan (2002) also pointed out that instructors’ communication of their high expectations and effort for monitoring individual

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student progress greatly impacts student success with online learning. Finding time, low levels of content knowledge and self-motivation, and technical issues were the most challenging factors for online science courses in this study. Morris et al. (2005) supported these results and reported that successful students demonstrated a moderate to high level of technical skills and organization skills. Students with limited technical skills and technical support reported dissatisfaction with their online courses (Yang & Cornelious, 2004). For support with technical issues, students asked for an increase in technical support hours as well as prompt services for their online learning (Young & Norgard, 2006). Some studies propose that students’ participation rates and their own learning strategies were also critical factors for successful online learning (Picciano, 2002; Robertson et al., 2005). Students generally perceive online learning as memorizing, navigating materials, and reviewing concepts rather than learning new concepts (Hara, Bonk, & Angeli, 2000). Therefore, this study further suggested that students must actively participate in their online learning as well as develop a high level of problemsolving skills to overcome these challenges. Time management was also another factor identified as a challenge for online learning (Song et al., 2004). This study provides evidence that suggests the importance of time management for students completing online learning. Instructors from this study proposed that it would be helpful for students to manage their timeline of assignments along with monitoring the posted due dates shown on the first page of the course web site. Overall perceptions changed through the online courses as the participants reported they believed they had gained content knowledge as well as additional pedagogical strategies to teach the content in their classroom. Further, they stated that they gained their content knowledge through the learning modules each online course provided. While there is not much empirical research in this area, Picciano (2002) found a strong, positive relationship between

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GATEways to Teacher Education A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

student perceptions of their online learning and their performance. Interestingly, Davis and Snyder (2012) found that graduate students in education agreed they gained significant content knowledge from their online learning. However, they asserted that the reasons associated with these gains were not necessarily from the quality of online learning, but instead from their dissatisfaction with the traditional courses (e.g., face-to-face). On the other hand, Zeng and Perris (2004) reported that students did not feel they acquired content knowledge through online courses. Based on literature and the results of this study, there should be further research that focuses specifically on examining a correlation between online learning and content knowledge. In addition to student comments, instructors from this study identified a need for adding more synchronous tools such as chat rooms and virtual conference meetings, along with using a variety of virtual labs and instructors’ presence, as critical factors for students’ successful online learning. Swan (2002) and Shea (2007) defined the instructor’s presence in online learning as directed facilitation. The instructor’s directed facilitation would increase students’ sense of connectedness and learning. Consequently, it would impact students’ perceptions of online learning. Bork and Rucks-Ahidiana (2013) suggested that providing clear communication of course goals, course expectations, and due dates, as well as providing prompt feedback and tracking student learning, would be helpful for increasing the instructor’s presence in the online environment. The thematic analysis revealed that these instructor qualities and organizational structures were not only helpful to students, but were crucial to students’ perseverance and successful completion of the online courses. According to Garrison (2007), teacher presence was also a major element for students’ successful cognitive and social processes due to the instructor who designs, facilitates, and provides direction to student learning experiences.

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Conclusions The purpose of this research was to identify factors and challenges faced by students and instructors to improve the online learning experience. This research identified four key factors that facilitate student success in an online learning environment: structure and organization of the course, interactions with classmates and the course instructor, instructor’s presence, and technical components such as student technical skills as well as technical support. However, participants reported their time management skills, deficits in content knowledge and motivation, and technical issues were the most challenging factors for online science courses in this study. After completion of the online courses, students’ perceptions toward online learning became more positive as they found equally substantial value in online learning as compared to face-to-face learning. More importantly, they appreciated and complimented the impact that online learning had on developing the content knowledge and pedagogical skills they needed for their own classrooms. Instructors pointed out that student readiness for online learning success is defined by two critical components: self-discipline and technical skills. The instructors also suggested that adding more synchronous tools such as chat rooms and virtual conference meetings, along with using a variety of virtual labs, would be important factors for strengthening online science learning. Lastly, the results of this study suggest that online learning experiences should be tailored to make more connections to the individual student than is possible in the face-to-face classroom. Creating a more engaging and meaningful learning environment could potentially increase the effectiveness of online learning. Much of the research about quality online learning emphasizes the role of instructors in successful student online learning (Morris, Finnegan, & Wu, 2005; Song et al., 2004; US Department of Education, 2010; Young & Norgard, 2006). This study, most

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importantly, found that not only the role of instructors but also the role of students is crucial for successful and meaningful learning of students, specifically in the context of an online platform. These findings will provide valuable information for successful online learning as well as instructional design to support effective online teaching of science. Hopefully, discussions will emerge to facilitate research and development of innovative online pedagogies for science. References Abel, R. (2005). Implementing best practices in online learning: A recent study reveals common denominators for success in Internet-supported learning. EDUCASE Quarterly 28(3): 75-77. Allen, E. I., & Seaman, J. (2015). Grade level: Tracking online education in the United States. Babson Park, MA: Babson Survey Research Group. Aslanian, C.B. & Clinefelter, D.L. (2013). Online college students 2013: Comprehensive data on demands and preferences. Louisville, KY: The Learning House, Inc. Baker, C. (2010). The impact of instructor immediacy and presence for online student affective learning, cognition, and motivation. Journal of Educators Online, 7(1), 1-30. Beatty-Guenter, P. (2003). Studying distance education at community colleges. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 10(2), 119-126. Bork, R. J. H., & Rucks-Ahidiana, Z. (2013). Role ambiguity in online courses: An analysis of student and instructor expectations. Retrieved from http://ccrc.tc. columbia.edu/media/k2/attachments/role-ambiguity-inonline-courses.pdf Caris, A. (2013). Teaching college courses online vs. faceto-face, The Journal. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/ 1vMXBLj Carr, S. (2000, February 11). As distance education comes of age, the challenge is keeping the students. Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com Davis, K., & Snyder, W. (2012). Fostering science education in an online environment: Are we there yet? Journal of College Science Teaching, 42(2), 24-43. Finley, D. L., & Bichelmeyer, B. A. (2015). Using Quality Matters (QM) to improve all courses. In R. K. Morgan, K. T. Olivares, J. Becker, & R. Wolter (Eds.), Quick Hits for Adjunct Faculty and Lecturers: Successful Strategies from Award-Winning Teachers (pp. 57-60). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Gall, M. D., Gall, J. P., & Borg, W. R. (2003). Educational Research (7th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Garrison, D. R. (2007). Online community of inquiry review: Social, cognitive, and teaching presence issues. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11(1), 61-72.

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Garrison, D. R., & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2005). Facilitating cognitive presence in online learning: Interaction is not enough. The American Journal of Distance Education, 19(3), 133-148. Hara, N., Bonk, C. J., & Angeli, C. (2000). Content analysis of online discussion in an applied educational psychology course. Instructional Science, 28(2), 115152. Jahng, N., Krug, D., & Zhang, Z. (2007). Student achievement in the online distance education compared to face-to-face education. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1vMXPSV Jaggars, S. S., & Bailey, T. (2010). Effectiveness of fully online courses for college students: Response to a department of education meta-analysis. New York, NY: Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University. Lao, T., & Gonzales, C. (2005). Understanding online learning through a qualitative description of professors and students' experiences. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 133, 459-474. Lebec, M., & Luft, J. (2007). A mixed methods analysis of learning in online teacher professional development: A case report. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 7, 554-574. Legon, R. (2015). Measuring the impact of the Quality Matters Rubric™: A discussion of possibilities. American Journal of Distance Education, 29(3), 166173. Legon, R., & Runyon, J. (2007, August). Research on the impact of the quality matters course review process. In 23rd Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning (pp. 8-10). Moore, K., Bartkovich, J., Fetzner, M., & Ison, S. (2003). Success in cyberspace: Student retention in online courses. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 10(2), 107-118. Morris, L. V., Finnegan, C., & Wu, S. (2005). Tracking student behavior, persistence, and achievement in online courses, Internet and Higher Education, 8, 221–231. Northrup, P. T. (2002). Online learners' preferences for interaction. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 32, 219–226. Nulty, D. D. (2008). The adequacy of response rates to online and paper surveys: what can be done? Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 33(3), 301-314. Paechter, M., & Maier, B. (2010). Online or face-to-face? Students’ experiences and preferences in e-learning. Internet and Higher Education, 13, 292-297. Picciano, A. G. (2002). Beyond student perceptions: Issues of interaction, presence, and performance in an online course. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 6(1), 21-40. Raffo, D. M., Brinthaupt, T. M., Gardner, J. G., & Fisher, L. S. (2015). Balancing online teaching activities: Strategies for optimizing efficiency and effectiveness.

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Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 18(1). Rao, K., & Giuli, C. (2010). Reaching REMOTE learners: Successes and challenges for students in an online graduate degree program in the Pacific Islands. The International Review of Research In Open and Distributed Learning, 11(1). Retrieved from www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/785/1482 Robertson, J. S., Grant, M. M., & Jackson, L. (2005). Is online instruction perceived as effective as campus instruction by graduate students in education? Internet and Higher Education, 8(1), 73-86. Saldana, J. (2012). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Shea, P. (2007). Bridges and barriers to teaching online college courses: A study of experienced online faculty in thirty-six colleges. The Sloan Consortium, 11(2), 73128. Shee, D. Y., & Wang, Y. S. (2008). Multi-criteria evaluation of the web-based e-learning system: A methodology based on learner satisfaction and its applications. Computers & Education, 50, 894−905. Sitzmann, T., Kraiger, K., Stewart, D., & Wisher, R. (2006). The comparative effectiveness of web-based and classroom instruction: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 59(3), 623-664. Song, L., Singleton, E. S., Hill, J. R., & Koh, M. H. (2004). Improving online learning: Students’ perceptions of useful and challenging characteristics. Internet and Higher Education, 7, 59-70. Swan, K. (2002). Building learning communities in online courses: the importance of interaction. Education, Communication, & Information, 2(1), 23-49. US Department of Education. (2010). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A metaanalysis and review of online learning studies. Retrieved from www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/opepd/ ppss/reports.html Vonderwell, S., & Zachariah, S. (2005). Factors that influence participation in online learning. Journal of Research on Technology in education, 38(2), 213-230. Wang, Q. (2006). Quality assurance-best practices for assessing online programs. International Journal on ELearning, 5(2), 265. Yang, Y., & Cornelious, L. F. (2004). Students' perceptions towards the quality of online education: A qualitative approach. Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 27, 861–877. Young, A., & Norgard, C. (2006). Assessing the quality of online courses from the students’ perspective. Internet and Higher Education, 9, 107-115. Younger, R. E., & Ahern, T. C. (2015). Is a Quality Course a Worthy Course? Designing for Value and Worth in Online Courses. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 18(1). Retrieved from https://www. westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring181/youger_ahern18 1.html

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Zeng, W. Y., & Perris, K. (2004). Researching the efficacy of online learning: A collaborative effort amongst scholars in Asian open universities. Open Learning, 193, 247–264. Zhao, Y., Lei, J., Yan, B., Lai, C., & Tan, H. S. (2005). What makes the difference? A practical analysis of research on the effectiveness of distance education. Teachers College Record, 107(8), 1836-1884.

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About the Authors Sanghee Choi, EdD Dr. Sanghee Choi teaches science content courses and science methods as well as research and curriculum assessment courses to undergraduate and graduate students. She has been actively involved in the area of inquiry-based learning, STEM, teacher preparation, and professional development through online and interactive workshops. April Nelms, EdD Dr. April Nelms teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in science education, specializing in curriculum design and science pedagogy. Her research interests include the development of in-service science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge, the teachers’ implementation of science pedagogy, and improving the effectiveness of online science courses Chantelle Renaud-Grant, EdD Dr. Chantelle Renaud-Grant has had a career in education for the past 18 years. She has taught both high school and middle school science. She is beginning her seventh year of university instruction where her courses focus on curriculum and diverse learners at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her research involves designing successful PDS programs for middle school candidates in addition to programs that support successful instruction in diverse school settings.

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Juan Walker, Georgia Regents University, Elise Langan, Macon State University, John Pagnotti and William B. Russell III, University of Central Florida

In American teacher education programs, there is sometimes a dichotomy between what administrators and legislators call for and the demands of research-based pedagogy. In this article, researchers explore teachers’ reasoning for not acknowledging or integrating progressive teaching techniques. The researchers problematize the situation by sharing their colleagues’ responses to a case study of an inservice teacher who struggled to integrate inquiry-based pedagogy while enrolled in a graduate-level methods course. As social studies methods colleagues, we often discuss sound pedagogy for our discipline. Recent social, working class, and educational histories, as well as black, native, feminist, and ethnic histories, encompass only a few of the topic areas that have emerged to challenge the traditional historical synthesis of the late 1960s and 1970s. Seixas (1993) explores differing interpretations of history and their impact on the structure of the K-12 social studies curriculum. Instead of using lecture-based approaches, Seixas’ research advocates using socio-dramas, field trips, constructed working models, and classrooms that are student centered. We argue that historians and social studies educators become more collaborative in their efforts to make the discipline more relevant. In short, social studies without historical perspective is

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meaningless. We believe that integration is best achieved by working with primary and secondary sources. Social studies teachers must provide historical context in order to engender historical understanding in their students. Our goal is to combat histlexia (Walker, 2015), a disconnect between historical learning and application, that is rampant within social studies classrooms today. According to Barton and Levstik (2004), decisions about how to teach social studies are reflected in pre-service and in-service value judgments. Evaluative pre-service and in-service teachers’ judgments provide evidence of what students think and how their ideas intersect with curricular input. Utilizing this framework, we endeavor to change several of the assumptions that currently inhabit and inform pedagogical approaches in the social studies histlexia. Noddings (2013) illustrates the concern: “The answer is not to spend more and more time on the ‘basics’ but to revitalize the basics in a broad scheme of general education that is laid out broadly along the entire continuum of human experience” (pp. 191-192). As teaching methods professors, we require our teacher candidates to seek daily feedback from their social studies students. In particular, we ask that our pre-service teachers consider how their students process information. For instance, are there specific patterns that are repeated among students who are

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struggling to understand historical concepts? The approach requires pre-service teachers to create novel ways for their students to convey understanding. The Varied Roles of Social Studies Teachers Schlesinger (1992) calls for an approach to social studies devoid of political, economic, religious, or ethical pressures. His rationale is that history should be explored for historical value only. Advocates of Schlesinger’s conservative views have support at both the state and national levels. These political figures want a strong, nationalistic history curriculum that is focused on a narrow, nation-building template. In 1995, the United States Senate denounced the 1994 U.S. History Standard because it drew upon too many negative aspects (e.g., slavery, Jackson’s Indian Removal Act). The Senate only wanted the good parts of happy history to be included. VanSledright (2011) criticizes Schlesinger’s views, claiming they stem from the belief that individuality will undermine the unity that he envisions. To further complicate matters, Hirsch (1996) enacted a similarly passive view of learning in general. He postulates that schools struggle because of progressive measures associated with 21st-century teaching techniques. He further suggests that American schools need to adopt a European curriculum. However, Linda DarlingHammond (1997) challenges this view by recounting that many European schools avoid rote memorization and multiple choice tests and utilize more oral and essay examinations associated with progressive education. Tensions arise over whether teachers are to sacrifice individuality and critical thinking for conformity and basic skills? Further, what are the benefits of a nation-building curriculum? Aspects of nation building are approached through the collective memory method. Wertch (2008) terms this a schematic narrative template. By having students memorize simple facts, a view

