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Tensions and Teacher Learning in the Paired Placements The 4 th Congress of the International Society for Cultural Activity Research Sydney, 29 Sep – 3.

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Presentation on theme: "Tensions and Teacher Learning in the Paired Placements The 4 th Congress of the International Society for Cultural Activity Research Sydney, 29 Sep – 3."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tensions and Teacher Learning in the Paired Placements The 4 th Congress of the International Society for Cultural Activity Research Sydney, 29 Sep – 3 Oct 2014 Kim Anh Dang, Russell Cross & Alan Williams 1

2 Paired-placement 2 - Increasing research on PP documents its multiple benefits along side with ‘challenges’, ‘drawbacks’, ‘issues’, and ‘tensions’ (Gardiner & Robinson, 2011; Grierson et al., 2011, King, 2006; McKeon, 2006) - Few recent studies acknowledge tensions as inevitable parts of learning and invite further research into this area (Gardiner & Robinson, 2011; Nokes et al., 2008)

3  Overall aim: To examine how the paired placement facilitates teacher professional learning, with a focus on the tensions arising from PP and their implications for teacher professional learning (TPL).  Research questions: How do tensions in the paired placement mediate teacher professional learning? What specific types of teacher professional learning are identified in the paired placement? 3 Research aim and questions

4  A specially designed B.Ed (TEFL) Program at a Vietnamese university  15-week paired placement : 4 th year PSTs teaching English to 2 nd year mainstream students  Participants: 4 pairs of PSTs – 4 case-studies  Each pair taught 4 lessons during the placement 4 Research setting & participants

5 Individual pre-interviews (n=8) Post-teaching individual interviews (n=32) Focus of analysis Video-recordings of co-planning meetings Video-recordings of co-taught lessons Classroom observations Instructional artefacts, documents, reports Supporting analysis 5 Data collection & analysis

6 6 Level 2: Cross-case analysis Identifying patterns, differences and similarities PST Pair 1 Expert/novice PST Pair 2 Collaborative PST Pair 3 Dominant/passive PST Pair 4 Dominant/dominant Level 1: Joint-activity system analysis within each PST pair Analysis and comparison of Each teaching roundAcross teaching rounds

7 Theoretical Framework & Findings 7

8 Student teaching as: A learning opportunity (Obj.: Teacher learning): This is the first time I wanted to find out what it is like for me to teach... This time Ms Xuan did not critise much so I found it okay (Quyen, Rnd 1, pp ). Responding to student learning needs (Obj.: Student learning): I need to rely on the students and start from what they don’t understand or understand wrongly… and correct from there. (Quyen, Rnd 4, PP ) Before I thought I just needed to do anything to complete the lesson. But now I have realized I need to teach in a way that the students could learn something, rather than forcing them [through the lesson]. (Quyen, Rnd 4, p. 31) 8 1. Subject/Object contradictions & Teacher professional identity formation

9 Co-planning: Last time, after allocating task to Duong, I would say: “This part should be done like this or like that, is that okay?” This time, I did not say that, and let Duong decide for herself how she would do it. (Phuc, Rnd 3, P. 5) Co-teaching: If I speak for my part, and then speak again in Duong’s part, the same thing would repeat that I would become dominant again. It is just I don’t find Duong flexible enough, especially when I had problems [during the lesson]. Most of the time, it was I who realized that Duong was having problems and stepped in. Duong could not recognize my problems in order to intervene in my section. That is why it’s best to let her speak the parts assigned to her. (Phuc, Rnd 3, P. 14) 9 2. Subject/ Division of labour contradictions & Learning to collaborate

10 Learning to engage students: I just wanted the students to do some short reading sentences [for the warm-up] but now I think it would be the wrong thing to do… After I had typed up the sentences, Huệ said we should still keep the pictures. That would be more lively and fun. (Rnd2, p. 5, Mai’s emphasis) Because just [having the students] sit reading could not warm them up, Huệ said: ‘Let’s do the picture activity so that it can be lively.’ I found that was right. The students were happy, and even those who never spoke would also speak up… So I think it sort of engaging the students [in the lesson]. (Mai, Rnd2, p. 14) Community/Mediational tool contradictions & Pedagogical knowledge (general & PCK)

11 Collaboration rules versus teaching professional rules “In fact I was trying to avoid… correcting each other in front of the class – something absolutely to avoid. Then I thought to myself, I looked at the students and they looked so confused… They really looked confused, so I thought I must speak up…” “I hate this thought but… teachers mostly must not make mistakes. In general, students will not fully trust teachers if they make mistakes... However, if I point out my partner’s mistake in front of everyone, first she will lose face. Second, the students will question about the tutors: first, the competence of the tutors; second, they would wonder what kind of cooperation it is that allows tutors to contrast each other right in class like that... I do not want her to lose face in front of everyone. I need to cooperate well.” (Hong, Teaching Round 2) Contradictions between conflicting rules & Learning to collaborate

12 12 Teacher Professional Identity General pedagogical knowledge Responding to students’ learning needs Pedagogical content knowledge Understanding of teacher collaboration

13  Systemic contradictions as stimulus for TPL and the transformation of teachers’ joint-activity systems.  PP provided mutual scaffolding for activities within the ZPD for the PSTs’ reciprocal learning.  Development as characterized by ‘adaptive processes’ (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 73), “passing through the same point at each revolution, while advancing to a higher level” (p. 56), with PSTs being active agents.  Reconceptualising TPL in the paired-placement in relation to the notions of tensions, conflicts, or dilemmas. 13 Implications

14 THANK YOU! 14 Dang, T. K. A. (2014). Exploring Paired-Placements to Support Teacher Professional Learning: A Sociocultural Activity Theoretical Perspective (Teacher knowledge construction in the paired-placement). Refereed conference paper presented at the Australian Teacher Education Association “Building a platform for future engagement”. Sydney, July Dang, T. K. A. (2013). Identity in activity: Examining teacher professional identity formation in the paired-placement of student teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 30 (2013), Dang, T. K. A., & Marginson, S. (2013). Global learning through the lens of Vygotskian sociocultural theory. Critical Studies in Education, 54(2), DOI: /

15 15 Theoretical framework Sociocultural theory (Vygotsky, 1978, 1987) Mediation, Genetic method & Zone of Proximal Development Activity theory (Engeström, 1987, 2001, 2008) Third generation activity theory, Systemic contradiction & Expansive learning Conceptualize teacher learning, context, and how context shapes TPL in PP

16 Shifting roles: as a student or as a teacher? For the first group, I just sat and listened attentively, without noting down details, so when I gave my comments they were superficial and Hien had to step in with more detailed comments… Then I realized I was just touching the surface, not focusing on key areas for the students to improve on later. (Chinh, Rnd 2, P. 9) When it came to group two, it was not that I took more notes, those [key areas] were easy to notice. I just remembered and had the students practise again. (Chinh, Rnd 2, P. 9) 16


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