ERIC Number: ED375080
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Four Women's Stories of "Failure" As Beginning Teachers.
Schmidt, Margaret; Knowles, J. Gary
This study focused on the "failure" experienced by four female novice teachers who were successful in university course work but experienced considerable difficulty in their initial teaching assignments. The difficulties these women encountered are examined through analysis of observation notes, interview transcripts, journals and autobiographical writing, and recordings of their classroom teaching. The analysis focuses on the women's personal histories, understandings of themselves as teachers, instructional problems they experienced, and the contexts of their beginning teaching experiences. The paper concludes that these perceived failures resulted not from any single factor but from the cumulative effect of such factors as unassertiveness, compliance, low self-confidence, and underdeveloped conceptions of instructional techniques and management routines. More connected, collaborative styles of supervision, which might have allowed these capable women to do more than "survive" their initial teaching experiences, are identified. Five types of experiences for prospective and beginning teachers are suggested: validating their personal experiences as students and teachers, using those experiences to explore their personal histories and develop models of teaching, helping them create expectations of success, encouraging their comfort with the experience of "not knowing," and creating expectations of appropriate support and mentoring. (Contains approximately 90 references.) (JDD)
Descriptors: Beginning Teachers, Case Studies, Classroom Techniques, Cooperating Teachers, Elementary Secondary Education, Failure, Females, Higher Education, Interpersonal Relationship, Practicum Supervision, Preservice Teacher Education, Self Concept, Student Experience, Student Teacher Supervisors, Student Teachers, Student Teaching, Teacher Characteristics, Teacher Supervision
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 (New Orleans, LA, April 4-10, 1994).