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of a collective narrative can be achieved. This technique is indicative of the passive learning strategy that Schlesinger (1992) and Hirsch (1996) advocate. The issue with narrative templates is that they limit cognitive development. In late 2011, VanSledright reminded the educational community of current collective memory trends: At the very least, the approach successfully reinforces the narrative template that is sold in many forms of mass culture from historical theme parks to the U.S. Park Service’s commemorative sites to television’s History Channel. If the goal of the collective-memory approach is to inculcate in students a foreshortened, thematically linear, simple, and upbeat storyline of national development, then some research evidence indicates that the results remain salutary. (p. 24) History that is devoid of the complex nature of historical process is limited and disingenuous. All the successes and failures, the contradictions, the complexities of events, are narrowed into simple facts that sever cognitive functions in students. A classroom without divisive issues is at best dishonest and at worst counterproductive to intellectual growth and development. A whitewashed national curriculum creates a false sense of history by removing all the divisive elements (Walker, 2015). A colleague recounted that Schlesinger’s (1992) cognitive disconnect and limited view of history brought about an examination by social studies scholars about the true purpose of social studies (Holt & Wolf, 1990; Percoco, 1998; Kobrin, 1996; Edinger, 2000). All presented a collective new vision of teaching social studies and called for a deeper analysis of history through document analysis and exploration of the past from numerous social frameworks. They also encouraged a scientific inquiry style of learning often witnessed in science classrooms. Within this framework, students are challenged to venture beyond textbooks and are provided with opportunities to experience history as explorers

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(Wineberg, 2001). Percoco demonstrates how using applied history can bring to life the people, places, and events of our nation's story, inspiring students to develop a passion for the past. Percoco also coined the term "academic adventures" – taking advantage of the many resources in the surrounding community and beyond, encouraging student travel to historic sites and exhibits, examining archives and other primary source documents, analyzing movies and documentaries, conducting interviews, creating sculptures, and much more. All authors provide numerous sources for historical information and documents, as well as practical suggestions for cultivating contacts and managing logistics. As a result of the tangible experiences which applied history offers, students come to appreciate the relevance of the past to their present and their future. As they work to make sense of the past, they learn to question their assumptions, to think critically, and ultimately to develop their own personal understanding of our nation's history. During the 1990s, social studies began receiving additional support from numerous sources. Teachers started receiving materials from organizations such as the Library of Congress and various social studies organizations provided free resources and support mechanisms that did not previously exist. Additional resources from museums, federal reserves, and private organizations were a great counterbalance to textbook narratives fraught with glaring omissions, passive voice, and inferior supporting resources (Ansary, 2005). In addition to instructing our social studies students in inquiry-based teaching techniques, we also emphasize writing skills as a means to foment understanding. While our social studies pre-service and in-service teachers may dislike writing papers and supporting their ideas, we make it clear that writing is no longer relegated to the language arts classroom. It is intertwined with all disciplines from mathematics to social studies. Due to the integration of writing skills across the

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curriculum, the Georgia Department of Education (2015) has created a mandatory writing test for grades 3, 8, and 11 that students are required to pass for promotion to the next grade. The Georgia Milestones Assessment System requires students to provide critical thinking responses; for example, students have to answer hypothetical responses to alternative historical context, e.g. “What if the Southern States had won the Civil War, would slavery still exist in America?” The main goal for our faculty is therefore to make certain that teachers have a foundation in writing and inquiry skills and are able to make learning interactive. Consequently, their students no longer read a closed narrative but instead are asked to consider responses and questions that are not necessarily found in a textbook. Case Study of an In-Service Teacher As methods professors, professional development experts, and teacher specialists, many of our pre-service and in-service teachers have mentioned that the various techniques we cover in class seem unaligned with their previous education. In order to better understand our students’ commentary, we considered the reasons for their resistance to inquiry-based learning techniques. One discussion centered on a particular Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) certified social studies teacher and why he was unable to meet the objectives in my methods class. The following is largely based on the observations of an in-service teacher, theoretical research, and postulations regarding the lack of educational innovation in our discipline. According to Walter Isaacson (2011), Steve Jobs, innovator and co-founder of Apple Computers, shared his belief that the absence of innovation leads to stagnation. He points to businesses such as Hewlett-Packard and Kodak as examples of innovative leadership. However, the lack of desire to evolve and create new products resulted in both businesses losing their places as global innovators and economic leaders

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in their respective fields. Neither foresaw the developments in technology that left them far behind their competitors. Likewise, educators are subject to the same calls for innovation. By not striving to create the best learning environment every year, seasoned educators are susceptible to becoming outdated and ineffective. Roth (2006) discusses the disconnect between research and practice: “At the dawn of the twenty-first century, we find ourselves at a crossroads. Our scientific knowledge of how the world works has never been stronger, but our ability to use it to transform our lives to create greater personal and social harmony remains relatively weak” (p. 1787). An example of a lack of innovation was apparent in the best practices course in question. We therefore call for social studies innovation since the profile of the MAT inservice teacher mentioned earlier stands out. The profiled teacher has been teaching private high school for eight years. While he was not the only teacher who struggled with adaptation, we found his mindset to be a common deterrent to innovation since he was fixated on teachercentered approaches in his classroom. In an active learning assignment in our methods class, he was required to submit a lesson plan engaging the class in the Library of Congress’ Primary Source Analysis techniques three days prior to his demonstration. Many of the traits he presented represented histlexia. On the day he presented, he never discussed the rationale for removing Native Americans from their lands nor did his shortanswer prompts elicit higher-order thinking. During feedback, he tried to portray his questioning as critical thinking; but after being supplied with several prompts (Wiggins, 1988), he remained unable to craft a higher-order thinking question. After our analysis of his proposed second inclass lesson, he was unable to teach it because he could not create a critical thinking question for it. His Essential Question was, “Why did Americans want the land of Native Americans?” Here again,

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we supplied ways to improve the question and gave an example: “Why did early colonists believe they had rights to this land?” This question portends Manifest Destiny and allows students to engage in a rationale for the legitimacy of the colonists’ claims. Again, he instead demonstrated signs of histlexia when he submitted the question, “What is Manifest Destiny?” One of the final requirements for the course was an in-class observation. Prior to the visit, he expressed that his students were not responsive to several of his pedagogical approaches. During the first moments of the observation, he used a CD as an example of innovation (as articulated in his lesson plan) while telling the students that doing so was “innovative.” He then had the students turn to a page in their textbooks that outlined the military technological innovations during the Civil War in a bullet point format. However, no visual aids were provided for the students, and no differentiation was included to discuss the innovations. Afterwards, he led the class through a rote, memorized presentation of the Civil War and read through the extensive PowerPoint. Each slide had numerous paragraphs that either he or the students read aloud. In his reflections, he referred to this as active learning. Throughout the observation, I could not determine which moments were supposed to create an emotional response. All matters – death, victories, polices – were treated as monotone footnotes. He then handed out a worksheet that focused on recalling terminology. As the students wrote responses to the basic questions, he sat at his desk to grade quizzes from the last period. After a few minutes, he reviewed the worksheet answers on the overhead. I noticed that many of the students were writing the answers as he went over them. Afterwards, he had students complete a “ticketout-the-door” activity. He required that the students write one fact they had learned and something they wanted to know more about. All

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the students glanced back at their worksheets and copied a line or two from the document. Overall, his techniques were ineffective because the students were not engaged in learning. During the debrief, I suggested starting with a provocative Essential Question instead of his “Why did technological advances cause more deaths during the Civil War?” which was neither thought-provoking nor challenging. A better example would be, “Is it right for one person to own another person? If so, would you fight for that right?” I also suggested that instead of a lecture, he could have gathered primary sources from the Library of Congress and had the students read about events from those who were at the various battles. He could have gathered pictures of soldiers or letters from loved ones that discussed the moral aspects of the Civil War. In addition, the “ticket-out-the-door” activity needed to have more substance, e.g.,“Pretend you are a soldier, and recount the events of Gettysburg to a loved one. Include factual information, and cite your sources.” My final comment was that he seemed to be unable or unwilling to move beyond rudimentary recall or histlexia. The teacher’s reaction to the feedback showed that it was not well received. He looked down at his notes and then looked away from me. He responded by stating he would need more time to construct a lesson in the suggested format. He disagreed with me about the reason for the Civil War and referenced the textbook account as accurate, which viewed the Civil War as a disagreement between states’ and national rights. The teacher did not want to be perceived as being opposed to the Confederacy due to the controversy that might ensue. He did not discuss slavery and willingly acknowledged that avoiding it was intentional. This is a framework that teachers use to justify not exploring controversial issues (Beineke, 2011). The teacher is being asked to teach factual history based on primary document analysis, not biased history based on textbooks.

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The teacher then recounted that there is a discrepancy between what he can teach at his high school and what is expected from him at the university. He recounted how his administrators require him to list and teach the standards and insist that he use the textbook. They informed him that doing so will garner student success. However, the data suggest otherwise due to his students’ low-test scores on statewide tests, and despite their poor performance, no alternative methods have been considered, which the teacher finds frustrating. He mentioned how the administrators insist upon the material being “covered” (Wiggins, 1988), and how he feels that the techniques discussed in his university class would impinge upon his students being able to remember the information. According to the teacher, he is actively being told to teach histlexia. When I presented the case to my colleagues, one asked why the teacher had waited until the end of the semester to discuss the conflict of interest. In the current educational arena, teachers are often encouraged to teach fact-based history lessons to avoid controversy with parents, politicians, and the media. Interest groups actively prevent teachers from critical thinking techniques (Dahlgren, 2009). This conflicts with the national mandate for social studies students: “Demonstrate an understanding that different people may describe the same event or situation in diverse ways; cite reasons for the differences in views” (National Council for the Social Studies, 1994, p. 34). A colleague shared that the administrator forced the teacher into a passive role, referencing the influence of Schlesinger (1992). Another colleague argued that the teacher was being de-skilled. With a zealous focus on test preparation, teaching skills are being devalued in favor of standardized techniques to address standardized tests (Apple, 2004). Preparing teacher candidates to teach social studies within a critical thinking framework is a difficult task, especially considering the political climate of

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high-stakes tests and standardized curriculum. However, standards that require teachers to cover large amounts of content do not have to be a barrier to teaching critical thinking (Bender-Slack & Raupach, 2008). Kincheloe (2004) suggests that most students are not being stimulated to study multiple points of view or learn that both within U.S. culture and around the planet there are profoundly different interpretations of historical, scientific, literary, political, social, and economic issues other than the ones offered in the textbooks, content standards, and curriculum guides. “This singular view of learning deters teachers from helping students reach their full potential. In sum, the labor process of teaching was becoming susceptible to processes similar to those that led to the proletarianization of many other blue, pink, and white-collar jobs” (Apple, 2013, p. 167). Our collective mission is to call for a social studies curriculum aimed at inquiry learning. Linda Darling Hammond (2010) highlights four aspects that are essential for the citizens of the future: manage one’s own work, solve problems, gather information, and create the desire and ability to design new products. In the case of the profiled 21st-century teacher, we could not find any of the skills we insist upon being utilized. Research demonstrates that when teachers are aware of students’ plasticity, potential, and intelligence, they may be more likely to inspire their students’ full potential (Aronson, 2002). Conversely, when 21st-century teachers ignore their students’ intellectual abilities, they are not only adding credence to an incorrect assumption, they are also invariably limiting their students’ chances for academic success in the classroom. Barton and Levstik (2004) coined the term “mediated action” – the state achieved when students are aware of their development and use cultural tools to investigate purposes and to contrast and examine social contexts. This is accomplished, for example, by having students compare and contrast historical figures and

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events from different time periods. Barton and Levstik believe that creating a society that is aware of mediated action can help students develop skills that are essential to a democratic society. The profiled teacher’s lack of mediated action and histlexia were evident in his responses. When asked about how he created engagement, he merely stated that having them take notes was engaging. With no real effort to generate questions that would provoke interest, the historical topics being discussed were given short shrift. Conclusion Despite the drastic divide between our faculty and the profiled social studies teacher, we nonetheless share a common responsibility in educating future generations. As our conversations progressed throughout the semester, it was apparent that our inquiry-based approach was not well received by various preand in-service teachers. However, within our methods courses, we have witnessed a positive response to inquiry learning. As a concerted effort, we should all seek more support from administrators and community leaders to help communicate the modern collective vision of what social studies should be – an engaging, thought-provoking activity that requires multiple layers of thoughts and a careful reflection of our modern world and what our world can become. Assuming that one method will work with all students is indeed a simplistic view of teaching. In late 1997, Linda Darling-Hammond reminded the educational community about current educational trends: “If teachers acquire greater knowledge about children, learning, and subject matter, their legitimate authority should increase as should their obligations to be responsive to student needs” (p. 305). Based on these suggestions, we call for teachers to make the most of their students’ academic progress by discovering each group’s strengths and areas for

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improvement. We encourage all teachers to act as educational innovators and combat histlexia. References Ansary, T. (2005). The muddle machine: confessions of a textbook editor. Edutpodia, 1(2), 31-35. Apple, M.W. (2004). Controlling the work of teachers. In D.J. Flinders, & S.J. Thornton (Eds.), The curriculum studies reader (4th ed.) (pp. 167-182). New York, NY: Routledge. Aronson, J. (2002). Improving academic achievement: Impact of psychology factors on education. Cambridge, MA: Emerald. Barton, K.C., & Levstik, L.S. (2004). Teaching history for the common good. Mahweh, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Bender-Slack, D. & Raupach, M. (2008). Negotiating standards and social justice in the social studies: Educators’ perspectives. The Social Studies, 99(6), 255-259. Beineke, J. A. (2011). Teaching history to adolescents: A quest for relevance. New York, NY: Peter Lang. Dahlgren, P. (2009). Media and political engagement: Citizens, communication, and democracy. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. Darling-Hammond, L. (2010). The flat world and education: How America’s commitment to equity will determine our future. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Edinger, M. (2000). Seeking history: Teaching with primary sources in grades 4-6. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Georgia Department of Education. (2015). Georgia Milestones Assessment System. Atlanta, GA. Hirsch, E. D. (1996). The schools we need and why we don't have them. New York, NY: Doubleday. Holt, T. C., & Wolf, D. (1990). Thinking historically: Narrative, imagination, and understanding. New York: College Entrance Examination Board. Kincheloe, J. L. (2004). Critical pedagogy primer. New York, NY: Peter Lang. Kobrin, D. (1996). Beyond the textbook: Teaching history using documents and primary sources. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Isaacson, W. (2011). Steve Jobs. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. National Council for the Social Studies. (2010). National curriculum standards for social studies: A framework for teaching, learning, and assessment. Silver Spring, MD: NCSS. Noddings, N. (2013). The false promise of The Paideia: A critical review of The Paideia Proposal. In D.J. Flinders, & S.J. Thornton (Eds.), The curriculum studies reader (4th ed.) (pp.187-194). New York, NY: Routledge.

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Percoco, J. A. (1998). A passion for the past: Creative teaching of U.S. history. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Roth, H. D. (September 01, 2006). Contemplative studies: Prospects for a new field. Teachers College Record, 108(9), 1787-1815. Schlesinger, A. M. (1992). The disuniting of America: Reflections on a multicultural society. New York, NY: W.W. Norton. Seixas, P. (1993). Parallel crises: History and the social studies curriculum in the USA. Journal of Curriculum Studies 25(3), 235-250. VanSledright, B.A. (2011). The challenge of rethinking history education: On practices, theories, and policy. New York: Routledge. Walker, J. (2015). Religion and education have always coexisted: Examining how pre-service social studies teachers teach world religions. Submitted to Current Issues in Middle Level Education on July 20, 2015. Wertsch, J. V. (2008). Collective memory and narrative templates. Social Research, 75(1), 133-156. Wiggins, S. (1988). Global bifurcations and chaos: Analytical methods. New York, NY: Springer Verlag. Wineburg, S. S. (2001). Historical thinking and other unnatural acts: Charting the future of teaching the past. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

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About the Authors Juan Walker, PhD Dr. Juan Walker is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Georgia Regents University. He teaches social studies methods and curriculum and serves as the secondary program coordinator. His research interests include inquiry learning methodology and social justice integration in social studies. Dr. Walker is also the recipient of a grant from Waynesburg University, “Teaching with Primary Sources.”

