Page 1

Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

GATEways to Teacher Education

Volume 28, Issue 1 October 2017


Cover artwork by Jillian “Drew” Martin, 3rd grade, Oconee County Elementary School, Watkinsville, Georgia 2nd Place Winner in the GATE 2017 Conference Program Art Contest “Preparing Educators for a World Beyond Imagination”


GATEways to Teacher Education October 2017: Volume 28, Issue 1

Contents Looking Through Social Studies Textbooks With an Activity Types Lens By Oluseyi Matthew Odebiyi and Behzad Mansouri

Page 1

This content analysis of activities in first- and third-grade social studies textbooks shows productoriented knowledge dominates process-oriented knowledge. Activities lack balance, which can minimize the development of inquiry skills needed to navigate college, career, and civic life.

A Practical Orientation to Grading By Kelly S. Brooksher

Page 10

Teachers inherently grade the way their colleagues do or model their grading after how they were graded while in school. This often leads to grades that inaccurately communicate student progress, and fair and equitable grading may be diminished. This article provides an introduction to ten research-based topics that provide teachers with a practical insight to grading.

Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Development as Writers and Future Writing Teachers By Erinn Bentley and Becky Britton Snow

Page 15

This study examined preservice elementary teachers to determine to what extent a writing methods course and field experience impacted participants’ confidence and skills as writers and their ability to teach writing. Findings show the importance of training preservice teachers in writing theories and instruction and providing opportunities to learn from their own writing practices.

Pre-Service Teacher Field Experience Reflections: A Qualitative Case Study on Attitudes Toward Control, Behavior, Students, and Self By Robert W. Spires, Deborah C. Paine, and J. T. Cox

Page 24

This study explored the gap between a student-centered teacher education program and teachercentered practices of pre-service teachers in field classrooms through their reflections. Findings illustrate pre-service teachers’ attitudes toward the control of students and the classroom environment overshadowed the student-centered elements of their teacher training programs.

Pre-Service Teachers’ Initial Thoughts About Motivation By Amanda Wall and Samuel D. Miller

Page 35

Pre-service teachers rated the importance of motivational constructs, defined motivation, explained how they bring aspects of their definitions to teaching, identified obstacles, and described evidence of motivation. Results suggest teacher educators can support pre-service teachers in developing thoughts about motivation through questions, discussions, and applications of relevant concepts.

Training Preservice Teacher Candidates to Be Culturally Responsive: Co-Teaching and Experiential Simulations By Ava Hogan-Chapman, LaTeshia Warren, Rebecca A. Cooper, Brandon Lewis, and Tashana D. Howse

Page 44

Faculty engaged preservice teachers in experiential learning simulations to determine their perceptions of cultural competence and their potential to make use of culturally responsive teaching practices. Survey data revealed the simulations had a major impact on their cultural awareness and understanding of culturally responsive teaching practices to support student learning.

What the Tech? Preparing Teacher Candidates for 21st Century Learners By Rebecca Cooper, Tiffany Coleman, Amy Farah, and Katharine Page Technology tools were implemented in undergraduate educator preparation classrooms to help candidates teach effectively using technology. This supports and improves teacher candidates' technological pedagogical knowledge and prepares them to teach 21st Century learners.

Page 50


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

Looking Through Social Studies Textbooks With an Activity Types Lens Oluseyi Matthew Odebiyi and Behzad Mansouri, University of Alabama

Young people should develop strong intellectual power and inquiry skills to navigate the worlds of college, career, and civic life (C3) successfully. Teachers are key factors in helping students attain desirable skills; students would help use these skills in developing questions and planning inquiries. They would also be able to apply disciplinary concepts and tools, evaluate sources, use evidence, communicate conclusions, and take informed action (National Council for the Social Studies [NCSS], 2013). Congruently, teachers should take concrete actions because the study of social studies disciplines is lived daily experiences. It also continues as tool for 1) achieving numeric and language development, 2) engaging students in a comprehensive process of understanding, interpreting, and confronting multiple dilemmas, and 3) encouraging students to speculate, think critically, and make personal and civic decisions on information from multiple perspectives (NCSS, 2016; Sunal & Haas, 2008; Swan & Griffin, 2013). In spite of increasing efforts to strengthen democracy by incorporating innovations in pedagogies and policy, the current way of studying social studies is in reverse chronology (Misco & Patterson, 2009). These pronounced challenges in teaching social studies raise concerns about the extent to which curriculum activities could minimize students’ attainment of the purposes of the C3 framework. Evidence has linked the instructional challenges of social studies to textbooks, the primary basis for teaching social studies for decades (Elliott, Nagel & Woodward, 1985; Oakes & Saunders, 2002;

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

Simmons, 2017; Son & Kim, 2015). Teachers should therefore pay attention to the issues surrounding social studies textbooks so that the goals of the C3 framework will not suffer the same fate. In spite of many textbooks being weak, inaccurate, and inadequate (Simmons, 2017; Tarman & Kuran, 2015), teachers’ reliance on textbooks has become commonplace. This is because textbooks are fundamental material for students’ education, the instrument of consensus on what is essential to teach, and the basic guide for instruction (Allington, 2002; DeWitt, 2013; Ediger, 2010; Gak, 2011; Heyneman, 2006; Wen-Cheng, Chien-Hung, & Chung-Chieh, 2011). The outcomes of classrooms not having access to them are harsh, yet the structure of textbooks adversely affects the pedagogical framework and teaching practices. For novice teachers, textbooks serve as a highly visible classroom authority. This is so obvious that students indicate many teachers continue to depend on textbooks as the main tool for teaching, activities, and projects in social studies (Alazzi & Chiodo, 2004; Ediger, 2010; Knight, 2015; Lubben et al., 2003). This pattern is worrisome and questions social studies teachers’ ability to produce good citizens who are personally responsible, participatory, and justice-oriented (Westheimer & Kahne, 2004), given that social studies teachers’ effectiveness is measured in part by their instructional quality as reflected in students’ ability to appropriate the knowledge they have acquired in participating in pluralist democracy (Barton & Levstik, 2004).

PAGE 1


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

Informing this development, Guy Larkins, Michael Hawkins, and Allison Gilmore (1987) had earlier advised that eliminating the social studies curriculum was a more favorable alternative to using the textbooks. A passionate teacher would favor this option rather than rely on textbooks, which have been described as shallow, redundant, inconsistent, full of trivial and non-informative content, and conflicting with program structure (Ediger, 2010; Keçe, 2014; Passe, 2006). Compounding these challenges, many elementary teachers simply cannot assemble the necessary supplementary material due to inadequate preparation time, the emphasis by districts on basic skills instruction in mathematics and reading, and the demands of classroom teaching. Consequently, they depend on textbooks as the enacted curriculum, the actual day-to-day work plan (Ediger, 2010; Lubben et al, 2003; Seker & Ilhan, 2015; Tarman & Kuran, 2015). Consequently, the current state of social studies instruction is an opportunity for teachers’ improvement rather than an impediment. Textbooks represent a basic resource to ensure pupils have access to instruction meeting the most generally accepted curriculum goals in most districts. As opined by John McNeil (2015), textbooks are like highways which are satisfactory for general planning but from which teachers must turn off and take a different route to provide something more appropriate for learners. In what follows, teachers, teacher educators, and researchers should be concerned about achieving the goals of the C3 framework when many teachers are inadequately equipped to assemble supplementary curriculum materials, teachers and administrators are struggling with textbooks with weak content presentation, and publishers have forgotten the use of readability formulas. Social studies textbooks with these shortcomings result in a higher level of memorization and recitation, paper and pencil work, little classroom interaction, no questions, deconstruction of knowledge, and a predominant use of the lecture method rather than inquiry (Epuchie & Odebiyi, 2014). The use of textbook activities, including worksheets, is the order of the day. Research findings have confirmed

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

teachers’ use of activities in the textbooks and have found connections among activities assigned to students, development of inquiry skills, and improvement of learning outcomes (AlMashaqbeh & Al Shurman, 2015; Pine & Aschbacher, 2006; Son & Kim, 2015). Teachers are encouraged to use textbooks. For this reason, most states adopt textbooks. However, teachers seem too busy to ask the question, “What kind of knowledge or thinking do activities in the textbooks promote?” We know the nature of the main body of knowledge in the textbook and that teachers use activities in the textbooks to either cement or extend learning. However, we do not know the nature of the activities in the textbook. The answer to the preceding question is the focus of this study. The Current Study The analytical efforts and inquiries into textbooks have been on accuracy, balance, and representation. Studies analyzing the activities in the textbook, which constitute an important part of students’ learning experience, seem insufficient. Due to teachers’ reliance on the textbook activities, content analysis of social studies textbook activities is required to have better insight into problems associated with the activities. Congruently, this study attempts to answer the following research questions: 1. In aggregate, what is the proportion of activity types (knowledge building, convergent and divergent knowledge expression) presented in first- and thirdgrade social studies textbooks? 2. What is the proportion of activity types presented in first- and third-grade social studies textbooks examined by subdivisions? Research Methodology Content Analysis Approach Adopting the framework proposed by Hofer and Harris (2011), this study is a content analysis of all beginning-of-chapter, within-chapter, and end-of-chapter activities in two elementary school social studies textbooks, representing first and third grades in Alabama.

PAGE 2


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

In this study, we modeled summative qualitative content analysis (see Babaei & Abdi, 2014). The study employed Hofer and Harris’s (2011) social studies activities taxonomies as a coding scheme. The framework identified and described 44 social studies activity types: 17 activity types represent knowledge building, 6 of the activities represent convergent knowledge expression, and 21 activities represent divergence knowledge expression. Knowledge building learning activity types are those which focus on helping students build their knowledge of social studies content, concepts, and processes. Convergence learning activity types are those in which students are led to express their knowledge in a comparatively similar way. Divergence-learning activity types represent activities in which students have opportunities to express their understanding in a variety of ways. The divergent-knowledge expression is subdivided into five written, three visual, three conceptual, six product-oriented, and four participatory activity types. Overall, Hofer and Harris (2011) presented three sets of activity types: knowledge building, convergent knowledge expression, and divergent knowledge expression. We selected this coding scheme based on the reported potential of the framework in different studies (see Hubbard & Price, 2013; Ling Koh, Chai, & Tay, 2014; Niess, 2011). Each activity in the textbook was systematically identified and organized for meaning, context, intention, and new insights as suggested by Krippendorf (2004) and Tuomi and Sarajärvi (2009). In accordance with a summative content analysis approach, activities in the beginning, middle, and end of each lesson in the first- and third-grade social studies textbooks are analyzed and grouped using the Hofer and Harris (2011) activity types. We independently coded the activities in the textbooks by units and compared their outcomes. We used different coding sheets for each lesson, and the overall results for each lesson are aggregated to form the data for each unit. We added and grouped the overall number of types of activity found in each unit by subdivision. In cases where there were repetitions in activities, activities are coded as one instead of the actual number of occurrences.

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

We employed this approach with the aim of eliminating repetition of any activity. Textbook Selection As the sample for this study, we selected the student edition of two social studies textbooks taught in first and third grades. We selected firstand third-grade textbooks because both levels are equivalent to transition years from Kindergarten to a standards-based grade (first-grade) and students move from learning to read to reading to learn respectively. At the upper level, students move from mastery of simple information to learning the implications of the interactions between a human and its environment (Hernandez, 2012). We selected students’ editions of the textbooks for two reasons. First, the focus of this study is to identify the type of knowledge that students are expected to express through the activities in the textbook. The activities in the textbooks are to reinforce students’ learning. Second, some consulted teachers expressed that they select student assignments, homework, and other activities from the students’ edition of the textbooks. For these reasons, we deem it more appropriate to analyze students’ rather than teachers’ editions of the textbooks. Having decided on the edition, we used the purposive sampling technique to select the textbooks. Some factors led to the researchers’ purposeful selection. First, most elementary school teachers the researchers contacted did not distinctly teach social studies in their class but claimed to use textbooks to teach social studies units as part of other subjects. In extreme cases, some teachers said they do not have the textbooks for elementary social studies. Teachers did not offer reasons behind this practice. These factors limited the choice of selection for analysis; then, we selected available and accessible textbooks. In spite of availability and accessibility limitations, we used additional criteria such as adopted textbooks by the state of Alabama, the United States of America, grade and state specific, subject specific, research intention, and publisher claim alignment with the NCSS standards to select the textbooks. We have limited the number of textbooks to work with because of few choices of textbook selection

PAGE 3


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

resulting from the weak status social studies occupies in the classroom. We intend to provide results as accurately as possible with the intention of maintaining confidence in the outcome of the research; hence, the use of criteria that resulted in a limited number of textbook selections. Textbooks The two textbooks analyzed in this study were Houghton Mifflin Social Studies: School and Family Student Edition Level 1 (Greenes, 2005) and McGraw Hill Education’s The United States: Communities and Neighbors Student Edition Grade 3 (Banks, 2014). Results In order to address each of the research questions, we conducted a descriptive analysis on the content and activity types in each textbook. We addressed each research question separately. Research Question 1: In aggregate, what is the proportion of activity types (knowledge building, convergent knowledge expression, and divergent knowledge expression) presented in first- and third-grade social studies textbooks? Of the total 175 activities included in the first-grade social studies textbook (see Table 1), 19 (10.86%) of the activities promote knowledge building, 92 (52.57%) promote convergent knowledge expression, and 64 (36.57%) promote divergent knowledge expression. The third-grade textbook has a total 323 activities (see Table 2); 28 (8.67%) of the activities promote knowledge building, 200 (61.92%) promote convergent knowledge expression, and 95 (29.41%) promote divergent knowledge expression. Thus, most of the activities in the first- and third-grade textbooks promote convergent knowledge expression. The textbooks contain activities that help students develop their knowledge of social studies, such as reading text, discussion, arranging information, and examining pictures.

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

Table 1 Distribution of Activity Types in First-Grade Social Studies Textbook Unit/Activity Types

Knowledge Building

Knowledge Expression Convergent Divergent Knowledge Knowledge 47(61.04) 23(29.87)

Unit 1 7 (9.09) (5 Lessons) Unit 2 2(4.35) 27(58.70) (4 Lessons) Unit 3 1(4.55) 11(50.00) (4 Lessons) Unit 4 8(26.67) 7(23.33) (3 Lessons) Aggregate 19(10.86) 92(52.57) *Values in parentheses are percentages

Activity Types Total by Units 77(44.00)

17(37.00)

46(26.29)

10(45.46)

22(12.57)

14(46.67)

30 (17.14)

64(36.57)

175(100.00)

Table 2 Distribution of Activity Types in Third-Grade Social Studies Textbook Unit/Activity Types

Knowledge Building

Knowledge Expression Convergent Divergent Knowledge Knowledge 38(66.67) 16(28.07)

Unit 1 3(5.26) (5 Lessons) Unit 2 9(12.00) 37(49.33) (7 Lessons) Unit 3 7(12.07) 38(65.52) (5 Lessons) Unit 4 6(8.33) 46(63.89) (6 Lessons) Unit 5 3(4.92) 41(67.21) (5 Lessons) Aggregate 28(8.67) 200(61.92) *Values in parentheses are in percentage

Activity Types Total by Units 57(17.65)

29(38.67)

75(23.22)

13(22.41)

58(17.96)

20(27.77)

72(22.29)

17(27.87)

61(18.89)

95(29.41)

323(100.00)

Research Question 2: What is the proportion of activity types presented in first- and third-grade social studies textbooks examined by subdivisions? Out of the total 175 activities of which 19 are related to knowledge building (see Table 3), 11 (6.29%) promote concept knowledge building, 4 (2.29%) promote content knowledge building, and 4 (2.29%) promote processed knowledge building activity types. Moreover, 18 (10.29%) promote divergent knowledge expression in the form of writing and 28 (16.00%) promote divergent knowledge expression in the form of visual representation of knowledge. Furthermore, 7 (4.00%) emphasize conceptual divergent knowledge expression, while 5 (2.86%) promote productoriented divergent knowledge expression activity

PAGE 4


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

types and 6 (3.43%) are participatory divergent knowledge expression. The overall order of the activity types based on what each promotes, ranked highest to lowest, is as follows: visual knowledge expression, written knowledge expression, concept knowledge building, conceptual knowledge expression, and participatory knowledge expression. Product-oriented knowledge expression, content knowledge building, and process knowledge building follow respectively. Moreover, convergent knowledge expression is promoted by 52.57% of the overall activity types. The proportion of convergence knowledge activities presented in the textbook is more than knowledge building and divergent knowledge expression activity types combined. The proportion of the subdivision of the activity types (see Table 4) as contained in the third grade social studies textbook are as follows: of the total 323 activities compiled in the textbook, 9 (2.79%) promote concept knowledge building, 13 (4.03%) promote content knowledge building, and 6 (1.86%) are processed knowledge building activity types. Furthermore, 20 (6.19%) promote divergent knowledge expression in the form of writing, 21 (6.50%) activities promote visual divergent knowledge expression, and 6 (1.86%) activities promote conceptual divergent knowledge expression. Then, 20 (6.19%) promote divergent knowledge expression through products from projects and 28 (8.67%) activities promote participatory divergent knowledge expression. Discussion and Implications The findings reveal that convergenceknowledge-expression activity types predominate first and third grade adopted social studies textbooks (see Tables 1 and 2). Convergence knowledge expression persists and enjoys prevalence in the textbooks as a common approach to instruction because it has certain legitimate uses of being well-suited for broader content coverage with a minimal instructional period. Following this finding, we asked, “Why is it important for teachers to be equipped with the knowledge of the activities in the social studies textbook?” Having social studies textbooks with

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

imbalance and faulty orientation to knowledge is not as problematic as their use in the classroom. Teachers’ decisions about textbook use may make a difference in supporting learning and the teaching profession (McNeil, 2015). Teachers should be aware that the prevalence of the convergence knowledge expression activity type over divergence knowledge expression indicates social studies textbooks and the activities therein lead teachers toward teaching social studies to achieve the goals of the test-based subjects, while civic competence suffers. The earlier teachers can decipher the coded intention of the activities in the social studies textbooks, the better. Convergent knowledge expression activity types are characterized by answering questions, creating a timeline, and at best encouraging all students to present their understanding in comparatively similar ways (Hofer & Harris, 2011). Teachers should be aware that the prevalence of knowledge of this nature limits teachers’ approach variation, reduces learning opportunities for higher-order thinking, and limits initiation of multiple outcomes. The rationale for the inquiry-based social studies is to afford students the opportunities to actively engage in gathering and evaluating sources to communicate conclusions based on what they have found (NCSS, 2013). Activities converging students’ knowledge will expose students to the risk of not being able to independently examine issues and offer solutions suiting different perspectives. Prompting students to think in the same direction also minimizes instruction in that the textbooks conceive concept, content, and process as having linear meaning. Teachers’ failure to pay attention to the dimensions of knowledge promoted by the social studies textbooks is equivalent to failure to provide the tools for developing students’ ability to transfer knowledge. It is also equivalent to neglecting the tools for developing students’ complex ingenuity for civic competence and active engagement in civic life. Inquiries in social studies and lived experiences intertwine; hence, the teaching of social studies calls for additional skills in selection of curriculum materials to promote the complexities inherent in students’ daily lives.

