ERIC Number: ED466703
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr-3
Putting the Child First: How One Student Teacher Negotiated the Moral Landscape of Teaching.
This study investigated conditions of teaching influencing professional moral development, how teachers' activities lead to moral understanding, how teachers develop professional morality, and whether some of that process can begin during preservice education. The case study involved observations of and interviews with Julie, a preservice kindergarten teacher during her first 8 weeks of student teaching in a diverse, rural school. Julie provided a reflective journal, and her university supervisor provided copies of documents she generated in the supervision process. From the very beginning, Julie believed her professional moral responsibility was to put the children first. She emphasized the integrity of the individual child and the importance of respecting each child's autonomy. By the end of the 8 weeks, her understanding of what putting the child first meant differed significantly. Complications that modified her understanding of her moral imperative included sharing responsibility with others, even if she did not always agree; handling students' indeterminate needs; and accepting the necessity of curricular standards. Julie's case sharply contrasted with that of another student teacher who articulated a socially sensitive model of her professional moral responsibilities and spent considerable time and effort trying to understand others' viewpoints, but was less democratic in her actual operations. (Contains 22 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
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 1-5, 2002).