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Micropolitical and Identity Challenges Influencing New Faculty Participation in Teacher Education Reform: When Will We Learn?

by Diane Yendol-Hoppey, David Hoppey, Aimee Morewood, Sharon B. Hayes & Meadow Sherrill Graham - 2013

Background/Context: Teacher education faculty face increasing pressure to simultaneously strengthen and reform teacher education programs while maintaining research productivity. The demands placed on teacher education programs to increase relevancy by strengthening clinical components of teacher preparation has once again reached the fore. The energy for this reform often rests on the shoulders of tenure-earning faculty who have developed as Engaged Scholars during their doctoral preparation and wish to continue this work as they enter the professoriate.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: This article investigates and describes the experiences of new, tenure-earning faculty who sought working conditions that would support their involvement in reform oriented, clinically rich teacher education, and Engaged Scholarship.

Population/Participants/Subjects: This is a qualitative study with seven participants who worked as assistant professors across four different research-intensive state universities. Each university has a history of involvement in either the Holmes Partnership or the National Network for Educational Renewal, organizations that target integrating faculty members into partnership schools making this a part of their teacher education work.

Research Design: This qualitative self-study, guided by a constructivist epistemology, seeks to understand tenure-earning faculties’ experiences as they enter the professoriate. This study makes use of interpretivism as a theoretical perspective.

Data Collection and Analysis: This research uses focus group transcripts as the primary data source. Additional data sources include program artifacts such as meeting agendas and minutes, blog entries, and field notes that were used during the four taped focus groups to generate discussion related to research questions.

Findings/Results: The study describes six challenges faced by new faculty who assume leadership in clinically rich teacher education reform, and identifies faculty identity and micro-political concerns as central to navigating challenges. These challenges include: (a) complications associated with negotiating workload, (b) entrée to schools, (c) negotiating roles, (d) negotiating Internal Review Boards and school district research policies, (e) influencing promotion and tenure policies, and (f) facilitating pockets of program renewal and innovation.

Conclusions/Recommendations: This study suggests that while doctoral programs are now preparing new faculty who embrace clinically rich teacher preparation, they do not receive adequate support as they enter academia. Discussed are three assertions that must be resolved by university, college, and department leadership, as well as tenured colleagues, to support new faculty involvement in developing clinically rich teacher education reform.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 115 Number 7, 2013, p. 1-31
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 17042, Date Accessed: 8/3/2021 2:31:25 PM

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About the Author
  • Diane Yendol-Hoppey
    University of South Florida
    E-mail Author
    DIANE YENDOL-HOPPEY is currently a Professor and Chair of the Childhood Education and Literacy Studies Department at the University of South Florida. Diane’s research has focused on teacher professional learning and school improvement through job-embedded professional learning and partnerships for teacher preparation. Most recent journal publications include Accountability and Resources in Professional Development Schools in the 110th NSSE Yearbook and “Finding Resources for Powerful Professional Development” published in Educational Leadership. Diane’s recent book entitled Powerful Professional Development: Building Expertise Within the Four Walls of Your School introduces research-based tools for job-embedded learning.
  • David Hoppey
    University of South Florida
    E-mail Author
    DAVID HOPPEY is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at The University of South Florida. David’s research interests include inclusive teacher education, school reform, response to intervention, special education policy, and school university partnerships, including providing quality pre-service teacher education, and ongoing in-service teacher professional development. Recent publications include “A Case Study of Principal Leadership in an Effective, Inclusive School” in The Journal of Special Education which analyzed how a principal conceptualizes, negotiates, and enacts his role within an inclusive school context wrought with issues of mandated curriculum and high stakes testing and “Learning Disabilities And The LRE Mandate: An Examination Of National And State Trends” published in Learning Disabilities Research and Practice which examined the Reports to Congress searching for placement practice trends over the past decade for students with learning disabilities.
  • Aimee Morewood
    West Virginia University
    E-mail Author
    AIMEE MOREWOOD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Literacy Studies at West Virginia University. She currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in literacy education. Her research interests include: professional development and learning opportunities for in-service and pre-service iteracy teachers. Dr. Morewood recently published in Rural Special Education Quarterly, Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers Annual Yearbook, and Pennsylvania Reads.
  • Sharon Hayes
    West Virginia University
    E-mail Author
    SHARON B. HAYES is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Literacy Studies at West Virginia University and teaches courses in curriculum, instructional design, teacher leadership, practitioner inquiry, and qualitative research. Her ongoing research interests focus on the purposes and possibilities for qualitative inquiry, practitioner inquiry as a space for the transformation of personal, local, and global views of teaching, learning, and the ways we do school, and the construction and reconstruction of identity in prospective and practicing teachers. Recent publications include “Dialogic exchanges and the negotiation of differences: Female graduate students’ experiences of obstacles related to academic mentoring” in The Qualitative Report and “Proposing an argument for research questions that could create permeable boundaries within qualitative research” in the Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research.
  • Meadow Graham
    West Virginia University
    E-mail Author
    MEADOW SHERRILL GRAHAM is an Assistant Professor of Literacy Studies at West Virginia University. Her research interests include new literacies, critical literacy and literacy in the content areas. She recently published "A Springboard rather than a bridge: Diving into Multimodal Literacy" in English Journal.
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