PAGE 5


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

Knowledge Building

Concept

Content Process Convergent Knowledge Divergent Written Knowledge Visual Conceptual Product-Oriented Participatory Activity Types Total by Units (100%)

3(3.90)

1(2.17)

1(4.55)

1(1.30) 3(3.90) 47(61.04) 2(2.60) 16(20.78) 2(2.60) 1(1.30) 2(2.60) 77

1(2.17) 27(58.70) 10(21.74) 4(8.70) 1(2.17) 2(4.35) 46

11(50.00) 1(4.55) 4(18.18) 1(4.55) 4(18.18) 22

6 (20.00) 2(6.67) 1(3.33) 7(23.33) 5(16.67) 4(13.33) 3(10.00) 2(6.67) 30

Aggregate Activity by Subdivision

Unit 4 (3 Lessons)

Unit 3 (4 Lessons)

Unit 2 (4 Lessons)

Unit 1 (5Lessons)

Activity Types Subdivision

Activity Types/Units

Table 3 Examination of the Subdivision of Activity Types in First-Grade Social Studies Textbook

11 (6.29) 4(2.29) 4(2.29) 92(52.57) 18(10.29) 28(16.00) 7(4.00) 5(2.86) 6(3.43) 175

*Values in parentheses are in percentage

Knowledge Building

Concept Content 3(5.26) Process Convergent Knowledge 38(66.67) (No Subdivision) Divergent Written 3(5.26) Knowledge Visual 4(7.02) Conceptual Product4(7.02) Oriented Participatory 5(8.77) Activity Types Total by Units 57 (100%) NB: Values in parentheses are in percentages

Aggregate Activity by Subdivision

Unit 5 (5 Lessons)

Unit 4 (3 Lessons)

4(5.33) 4(5.33) 1(1.33) 37(49.33)

1(1.72) 2(3.45) 4(6.90) 38(65.52)

2(2.78) 3(4.17) 1(1.39) 46(63.98)

2(3.28) 1(1.64) 41(67.21)

9(2.79) 13(4.03) 6(1.86) 200(61.92)

7(9.33) 4(5.33) 1(1.33) 7(9.33)

3(5.17) 2(3.45) 3(5.17) 2(3.45)

3(4.17) 6(8.33) 1(1.39) 3(4.17)

4(6.56) 5(8.20) 1(1.64) 4(6.56)

20(6.19) 21(6.50) 6(1.86) 20(6.19)

10(13.33) 75

3(5.17) 58

7(9.72) 72

3(4.92) 61

28(8.67) 323

The analysis of the subdivision of activity types suggests prospects in divergence knowledge expression. There are some instances, although not many, of participatory, visual, writing, and product-oriented knowledge expression (see Tables 3 and 4) in the analyzed social studies textbooks. These activities challenge students to share their unique

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

Unit 3 (4 Lessons)

Unit 2 (4 Lessons)

Unit 1 (5Lessons)

Activity Types Subdivision

Activity Types/Units

Table 4 Examination of the Subdivision of Activity Types in Third-Grade Social Studies Textbook

understandings of curriculum content in individualized ways (Hofer & Harris, 2011). The brain-based teaching paradigm supports multiple approaches to knowledge expression because individuals are different in their verbal memory, language processing, vision and depth perception, problem-solving approaches, and social responsiveness (Jensen, 2008). As a result,

PAGE 6


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

teachers should be committed to checking the activities presented in the social studies textbooks to ensure activities enhance meaningful learning. The relative emphasis on visual knowledge expression is admirable, considering the advantage of the visual-based instructional style in teaching and learning. As found by Odebiyi and Salami (2015), most teachers who demonstrate visual-based instructional styles produced students with the highest learning outcome. The visual knowledge expression appears to receive moderate attention in the two textbooks because of the current proliferation of media literacy. It follows that teachers should make efforts to move away from the traditional educational practices which do not teach learners to think but attempt to tell students what they want them to know (Jensen, 2008; Sunal & Haas, 2008). Teachers can mediate the inadequacies of the activities in the social studies textbooks at the classroom level. First, we suggest teachers should understand and apply research-based knowledge in selecting textbook activities and supplement the inadequacies appropriately with primary sources and an inquiry-based approach. Teachers should learn from the empirical evidence presented in this study and other related studies that textbooks and the activities therein favor systemic academic prescriptive curriculum guidelines rather than integration to include the social reconstructionist and humanistic guidelines. As such, teachers should be cognizant of the dangers associated with such orientation (Barton & Levstik, 2004; McNeil, 2015). We suggest that teachers explore different perspectives. By this, we mean teachers should explore all pedagogically appropriate views that can lead students to achieve the goals of the C3 framework. As evident from the findings of this study, activities in social studies textbooks, which are predominantly convergence knowledge expression, represent a closed view of teaching and learning social studies. This contradicts the research-based paradigm that teachers should serve as resources to students, helping students find meaning, and leading them toward selfactualization and participatory, responsible citizenship in a pluralist democracy (Barton & Levstik, 2004; McNeil, 2015; Westheimer &

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

Kahne, 2004). Teachers should clarify their purpose and perspectives before implementing activities in social studies textbooks. They should reflect on whether they intend to help students develop higher-order thinking as opposed the predominant model, which promotes discrete tasks and skills. We thus urge teachers to embrace views emphasising transformational social studies teaching over transmission of subject matter, so that enacted activities will help students acquire usable knowledge and skills. By doing so, teachers will create an environment that does not impede the natural growth of students and helps students use what they have learned beyond studying it (Barton & Levstik, 2004; McNeil, 2015). Overall, converging students’ knowledge may make students resistant to and have trouble understanding new ideas needed to navigate their college, career, and civic life. Undoubtedly, the effective teaching of social studies to achieve C3 goals is more than telling and textbook-dictated activities are but a transition to a more inquirybased approach, which favors the optimum construction of knowledge for participation in democracy. We conclude that activities included in social studies textbooks minimize instruction and learning because the emphasis is on particular knowledge orientation rather than the holistic development of students, which would be more beneficial to individual students, the learning community, and society. . References Alazzi, K., & Chiodo, J. (2004). Students’ perception toward social studies education: A study of middle and high school students in Jordan. International Journal of Scholarly Academic Intellectual Diversity 8(1), 3-12. Allington, R. L. (2002). You can't learn much from books you can't read. Educational Leadership, 60(3), 16-19. Al-Mashaqbeh, I., & Al Shurman, M. (2015). The adoption of tablet and e-textbooks: First-grade core curriculum and school administration attitude. Journal of Education and Practice, 6(21), 188-194. Babaei, B., & Abdi, A. (2014). Textbooks content analysis of social studies and natural sciences of secondary school based on emotional intelligence component. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 2(4), 309-325.

PAGE 7


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

Banks, J. A. (Ed.). (2014). The United States: Communities and neighbors (Student Edition Grade 3). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Education. Barton, K.C. & Levstik, L. S. (2004). Teaching history for the common good. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. DeWitt (2013, March 14). Do textbooks still have a place in schools? Education Week. Retrieved from http:// blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/ 2013/03/do_textbooks_still_ have_a_place_in_ schools.html Ediger, M. (2010). Basal textbooks and the social studies. College Student Journal 44(3), 703-705. Elliott, D. L., Nagel, K.C., & Woodward, A. (1985). Do textbooks belong in elementary social studies? Educational leadership, 42(7), 22-24. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ ed_lead/el_198504_elliott.pdf Epuchie, V. N., & Odebiyi, O. M. (2014). Investigating teachers’ roles and children involvement in classroom activities in the pre-primary public schools in Ibadan Municipal Local Government Council. Alvana Journal of Science, Vocational Education and Technology, 1(1), 69-81. Gak, D. M. (2011). Textbook – An important element in the teaching process. Retrieved from http://epub. ff.uns.ac.rs/index.php/MV/article/download/771/781 Greenes, C. E. (Ed.). (2005). Houghton Mifflin social studies: School and family (Student Edition Level 1). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Hernandez, D. J. (2012). Double jeopardy: How thirdgrade reading skills and poverty influence high school graduation. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. Heyneman, S. P. (2006). The role of textbooks in a modern system of education. In C. Bralavsky (Ed.), Textbooks and the quality learning for all: some lessons learned from international experience. Geneva: International Bureau of Education, 31-93. Hofer, M., & Harris, J. (2011). Social studies learning activity types. Retrieved from http://activitytypes. wm.edu/SocialStudiesLearningATs-Feb2011.pdf Hubbard, J. D., & Price, G. (2013). Cross-culture and technology integration: Examining the impact of a TPACK-focused collaborative project on pre-service teachers and teacher education faculty. Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, 9(1), 131-155. Jensen, E. (2008). Brain-based learning: The new paradigm of teaching (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Keçe, M. (2014, March). Problems related to the teaching of social studies and suggestions for solution: teachers’ opinions based on a qualitative research. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 122, 388392. Knight, B. A. (2015). Teachers’ use of textbooks in the digital age. Cogent Education, 2(1). EJ1087966

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

Krippendorf, K. (2004). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. Larkins, A. G., Hawkins, M. L., & Gilmore, A. (1987). Trivial and non-informative content of elementary social studies: A review of primary texts in four series. Theory & Research in Social Education, 15(4), 299-311. Ling Koh, J. H., Chai, C. S., & Tay, L. Y. (2014, September). TPACK-in-Action: Unpacking the contextual influences of teachers’ construction of technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). Computers & Education, 78, 20-29. Lubben, F., Campbell, B., Kasanda, C., Kapenda, H., Gaoseb, N., & Kandjeo-Marenga, U. (2003). Teachers’ use of textbooks: Practice in Namibian science classrooms. Educational Studies, 29(2/3), 109-25. McNeil, J. D. (2015). Contemporary curriculum in thoughts and action (8th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Misco, T., & Patterson, N. C. (2009). An old fad of great promise: Reverse chronology history teaching in social studies classes. Journal of Social Studies Research, 33(1), 71-90. National Council for the Social Studies. (2016). A vision of powerful teaching and learning in social studies: a position statement. Social Education, 80(3), 180182. National Council for the Social Studies. (2013). The college, career, and civic life (C3) framework for social studies state standards: Guidance for enhancing the rigor of K-12 civics, economics, geography, and history. Silver Spring, MD: NCSS. Niess, M. L. (2011). Investigating TPACK: Knowledge growth in teaching with technology. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 44(3), 299-317. Oakes, J., & Saunders, M. (2002). Access to textbooks, instructional materials, equipment, and technology: Inadequacy and inequality in California's public schools. Los Angeles, CA: UCLA/IDEA. Retrieved from http://escholarship.org/uc/item/4ht4z71v#page-1 Odebiyi, O. M., & Salami, I. A. (2015). Teachers’ instructional style preference and pupils’ academic achievement in Ibadan: Another angle to the knowledge. Asian Journal of Education and eLearning, 3(3), 196-201. Passe, J. (2006). New challenges in elementary social studies. The Social Studies, 97(5), 189-192. Pine, J., & Aschbacher, P. (2006). Students’ learning of inquiry in “inquiry” curricula. The Phi Delta Kappan, 88(4), 308-313. Seker, M., & Ilhan, G. O. (2015). Analysing Instructors’ view regarding the efficiency of the Turkish history subjects presented in Turkey social studies textbooks. Educational Research and Reviews, 10(1), 92-100.

PAGE 8


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

Simmons, C. (2017). African American history textbooks on the market: Suggestions for teachers and school districts. Social Education, 81(1), 43-45. Son, J., & Kim, O. (2015). Teachers’ selection and enactment of mathematical problems from textbooks. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 27(4), 491-518. Sunal, S. C., & Haas, M. E. (2008). Social studies for the elementary and middle grades: A constructivist approach (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education. Swan, K., & Griffin, S. (2013). Beating the odds: The college, career, and civic life (C3) framework for social studies state standards. Social Education, 77(6), 317-317. Tarman, B., & Kuran, B. (2015). Examination of the cognitive level of questions in social studies textbooks and the views of teachers based on Bloom taxonomy. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 15(1), 213-222. Tuomi, J., & Sarajärvi, A. (2009). Qualitative research and content analysis. Helsinki: Tammi. Wen-Cheng, W., Chien-Hung, L., & Chung-Chieh, L. (2011). Thinking of the textbook in the ESL/EFL classroom. English Language Teaching 4(2), 91-96. Westheimer, J., & Kahne, J. (2004). What kind of citizen? The politics of educating for democracy. American Educational Research Journal, 41(2), 237-269.

About the Authors Oluseyi Matthew Odebiyi Mr. Odebiyi is a PhD candidate in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on elementary education and social studies. His research interests include social studies, cultural ideology and pedagogy, out-of-school experiences, and teacher education. Behzad Mansouri Mr. Mansouri is a PhD candidate in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching. His research interests include second language acquisition, cognition, and language.

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

PAGE 9


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

A Practical Orientation to Grading Kelly S. Brooksher, Armstrong State University

Extensive research has been conducted in the area of grading. This has evolved into recommended best practices in communicating student performance, more specifically acquisition of the standards. Unfortunately, a majority of teachers are unfamiliar with best practice when it comes to establishing processes and procedures for how their students should be evaluated, assessed, and graded. Considering teachers usually do not enter the profession with a strong foundation that supports effective grading practices, teachers tend to model grading practices from a peer, cooperating teacher from college, or worse, how they themselves were graded in school. This, in turn, is perpetuating a lifetime of ineffective practices regarding grading (Boothroyd, McMorris, & Pruzek, 1992; Delisio, 2004; Frary, Cross, & Weber, 1992; Gullickson & Hopkins, 1987; Muñoz & Guskey, 2015; Schafer & Lissitz, 1987; Stiggins, 1988). Research has identified ten best practices that teachers should understand when it comes to making sure a grade is an accurate and true reflection of what a student has learned. These include 1) using total points or categories, 2) using two assessment categories, 3) having no grade worth 10% or more, 4) using the “Rule of Nine,” 5) not using zeroes, 6) not grading effort, 7) grading standards, 8) grading homework, 9) grading incomplete work, and 10) knowing grading biases. Total Points or Categories – Pick One Teachers today begin their first year of teaching overwhelmed with new information

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

about their school district, school, and class. Also, most times, they are introduced to an electronic gradebook system that they have never utilized. They are supposed to use this system to enter assignments and grades in an effort to communicate with the students and parents about progress in the class. Considering the gradebook is usually prescribed by the district or school, teachers must understand the math used to calculate assignment and course grades. The two most common ways for calculating grades are through the use of total points or weighted categories. In an effort to limit confusion, teachers should either use total points or weighted categories when calculating grades. Calculating a grade using total points involves taking the total points earned by the student and dividing by the total possible points that could have been earned. A weighted category includes specific types of tasks being grouped into categories that are worth a certain percentage of the overall grade for the course. For example, a grade book may have two categories – summative and formative. Summative may have six different tasks and be worth 60% and formative may have 10 tasks that are worth 40%, totaling 100%. Using a combination of these two grading platforms convolutes the grade book and make the grades unclear. As educators, we need to be able to explain how a grade is derived with clarity and confidence. Considering the lack of foundational skills related to grading, it is essential that teachers fully understand their grade book while keeping it both clean and concise (Brooksher, 2009).

PAGE 10


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

Two Assessment Categories In an effort to keep a grade book clean and concise, teachers may choose to have two categories within the gradebook. For example, many teachers are selecting “formative” and “summative” as the two categories within the gradebook. Not only does this keep a more simplistic grade book, but also aligns with the academic language used in classrooms. These are excellent categories, as any type of graded task aligns with one of the two categories. This releases teachers from the former typical categories of “classwork,” “quizzes,” “tests,” and “projects.” If “projects” is its own category, then the teacher is locked into having a graded project each term. If a grade is never entered into the “project” category, then the percentage of points allotted to that category is distributed among the other categories. By using “formative” and “summative,” teachers provide themselves the opportunity and flexibility to not have a project. Additionally, if a project is assigned, teachers now have the flexibility to choose whether the project is formative or summative (Brooksher, 2009). No Grade Should be Worth 10% or More The 100-point grading scale is the most widely used and most controversial scale used in classrooms (Dockery, 1995; Guskey, 1994; Wormeli, 2006). While this scale is commonly used, Wormeli has warned that the use of larger scales, like the 100-point grading scale, is more subjective. It was found that the 100-point scale made it difficult for teachers to accurately link a score to an assessed skill. Also, he found that nonacademic factors began to influence the outcome of a final grade due to the subjectivity within the large range. Based on the subjectivity that is a result of the large range of the 100-point grading scale, it was difficult to assess whether a student had really mastered a specific concept or skill. It is important that teachers understand and can conceptualize the 100-point scale when it comes to percentages. As simple as this sounds, a student who misses two questions on a 10question quiz using the 100-point grading scale scores an 80% on that quiz. When teachers develop their plans for a course and consider the

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

number, type, and value as it relates to each assessment they will be assigning as part of that course, they need to be cognizant of percentages and their potential impact on a students’ course grade. For this reason, it is essential that teachers understand what happens if they allow a single assessment or assessment item to count more than 10% of the overall assessment or category weight. If teachers are not proactive as they develop a course or individual assessment, and an item on the assessment or the assessment itself is valued at more than 10%, this single item can raise or drop the individual assessment or course grade by an entire letter grade. Considering many teachers have to deal with state and/or local mandates that require them to place certain values on certain assessments, it is critical that teachers understand what I refer to as the “10% rule.” I have worked with many teachers who set up their grade books and unintentionally ended up giving only one or two assessments in a weighted category that totaled more than 50% of a course grade. As a result of this poor planning or lack of understanding, a student could fail or pass a course based on one assessment grade. In all my years in teacher development, I have never seen this mistake occur as a result of malicious intent; it is almost always a lack of training and understanding. A simple rule that teachers can follow is to make sure to have one more assignment than percentage points allotted to the category. For example, if a formative category is worth 40% of the entire grade, then there should be five or more assignments in the category. If it were 60%, then there should be seven or more assignments. This simple strategy ensures equity within the grade book. Using the “Rule of Nine” This may be considered the “common sense rule.” Since most teachers are dealing with a 100-point scale in which 90-100 is equal to an A, we can call it the “rule of nine.” At the end of a grading period, teachers need to look at all averages ending in nine, in relation to the example 89. A student’s average that is on the cusp of the grading scale should be examined more closely. Teachers must take the time to look at the grades from the term and determine

PAGE 11


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

if, in actuality, the student earned a 90/A rather than an 89/B. If so, they should report the student as having earned an A. Teachers cannot allow a computerized grade book to determine students’ mastery of the standards. As a reflective practitioner in situations like this, it is a good idea to ask whether the student truly mastered 69% of the material taught or could it have been 70%, and so on. Never be afraid to question any established formula or rule in a grade book as an educator. Always remember that you are the teacher and your professional judgment is more valuable and powerful than any number. An important note: if you are working with a grading scale where 92-100 is an A, then you would want to look at the 91s in your gradebook, and so on for each respective letter grade. Zeroes The use of the zero is one of the most controversial and heavily debated grading topics among educators today. Statistically, recovering from a zero is extremely difficult, and assigning zeroes can have a distressing effect on student grades. Giving a student a zero for an assignment will skew a student’s average for any particular course (Cristea, 2007; Guskey & Bailey, 2001; McMillan, 1999). Reeves (2004) explained, “To insist on the use of a zero in a 100-point grading scale is to assert that work that is not turned in deserves a penalty that is many times more severe than that assessed for work” (p. 325). Research has shown that receiving a zero affects motivation and results in a failing grade in a course. School systems and individual schools have developed policies that incorporate alternatives to using zeroes as part of a grade book. These policies are created to help eliminate the devastating impact a zero can have on a course grade. It is important that all educators not only understand but believe that the grading practice of giving zeroes has serious repercussions on students’ grades, course outcomes, and overall motivation toward school (Cristea, 2007; Dockery, 1995; McMillan, 1999; O’Connor, 2002; Wormeli, 2006).

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

Effort Research indicates that in addition to the use of tests, quizzes, and essays, teachers grade effort. This practice inflates the grades of the students and does not accurately reflect the acquisition of standards. Effort is a component that should be recognized in isolation of academic grades. As teachers begin to see this as a necessity, it in turn creates another problem. Parents typically focus on the letter grades and pay little attention to the behavior indicators, where effort is recorded, on a report card. Through constructive and purposeful parent-teacher communication, educators can teach parents the importance of the behavior indicators and what that data reveals about their children. For example, Student 1 makes a “C” in a content area, and the effort score is exceptional. Student 2 has an “A” and an unsatisfactory score in the area of effort. By separating acquisition of skills and effort, educators have a more accurate reflection of the students’ progress. Student A is a hard-worker and is proficient with the standards. Student B is excelling within the standards, but time needs to be devoted to learning the root of the lack of effort. When effort remains within the academic grade, both Student 1 and Student 2 have a “B” in the content area. The grade indicates that both are successfully mastering the standards when in fact it is quite different. Educators must begin to reshape the thinking of students and parents to understand that effort is important even though it is not reflected within the letter grade. Grading Standards, Not Behaviors Like effort, grading behaviors should not be a part of an academic grade (Nava & Lloyd, 1992; Pilcher, 1994; Wright & Weise, 1988). Educators may apply the same concept of grading effort to grading other classroom behaviors as well. Again, academic grades should solely consist of students’ acquisition of the standards. As with effort, behaviors should be reported in the behavior indicators. Common ineffective practices of grading behaviors includes extra credit for good behavior, deduction of points for poor behavior, tardiness, forgetting to put a name on a paper, talking out of turn, or lack of participation. Taking points

PAGE 12


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

away for these behaviors is likely to interfere with a student’s motivation, in particular for struggling students (Cross & Frary, 1999; DeBruyn, 2004; Dockery, 1995; Winger, 2005; Zoeckler, 2007). Again the academic grade becomes convoluted when behavior is included. No matter the challenge, teachers must not grade behaviors in the classroom. Incentivizing students to have appropriate behavior should not be rewarded or penalized through their academic grades. Grading Homework: Should We? Grading homework has been identified as a practice to review and implement with caution. Best practices in grading homework assignments suggest that homework should be for practice, not evaluation. Research shows that students receive little to no help with homework at home. Homework should not be weighted the same as in-class assignments, since these assignments are completed under the direction and assistance of the teacher. Therefore, if homework is graded, credit should be given for effort only. No child should fail due to low grades in the area of homework (Dockery, 1995; Loui, 2006; Winger, 2005). As students progress through school and independent homework completion becomes developmentally appropriate, the way in which homework is graded must be reevaluated. A Kindergartener’s independent completion of homework is vastly different from that of a fifthgrader, an eighth-grader, etc. Teachers and administrators alike must assess what is best in relation to developmental needs in determining the way in which students’ homework is assessed (Brooksher, 2009). Grading Incomplete or Late Work Grading incomplete and late assignments is another dangerous grading practice that deserves attention. Students work at a different paces, and they should not be faulted for needing more time to complete a test or assignment. After all, teachers want to assess their knowledge of the material, not the duration it takes to complete it (DeBruyn, 2004). Of course there exist appropriate opportunities for timed tasks or

