This article explores the origins of the Project Method by reconstructing William H. Kilpatrick’s celebrated paper of 1918.
In this introduction to a special section on teaching practice, Pam Grossman introduces the ideas from the original study on teaching practice that inspired the work in teacher education described in the articles that follow. She describes the constructs of the representation, decomposition, and approximation of practice and how these help us understand more deeply how professional practice is taught.
Building on Grossman and colleagues’ (2009) framework for analyzing and comparing practices of professional education in terms of representations, decomposition, and approximations to support professional educators’ learning, I argue for the importance of including “conceptions of quality” in the analysis of professional education practice and for tracing novices’ learning opportunities as they unfold over time. I illustrate the argument by comparing approaches to teaching novice teachers to lead discussions in literacy and mathematics.
This article describes the application of the theoretical framework developed by Grossman and her colleagues to the practice of teaching text-based discussion. Specifically, we used the framework to develop a set of modules, resources for teacher educators, that provided representations of text-based discussion, decompositions of the planning for such discussions, and opportunities for teacher candidates to approximate the practice of enacting text-based discussions.
This article introduces a category of teacher attrition that is rooted in the moral and ethical aspects of teaching: principled leavers. The study looks at how 13 former teachers weigh the competing responsibilities of what they consider good teaching in relation to their responsibilities to society, the profession, their institutions, students, and themselves.
This article provides narrative accounts of three secondary teacher candidates with different subject matter specializations moving along identity trajectories in various contexts and with varying difficulties. Understanding and untangling these complexities from a narrative perspective can help teacher educators (TEs) to deliberate about situations in which teacher candidates (TCs) face trouble for reasons that are hard to characterize. This perspective on teacher identity development can also help teacher educators make critical, consequential, and morally weighty judgments as they foster the developing identity trajectories of TCs.
This study examines the influence of teachers’ social network structure on their school’s innovative climate. Findings from an empirical study in 53 Dutch elementary schools suggest that the density of teacher networks is positively related to schools’ innovative climates. Moreover, this relationship could be partially explained by increased shared decision-making across the school.
This article explicates differences in the curricular, instructional, and role expectations experienced by beginning special and general education elementary teachers. It also documents variations in how novices from both groups addressed expectations they encountered.
This study uses high-quality data from Project STAR to examine whether teacher effects predict student achievement in early grades. Teacher effects are defined as teacher-specific residuals adjusted for student background and class size effects. Findings indicate that teacher effects in early grades are useful predictors of mathematics and reading achievement through the third grade.
This article examines the collective use of social, intellectual and material resources by teachers in a school as a framework for understanding how teaching toward ambitious learning goals is consistently maintained across classrooms, time, and varieties of students.
This article examines the strategies that new elementary school teachers develop to stay true to and implement their visions of teaching for social justice in the neoliberal context of urban schools.
“Virtual Constructions: Developing a Teacher Voice in the 21st Century” describes how web 2.0 tools invite preservice teachers to develop a professional identity. Drawing on a study of the use of blogging in a preservice literacy methods class, Casey links research and theories of identity development with 21st-century web 2.0 tools.
From an historical perspective, I compare teachers' reactions to two, long-lasting forms of scripted instruction, the Froebelian kindergarten and Montessori, with two widely used modern scripts, Direct Instruction and Success for All, and focus especially on the role of theory and research, teacher training, and teachers' assessments of effectiveness. I ask how these factors may influence teacher autonomy, fidelity, and resistance and what some implications may be for teacher education today.
This paper presents a summary of generalizable evidence on classroom instruction from nineteen large scale surveys conducted during the past 20 years. The summary identified significant gaps in the evidence, found considerable evidence of low-SES students receiving diminished learning opportunities than more affluent peers, and found repeated evidence of a positive association between six instructional activities and student achievement.
This study conducted pre- and post-surveys of 243 pre-service teachers in a teacher education program to examine the relationship between characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity reported by pre-service teachers and changes in their beliefs about diversity in personal and professional contexts, controlling for their background characteristics. The study found that three characteristics of teacher preparation for diversity: 1) classroom as a learning community, 2) instructor modeling constructivist and culturally-responsive teaching, and 3) field experience for understanding diverse students were significantly associated with positive changes in pre-service teachers’ beliefs about diversity in both personal and professional contexts.
