ERIC Number: ED345217
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Preservice Teachers and Coursework: When Is Getting It Right Wrong?
A study examined preservice teachers' responses to a teacher education course and explored the relationship between how the preservice teachers made sense of the coursework and the assumptions of teacher educators. Nine preservice teachers enrolled in a preservice content area reading summer course were each interviewed six times during the course. Results indicated that: (1) general reactions to the course, readings, activities and assignments were positive; (2) when these preservice teachers made a positive decision about a teaching strategy encountered in the course, they linked their decision to a previously developed personal history-based goal for teaching; (3) the rationales the preservice teachers attached to teaching strategies as reasons for valuing them seldom matched their instructor's rationales, yet they talked as though their rationales were the same; and (4) the preservice teachers valued strategies for being interesting, different from traditional methods, or providing bonus features for teachers, never mentioning their instructor's focus on fostering independence in lessons and metacognitive awareness. Clearly, preservice teachers come to their formal study of teaching with implicit theories and personal history-based beliefs. Teacher educators assume that preservice teachers can and do distinguish between the beliefs they currently hold and the principles they are asked to consider--an assumption this study shows to be unfounded. Teacher educators need to consider carefully what kinds of coursework experiences can invite preservice teachers to focus attention on how they evaluate new pedagogical principles rather than on what they can do with new instructional ideas. (Twenty-four references are attached.) (RS)
Descriptors: College Students, Content Area Reading, Course Evaluation, Education Majors, Educational Principles, Educational Research, Educational Strategies, Higher Education, Interviews, Preservice Teacher Education, Student Attitudes, Student Reaction, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Education Programs, Teacher Student Relationship
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (73rd, San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).