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

assessments, but aside from these, the extra time is allowable. Another common practice is deducting points for each day an assignment is late. Teachers are under the misconception that punishing students through grades will motivate them (Reeves, 2004). “Very few students learn from experiences in which there is no hope for positive academic recognition for mastery obtained” (Wormeli, 2006, p. 148). Teachers must consider all aspects of their grading practices with particular attention to any practice that punishes students for incomplete or late work (Guskey, 1994; Wormeli, 2006). Knowing Your Biases Teachers need to take a moment to reflect upon and understand the biases they have within their grading practices. By familiarizing themselves with the research, teachers may then possess the knowledge to understand any biases and formulate ways in which to eliminate or alleviate them. Research has investigated bias related to neatness, names, attractiveness, and the nonacademic factors referenced earlier in the article (Dockery, 1995; Vail, 2005). Dockery (1995) reports that neatness is one of the greatest influences when grading written papers. Teachers consistently grade neatly written papers higher than papers written in messy handwriting. If we as teachers are concerned that we are doing this, teachers can participate in a professional development activity in which a messy paper and a neatly written paper are transcribed to a typed document. Teachers should grade the handwritten set and the typed set of papers. Teachers can then look to see if they graded the handwritten set differently than the typed set. If there is a significant difference, teachers may then reflect upon this bias and plan ways in which to remedy it. Conclusion Grading is the most widely used form of evaluation of students’ acquisition of academic standards. Teachers need to continually evaluate their methods of grading and attempt to understand the implications of their grading practices on students’ grades to ensure that the

PAGE 13


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

grades students earn in their classrooms are fair and equitable. References Boothroyd, R. A., McMorris, R. F., & Pruzek, R. M. (1992, April). What do teachers know about testing and how do they find out? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, San Francisco, CA. Brooksher, K. S. (2009). A comparison of elementary, middle, and high school teachers’ perceptions regarding grading practices, assessment practices, and their professional learning needs. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Samford University, Birmingham, AL. Cristea, J. (2007). Are zeros fair? An analysis of grading practices. Retrieved from http://sciencefool.com/ cabrini/AreZerosFair.pdf. Cross, L. H., & Frary, R. B. (1999). Hodgepodge grading: Endorsed by student and teachers alike. Applied Measurement in Education, 12(1), 53-72. DeBruyn, R. L. (2004). Grading practices that get in the way of learning. Master Teacher, 36(7), 1-2. Delisio, E. R. (2004). Make way for the new report cards. Education World. Retrieved from http://www. educationworld.com/a_issues/chat/chat098.shtml Dockery, E. R. (1995). Better grading practices. Education Digest, 60(5), 34-36. Frary, R. B., Cross, L. H., & Weber, L. J. (1992, April). Testing and grading practices and opinions in the nineties: 1890s or 1990s? Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, San Francisco, CA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED351357). Gullickson, A. R., & Hopkins, K. D. (1987). The context of educational measurement instruction for preservice teachers: Professor perspectives. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 6(3), 12-16. Guskey, T. R. (1994). Making the grade: What benefits students? Educational Leadership, 52(2), 14-20. Guskey, T. R., & Bailey J. M. (2001). Developing grading and reporting systems for student Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Loui, M. C. (2006). Courage in the classroom. College Teaching, 54(2), 221-221. Muñoz, M. A., & Guskey, T. R. (2015). Standardsbased grading and reporting will improve education. The Phi Delta Kappan, 96(7), 64-68. McMillan, J. H. (1999). The devastating effect of zeros on grades: What can be done? (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED428136). Nava, F. J. G., & Lloyd, B. H. (1992). An investigation of achievement and nonachievement criteria in elementary and secondary school grading. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED346145).

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

O’Connor, K. (2002). How to grade for learning. Glenview, IL: Pearson Professional Development. Pilcher, J. K. (1994). The value-driven meaning of grades. Educational Assessment, 2(1), 68-88. Reeves, D. B. (2004). The case against the zero. The Phi Delta Kappan, 86(4), 324-325. Schafer, W. D., & Lissitz, R. W. (1987). Measurement training for school personnel: Recommendations and reality, Journal of Teacher Education, 38(3), 57-63. Stiggins, R. J. (1988). Revitalizing classroom assessment: The highest instructional priority. The Phi Delta Kappan, 69(5), 363-368. Vail, K. (2005). What’s in a name? Maybe a student’s grade! Education Digest, 71(1), 41-43. Winger, T. (2005). Grading to communicate. Educational Leadership, 63(3), 61-65. Wormeli, R. (2006). Fair isn’t always equal: Assessing and grading in the differentiated classroom. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers. Wright, D., & Wiese, M. J. (1988). Teacher judgment in student evaluation: A comparison of grading methods. Journal of Educational Research, 82(1), 10- 14. Zoeckler, L. G. (2007). Moral aspects of grading: A study of high school English teachers’ perceptions. American Secondary Education, 35(2), 83-102.

About the Author Kelly S. Brooksher, EdD Dr. Brooksher is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Childhood and Exceptional Student Education at Armstrong State University. Her diverse background includes K-8 experience in both regular and special education as well as leadership roles as a teacher and administrator. Her research interests include grading and assessment, co-teaching, and rigor in the classroom.

PAGE 14


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

Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Development as Writers and Future Writing Teachers Erinn Bentley and Becky Britton Snow, Columbus State University

With the majority of American states adopting the Common Core State Standards, teachers of all content areas and grade levels are being called upon to teach writing (Mo, Kopke, Hawkins, Troia, & Olinghouse, 2014; National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010). Yet, many teachers outside the English language arts content area may not view teaching writing as their role, and the request to incorporate writing into these disciplines is not always viewed positively (Kohnen, 2013). Unfortunately, these views and beliefs toward writing and writing instruction can have a powerful impact on students’ opinions of writing (Hall, 2016; Hall & Grisham-Brown, 2011; Morgan, 2010; Norman & Spencer, 2005; Street, 2003). As a result, teachers’ attitudes can positively or negatively affect young students at a critical point in their education as foundational writing skills and knowledge are being formed. In order to promote effective writing instruction, teachers must assume this instructional role, possess confidence as writers, and undergo training in appropriate methodology. Not only do in-service teachers need support in writing instruction, those entering the profession also need such training. Writing methods courses can help preservice teachers gain pedagogical knowledge and confidence in their ability to write; further, such courses can allow preservice teachers opportunities to observe and practice pedagogical strategies through field experiences (Colby & Stapleton, 2006; Hall, 2016; Morgan,

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

2010; Zimmerman, Morgan, & Kidder-Brown, 2014). While there is no nationally-mandated content for such a methods course, several educational organizations have put forth recommendations for training writing teachers. The National Writing Project (NWP, n.d.) states, “Knowledge about the teaching of writing comes from many sources: theory and research, the analysis of practice, and the experience of writing.” That is, teachers learn pedagogical knowledge not simply from studying scholarship or theories, but also from analyzing real-world instructional methods and analyzing personal writing experiences. This emphasis placed on personal writing experiences aligns with recommendations put forth by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE, 2016). This organization emphasizes the importance of teachers using the writing process in instruction; further, teachers should learn “the process of writing from the inside, that is, what they themselves as writers experience in a host of different writing situations” (NCTE, 2016). Like NWP (n.d.) and NCTE (2016), others have emphasized the importance of examining one’s own writing processes and experiences to gain “insider’s knowledge” of writing (National Commission on Writing, 2003). As Tom Romano (2007) states, “when teachers of writing write, particularly in the genres they teach, they develop insider knowledge” (p. 171). Through personal writing and reflection, teachers develop insight into the challenges and struggles that students often experience. These writing trial-

PAGE 15


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

and-errors are shared with students, showing that even veteran writers go through similar processes that novice writers do. As preservice teachers practice writing in various genres and reflect on their growth as writers, their attitudes and beliefs as writers and future teachers may be impacted. For instance, research shows that teacher education programs that offer effective writing methods courses can positively alter damaging beliefs and attitudes candidates may possess (Colby & Stapleton, 2006; Gallavan, Bowles, & Young, 2007; Hall, 2016; Morgan, 2010; Zimmerman et al., 2014). If prospective teachers do not possess a confidence in their own writing, they may not develop a solid confidence in their ability to teach others how to write (Zimmerman et al., 2014). Thus, there is an extraordinary need for teacher education programs to provide courses on how to teach writing as well as build preservice teachers’ confidence and skills within those courses through personal writing experiences and reflections (National Commission on Writing, 2003). Of course, learning to teach cannot solely take place within a methods classroom nor through reflection on one’s individual writing experiences. Preservice teachers also need opportunities to observe veteran teachers and work with “real” student writers. The International Literacy Association (ILA, 2015) recommends that preservice teachers gain extensive knowledge of literacy standards and pedagogical strategies appropriate for their intended grade levels and content areas; next, preservice teachers should have opportunities to teach literacy-focused lessons in the field. After all, it is through field experiences that preservice teachers apply theories learned from coursework in real-world settings. According to several education organizations (ILA, 2015; NCTE, 2016; NWP, n.d.), then, a balanced approach to writing teacher education is recommended – including study of theory, pedagogy, “insider knowledge” of writing, and field observations and experiences. In recent years, various studies have been conducted to determine the efficacy of writing methods courses and field experiences for preparing future teachers of writing (Colby &

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

Stapleton, 2006; Hall, 2016; Hall & GrishamBrown, 2010; Morgan, 2010; Zimmerman et al., 2014). Specifically, the aforementioned studies have focused on undergraduate elementary education majors – including their perceived confidence in writing and their beliefs and confidence in regard to teaching writing. Findings show that the more opportunities preservice teachers have with individuals and groups of students, the better chances they have of building the confidence needed to teach writing effectively (Colby & Stapleton, 2006; Hall, 2016; Hall & Grisham-Brown, 2010; Morgan, 2010; Zimmerman et al., 2014). Colby and Stapleton (2006) discovered that preservice teachers enrolled in a dual course of curriculum and language arts instruction gained confidence in their own writing and their abilities to teach writing, as well as their beliefs in the value of writing instruction. By analyzing written reflections of teacher candidates, the authors found that one of the main themes consistently reported was that as the writing methods course progressed, teacher candidates discovered their own personal views of teaching writing (Colby & Stapleton, 2006). The preservice teachers found that through reflecting on and applying theories of writing instruction with students, they established a “solid foundation for teaching students writing” (Colby & Stapleton, 2006, p. 370). Although preservice teachers delivered lessons to students in classroom environments, their field experiences were limited to working with a group of eight students in second grade classrooms for two hours per week. The teacher-student ratio, selective grade level, and number of practicum hours provided a limitation to this study. In a study conducted by Morgan (2012) with 42 preservice teachers in a writing methods course, findings showed that participants’ confidence levels as writers and as future teachers of writing rose throughout the semester, and “that students saw themselves as more able and confident as a result of their experiences” (p. 363). These teacher candidates spent 16 weeks engaging in various writing assignments to build their insider knowledge and gain experience understanding the writing process from a student-writer’s perspective. However, while

PAGE 16


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

teacher candidates gained confidence as writers, they did not apply their pedagogical and practical knowledge in classroom settings. Hall and Grisham-Brown (2010) conducted a research study with student teachers in the final semester of their teacher education program by forming focus groups to discuss personal and instructional writing experiences and to discover their attitudes and beliefs about writing. Several themes emerged from the analysis of the focus groups. Student teachers reflected on writing experiences that occurred throughout their teacher training courses and shared their plans for using writing in their future classrooms. A consistent theme among most participants was the importance of the feedback, both positive and negative, they received from instructors about their writing assignments. When positive feedback was provided, participants’ confidence in writing increased. The authors noted that through self-reflections about writing, teacher candidates can develop positive attitudes and beliefs about writing and teaching writing. Though this study affirmed the beneficial roles writing methods courses can play in preservice teacher development, this study was situated during the student teaching semester, thus requiring participants to rely on their memories of past coursework experiences rather than their current experiences participating in methods coursework. Hall’s (2016) recent research study focused on early childhood seniors in a semester-long writing methods course dedicated to teaching writing instruction based on conceptual and pedagogical tools, as well as providing experience with writing instruction in elementary classrooms. Preservice teachers participated in modeled writing lessons in the college course and then applied the conceptual and pedagogical knowledge gained with elementary students in the classroom. Hall found changes in the preservice teachers’ beliefs and attitudes concerning the “(a) definition of early childhood writing, (b) importance of writing instruction, and (c) self-efficacy related to teaching writing” (p. 148). The study revealed a positive change in how participants felt about writing instruction at the elementary level, along with how they viewed themselves as teachers of writing. This study did

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

not, however, investigate how the development of insider knowledge may or may not impact preservice teachers’ confidence as writers and teachers of writing. These past studies (Colby & Stapleton, 2006; Hall, 2016; Hall & Grisham-Brown, 2010; Morgan, 2010) have proven the efficacy of teacher preparation coursework for preparing writing teachers. Yet, these studies have focused on a methods course with limited field experience, a methods course itself, the experiences of student teachers, or a methods course or field experience with no ongoing, regular participation in creative writing, such as through a writer’s notebook. The goal of this study is to determine to what extent a writing methods course – along with an extensive field experience and opportunities to develop insider knowledge – prior to student teaching impacts elementary preservice teachers’ perceived confidence and skills as writers as well as their perceived ability to teach writing. The following research questions were examined: (1) What were the preservice teachers’ attitudes and beliefs about themselves as writers and future teachers of writing? (2) How did gaining “insider knowledge” through the methods course impact preservice teachers’ attitudes and beliefs as writers and teachers? (3) How did participating in the extensive field experience impact preservice teachers’ attitudes and beliefs as writers and teachers? Context for Study The participants of this qualitative study were preservice teachers attending a public master’slevel university in the southeastern United States. All 18 participants were undergraduate early childhood education majors enrolled in a required writing methods course with a co-requisite field placement in a local P-5 classroom. The writing methods course was situated in the second semester of the teacher education program and was co-requisitely taken with early childhood curriculum and social studies field placement courses. The writing methods course was located on-site at the elementary school where preservice teachers conducted their field placements. Preservice teachers began the semester gaining pedagogical knowledge in writing instruction

PAGE 17


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

Findings

confident in academic writing tasks; 94% reported feeling confident in personal writing contexts; 17% reported feeling confident as teachers of writing; and 94% reported serving as a positive role model a goal of theirs. The postquestionnaires administered at the end of the semester revealed the following changes: 44% reported enjoying writing throughout their lives; 50% reported feeling confident in academic writing tasks (see Figure 1); 89% reported feeling confident in personal writing contexts (see Figure 1); 72% reported feeling confident as teachers of writing (see Figure 2); and 100% reported serving as a positive role model a goal of theirs (see Figure 3).

17

No. of Participants

before entering an assigned classroom to fulfill the required fifty hours of field work. After the initial observations and assistance in the classroom, preservice teachers applied the knowledge and skills gained during the methods course in whole-class writing instruction. Preservice teachers were required to plan and teach a three- to five-day writing lesson sequence in their assigned classroom. Aside from instructional responsibilities within the classroom, preservice teachers also submitted a writer’s notebook completed throughout the semester and field placement journals reflecting on their weekly experiences. Data sources included participants’ pre- and post-questionnaires, journals from their field experiences, reflections on lessons taught within their field experiences, and reflections on writing notebooks they composed over the course of the semester. As data were collected, two researchers, one faculty member and one graduate assistant, performed a thematic analysis (Creswell, 2007), looking for how the preservice teachers described their confidence levels, attitudes, and beliefs as writers and as writing teachers. Initially, researchers coded data independently to identify key themes and patterns. Next, researchers compared their analyses, identified key themes, and determined a shared system for coding data. These thematic categories were used to analyze each data set.

16

15 10

9

8

5 0 Pre

Post

Agree/Strongly Agree I feel confident as a writer in academic contexts. I feel confident as a writer in personal contexts.

Figure 1. Comparison of confidence in academic writing versus personal writing contexts.

The pre- and post-questionnaire results were used to examine the following research questions in this study: (1) What were the preservice teachers’ attitudes and beliefs about themselves as writers and future teachers of writing? (2) How did gaining “insider knowledge” through the methods course impact preservice teachers’ attitudes and beliefs as writers and teachers? (3) How did participating in the extensive field experience impact preservice teachers’ attitudes and beliefs as writers and teachers? The pre-questionnaire administered at the beginning of the semester showed the following findings: 55% of participants reported enjoying writing throughout their lives; 44% reported feeling

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

No. of Participants

Pre- and Post-Questionnaire Results: 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0

13

3

Pre

Post

Agree/Strongly Agree

Figure 2. Participants’ perceived confidence as teachers of writing.

PAGE 18


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

18

17

18

Pre

Post

No. of Participants

16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Agree/Strongly Agree

Figure 3. Participants whose goal it is to be a writing role model for elementary students.

As preservice teachers participated in the writing methods training and extensive field experience, positive changes were seen in both feeling confident as teachers of writing as well as having the goal to be a positive role model for their students. Where preservice teachers’ feelings about themselves as writers remained consistent for both pre- and post-questionnaires, their feelings of confidence as teachers of writing increased significantly over the semester. Confidence as Writers and Teachers of Writing The first goal of this study was to determine the preservice teachers’ attitudes and beliefs about themselves as writers and future teachers of writing. Was writing an enjoyable activity in which these preservice teachers had always engaged? In which area were participants more confident – as writers in personal contexts or writers in academic settings? Through analysis of pre-questionnaires, approximately half of the participants reported enjoyed writing throughout their lives. Among that half, many explained that being able to choose writing topics or engage in creative writing brought more enjoyment for them than being told what to write. One participant responded, “At times I enjoyed writing, but other times I did not like the topic which caused me to not enjoy writing as much.” Another commented, “Writing has always been my favorite because it’s a good way to express

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

myself.” As preservice teachers continued with the pre-questionnaire questions concerning feeling more confident in academic writing or personal writing, the data revealed a higher confidence level in personal writing than academic areas. For example, one participant stated that, “I feel that I’m a good writer, but I don’t always feel as confident when writing papers for school,” and “I enjoy writing in personal contexts because it’s easier for me to express myself.” Similarly, another wrote that she becomes “overwhelmed too easily” in academic writing settings, and added that “because [writing] is on a more personal level and not graded, I feel more confident my ideas will be accepted.” The theme of higher confidence levels in personal writing situations was common across the participants, and remained consistent throughout the remainder of the study. In addition to looking at the confidence level in one’s own writing, how did preservice teachers feel about their confidence in teaching writing to elementary students before participating in the writing methods course? Did the combination of learning writing methodologies and pedagogies to apply in extensive field experiences increase their confidence levels? As participants progressed throughout the semester acquiring strategies to teach writing, they applied their newly gained knowledge through real-world experiences in the classroom by creating and delivering lesson plans to elementary students. Many preservice teachers cited that by participating in the writing methods course and applying learned strategies in the classroom, they have a better understanding of the expectations with respect to mechanics and components of teaching writing. As the data reveals from the pre- and post-questionnaires, preservice teachers’ confidence levels jumped from 16% to 72%, showing a considerable increase in the way that participants viewed themselves as teachers of writing. As one participant commented, “I feel that I’m able to teach writing effectively now because I’ve had practice doing so.” Similarly, another preservice teacher wrote, “I feel that I will be able to provide students with the appropriate writing knowledge, even if I have to do further research.” This last comment reveals another common theme seen among preservice teachers whose

PAGE 19


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

self-assuredness grew in the area of writing and teaching writing. While increased confidence levels in teaching writing is apparent from the reflections on learned pedagogy and practicum experience, many preservice teachers noted that additional practice and experiences are also needed. One preservice teacher explained, “I still have a lot to learn, but I am confident that I can do a good job.” As with any area in teacher education programs, the more practice and experience preservice teachers have with teaching writing, the more effective their instructional strategies will become. “I have had practice now and have worked with varying levels of ability, but still want more practice.” Insider Knowledge A second goal of this study was to determine how gaining insider knowledge as writers impacted preservice teachers’ attitudes and beliefs as writers and teachers. That is, what knowledge did the preservice teachers acquire from examining their own writing practices and experiences? How did such knowledge affect them as teachers? It was evident in the data collected that the writer’s notebook portion of the methods course significantly impacted their acquisition and use of insider knowledge. The preservice teachers composed three entries each week in a writer’s notebook, and they submitted a reflection about this experience at the end of the semester. In both their reflections and postquestionnaire comments, preservice teachers described keeping this notebook as a positive experience. Specifically, they commented on how the notebooks afforded them a place to be creative as they recorded their thoughts, ideas, frustrations, and feelings. One preservice teacher described composing in her notebook as “therapeutic;” she wrote, “the love of creating images by using a flurry of words and a pen was enticing” and “I had an opportunity to do something I love for a grade.” Similarly, another wrote, “We are always so caught up in technology that we never have time to just sit down with a pencil and paper and get our thoughts down.” Overall, the preservice teachers enjoyed being able to write freely and creatively rather than writing in response to predetermined topics.

