The purpose of this multiple-case qualitative study was to explore the impact of problem-focused case writing, a reflective inquiry approach, on novice teachers' beliefs and practices in an effort to better understand its effectiveness for pre-service teacher education. Specifically, the study focused on novice teachers' beliefs and practices regarding development, learning, and effective instructional intervention for young children and their families. The context of the study was two masters level seminar classes accompanying the final internships of infant and early childhood special education students. The case writing pedagogy involved the students in making authentic connections to real problems of practice by developing their own stories, situated within the context of their internship settings, into self-authored cases. Students were actively engaged in an iterative writing process as well as dyadic, small group and large group discussion to facilitate perspective taking.
The study relied on a descriptive, interpretive approach to understand the novice teachers' perspectives of the case writing process, their beliefs and practices, and contextual factors that impact implementation. Fourteen sets of iterative case documents, seven interviews of novice teachers after their first year of work, and seventeen anonymous reflections and course evaluations were analyzed utilizing an inductive approach; open coding grounded in a constant comparative method was utilized. In-depth individual cases were created and a cross case analysis informed the research questions.
Findings indicated that the case writing had a positive and enduring impact on novice teachers' beliefs and practices related to development, learning and effective instructional intervention for young children and their families. This included the alignment of beliefs and practices; the case writing assisted in making novice teachers' beliefs explicit as they identified practices that would support them. Moreover, a disposition toward reflective practice and perspective taking was carried to beginning practice. Collegial reflection was an important element for both the instructional pedagogy and teachers' on-the-job practices. From these major findings, a set of practice recommendations are made for teacher educators, administrators and practitioners.
|Advisor:||Jarrett, Marian H.|
|Commitee:||Kochhar-Bryant, Carol, Tate, Patricia|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Education and Human Development|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Early childhood education, Special education, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||Case writing, Developmentally appropriate practices, Early childhood special edudcation, Early intervention, Families, Instructional interventions, Narrative inquiry, Novice teachers, Problem-focused case writing, Reflective practice, Young children|
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