Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Childhood Education and Literacy Studies

Major Professor

James King, Ed.D.

Keywords

School-to-prison pipeline, Pedagogy, Critical race theory, Field-based

Abstract

Teacher educators need to develop better teaching methods in order to, ultimately, serve future students in classrooms that are increasing in diversity. It is vital that education majors do more than hear and read about social justice issues facing their prospective students; for them to both understand it and retain it, they need deeper interaction with the issues and alternative strategies for resolving them. This model for using teaching cases may enable teacher educators to demonstrate the relevance of their coursework to their midlevel education students, ultimately enhancing learning gains. Of equal importance to their professional development, prospective teachers need to not only be prepared, but to know they are prepared. The model developed from this research may provide the venue to increasing their teacher efficacy. The model engages all four efficacy-building elements (Bandura, 1995), mastery, verbal, physiological and vicarious.

Efficacy is developed verbally as participants discuss possible alternative solutions to the teaching cases. This discussion also affords both physiological development when responses enter Bakhtin's (1983) interstitial spaces, spaces of disagreement, argument, discomfort, and vicarious development of efficacy as students experience the teaching dilemmas of experienced teachers but experiences they realize are likely to be in their own futures. Perhaps the most challenging developer of efficacy through this model is mastery. Mastery can be developed during the "rehearsals" of seminar discussions of teaching cases (Cambourne, 1995), or it may develop within the internship-assigned classroom; for some it may require extensive classroom experience to achieve. This study's participants were a midlevel preservice teacher cohort divided between urban and suburban settings for their field-based internships.

Intrinsic to the study was critical literacy and the recursive use of teaching cases focused on underlying social justice issues. Pretest and posttest scores from the Ohio State Teacher Efficacy Scale confirmed significant gains in teacher efficacy but could not validate the teaching cases as the causality. Qualitative data, however, did confirm the validity of using teaching cases with this specific study.

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