(Re)Framing Classroom Contexts: How New Teachers and Mentors View Diverse Learners and Challenges of Practice
by Betty Achinstein & Adele Barrett - 2004
Research on new teachers identifies two critical challenges in relation to how novices view their students: "practice shock" that results in an overfocus on controlling students and a cultural mismatch that causes novices to see diversity as a problem. This article explores how mentoring strategies intervene at this critical phase, influencing novices' beliefs about students and teaching practices. This study examined 15 new teacher-mentor pairs over 2 years in northern California through mentoring conversations, classroom observations, and interviews with mentors and novices working with culturally and linguistically diverse elementary students. Drawing on sociological, organizational, and new teacher educational literature, the study explores how novices and mentors come to "frame" and negotiate student diversity in the classroom. The authors describe three ways of viewing classroom relations that the new teachers and mentors usedmanagerial, human relations, and political. This article challenges current thinking about novice development by revealing how mentors offer new teachers a repertoire of frames to diagnose challenges and develop alternative approaches to meet the needs of diverse students.
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