ERIC Number: ED358029
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Feb
Many Voices: Learning to Teach Social Studies. Elementary Subject Series No. 86.
Roth, Kathleen J.; And Others
Teaching a methods class for prospective teachers has traditionally been a solitary venture. The teacher educator plans and teaches the course and evaluates the learning of the students typically without any involvement by classroom teachers, who may even feel that the teacher education course is not relevant to real classrooms. This paper describes an attempt to challenge this paradigm and to experiment with a collaborative approach to teaching and learning in a social studies methods class. The collaboration included a teacher educator, two classroom teachers, a doctoral student in teacher education, a masters' degree student, and 25 prospective elementary teachers in an alternative teacher education program. The writers of this report worked together in the context of a professional development school in which university and school-based educators collaborate to create exemplary sties for teacher education, K-12 teaching and learning, professional development of educators, and research. These collaborative efforts resulted in a social studies methods course that was strikingly different from the one the teacher educator in the group had previously taught "on her own." There was consensus among the participants that these changes enabled valuable learning experiences for all, teachers and students alike; all were challenged to reconsider their own understandings of powerful social studies concepts and to re-examine what it would take to teach social studies in ways that were more deeply meaningful for students. The collaborative teaching and learning shifted the course from the well-organized and gently thought-provoking course that had previously been taught towards a more provocative and personally meaningful course that enabled transformative changes in participants' views of what it means to teach and learn social studies with understanding. The shifts occurred in the course from Year One to Year Two as a result of the collaboration; and the particular kind of school/university collaboration that enabled these changes are described in this paper. The changes are framed in the context of two theoretical perspectives: a conceptual change perspective and a curricular re-vision perspective. The changes in the course are illustrated through a case description of the course in action with multiple voices contributing to the case description. The voices represent the multiple school- and university-based course instructors as well as the prospective teachers. Each author's voice is heard as she reflects on both her teaching and learning roles in this course. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, East Lansing, MI.