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ERIC Number: EJ1140384
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
An Apprentice Teacher's Journey in "Seeing Learning"
Orellana, Marjorie Faulstich; Johnson, Sarah Jean; Rodriguez-Minkoff, Andrea C.; Rodriguez, Lilia; Franco, Janelle
Teacher Education Quarterly, v44 n2 p7-26 Spr 2017
In this article, the authors detail their attempt to encourage apprentices to merge theory and practice in a way that is atypical in teacher education. They base their approach on the idea that before stepping into the active work of teaching on their own, apprentices need more time observing children and seeing learning. Observing is hard to do when trying to master lesson delivery and when working with large groups of children with only the support of a single master teacher. What does learning look like when children interact with one another and with other adults under different conditions and in varying contexts? The aim is to contribute to conversations about how best to prepare teachers for schools as they currently exist and for the students they will meet in their classrooms. But perhaps more significantly, the authors ask another set of questions: (1) How can they prepare teachers for classrooms and schools that they might envision and imagine but that do not exist right now?; (2) How can they help teachers to meet the needs of a changing student body?; and (3) How can they prepare teachers to be innovators and change agents who are responsive to the conditions they encounter and who can lead into unknown futures rather than remain locked in the ways of the past? The authors report on a case study, Casssandra (pseudonym), a student in an innovative teacher preparation program that aims to do these things by tightly linking theory and practice, immersing teacher candidates in a nonformal learning context as well as in traditional student teaching placements. The teacher candidates wrote field notes about their observations, which the authors (the instructional/research team) read and responded to, with the aim of supporting their learning and stretching their ideas. Drawing from Wolcott's (2008) notion of ethnography as a way of seeing, the authors guided teachers to describe the everyday activities of schooling and to reflect deeply on their own practices. They encouraged them to see children, teaching, and learning in new ways--not merely as mirrors of their own experiences in K-16 education or those they observed in student teaching. The authors arranged for them to observe and work with children in different kinds of learning contexts, including home and community settings, traditional classrooms, and an after-school program.
Descriptors: Theory Practice Relationship, Teacher Education Programs, Preservice Teachers, Student Needs, Teacher Competencies, Educational Innovation, Change Agents, Case Studies, Educational Methods, Nonformal Education, Student Teaching, Observation, Ethnography, Anthropology, Grade 7, Clubs
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A