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Elise Langan, PhD Dr. Elise Langan, Associate Professor of Education at Macon State University, was accepted into the 201314 class of Education Policy Fellows, a professional development program that provides potential leaders with the knowledge and networks to advance the core issues of education policy. The program is an initiative of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. She has also been selected as the Special Assistant to the Provost. John Pagnotti, PhD Dr. John Pagnotti started his career in education as a social studies classroom teacher over a decade ago in inner city schools in Orlando, Florida. Most of his teaching experience allowed him to work with at-risk populations with high minority demographics. During his time as a classroom teacher, he became a proponent of problem-based, student-centered learning and gradually assumed more of a teacherleader role for social studies teachers at both the school and district levels. Dr. William B. Russell III, PhD Dr. William Russell is Associate Professor of Social Science Education at the University of Central Florida. He teaches social studies education courses and serves as the Social Science Education PhD track coordinator. Dr. Russell has won various awards including the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award for his outstanding record of research and the Teaching Incentive Program Award for his outstanding record of teaching. Dr. Russell also serves as the director for The International Society for the Social Studies and is the editor of The Journal of Social Studies Research.

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GATEways to Teacher Education A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

Robyn Huss, University of West Georgia

Effective September 1, the state teaching certification requirements were revised by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to include a passing score of 35 on the edTPA (GaPSC, 2015). edTPA is a performance-based effectiveness assessment for pre-service teachers that was designed by the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE) with input from teachers and teacher educators. It is subjectspecific and requires teacher candidates to submit evidence such as lesson plans, video clips, student work samples, and extensive commentary to demonstrate their ability to effectively teach their chosen subject. (GaPSC, 2015) This teacher performance assessment, developed to measure the job-readiness of preservice teachers (SCALE, 2015), has an impact on educator preparation programs (EPPs) that prepare teachers for licensure. From this academic year forward, EPPs must not only prepare candidates to graduate with the coursework and field experiences necessary to enter the teaching profession, but prepare them to pass the edTPA as well. During the student teaching internship in the final semester of their program, teacher candidates complete the edTPA requirements; their “artifacts are then submitted for scoring to Evaluation Systems group of Pearson (ES) and assessed by external evaluators . . . [a series of

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15] detailed rubrics measure the entry level teaching skills that are critical to effective instruction” (GaPSC, 2015). The difficulty is that the edTPA is not an EPP requirement; it was not developed by EPPs nor is it evaluated by them. Faculty and field supervisors work closely with teacher candidates to ensure they successfully complete their certification program requirements, yet these same faculty and field supervisors are not able to provide feedback to their students regarding their edTPA artifacts that are being completed while they are in the field meeting their EPP requirements (SCALE, 2015). How, then, can EPPs effectively prepare their teacher candidates to pass the edTPA? Representatives of edTPA argue that candidates who graduate from effective EPPs should be able to pass the assessment without difficulty: “edTPA does not deter from program focus on effective teaching and can enhance program coherence through a set of key outcomes measured by edTPA” (SCALE, n.d.). Nevertheless, it is necessary for the leaders of EPPs to ensure their programs are providing the best possible preparation for their pre-service teachers’ success on edTPA; their teaching certificates depend upon it. The Secondary Education Program at the University of West Georgia (UWG) provides teacher candidates with only three pedagogy courses: classroom management with a field

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experience, subject-specific teaching strategies with a field experience, and the capstone seminar that accompanies the student teaching internship. Because edTPA is consequential during the student teaching internship, all the elements of the edTPA portfolio must be taught and practiced across only two courses. Therefore, faculty have worked together to carefully examine and align course assignments to mirror the edTPA requirements. Existing assignments have been adjusted when necessary and new activities have been added so students have experience practicing and creating samples of all the required artifacts prior to the development and submission of their actual edTPA portfolios during their student teaching internship. The following sections highlight these course changes, many of which have been in place since the 2014-2015 edTPA pilot year, and provide detail useful for replication. Preparing Students to Pass edTPA Task 1 The planning section of the edTPA portfolio is the easiest for EPPs to provide instruction for pre-service teachers; EPP coursework has traditionally taught students the details of constructing effective lesson plans and sequencing lessons appropriately to create units of instruction. The difference between the traditional model and the learning segment of the edTPA is that while the edTPA requires fewer lessons, the lessons must build for greater depth of knowledge and application. This is being accomplished through a greater emphasis on academic language and focus on higher order critical thinking skills in the classroom management course, where students learn the basics of constructing effective lesson plans and are introduced to the edTPA requirements. When they learn to write observable and measurable objectives, students are introduced to Bloom’s (1956) Taxonomy and learn to select active verbs that will become the language function in the edTPA style.

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Cooperative learning strategies were previously included in the curriculum of the classroom management course, but the focus has increased. In addition to discussing student groups from a management perspective, the emphasis is now on student-centered activities that demonstrate active participation. The preservice teachers learn that the most important elements of their edTPA Task 2 video submissions are to show student engagement and teacher-student interactions; monitoring cooperative learning groups accomplishes both, and students are required to include such an activity in their plan of instruction. The lesson plan template itself has been modified to reflect the language used by edTPA. Additionally, elements of the Task 1 commentary have been integrated into the lesson plan structure. These open-ended questions are placed with the corresponding lesson plan elements and require candidates to explain planning rationale such as:  What prior knowledge and/or gaps to knowledge do these students have that are necessary to support the learning of the skills and concepts for this lesson?  How will you support students so they can understand and use the language function and other demands in meeting the learning objectives of the lesson?  What content-specific terms (vocabulary) do students need to support learning the objective for this lesson?  What specific way(s) will students need to use language (reading, writing, listening and/or speaking) to participate in learning tasks and demonstrate their learning?  How will you structure opportunities for students to work with partners or in groups?  Why are the learning tasks for this lesson appropriate for your students?  What research/theory supports the learning activities?

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 What might not go as planned and how can you be ready to make adjustments? Because the focus is on the lesson plan itself, these sections are not graded; however, their presence causes students to begin thinking about their rationale as they craft their lessons and activities. Differentiation is also approached more directly than the traditional, generalized methods of accounting for above- and below-benchmark learners, diverse learning styles, and multiple intelligences. While these areas do have merit and are included in the coursework, pre-service teachers are now being asked to focus on three specific students from their field experience classroom whose alternate learning needs must be met. These may be students who are on individualized educational plans, but they may simply be observed, undocumented needs. By following these students closely over the course of their field experience and including their needs in their plans of instruction, pre-service teachers position themselves well for targeting specific student achievement as required in edTPA Task 3. Preparing Students to Pass edTPA Task 2 The videos that are required for Task 2 are the most daunting element of edTPA. For people who are camera shy, the knowledge of the camera set to record can be intimidating. This can affect not only the pre-service teacher who is delivering instruction, but the students who are expected to be actively engaged in their learning. When the pre-service teacher is not comfortable with the technology required to capture the perfect two unedited 10-minute segments of instruction, the discomfort with the process is escalated. In order to relieve some of the tension of filming, UWG’s Secondary Education Program requires teacher candidates to record themselves teaching at least once for each course prior to the student teaching internship. Teaching videos

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were initially met with hesitancy by both students and faculty, as videos of teaching samples had not been required coursework prior to fall 2015. Observations by universityassigned supervisors have always had a significant impact on whether a candidate passes his or her field placement credits, however, so the move to require one of the observations via video for each field course was a natural fit for the program. For the university supervisors, the videotape submissions save time and effort. Having at least one of the observations in each field experience course on video, travel time and costs associated with these site visits are eliminated. The evaluation process for the videos is identical to that of the observations conducted at the schools. The video submissions require students to record a teaching segment of 20-40 minutes, following all technical guidelines set forth in the edTPA handbook with the exception of the time limit. This gives students practice using the technologies and software required to capture the class on video, practice making adjustments so the lesson elements can be seen on screen and be heard, practice compressing the video for sharing purposes, and, if the video runs longer than 40 minutes, practice editing. Students are encouraged to videotape frequently, so their observation isn’t the first time they have attempted filming with their student group. Students are also encouraged to experiment with wireless microphones and the Swivl camera, which tracks movement and is available for check-out, to better capture their classroom activities and conversations. Written reflections to accompany the video submissions include topics and questions such as:  Explain how you elicited and built on student responses during the lesson.  Explain how your lesson engaged students in constructing meaning from the lesson.

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 What changes could be made to your instruction and/or lesson activities to better support student learning?  What research/theory supports these changes? Candidates had been required to reflect on their lessons and teaching experiences in prior semesters, so modifying this practice to topics similar to those of the edTPA commentary for Task 2 was also a natural fit. Preparing Students to Pass edTPA Task 3 In the Understanding by Design (UbD) philosophy of Wiggins and McTighe (1998), lessons are developed by first determining the objectives and then creating the assessment and measurement tool, before the lesson activities are developed. UWG’s secondary education faculty support the UbD model; thus, when preservice teachers learn to write a lesson plan in the classroom management course, a primary focus is on meaningful assessment of the lesson objectives; they begin with the end in mind. In this “backward” design, pre-service teachers “consider in advance the assessment evidence needed to document and validate that the targeted learning has been achieved” (McTighe & Wiggins, 2012, p. 5). This method of planning keeps assessment at the forefront of the lesson, which will promote pre-service teachers’ success in edTPA Task 3. Preservice teachers are required to create a variety of assessments and measurement tools, which range from answer keys and checklists to rubrics. It is important to prepare the teacher candidates not only to create these assessment artifacts but learn which is most useful for each objective or assessment situation and use them for meaningful feedback; for example, a rubric must produce a realistic grade when used in practice, and students should be able to understand why their work falls on a particular score point.

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Pre-service teachers must also be able to articulate why a particular assessment is the best measurement of achieving the learning goals. Elements of the lesson plan template used by UWG’s secondary education candidates have been specifically adapted to meet the skills associated with Task 3 of edTPA. The openended questions of the Task 3 commentary have been embedded in the assessment section of the lesson plan. Candidates explain assessment rationale such as the following:  What evidence of student learning does the assessment provide?  What modifications to the assessment are needed so all students can demonstrate learning? Additionally, a section has been added to the template for reflection after the lesson has been taught. These commentary-like sections of the lesson plan ask students to compose responses to the following:  What worked? What didn’t? For whom?  What instructional changes do you need to make as you prepare for the lesson tomorrow? These commentary sections are not graded as part of the lesson plan because the focus is on the assessment itself, but they are an important step for the teacher candidates who are learning to rationalize the type of assessments they select and to consider the achievement levels of their students upon evaluation of the lesson objectives. Instead, students respond to similarly-phrased reflection topics as related to their field experience classrooms. Putting It All Together The most significant program changes that resulted from the collaboration of secondary education faculty for edTPA alignment include:  modification of the lesson plan template to include elements from the Task 1 and Task 3 commentaries and enhanced focus on

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o language function and the active verb of the objective(s), o assessment and UbD, o cooperative learning, and o differentiation;  at least one video submission to replace an on-site observation for each of the field experience courses; and  a complete edTPA practice portfolio with peer critiques. The key elements of each edTPA task are taught and practiced separately as part of the classroom management course. While taking the strategies course, as a replacement for the previouslyrequired unit plan, candidates complete a full edTPA portfolio as practice and receive peer and faculty feedback. The peer feedback is most important because peer critiques are the only specific support allowed when the candidates compile their actual edTPA portfolio. Therefore, these subject-specific support groups are encouraged, and they become even more important as the groups of strategies students progress to their student teaching internship together. During the pilot year when edTPA was new to the program, there were intensive “boot camp” trainings for each of the three tasks during the student teaching internship. Refer to the edTPA article in the most recent issue of GATEways for more detail (Edelman, 2015). Now that the edTPA is in full implementation, those trainings have been moved to the strategies course, taken the semester prior to internship. After all of these experiences with edTPA, when the candidates begin their semester of student teaching, they are ready to confidently and independently compile the edTPA portfolio they will submit to Pearson for scoring. The results of the first semester of consequential implementation of the edTPA requirement have been encouraging for the secondary education program at UWG, which serves both undergraduate and graduate pre-

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service teachers in the fields of English, mathematics, science, and social studies. “Based on the national recommended cut score of 42, the pass rate for candidates who submitted an edTPA portfolio in 2014 was . . . 76% in states using the assessment consequentially” (Nayfeld, Pecheone, Whittaker, Shear, & Klesch, 2015, p. 30). Though Georgia’s pre-service teachers have a score of 35 as their goal, 21 of the 29 UWG secondary education candidates whose edTPA scores were reported at the end of fall semester, 72%, passed at the national benchmark of 42. This is good news, as Georgia’s initial cut score of 35 will increase to 38 in the fall of 2017. Of the 29 reported scores, all exceeded Georgia’s current cut score of 35 except one, from a student who earned 34 points and plans to resubmit Task 3, and one student’s portfolio was returned unscorable due to a condition code for Task 3, which will also be re-submitted. This 93% first-submission success rate will allow UWG’s secondary education faculty to move beyond the broad scope of aligning program and course requirements to the tasks of edTPA and instead focus on specific areas of candidate weakness. Moving Forward Overall, UWG’s secondary education candidates demonstrated the greatest weaknesses in edTPA Task 3. This is consistent with national results, which report Task 3 as the only task with a mean score of less than proficient (Nayfeld et al., 2015). Of the 15 rubrics used to determine the edTPA score, Assessment Rubric 13: Student Use of Feedback received the lowest score both nationally (Nayfeld et al., 2015) and by UWG’s secondary education candidates. This is not surprising for UWG’s secondary education program, as its course pedagogy gives little attention to instructing teacher candidates in the area of student feedback. It has been assumed that this skill is being attained through field experiences with exposure to student work

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samples and the routine grading of papers under the guidance of a cooperating teacher. Moving forward, it will be important to include discussion of not only types of feedback but ways to help public school students use that feedback to increase their levels of achievement. Emphasis must be placed on using the data from meaningful assessments to inform instruction. As UWG’s secondary education faculty will use the edTPA Task 3 results to target instruction to the use of assessment data, so will the secondary education candidates use formative assessments of the students in their field classrooms to guide follow-up instruction for increased student achievement. Once pre-service teachers are able to internalize this step as readily as they have planning and implementing instructional activities, they will have fully mastered all three tasks of the edTPA and receive a passing score, whether that is Georgia’s initial standard of 35 or the national recommendation of 42.

About the Author Robyn Huss, EdD Dr. Robyn Huss serves as Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Secondary Education at the University of West Georgia. Dr. Huss has over twentyfive years of experience in the field of education; in addition to her work with pre-service and practicing teachers at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, she taught English for sixteen years in public high schools in Georgia, Florida, and Indiana. Her areas of expertise include secondary English education and classroom management.

References Bloom, B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Harlow, England: Longman Group. Edelman, J. (2015). “Integrating the edTPA in an existing seminar: Lessons learned.” GATEways to Teacher Education, 26, 8-12. Retrieved from gaate.org GaPSC. (2015). Georgia professional standards commission. Retrieved from www.gapsc.com McTighe, J., & Wiggins, G. (2012). Understanding by design framework. ASCD: Alexandria, VA. [white paper] Retrieved from www.ascd.org.

