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Shared Classroom Experiences 2012 NSF Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program Conference Dr. Jeff Carpenter, Elon University Elon Noyce Scholars Program PI Coordinator.

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Presentation on theme: "Shared Classroom Experiences 2012 NSF Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program Conference Dr. Jeff Carpenter, Elon University Elon Noyce Scholars Program PI Coordinator."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shared Classroom Experiences 2012 NSF Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program Conference Dr. Jeff Carpenter, Elon University Elon Noyce Scholars Program PI Coordinator of Secondary and K-12 Teacher Education Programs

2 Context Elon – ~5000 students, private, liberal arts university in Elon, NC Fall semester, senior year teaching methods course EDU 424 Methods of Teaching Middle & Secondary Science EDU 422 Methods of Teaching Middle & Secondary Math Before: individual 50-hour field placement including teaching responsibilities (3 rd field placement in sequence) Now: Same individual placement PLUS Shared classroom experiences

3 Why bother? Our own questions What happens when students are in field experiences? How can we talk productively about field experiences in a teaching methods course? How can we prepare teachers to effectively collaborate?

4 More why bother? External validation of our curiosity National Research Council (2010) report – clinical experiences one of three most important elements of teacher prep NCATE & AACTE (2010) concur Research does not clearly define what particular kinds of field experiences are most beneficial (Boyd et al., 2007; Clift & Brady, 2005)

5 Some literature on classroom experiences Teacher candidates do not always know what to look for in their clinical experiences (e.g., Sherf & Singer, 2012). Importance of planned & guided field experiences (Clift & Brady, 2005) Discrepancies between emphases of cooperating teachers & teacher education programs (e.g., Frykholm, 1996, 1999). Field experiences increasingly connected to and embedded within methods courses (Clift & Brady, 2005)

6 Shared Classroom Experiences Methods course pairs with local master teacher Entire methods course (5-10 teacher candidates + instructor) together observes 2-3 lessons in the master teachers classroom Semi-guided observation Lessons debriefed with master teacher Starts w/ master teacher, then moves to student questions

7 Shared Classroom Experiences Teacher candidates design & implement a lesson in the same classroom topic provided by master teacher Lesson debriefed with master teacher starts w/ students self-critique

8 Why this design? Entire methods course (5-10 teacher candidates + instructor) together observes 2-3 lessons in the master teachers classroom Lessons debriefed with master teacher To make transparent teacher planning processes, in- lesson thinking and decision making, and reflection

9 Challenges of learning how to teach Lortie (1975) – apprenticeship of observation – understanding of teaching based on experiences as a student Labaree (2004) – what teachers do vs. why they do it Wieman yesterday - Expert teacher - mental organizational framework

10 Why this design? Teacher candidates design & implement a lesson in the same classroom Lesson debriefed with master teacher To make transparent teacher candidates planning processes, in-lesson thinking and decision making, and reflection To provide guided practice in collaboration

11 Challenges of collaboration Profession traditionally characterized by isolation (Lortie, 1975) Failure to move beyond generalities & polite talk (e.g., Bezzina 2007; Russo & Beyerbach, 2001) Conflict avoidance (Chokshi & Fernandez, 2004)

12 Why this design Methods course pairs with local master teacher Builds TEP relationship w/ more teachers More reciprocal relationship w/ teachers Methods course ideas validated / corroborated by real teachers Hohenbrink et al. (1997) – development of appreciation for complimentary knowledge

13 Challenges of relationships w/ master teachers Competing / contradictory beliefs and/or actions of K- 12 teachers and university faculty Fragile partnership between educators not accustomed to public self-examination, professional debate surrounding practice (Clift & Brady, 2005)

14 What has happened thus far … Fall 2010 – Math methods course taught by Janice Richardson Fall 2011 – Math methods courses + two additional math methods courses Generally positive response: Instructors: My students learned more from this experience than they would have in a traditional method's class school placement (Celia) Teacher candidates: value opportunity to get in the [teachers] mind (Tim) and talk to [the teacher] about why he planned the lesson how he did. (John) Master Teachers – all expressed willingness to participate again in Fall 2012

15 SCE as text Teacher candidates connected university classroom discourse to shared classroom experiences e.g., referencing examples of differentiation, formative assessment techniques, instructional techniques, classroom management strategies Connections in methods courses Connections in other courses

16 Participant Critiques Instructors By midterm, however, they really had moved on and I didnt bring it up much. Heck, Id like to do it with several different teachers as part of the class, instead of just one. Teacher Candidates Imperfections in the observed lessons There were too many teachers in the classroom … it had this cramped, vulture type feeling.

17 Moving forward More Fall 2012 sections Modeling analysis of student work w/ samples generated from co-designed and taught lesson

18 References American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (2010). The clinical preparation of teachers: A policy brief. Retrieved from a-policy-brief.html.http://aacte.org/Research-Policy/Clinical-Preparation/the-clinical-preparation-of-teachers- a-policy-brief.html Bezzina, C. (2006). The road less traveled: Professional communities in secondary schools. Theory into Practice, 45(2), Boyd, D., Goldhaber, D., Lankford, H., & Wyckoff, J. (2007). The effect of certification and preparation on teacher quality. The Future of Children, 17 (1), 45-68). Chokshi, S., & Fernandez, C. (2004). Challenges to importing Japanese lesson study: Concerns, misconceptions, and nuances. Phi Delta Kappan, 85, Clift, R.T., & Brady, P. (2005). Research on methods courses and field experiences. In M. Cochran-Smith and K. Zeichner (Eds.), Studying teacher education: The report of the AERA panel on research and teacher education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Frykholm, J. (1999). Assessment in mathematics teacher education. The Teacher Educator, 34 (4), Hohenbrink, J., Johnston, M., Westhoven, L. (1997). Collaborative teaching of a social studies methods course: Intimidation and Change. Journal of Teacher Education, 48 (4 ), Labaree, D.F. (2004). The trouble with ed schools. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Lortie, D. (1975). Schoolteacher: A sociological study. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. National Research Council (2010). Preparing teachers: Building evidence for sound policy. Retrieved from Russo, P., & Beyerbach, B. (2001). Moving from polite talk to candid conversation: Infusing foundations into a professional development project. Educational Foundations, 15(2), Scherff, L. & Singer, N.R. (2012). The preservice teachers are watching: Framing and reframing the field experience. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28,


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