ERIC Number: ED440382
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr-30
Why Beginning English Teachers Do What They Do.
Stinson, Anne D'Antonio
A basic assumption in teacher education is that teacher education programs are the primary influence in the thinking of new English teachers. A study evaluated that assumption. The researchers worked with four first-year high school or middle school English teachers to identify decision points in their teaching and to name the influences that affected those decisions. The primary data sources for the study were anthropological field notes taken during seven or eight monthly visits to each classroom and stimulated recall interviews based on those field notes. Participants and the researcher examined and discussed the field notes in order to identify decision points in the participants' teaching and to explore the thinking behind the decisions. Data analysis revealed that the decisions made by these new teachers were of two types: instructional and managerial. For each of these decision types, the primary categories of influence were student needs and prior experience. Other influences included normative influences (administration, curriculum guides, department regulations, etc.), availability of materials, university/teacher education programs, and professional development. Furthermore, the participants did not articulate the influence(s) on many decisions. The findings suggest the need for enhanced pre-student teaching experiences, multiple sections of one preparation that will allow new teachers to refine their decision making, and mentor programs for new teachers. (Contains 22 references and 2 notes.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English-Language Arts (Madison, Wisconsin, April 30, 1999).