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Gerald Eads, Amy Farah, Katharine E. Page, and Kimberly Swartzentruber, Georgia Gwinnett College

Now more than ever before, society has become dependent upon digital technologies to stay connected to the world. In education, it is no different. Technology is a powerful tool that can be utilized to promote student learning, but teachers must first be equipped with the skills to integrate technology effectively. As they prepare to enter the profession, pre-service teachers are often charged with the role of taking the lead on modeling and implementing new and innovative instructional technologies. As a result, it is becoming increasingly important for educator preparation programs to better prepare teacher candidates to integrate technology in the classroom with increased levels of confidence (Al-Ruz & Khasawneh, 2011). The purpose of the initial phase of this study is to investigate potential factors influencing preservice teachers’ technology self-efficacy so that faculty in an educator preparation program can use this information to make decisions as to how best to design and deliver instruction to preservice teachers so they will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively teach 21stcentury learners. Theoretical Framework Self-efficacy is grounded in Social Cognitive Theory and is about one’s belief or perception in his or her capabilities to perform or adopt a specific behavior (Bandura, 2001). Self-efficacy

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is best examined within a specific context because a variety of factors can influence personal, behavioral, and environmental selfefficacy (Bandura, 2001). If one’s confidence is very high, then he or she is more likely to take risks or adopt certain behaviors, whereas the opposite is true for someone with very low confidence (Bandura, 2001). Definitions Technology Self-Efficacy: Teachers’ beliefs in their ability to effectively integrate technology into their classrooms. Technology Integration: The deliberate fusing of technology tools and resources into both teaching and learning aspects of the classroom. Literature Review Teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs play an important role in their decision to integrate technology into their classrooms (Vannatta and Fordham, 2004). Because self-efficacy is connected to one’s own beliefs about his or her capability, if one does not feel capable of performing a task or fears failing at the task, then one is less likely to attempt that task (Henson, 2002). Teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs are useful indicators of levels of technology integration (Wang, Ertmer, & Newby, 2004). Holden and Rada (2011) suggest that by increasing teachers’ technology self-efficacy, they might directly

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increase their acceptance of technology and also indirectly increase their usage of technology. Self-Efficacy as a Factor Influencing Technology Use Previous research has been conducted to identify factors that influence technology use (Compeau & Higgins, 1995; Kellenberger & Hendricks, 2003; Littrell, Zagumny, & Zagumny, 2005; Teo, 2009; Wang et al., 2004). In these previous studies, self-efficacy, or people’s beliefs in their capacity to carry out a given task, was identified as a significant factor influencing people’s decisions to use technology. In fact, “self-confidence in using a computer for work was the strongest predictor of teaching use,” according to a study by Kellenberger and Hendricks (2003, p. 17). Similarly, computer self-efficacy was identified as being significantly influential on people’s expectations of outcomes when they use computers as well as their emotional response to computers and their actual use of computers (Compeau & Higgins, 1995; Lambert, Gong, & Cuper, 2008; Palak & Walls, 2009). Littrell et al. (2005) found in their study that “teachers may not use instructional technology due to low levels of computer self-efficacy” (p. 45). Because self-efficacy is connected to one’s own beliefs about his or her capability, if one does not feel capable of performing a task or fears failing at the task, then one is less likely to attempt that task. In the same vein, people will exert a certain amount of effort in performing a task which is said to be congruent with the amount of success they expect to achieve in performing that task (Henson, 2002). In another study by Wang et al. (2004), the authors discussed results from similar studies that indicated that teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs are useful indicators of levels of technology integration. Similarly, Vannatta and Fordham (2004), in the introduction to their study, also discussed

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how teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs played an important role in their decision to integrate technology into their classrooms. According to Henson (2002), “teachers with high efficacy tend to experiment with methods of instruction, seek improved teaching methods, and experiment with instructional materials” (p. 138). Therefore, teachers who may be unfamiliar with technology but have high teaching self-efficacy may take more risks to experiment with technology as a way to enhance their teaching practice. Research Questions 1. Do demographic factors affect pre-service teachers’ levels of technology selfefficacy? 2. Do pre-service teachers’ levels of technology self-efficacy change over the course of the educator preparation program? The first question was explored through a survey in which demographic data were collected. There was interest to see if there were any commonalities among certain descriptors and technology efficacy levels. The second question was of interest as one of the program outcomes is related to technology, and there is a desire to know that the program positively impacts or increases pre-service teachers’ technology efficacy levels. Methods Participants A purposeful sample of 267 pre-service teacher candidates enrolled in an educator preparation program was solicited to participate in this study. Of the 267 potential participants, 82 responded to the survey; 16% were male, and 84% were female. Participants ranged from 18-50 years of age, and race/ethnicity was reported to be 76% White, 18% Black/African American, 4% Other, and 2% Asian.

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Research Design Initially, quantitative methods were used to identify technology self-efficacy levels. Then, similarities and differences of those levels across programs (Early Childhood, Special Education and Teacher Certification Program [TCP]) and across semesters (first, second, third, and fourth) were analyzed. Analyses that isolated specific demographic factors were also run to see if there were any correlations between levels and a single factor as well as pairs and groups of factors. In the next phase of research, qualitative methods will be used to interview pre-service students to learn more about why they have a certain level of technology self-efficacy and how they believe that level is affected. Additionally, work samples will be reviewed to see if pre-service students’ self-reported technology self-efficacy levels match their actual implementation. A mixed methods approach will provide a deeper understanding of teachers’ levels of technology self-efficacy and how this aspect is affected. Data Collection The Computer Integration Survey (Wang et al., 2004) was administered to students in the program during the Fall of 2014. The survey was electronic, created through a software called SurveyMonkey. The survey link, which included an electronic consent agreement to participate in the study, was emailed to all students at the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester. The survey required that students fill in demographic information as well as respond, based on their own perception of their knowledge and skills, to 21 statements on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Each statement began with the stem, “I feel confident that…” In the email that was sent out to all students in the program, there was a brief narrative included so students and faculty would have background as to the purpose of the study. A follow-up email was sent to encourage additional

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participation approximately two weeks after the initial email. The survey was closed approximately one month after the initial email was sent to recipients. Data Analysis After the data were collected via the electronic survey, initial data reports were run using the SurveyMonkey software. These reports provided summary data for each question on the survey. These data were then entered into SPSS Statistics analytic software so that data could be analyzed. First, single demographic factors were analyzed by running ANOVAs to determine if any one demographic factor had a significant correlation to a specific technology self-efficacy level. The demographic factors that were analyzed were age (18-23, 24-29, 30-35, 36-40, 41-45, 46-50), program type (ECED, SPED, TCP), semester in program (1, 2, 3, 4), ethnicity (Hispanic/Non-Hispanic), race (White, Black/African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Other), content area (TCP only, History, Biology, English, Mathematics, Political Science), and gender (male/female). Additionally, multiple factors were analyzed together by running MANOVAs to determine if there were any pairings of demographic factors that correlated significantly with specific technology selfefficacy levels. Because this is more of an exploratory study, items with a .1 significance rather than .05 were considered in order to provide a starting point for further in-depth study. Results Initial results indicate that males tended to have a higher level of technology self-efficacy than females. This result aligns with the notion that individuals learn society’s gender role standards and expectations, and they accordingly develop attitudes and conduct behaviors that society deems gender appropriate (Jun and Freeman, 2010). Also, researchers have observed that males tend to be more "self-congratulatory"

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in their responses whereas females tend to be more modest (Wigfield et al., 1996).

Figure 2 Overall Efficacy Score by Semester

Figure 1 Overall Efficacy Score by Gender

A second result indicates a slight decline in technology self-efficacy levels during the second semester of the program. This result may be explained by the Conscious Competence Learning Theory Model (US Gordon Training International Organization, Noel Burch, 1970s). According to this theory, as a learner acquires a new skill, he or she moves through stages of awareness, beginning with unconscious incompetence, which is an unawareness of his or her skill level. In the second stage, conscious incompetence, the learner recognizes the importance of the skill and is aware that he or she does not possess the skill. As the learner transitions into third stage, conscious competence, he or she, through practice, begins to develop the skill but must think purposefully when performing the skill. In the final stage, unconscious competence, the learner becomes competent in the skill and can perform it effortlessly. The second semester decline may be the result of teacher candidates moving from stage one to stage two of the Conscious Competence Learning Theory Model.

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An additional result was that over the course of the educator preparation program, pre-service teachers’ technology self-efficacy levels did not significantly change. Although there was a slight second-semester decline, their levels at the beginning of the program and at the end of the program only had a .0194 differential. Tables 1 and 2 Efficacy Score Means

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Table 3 Multiple Comparisons

Limitations As with any study, this one was not without its limitations. First, participants self-reported their technology self-efficacy levels, and these self-reports of their abilities may not be aligned with their actual abilities. Secondly, there was a small pool of male participants, and this may have skewed the result regarding males rating themselves higher than females. This initial phase of the study only provides a snapshot of teacher candidates’ reported technology self-efficacy; it does not provide longitudinal analysis of teacher candidates’ technology self-efficacy levels over the course of their program. Conclusions Based on the initial phase of this study, it cannot be assumed that demographic factors influence technology self-efficacy levels of preservice teachers. Additionally, the results indicated that there was no significant change in technology self-efficacy levels regardless of the semester in which students were enrolled. These initial results do not provide conclusive evidence to inform educator preparation program faculty, and thus, additional research should be conducted.

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Next Steps There are several next steps to continue this study and work toward the ultimate goal of enhancing teacher practice and preparing effective professional educators. First, the survey will continue to be administered each semester for the next several semesters to see if the initial findings from this phase of the study stand true. Administering this survey over multiple semesters will also allow the opportunity to track the same teacher candidates over time to increase the reliability of the data. In future survey administration, it will also be important to solicit more male participation in order to address one of the limitations of the study. Once the survey has been administered longitudinally, participants who have been tracked over the entire course of their program (four semesters) can be identified and solicited for interviews and focus groups. Through interviews and focus groups, additional information can be gleaned as to why individuals had certain technology self-efficacy levels and what other factors may influence those levels. These additional data collection steps will allow for data triangulation and facilitate validity of the data. Additionally, a review of current course curricula can be conducted to analyze existing assignments related to technology to determine to what extent technology knowledge and skills that are addressed on the survey are targeted in courses throughout the program. This information will help determine whether or not revisions to course curricula need to be considered to better meet the needs of students and more purposefully target the development of the desired technology knowledge and skills. Finally, a study that compares pre-service teachers’ technology selfefficacy (as self-reported) to their actual ability and levels of technology use and integration through document analysis of their lesson and unit plans as well as through classroom observations can be conducted.

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References Al-Ruz, J. A., & Khasawneh, S. (2011). Jordanian preservice teachers’ and technology integration: A human resource development approach. Educational Technology & Society, 14(4), 77-87. Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 1-26. Compeau, D. & Higgins, C. (1995). Computer selfefficacy: Development of a measure and initial test. MIS Quarterly, June, 189-211. Henson, R. (2002). From adolescent angst to adulthood: Substantive implications and measurement dilemmas in the development of teacher efficacy research. Educational Psychologist, 37(3), 137-150. Holden, H. & Rada, R. (2011). Understanding the influence of perceived usability and technology selfefficacy on teachers’ technology acceptance. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 43(4), 343368. Jun, H. & Freeman, L. A. (2010). Are men more technology-oriented than women? The role of gender on the development of general computer selfefficacy of college students. Journal of Information Systems Education, 21(2), 203-212. Retrieved from ProQuest. Kellenberger, D. & Hendricks, S. (2003) Predicting teachers’ computer use for own needs, teaching, and student learning. Retrieved from Education Research Complete. Lambert, J., Gong, Y., & Cuper, P. (2008). Technology, transfer, and teaching: the impact of a single technology course on preservice teachers’ computer attitudes and ability. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 16(4), 385-410. Retrieved from ProQuest. Littrell, A., Zagumny, M., & Zagumny, L. (2005). Contextual and psychological predictors of instructional technology use in rural classrooms. Educational Research Quarterly, 29(2), 37-47. Palak, D. & Walls, R. (2009). Teachers’ beliefs and technology practices: A mixed-methods approach. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(4), 417-441. Retrieved from ProQuest. Teo, T. (2009). Examining the relationship between student teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and their intended uses of technology for teaching: A structural equation modeling approach. The Turkish Online Journal of Technology, 8(4), 7-16. US Gordon Training International Organization, Noel Burch, (1970s). Vannatta, R. & Fordham, N. (2004). Teacher dispositions as predictors of classroom technology use. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 36(3), 253271. Wang, L., Ertmer, P., & Newby, T. (2004). Increasing preservice teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs for technology integration. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 36(3), 231-250.

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Wigfield, A., Eccles, J. S., & Pintrich, P. R. (1996). Development between the ages of 11 and 25. In D. C. Berliner & R. C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 148- 185). New York: Macmillan.

About the Authors Gerald Eads, EdD Dr. Gerald Eads is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Georgia Gwinnett College. Dr. Eads has led state student testing for the Virginia Department of Education, and policy research for the Georgia Governor’s Office of Student Achievement and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. He has also served as research faculty for the State Data and Research Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology and as an adjunct graduate faculty for Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University. He now teaches at Georgia Gwinnett College. His primary skills are in policy research, inferential statistics and measurement. Amy Farrah, EdD Dr. Amy Farah is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Georgia Gwinnett College. Dr. Farah has worked as an English Language Arts high school teacher, a department chair, and district level instructional coach to in-service teachers. She is currently a college professor and clinical supervisor of pre-service teachers at Georgia Gwinnett College. Katharine E. Page, EdD Dr. Katharine Page is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Georgia Gwinnett College. Prior to joining the School of Education at Georgia Gwinnett College, Dr. Page held leadership roles in the P-12 public school as a K-5 assistant principal, as Instructional Coach in the area of Staff Development, a Local School Instructional Coach supporting K-5 literacy and mathematics, and most importantly, a K-5 classroom teacher. At the core of Dr. Page’s teaching philosophy is the art of active engagement. She is

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currently a college professor and field supervisor of pre-service teachers at Georgia Gwinnett College. Kimberly Schwartzendruber, PhD Dr. Kimberly Swartzentruber is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Georgia Gwinnett College. As an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the School of Education, Dr. Kimberly Swartzentruber co-teaches Early Childhood Education courses and supervises teacher candidates’ field experiences. Dr. Swartzentruber holds a bachelor's degree in Secondary Social Science Education, a Master in Middle Grades Social Studies and Language Arts, and a Specialist and PhD in Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to beginning her career in higher education, Dr. Swartzentruber worked as a high school, middle school, and elementary school teacher. Her primary areas of research include pre-service teacher holistic development, college student psychosocial transitions, and technology selfefficacy.

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Gina M. Doepker, David Monetti, James Reffel, and Jennifer Breneiser, Valdosta State University

The Literacy Education Assessment Program (LEAP) is a tutoring program that works in conjunction with an undergraduate course in literacy assessment and applications. Through this course, pre-service teachers are trained to implement a variety of literacy assessments as well as reading and writing intervention strategies with the requirement that they will implement the assessments and strategies with their assigned student in the LEAP program. LEAP is targeted for children enrolled in kindergarten through fifth grade and provides services for children in the Valdosta and Lowndes County communities. The program is offered at the Valdosta State University Sullivan Literacy Center as well as two local partner schools, S. L. Mason Elementary and Westside Elementary, and serves approximately 60 children per semester. How it Works The overall purpose of the program is to pair a pre-service teacher with a K-5 student for oneon-one reading assessment, writing assessment, and intervention. The program is a cycle, starting with pre-assessments of the student’s literacy. The pre-service teacher, who the students call their ‘study buddy,’ examines the results of the pre-assessments and, based on that information, develops four literacy goals for the individual student. The goals are subdivided into two reading goals and two writing goals. The number

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of goals was set at four because study buddies meet with students for two sessions per week, with each session lasting 50 minutes. The program lasts for a total of 10 weeks. In this limited timeframe, it is reasonable to address four goals, but any additional goals above and beyond that would be unrealistic. For example, one reading goal might be to build the student’s reading fluency, which would include an increase in the student’s phrasing, smoothness, pace, and expression. With those four goals in mind, the pre-service teacher uses his or her teacher preparation training to develop and implement literacy lessons for the student. Over the course of the program, the pre-service teacher also uses formative assessment to examine student performance and make adjustments to instruction. At the end of the program, the pre-service teacher also conducts post-tests to measure performance for a final time. The pre-assessments and postassessments are compared to determine the degree of change and the effectiveness of the lesson plans. The format of the lesson plan is based on the Reading Recovery model for intervention (Clay, 1993). The Reading Recovery model emphasizes the initial use of reading material familiar to the student in order to build the student’s confidence. By starting with orally reading familiar stories, the student has a strong probability of success.

