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ERIC Number: ED519486
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 279
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-4239-5
In the Midst of Their Journeys: Professors' Reports of Transitions in Teaching
Langenegger, Joyce A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Fielding Graduate University
This descriptive study focused on the ways college and university professors described their transition process from reliance on traditional teaching strategies to the integration of nontraditional teaching methods in their classrooms. Study participants included 24 community college and university professors from 6 institutions in the southwestern United States. All interviewees participated in semistructured interviews and reported at least one change in their teaching methods in the 2 years' preceding their interviews. Study participants also completed a Critical Incidents Inventory and Draw-A-Graph tool that provided a visual representation of their levels of teaching dissatisfaction in the 5-year period prior to their interviews. These tools permitted insight into the dualistic ways in which some individuals report a transition. Lewin's Force Field Theory, the conceptual framework for the research, underscored positive driving forces, negative driving forces, and restraining forces that affected professors' transition processes. In addition, the data yielded a 4th category not previously identified-sustaining forces--that shaped individuals' transitions. A philosophical hermeneutic analysis of the interviews and related documentation revealed four pathways by which participants reported they negotiated transitions, labeled in the study as Actors, Converts, Incrementalists, and Reintegrators. In addition, interviewees reported a general transition process and described (a) an initial misalignment or disconnection between their beliefs and behaviors; (b) a period of dealignment in which they assessed either their behavioral or belief options; and (c) a realignment or resolution of conflicts between their beliefs and behaviors. Most, but not all, participant descriptions reflected the interviewee's current location in the realignment phase or beyond. The findings of this study were, in part, consistent with descriptions of transitions found in the literature but also introduced new factors inherent in the transition process and challenged existing ideas. This study presents a model of transition based in the relationship between people's beliefs and behaviors, an approach not previously described in the literature. The identification of four pathways through a teaching transition suggests the need for greater customization of support mechanisms for professors who implement nontraditional teaching methods. The study includes recommendations for possible approaches tailored to each pathway. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A