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

In addition to viewing the notebooks as a space to engage in creative self-expression, the preservice teachers also noted that writing three entries per week forced them to think carefully about their writing topics. That is, they could not simply give up if they felt they had exhausted all of their ideas; instead, they had to continually develop new topics and ideas. As one preservice teacher explained, “I would run out of subjects to write about and would have to get creative and think about other ways to write. This was difficult but it made the content richer when I had to dig deeper for what I wanted to write about.” Another preservice teacher, who admitted to not feeling confident as a writer, felt similarly. She wrote, “I have never thought of the different things I could write about. After coming up with a few topics, I found that there were several things I was actually interested in writing about. I ended up writing a lot more . . . in each entry than I thought I would.” Without specific notebook topics provided, then, the preservice teachers learned how to face the challenge of the “blank page.” They discovered through their own writing process how to develop prompts and topics that were creative and motivating. This knowledge was something they could then take into their future classrooms. As one preservice teacher noted, “I’ve found myself looking up writing challenges/prompts to use in my own writer’s notebook. This also helps me see what I could do with my students.” Next, the preservice teachers viewed the notebook itself as an instructional tool. In fact, all 18 participants stated that they plan to use such a notebook in their future classrooms. One wrote, “I feel that the writer’s notebook was a fantastic assignment in the classroom and I see myself using this in my own classroom with my own set of students because of the positive experience I had with the assignment.” They also described specific ways they might use a notebook to model writing techniques for their students. One preservice teacher said the notebook helped her “be more expressive” as a writer; she noted, “that is a great trait that I can pass on to my future students.” Others described using a notebook as a weekly assessment, an interactive writing tool, a prewriting tool, and a place where students could imitate the authors

PAGE 20


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

they were studying. The preservice teachers, then, were able to transfer their experiences as notebook writers into pedagogical practices they might implement in the future. Finally, the preservice teachers described the importance of sharing their notebooks and other forms of writing within their classrooms. As one explained, “I mostly believe that when you’re teaching writing to students that you’re trying to teach them that they can be authors, and teach them to develop a love for writing. It would be beneficial for them to see that you have a love for writing as well.” Another commented, “In the future, I would make sure to share my writing with students to get them to see that even their teacher loves writing.” As they reflected on their experiences as writers and teachers within the writer’s notebook, then, their sense of insider knowledge grew. That is, preservice teachers did not view keeping a writer’s notebook as simply a course assignment. Instead, through this semester-long experience, they acknowledged the importance of writing for themselves as a creative outlet, as a means for better understanding writing topics and techniques, and as a way to model what it means to “be a writer” within their future classrooms. Field Experiences: From Writing Student to Writing Teacher A third goal of this study was to determine how participating in the extensive field experience impacted preservice teachers’ attitudes and beliefs as writers and teachers. That is, in what ways were they able to apply insider knowledge and pedagogical knowledge gained in the methods course within a real-world elementary classroom? As part of the preservice teachers’ field work requirements, they spent 50 hours assisting in an elementary classroom throughout the semester, and they designed and taught a three- to five-day lesson sequence focused on teaching writing. From analyzing their field journals and lesson reflections, it was evident that the preservice teachers embraced a process-based approach to teaching writing, and they frequently shared their own writing with their students. Two key learning outcomes for the methods course were for preservice teachers (1) to use a

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

wide range of instructional strategies to model and teach students how to compose in various genres; and (2) to reflect on their knowledge, insights, and experiences related to planning and instruction gained from their field experiences. Through course readings and in-class activities, preservice teachers were introduced to a processbased approach to teaching writing (Fletcher & Portalupi, 2001; McCarrier, Pinnell, & Fountas, 2000). Additionally, the course instructor taught demonstration lessons within the field placement classrooms so preservice teachers might see how to apply pre-writing, drafting, and revising strategies within a real-world setting. As the preservice teachers assisted in their classrooms and reflected on their teaching experiences, they described specific components of the writing process and analyzed their students’ abilities to perform these process steps. For instance, one preservice teacher discovered that her students struggled in the brainstorming phase because they misunderstood the prompt. She explained, “If I were to teach this lesson again, I would definitely model how to complete the writing prompt. I could’ve . . . walked the students through it and explained what was expected from them.” Other preservice teachers believed they could have improved their teaching of the pre-writing phase by providing students with a graphic organizer and samples of writing, by co-writing a sample with students, and by choosing writing topics that were more relatable to students. Preservice teachers also reflected on ways they might adjust teaching the drafting and revising stages based on their students’ learning needs. One attempted to use whole-group instruction to teach her first grade students how to compose an opinion piece. She felt the lesson was “chaotic,” and determined that using stations would have been a better approach for facilitating the students as they drafted. She noted that the stations “would have allowed me to give more students more one-on-one attention during the writing process.” Regarding the revising stage, one preservice teacher realized that her students needed more explicit instructions as they reviewed their peers’ work. She commented, “Giving the students a checklist to go by would have cleared up a lot of misconceptions.”

PAGE 21


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

Another discovered that she planned a peer review workshop too early in the writing process. Her students were simply asked to edit an individual sentence, and they finished the task very quickly. She said, “Our problem came mostly from underestimating our students, so we are hoping that when they have to put the sentences together to make a paragraph, there will be more editing to do.” These reflections indicated that preservice teachers thought carefully and critically about their application of writing process steps within their field work classrooms. Discussion The preservice teachers’ responses and reflections about their experiences in the writing methods course and field placement provided valuable insights into the growth of the participants as writers and as future teachers of writing. Like similar studies that have focused on such methods courses for training preservice writing teachers (Colby & Stapleton, 2006; Hall, 2016; Hall & Grisham-Brown, 2010; Morgan, 2010), a key theme identified in the current study was the participants’ perceived self-confidence as writers and teachers of writing. Preservice teachers examined their own writing practices by keeping a writer’s notebook and drew upon those experiences to anticipate future teaching practices. Through coursework assignments and the writer’s notebook, the preservice teachers expanded their insider knowledge and learned methods for teaching process-based writing. Finally, by designing and teaching a writing lesson sequence, they applied pedagogical knowledge and practical knowledge in classroom settings. The majority of the participants entered the course and field experience with the desire to be a writing role model for their students and the confidence in their ability to write in personal and creative ways. Many of the comments made by preservice teachers throughout the course reflected their enjoyment in writing for personal contexts, and that they would like for their students to develop a similar pleasure. Common statements included, “I want my students to have a passion for writing” and “form a love for it just as I have.” In order to encourage this “passion”

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

for writing, participants agreed that their K-12 students needed encouragement and motivation. From the start of the semester until the end, the participants’ positive attitudes and beliefs toward modeling writing and their enjoyment of personal and creative writing did not lessen, indicating their commitment to being positive writing role models for their students. While previous studies have also demonstrated the positive impact writing methods coursework can have on preservice elementarylevel teachers, these studies have focused on a methods course with limited field experience (Colby & Stapleton, 2006), a methods course with no field experience (Morgan, 2010), the experiences of student teachers (Hall & GrishamBrown, 2010), or a methods course without a distinct focus on preservice teachers developing their insider knowledge through weekly creative writing activities (Hall, 2016). This current study indicated that the combination of methods coursework with an extensive field experience allowed the preservice teachers the opportunity to not simply study pedagogical strategies and theories; they also were able to apply their knowledge by teaching a three- to five-lesson sequence. Additionally, through the writer’s notebook experience, the preservice teachers gained valuable insights about themselves as writers and developed ideas for teaching writing. Finally, this methods course and field experience were situated early in the preservice teachers’ preparation program at two semesters prior to student teaching. Therefore, the preservice teachers may be able to expand upon their current pedagogical knowledge and self-confidence as writers as they complete additional coursework, field experiences, and student teaching. In short, these preservice teachers will have a full year to continue developing as writing teachers before they complete the program and enter their own classrooms. Based on the findings from this study, then, the incorporation of writing experiences, pedagogical training, and extensive fieldwork in a writing methods course early in a preparation program clearly helped these preservice teachers develop confidence as writers and teachers of writing.

PAGE 22


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

References Colby, S. A., & Stapleton, J. N. (2006). Preservice teachers teach writing: Implications for teacher educators. Reading Research and Instruction, 45(4), 353-376. Creswell, J. (2007). Qualitative inquiry & research design (2nd ed.). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska. Fletcher, R., & Portalupi, J. (2001). Writing Workshop. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Gallavan, N. P., Bowles, F. A., & Young, C. T. (2007). Learning to write and writing to learn: Insights from teacher candidates. Action in Teacher Education, 29(2), 61-69. Hall, A. H. (2016). Examining shifts in preservice teachers’ beliefs and attitudes toward writing instruction. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 37(2), 142-156. Hall, A. H., & Grisham-Brown, J. (2011). Writing development over time: Examining preservice teachers’ attitudes and beliefs about writing. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 32(2), 148-158. International Literacy Association. (2015). Preliminary report on teacher preparation for literacy instruction. Retrieved from http://www.literacy worldwide.org/docs/default-source/where-westand/teacher-preparation-report.pdf?sfvrsn=4 Kohnen, A. (2013). Content-area teachers as teachers of writing. Teaching/Writing: The Journal of Writing Teacher Education, 2(1), p. 29-33. McCarrier, A., Pinnell, G. S., & Fountas, I. C. (2000). Interactive Writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Mo, Y., Kopke, R. A., Hawkins, L. K., Troia, G. A., & Olinghouse, N. G. (2014). The neglected “R” in the time of common core. The Reading Teacher, 67(6), p. 445-453. Morgan, D. N. (2010). Preservice teachers as writers. Literacy Research and Instruction, 49(4), 352-365. National Commission on Writing for America’s Families, Schools, and Colleges. (2003). The neglected “R”: The need for a writing revolution. Retrieved from http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/2523 National Council of Teachers of English. (2016). Professional knowledge for the teaching of writing. Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/positions/ statements/teaching-writing National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, & Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010). Kindergarten introduction. Standards for Mathematical Practice. Retrieved from http://www. corestandards.org/ National Writing Project. (n.d.). About NWP. Retrieved from http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/doc/ about.csp Norman, K. A., & Spencer, B. H. (2005). Our lives as writers: Examining preservice teachers’experiences and beliefs about the nature of writing and writing

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

instruction. Teacher Education Quarterly, 32(1), 25-40. Romano, T. (2007). Teaching writing from the inside. In K. Beers, R. E. Probst, & L. Rief (Eds.), Adolescent literacy: Turning promise into practice (pp. 167178). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Street, C. (2003). Pre-service teachers’ attitudes about writing and learning to teach writing: Implications for teacher educators. Teacher Education Quarterly, 30(3), 33-50. Zimmerman, B. S., Morgan, D. N., & Kidder-Brown, M. K. (2014). The use of conceptual and pedagogical tools as mediators of preservice teachers’ perceptions of self as writers and future teachers of writing. Action in Teacher Education, 36(2), 141-156.

About the Authors Erinn Bentley, PhD Dr. Bentley is an associate professor of English education at Columbus State University. She previously taught English at the K-12 level in Japan and the United States. In 2016, she was named the Teacher of the Year for the Georgia Council of Teachers of English. Becky Britton Snow Ms. Snow is a Master of Arts in Teaching candidate and a graduate research assistant at Columbus State University. She is pursuing her graduate degree in Early Childhood Education.

PAGE 23


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

Pre-Service Teacher Field Experience Reflections: A Qualitative Case Study on Attitudes Toward Control, Behavior, Students, and Self Robert W. Spires, Deborah C. Pine, and J. T. Cox, Valdosta State University

Educational reform is not a new notion and the contemporary conceptualization of education reform focused on innovation to improve student learning dates back to the Cold War Era when the passage of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 1965 ushered in a period of intense scrutiny of public schooling (U.S. Department of Education, n.d.). Since that time the federal government has implemented a series of measures to increase accountability, including high stakes testing, intended to increase educational innovation as well as close achievement gaps for disadvantaged students. Recent educational reforms have transformed public education, and no educator was left untouched by the 2001 introduction of the mandatory high stakes testing of No Child Left Behind (U.S. Department of Education, n.d.). In 2008, Race to the Top included competitive grants and a move toward a national curriculum (U.S. Department of Education, n.d.). Most recently in 2015, the newest national-level reform of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) enacted commitments toward college and career readiness initiatives, a relaxing of high stakes testing mandates, and a push for more flexible innovative practices (U.S. Department of Education, n.d.). Reforms not only ushered in emphatic use of technology, but also encouraged teachers to focus on student-centered instructional approaches and differentiated teaching practices to improve student achievement. An important and largely

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

unanswered question that continues to surface prominently in educational discourse is whether these reforms truly improve student learning outcomes. Despite decades of reform, national testing data from The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, 2015) continues to reveal gaps and lagging scores. For instance, NAEP revealed no score increases for any student group in 2015 compared to 2013 in the area of mathematics, and reading performance for most eighth-grade student groups was lower in comparison to 2013. These findings are concerning and impact the approaches taken by teacher education institutions, as they continue searching for innovative teaching practices to improve student performance. However, teaching innovative approaches to pre-service teachers does not automatically mean that pre-service teachers implement these practices when in their own classrooms. Despite a definitive shift toward studentcentered instruction in contemporary education (Tangney, 2014), which includes emphasis on differentiated approaches to teaching, student choice, student ownership in the learning process, and the teacher as facilitator, the researchers of this study continue to note the difficulty preservice teachers face when implementing these approaches in practice. Therefore, the impetus arose to understand the thinking of pre-service teachers as they navigate between the studentcentered and teacher-centered approaches to their practice. Further, a better understanding of how

PAGE 24


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

pre-service teacher attitudes toward stressors in their teaching practice and their students and classroom management in general is necessary in order to design better approaches to improving pre-service teacher practice and combat poor teaching practices. Background of the Study During their field experiences in classrooms, study participants are required to write daily reflections using guiding prompts over a fourweek period. Reflections are common teacher education practice and give pre-service teachers an outlet to critically analyze their impact on students as well as their personal perceptions of their experiences in the classroom. Costa and Kallick (2008) described reflections as enhancing the meaning of one’s work. Moreover, reflections encourage insight and complex learning. While examining these reflections, several noteworthy patterns emerged from the responses. Despite immersion in student-centered teaching methodologies, working in multiple clinicalbased models, and researching best practices in education, pre-service teachers were often observed by faculty as defaulting to teacherdirected instruction and struggling to differentiate instruction for diverse learners. For example, during the course of this research, one talented graduate teacher candidate who demonstrated tremendous teaching talent with student-centered activities, engaging lessons, and discussions created an opposite environment in the classroom. When prompted to explain such differences, the pre-service teacher declared that the style must remain boring, subdued, and even dull. “If I try to teach these kids the way I presented in my course work, I will lose control of the classroom. The kids could not handle it, they would go bonkers,” the teacher candidate replied. More examination is needed to better understand these attitudes and beliefs and their connection to instructional and classroom management choices. What surfaced from the collected data were multiple perspectives and perceptions that mirrored Haberman’s (2010) traits deemed the pedagogy of poverty. Although the university program’s curriculum and teaching methodologies do not incorporate Haberman’s ideas, they

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

emerged through student perceptions. The researchers drew on Haberman’s work to better explain what seemed to be common negative attitudes in the teacher candidates’ perceptions. In particular, the authors were interested in how teacher candidates move from training in facilitating student-centered instruction with a focus on differentiated learning to teacherdirected instruction with a focus on controlling student behavior. As pre-service teachers move toward professional roles, the researchers are concerned that myriad influences lead pre-service teachers away from best practices and toward disciplinarian attitudes and ineffective teaching. Further exploration is needed to better understand the roots of this thinking and how to address them during teacher education coursework and bridge the gap between theory and practice. The teacher candidate reflections represent a window into preservice teacher attitudes and beliefs as they move closer to becoming teachers. Literature Review Pre-service Teachers’ Attitudes and Beliefs Teacher educators note a wide gap between evidence-based practices and the teaching methods that comprise pre-service teachers’ diverse experiences as students (Borg, 2004; HoltReynolds, 1992; Kagan, 1992; Kennedy, 1998; Richardson, 1990, 2003). Pre-service teachers bring multiple years of classroom observations as students to their teacher preparation programs (Lortie, 1975). Unlike other professions such as medicine and law, teacher candidates have many years of experience in classrooms and have formulated firm assumptions about how teaching is conducted prior to beginning their training (Pajares, 1992). Furthermore, because novice teachers often perceive instructional circumstances as being limiting and uncertain, they may be reluctant to incorporate evidence-based practices over more traditional, behaviorally-based approaches (Haberman, 2010). Pedagogy of Poverty Haberman (2010) described in his groundbreaking article, “The Pedagogy of Poverty Versus Good Teaching,” acts of teaching that were commonly noted in urban schools. These acts, which constitute the core functions of what

PAGE 25


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

Haberman terms urban teaching, include giving information, asking questions, giving directions, making assignments, monitoring seatwork, reviewing assignments, giving tests, reviewing tests, assigning homework, reviewing homework, settling disputes, punishing non-compliance, marking papers, and giving grades. Haberman argued that pedagogy of poverty becomes the default position for teachers who “rely on common sense rather than thoughtful analysis” (p. 82), who perceive progressive education as being overly permissive, and who hold deficit views of minorities. In the current study, the researchers draw on Haberman’s analysis of teacher instructional decision-making to interpret the pre-service teachers’ written reflections. Locus of Control Rotter (1966) differentiated locus of control between two constructs: internal – those who perceive that they have control over the outcomes of their behavior, and external – those who perceive they do not have control over the outcomes. A teacher’s locus of control has been noted to influence his or her individual dispositions toward the classroom and the behavior which impacts students’ academic and behavioral outcomes (Cook, 2012). Research shows that teachers with an orientation of internal locus of control perceive their actions as enhancing student learning and behavioral outcomes (Bulus, 2011; Cook, 2012; Kesici, 2008; Time, 2006). Teachers with an external locus of control believe that there is little contingency between their actions and students’ learning and behavioral outcomes (Chang, 1994; Cook, 2012; Kremer & Lifmann, 1982; Rose & Medway, 1981). Drawing on this work, the researchers intend to further frame the perceptions of pre-service teachers in terms of their locus of control orientation. Research Questions This research will address the following questions: 1) How do pre-service teacher field experience reflections reveal attitudes toward learning and behavior? 2) How do pre-service teacher concerns and anxieties in field experience reflections

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

illustrate the gap between best practices in teacher education and pre-service teacher practice in field experiences? Research question 1 will be answered in the results section. Research question 2 will be addressed in the discussion section. Research Methods Setting The authors of this study are teacher educators in a regional comprehensive university setting in Georgia. Through middle and secondary education programs using a clinical-based professional development school model, teacher candidates are immersed in field experiences throughout the professional courses in the program. This clinicalbased model allows for the teacher candidates to receive pedagogical training in both the university classroom and within authentic classroom settings in the region. The clinical-based model puts university faculty members on public school campuses to support teacher candidates as they matriculate through their teacher preparation programs. This cycle culminates in teaching candidates’ senior year with a four-week apprenticeship, often termed a practicum, prior to a semester-long student teaching requirement. It was during the four-week apprenticeship that the teacher candidate reflections were collected and analyzed, providing a glimpse into the early thinking of pre-service teachers. Partner schools in the region are complex in their make-up, ranging from International Baccalaureate schools, Title I funded schools where a majority of students receive free or reduced lunch, non-Title I schools with a high student population from military families, and neighborhood schools. Teacher candidates work throughout their professional courses with a variety of diverse students in the schools, allowing for teacher candidates to reflect on the differences between various classroom settings and contexts. These varied experiences provide opportunities for faculty to guide and facilitate teacher candidates in developing strong lesson plans with consideration for all learners in a classroom. Although it is common for teacher candidates to struggle with a variety of issues ranging from planning, instruction, and assessment to classroom management, researchers noted further struggles

PAGE 26


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

with teacher candidates in settings with high numbers of students from low-socioeconomic status backgrounds. In these settings, pre-service teachers often quickly resort to traditional teaching and classroom management methods. Participants The current study examines the daily reflections in journal form written by pre-service teachers during a four-week practicum experience, known locally as an apprenticeship, at a regional comprehensive university in southern Georgia. The particular data set comes from 31 pre-service teachers in either an undergraduate middle grades or a master’s secondary education initial teacher certification program. The practicum occurred from October 28 to November 22, 2013. Pre-service teachers were required to respond to a set of questions developed by the teacher training department faculty. Participant data resulted in 415 pages of pre-service teacher writing, which was reduced to thematic data arranged by strength. Study participants varied in several important ways. First, having pre-service teachers from both the undergraduate and master’s levels gave a broader perspective based on the academic background of the participants. Participants included 19 students seeking a Bachelor of Science degree in Middle Grades Education and 12 students in the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program. MAT students have an undergraduate degree in an academic content area such as biology or English, and are getting certified to teach in Georgia through teacher education coursework. Regarding gender, the participant population included 8 men and 23 women. In addition, the sample was made up of 6 African American and 15 White participants. Also of note, the sample included both traditional students who went continuously on and through tertiary education after secondary school and non-traditional students who are typically older than traditional students and often come to the education field as a second career or after a period of time as a homemaker.