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Next, students are asked to orally read a less familiar book: a book that has only been read one time prior to the current session. While the student reads the book aloud, the study buddy takes a running record of the student’s progress. The running record is a commonly used formative assessment in literacy instruction (Ross, 2004). The running record requires the study buddy to code the student’s oral reading. This technique provides the pre-service teacher with information about the number of errors, the student’s self-correcting ability, and the percentage of correctly read words (Ross, 2004). The running record is followed by vocabulary or word work when the pre-service teacher teaches vocabulary or word attack strategies. For example, the student could receive guidance on an activity on the consonant digraphs sh, ch, and th. This activity could involve students receiving words that have those headings with instruction to sort the words into the appropriate digraph category. The pre-service teachers also utilize guided writing in their lesson plans. Box (2002) indicates that guided writing clarifies reading and writing instruction by demonstrating mental processes that should occur in the skilled writer. The preservice teachers implement this strategy by selecting a writing format for the student to work on. This selection is based on pre-assessment and interaction with the student and is selected to positively engage the student. Examples of possible writing formats include summary statements, poems, songs, plays, books, and letters. The student’s final product from the guided writing activities is shared with the preservice teachers, the student’s caregivers, performed in front of the entire LEAP group, and/or actually mailed to a pen pal. The key in guided writing, as a successful reading and writing strategy, is for the student to recognize that his or her written work is meaningful and purposeful. Sharing, or “publishing,” the results of student writing is an effective way to motivate

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students to do their best and see value in the activity. Another activity used in the program is the guided reading process. The guided reading strategy involves targeted activities that occur before, during, and after reading (Iaquinta, 2006). One common guided reading process involves the pre-service teacher first introducing background knowledge relevant to a new book. This background information often consists of a preview of vocabulary terms or concepts that relate to the new book. The pre-service teacher and student may also discuss the author and/or illustrator of the book and make predictions about what will happen in the story based on the book’s title and cover. The pre-service teacher and student may also do a “picture walk” which consists of going through the book, looking at the pictures, and using the picture information to make predictions about the content and sequence of the story. This method also helps improve reading comprehension. During the actual reading of the story, several evidence-based strategies are used to improve reading fluency and reading comprehension. One strategy to build fluency is called echo reading (Anderson, 1981). With echo reading, the preservice teacher reads first, and the student “echoes” what has just been read. This method is a modeling approach that allows the pre-service teacher to serve as an example of how to properly indicate phrasing, correct pronunciation and word identification, and prosody (Anderson, 1981). Another possible approach is the choral reading method, when the pre-service teacher and student read the book together simultaneously, which also provides modeling much like echo reading (Paige, 2011). The pre-service teachers may also recommend that the student follow the text that they are reading with their finger or with an index card slide. For comprehension, a less formal strategy that is also popular with students is a method that makes use of repositional “sticky” notes. In this method, students use the notes to

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tag sections of the book. These tags may include unfamiliar vocabulary words, moments when the student had an emotional reaction to the story, or sections of the story that the student did not understand. This method allows the student to remain actively engaged with the text and allows the pre-service teacher and student, upon rereading, to identify sections of particular interest or concern. After the initial reading of a book, the preservice teacher and student could go back and reread a section that was not fluent. In order to improve comprehension, questions and predictions about the book are revisited. This is an ideal time for the student to evaluate whether his or her predictions were correct and use text evidence to verify or deny the predictions. The pre-service teacher may guide the student in creating a story map or character map to further organize the student’s schema of the book. Asking the student to share information about the character, setting, and plot makes the student an active participant in creating the map. If the plot is the main focus of the story, it is also appropriate for the pre-service teacher to ask the student to explain the beginning, middle, and end of the story to demonstrate understanding of that sequence in a chronological order. Building Rapport A main fear of students in teacher preparation programs is the initial meeting and working with students. This program provides pre-service teachers with the opportunity to interact with students in a one-on-one setting to practice these skills prior to the higher-pressure classroom setting. Pre-service teachers are taught to use icebreakers and reading interest inventories to help them and the student get to know one another. The inventories allow the pre-service teachers to gain an informed sense of their student’s reading preferences. One example of an ice-breaker that is popular with students is when

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the pre-service teachers decorate a poster with their student’s name on it. When the students first meet them, they are holding the decorated poster, which allows each student to identify which preservice teacher is his or her own study buddy. This welcoming interaction gets the first session off to a very positive start. To make the atmosphere inviting, the pre-service teacher will often decorate the room that they will be working in to match the student’s interests, often using letters on a magnetic wall to spell out encouraging personalized messages. This focus on beginning each session in an encouraging manner and maintaining that tone throughout the entire session seeks to create positive associations with reading for every child. Difficulties not Deficits Students who participate in the program are those who are experiencing difficulties in reading and writing in the regular curriculum. Presently, the LEAP program has been primarily advertised via satisfied parents’ word of mouth. Proposed methods of recruitment include distribution of program brochures and advertisement on a local radio station. In addition to improving students’ reading comprehension and fluency, the program aims to improve the students’ attitude toward reading and writing, as well as build confidence and motivation to read and write. These additional goals set the LEAP program apart from many other remediation programs, which only emphasize reading and writing characteristics and skills. Teaching to a student’s individual interests helps integrate the reading, writing, confidence, and motivation goals by providing opportunities to practice reading and writing skills in an enjoyable domain. For example, if a student is interested in a popular musician or athlete, he or she could be encouraged to write a letter to that musician or athlete rather than engage in a more traditional task such as a story summary. All of the methods detailed above, and others as necessary, are explored throughout the 10-week

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program to give students ample opportunity to become successful at reading and writing. One final important component is that the pre-service teacher is not only required to assess a student’s weaknesses, but to clearly define and emphasize the student’s literacy strengths. Pre-Service Reflection In addition to providing valuable learning opportunities to K-5 students, the LEAP program also provides pre-service teachers with teaching experience prior to their student teaching or employment in school systems. The pre-service teachers hone critical reflection skills throughout the 10-week LEAP process. They must examine changes in student literacy skills, using data from the student’s pre-LEAP and post-LEAP assessments. The pre-service teachers also consider student performance information that is gathered over the course of each session, such as the number and type of reading errors a student makes. In order to create a productive literacy intervention for a student, each pre-service teacher must also consider the overall pattern of common errors and self-corrections that a student makes over the course of several sessions. At the end of each lesson, the pre-service teacher must return to the four literacy goals for the specific student and discuss them with the student, caregivers or classroom teacher, as well as the LEAP supervisor to maintain progress toward each of those goals. Additional reflection involves thinking critically and realistically about the success of each lesson, which strategies and activities worked, and why. Connecting it to the Home At the end of every session at the Sullivan Literacy Center setting, the pre-service teacher meets with the caregiver and provides information about the student’s progress. This is one informal method in which the pre-service teacher shares feedback with caregivers. However, the LEAP program involves two

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formal feedback procedures as well. The first occurs approximately five weeks into the program when the pre-service teacher meets with the caregiver to discuss the four goals for the particular student. In this meeting, the pre-service teacher provides information that the caregiver can use to continue literacy progress at home. Many of these techniques are the techniques used in the LEAP program itself, but others include suggesting that caregivers read aloud to the child using different “character” voices and helping the child to become word-conscious by using new vocabulary they learn. At the school setting, the pre-service teachers meet with the classroom teacher on a regular basis regarding the student’s progress and encourage the classroom teachers to share the information with the student’s caregivers. The LEAP staff are currently planning and implementing a parent education series. This idea was inspired by the observation that the majority of caregivers just wait at the LEAP center for their child’s lesson to conclude. This is valuable time that can be used to give caregivers tools to improve their child’s literacy skills and the overall home environment. Topics include family literacy, child advocacy, stress prevention, and health and safety information. Expanding Our Reach via Blazing through Books LEAP is a one-on-one tutoring program, and as such, there is typically a waiting list for student entry into the program. To attempt to meet the student demand, the LEAP staff have addressed this problem with the creation of a feeder program called Blazing through Books. This program enlists Valdosta State University students involved in athletics or other student organizations such as fraternities, sororities, and academic clubs to volunteer their time to work with K-5 students. University student volunteers initially administer an interest inventory with the student, and the volunteer and student work together to

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develop three literacy goals. The volunteer and student work toward those goals during the semester. The lessons follow the same schedule as the LEAP program with two 50-minute sessions per week, and the volunteer keeps a record of stories the student reads during the sessions. Also during the time, the volunteers implement rotating literacy centers to help build the student reading and writing skills using a fun game-like format. When there is an opening in LEAP, the Blazing through Books students fill the available sessions. The last day of the semester for both the LEAP and Blazing through Books programs culminates in a “literacy celebration day” when the students can showcase their work. They do not have to present; some students are shy and prefer only to participate. The parents and caregivers are also invited to participate. Children in the Valdosta and Lowndes County region are getting their specific literacy needs met through the LEAP and Blazing through Books programs. These are both communitydriven programs that serve as an extension to the children’s regular school curricula and are helping to combat illiteracy. Although each program functions in a slightly different way, the ultimate goal of both LEAP and Blazing through Books is the same: not just to improve basic literacy skills, but to promote a passion for literacy. References Anderson, B. (1981). The missing ingredient: Fluent oral reading. The Elementary School Journal, 81(3), 172177. Box, J. A. (2002). Guided writing in the early childhood classroom. Reading Improvement, 39(3), 111-113. Clay, M. M. (1993). Reading recovery: A guidebook for teachers in training. Heinemann Education: Portsmouth, NH. Iaquinta, A. (2006). Guided reading: A research-based response to the challenges or early reading instruction. Early Childhood Education Journal, 33(6), 413-418. Paige, D. D. (2011). “That sounded good!”: Using wholeclass choral reading to improve fluency. The Reading Teacher, 64(6), 435-438.

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Ross, J. A. (2004). Effects of running records: Assessment on early literacy achievement. Journal of Educational Research, 97(4), 186-194.

About the Authors Gina M. Doepker, PhD Dr. Gina Doepker is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood and Special Education and the Director for the Sullivan Literacy Center at Valdosta State University. Gina's current research focuses on using alternative texts, such as graphic novels and comic books, to support struggling readers and writers’ literacy development. She recently co-authored an article in the Research strand of Ubiquity: The Journal of Literature, Literacy, and the Arts, entitled “Reflection Matters: Preparing Effective Teachers for 21st century Classrooms.” David Monetti, PhD Dr. David Monetti is a Professor of Psychology and the Director for the Center for Gifted Studies at Valdosta State University. David is involved in research on Response to Intervention (RTI), giftedness, and school improvement. He recently published a text through Wadsworth Publishers with Bruce Tuckman entitled Educational Psychology. James Reffel, PhD Dr. James Reffel is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Valdosta State University. James’ research focused on creativity, leadership, wisdom, optimism, perfectionism, and overexcitabilities in gifted learners. James founded the Center for Gifted Studies at Valdosta State University. He recently co-authored a chapter in G. S. Goodman's Educational Psychology Reader: The art and science of how people learn. Jennifer Breneiser, PhD Dr. Jennifer Breneiser is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Valdosta State University. Jennifer’s research emphasizes the connection between cognitive psychology and education. She recently co-authored an article examining the above-average effect and cooperative learning in the classroom.

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Jessica B. Graves, Valdosta State University; Susan Hagood, Thomas University; Peggy Perkins Auman, Florida A & M University; and Alicja Rieger, Valdosta State University

At the onset of the academic school year, I made it my goal to reach a third grade learner, Joey, who had been retained. Prior to entry into this second year of third grade, Joey’s records indicated that he had experienced countless negative exchanges with his teachers in the elementary classroom. In order to reach this learner, I had to find ways to incorporate his interests and passions – all while reaching him at his ability level. On an average day in my classroom during literacy instruction, I experienced a most unusual circumstance. As I was reading aloud from a text, in the middle of the story, Joey burst out, “Ooogity Boogity Boogity!” as he moved his hands wildly around his head in a motion that in the most unusual way matched his words. The students in the class looked at Joey in shock at this outburst. At this crucial point, I had two choices: 1) I could ask for Joey to return to his seat and not participate in the instruction – thus causing him to have yet another negative school experience, or 2) I could think outside the box and ask myself why Joey had spontaneously erupted in a flutter of words and movement. In this fleeting moment of reflection, I realized that Joey connected our discussion of sound words in responding to this story. Additionally, he had demonstrated a pattern of learning that aligned with the kinesthetic learning modality.

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What had just happened in my classroom? Instead of following classroom protocol, Joey had burst out in excitement over his personal learning. In this moment, I praised Joey for incorporating a sound word that would fit the context of the story. I also acknowledged his hand gestures and how they helped the sound word come to life for all of us! With this feedback I gave a gentle reminder for Joey to raise his hand, thus following classroom protocol. The shock on his face was priceless. Joey experienced praise for his link to the content rather than a consequence for a behavior that was insignificant compared to the learning that had occurred in that fleeting moment. As I reflect back on this experience, I realize that I sent a unique and powerful message to the student. Joey not only had a substantial contribution to make to the whole group learning, he also offered both a kinesthetic approach and a stroke of creativity to literacy. Rather than diminish Joey and the powerful contribution that he brought to the read aloud, I empowered this critical thinking and learning style in the classroom by capitalizing on a teachable moment and helping him to articulate his connection. Networking Educator Resources Reflecting on this experience through my lens as a professor at a university, I found myself wondering how I could help classroom teachers make these same connections for the most

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challenging learners. In discussions with my colleagues, it became apparent that collaboration is a critical component to this reflection process. In order to reach the point when I recognized Joey’s contribution within my teaching, I had previously collaborated with several colleagues to determine the best approaches to reach this learner. It was this reflection that improved my practice and resulted in a learner being reached rather than neglected. In an effort to support the needs of classroom teachers, my university colleagues and I began to brainstorm a model that would facilitate collaboration. It was clear to us that a model for collaboration would improve learning experiences for creative and kinesthetic learners like Joey. To us, that was worth the effort. Elementary classroom teachers are encountering increasing challenges as an expansion in job expectations is requiring them to play multiple roles (Bartlett, 2004). Standardized testing is also taking a toll on teachers across all grade levels by creating an increasingly stressful and toxic work environment. For instance, diFate (2008) examined stress factors among elementary and middle schools teachers related to high stake testing mandated by the No Child Left Behind law and found that teachers from both groups experienced “medium to great strength stress scores in the sources of stress factors” (p. 157). A more recent survey conducted by the National Education Association found that “a majority of teachers reported feeling considerable pressure to improve test scores. 72 percent replied that they felt “moderate” or “extreme” pressure from both school and district administrators” (Walker, 2014, para. 3) and of most concern was the fact that “nearly half (45 percent) of surveyed member teachers have considered quitting because of standardized testing” (Walker, 2014, para. 10). Additionally, these teachers are frequently challenged with varied academic levels and backgrounds of children in a single classroom (Nieto & Bode, 2008). Elementary physical educators are also experiencing new challenges.

