We (Clive and Clare) are in NYC interviewing literacy/English teacher educators who are part of our large-scale study which includes participants from four countries: Canada, US, UK, and Australia. To date, we have conducted two interviews and are now starting the third round of interviews. The first interview focused on their backgrounds and interests; the second on their pedagogy; and the third on their use of digital technology and future plans. (For the interview questions click on the tab About Our Research then on the drop down menu, click on the tab for Instruments.) To say this research has been fascinating is an understatement! I feel I have gotten to know 28 outstanding teacher educators both personally and professionally. I have learned so much through this research:
- their approach to literacy teacher education is thoughtful and complex (e.g., consistently they believe you need to start with the student teacher’s own views of literacy and to help them “unlearn” in order to develop a more expansive view of literacy);
- most did not plan to do a PhD or become a teacher educator (e.g., their journey to becoming a professor/lecturer were serendipitous with a key figure/mentor influencing them);
- they have very heavy workloads in part because they are so committed to their student teachers (e.g., they develop tutoring programs in schools in order to provide student teachers with authentic experiences)
- the political context is impacting on them in untold ways (e.g., the pressure from external credentialing agencies to conform to a narrow view of literacy – phonics – is complicating their work. They cannot always teach what they feel student teachers need to know).
- they must hold multiple identities – as teacher educators, as teachers, and as researchers
I feel truly lucky to have had the opportunity to interview these 28 remarkable teacher educators. We as an education community can learn much from them. We have published two papers from the study so far. Click on the Link Publications then click on the Link Clare’s Publications for copies of our papers.
You might also be interested in our edited book on literacy teacher educators. https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/other-books/literacy-teacher-educators/