We are well into phase two of the study on literacy teacher educators in four countries having interviewed 27 of our 28 participants. In this phase we have been looking at goals for their preservice literacy courses, teaching style, and pedagogies. One of the most interesting series of questions has to do with assignments. I have found that asking professors about their assignments tells a great deal about their goals. We have classified assignments into a few categories: digital-related assignment (e.g., digital essay), literacy autobiography, reading logs, lesson plans, curriculum units, portfolios, case study of a child, and assessment-related. There has been remarkable consistency in the types of assignments. Interestingly, almost all feel that the workload is demanding. A question we as a research team and as experienced literacy instructors are asking ourselves, Is the workload too heavy? Clare
Clare is on the International Advisory Board for the Research in Teacher Education Journal. This lovely journal which focuses on teacher education with a range of topics of interest to international readers. The latest issue is available with papers ranging on topics from foreign language instruction in rural Columbia to lifelong learning in UK primary schools. They are more than happy to take any fledgling PhD students who might be looking for their first opportunity to be published.
Check our their website http://www.uel.ac.uk/rite/
Many teachers in our longitudinal study have stressed the importance of relevance in learning. In re-reading Jane Austen’s novels recently I’ve noticed a similar concern. In Mansfield Park especially, she wrote at length about young people whose schooling gave them knowledge of ancient Roman emperors, the river systems of Europe, and the plots of classical plays but little understanding of society, human nature, or how to live. The relevance of schooling today is in danger of declining with the current emphasis on teaching a narrow band of knowledge that’s easily identified and tested. Clive Beck
We are very pleased that Dr. Gisela Wajskop from the Instituto Singularidades in São Paulo will be a visiting scholar at OISE from January – July 2014. Gisela will be collaborating with Clare on her research on literacy teacher educators. She is doing a similar study on literacy teacher educators in Sao Paolo.
Clare and Clive’s research teams submitted 21 proposals to AERA. Our success rate was outstanding – 16 were accepted! The two research teams will be well represented in Philadelphia.
Lin Goodwin and Clare just published the article Goodwin. L. A. & Kosnik, C. (2013) Quality teacher educators = quality teachers?: Conceptualizing essential domains of knowledge for those who teach teachers. This article identifies domains of knowledge for teacher educators and argues that they need induction and on-going support. The article is published in Teacher Development: An International Journal of Teachers’ Professional Development 17(3) 334-346.
The first publication from Clare’s research on literacy teacher educators has just been published. With her co-authors Lydia Menna, Pooja Dharmashi, Cathy Miyata, & Clive Beck “A foot in many camps: Literacy teacher educators acquiring knowledge across many realms and juggling multiple identities” has just been published in the Journal of Education for Teaching 39(5), 534-540.
Congratulations to Elizabeth Rosales Cordova who has completed her MA thesis: Opportunities for Teacher Professional Learning: Two Case Studies of Experienced Teachers in Ontario. She did two qualitative case studies of mid-career teachers to obtain insights into their teacher development experiences over their first eights years in the teaching profession. Elizabeth works on Clive’s research team.