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Over the past 20 years, obesity has dramatically increased in the United States and rates remain high (National Association for Sport and Physical Education & American Heart Association, 2012). With this in mind, physical educators recognize that the physical activity that students engage in during their classes may be the only activity they get all day (Beebe, 2011; Rink, Hall & Williams, 2010). While the challenges experienced by these teacher groups are different, a commonality exists. Teachers want to make a difference by reaching all students (Thiers, 2014), including bodily-kinesthetic learners like Joey. With this in mind, teachers from varied backgrounds have the opportunity to reduce the tensions in the classroom by partnering to achieve their common goal of reaching all learners. In order to experience success, students have to evidence growth intellectually, emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually (Hastie & Martin, 2006). According to Souto-Manning and James (2008), “knowledgeable professionals . . . understand how children learn and develop, [and therefore] provide learning opportunities that support every child’s intellectual, social, and personal development” (p. 86). Furmanek (2014), in her review of research on relationship between movement and student achievement, argued that “movement matters – and linking movement to teaching practices establishes a mind-body connection that enhances children’s learning” (p. 80). Taking this a step further, Roetert and Jefferies (2014) called for embracing movement and physical literacy by all parties engaged in the student learning because of the lifetime benefits for all students and the society. Roetert and Jefferies, drawing upon work of Whitehead (2010), argued that “physically literate individuals will achieve an enhanced quality of life related to the development of self-esteem, self-confidence, healthier lifestyles, and more positive relationships with others” (p. 39). Even more importantly, Roetert and Jefferies acknowledged that “physical literacy can be achieved by all and that, in doing

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so, the support offered by others such as teachers, coaches, parents, and peers is of paramount importance” (p. 39). Thus, in order for meaningful learning to occur and for students to be reached, teachers must find ways to incorporate the modalities that appeal to learners (Gould, 2004). As supported by the literature (Furmanek, 2014; Roetert & Jefferies, 2014), students such as Joey will likely require a kinesthetic facet to the learning process. Elementary teachers may be instructed about differentiated instructional practices within their respective preparation programs (Gould, 2004). However, in order for teachers to skillfully incorporate varied strategies to reach unique learners, “collaboration is essential” (Souto-Manning & James, 2008, p.86). How would this sort of collaboration support instructional planning and the resultant improved student learning? In the past, novice teachers have experienced difficulty in making clear the relevance of particular learning activities for all of the students represented in a classroom (Gould, 2004). To further illustrate by example, how could one explain to Joey, who would rather be outside playing softball, that it is important that he learn to use strong adjectives in writing? The goal is to make the learning activities relevant for students like him. Yet, how could strong adjectives be linked to his interest in softball and consequentially his kinesthetic learning modality? If classroom teachers knew that in the physical education classroom, the teacher was planning to begin a unit on softball, they could link the learning task of using strong adjectives in writing to this effort by asking students who have a clear interest in sports to describe the kind of softball player they wanted to be. Wouldn’t it be likely that Joey would be more receptive to literacy learning participation if he was making the case that he should be selected to participate on a sports team through the use of his strong adjectives in writing? Suddenly, a mundane, irrelevant task becomes critical to his intrinsic desire to participate in sports as the teacher explains that his writing will

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be shared in his physical education classroom as a prerequisite to participation. Thus, this interaction and collaboration in the instructional planning process influenced the outcome for student learning. Another example relates to the instructional context of math. A physical education objective in the elementary setting relates to using a pedometer to track distance walked. Numerous elementarylevel mathematics standards require students to collect and analyze data. If teachers simply took the time to plan alongside one another, would this make it possible for an overlap in learning experiences to naturally unfold? The physical educator could ask students to collect the data from pedometers as a part of the learning activity. The classroom teacher would then use these data in a math lesson to establish relevance for students while teaching about collecting and analyzing data. Wouldn’t students be more interested in their own data as opposed to an arbitrary math problem taught in isolation in the context of a textbook? Perhaps these data could even be tracked across time as a way to show progress in the area of physical education for students. As the benefits of collaboration are recognized in the field, scholars also point to the roadblocks experienced by teachers attempting to collaborate including lack of planning time, difficulty deciding what should be integrated, and interpersonal issues (Cone, Werner, & Cone, 2009). The purpose of this article is to provide a framework to support collaborative planning so that the likelihood of teachers making a significant difference in the lives of learners is increased. In order for collaborative planning to occur, a structured plan of action to support teachers in developing an interdisciplinary instructional planning team (IIPT) is critical, given that teachers are more likely to turn to peers for support over administration (Leana, 2011). This type of instructional planning initiative would create opportunities for collaboration in lesson design and implementation thereby minimizing the challenges

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previously described that are often experienced by teachers in contemporary classrooms. Teachers see each other as valuable resources from which they can learn, and this becomes even more attractive and powerful when their students’ achievements rise (Leana, 2011). It is through ongoing collaboration among teachers that effective teaching becomes even more effective and learning is likely to become optimal. With this in mind, this article provides a step-by-step action guide as an opportunity to help caring and concerned teachers develop an IIPT. Through the process described, students like Joey have the chance of exposure to a more conducive learning environment that represents their multiple ways of learning and knowing. Step One: Gather Support of the School Community In order to begin this initiative, gather support of the school community. With this in mind, the vision for an IIPT must be shared with the administrative team, members of academic coaching teams, and fellow teachers within the school to garner support as a first step. In a scheduled meeting with administration, the alignment between the IIPT vision and the goals and objectives for student learning of the particular school should be clearly established. If readily available, supporting teachers interested in this cause may attend the meeting for further support. Following the alignment discussion, supporting research should be shared. For example, it may be useful to explain that when effective teachers engage in collaborative relationships with their colleagues, they become better at what they do, and student achievement increases (Leana, 2011). In discussions of student achievement, the academic needs of struggling students should be made clear. For example, a teacher may choose to begin the discussion by quickly sharing a meaningful classroom experience with a struggling student to make a case for the project. The goal of this initial step is

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two-fold. IIPT leaders must make transparent the challenges experienced when teaching students who express and pursue knowledge in ways that may seem unfamiliar while also acknowledging the role that collaboration plays in decreasing these challenges. In other words, in this initial meeting with administration, the supporting teachers must connect the passion behind the art of teaching – which is to make a difference in the lives of all students who walk through the classroom door – to the need for facilitation of collaboration by faculty to increase instructional effectiveness. Certainly, curriculum documents may have been previously generated for teacher use within the school. However, leaders should emphasize that until an open dialogue about how to reach struggling learners occurs and a willingness to explore differentiation strategies from a variety of perspectives is present, students may remain unsuccessful in the classrooms. Research has revealed more often than not that elementary students who fall behind in school rarely catch up (Torgeson, 1998). At the conclusion of the meeting, administration should be clear that the intent of the development of an IIPT is to provide opportunities for learning for struggling students that would not exist without teacher awareness via discussion and follow-up through instructional planning from multiple perspectives. By establishing a shared vision and rationale for development of an IIPT, leaders create an optimal context for success as a first step. The outcome of the initial contact with administration should be generation of excitement and buy-in for the project. With the administrative team championing the initiative, other teachers will be more likely to seek information on the project and take time to participate for the benefit of student learning. Step Two: Make the Plan Clear It may be useful to generate an outline of the IIPT plan to provide a visual for inquiring colleagues and administration. When presenting

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the proposal through use of the visual, IIPT leaders should emphasize the invisible variables that may influence the process such as the notion that IIPT participation may require a shift in thinking for some colleagues about instructional planning and collaboration. Leaders should explain that this transition will be facilitated through initial and ongoing IIPT meetings. As an initial step, teachers should request that the administration publicly support the IIPT initiative in the next faculty meeting by providing an opportunity for a member of the IIPT team to briefly share the vision and plan, thus modeling the benefits of teacher leadership and collaboration (Leana, 2011). Realizing the potential limitations of teacher attention span in an after-school meeting setting, teachers should also request that administration provide the opportunity for followup on the presentation. This follow-up may occur via a variety of contexts including, but not limited to, a school newsletter, website message, reminder during announcements, e-mail, and/or social media. In the follow-up, teachers should extend an invitation for participation and make clear the process for sign-up. It may be useful to create an availability poll, such as Doodle (Näf & Sevinç, 2007), to facilitate the process. Teachers who are interested in joining the initiative may indicate their interest through participation in the online poll. Additionally, through use of availability poll technology, a list of interested members is generated along with establishment of a common available time for the first meeting that will fit the needs of the majority. Step Three: Set a Clear Agenda for IIPT Meetings A primary goal of the first meeting must be to clearly communicate how participation on the IIPT will benefit instructional planning and resultant student learning by addressing the needs of the most challenging students. IIPT leaders should emphasize that following the initial introductory meeting, the goal of each session will be to plan

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for instruction the following week by sharing insights with one another concerning how natural cross-curricular connections may be made to maximize student learning potential. IIPT development is not meant to be an add-on to the already overwhelmed schedule of classroom teachers. Rather, the goal of initiating an IIPT is to facilitate collaboration to create optimal environments for instructional planning that is already occurring on a weekly basis. In other words, the IIPT is creating the context where teachers may be supported in crossing the interdisciplinary bridge and planning for differentiated instruction. IIPT leaders should emphasize to teachers that each week, they will walk away with a product that may be immediately implemented to benefit learners. In the initial meeting, leaders must provide a clear and detailed vision for the IIPT. Teachers must be given the opportunity to ask questions so that all members understand the objectives of the IIPT. IIPT leaders should write two or three objectives for the IIPT that are unique to the instructional context. For example, the team may choose to focus specifically on strategies for engagement of kinesthetic learners such as rhythmic patterns and movement or the team may be charged with the task of providing multimodal instructional methods to meet the needs of English Language Learners. As a final step, IIPT leaders should determine how frequently meetings will be held. It may be useful to hold weekly meetings during the first year of implementation in order to achieve maximum results early on and taper off as the collaborative plan becomes functional. Within this meeting context, IIPT leaders should also make clear their understanding that this initiative will be a process that occurs over a period of time. Initially, the inclusion of interdisciplinary teachers may be limited to a particular group such as physical educators. However, the goal of this initiative is to increase participation by teachers of a variety of disciplines in an effort to facilitate a common goal of reaching

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diverse student groups. As teachers are experiencing an increase in responsibilities in contemporary classrooms (Bartlett, 2004), the goal of IIPT facilitation is not to create another document listing similarities among standards across content areas that will be filed away in a drawer. Instead, teachers should recognize that IIPT meetings will be used to discuss curriculumdriven lesson plans that are being developed for the following week in pursuit of immediate interdisciplinary integration. One question should drive the conversation as teachers collaborate in instructional planning: How can explicit connections be made between learning activities in interdisciplinary contexts to engage struggling students? While certainly all members of the school community may be invited, it may be beneficial to begin with a select group (i.e., physical educators, music educators) as a starting point to be built upon as the committee work extends in future academic years. The goal of the IIPT should be to create a document that outlines the standards addressed within a week and the associated activities for the interdisciplinary and classroom teachers. A basic template (see Figure 1) may be used for instructional planning purposes by the IIPT. The final column is completed during IIPT meetings as a result of discussion by classroom and interdisciplinary teachers in attendance. Week of Instruction (Date)

Learning Activities: Classroom Teacher

Learning Activities: Physical Educator

What opportunities do we see to link the curriculum?

Figure 1. Interdisciplinary Planning Template.

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Teachers may experience some difficulty in responding to the final question in the template. In this situation, IIPT leaders may point to ideas shared at the onset of the article or may draw from integrated curricula activities available via the media and the internet. For instance, John Keating, the prep school English teacher played by Robin Williams in the movie Dead Poets Society (1989) inspired and engaged his students to read poetry and literary works while “kicking balls and listening to classical music” (Armstrong, 1994, p. 50), thus integrating literacy instruction with physical literacy and music instruction. In their TeachHUB contribution, Romano, Papa, and Saulle (n.d.) provide examples of many activities for integrating science across the curriculum, which also includes physical education tasks. For example, the authors encourage teachers to prompt student movement while measuring “the amount of time it takes them to walk, jog, or sprint a particular distance and then calculate their speed and average speed” (Romano, Papa, & Saulle, n.d., para. 25) or setting up “various cardio, strength-training, and stretching circuits during your Phys Ed classes where students learn about the human body while visiting each station. During the fitness circuit, students could learn about the aorta while doing jumping jacks, triceps while completing push-ups, and Achilles tendons as they perform front leg raises” (Romano, Papa, & Saulle, n.d., para. 26). Step Four: Introduce an Instructional Planning Guide for IIPT Use Upon completion of the first meeting, the IIPT should have clear objectives and a schedule for meetings. As a part of step four, it may be useful to have a conversation guide for use during IIPT meetings for the duration of the school year. IIPT leaders should keep in mind that not every learning activity or lesson will lend itself to interdisciplinary connections. The goal is not to fit a square peg into a round hole. Instead, this effort should be initiated to provide an opportunity for

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teachers to find natural links between learning that is occurring across disciplines in varied classroom settings in an effort to reach the widest variety of learners possible. The conversation in IIPT meetings should begin with the classroom and interdisciplinary teacher using the completed columns two and three in the planning template discussed previously to explain the learning activities for the following instructional week to the group. Following this explanation, both groups of teachers should be given opportunities to share whether they see opportunities to link the activities to make the content more relevant for elementary learners. For instance, classroom teachers may be able to support physical education teachers in making suggestions for students who may have difficulty engaging in planned learning activities. Perhaps these students are more musically inclined or linguistically driven. If this is the case, the classroom teacher may suggest instructional techniques that would appeal to those learners that the physical education teacher could use to adjust his or her lesson to make it more meaningful. Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences (1993) can serve as a theoretical framework for identifying effective instructional strategies for making connections between the learner’s individual learning styles and the content taught across multiple disciplines. Given that Multiple Intelligence based instruction is “frequently thematic in nature,” this approach may provide teachers the opportunity to “weave together subjects and skills that are found naturally in life, and provide students with opportunities to use their multiple intelligences in practical ways” (Armstrong, 1994, p. 62). Research has established the effectiveness of Howard Gardner’s (1993) Multiple Intelligences model for promoting an integrated approach to instruction. For example, Beebe (2011) specifically applied Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences and the Content Linkage Approach to such content areas as math, science, social science, literacy, and the

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physical education in order to provide the integrated learning opportunities for fourth grade students across three different schools and to measure the impact of this integrated approach on students’ performance on district wide assessments and Illinois Standards Achievement Test scores. The control group of fourth grade students was taught the traditional physical education curriculum. The findings indicated the positive and significant impact on students’ academic performance in both reading and math for the experimental Content Linkage Approach group in one of the schools and indicated maintaining positive fitness student performance in two other schools and in the control group. Step Five: Reflect and Reevaluate for Recursive Planning The first year of IIPT implementation will be the most challenging, as the effort requires team members to lay the groundwork for future success. Upon completion of first-year implementation, the objectives of the team should be established. Additionally, a document should be available that will only require revision. In second-year implementation and beyond, the focus of the committee should be on adjusting the interdisciplinary connections previously established in response to inevitable changes in curriculum. As a close to the first year of implementation, the team may wish to meet to discuss the following questions: 1) What worked well? 2) How should meetings be adjusted for increased productivity and efficiency in the subsequent year? and 3) What changes to the curriculum should inform the approach in the following year of implementation? With these questions in mind, the team should produce a document that clearly describes the collaborative plan for moving the IIPT forward in continued success.

