Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Missed Opportunities and Connections in Teacher Learning
by Ferris, Deborah Melchers, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2016, 233; 10300323
Abstract (Summary)

The current qualitative study focused on understanding the process of learning to teach. Using interviews of teacher educators, the study explored the importance of a set of teaching activities developed as part of the Teacher Self Efficacy Survey (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001) as well as the inclusion of instructional and assessment strategies for the teaching activities and the quality of beginning teacher performance of the activities.

Data were collected from interviews of 15 teacher educators. A process of open, axial, and substantive coding was applied to the data to inductively identify and categorize data relevant to the purpose of the study and to allow comparisons among and between categories.

Findings suggested that teaching activities are critically important to and a comprehensive description of effective teaching, and that beginning teachers struggle with differentiation and applying their learning to their practice. Further, findings suggested that the source of beginning teacher struggles was found within the teacher education program, within school contexts, and between the two institutions. In addition, findings suggested that beginning teachers perform the student engagement activities and those related to instructional strategies more proficiently than classroom management activities, and that all three teaching activity categories were included in the curriculum, but to different degrees and not all as part of curriculum design. A variety of pedagogies were used to prepare preservice teachers; however, there was no reported knowledge of assessment instruments used to measure preservice teachers’ readiness for teaching and to obtain data on the performance of their graduates. Lastly, this study revealed that teacher education program leaders were reluctant to participate in a study that sought to draw direct connections between the skills taught in the program and how well beginning teachers perform them.

Based on the findings, the researcher recommends further studies to determine the viability of the teaching activities as a comprehensive and accurate definition of effective teaching. Further the researcher recommends that teacher education programs and school districts adopt the teaching activities as a consistent framework for providing preservice education, for setting school district expectations, and for conducting teacher evaluations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hyslop -Margison, Emery, Weber, Roberta K.
School: Florida Atlantic University
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Pedagogy, Education Policy, Teacher education
Keywords: Novice teachers, Teacher effectiveness, Teacher performance
Publication Number: 10300323
ISBN: 978-1-369-42362-4
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