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

Data Analysis Methods The case study approach was selected as the key qualitative methodology for this study (Creswell, 2012; Hancock & Algozzine, 2006; Patton, 2002; Yin 2003). More specifically, the single exploratory case study as described by Yin was most appropriate in addressing our research questions which are bound by both time and place, as the data for this case study came from one cohort of undergraduate and graduate students during one specific semester. The case study methodology allows for more open-ended exploration of the emerging themes with the intention of further expanding the research in scope and depth with subsequent research in the future. In this case study, data were analyzed in four phases: in vivo coding, first focused and second focused coding (Birks & Mills, 2010; Glaser & Strauss, 1967), and development of themes (Berg, 2008; Mason, 2002; Patton, 2002). In vivo coding refers to the use of the participants’ own words to develop codes. First focused coding involves clustering these codes conceptually into loose collections of similar codes. Second focused coding refers to refining these code clusters into more succinct themes. Thematic findings were further developed using a grounded theory approach (Corbin & Strauss, 2008; Glaser & Strauss, 1967) into the form presented here and constituting the results of this study. Strength of themes was determined by both the number of instances that the codes and themes occurred across the entirety of the data as well as assessing the quality of the data. The researchers used Berg’s criterion of four or more instances of a code across multiple data sources in order to establish a significant code which could then be used to develop a theme. Data quality and the trustworthiness of data and interpretation were established using the qualitative research concepts of dependability and triangulation (Golafshani, 2003; Patton, 2002) which combine to give overall quality. Dependability, similar to the construct of reliability in quantitative research, refers to consistency of the data across data sources (Patton, 2002). Codes and themes that occurred consistently across multiple sets of participant reflections, as well as more often within a particular participant’s data, could be considered

PAGE 27


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

dependable. Frequency of codes and specific examples are included in order to offer a richer description of the data that illustrates both the number of times particular themes occur across all participants’ data, as well as the contextual nuance of individual instances in the participants’ own words. Triangulation refers to accessing data from multiple data types and sources. This study’s data was triangulated using the variety of pre-service teacher demographics, as described in the participant section above. According to Guion (2002), common themes across research sites and research subjects are more trustworthy and considered more powerful findings; therefore, a high level of validity is established. Lastly, these pre-service teachers were placed at a variety of middle and high schools in the service region of the comprehensive university, including rural, suburban, and semi-urban settings, as well as Title 1 and non-Title 1 public schools. Results Several key themes emerged in the data, and the researchers organized these data into four themes: control, student behavior, pre-service teacher self-perceptions, and pre-service teacher perceptions of students. The control theme was further subdivided into control over the classroom, control over student behavior, and control over noise. Pre-service teacher perceptions of self was further subdivided into negative perceptions of self and positive perceptions of self. Finally, pre-service teacher perceptions of students was also subdivided into negative perceptions of students and positive perceptions of students. In addition to examples illustrating the wording used by participants for each of the included themes, metaphors from preservice teacher reflections are also included to highlight the symbolic nature inherent in preservice teachers’ thinking about the issues that arose. Each of these themes will be presented below. Control The control theme was the largest and most detailed collection of instances within the data. The power of this theme and its associated codes was determined using a combination of the

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

number of times particular thematic codes arose across the data, as well as the emphasis with which the pre-service teachers discussed these thematic codes in their reflections. Higher numbers of instances across the data signified the importance of the element to a larger number of participants, exemplifying the triangulation of the finding across multiple data sources. However, the context within which each participant presented these elements was also taken into account, and specific quotes are included to give both concrete examples and more context to the thematic coding. The frequency of particular codes is presented in the results section, and specific examples are also included in order to add further qualitative nuance. Pre-service teacher participant data included 339 instances related to their concern regarding control. Control, or lack thereof, was a significant source of anxiety and frustration for these preservice teachers. The three subcategories of control within the theme were associated with participants’ concerns over controlling the classroom (191 instances), controlling student behavior (112 instances) and controlling noise (60 instances). The term control was specifically used 56 times throughout the data and the remaining instances were terms insinuating control. Regarding control over the classroom in general, participants noted their concerns about their control in very direct ways. For instance, one participant stated the need to “completely control all aspects of the classroom,” while another noted concern that they would “lose control of the classroom.” Other instances insinuated anxiety about control, including when a participant noted having a “hard time keeping the students in line and on task,” while others noted that they “struggle with management” or were “concerned with classroom management.” Classroom management and the sense of control were linked to the data, and negative sentiments regarding classroom management were also associated with anxiety about controlling the classroom. Interesting metaphors also arose in regard to pre-service teachers’ ideas about control. Examples included one participant who noted a desire to “own” the classroom. Another expressed a desire to “run a tight ship,” communicating a somewhat militaristic notion of the classroom, and another continued with the nautical theme

PAGE 28


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

when they described losing control of the classroom as “starting to drift.” One pre-service teacher expressed hesitance in being perceived as a “dictator,” illustrating the understanding that some teachers are perceived in a dictatorial fashion by students and desiring to resist this tendency. Another conveyed a desire to “tame” the classroom, insinuating that the classroom was wild and unruly. An additional participant characterized attempts to control the class as “executive decisions,” viewing the teacher’s role in a somewhat corporate fashion. Finally, several used the term reign in reference to the classroom, including one who claimed to have taken “full reign over the classroom,” insinuating a monarchical conceptualization of the teacher’s role, while two others mentioned a similar term, rein, attempting to “rein them back in,” conjuring imagery of controlling a horse, and one participant even described this as “roping them back in” as if the classroom were a rodeo. Both terms illustrate pre-service teachers’ concern over various ways to control the classroom and how they conceptualize their role as the person in control. Authority is a concept that arose in connection to the instances of control and classroom management, and many participants were particularly preoccupied with establishing authority in the classroom: “establishing myself as an authority figure,” “establish my authoritative position,” “authoritative role in the classroom,” “they need to recognize me as an authority,” “set that presence of authority.” In total, the term authority was used 14 times across the data. Authority and respect were often coupled in the data: “authority and respect,” “command respect,” and “gain more respect” illustrate how pre-service teacher participants understood the importance of respect from students. The term respect was used 25 times across the data. Another participant linked activities to classroom management, which “keeps them [students] from having time to talk or disrespect.” Some pre-service teacher participants discussed anxiety over the difference between the respect that the supervising classroom teacher receives and the respect they receive from students. For instance, two participants noted their desire for students to

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

“show me the same respect,” as well as “recognize me as another authority.” Respect and authority were constructs that were points of tension. For instance, participants were concerned that the students would “see me as a young student teacher,” or worried “if I do not have the respect and attention” of students. Pre-service teachers wanted to “feel more like a teacher than a helper.” Respect, authority, and control overlapped with the concept of teacher presence in the data. For instance, one pre-service teacher noted the need to establish “presence right off the bat,” while another wanted to portray a “commanding presence.” The term presence appeared 6 times in the data. Further, similar terminology was also used to imply the same ideas, including one participant who wanted to project a “teacher face.” The second subtheme of control was control over student behavior. This subtheme emerged distinctly within the control theme from participants explicitly discussing their desire to or attempts to control student behavior. Some instances illustrated participants’ desires to “keep students well behaved” or “intercept and stop behavior issues.” Others included “keep the students focused,” and “get them on task,” while other instances illustrated participants’ combining of control of the classroom as a whole and the students’ behavior: “maintain calm and order.” Much of the wording used by pre-service teacher participants illustrated their generally negative attitude toward student behavior. Of the 78 times the root word behave was used (behave, behavior, misbehavior) only 7 were in reference to good behavior. Participants described students’ behavior as disruptive (25 instances), rowdy (13 instances), crazy (7 instances) and generally a problem (7 instances). The term off-task was used 24 times to describe the participants’ students. Further, participants described arguing between themselves and students or between students and other students 7 times and described students as distracted 4 times. Pre-service teacher participants centered much of the behavior of students on the students’ own lack of motivation to learn or to behave appropriately in class. Little attention was given in reflections to developing ways to improve students’ intrinsic motivation or to implement

PAGE 29


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

lessons that were more engaging. Rather, participants focused on disciplinary measures to force students to conform to class rules. For example, participants were focused on “getting students on task,” and this notion was linked to previously discussed notions of control in several instances: having a “hard time keeping the students in line and on task” and “not allowing them to steal instructional time from those who are on task and ready to learn.” Study participants also noted their tendency to threaten students with punishment in order to control student behavior. For instance, “I did too much threatening and not enough punishing.” Confidence issues were a driving force behind pre-service teachers’ use of threats to control student behavior, but participants noted their concerns about “empty threats” not being taken seriously by students. The metaphors that participants used when referring to controlling student behavior were particularly powerful. For instance, one participant described difficulties controlling student behavior as “trying to teach them something would be near impossible.” Others situated their lack of control over student behavior on outside forces: “fever of getting out for a break was insane” and “itch to get out of school.” Participants described their attempts to develop parameters for accepted student behavior: “draw the line,” “pick my battles,” “put my foot down,” “keep the classroom in check,” and “called them on it.” One participant noted a fear of being too lenient, fearful that students would “take full advantage of it.” Another participant was resigned to “you can’t save them all.” Control over student noise was the smallest theme within the overall data on control. The researchers considered that this thematic data may be interpreted as a subcategory of control over student behavior; however, the student noise data was distinct for key reasons. Pre-service teacher participants characterized student noise as a largely negative element of teaching and one in need of definitive control. Participants did not, however, characterize student noise as positive, even though most student-centered teaching strategies are inherently noisy. Unless conducted in a purely electronic forum, students cannot

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

work in groups, discuss problems and solutions, or develop ideas collaboratively without some level of noise in the classroom. Despite training on a variety of differentiation strategies and flexible grouping techniques for cooperative learning in their college classrooms, pre-service teachers in this study solely characterized student noise as negative and something to be controlled. The student noise issue most often noted in reflections was talk (27 instances). Talking was characterized negatively, despite the importance of verbal communication in learning. Participants complained of “minor talking,” “talking to peers,” “talking loudly,” “talking excessively,” “talking and talking,” “talking over each other,” and “talking, whistling, beating, or something.” One participant made the observation of students that “they all want to talk,” but framed this as an issue to be addressed rather than an asset to the learning environment. The root noise (noise, noisy) appeared 11 times in the data, with pre-service teachers describing “extra classroom noise” and “excessive noise.” Others described their attempts to “tolerate noise,” despite seeing classroom noise as a problem, while another exclaimed that they “can’t handle the noise.” Each of these instances illustrate pre-service teachers’ conceptualization of student noise and talking as a barrier to and a distraction from learning, rather than a resource for and a sign of learning. The data in the control theme appeared to be connected to two broad notions: fear/nervousness/anxiety and confidence. Preservice teachers expressing their own anxieties about their abilities to control the classroom also conceptualized their role in authoritarian ways. Confidence, or lack thereof, impacted pre-service teachers’ conceptualization of themselves as either the central authority in a power differential or as a facilitator of learning. Within the data, most pre-service teachers emphasized their authority over learning as is further illustrated below. Perceptions of Self and Students The next collection of thematic findings are pre-service teacher perceptions of self and of students. First, pre-service teacher perceptions of self were subdivided into negative perceptions (83 instances) and positive perceptions (32

PAGE 30


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

instances). The most powerful code within the negative perception-of-self theme was the term nervous which appeared 35 times across the data. As expected, pre-service teachers are nervous during their first attempts to teach students; however, this nervousness may also influence their perceptions of other elements, including confidence and control. The term worry appeared 13 times across the data, again connecting to the issues of fear, nervousness, and anxiety, which may color their attitudes toward control. Participants used the root difficult when describing their experiences, which included such characterizations of the job as “too difficult” or “difficulty diffusing” challenging classroom situations. The next three – fear (8 instances), scared (8 instances), and afraid (7 instances) – all encapsulate the same notion of fear. Participants used the term frustrated 8 times to describe themselves, which was also tied to descriptions of their experiences as difficult (12 instances) and a struggle (5 instances). Further, participants used the term bad six times to describe their personal feelings while teaching. The term timid was used four times by the participants to describe themselves, and these instances were connected to the previous notions of fear in the reflection passages. Finally, participants included the notion of sadness 4 times across the data, which included participant descriptions of moments when they cried. These negative self-perceptions likely influence pre-service teachers’ attitudes toward students, instruction and student behavior. Pre-service teachers noted positive descriptions of themselves in their reflections as well. Of the 32 specifically positive instances of perception of self, the most often repeated notion was that of confidence (20 instances). For instance, one participant noted that their “confidence absolutely exploded” when a lesson was successful, and other notions of confidence were associated throughout the data with successes in the classroom. Thus, more preservice teacher confidence may result from successful teaching experiences in the classroom, as exemplified by one participant’s explanation that a successful lesson “boosted my selfesteem.” More investigation is needed to establish the relationship between confidence and pre-service teachers’ attitudes toward control and

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

other issues encountered in our findings. The second most common positive self-perception occurred with the term comfortable. Other generally positive self-perceptions were more diverse and diffused across the data, but typically associated with positive experiences with students and in class. However, often, these positive self-perceptions were associated with the pre-service teacher being able to successfully manage behavior rather than impact student learning. Attitudes toward students were largely negative in the reflection data. Although some positive notions were indirectly associated with students, these notions were egocentrically framed and related to the pre-service teachers’ own performance rather than that of the students. The term used to describe students most often across participants was lazy (4 instances). Preservice teachers associated student motivation in their classrooms with a lack of intrinsic motivation, for instance, describing one class of students as “flat out lazy.” Other general negative terms were diverse and terminology was inconsistent, but reflections revealed an overall negative attitude toward students in terms of learning and behavior. Discussion In this study, the researchers reported evidence collected from pre-service teaching candidates that reflected a change from student-centered methodologies supported throughout the university program to teacher-centered methodologies with evident perceptions associated to control student and noise level, authority, and lack of respect. While not altogether surprising that there appears to be a gap between the theoretical teachings associated with the ivory tower of academia and the practicalities of today’s classroom, little is known about how pre-service teachers’ attitudes and beliefs shift from their professional training to their actual practice. These findings illustrate ways that pre-service teacher issues with confidence impact their resorting to authoritarian approaches to teaching and resisting student-centered teaching. During their clinical experiences, pre-service teachers must balance the requirements of a teacher education program with adapting to the

PAGE 31


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

professional culture of employed teachers. Often, pre-service teachers develop an antagonistic attitude toward the ivory tower, which they perceive as disconnected from the real world of the public school classroom, seeing these as opposites in a dichotomy. The strategies outlined in Haberman’s (2010) pedagogy of poverty are coping mechanisms used by pre-service teachers as they shift their attitudes toward seeing students in terms of control and classroom management in authoritarian terms. The pedagogy of poverty approach then becomes the typical way of work in such an environment. Pre-service teachers saw student motivation as existing outside their own locus of control and rather than seeing student-centered strategies as ways to improve motivation, they dismissed these as unattainable due to students’ behavior. Instead, they conceptualized the classroom in a variety of ways that prioritize controlling student behavior and de-prioritizing student-centered and differentiated learning, as exemplified in the metaphors provided in the findings. Pre-service teachers encountering confidence issues are also dismissive of the benefits of student-centered methods. They are fearful of chaotic classrooms limiting their willingness to consistently implement differentiated techniques, cooperative learning, or other strategies that risk the loss of overall classroom control, loss of control over student behavior, or an increase in student noise. These rationalizations stem from broadly negative attitudes toward students and attitudes that point to low self-esteem of pre-service teachers. These converging factors result in preservice teachers defaulting to teacher-centered practice akin to those outlined in Haberman’s (2010) pedagogy of poverty. The study participants perceive much of their teaching as oriented toward an external locus of control. Without confidence in their abilities to positively impact student learning, study participants disconnect their own abilities to affect the learning environment, further encouraging negative characterizations of students and the classroom atmosphere. Due to this orientation, these pre-service teachers prioritize those classroom elements that they perceive as controllable, which include noise and student behavior. The implications for this pre-

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

service teacher mentality are powerful for teacher education professionals, whose ultimate goal should be to train teachers who can affect positive change in schools and improve the learning of their students. Without addressing these attitudinal issues in teachers, it is unlikely that additional innovative practices will change real outcomes in student learning. Further, this lack of confidence and an orientation toward an external locus of control helps inform the rationalization that many pre-service teachers use to explain why they do not use many of the techniques learned in their teacher training programs once in the classroom setting as a disconnection between the ivory tower of academia and the realities of the contemporary public school classroom. Teacher education programs must address that rationalization in practical ways in order to truly impact the teaching and learning in public schools. Otherwise, the gap between the ivory tower and teachers’ practice will remain. Limitations The sample size of students presented a limitation for the researchers in terms of the ability to generalize findings to a broader population of pre-service teachers. However, since the purpose of the study was to garner a more in-depth understanding of specific preservice teachers, this limitation did not hinder the overall value of the study. The findings of this study should be used as a basis for exploring these themes in larger and more diverse samples of pre-service teachers. Although there was diversity of gender and ethnicity among the participants, the sample was not representative of the population of the community, nor was it intended to be. However, the sample was representative of typical cohorts of pre-service teachers in the research university’s college of education. The sample was skewed with more white participants and more female participants. Pre-service teachers were required to reflect on a set of questions, and although these questions were open-ended, they did limit the types of responses from participants. In addition, the number of guiding questions was relatively large and could have been limited to garner a more focused data set. Further exploration of these

PAGE 32


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

themes may yield a more focused data set by limiting the number and scope of reflection questions. Longitudinal comparison between cohorts as well as within groups over their entire teacher education programs is also needed to verify whether these issues persist over time and whether various demographic differences between cohorts intervene in these findings. Further research This study provided insight to researchers regarding potential areas for adapting and improving pre-service teacher training. Perhaps more explicit instruction regarding engaging classroom management strategies would improve these issues, and more information about the potentially detrimental effects of authoritarian disciplinary strategies on students would impact pre-service teachers’ attitudes toward control. Further, modeling these strategies more explicitly with pre-service teachers may also improve upon these issues. However, pre-service teachers in the research setting are provided with a variety of current best-practices in teacher education, including strategies for differentiation and studentcentered approaches. More investigation, over a longer period of time and with more participants, is needed in order to better understand the psychological implications as well as the longitudinal changes of pre-service teachers’ attitudes from early field experiences to the end of clinical student teaching experiences, and further into their time as an employed teachers. More work is also needed to understand the influence of mentor teachers in the field on the attitudes of pre-service teachers toward control and the other elements noted in this study. References Berg, B. L. (2009). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Borg, M. (2004). The apprenticeship of observation. English Language Teachers Journal, 58(3), 274276. Birks, M., & Mills, J. (2010). Grounded theory: A practical guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Bulus, M. (2011). Goal orientation, locus of control and academic achievement in prospective teachers: An

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

individual differences perspective. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 11(2), 540-546. Chang, Y. C. (1994). Locus of control as an indicator of Hong Kong teachers’ job attitudes and perceptions of organizational characteristics. Journal of Educational Research, 87(3), 180-188. doi: 10.1080/00220671.1994.9941240 Cook, L. D. (2012). Teacher locus of control: Identifying differences in classroom practices. International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 6(3), 285296. Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2008). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Costa, A. L. & Kallick, B. (2008). Learning and leading with habits of mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting and evaluating qualitative and quantitative research (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago, IL: Aldine Publishing Company. Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research. The Qualitative Report, 8(4), 597-607. Retrieved from http:// nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol8/iss4/6/ Guion, L. A. (2002). Triangulation: Establishing the validity of qualitative studies. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Retrieved from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FY/ FY39400.pdf. Haberman, M. (2010). The pedagogy of poverty versus good teaching. The Phi Delta Kappan, 92(2), 81-87. Hancock, D. R., & Algozzine, B. (2006). Doing case study research: A practical guide for beginning researchers. New York: Teachers College Press. Holt-Reynolds, D. (1992). Personal history-based beliefs as relevant prior knowledge in coursework. American Educational Research Journal, 29(2), 325-349. Kagan, D. M. (1992). Professional growth among preservice and beginning teachers. Review of Educational Research, 62(2), 129-169. Kennedy, M. M. (1998). Learning to teach writing: Does teacher education make a difference? New York: Teachers College Press. Kesici, S. (2008). Democratic teacher beliefs according to the teacher’s gender and locus of control. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 35(1), 62-69. Kremer, L. & Lifmann, M. (1982, Fall). Locus of control and its reflections in teachers’ professional attributions. College Student Journal, 16, 209-215. Lortie, D. C. (1975). School teacher: A sociological study. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

PAGE 33


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

Mason, J. (2002). Qualitative researching (2nd ed,). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. National Assessment of Educational Progress. (2015). Nations report card: 2015 mathematics and reading assessments. Retrieved from http://www.nations reportcard.gov/reading_math_2015/#reading?grade =4 Pajares, F. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62(3), 307-332. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Richardson, V. (1990). Significant and worthwhile change in teaching practice. Educational Researcher, 19(7), 10-18. Richardson, V. (2003). The dilemmas of professional development. The Phi Delta Kappan, 84(5), 401406. Rose, J. S., & Medway, F. J. (1981). Teacher locus of control, teacher behavior, and student behavior as determinants of student achievement. Journal of Educational Research, 85(1), 47-51. Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs: General and Applied, 80(1), 1-28. doi: 10.1037/h0092976 Tangney, S. (2014). Student-centered learning: A humanistic perspective. Teaching in Higher Education, 19(3), 266-275. doi: 10.1080/ 13562517.2013.860099 Time, T. (2006, April). Resiliency amongst college students and corresponding mediators: Self-esteem, self-efficacy, locus of control, optimism. Paper presented at the Western Psychology Association annual convention. Palm Springs, CA. U.S. Department of Education. (n.d.). Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): A new education law. Retrieved from https://www.ed.gov/essa?src=rn Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

About the Authors Robert W. Spires, PhD Dr. Spires is an associate professor in middle and secondary education at Valdosta State University in Georgia. Dr. Spires trains middle and secondary teachers in social studies education as well as graduate students in research design. His research interests include non-formal education in Asia and teacher education in the United States. Deborah C. Paine, EdD Dr. Paine is an assistant professor in middle and secondary education at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA. She coordinates the BSED program in middle grades education and teaches both undergraduate and graduate level courses across four department programs. Her research interests include pre-service teaching, literacy, and assessment. J. T. Cox, PhD Dr. Cox is an assistant professor in middle and secondary education at Valdosta State University. He coordinates the Master of Arts in Teaching program for initial certification and teaches courses in literacy instruction and classroom communications. His principal research interests are in pre-service teacher development, teacher retention/attrition, and writing instruction.