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The initiation of a school-wide IIPT is a place to begin in terms of facilitating collaboration for powerful instructional planning. In the future, following the establishment of an IIPT, the team may choose to divide the school-wide IIPT into smaller teams that would be better suited to particular learner characteristics (e.g., grade levels, content areas, or student interests). Within the follow-up document, the IIPT should emphasize that revision will be essential in the following year as the foundation has been established through ongoing discussion and sharing from the varied perspectives of teachers represented on the team within the first year. Final Thoughts The purpose of this article was to describe an action-oriented approach that has the potential to empower teachers as leaders and simultaneously open the door for students like Joey to be successful at school. Undoubtedly, this approach may not work for all. Teachers in certain instructional contexts and unique educational environments may not be ready to dive into development of an IIPT. Perhaps the notion of a successfully implemented IIPT exists only in a fairy tale world. Certainly, one may cite the countless obstacles that may need to be confronted within an authentic school setting in initiating an IIPT (Cone, Werner, & Cone, 2009). But, in the moment that teachers find themselves in the most overwhelming circumstances, they must remind themselves of their primary mission to make a difference in the lives of all learners. Don’t forget about Joey. References Armstrong, T. (1994). Multiple Intelligences in the classroom. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Bartlett, L. (2004). Expanding teacher work roles: A resource for retention or a recipe for overwork? Journal of Education Policy, 19(5), 565-582. Beebe, S. L. (2011). The impact of content integration in physical education on student academic achievement (Doctoral dissertation). Northcentral University, Prescott Valley, AZ. Retrieved from ProQuest

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Dissertations and Theses database. (Accession No. 905838348). Cone, T.P., Werner, P., & Cone, S. (2009). Interdisciplinary elementary physical education: connecting, sharing, partnering (2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. diFate, T. L. (2008). Stress factors of elementary and middle school teachers associated with high stakes testing as required by no child left behind. Retrieved from ProQuest Education Journals. (304354016). Furmanek, D. (2014). Classroom choreography: Enhancing learning through movement. Young Children, 69(4), 80-85. Gould, H.C. (2004). Can novice teachers differentiate instruction? Yes, they can! Retrieved from http:// education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/ Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple Intelligences: Theory into Practice. New York: Basic Books. Hastie, P., & Martin, E. (2006). Teaching elementary physical education: Strategies for classroom teachers. San Francisco, CA: Benjamin Cummings. Leana, C.R. (2011). The missing link in school reform. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 29-35. Näf, M. & Sevinç, P. (2007). Doodle [Software]. Available from. http://www.doodle.com National Association for Sport and Physical Education & American Heart Association. (2012). 2012 Shape of the Nation Report: Status of Physical Education in the USA. Reston, VA: American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Nieto, S. & Bode, P. (2008). Affirming diversity: The sociopolitical context of multicultural education (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. Rink, J., Hall, T., & Williams, L. (2010). Schoolwide physical activities: A comprehensive guide to designing and conducting programs. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Roetert, E. P., & Jefferies, S. C. (2014). Embracing physical literacy. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 85(8), 38-40. Romano, L., Papa, L., & Saulle, E. (n.d.). Awesome lesson ideas to integrate Science across the curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/integratescience-across-curriculum Souto-Manning, M., & James, N. (2008). A multi-arts approch to early literacy and learning. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 23(1), 82-95. Thiers, N. (2014). Making a difference every day: A conversation with Salome Thomas-EL. Educational Leadership, 71, 10-15. Torgeson, J.K. (1998). Catch them before they fall: Identification and assessment to prevent reading failure in young children. American Educator, 22, 3239. Walker, T. (2014, November 2). NEA survey: Nearly half of teachers consider leaving profession due to standardized testing. Education Policy Standardized Testing. Retrieved from http://neatoday.org/2014/

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11/02/nea-survey-nearly-half-of-teachers-considerleaving-profession-due-to-standardized-testing-2/ Whitehead, M. (2010). The concept of physical literacy. In M. Whitehead (Ed.), Physical literacy through the lifecourse (pp. 10-20). London, England: Routledge.

About the Authors Jessica B. Graves, PhD Dr. Jessica Graves is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at Valdosta State University. Her areas of research include best practices in teacher education, technology integration in teaching, and literacy instruction. She has a passion for studying and implementing best practices to reach striving learners. Susan Hagood, PhD Dr. Susan Hagood is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Assessment and Accreditation in the Division of Education at Thomas University. Her research interests include the impact of teacher education programs on pre-service teacher dispositions, effects of professional development interventions on physical activity levels of PK-12 students, and the process of improving students’ self-reflections with the use of technology. She also serves as a national edTPA scorer for physical education content. Peggy Perkins Auman, PhD Dr. Peggy Perkins Auman is a Professor and Director of Assessment and Accountability in the College of Education at Florida A & M University. Her research areas of interest include the impact of the instructional process on student achievement, measures of teaching effectiveness, and closing the achievement gap with children of poverty. She also is interested in the instructional design, development, implementation, and evaluation of education programs in higher education. Alicja Rieger, PhD Dr. Alicja Rieger is an associate professor of Special Education at Valdosta State University. Her scholarship focuses on humor in families with a disability, second language acquisition, and culturally responsive teaching.

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Karynne L. M. Kleine, Mark

Brunner, and Sharon C. Jackson Young Harris College

As a young elementary principal in the 1980s, my school district had a tradition on the last day of school of distributing paychecks individually to teachers. This was by all accounts an “old school” approach to acknowledging folks and saying good-bye for the summer. Teachers would stop by before they left for the break, and I would hand them a check and ask what they planned to do over the next several weeks. Mostly, I would learn of intentions to clean garages, go on vacations, or attend family reunions. However, I was struck by the response of a certain teacher who, when asked that question said, “I’m going to find the person I once was.” I prompted her to elaborate, and she shared that she had thrown so much of herself into her work during the year, had dedicated so much time to learning the many district and state initiatives that were being frantically implemented, that she felt as if she had lost her identify as a mom, a spouse, a teacher, but more importantly as a person. I realized that what she was saying was that she had become the external mandates that were being implemented. She had become a curriculum mapper, a data user, a “robotic” teacher focused only on meeting standards – a reactor rather than a reflector – and in the midst of all that, she had lost her personal and professional identity.

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We, in teacher preparation in the state of Georgia, are at the same juncture as that educator from decades ago as audit mechanisms have been thrust upon us at such an unprecedented rate that avoiding chaos has been the only consistent factor guiding our decisions. As with the teacher who needed to reconnect to her core, teacher preparation programs responding to extensive rule changes need time to reflect on who they are and what they signify, so that their effectiveness is not diminished, nor their integrity compromised. Taking an opportunity to reflect upon program identity, because we realize that loss of identity translates into loss of purpose and commitment, can empower the members of teacher preparation programs threatened with irrelevance. In a venture as critical as preparing educators to operate within an increasingly more complex and diverse environment where well-developed capacity for creativity and improvisation are indispensable, we cannot afford to waver from our purpose or submit to reductive elements of standardized assessment simply because a goal has been made quantifiable. We agree with Schulte (2012) and others who question whether regulations to standardize teacher performance through high-stakes assessment and to hold teacher educators accountable for restricted conceptions of teaching have become the legislative response to societal issues over which educators have little control

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(Caughlan & Jiang, 2014; Dover, Schultz, Smith, & Duggan, 2015; Sato, 2014). This article attempts to explain how members of one teacher preparation program used the implementation of edTPA and other compulsory initiatives enacted by the state accreditors of teacher preparation programs as a humanizing occasion to ascertain their values and beliefs and declare their distinctive identity rooted in those values and beliefs. Using Bolman and Deal’s (1991) “Four Frames” to categorize leadership orientations and organizational development, we investigated the responsibilities undertaken by faculty and aligned those to stages of development of our program in order to isolate the events that mapped our program identity. We outlined our response as an educational unit to resist the potential standardization of rigid reform mandates by acknowledging our identity development, which enabled us to hold to our unique program and recommit to our purpose with integrity. Theoretical Support We undertook this research from the perspective of educational leaders who have been involved with school reform at the K-12 levels to a greater degree than that of our shared experience as faculty members and administrators of a new teacher preparation program at a private higher education institution. Our viewpoints have been shaped primarily by knowledge of organizational psychology as well as decades of experience in public school teaching and leading. We have been influenced by various relational models for effective leadership, Bolman and Deal’s (1991, 2010) framework for understanding healthy educational organizations, and Whetten’s (1985, 1998, 2006) construct of organizational identity that is analogous to that of individual identity development first characterized by Erikson (1980). These authoritative insights unite to form the theoretical support for this work. We operate from the premise that robust educational organizations

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are better able to respond in authentic ways to externally-compelled program alteration as was dictated to Georgia’s educator preparation units in October 2014. Therefore, when faced with implementation of said requirements, we set out to work with faculty and professional colleagues in the Division of Education to (re)construct and acknowledge our organization’s identity in order to engender its health within a potentially destabilizing environment of mandated change. We expected that by ascertaining our teacher preparation program’s essential values, beliefs, and distinctiveness (e.g., its organizational identity according to Albert & Whetten [1985]), through social processes, we would strengthen our organization in countering pressures for standardization that might result from state mandates for teacher candidates to pass highstakes content pedagogy assessments for initial licensure. The basic theoretical aspects that undergird this study are summarized below. Whetten’s Definition of Organizational Identity and Analogue to Individual Identity What claims do we make about who we are as an organization? What about our program is “central, enduring, and distinctive” (Whetten, 2006, p. 220)? What are we unwilling to give up? Answers to these questions illustrate the values and attributes that Whetten suggests are the organization’s identity referents. Similar to the construct of culture (the ways that things are done here) and analogous to the process of social construction through which individual identities are borne in relation to the social world (who am I?), organizational identity is that which makes the organization the organization. Just as there is nothing more definitive to the individual human than one’s “me”-ness, there is nothing more fundamental to the organization than its collective identity – its values, beliefs, and distinctive characteristics that direct its actions over time. The organization’s identity is something more than an amalgam of all the individual

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identities or even the culture that springs from the way things are done by the group. As with the balance necessary to be a distinct individual who also fits into a group, organizational identity is ideally relatively stable but also flexible in response to change. Thus the usefulness of attending to organizational identity offers the organization dynamic consistency that is necessary during times of change and enables the members to understand the nature of the organization so that they might (re)commit to it. Moreover, Whetten (1988) argued that it is possible for organizational identity to be claimed, altered, and sustained through conversation, a cocreative, discursive process. Bolman and Deal’s Four Metaphors for Ensuring the Use of Multiple Perspectives Bolman and Deal (1991) created a framework comprised of four perspectives and an associated metaphorical image of each for understanding the roles and responsibilities of leaders within organizations. While Bolman and Deal’s (2010) work can be applied to any organization, they have particularly extended their model to school leadership and the perplexing realities of life in schools for teachers, staff, and administrators with the goal of helping educators use multiple perspectives to advance novel solutions to problems. The four frames – structural, human resource, political, and symbolic – serve as lenses or filters to approach and understand the complexity of issues and initiatives that influence the behavior of organizations. The structural frame is a way to see and understand the goals, structures, roles, relationships and their coordination within an organization. It is metaphorically aligned with “the factory” because of the clarity that comes from a linear hierarchy. The human resources frame is a way to interpret and understand organizations with a focus on people, their feelings, necessities and the fit between the organization and individuals. The associated image is “the family” because of

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the emphasis on individual needs and motives that require attention in an intimate group. Using the political frame, one can view organizations from the perspective of agendas, competing interests, power structures, and coalitions. Bolman and Deal (1992) compare this frame to “a jungle” evoking images of both lushness and danger. Finally, the symbolic frame directs one to see organizations through the lens of symbols, rituals, and meaning making. They use “the cathedral” or “temple” to suggest the inspiration that can arise when the organization takes note of its cherished values through rituals. According to Bolman and Deal (1992), symbolic acts are at the core of any extraordinary team’s exceptional performance. Methodology Studying one teacher preparation unit’s response to the concurrent implementation of numerous state-level initiatives lends itself to descriptive case study methodology. In this instance, the case was Young Harris College’s Teacher Preparation Program (TPP) as represented by the words and actions of the faculty and professional staff who were involved in the program during a two-year period of rapid change. Case study methodology was employed specifically to explore the benefits of attending to the organizational identity of the TPP for maintaining its distinctive outcomes. As this inquiry was initially driven less by a research question and more by a quest to understand a phenomenon playing out within its real-world context, the case study method was selected as the procedure for conducting this qualitative research (Yin, 2013). Later, the question as to how the use of proactive processes such as organizational identity development to “push back” on efforts to standardize teacher preparation programs through high-stakes assessment such as edTPA, which might serve to dismiss their distinctive attributes and diminish program effectiveness, guided this study. In order to delineate the case, we established a baseline assessment of our situation, noting that

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within the space of one year, several key events set the stage for bold change and establishing program identity. We then applied Bolman and Deal’s (1991) four frames for analyzing the roles and responsibilities that members of the program had undertaken while we made substantial changes to the program, including attempting to prepare candidates to perform successfully on the high-stakes assessments. Finally, we used the frames as lenses to describe the values and beliefs that comprised our organizational identity. Establishing the Baseline The first occasion concerned hiring new leadership for the Division of Education. Concurrent with that new hire, members of the TPP had determined that the program data collected for several years were inadequate and did not reflect a vision for the development of future teachers who would be equipped to effectively foster student learning in an education environment in flux. The third shift involved addressing high-stakes requirements for the recommending teacher candidates for certification (i.e., candidates earning qualifying scores on a standardized teaching performance assessment, passing a new content exam at more rigorous levels, completing Ethics modules at expected levels upon entrance and exit, having exposure to Georgia’s new teacher evaluation system, and successfully undergoing a year-long student teaching internship). As a group, the decision was made to revamp the TPP, focusing on establishing a program that represented our beliefs as experienced educators that also would enable us to operate in a changing environment and assist us in preserving the identity we intended to establish. Expecting to gain valuable insight to our nuanced situation, we established the manner of (re)creating and (re)defining the teacher preparation program through a collaborative effort that involved research, reflection, and refinement. Our particular context of being at a small, private

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college and with a new academic program afforded marked advantages: our division consisted of small numbers; programs and processes were not deeply ingrained in our culture; and changes could be made without major undertakings. Nevertheless, changes to programs were informed by the research efforts of various team members, were reflected on by the whole team, and were instituted then refined post-implementation. While individual team members were encouraged to be imaginative in their thinking and to participate fully in discourse, decisions and changes were agreed upon by the collaborative whole. The process became vital to other changes being contemplated by the group. Using our vision, “to engage collaboratively and professionally to enact an educational program that is highly-regarded for the quality of its graduates and becomes an influential model that elevates both the profession and the narratives regarding teacher preparation” (Young Harris College Teacher Preparation Program Handbook, p. 6), we needed to forge a pathway for identifying those aspects of our program that would endure, would be distinctive, and would enable us to flexibly respond to change should it be the prudent course. Identity Development in Three Parts Order of Business Stephen Covey (1996) noted that “It’s not what people do to us that hurts us. In the most fundamental sense it is our chosen response to what they do to us that hurts us” (p.35). As a teacher preparation program, we endeavor to prepare future teachers for a dynamic and demanding profession in the context of continuous change. To inform our response we asked: What is our first order of business in responding to such change? What is our chosen response to regulations that have the potential of replacing distinctiveness with uniformity, fostering objectivity rather than inter-subjectivity,

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stressing social efficiency over concern for individual difference? How do we address the standardization of performance to narrow conceptions of quality, and in some cases processes, while maintaining our distinct identity as a program? Initial Steps There were two initial steps that we took to begin the achievement of identity understanding and creation. The first step was the development of a conceptual framework that expressed our personal sense of purpose and vision, the mission of the program, and clarified goals to be manifested as potential outcomes for our teacher candidates. While working on the conceptual framework, we were guided by questions such as: What did we hope to accomplish as a dynamic teacher preparation program? And, how could this framework be used to govern our future work, evaluate decisions, and influence our behaviors and values? The second step was to examine our organization, the TPP, through the lens of Bolman and Deal’s (1991) organization frames in the hopes of better understanding our organization and possibly reframing the organizational structure when needed. For this work, we again challenged our thinking with queries such as: As an organization, from what perspective might others view our program? How can we better understand ourselves as an organization by understanding the “lenses” used by others to view teacher preparation programs? What lens can we use as an organization to better understand high-leverage initiatives? Final Step A third action emerged after the first two steps were either in process or completed, and that was the decision to study our program development specifically as a case of response to the “Mother Rule” (Georgia Professional Standards Commission, 2014). We planned to

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disseminate the findings from examining how our program responded in terms of identity development to the stipulation that we pilot the edTPA performance assessment with our candidates in anticipation of the evaluation being consequential for their licensure in fall 2015. The standardized performance assessment, edTPA, as a new, high-stakes licensure requirement had the feel of an ultimatum that could threaten our identity as a program and might cause us to retreat from meeting the aspirational vision we had set for our program. Studying our response and disseminating the results was a proactive initiative that represented the type of advocacy we expected candidates to exhibit when they were called to maintain the status quo. Below we elaborate on the three components to our response that we analyzed and share as findings. Findings Artifact 1: Conceptual Framework As Whetten (1998) indicated, it is conversation among members that enables organizational identity to be established, altered, and sustained. Therefore, we relied on conversation as the primary means to formulate our collective identity. The conceptual framework we created for our program was the result of many intentional conversations we, as a division, had over eight months to answer the questions of who we are and to characterize the distinctive aspects of our program we would be unwilling to give up in the face of standardization. Examination of the minutes from formal meetings show these conversations did not always move forward in neat increments; rather, they wound around topics and, at times, through terrain that had been visited previously. Eventually we were able to isolate those fundamentals that rose to the surface time and again. By fitting these into a developmental sequence through which we envisioned all teacher candidates would progress, we fashioned

