ERIC Number: EJ852368
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: 60
The Impact of Field Experience on Preservice Teachers' Understandings of Caring
Goldstein, Lisa S.; Lake, Vickie E.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v30 n3 p115-132 Sum 2003
The literature indicates that caring is beneficial to children both academically and socially. As teacher educators, then, one of their goals should be to create curricula and preparation programs that engender in preservice teachers an understanding of the pedagogical power of caring and a commitment to implementing care-centered teaching practices in their classrooms (Arnstine, 1990; Goodlad, Soder & Sirotnik, 1990; Noddings, 1986). The authors explored these fundamental issues in a recent study of a group of preservice elementary teachers. In a previous article (Goldstein & Lake, 2000) the authors focused on the preconceptions and beliefs about caring brought by preservice teachers to their first field placements; in this article they examine the ways in which the preservice teachers' preconceived understandings of caring teaching played out as they engaged in their first field placements. Central to this article is discussion of the shifts and changes that occurred in their preservice teachers' beliefs about the relationship of caring and teaching. Their findings reveal preservice teachers poised at a threshold of professional possibility. Working in a zone of discomfort and disequilibrium, the preservice teachers struggled with establishing their professional identity as caring teachers and coping with the tensions between caring and loss in teaching. Hollingsworth (1989) insists that teacher educators "should come to understand the incoming beliefs of [their] students". They support this belief. However, their work in this study suggests that understanding preservice teachers' incoming beliefs is only a first step. Teacher educators must also attend carefully to the ways that those beliefs are challenged or reinforced during the preservice teachers' field placement experiences.
Descriptors: Preservice Teachers, Student Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Educators, Teaching Methods, Field Experience Programs, Comprehension, Cognitive Processes, Caring, Relationship, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching (Occupation)
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A