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ERIC Number: ED551336
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 591
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-7462-0
Pre-Service Teachers' Performance of Instructionally Relevant Variation: Tensions and Breakthroughs
Hunt, Paula Frederica
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
This dissertation thesis describes a research inquiry that took place at a large Midwestern University, in the Fall semester of 2009, is comprised of three case studies, and attempts to respond to the question: "How do prospective teachers perceive, think about, and respond to the instructionally relevant variation of their students". Instructionally Relevant Variation (IRV) is conceptually related to notions of pedagogy, characteristics of students and the mediating spaces between students and teachers, and indicates a set of qualities, or markers, that is fluid and all encompassing. IRV is used to represent competencies and circumstances that impact teaching and learning, while allowing for overlap and gradation. IRV stands for, not only those qualities that are innate or long-term, but also circumstances that may be punctual, or of short-duration (including the child's relationship with their teacher), and that either provide affordances or prevent learning from occurring if a teacher-lead action does not take place. This study is based on the premise that Three Problems of Practice promote particular ways of "seeing" and "doing" which compel teachers to see narrow categories of children. Thus, Preservice teachers that are prepared in programs that are steeped within narrow notions of Multicultural Education, conceptualizations of professionalization based on expertise areas, and induction practices guided by silent binaries, might have restricted perceptions of children, and have difficulty identifying IRVs that fall outside of the purview of their pre-conceived professional lens and, in turn, have restricted ways of seeing and doing which result into unresolved tensions when attempting to plan and instruct ALL students. This investigation is based upon three case-studies, and follows three pre-service teachers in their first semester of the internship year. The participants were followed throughout 14 weeks, both in a graduate course on Literacy and in their internship placements, and while they planned and instructed students within the context of a literacy unit. All the work produced by the participants during the semester was gathered and analyzed, and further augmented with informal conversations, semi-structured interviews, and on-site observations. Because this is an investigation that delves into discursive practice and discourse-in-practice, an interpretative analysis method (Holstein, J.A., & Gubrium, F.F., 2011) was used to analyze the context and transcripts of all oral interactions. The results of this investigation indicate that while all three participants perceived, thought about and responded to their students IRVs, their responses (breadth and depth) were influenced by different conceptualizations of teaching/learning. The argument will be made that a combined approach to RTI, DI and CRP will allow for the transformation of Problems into Possibilities of Practice and a change in the ways in which Pre-service teachers "stand," "see," and "do," thus allowing for a wider perspective into students' IRVs. By combining these three pedagogical approaches and creating environments that are based upon the central premises of an Inquiry as Stance lens, combined with a commitment to teach all students, and a disability studies framing of normalcy, pre-service teachers will enter the classrooms with a wider set of "tools" with which to entangle and breakthrough the tensions associated with teaching ALL students. [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; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A