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ERIC Number: ED380408
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Apr-7
Pages: 42
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Student Teaching as Social Reproduction: An Appalachian Ethnography. Draft.
Spatig, Linda
A critical ethnographic study followed six preservice teachers throughout their teacher education program at a medium sized state university in West Virginia. This segment of the study situates their student teaching experience within a broader social context and addresses the ways, as well as the extent to which, the student teachers' experiences either strengthen or challenge prevailing power relations in Appalachia. The student teachers, three male and three female, four elementary and two secondary education majors, were white, native to the Appalachian area, and from relatively poor and undereducated families. The study gathered data from observation of the student teachers and through interviews with them, and with teachers, the university student teaching seminar instructors, and the school-based student teaching supervisors. Analysis of the findings led to the conclusions that these teachers were unlikely to challenge the current social system in which they themselves had achieved some moderate success. The results also suggested that the subjects' student teaching experiences did little to increase their awareness or understanding of social inequalities or of the school's role in maintaining or changing those inequalities. Though the college's official documents stressed the importance of critical reasoning, most formal and informal programmatic messages were the antithesis of critical reasoning--comments made by the student teachers at the end of their program remained fairly superficial and did not seem informed by much reading and thinking about educational issues. Overall the teacher education program focused on the mechanics of teaching; the student teaching experiences, and to a large extent the entire teacher education program, failed to offer a challenge to these prospective teachers' previous understandings of social inequalities. The teacher education program did not encourage the student teachers to play an active role in social reform efforts nor was it oriented to encourage such a response in the student teachers. (Contains 21 references.) (JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A