ERIC Number: EJ760066
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
A Cultural Perspective of the Induction of Five Reform-Minded Beginning Mathematics and Science Teachers
McGinnis, J. Randy; Parker, Carolyn; Graeber, Anna O.
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, v41 n7 p720-747 Sep 2004
The purpose of this empirical study was to present a detailed description and interpretation of what happens in schools to beginning teachers who are prepared to enact reform-based practices in mathematics and science. The focus was on a select sample of graduates from the Maryland Collaborative for Teacher Preparation [MCTP], a statewide reform-based undergraduate teacher preparation program funded by the National Science Foundation. Interpretative research methodology was used to conduct a cultural case study of the beginning teachers' first 2 years of practice (first year, N = 5; second year, N = 3). We documented differential experiences and perceptions of the beginning teachers from both inside (emic) and outside (etic) perspectives. Documented discussion centered on an analytical framework suggested elsewhere. Findings were framed in two components: the individual's intentions, needs, and capabilities; and the institutional demands, affordances, and constraints. The major insight was that the beginning teachers' perception of their "school culture" was a major factor in whether reform-aligned mathematics and science teaching was regularly implemented by the beginning teachers. In instances where the beginning teachers' perceived that their school cultures offered a lack of support for their intent to implement reform-based practices the beginning teachers exhibited differing social strategies ("resistance," "moving on," and "exit"). Therefore, to sustain reform (and, by extension, to retain beginning mathematics and science teachers), a key implication is to place additional attention on the use of the school culture perspective to improve teacher preparation and induction experiences.
Descriptors: Science Teachers, School Culture, Beginning Teachers, Beginning Teacher Induction, Mathematics Teachers, Educational Change, State Programs, Preservice Teacher Education, Higher Education, Case Studies, Teaching Experience, Educational Environment, Elementary Secondary Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland