September/October Issue of JTE Addresses School-Based Teacher Learning
Addressing the special theme of “School-Based Learning,” the September/October 2015 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) is now available online. See what Volume 66 Number 4 has to offer!
- In this month’s editorial, “School-Based Teacher Learning,” JTE’s outgoing editors at Penn State University discuss the issue’s theme in light of the growing emphasis on embedding both preservice and in-service teacher development in school settings rather than siting them in university classrooms or elsewhere. The editorial also highlights the six theme articles and the final piece in this issue, two authors’ response to an earlier commentary that had criticized their study published in a JTE article last year.
- For the first theme article, “Field Placement Schools and Instructional Effectiveness,” author Matthew Ronfeldt scrutinizes records from a large, urban district for any correlations between preservice teachers’ student-teaching site characteristics and these candidates’ later performance as in-service teachers. Although he finds that well-functioning placement schools tend to result in more effective new teachers (based on their students’ achievement measured by value-added methodology), he also finds that such schools are less likely to be used as field placements than less well-functioning schools in the district.
- In “Teaching as Assemblage: Negotiating Learning and Practice in the First Year of Teaching,” Kathryn J. Strom provides an alternative view of how novice teachers build their practice, rejecting the linear thinking popular in policies that seek to judge preparation programs on their graduates’ performance. Instead, Strom’s case study shows the complexity of factors shaping a teacher’s professional learning in different contexts, casting doubt on the validity of judging preparation’s effectiveness based on outcomes alone.
- “Unraveling the Complexity of Student Teachers’ Learning in and From the Workplace” by Han Leeferink, Maaike Koopman, Douwe Beijaard, and Evelien Ketelaar also investigates how the complexity of practical experiences shapes student teachers’ learning. The authors use webs as graphic organizers to visualize the interrelation between the candidates’ experiences and their learning, as reported in digital logs and in-depth interviews.
- “From Experience to Expertise: The Development of Teachers’ Learning in Lesson Study” by Candice Bocala looks at educators’ evolving understanding of lesson study, a popular model of school-based teacher learning. To make optimal use of the model, Bocala finds, teachers need guided practice using it to get past their preoccupation with its novelty.
- “Problems Without Ceilings: How Mentors and Novices Frame and Work on Problems-of-Practice” by Jessica Thompson, Sara Hagenah, Karin Lohwasser, and Kat Laxton, presents a design-based study of pairs of preservice and cooperating teachers who were implementing reform-based practices for ambitious science instruction. The study suggests that preservice teachers’ development of proficiency depends on the quality of their discourse with cooperating teachers, grounded in common practices and tools and shaped by deliberate routines.
- In “Teaching, Learning, and Leading: Preparing Teachers as Educational Policy Actors,” Amy J. Heineke, Ann Marie Ryan, and Charles Tocci apply a similar model of preservice teacher learning to a different objective: promoting teachers’ understanding and advocacy around education policy. The article shares a qualitative study of eight teacher candidates exploring policy in the context of four urban school settings.
- Finally, John Gargani and Michael Strong’s commentary “Response to ‘Rating Teachers Cheaper, Faster, and Better: Not So Fast’: It’s About Evidence” is a rebuttal to criticism that an earlier study they published in JTE on the Rapid Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness was based on an instrument that lacked validity. In this response, Gargani and Strong answer the main points of the critique.
Don’t want to wait for the mail to bring your printed copy of the journal? Abstracts of each JTE article are available online for public access, but AACTE members may access the full text for free. Simply log in to the AACTE web site and then click through from the blue button on this page to the JTE site hosted by SAGE.