ERIC Number: ED335347
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Perpetuating Teaching Myths or Debunking Them? An Analysis of the Debriefings between a Student Teacher and a Cooperating Teacher.
Kleinsasser, Audrey M.
This paper explores a working hypothesis based on in-depth case studies of student teachers. The hypothesis is that the less precise the dialogue between a student teacher and cooperating teacher, the more likely the production and perpetuation of cultural teaching myths. Teaching myths are identified as over-generalized pieces of cultural folklore handed down from the cooperating teacher, such as: (1) frequent sickness is normal during the first two years of teaching; (2) you cannot reach everyone, so teach to the middle group; and (3) do not smile until Christmas. While teaching myths help novices make sense of competing values or contradictory information in a complex setting, for example, teacher as caring humanist versus teacher as authority and evaluator, they also tend to neutralize knowledge acquired during professional training. Student teaching experiences reinforce and produce powerful cultural knowledge about schooling. The knowledge is delivered in an oral tradition by an expert-teaching-novice model of enculturation, which is well-established in the culture of teaching. Analysis of the case studies leads to the recommendation that preservice teacher education must break away from the "unexamined and theoretically void traditions" through radical restructuring, i.e., through adoption of a professional rather than a cultural model of teacher enculturation. (33 references) (LL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Expert Novice Paradigm; Reflective Supervision
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).