Preparing Teachers to Enact Ambitious Teaching Practices during Secondary Preservice Teacher...

Preparing Teachers to Enact Ambitious Teaching Practices during Secondary Preservice Teacher Education: Challenges and Successes Rebekah Elliott Ron Gray Oregon State University – College of Education ORATE 2012

Transcript of Preparing Teachers to Enact Ambitious Teaching Practices during Secondary Preservice Teacher...

Preparing Teachers to Enact Ambitious Teaching Practices during Secondary Preservice

Teacher Education: Challenges and Successes

Rebekah ElliottRon Gray

Oregon State University – College of EducationORATE 2012

Introduction What led to this work?

What are our guiding principles of teaching and learning to teach?

How do we choose specific instructional practices for novice teachers that lead to equitable learning?

How do we prepare teachers to use these practices in increasingly sophisticated and authentic environments?

How can these practices be used to build meaningful instructional activities?

What have been our challenges and successes in this work?

Research in Teacher Education

Disconnect between research on teaching and teacher education. (Grossman & McDonald, 2008)

Research on teaching investigates the work of teaching and learning, however research on teacher education is a work in progress.

We are being pressed to identify a rigorous curriculum that prepares new professionals for practice.

Research Community’s

Response “Practice-based” teacher education – an emerging trend that seeks to change the focus of university-based teacher education by taking the enacted work of teaching as both content and context for preservice teachers’ learning. (Ball & Cohen, 1999; Grossman & McDonald, 2008)

In response:

Teacher educators have focused on the routine activities of teaching that can be “worked on” through rehearsals and investigation of practice with novices. Novices are asked to understand and to perform instructional activities that are aimed at engaging all students in learning important content.

Ambitious PedagogyAmbitious teaching aims:

To have all kinds of students – across ethnic, racial, class, and gender categories –

To acquire, understand, and use knowledge,

To solve complex, sophisticated, and authentic problems.

(Newmann & Associates, 1996; Lampert et al., 2010)

What do ambitious teachers need to learn

to do? Teachers need a repertoire of practices that engage students to develop proficiency, participate in a discipline specific discourse community, and have facility with a range of tasks authentic to the discipline.

Doubly important: Teachers need to engage explicitly and consciously in the processes and practices of learning teaching. (Lampert, 2010)

Principles of Learning to Teach

Teaching is intellectual work and requires specialized knowledge of content and pedagogy.

Learning to teach requires repeated opportunities to practice.

There is value in making teaching pubic.

We bring our histories forward. Our own learning experiences and identifies shape what we know and do.

Teaching is a complex activity that must be learned and continually examined.

(Lampert, Franke, Kazemi, Learning In and From Practice Project)

Principles of High Quality Teaching

Teachers understand that children are sensemakers.

Teachers must design instruction for all children to do rigorous academic work in school and to have equitable access to learning.

Ambitious instruction requires clear learning goals.

Teachers must know and connect with their students as individuals and as learners.

Teachers must be responsive to the requirements of the school and community environments.

The measure of good teaching is student learning.

Teachers represent the nature of the discipline (mathematics or science) with integrity.

Teachers engage their students in reflecting on their own learning.

(Jackson & Cobb, 2010; Lampert, Franke, Kazemi, Learning In and From Practice Project)

High-leverage Practices for Novice

Teachers HLPs are those most likely to stimulate significant advancements in student thinking when executed with proficiency

Example criteria for HLPs in teaching: Have significant power in teaching because they:

Are central to the daily work of teaching.

Make much more likely that teaching will be effective for students’ learning.

Essential; if teachers cannot discharge them well, they will face significant problems

Fundamental to the development of more complex practice

Supports student work that is central to the content discipline

(adapted from Franke and Chan, 2007)

What do you think?

What teaching practices do you think are the most essential for beginning teachers to be able to perform competently within your discipline?

Instructional Practices

Using discourse moves in whole class and small group settings

Using appropriate questioning strategies

Representing student thinking

Organizing the use of public records and representations

Teaching toward a clear learning goal

Eliciting and responding to student reasoning

Orienting students to one another

Positioning students competently

The Border Problem

Cycles of Enactment


Rehearsals withstudents

Collective analysis of teaching &





Rehearsals with peers

Observing an instructional

activityCollective analysis

Prepare to teach an

instructional activity

OSU’s General Instructional

ActivitiesAcross the cohort we engage novice teachers in cycles of enactment on:

Effective openings and closures

Facilitating effective classroom discussions

Gauging student progress and modifying instruction

Instructional Activities

(Mathematics)Within our mathematics methods courses we engage in multiple cycles of:

Strings (Fosnot & Dolk, 2008)

Number operations


Launching a high cognitive task within a problem solving context (MIST, Cobb & Jackson, 2011)

Orchestrating problem solving (Stein et al., 2008; 2011)

Instructional Activities (Science)

Constructing big ideas

Eliciting student ideas to adapt instruction

Making sense of material activity

Pressing students for evidence-based explanations

(Windschitl, Thomspon, & Braaten; 2009)


What do you see as potential challenges?

ChallengesForzani and Ball (2010) articulate five challenges for professionals working toward practice-focused teacher education. We would need to:

Specify and develop consensus around the core tasks and activities of teaching

Choose the elements of practice most necessary for entrants to the profession

Articulate those elements at an effective grain-size

Manage the general and subject-specific aspects of teaching practice

Manage the context-specific nature of practice

Successes We no longer just depend on novice teachers’

stories of practice, reflections, and supervisors reports to understand novice teachers’ practice, we support it across multiple contexts with focused support.

Our curriculum has gained focus and precision.

Brought to the surface discipline-specific pedagogy in a meaningful way.

Has created a new level of discourse in our community of learners

Thank you

Rebekah Elliott, [email protected]

Ron Gray, [email protected]