PAGE 34


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

Pre-Service Teachers’ Initial Thoughts About Motivation Amanda Wall, Georgia Southern University; and Samuel D. Miller, University of North Carolina

As teacher educators, we believe it is critical for teachers to understand how they can promote and support students’ motivation. Motivation is a top concern of teachers and other educators (Mansfield & Volet, 2010; Turner, Warzon, & Christensen, 2011). As an example, each year the International Literacy Association (formerly the International Reading Association) publishes responses to a survey of literacy leaders on various topic related to literacy. These literacy leaders are primarily college professors but also teachers, principals, and others (Cassidy, Garrett, & Barrera, 2006). On several recent surveys (e.g., Cassidy et al., 2006; Cassidy, Grote-Garcia, & Ortlieb, 2015), students’ motivation and engagement have been ranked as topics that are “not hot,” but also as topics that “should be hot.” Given the importance of motivation for teaching, we explored how pre-service teachers defined and thought about student motivation. Context for the Study The goal of this study was to begin to explore how pre-service teachers thought about motivation: how they defined and understood motivation for their students and how they planned to enact their understanding of motivation in their future classrooms. In another study (Wall & Miller, 2015), we explored successful middle grades teachers’ motivational visions and practices and how they developed instructional activities to support student motivation. That study and the present study provide insights on how experienced teachers

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

as well as pre-service teachers understand motivation and how they view it operating in the classroom. The present study, while limited in scope and sources of data, is relevant for teacher educators who include motivation in their coursework. Framework for Motivation Our framework for motivation provides a context for the literature review and the design of the study. Motivation is defined here as a “process whereby goal-directed activity is instigated and sustained” (Schunk, Pintrich, & Meece, 2008, p. 4). Within this process, Brophy’s (2010) “informal general model” of motivation, including the three domains of expectancy, value, and belonging, provides a framework for our study because it encompasses many constructs in the motivation literature. Expectancy concerns an individual’s belief that a certain outcome will or will not happen (Schunk et al., 2008; Wigfield & Eccles, 2002). Expectancy relates to the question, “Can I do this?” Researchers have studied expectancy, for example, by evaluating one’s ability to set goals (Ames, 1992), confidence while completing tasks (Friedel, Cortina, Turner, & Midgley, 2010), or regulation of learning behaviors and attitudes (Brunstein & Glaser, 2011). Teachers who favor an expectancy-related way of thinking may emphasize success, achievement, or mastery; they may make goal-setting a feature of their classrooms, or they may foster students’ self-efficacy.

PAGE 35


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

Value refers to the reasons for doing (or not doing) a given task (Schunk et al., 2008). Value predicts voluntary engagement and answers the question, “Why do I want to do this?” Brophy (2008) related value to reasons why students care about a certain topic or how they evaluate what they will get out of that topic. He provided a framework to guide teachers’ efforts to scaffold students’ valuing of their studies. Blumenfeld and colleagues (1991), researching project-based learning, demonstrated how teachers can promote students’ valuing of academic tasks. A teacher who favors value-related thinking would focus on the reasons why students should learn a particular topic and emphasize its potential relevance and applications. Belonging is associated with an individual’s having and perceiving bonds with others (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Schunk et al., 2008; cf. Faircloth, 2009, 2012) and addresses the concern, “Do I belong?” A teacher who favors belonging would make relationships and caring a priority in the classroom (Wentzel, 1997). Much belonging research centers on the importance of affective bonds and relationships. Faircloth, expanding on this line of research, has investigated how teachers can design academic tasks to “harness” student interests and evolving identities to support belonging. A teacher who favors this approach to belonging would connect academic tasks to students’ interests and identities. Literature Review With this motivation framework in mind, we wanted to understand teachers’ participation in motivation research. A review of motivation research, though, revealed that most studies focus on students as research participants. Studies focused on teachers tend to include them in one of three main ways. First are studies in which teachers are asked for an evaluation of particular students. In one example study, researchers asked teachers for their perceptions of student-teacher relationships and student engagement for some of their lower-performing students annually for three years (Hughes, Luo, Kwok, & Loyd, 2008). In this example study, teachers evaluated students along constructs associated with belonging aspects of motivation. Second are studies in which the

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

researchers compare student and teacher perceptions of the same phenomena. An example of this type of study is Linnenbrink’s (2005) examination of classroom goal conditions. Five teachers and their upper-elementary math students completed surveys and questionnaires related their goal orientations: whether they aligned more with mastery goals (i.e., a focus on learning and understanding), performance goals (i.e. a focus on “getting it right”), or multiple goal perspectives (i.e., a combination of mastery and performance goals). Students’ personal mastery goals were beneficial for most measured outcomes, such as self-efficacy and test anxiety, while the effect of the teachers’ classroom goal condition did not vary based on the students’ individual orientation (Linnenbrink, 2005). Here, the researcher gathered data from students and teachers related to similar phenomena – in this case, goal orientations. The third category includes studies in which teachers’ views on the researchers’ a priori constructs, often very specific, are obtained. For example, Goddard, Hoy, and Woolfolk Hoy (2000) developed a model of collective teacher efficacy related to expectancy for success. Then they used this instrument with teachers in urban elementary schools to compare collective teacher efficacy to student achievement in reading and math; a sample statement that teachers ranked along a multi-point scale was, “Teachers in this school can reach a difficult student.” The researchers found that higher collective teacher efficacy predicted higher student achievement in reading and math (Goddard et al., 2000). In each of these three types of studies, teachers’ views on various motivational constructs were important. Less common, though, are studies that ask teachers or pre-service teachers their own thoughts about motivation. A recent pair of studies by Turner and colleagues (Turner et al., 2011; Turner, Christensen, Kackar-Cam, Trucano, & Fulmer, 2014) explored middle grades teachers’ concepts about motivation through long-term professional development. In the former study, Turner et al. (2011) included six math teachers from one school in a year-long professional development during which they learned about four constructs related to motivation: autonomy, belongingness, competence, and meaningfulness. The teachers then developed goals and strategies to support

PAGE 36


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

these constructs in their classrooms and students. The researchers conducted observations and interviews to look for “patterns of change.” Findings suggested the importance of discussing motivation within the context of content (here, math) and of providing support for teachers to implement change. In the latter study, the researchers (Turner et al., 2014) included all the teachers at one middle school in an intervention to improve student engagement as divided into the four constructs of autonomy, belongingness, competence, and meaningfulness. Then they observed six teachers representing language arts, math, science, and social studies and those teachers’ students over three years. Three teachers increased over time in their implementation of various motivational supports, while three teachers had a “flat trajectory” when their implementation of strategies did not change as much. The researchers found that there was “mutuality” among teachers and students with motivational supports in that teachers scaffolded opportunities for autonomy, belongingness, competence, or meaningfulness, to which students responded (Turner et al., 2014). These two recent studies did involve teachers in a discussion of motivational constructs and development of strategies to support these constructs in classrooms and students. Overall, though, teachers’ and preservice teachers’ general thoughts about motivation remain under-explored. Theoretical Framework Having reviewed the literature, we wanted to understand how our beginning pre-service teachers thought about motivation – how they defined it and viewed it as part of their teaching. Three perspectives guided the study. First is the conceptualization of motivation as a process rather than a product (Schunk et al., 2008). This relates to an understanding of motivation being a state and being influenced by context. The second perspective is Brophy’s (2010) informal general model of motivation as including three domains of expectancy, value, and belonging. While many discrete constructs relate to motivation, such as self-efficacy or goal-setting, this study adopted a more general approach to explore pre-service teachers’ big-picture, global thoughts about motivation. The third perspective

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

is Stipek’s (2002) assertion that “motivation theories are important to discuss because everyone has them. And consciously or unconsciously, people rely on their theories of what causes behavior when deciding to try to change their own or another’s behavior” (p. 8). This statement relates to the idea of naïve theories (Leiser, 2001), which are often selftaught and which may have varying degrees of structure or coherence (Kagan, 1992). The idea that any teacher has a motivation theory influenced the design of the study and the perspective that teachers, and pre-service teachers, have their own theories of student motivation. Our guiding research question was: What do pre-service teachers think about student motivation? To expand on the main research question, we also investigated how pre-service teachers defined motivation; rated the importance of expectancy, value, and belonging; planned to bring aspects of their definition of motivation into their teaching; considered obstacles to motivation; and determined evidence of motivation. Method Forty-eight undergraduate pre-service teachers from a mid-sized regional Southeastern public university, who were enrolled in two sections of an undergraduate educational psychology course, participated in the study. Their various programs prepared them for licensure in a range of content areas including music, science, language arts, and special education. Those in content areas like science and language arts were seeking licensure in middle grades or secondary education, while those in programs like music and special education were seeking K-12 licensure. They were in the early stages of their teacher education programs, a few semesters prior to student teaching. Participation in the study was optional and was not linked to a course grade. Measure A questionnaire, a five-item open-response survey, was designed to elicit students’ thoughts about motivation from a teacher’s perspective. Open-ended presupposition questions were designed to encourage pre-service teachers to

PAGE 37


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

give full responses (Patton, 1990). The word “motivation” was used as it was the focus of the questionnaire, but other technical terminology was largely avoided to access the pre-service teachers’ own ideas rather than reactions to constructs. The first item presented the pre-service teachers with three questions and asked them to rank these questions in order of importance. The questions were (a) Can I do this? (b) Do I want to? (c) Do I belong? These questions were selected to represent three domains of motivation: expectancy, value, and belonging, respectively (Brophy, 2010). We used questions instead of terms to present ideas in non-specialized language. The second question asked pre-service teachers to define motivation. The goal was to see how they, as teachers-to-be, defined and explained motivation. It was important to see what their responses were and how or whether they aligned with the literature. The third question asked them to operationalize their definitions of motivation by explaining what aspects of motivation they planned to bring into their teaching. It was designed to prompt replies related to actions, instructional strategies, or other practices pre-service teachers might establish and use in the classroom to foster student motivation. The fourth question asked them to describe obstacles to motivation. This question was included to elicit responses about actions, interactions, behaviors, tasks, dispositions, or other factors that might negatively affect student motivation. We hoped to see how pre-service teachers thought about motivation by asking what stood in its way. The final question asked preservice teachers to explain what they would consider to be evidence of student motivation. The wording of this question shifted the emphasis from teacher actions and planning, as in Question 3, to student statements, actions, and dispositions. The wording of the question was influenced by the Developmental Designs for Middle School model (Crawford, 2008). Coding We followed Lincoln and Guba’s (1985) recommendations for reducing, displaying, and drawing conclusions from data. For Questions 1-4,

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

the initial coding structure was based on the domains of expectancy, value, and belonging. To determine reliability, we established the coding structure together; after independent coding, conversations resolved discrepancies. As we moved from a descriptive to an analytical emphasis, we used constant comparative analysis (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007) to refine and expand the coding frame. Sample responses below from pre-service teachers are edited for spelling and punctuation only. With the first question, a selection of the key question “Can I do this?” was coded as an expectancy; “Do I want to?” was coded as value; and “Do I belong?” was coded as belonging. For Questions 2 through 4, responses were coded as expectancy, value, or belonging if the content of the response aligned with definitions from the literature review. Within the categories of expectancy and value, pre-service teachers’ responses were divided into sub-categories; there were not sub-categories for belonging due to the lower number of codes. Within expectancy, responses were further coded by affect (“Motivation is wanting to do something.”), cognition (“Motivation is understanding what your goals are and what it takes to achieve your goals.”), or will, drive, or force (“Motivation is the driving force behind physical/observable actions.”). With value, responses were further coded by interest (“Try to relate everything I teach to something the students have interest in.”), enjoyment or passion (“Motivation, I think, has to start with enjoying the subject you are learning.”), or application or relevance (“I can show my students many great opportunities if they want to do them. By showing them concerts, or different examples.”). For Question 4 (obstacles to motivation), additional codes related to instructional quality, peer pressure, and social and personal factors. With the fifth question, which asked for evidence of motivation based on observable student behaviors or statements rather than perceptions of student emotions or cognitions, Marshall’s (1988) description of classrooms as having work or learning orientations was a better fit for coding. A work orientation is associated with self-efficacy, success, meeting goals, doing the curriculum, and being on-task; the value

PAGE 38


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

component of a work orientation relates to being a good worker and completing work (“The classroom is on task. Students are capable of working alone and in groups without straying from their work.”). A learning orientation is associated with self-regulated learning, enjoyment, creativity, and personal involvement where students explore and expand their understanding (“I think it is very important that students have a desire to think deeper and more abstractly about topics discussed in the classroom, and hopefully these thought processes carry over into all aspects of their lives.”) The value component of a learning orientation relates to relevance and enjoyment. Some pre-service teachers’ responses to questions, due to content, were coded in multiple categories. Responses coded under two categories occurred four times on Question 3 and nine times on Question 4. One response to Question 1 (“The most important question for the course would be, what am I going to learn?”), two responses to Question 4 (for example, “Not everyone is motivated about the same things”), and two responses to Question 5 (for example, “the teacher”) could not be interpreted and were not coded. These responses that were too general in scope were not coded according to our framework, while responses rich and specific in content were among those coded under multiple categories. Results We analyzed our data in three steps. First, at a descriptive level, we examined data related to our research questions by seeing how responses across the first four questions were distributed across the domains of expectancy, value, and belonging, in part to see whether expectancy was a primary focus, as Brophy (2008) claimed. Second, we examined the extent to which an individual’s responses were consistent across Questions 1-4. That is, if someone defined motivation as related primarily to expectancy, did their other responses also relate to this domain? Third, we attempted to identify patterns of response, or motivational profiles, to see whether there were common ways that preservice teachers’ responses were coded.

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

We first tallied the number of responses across each domain. As noted on Table 1, while pre-service teachers demonstrated a strong focus on expectancy, responses were also tallied under value and belonging. All but two pre-service teachers (n=46; 95.8%) defined motivation in terms of expectancy. Overall, the pre-service teachers in this study emphasized both expectancy and value when they ranked domains of motivation by key questions, explained what aspects of their definitions they would apply to their teaching, and identified obstacles to motivation. Belonging received the greatest attention with ranking of domains, but was not part of their definitions and only received minor attention on the aspects and obstacles questions. When describing evidence of motivation, preservice teachers slightly preferred a learning over a work orientation. Across Questions 1-4, expectancy received the most tallies (59%), followed by value (30%) and belonging (11%). Table 1 Responses to Items 1-4 on the Questionnaire by Domain Question 1: Rank the Domains

Expectancy Value Belonging Other

18 19 10 1

Question 2: Define motivation

46 2

Question 3: Apply aspects of definition to teaching 25 18 7

Question 4: Describe obstacles to motivation

15 14 3 26

NB: Numbers in all columns do not add precisely to 48 (the number of participants) because some participants’ responses to Questions 3 and 4 were tallied under more than one code.

Across three domains, however, the preservice teachers appeared to make further distinctions as the nature of the questions changed perspective, as shown on Table 2. For example, depending upon the question, they viewed expectancy as primarily affective (50%), cognitive (16%), both affective and cognitive (10%), or based on a drive, will, or force (24%). Similarly, they viewed value as related to interest (38%), enjoyment (24%), or application or relevance (38%). Such distinctions show how

PAGE 39


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

pre-service teachers adopted different perspectives within a similar domain based on the focus of the question. Further insights into these distinctions follow below. Table 2 Responses to Items 2, 3, and 4 by Domain and Sub-Code

Total Expectancy a. Expectancy: affective b. Expectancy: cognitive c. Expectancy: affective/ cognitive d. Expectancy: will, drive, force Total Value a. Value: interest b. Value: enjoyment/ passion c. Value: application/ relevance Total Belonging Instructional Quality Peers Personal/ Social Factors

Definition of Motivation 46

Apply to Teaching 25

15

18

13

12

7

7 5

Obstacles

3

21

Discussion 2

18

14

1

8

4

6

2

4

8

1

7

3 13 7 6

For the second step of our analysis, regarding internal consistency, we looked across responses to see if individual pre-service teachers referred to the same domain when answering different items. Only four pre-service teachers maintained the same domain across responses to Questions 1-4: three with expectancy and one with value. Rather than advocate the same domain from question to question, pre-service teachers’ responses shifted perspective as the focus of each question shifted. In the third step of the analysis, we tried to determine motivational profiles, or patterns of response. When the general domains were coded, 41 distinct profiles were discovered for 48 participating pre-service teachers. When subcategories were used, a separate unique profile

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

existed for each respondent: pre-service teachers varied their understanding of each dimension across questions with one quarter of them drawing on all three of the motivational domains at least once. In sum, when asked to look at motivation from a variety of perspectives, pre-service teachers shifted focus depending on the nature of the question. When changing focus, their responses included a variety of perspectives, resulting in minimal consistency across responses, both within individual pre-service teachers’ responses and across all responses. Further, when looking for patterns within responses, we discovered almost as many profiles as there were pre-service teachers. They subtly altered their perspectives based on the context of the question. What pre-service teachers thought about motivation shifted based on what they were asked; how they responded varied according to whether they were defining motivation or identifying obstacles to motivation. Moreover, their responses to the different questions spanned two if not three domains of motivation. Perhaps their thoughts about motivation are not yet structured (cf. Kagan, 1992), or their thoughts are more complex than a single measure could reflect. Pre-service teachers, as shown by the variety of responses, have nascent thoughts and theories concerning motivation. As teacher educators, we need to build on these beginning thoughts about motivation. Pre-service teachers’ thoughts about motivation need to be supported, challenged, and developed throughout their teacher education programs both in courses and in field experiences. Instruction related to various theories of motivation such as goal theory (Ames, 1992) or self-determination theory (Deci, Vallerand, Pelletier, & Ryan, 1991) could help pre-service teachers develop their evolving thoughts about motivation. Instructors and pre-service teachers also could discuss expectancy, value, and belonging within specific disciplines such as math (Middleton, 1995) or literacy (Oldfather & Thomas, 1998), as recommended by Turner and colleagues (2011, 2014).

PAGE 40


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

Field experiences provide rich contexts for pre-service teachers to reflect on and expand their thoughts about motivation through interactions with K-12 students, cooperating classroom teachers, university supervisors, and others. Guidelines for lesson plans and other documents could prompt pre-service teachers to plan instruction and assessment with attention to domains of motivation like goals for students, what is relevant for students, and connections between curriculum and student interests. Part of a post-teaching conference, for example, could focus on how the pre-service teacher thought about motivation in terms of the domains and in terms of factors like academic tasks, classroom environment, or instructional activities. Pre-service teachers’ responses reflect the importance of expectancy-related topics. This finding relates to Brophy’s (2008) idea that expectancy dominates conversations about motivation. However, these pre-service teachers also collectively endorsed value and belonging. Since various responses related to each domain, this shows that some pre-service teachers have multi-dimensional and complex thoughts about motivation. In conversations with university supervisors and instructors, pre-service teachers can explore ways to attend to value and belonging as well. The main implication is that teacher educators should guide pre-service teachers to understand how different motivational constructs can help them interpret and reflect on different aspects of their teaching. The purpose of ongoing discussions of motivation would be for pre-service teachers to understand different concepts related to motivation so they can think through, adapt, and apply their own lay theories of motivation; in this sense, pre-service teachers need to be able to “know their own minds” when it comes to their thoughts about student motivation (Duffy, 1998). Pre-service teachers clearly understand the importance of motivation, but they need time and experiences to refine how different aspects of their teaching relate to motivation. Future research can continue to add preservice teachers’ as well as in-service teachers’ perspectives to motivation research. This exploratory study was designed to investigate

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

pre-service teachers’ overall thinking about motivation. Research is needed to explore how the thinking of pre-service teachers may adapt, develop, or change throughout the course of their teacher education programs – and even into their early years in their own classrooms. The study adds a pre-service teacher’s perspective to motivation research. A fruitful direction for future study would be to couple a written measure, such as the questionnaire in this study, with prolonged study that followed participants from their teacher education program and into their classroom teaching experiences. The focus of such a study would be to understand how individual pre-service teachers’ theories about motivation evolve throughout their teacher education programs and into their early years of teaching. The limitations of the present study are related to the use of a one-time written questionnaire with a limited population; as noted above, this study was brief in scope. Additionally, we did not probe preservice teachers to elaborate on or explain their responses; doing so may have helped us resolve written responses we were unable to code. The limitations of this study have helped us as we continue research in this area and can be addressed in a future study. A prolonged study of pre-service teachers would complement both this study and another study of middle grades teachers (Wall & Miller, 2015) by focusing on pre-service teachers, as in this study, through prolonged engagement, as in the study of middle grades teachers. Additional data sources such as interview and observation in a subsequent study of pre-service teachers could yield findings to complement, extend, and contextualize the findings from this study and our study of practicing middle grades teachers. Such a future study would reveal a more nuanced picture of each pre-service teacher’s thoughts about motivation and how that thinking emerges and adapts over time as each pre-service teacher gains more experience and expertise. The results of this study of pre-service teachers’ initial thinking about motivation show that pre-service teachers, even in the early stages of their programs, have implicit or explicit ideas about motivation worthy of additional investigation.

