Preservice Teachers' Conceptions of Effective and Ineffective Teaching Practices

By Sandholtz, Judith Haymore | Teacher Education Quarterly, Summer 2011 | Go to article overview

Preservice Teachers' Conceptions of Effective and Ineffective Teaching Practices


Sandholtz, Judith Haymore, Teacher Education Quarterly


Given the focus on developing highly-qualified teachers to improve education (National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, 2003), teacher education programs face increasing responsibility to prepare new teachers who can effectively enhance learning in all students. Standards and assessment criteria developed by national organizations in the United States address the qualifications of beginning as well as experienced teachers and all emphasize student learning. The aim is that beginning teachers will not just manage classroom activities but assess and promote student understanding. However, the extent to which novice teachers can focus on instructional outcomes before mastering classroom management is a matter of debate. Whereas some researchers propose that beginning teachers need years to move from concerns about management to concerns about student learning, others contend that a shift can occur during teacher preparation (Conway & Clark, 2003).

This study explores this issue by examining preservice teachers' descriptions of effective and ineffective teaching experiences near the end of their preparation program. Using written documents collected over five years, the study specifically investigates the extent to which preservice teachers (1) focused on instruction or classroom management, (2) identified student understanding in their descriptions, and (3) considered factors related to student learning in their reasoning about their actions.

Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework for this study draws from two bodies of literature: the teacher development process and reflective practice. Teacher development research has highlighted beginning teachers' focus on management concerns and how these concerns shift over time to instructional impacts. Research on reflective practice suggests that critical reflection helps prepare beginning teachers for both classroom management and instruction. This study draws upon these two research literatures to examine the extent to which preservice teachers who are engaged in reflective practice consider instructional impacts by the end of teacher preparation.

Researchers contend that the process of learning to teach and to make professional judgments is developmental. Beginning with Fuller's stages of teachers' concerns (1969) and extending for decades, various theories have been proposed and examined to document teacher professional development (Berliner, 1994; Black & Ammon, 1992; Conway & Clark, 2003; Feiman-Nemser, 2001; Hall & Loucks, 1978; Mevarech, 1995). Although some researchers propose fixed, sequential stages, others suggest a more flexible stage approach to teacher development that takes contextual and personal factors into account (Richardson & Placier, 2001). A central premise of these developmental models is that teachers must deal with management concerns before they can focus on instruction and its impact on student learning.

Although classroom management and instruction are intertwined, Doyle's (1986) work provides distinctions between the two. Often equated with student behavior and discipline, classroom management refers to the process of establishing and maintaining an environment in which instruction and learning can occur. Doyle suggests that the focus of classroom management is "the problem of order and not the problem of learning" (p. 396); order can exist in a classroom without engagement by students in learning tasks. Classroom management focuses on "the actions and strategies teachers use to solve the problem of order in classrooms" (p. 397).

Changes in class sizes, school organization, and student needs have placed increased emphasis on effective classroom management, and researchers have examined and proposed a wide range of classroom management strategies and programs over several decades (see reviews by Doyle, 1986; Jones, 1996). Given that beginning teachers continue to identify classroom management as a prominent concern and an area in which they seek more preparation (Meister & Melnick, 2003; Melnick & Meister, 2008), teacher education programs need to prepare candidates to manage the classroom effectively while also shifting their focus to student learning. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Preservice Teachers' Conceptions of Effective and Ineffective Teaching Practices
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.