This article examines the processes by which teacher applicants find teaching positions and seeks to understand how teachers come to work in particular schools by developing a theoretical conception of the teacher job search process informed by Bourdieu’s cultural reproduction theory and theories of action. Longitudinal survey and interview data shed light on how teacher applicants’ social and cultural backgrounds influence job search decisions.
This article expands current approaches used to predict teacher quality and calls for future research on teacher quality that incorporates interdisciplinary perspectives, drawing from both psychological and developmental science.
This study contributes to understanding the school’s role in inequality by investigating the extent to which specific aspects of teacher and teaching quality influence student mathematics achievement growth and the achievement gap between White and Black students and low- and high-SES students in kindergarten and first grade, using a nationally representative sample of students, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS).
The goal of the present study was to investigate differences in the prevalence of developmental or student-centered instruction in public and Catholic schools and to begin to identify how the social context of schools affects teachers’ adoption of a developmental approach.
This study examined the affects on students of exposure to two types of background knowledge about a problem case that involved a disconnection between a foreign college professor and her students.
This chapter discusses a teacher–researcher partnership oriented toward phronesis, or wise action used to solve practical problems. The three practical problems the authors emphasize are: (1) How did they use their work together to improve teaching and learning? (2) How did they relate to each other in the work? and (3) How did they organize their time and resources to do the work, given their organizational settings and constraints?
This chapter examines lesson study as an example of human science. Lesson study is a form of educational research that originated in Japan and is credited for several important instructional improvements. Using two elementary school cases, the chapter examines lesson study as a form of research that (1) explicitly articulates values, (2) focuses on knowledge that teachers find useful, (3) places teachers and researchers on a level playing field, and (4) emphasizes spread of knowledge through development of the knower and knowledge embodied in print and artifacts.
This study compares research on the theoretical models and predictors of teacher effectiveness with those of other occupations. We start by defining models of worker effectiveness as theory-driven relationships between organizational objectives and worker characteristics (predictors) and then review evidence on four specific predictors. We find that in research on other workers, experience is a strong predictor, but that cognitive ability appears to be the best predictor, particularly in complex jobs. In research on teaching, we find that teacher experience is the best predictor of effectiveness and that cognitive ability is rarely considered. However, because teaching is complex, the evidence on other workers implies that cognitive ability probably is a strong predictor of teacher effectiveness. Worker personality and education do not appear to be strong predictors in either occupational category. More broadly, we find that empirical research on other workers is more tightly linked to theories of effectiveness than in teacher studies. Theoretical models from other occupations, such as person-job fit, hold promise for understanding teaching, given the role of the school as an organization. While we advocate no particular theoretical model of teacher effectiveness, these findings inform the various conceptions of teaching and suggest a need to more clearly define models of teacher effectiveness and test these models with empirical evidence.
This article is an introduction to the Teachers College Record special section, "Present to Possibility: The Classroom as a Spiritual Space."
In this article, literature on children's spirituality is juxtaposed with the author's personal experiences as a classroom teacher and researcher to make an argument for public school classrooms as spiritual spaces.
This article describes a pedagogical method of increasing the self-awareness of aspiring school leaders and analyzes student qualitative responses to their experiences, using NVivo qualitative data analysis.
The study investigated a novel 6-week interpersonal mindfulness training (IMT) program modeled after the manualized mindfulness-based stress reduction, with an added emphasis placed on relational awareness. Results suggest that IMT with psychology graduate students is a feasible intervention that positively affects mindfulness, perceived stress, social connectedness, emotional intelligence, and anxiety.
This pilot study investigates the feasibility and acceptability of creating a more mindful classroom environment through the use of an interactive workbook for elementary school-age children. Participants were 4 teachers and 24 children in a summer program serving families of low socioeconomic status in Connecticut. Qualitative and quantitative data showed the mindfulness workbook to be readily accepted and successfully used, and to initiate a series of additional mindfulness practices by both teacher and students.
This study evaluated a 6-week synchronicity discussion group, Synchronicity Awareness Intervention (SAI), aimed at increasing awareness of synchronistic events and investigating the potential helpfulness for personal spirituality and mental health for graduate students in a Teachers College class. It showed promising support for the feasibility, acceptability, and potential helpfulness of an SAI in a group setting, suggesting that synchronicity awareness is a form of spiritual awakening that represents a powerful strategy for increasing personal spirituality and improving mental health.
This study investigates how people are prepared for professional practice in the clergy, teaching, and clinical psychology.