PAGE 41


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

References Ames, C. (1992). Classrooms: Goals, structures, and student motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84(3), 261-271. Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachment as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497-530. Blumenfeld, P. C., Soloway, E., Marx, R. W., Krajcik, J. S., Guzdial, M., & Palincsar, A. (1991). Motivating project-based learning: Sustaining the doing, supporting the learning. Educational Psychologist, 26(3/4), 369-398. Brophy, J. (2008). Developing students’ appreciation for what is taught in school. Educational Psychologist, 43(3), 132-141. Brophy, J. (2010). Motivating students to learn (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. Brunstein, J. C., & Glaser, C. (2011). Testing a pathanalytic mediation model of how self-regulated writing strategies improve fourth graders’ composition skills: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(4), 922938. Cassidy, J., Garrett, S. D., & Barrera, E. S. (2006). What’s hot in adolescent literacy 1997-2006. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 50(1), 30-36. Cassidy, J., Grote-Garcia, S., & Ortlieb, E. (2015). What’s hot in 2016: Recognizing new trends and celebrating 20 years of data. Literacy Today, 33(2), 12-18. Crawford, L. (2008). The advisory book: Building a community of learners grades 5-9. Minneapolis, MN: The Origins Program. Creswell, J., & Plano Clark, V. L. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Deci, E. L., Vallerand, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., & Ryan, R. M. (1991). Motivation and education: The selfdetermination perspective. Educational Psychologist, 26(3/4), 325-346. Duffy, G. G. (1998). Teaching and the balancing of round stones. The Phi Delta Kappan 79(10), 777-80. Faircloth, B. S. (2009). Making the most of adolescence: Harnessing the search for identity to understand classroom belonging. Journal of Adolescent Research, 24(3), 321-348. Faircloth, B. S. (2012). “Wearing a mask” vs. connecting identity with learning. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 37(3), 186-194. Friedel, J. M., Cortina, K. S., Turner, J. C., & Midgley, C. (2010). Changes in efficacy beliefs in mathematics across the transition to middle school: Examining the effects of perceived teacher and parent goal emphases. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(1), 102-114. Goddard, R. D., Hoy, W. K., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2000). Collective teacher efficacy: Its meaning,

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

measure, and impact on student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 37(2), 479-507. Hughes, J. N., Luo, W., Kwok, O., & Loyd, L. K. (2008). Teacher-student support, effortful engagement, and achievement: A 3-year longitudinal study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100(1), 1-14. Kagan, D. M. (1992). Implications of research on teacher belief. Educational Psychologist, 27(1), 65-90. Leiser, D. (2001). Scattered naïve theories: Why the human mind is isomorphic to the internet web. New Ideas in Psychology, 19(3), 175-202. Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Linnenbrink, E. A. (2005). The dilemma of performanceapproach goals: The use of multiple goal contexts to promote students’ motivation and learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97(2), 197-213. Mansfield, C. F., & Volet, S. E. (2010). Developing beliefs about classroom motivation: Journeys of preservice teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education 26(7), 1404-1415. Marshall, H. H. (1988). Work or learning: Implications of classroom metaphors. Educational Researcher 17(9), 9-16. Middleton, J. A. (1995). A study of intrinsic motivation in the mathematics classroom: A personal constructs approach. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 26(3), 254-279. Oldfather, P., & Thomas, S. (1998). What does it mean when high school teachers participate in collaborative research with students on literacy motivations? Teachers College Record, 99(4), 647691. Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Schunk, D. H., Pintrich, P. R., & Meece, J. L. (2008). Motivation in education: Theory, research, and applications (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Stipek, D. (2002). Motivation to learn: Integrating theory and practice (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Turner, J. C., Christensen, A., Kackar-Cam, H. Z., Trucano, M., & Fulmer, S. M. (2014). Enhancing students’ engagement: Report of a 3-year intervention with middle school teachers. American Educational Research Journal 51(6), 1195-1226. Turner, J. C., Warzon, K. B., & Christensen, A. (2011). Motivating mathematics learning: Changes in teachers’ practices and beliefs during a nine-month collaboration. American Educational Research Journal 48(3), 718-762. Wall, A., & Miller, S. D. (2015). Middle grades teachers’ use of motivational practices to support their visions and identities as middle grades educators. Middle Grades Research Journal 10(3), 61-76.

PAGE 42


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

Wentzel, K. R. (1997). Student motivation in middle school: The role of perceived pedagogical caring. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(3), 411-419. Wigfield, A., & Eccles, J. (2002). The development of competence beliefs, expectancies for success, and achievement values from childhood through adolescence. In Wigfield, A., & Eccles, J., (Eds.), Development of achievement motivation, pp. 91-120. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

About the Authors Amanda Wall, PhD Dr. Wall is an assistant professor in the College of Education at Georgia Southern University. She works primarily with the middle grades education program. Samuel D. Miller, PhD Dr. Miller is a professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education and a former associate dean in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

PAGE 43


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

Training Preservice Teacher Candidates to Be Culturally Responsive: Co-Teaching and Experiential Simulations Ava Hogan-Chapman, LaTeshia Warren, Rebecca A. Cooper, Brandon Lewis, and Tashana D. Howse, Georgia Gwinnett College

In the past, co-teaching mainly pertained to K-12 classrooms in which a special education teacher worked with a classroom teacher. The special education teacher had the expertise of being able to work with individual students who may have had particular learning needs, and the classroom teacher had the content knowledge. During the 1990s, research on special education reform focused on improving outcomes for students through inclusion and co-teaching. Much of this research by Cook and Friend (1995) paved the way for a variety of co-teaching methods to be implemented in schools (Tschida, Smith, & Fogarty, 2015). Cook and Friend identified six instructional strategies: One Teach, One Observe; One Teach, One Assist; Station Teaching; Parallel Teaching; Alternative Teaching; and Team Teaching. Each of the models involves both, or all, teachers providing the instruction, which lowers the student-to-teacher ratio, increases student learning, and creates a variety of ways for students to learn the curriculum. One teach, one observe is the model in which one teacher delivers the content while the other teacher observes. This strategy is quite useful when a less-experienced teacher seeks to become more familiar with the content or instructional strategy. One teach, one assist is the model in which one teacher provides content, while the other teacher works with individual students or student groups to answer questions, direct activities, and/or provide support to the lead teacher. This model supports

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

classroom management because students get their questions answered in a timely manner and behavior issues can be addressed without interrupting instruction. Station teaching requires students to move through stations to participate in a variety of learning activities. The teachers serve as guides for different stations while students rotate through all stations. This model is a great way to allow teachers to teach mini-lessons multiple times to small groups, which can increase teacher confidence. The parallel teaching model allows for students to be divided into groups, and each teacher works with a group. Sometimes the teachers provide the same instruction, or they can present instruction in different ways. The greatest benefit of this method is the reduction of the student-teacher ratio. Alternative teaching allows one group of students to remain with one teacher while the other teacher instructs a small group for re-teaching, enrichment, assessment, pre-teaching, or another purpose. Team teaching involves students remaining in a single group and the teachers co-instruct while integrating their contributions throughout the lesson (Heck & Bacharach, 2015). The definition of co-teaching has broadened since the 1990s; it now goes beyond a classroom and special education teacher working together to ensure support for students with special needs. Today, co-teaching can be defined as two teachers providing instruction in a single physical space to a class that includes students

PAGE 44


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

with and without disabilities. Co-teachers share the responsibility of assessing students, planning for instruction, teaching, and managing student behavior. Co-teaching can be used in classrooms from K-12 to higher education (Sweigart & Landrum, 2015). Benefits of Co-Teaching A review of the co-teaching literature reveals that the ability to address more questions in the classroom may increase students’ positive feelings related to the course and subject matter and ultimately improve student learning (Metzger, 2015). Co-teaching can also allow for multiple perspectives and improved student feedback, modeling shared learning and collaboration, and raising participation in the classroom through dialogue and challenging mental stimulations. This teaching strategy has the power to undermine the idea of a single instructor being the sole authority in a classroom while encouraging teachers to engage in unique collaborations informed by various educator perspectives pertaining to the ever-changing classroom dynamics (Medaille & Shannon, 2012). Carambo and Stickney (2009) state that the collaborative aspect of co-teaching creates shared governance for the learning environment and makes possible an immediate response to issues detrimental to successful student engagement. The characteristics of the coteaching model make it a superior alternative to the traditional pre-service practicum because it immerses pre-service teachers in the classroom culture and allows them to learn the many aspects of teaching by working intimately with an experienced mentor teacher. While there are many benefits that coteaching can offer students, it also offers several advantages to instructors. Co-teaching has been used in the K-12 setting because it allows teachers to learn from one another. For instructors in higher education, co-teaching provides professional development through shared experiences and creates reflective conversations that can change teaching practices. Instructors encounter different perspectives while retaining the freedom to focus on certain content areas or teaching practices they feel are valuable for their students. Co-teaching inspires instructors

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

and enables them to explore more creative solutions to problems, which in turn may result in increased instructor confidence, skill level, motivation, professional gratification, support, and opportunities for advancement and collaboration (Medaille & Shannon, 2012). In order to reap the many benefits of co-teaching, it is important to plan how it will be implemented. Co-teaching Implementation Institutions must recognize that change is hard; transitioning from a traditional teaching model to a co-teaching model takes time. To initiate this change, school leaders must be supportive and well-informed about the practice. Co-teaching must include communication, flexibility, collaborative problem-solving, shared teaching beliefs, an understanding of each teacher’s responsibility, and mutual support. In addition, the success of co-teaching activities may be influenced by the instructors’ compatibility, expertise, gender, and overall classroom environment (Medaille & Shannon, 2012). According to Metzger (2015), in order to successfully implement collaborative team teaching models, there must be a high level of organization and effective communication from all instructors. Individual instructors and coteaching teams should engage in frequent reflection to assess the effectiveness of the implemented strategies. Second, it is imperative that clear communication is provided to the students. When there are multiple instructors for a course, students can be confused about which instructor they should ask questions regarding assignments, grades, or attendance. Third, data and feedback should be gathered from the students and reviewed to provide revisions of course design, implementation, and assessment strategies. Rationale for the Study Changes in higher education, such as the need to connect with 21st Century learners, has provided a stimulus for creating an active learning environment that is student-centered. Collaboration via co-teaching and experiential learning is one way that education faculty can create such environments and build teacher candidate capacity for cultural responsiveness.

PAGE 45


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

Experiential learning is defined as “learning by doing” either in the field or classroom. Experiential learning techniques can be used to help students apply real life experiences to theoretical frameworks. One of the main benefits of experiential activities is that they improve student learning by increasing student involvement through real-world scenarios. In addition, these activities create an emotional response from students along with the expected rational transfer of information and theory. Instructors who have incorporated experiential learning activities into their classrooms have seen increased enthusiasm among students, increased student performance on classroom assignments, and higher levels of student selfconfidence (Swift & Denton, 2003). It is through modeling instructional strategies and engaging pre-service teachers in real-life simulations that activates their individual and group processing and critical thinking skills related to the ideas of culture and diversity. According to Maye and Day (2012), America’s public schools are growing increasingly more diverse each academic year. Much of the diversity is comprised of students of color, students with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and students from low-income families. They have found that culturally relevant and responsive teaching practices hold extraordinary potential for creating positive educational outcomes for such at-risk students. However, the success of culturally relevant teaching truly depends on a teacher’s cultural competence, which is how accepting teachers are of acknowledging who they are culturally and understanding the potential of their own identity, which influences the way they carry out practices in their classrooms (Maye & Day, 2012). Purpose of the Study In order to prepare more culturally responsive preservice teachers, this study engaged students in several co-taught, experiential learning simulations. The purpose of the study was to determine the impact of co-teaching and simulations on students’ perceptions of themselves and others and students’ potential to apply cultural responsive practices in their future classrooms.

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

Methodology A survey was used to gather preservice teachers’ perceptions of the co-taught experiential simulation activities they participated in through their education courses. Three such scenarios were co-taught by three education professors. All of the simulations were designed to actively engage preservice teachers by allowing them to experience various perspectives of privilege, exceptionalities, and cultural immersion. Privilege Walk This team-taught simulation enabled preservice teachers to witness how privilege influences their lives and interactions with others, even when they are not aware. They were able to identify both obstacles and benefits they have experienced in their lives based on their responses to a set of statements. For example, all of the pre-service teachers started by holding hands in a long, straight, horizontal line. They were instructed to either take a step forward or backward based on their response to set of statements. Some of the statements were: 1. If you are a white male, take one step forward; 2. If there have been times in your life when you skipped a meal because there was no food in the house, take one step backward; 3. If you have visible or invisible disabilities, take one step backward; 4. If you attended grade school with people you felt were like yourself, take one step forward; 5. If you grew up in an urban setting, take one step backward; 6. If your family had health insurance, take one step forward; 7. If your work holidays coincide with religious holidays that you celebrate, take one step forward. (Module 5: Privilege Walk Activity, p. 2) Preservice teachers were able to understand intersectionality and apply this understanding to their need to be culturally responsive educators who are prepared to teach in a multi-cultural environment. The preservice teachers were able to discuss their thoughts of privilege based on where they ended the activity in relation to the

PAGE 46


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

rest of the class. This lead to a discussion of why preservice teachers must understand the relationship between privilege and culture and the impact their actions will have on their future students. Celebration of Exceptionalities Professors collaborated to facilitate the station teaching co-teaching model. This involved the use of activities from the Disability Awareness Activity Packet by Adcock and Remus (2006) and a YouTube video. These simulations allowed preservice teachers to experience the struggles of individuals with the following exceptionalities: communications disorders, hearing impairments, vision impairments, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and Autism. The station activities included one student acting out a sentence to another student who had to guess the sentence (communications disorder); one student mouthing words and another student writing down what was said (hearing impairments); one student being blind-folded and asked to walk around the room (vision impairments); one student being asked to draw a picture with their back to another student and then given directions on how to draw the picture (learning disability); one student reading a sentence that was written backwards to mimic dyslexia (learning disabilities); one student completing tasks using only one arm: pass out papers, tie shoes, and open a water bottle (physical disabilities); and students experiencing what it is like to have Autism through watching a YouTube video of an Autism simulation. All preservice teachers were able to experience each exceptionality. They discussed how they felt as they experienced each exceptionality and the importance of differentiating learning for each student. Bafa-Bafa Bafa-Bafa is an experiential cultural simulation activity designed to encourage crosscultural interactions through the experience of immersion into a foreign culture (Swift & Denton, 2003). This simulation was implemented using the parallel co-teaching strategy. Within a 20-25 minute time frame,

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

preservice teachers were divided into two groups, the Alphas and the Betas. Each group learned about a unique culture and practiced interacting with each other in their new culture. Students spoke in their new language and practiced engaging with one another while embracing the customs and rituals of their new culture. After students gained a solid ability to interact among themselves, each student from each group visited the opposite group as a visitor for short periods of time. Students were to make observations about the opposite culture, as no rules were provided to them about how to communicate with a new culture of people. Upon the conclusion of all students experiencing the opposite culture, all preservice teachers came together to debrief and share their observations and experiences with the opposite culture. Participants This study involved 35 preservice teachers in their first semester of the early childhood education program. There were 33 females and 2 males, and their racial demographics were as follows: 26 White, 2 Asian, 1 multiple races, and 6 other races. Three education professions were involved. Their demographics were one AfricanAmerican male with 14 years of teaching experience, one African-American female with 23 years of teaching experience, and one White female with 14 years of teaching experience. Data Sources The preservice teachers’ demographic information and feedback on the simulations were collected through Survey Monkey, a free online survey tool. The pre-service teachers responded to open-ended and Likert scale questions pertaining to the level of personal impact the three experiential learning activities had on them. The specific data that is reported below is based on the preservice teachers’ responses to each activity and the overarching co-teaching model. Findings Co-teaching and the simulation experiences were viewed very favorably by the preservice teachers as verified by the data below. The findings revealed that when the preservice

PAGE 47


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

teachers were asked if they benefited from the experience of having the simulations presented through the multiple perspectives of a coteaching team, 68% or 24 students strongly agreed, 17% or 6 students somewhat agreed, 9% or 3 students were either neutral or did not respond, and 5% or 2 students responded that they somewhat disagreed. The open-ended question was, “What are your final thoughts about the impact of simulations and co-teaching on your thinking and future practices?” It yielded the following responses: • The co-teaching activity that impacted me the most was the disability simulations. I was previously aware and somewhat informed about some disabilities, but this activity really gets us to experience what each disability is like. • I think that co-teaching and simulations help to involve the entire class to actually participate and have a learning and growing experience. • I really enjoyed the co-taught activities. It has us up and interacting physically with all these different types of disabilities and cultures. It was very different and very interesting. • I believe the simulation and co-teaching made me more aware of cultures other than my own. I also believe I am more culturally aware and can implement cultural relevance in my future classroom. Discussions and Implications A team of education professors took the lead to collaboratively engage preservice teachers in co-taught activities as a first step to actualizing co-teaching in higher education (Heck & Bacharach, 2015). High levels of organization, planning, and communication were practiced by the professors involved (Metzger, 2015). The goal of the co-taught experiential simulation activities was to prepare preservice teachers for the types of students they will experience in their future classrooms. Due to the diversity of today’s classrooms, teacher educators must prepare their students to understand privilege, exceptionalities, and culture as they build an appreciation for

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

culturally responsive teaching. To build a community of learners, teachers must be able to understand and appreciate each and every student. The preservice teachers’ responses to the survey questions attest to the desirability and need for co-teaching models in teacher education that provide simulated experiences to help prepare teachers to teach children different from themselves. The eye-opening responses from the preservice teachers demonstrate the usefulness, enjoyability, and memorable impact these types of activities can have on future teachers. Educator preparation programs must create opportunities for preservice teachers to learn, grow, be informed, engaged, culturally aware, and ultimately prepared to be culturally relevant teachers. Culturally relevant teachers acknowledge who they are and understand their potential and their influences on classroom practices (Maye & Day, 2012). Conclusions Through the use of experiential simulation learning activities, it was determined that there is a need for institutions to explore ways to integrate these types of practices into educator preparation programs. Co-teaching can be used as a platform to implement real-world scenarios that promote preservice teacher acquisition of differing perspectives about people unlike themselves. The American schoolhouse is an assembly of international cultures. As the demographics of today are constantly changing and growing increasingly more diverse, preservice teachers must be engaged in these types of activities to comprehend the significance of learning to work with all people and to have a desire to engage all students with practices that are culturally responsive. References Adcock, B., & Remus, M. L. (2006). Disability awareness activity packet: Activities and resources for teaching students about disabilities. Retrieved from https://adayinourshoes.com/wp-content/uploads/ 2014/01/DisabilityAwareness Packet.pdf Carambo, C., & Stickney, C. T. (2009). Co-teaching praxis and professional service: Facilitating the transition of beliefs and practices. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4(2), 433-441.

PAGE 48


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

Cook, L., & Friend, M. (1995). Co-teaching: Guidelines for creating effective practices. Focus on Exceptional Children, 28(3), 1-17. Heck, T. W., & Bacharach, N. (2015). A better model for student teaching. Educational Leadership, 73(4), 24-29. Maye, D., & Day, B. (2012). Teacher identities: The fingerprint of culturally relevant pedagogy for students at risk. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 78(2), 19-26. Medaille, A., & Shannon, A. W. (2012). Co-teaching relationships among librarians and other information professionals. Collaborative Librarianship, 4(4), 132-148. Metzger, K. J. (2015). Collaborative teaching practices in undergraduate active learning classrooms: A report of faculty team teaching models and student reflections from two biology courses. Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, 41(1), 3-9. Module 5: Privilege Walk Activity [PDF]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.albany.edu/ssw/efc/pdf/ Module%205_1_Privilege%20Walk%20Activity. pdf Sweigart, C. A., & Landrum, T. J. (2015). The impact of number of adults on instruction: Implications for co-teaching. Preventing School Failure, 59(1), 2229. Swift, C. O., & Denton, L. (2003). Cross-cultural experiential simulations in the global marketing classroom: Bafa-Bafa and its variants. Marketing Education Review, 13(3), 41-51. Tschida, C. T., Smith, J. J., & Fogarty, E. A. (2015). “It just works better”: Introducing the 2:1 model of coteaching in teacher preparation. Rural Educator, 36(2), 11-26.

.