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a conceptual framework that became the basis of our identity. The following quotation from the Young Harris College Institutional Report prepared in December 2014 shows elements of Whetten’s (1998) definition of organizational identity already controlling the creation of the conceptual framework. This includes the goal to have a distinctive, yet effective program, founded in deliberate consideration, which both identified the competencies of successful teacher candidates and also would guide faculty in going about their work. Furthermore, it suggests that the goal of the TPP would be to produce educators who could, as necessary, resist the status quo. The spirit of the conceptual framework is entirely new, having shifted from a perfunctory focus on the requisite “knowledge, skills, dispositions, diversity, technology” of any teacher preparation program to a distinctive framework designed with deliberate consideration of what we want candidates to be and be able to do as well as the ways in which we will work to move them to that level of accomplishment. The faculty and staff who produced the new conceptual framework have over a century of combined experience in the field of education and about half that time in teacher preparation. Steeped in decades of experience and internalized theory it was exciting for the team to generate durable concepts to drive its work in teacher education. (Young Harris College Institutional Report, 2014) The conceptual framework is designed to align with transitions through which we intend for candidates to proceed as they add to their competencies. The set of foci were discussed and agreed to by faculty and represent “who we are” and “what we stand for” – those enduring and distinctive values that Whetten (2006) would characterize as our organizational identity. Our conceptual framework suggests a developmental progression, one of our commitments about how teaching is gradually

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learned, and as such is symbolized by a nautilus shell. The symbol is explained thusly in the Teacher Preparation Handbook: The Teacher Preparation Program (TPP) at Young Harris College originates from the College Mission, Goals, Values, and Vision combined with Professional, State, and Institutional standards for the preparation of prospective teachers. With the robustness of a liberal arts background woven throughout, the institutional motto of ‘Educate, Inspire, Empower’ fully supports the developmental milestones entailed by the conceptual framework of the initial teacher preparation program at YHC. These program foci, which will be internalized by teacher candidates throughout their experiences and time in the TPP in a manner not unlike the emulsification process the nautilus undergoes to form the chambers of its shell, may be defined as: (a) YHC mission and values; (b) experiential meaning making; (c) pedagogies that address the art and science of teaching; (d) professional transformation; and (e) advocacy. (2014, p. 6) Through extensive discussion we learned that the five foci of the Conceptual Framework represent particular values for us as outlined here: 1) Historical foundation of institutional mission and values – honor where you came from and use what you bring with you. While candidates will differ in what those particular attributes might be, they will have in common the galvanizing experience of two preparatory years at the liberal arts, Methodist-affiliated college; 2) Learning is making sense of experiences – this is our deeper commitment to a constructive stance on learning and a Deweyan approach to the educative process through reflection and inquiry; 3) Teachers must have knowledge, skills, and dispositions that enable them to be responsive and move beyond the tendency to reduce decision-making situations to simple

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dichotomies. Thus, developing pedagogies that call for the integration of art and science will advance candidates and prepare them for dealing with the complexity that is teaching; 4) In being “professionally transformed” candidates should be able to acknowledge the growth they have made, the mechanisms by which they underwent the growth, and make plans for permanent, deliberate transformation using the knowledge; 5) Advocacy: This focus speaks to our vision that professional educators have abilities to operate effectively in a world where disparities exist yet will be compelled as advocates to address inequity across multiple settings due to the ethical, cognitive, and social transformation they experienced in the TPP. The first three transitions enumerated above emphasize individual development while the final two incorporate an “other orientation” and anticipate candidates will move out into the world as professionals who can and do make change. The ongoing growth, increasing strength, and spiraling three-dimensional impact of the nautilus as it organically adds to its shell was an apt symbol and analogous to the intentions we had for candidates to undergo in our distinctive teacher preparation program. edTPA may embrace certain conceptions about “good teaching,” but we were committed to preparing educators who understood “good teaching” to be interactive, relative, and situated, and for them to be further committed to pushing back on conformity when it might result in inequity or diminishing of voice (Sato, 2014). Furthermore, the very process of discussing, locating, and agreeing to a nautilus shell as the image to represent the program suggests one of the ways we all undertook the responsibility to engage and inspire members of our organization as can be understood through Bolman and Deal’s (1991) symbolic frame. Valuing symbols is part of our organizational identity and it has become customary practice to refer to symbols while

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making sense of events. Of the four perspectives it has most naturally become embedded in our collective actions. Artifact 2: Framing and Reframing Bolman and Deal’s model (1991) helped us frame our program and provide direction as to how we might operate effectively when faced with mandates that we feared could reduce the importance of our work as teacher educators and de-professionalize our efforts to elevate conversations about teaching. We learned of the model from one of our members who shared an article highlighting the metaphors and then used it to ascertain the roles and responsibilities each of us was fulfilling as we brought our program identify to life (Defoe, 2013). As a faculty, we reviewed information related to the frames and discussed how each of us saw the frames relative to our program. For example, in contemplating the structural frame we discussed the idea that structures can bureaucratize, inhibit, and depersonalize an organization, or they can be constructed in a manner that enables an organization to create efficiencies that provide more time to devote to priorities such as organizational missions, vision, and goals. Viewing our TPP through the structural frame provided us the opportunity to identify structures that were inefficient, such as assessment data collection methods, and, in turn, create structures that better served the needs of the teacher candidates and faculty. By using the structural lens, we discovered that much of our data analysis structures were built around assessment tools that did not inform. We discussed the other three frames in the same manner and looked for ways in which we could use the lens from each frame to better understand shifts that we needed to make in order to find common purpose. In seeking to apply this information in a more formal way, we agreed to develop a presentation for the 2014 Georgia Association Teacher Educators annual conference.

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GATEways to Teacher Education A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

Each faculty member selected a frame that was of interest to her/him, synthesized and connected information from the joint discussions, and designed a presentation segment to share through the conference presentation. This activity not only solidified our understanding of Bolman and Deal’s (1991) frames, but enabled us to share how the model contributed to our program identity. What we came to find was that the Bolman and Deal Framework (1992) offered us a common language and a common, if unstated, goal – namely, to understand the dynamics of teacher education in the state through each of the four frames and to strengthen our collaboration as a result. As an illustration, in preparing for the presentation one of us volunteered to address the political frame as applied to her responsibilities, noting how she kept current with and reminded others of the political aspects with regard to changes in teacher preparation at the state level. However, soon this responsibility became one that others shared and enacted. Before long, news headlines and journal articles about teacher preparation were shared amongst faculty, opportunities to voice concerns beyond the institution were identified, and information was exchanged and incorporated across settings. Thus, after one member had spearheaded this work, it soon became the work of many because the political frame came to be a part of our common language, perception, and organizational identity. Similarly, a number of instances of a frame championed by one and soon being applied by several was found through our analysis of roles and responsibilities. Not only were political actions undertaken by multiple members of the TPP, so too were actions regarded as human resource, structural, or symbolic and were performed at other levels and settings in short order. By noting how responsibilities spread and “multi-frame thinking” was exhibited by all, we ascertained that Bolman and Deal’s lexicon was shaping our organizational identity while supporting one another’s perspectives and

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functions became a part of the stated values that we enacted as a matter of course. Artifact 3: Sharing the inquiry Ours is a “teaching institution” with a realistic outlook as to the work faculty can be expected to complete when carrying out full course loads and service to the community. In annual review discussion with evaluators there is infrequent reference to the need for more scholarly activity, although each of us keeps abreast of our discipline. Therefore, it was noteworthy that as a group we decided to further study our organizational identity development and disseminate our work to the professional community at the state, regional, and national levels. Our analysis of this event demonstrated that we motivated ourselves to go beyond the expected level of intellectual productivity and supported one another in doing so. Seen from Bolman and Deal’s Framework (1991), this act can be characterized as political in that it is an attempt to control forces rather than to be overrun or divided by them. It could have provoked conflict in our organization had it been seen as an externally-imposed condition, but agreeing to study our program through our own volition offered insight in place of potential struggle and dissention that is often found in political environments. This study is also a human resource response because we are tailoring the organization to the people who comprise it. This is what we, with our particular talents and skills, thought was a better course of action, requiring us to develop ourselves in enhanced ways. When viewed from a symbolic perspective ours was an activist stance, wherein we were showing how we are active agents rather than passive receptors being acted upon. “Advocacy” is the final cell in the nautilus symbol used in our conceptual framework, and the ultimate outcome we have for teacher candidates; thus, it is fitting that our action symbolizes advocacy. It ensures our voice is heard, and through it, we offer to assist others in having their voices acknowledged as well.

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GATEways to Teacher Education A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

Finally, in terms of the four frames, the resolve to study and make public our findings in multiple venues is a structural counter to attempts to standardize teaching and teacher preparation programs that we perceived were being prescribed. It has provided us a goal which working toward has contributed to our identity as a productive, effective program of integrity with resourceful, efficacious, collaborative faculty members and professional staff. Working together as researchers and writers has brought better coordination to our efforts to produce candidates who are able resist the status quo and who will not blindly follow rules without determining their usefulness or anticipating multiple consequences. As a result of this structural component, we are more strongly committed to worthy educational outcomes for all. Discussion Some simple values emerged that helped build trust among faculty, students, and program partners. These included but were not limited to suspending judgment, demonstrating respect, focusing on strengths, embracing continuous improvement, showing loyalty, accepting responsibility, listening first, and extending trust. Recognizing these values in others and taking time to reflect and assess the degree to which our individual and organizational behaviors align to these values were processes that were helpful in seeing trust as an element of identity that needed to be tended and not taken for granted. Through this collaborative process of exploring the identity of our organization, multiple perspectives were not only valued, but relationships among team members were strengthened, thus ensuring continued support for both the TPP and between the colleagues involved in the process. Once the conceptual framework was established, it drove the rest of the work of (re)building our program. What experiences will teachers need to effectively advocate for their students? What will pedagogy in action look like? From this stance in considering the conceptual

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framework, courses were aligned, modified, added, or deleted from the curriculum. Program and unit assessments were designed to provide data reflective of each part of the conceptual framework. As a result of (re)building efforts and the process through which we engaged to do this, we realized our ability to choose freely, without fear of reprisals from outside mandates, and reflecting upon each step along the way has led us to being proactive in our efforts to define what good teaching is and what good teachers should know and do regardless of how this might be quantified in edTPA. Thus, we feel obligated to inform our candidates as to how we expect good teaching to be interpreted by edTPA scorers. However, in commitment to our ethical obligations, we go beyond teaching simple procedures, and actually engage candidates in learning how and why to be effective in a multitude of complex and shifting environments as this central, enduring and distinctive element of the program represents our organizational identity. Reflecting on the process and progress, we realize that this is a dynamic program in the sense that it will continue to be refined according to data collected and interpreted, but our new identity is truly ours, not a reflection of dictates from others. Our integrity and the integrity of our program was challenged but not compromised. We did not allow initiatives we faced to define us or our programs. It is our intent that this explanation of our experiences and the close examination of our artifacts will clarify for others what it means to advocate for teacher candidates, teachers, those who teach teachers, and the teaching profession itself at a time when unquestioned capitulation to directives might be an easier route. As with the teacher who would use her time for rediscovery of her “me�ness, we know this foray into organizational identity has been time well spent as we have discovered purpose and been strengthened by the process of recommitting to our shared values, beliefs, and distinctiveness.

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References Albert, S. & Whetten, D. A. (1985). Organizational identity. Research in Organizational Behavior, 7, 263-295. Bolman, L. G. & Deal, T. E. (1991). Reframing organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Bolman, L. G. & Deal, T. E. (1992). What makes a team work? Organizational dynamics, 21(2), 34-44. Bolman, L. G. & Deal, T. E. (2010). Reframing the path to school leadership: A guide for teachers and principals (2nd ed.).Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Caughlan, S., & Jiang, H. (2014). Observation and teacher quality: Critical analysis of observational instruments in preservice teacher performance. Journal of Teacher Education, 65(5), 375-388. Covey, S. (1996). The seven habits of highly effective people facilitator guide (version 2.0). Salt Lake City, UT: Covey Leadership Center. Defoe, D. (2013, May 31). Understanding organizations using the four frame model: Factories or machines (structure), family (human resources), jungle (politics), and theatres, temples or carnivals (symbols). Psycholawlogy. Retrieved from www.psycholawlogy.com Dover, A. G., Schultz, B. D., Smith, K., and Duggan, T. J. (2015). Who’s preparing our candidates? edTPA, localized knowledge, and the outsourcing of teacher evaluation. Teachers College Record. Retrieved from http://www.tcrecord.org Erikson, E. E. (1980). Identity and the life cycle. New York, NY: W. W. Norton. Georgia Professional Standards Commission. (2014, October 15). Rule 505-3-.01. Retrieved from www.gapsc.com Sato, M. (2014). What is the underlying conception of teaching of the edTPA? Journal of Teacher Education, 65(5), 421-434. Schulte, A. (2012, December 14). Ann Schulte: Teacher performance assessment isn’t the answer. In Cody, A. (Ed.), Living in Dialogue. Education Week Teacher. Retrieved from http://blogs.edweek.org/ teachers/living-in-dialogue/2012/12/ann_schulte_ teacher_performanc.html Whetten, D. A. (2006). Albert & Whetten revisited: Strengthening the concept of organizational identity. Journal of Management Inquiry, 15(3), 219-223. Whetten, D. A. & Godfrey, P. C. (Eds.). (1998). Identity in organizations: Building theory through conversations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Yin, R. K. (2013). A (very) brief refresher on case study methodology. In R. K. Yin (Ed.), Case study research: Design and methods (5th ed.). Retrieved from http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/41407_1.pdf Young Harris College. (2014). Young Harris College Institutional Report. Young Harris, GA. Young Harris College. (2014). Young Harris College Teacher Preparation Handbook. Young Harris, GA.

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About the Authors Karynne L. M. Kleine, EdD Dr. Karynne Kleine has been a teacher, teacher educator, and an administrator for 29 years. Her areas of expertise include history and philosophy of science, middle level education, and teacher leadership. Besides investigating teacher preparation program response to mandated reform, she is collaborating on studies of signature pedagogies in middle level teacher preparation, a P-20 partnership to design and implement a Master Educator program, cross-disciplinary professional development of higher educators, and intergenerational identity development of teacher educators. Mark Brunner, PhD Dr. Mark Brunner is an Assistant Professor and Field and Clinical Coordinator for Young Harris College Division of Education. He received his BS and MS degrees at Youngstown State University and his EdS degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Florida. Dr. Brunner earned his PhD in Curriculum/Educational Leadership from the University of Florida. Dr. Brunner came to Young Harris College in 2009 after serving 36 years in public schools as an elementary school teacher, curriculum specialist, elementary school principal, and district administrator. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member for the University of Florida. Sharon C. Jackson, EdD Dr. Sharon Jackson is currently an Assistant Professor in the Education Division at Young Harris College. She received a BS from the University of Georgia, and MEd and EdS degrees from Georgia State University, all in in Middle Grades Education. She also earned an EdD in Curriculum Studies from Georgia Southern University. Her experiences include 30 years in public education, serving as a teacher, assistant principal, and district curriculum coordinator. She has been at Young Harris College for five years.

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The Georgia Association of Teacher Educators is an organization of educators from Georgia's public and private schools. Those wishing to become members or renew membership may find an application online at gaate.org.

GATEways to Teacher Education is a refereed online journal with national representation on its editorial review board and published by the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators. The journal, published in October and April, is soliciting manuscripts concerned with teacher education, including teaching and learning, induction, in-service education, and pre-service education.

Refer to the Journal tab at gaate.org for more details.

Manuscripts for the October issue of GATEways are due July 1st. Editors: Dr. Judy Butler, University of West Georgia Dr. Janet Strickland, University of West Georgia Copy Editor: Dr. Robyn Huss, University of West Georgia

Join us at the GATE 2016 Fall Conference October 27-28 at the Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa in Young Harris, GA Additional conference information is available online: gaate.org

Gateways 2016 spring (Volume 26, Issue 2)  

A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

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