About the Authors Dr. Ava Hogan-Chapman Dr. Hogan-Chapman is an Assistant Professor at Georgia Gwinnett College. She currently serves as the field and clinical supervisor in the special education program. She has previously served in the same capacity for the early childhood education program and has taught the learners and learning environments of both the early childhood and special education

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

programs in addition to instructional strategies for early childhood majors. Her areas of interest include the evolution of self-efficacy in the development of pre-service educators. Dr. LaTeshia Warren Dr. Warren is an Assistant Professor at Georgia Gwinnett College. She currently serves as the field and clinical supervisor in the Early Childhood Education Program. Her experience includes teaching in the K-12 sector for ten years, serving as an instructional reading coach, and facilitating professional development sessions and learning seminars with elementary teachers. Her areas of interest include literacy education, culturally relevant teaching practices, and clinical experiences. Dr. Rebecca A. Cooper Dr. Cooper is a professor and Assistant Dean of Assessment in the School of Education at Georgia Gwinnett College. In her 14 years of higher education experience, she has taught general education, science methods, and science content courses online and on ground for graduate and undergraduate students. Dr. Cooper also works with other education faculty to incorporate technology into their teacher education courses. Her areas of interest include students’ attitude toward science, technology tools, online teaching, and culturally relevant teaching practices. Dr. Brandon Lewis Dr. Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education at Georgia Gwinnett College. He began his teaching career in the DeKalb County School System in 2004. After teaching 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade, Dr. Lewis entered Georgia State University in 2008 to pursue a doctoral degree in Early Childhood Education. Upon entering the doctoral program, Dr. Lewis felt compelled to challenge the misconceptions and stereotypes facing urban school students. His research interests focus on urban schools and communities, social justice, Black male teachers, culturally responsive pedagogy, double consciousness, and teacher preparation programs. Dr. Tashana D. Howse Dr. Howse is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at Georgia Gwinnett College. She has mathematical teaching experience ranging from classroom public education to developing the teachers of tomorrow through preservice teacher education courses. Dr. Howse teaches preservice teachers and supervises elementary and secondary interns. Her research interests include culturally responsive teaching, student engagement in mathematical practices, the use of technology to enhance learning, and teacher content knowledge.

PAGE 49


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

What the Tech? Preparing Teacher Candidates for 21st Century Learners Rebecca Cooper, Tiffany Coleman, Amy Farah, and Katharine Page, Georgia Gwinnett College

One of the many challenges of educator preparation programs (EPPs) is the ever-changing field of educational technology and the support necessary to grow a teacher’s skillset to support the use of technology in the K-12 classroom. “Teachers use technology primarily for personal use with the creation of instructional materials, lesson plans, documents, and communication and do not think of it from the terms of student use in learning and critical thinking” (Stobaugh & Tassell, 2011, p.154). While teachers do believe that technology “could encourage students, augment their learning, and develop their longterm retention,” they also struggle with growing their skill-set to implement these technologies into their content (Merc, 2015, p.213). Therefore, EPPs must scaffold instruction to expand the knowledge base of teacher candidates so that they not only focus on their use of technology, but also on their students’ use of technology to create products in order to show mastery of concepts (Keating & Evans, 2001; Stobaugh & Tassell, 2011). While most of the current research cites the implementation of technology use within one graduate course (Zoch, Myers, & Belcher, 2017), this paper presents the use of technology tools in methods courses, including various content areas, within a full preservice undergraduate program. This EPP made a conscious decision in keeping with the theme of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards, in which technology is integrated across the standards rather than being a stand-alone item or focus.

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

Standards for technology integration are included in both Standard 1: Content and Pedagogical Knowledge, and Standard 2: Clinical Partnerships and Practice (CAEP, 2016). This article presents 14 technology tools that were integrated into four different methods courses in an undergraduate pre-service program. Descriptions of the ways in which the tools were implemented into the various undergraduate courses in order to prepare teacher candidates to teach effectively using technology are included. Literature Review Teacher Candidate and EPP Faculty Barriers to Technology Usage Change is a process, and the use and integration of technology into teaching and learning is a change that is requiring teachers and learners to step outside of their comfort level in order to attend to the 21st Century skills that are now expected to be taught and implemented in today’s learning environment. The “issue with technology in education is that it has been an evasive piece to understand, study, and implement because of its rapid growth and change” (Stobaugh & Tassell, 2011, p.153). Due to this impending change in practice, barriers naturally occur during this learning process. Although the barriers differ for teachers and learners, a few common barriers have been presented in the literature. One common barrier that exists in implementing technology integration is the lack of self-confidence in the various technologies or

PAGE 50


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

in the pedagogy of how to implement technologies (Merc, 2015; Park & Son, 2009). This impedes teachers’ ability to feel confident or adequate enough to attempt to change their practice. Another barrier in successful technology integration is the lack of professional growth in these various technologies (Duhaney, 2001; Eristi, Kurt, & Dindar, 2012; Merc, 2015; Stobaugh & Tassell, 2011; Wheatley, 2003). Although national and state standards require technology integration in various aspects of the EPP, there is very limited support provided for this change in practice to take place, yielding non-use by teachers and students. Another common barrier extending from the lack of professional development is the lack of EPP support in growing these skills (Duhaney, 2001; Emhamed & Krishnan, 2011; Merc, 2015; Stobaugh & Tassell, 2011). When teachers and students do not feel supported in this practice and are not held accountable to change their practice, the result is non-use. The final common barrier that was identified in the body of research is the barrier of time (Emhamed & Krishnan, 2011; Merc, 2015). This barrier can be embodied into many of the others already listed. When EPPs do not prioritize their time to focus on growing their teachers and students and support them in the area of technology integration, the change in practice is negatively affected. When teachers do not prioritize their time to participate in professional growth opportunities, the change in practice is also negatively affected (Zoch et al., 2017). The Need for Integration of Technology into EPP Courses Traditional EPP instruction in technology has been provided through stand-alone courses and workshops (Mishra & Kohler, 2006; Shofner, 2009) resulting in isolated knowledge of technology tools rather than a deep understanding of best practices for technology integration. The constant wave of new technology, coupled with an emphasis placed on what technology resources are available for use rather than how various forms of technology can be integrated into content instruction, often results in teachers’ inclusion of technology into teaching as a means of meeting a lesson

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

component requirement rather than true integration (Mishra & Kohler, 2006). When educating 21st Century learners, faculty must be cognizant of the typically high level of personal technology use of the teacher candidates. Although today’s EPP students are typically digital natives, they frequently experience traditional models of instruction in their own learning experiences and thus possess a traditional view of instruction (Cheon, Coward, Song, & Lim, 2012). “The use of technologies still seems to remain bounded to a set of basic teaching and learning activities, whereas the more advanced and complex pedagogical activities are significantly less frequent” (Brun & Hinostroza, 2014, p. 235). This lack of personal experience in technology-rich classrooms results in a greater need for EPPs to model and scaffold the technology integration that they wish to see their graduates employ in their own classrooms. Theoretical Framework The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPAK) framework provides the theoretical basis for our work (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). This framework was developed out of a need for teachers to understand the interplay between and among technology, pedagogy, and content (Young, Young, & Shaker, 2012). Mishra and Koehler identify seven components of TPACK: Technological Knowledge (TK), Content Knowledge (CK), Pedagogical Knowledge (PK), Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK), Technological Content Knowledge (TCK), Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPK), and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK). The framework consists of components that interact with each other. Technological knowledge (TK) refers to being computer literate and understanding information technology enough to be able to apply it in everyday life (Koehler & Mishra, 2009). TK includes knowledge of both software and hardware and how these resources work. Pedagogical knowledge (PK) is teachers’ knowledge of the practices of teaching and learning. PK is essential so that teachers know how to teach students; they need to understand

PAGE 51


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

the strategies and methods that make learning accessible. Content knowledge (CK) is teachers’ knowledge of the subject matter they teach and includes knowledge of concepts, theories, and ideas. Technological content knowledge (TCK) represents the interplay between technology and content and how they influence and constrain one another. When teachers possess TCK, they are able to integrate technology in a purposeful way that enhances learning of a particular discipline. Technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) is an understanding of how certain technologies can be used for teaching and learning purposes. Technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) then, is the interweaving of all of these components, and it is the understanding of how to integrate technology tools in a teaching and learning context in order to help others develop knowledge of a particular discipline (Koehler & Mishra, 2009). This framework was helpful to use with teacher candidates as it clearly identifies critical components of teaching and delineates how these components are not exclusive of each other, but rather interdependent. Additionally, the TPACK framework has been used in several previous studies to guide researchers’ work in the area of training teachers to integrate

technology into their teaching (Chai, Koh, & Tsai, 2013). Methods The purpose for implementing technology tools was to develop teacher candidates’ technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) throughout their junior year in the educator preparation program. TPK was the main focus, as this particular component of TPACK coordinated well with students’ junior year of coursework. Because students were in the junior year of the program and had just begun their content course sequence, and thus were not content experts, the goal was to build on existing education course content in their junior year courses related to pedagogy and engage students in activities and experiences that modeled how to use various technology tools to teach. Therefore, a group of educator preparation professors at a large public college in northeast Georgia identified a variety of technology tools to learn about and implement in their classes with teacher candidates. The tools in Table 1 were introduced into the EPP junior-year courses to not only engage the millennial generation of teacher candidates but also to teach them how to use technology to engage their future 21st Century learners.

Table 1 Summary of Technology Tools QR Code

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

Technology Tool

Use of Technology Tool in Courses

Easel.ly is an infographic generator. It has several preloaded infographics to choose from or you can create your own.

Easel.ly was used in Characteristics of Learners by students to create infographics for various ages and stages of child development. Each group of teacher candidates was given a different range of ages, and they created an infographic of the stages of cognitive, physical, and emotional development that occur for their groups’ age range.

Emaze is an online presentation tool.

Emaze was used in Characteristics of Learners for groups of teacher candidates to create presentations on the history of special education.

PAGE 52


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

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

Kahoot is an assessment tool in which students respond to polls or quizzes in a competitive fashion. Students gain points by how fast they choose the correct answer to a question. Students play the game using a technological device.

Kahoot was used in Characteristics of Learners as a formative assessment for several topics in the course: educational theorists, classroom management, cultural diversity, etc. Teacher candidates also created their own Kahoots to use with students in their field lessons.

Padlet is a way to add online sticky notes to an electronic bulletin board. It can be used by an individual or collaboratively as a class.

Padlet was used in Characteristics of Learners to ask teacher candidates to respond to the prompt: What do you think of when you hear the words Flipped Classroom? Padlet was also used in Literacy Assessment and Instruction to collect and organize collections of children's literature by genre and potential teaching use. Individual teacher candidates developed personal Padlets of fifty pieces of children's literature.

Pinterest is an online board that allows users to pin images. You can upload, save, sort, and manage media content.

Pinterest was used in Literacy Assessment and Instruction to collect individual children’s literature projects created using Padlet in order to build a collective repository of all resources collected across multiple cohorts of teacher candidates. Pinterest was also used for teacher candidates to create a board of formative assessment strategies, and they were asked to add their peers as collaborators so all teacher candidates could view the pins and implement them in their field lessons as appropriate.

Plickers allows teachers to create formative assessments and collect student data without the use of expensive clickers. The teacher simply prints Plicker cards that students use to answer questions, and then scans the cards with an app on to quickly see how many of the students chose the correct answer.

Plickers was used Content Methods to have teacher candidates answer questions related to videos they watched. Teacher candidates were also shown explicitly how to set up Plickers for potential use in their own field placements.

QR Code Generator is an online website that creates a QR code for any web address, document, video, etc.

A QR Code Generator was used in Characteristics of Learners for teacher candidates to create QR codes for a variety of resources related to each of the following exceptionalities: Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Emotional Behavioral Disorder, Autism, Speech and Language Impairments, Hearing Impairments, Visual Impairments, and Physical Disabilities.

PAGE 53


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

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

Quizlet can be used to create online flashcards. The information on the cards can be read to students, and they can play several games to interact with and learn the content.

Quizlet was used in Instructional Assessment and Adaptation as a way for teacher candidates to collaborate with the use of technology tools. Each group of teacher candidates was given a list of technology tools that can be used for differentiation to investigate. They had to add their technology tools and explain how each could be used for differentiation to a flashcard in Quizlet. All teacher candidates could access the flashcards and therefore had access to all of the technology tool and uses without having to create all of the flashcards themselves. This activity was similar to an online jigsaw strategy.

ThingLink can be used to create interactive pictures. Student can pin pictures, text, videos, and websites to a picture to create a repository of information.

Thinglink was used in Characteristics of Learners for groups of teacher candidates to create interactive pictures for each of the following exceptionalities: Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Emotional Behavioral Disorder, Autism, Speech and Language Impairments, Hearing Impairments, Visual Impairments, and Physical Disabilities. Each group provided information on the definition of the exceptionality, how it is diagnosed, characteristics, a video, and an additional piece of information of their choice.

Formative can be used to create an online chat room. Students can share ideas and answer questions. Reponses can be seen in real time.

Formative was used in Characteristics of Learners to allow teacher candidates to respond to the question: What are some characteristics of students who are gifted and talented?

Twitter is an online site used for social networking. Users can post messages or tweets.

Twitter was used in Literacy Assessment and Instruction to facilitate the development of online professional networks for teacher candidates. Course hashtags were developed, and students were required to tweet a minimum of three times per week using the course hashtag. Tweets were related to course readings the literacy teacher candidates were required to follow. Additionally, candidates were required to participate in a minimum of two Twitter chats related to reading instruction or assessment and to follow the hashtags of major literacy professional conferences.

PAGE 54


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

TweetDeck makes it possible to customize your viewing space with the Twitter content you want to see through the use of columns. These columns can change as little or as often as you want and are the core of getting TweetDeck to work for you.

TweetDeck was used in Literacy Assessment and Instruction to help teacher candidates organize the information gleaned in Twitter into meaningful units in order to follow streams in a more organized manner. Teacher candidates were required to build columns to follow the course hashtag, two hashtags related to children's literature, and a minimum of two regularly scheduled Twitter chats in which they participated.

VideoScribe can be used to create animated videos. Users can add text and audio files.

Videoscribe was used in Characteristics of Learners by the instructor to create a video presentation of an interview with an elementary and a middle grades gifted teacher.

Zoom is used for video conferencing. Users can share their screens, annotate, and record.

Zoom was used in Characteristics of Learners. Teacher candidates created MP4 videos that they would share with parents to explain content that they are teaching. They also used zoom to audio record an MP4 interview with a classmate on the most important lessons learned from the semester coursework.

Results Observational data revealed that the teacher candidates were more engaged in their education classes when the professors used technology to teach the content. Most of the teacher candidates are digital natives who grew up with technology and thus respond well to its use in the classroom. The teacher candidates also increased their technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) as they learned to use a variety of technology tools for K-12 teaching and learning. Many of them discussed how they were able to use these technology tools in their field placements. In class, students commented about the benefit of having specific assignments linked to technology as being useful and generative to future professional growth. The Padlet files used to record children's literature were specifically mentioned by multiple students as electronic records that they will continue to add to as they progress through their program. Several recent graduates report that the padlets are now linked

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

to their classroom websites as resources for student and parent selection of texts. Similarly, professional learning networks created through Twitter assignments and in-class chats have continued and expanded as students progressed through the program and began their teaching careers. Other students expressed that what they found to be valuable from their junior year courses was discovering various types of technology resources that they can use in their future classrooms. Students have also shared that they have used VideoScribe, Kahoot, Quizlet, and a few technology tools that they discovered on their own in their field experiences. This information can lead to future research investigating the technology integration of alumni in their own classrooms. Conclusions Teachers today must be able to embrace the digital world of their 21st Century learners. Classrooms are full of students who on one hand have grown up with computers and cell phones in

PAGE 55


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

their hands and students on the other hand who have grown up with minimal or limited access to either technology tools or the skills to take full advantage of technology. Therefore, educator preparation programs must prepare teacher candidates to accept the challenge of learning how to use new technology tools in the classroom and to be creative in how they expose students to technology tools and build their technology skills capacity. Through modeling the use of technology tools, most of which can be used on smartphones, junior-year teacher candidates were taught how to engage their students through the use of technology devices that most students are able to access and use. Through the teacher candidates’ use of the various technology tools presented in this study, the researchers’ hopes are that the barriers of lack of support, lack of professional growth, and lack of time will be greatly minimized (Duhaney, 2001; Emhamed & Krishnan, 2011; Merc, 2015; Stobaugh & Tassell, 2011). Additionally, as next steps, the researchers plan to follow up with research on extending past the application of these various tools into the exploration and art of knowing which technologies are best used for different content (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). References Brun, M., & Hinostroza, J. E. (2014). Learning to become a teacher in the 21st century: ICT integration in Initial Teacher Education in Chile. Educational Technology & Society, 17(3), 222–238. Chai, C. S., Koh, J. H. L., & Tsai, C. C. (2013). A review of technological pedagogical content knowledge. Educational Technology & Society, 16(2), 31-51. Cheon, J., Coward, F., Song, J., & Lim, S. (2012). Factors predicting preservice teachers’ adoption of Web 2.0 technologies. Research in the Schools, 19(2), 17-29. Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. (2016). CAEP Standards. Retrieved from www.caepnet.org Duhaney, D. C. (2001). Teacher education: Preparing teaches to integrate technology. International Journal of Instructional Media, 28(1), 23-30. Emhamed, E., & Krishnan, K. (2011). Investigating Libyan teachers’attitude towards integrating technology in teaching English in Sebha secondary schools. Academic Research International, 1(3), 182-192. Eristi, S. D., Kurt, A. A., & Dindar, M. (2012). Teachers’ views about effective use of technology in classrooms. Turkish Online Journal of Qualitative Inquiry, 3(2), 30-41. Keating, T., & Evans, E. (2001). Three computers in the back of the classroom: Preservice teachers’

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

conceptions of technology integration. In J. Price, D. Willis, N. Davis, & J. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2001 (pp. 16711676). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1). Retrieved from http://www. citejournal.org/publication/volume-9/issue-1-09/ Merc, A. (2015). Using technology in the classroom: A study with Turkish pre-service EFL teachers. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 14(2), 229-240. Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054. doi: 10.1111/j.14679620.2006.00684.x Park, C., & Son, J. (2009). Implementing computerassisted language learning in the EFL classroom: Teachers’ perceptions and perspectives. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 5(2), 80-101. doi: 10.7172/ijpl.5.2.80 Shofner, M. (2009). Personal attitudes and technology: Implications for preservice teacher reflective practice. Teacher Education Quarterly, 36(2), 143161. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2008.11.012 Stobaugh, R., & Tassell, J. (2011). Analyzing the degree of technology use occurring in pre-service teacher education. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 23,(2) 143-157. doi: 10.1007/ s11092-011-9118-2 Wheatley, K. (2003). Increasing computer use in early childhood teacher education: The case of a “computer muddler.” Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 2(4). Retrieved from http://www.citejournal.org/publication/volume2/issue-4-02/ Young, J. R., Young, J. L., & Shaker, Z. (2012). Describing the pre-service teacher technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) literature using confidence intervals. TechTrends, 56(5), 2533. doi:10.1007/s11528-012-0600-6 Zoch, M., Myers, J., & Belcher, J. (2017). Teachers’ engagement with new literacies: Support for implementing technology in the English/language arts classroom. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 17(1). Retrieved from http://www. citejournal.org/publication/volume-17/issue-1-17/

PAGE 56


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

About the Authors Dr. Rebecca Cooper Dr. Cooper serves as the Assistant Dean of Assessment in the School of Education at Georgia Gwinnett College. She has taught in higher education for fourteen years. Her previous work has included teaching science content and methods courses online and on ground to undergraduate and graduate education students. Dr. Tiffany Coleman Dr. Coleman is an Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at Georgia Gwinnett College and has over twenty years of experience teaching and instructional coaching. She teaches her college courses in Title I elementary schools, working with pre-service and inservice teachers as they strive to better use literacy assessment to drive differentiated instruction. Additionally, she consults with individual schools and school districts to increase student achievement and teacher efficacy through exemplary literacy instruction. Her research interests include instructional coaching, school improvement, and literacy instruction. Dr. Coleman has taught graduate courses in reading instruction and assessment at multiple institutions and directed Georgia State University’s Reading Endorsement Program. Dr. Amy Farah Dr. Farah works as a clinical supervisor of pre-service teachers at Georgia Gwinnett College. Prior to coming to higher education, Dr. Farah worked as a districtlevel instructional coach as well as a local high school English Language Arts teacher and department chair. Dr. Katharine Page Dr. Page serves as the Assistant Dean of Clinical Experiences and Outreach at Georgia Gwinnett College. She has previously taught and supervised elementary pre-service teachers. Prior to coming to higher education, Dr. Page’s work history included elementary assistant principal, district level instructional coach, local school literacy and math coach, and elementary school teacher.

VOLUME 28, ISSUE 1

PAGE 57


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 http://wp.westga.edu/gaate.

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 http://wp.westga.edu/gaate for more details.

Manuscripts for the April issue of GATEways are due January 1st. Editors: Dr. Judy Butler, University of West Georgia, jbutler@westga.edu, 678-839-6079 Dr. Janet Strickland, University of West Georgia, jstrickl@westga.edu, 678-839-6061 Copy Editor: Dr. Robyn Huss, University of West Georgia, rhuss@westga.edu

Join us at the GATE 2017 Fall Conference October 11-13 at the Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club in Cordele, GA Additional conference information is available online: http://wp.westga.edu/gaate

Gateways 2017 (Volume 28, Issue 1)  

A journal of the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators

Advertisement