Teaching teachers to teach teachers

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [University of Ulster Library]On: 05 November 2014, At: 04:08Publisher: Taylor &amp; FrancisInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Journal of Early Childhood TeacherEducationPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ujec20</p><p>Teaching teachers to teach teachersJill Englebright Fox a &amp; Patricia Lindstrom ba Virginia Commonwealth University , Richmond, VA 23284, USAb Mary Munford Model School, Richmond Public Schools ,Virginia Commonwealth University Clinical Faculty , Richmond,VA, USAPublished online: 03 Aug 2006.</p><p>To cite this article: Jill Englebright Fox &amp; Patricia Lindstrom (2001) Teaching teachersto teach teachers, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 22:2, 69-72, DOI:10.1080/1090102010220205</p><p>To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1090102010220205</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. 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Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms&amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p><p>http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ujec20http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/1090102010220205http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1090102010220205http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p></li><li><p>ELSEVIER Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education 22 (2001) 69-72</p><p>Journal of J?arly</p><p>ChildhoodTeacher</p><p>Education</p><p>Teaching teachers to teach teachers</p><p>Jill Englebright Foxa,*, Patricia Lindstromb</p><p>aVirginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284, USAbVirginia Commonwealth University Clinical Faculty, Mary Munford Model School, Richmond Public Schools,</p><p>Richmond, VA, USA</p><p>1. Introduction</p><p>The Professional Development School relation-ship between the Virginia Commonwealth University(VCU) School of Education and Mary MunfordModel School (MMMS) was established in 1994. Asa member of the Holmes Partnership, activities in thisrelationship had three goals: (1) the development ofpreservice teachers; (2) the on-going development ofin-service teachers; and (3) action research to en-hance teaching and learning. The goal of this paper isto describe partnership activities related to the firstgoal, the development of preservice teachers.</p><p>Mary Munford Model School is located in theheart of Richmond, Virginia and serves a diversepopulation of approximately 550 children, prekinder-garten through grade five. Each semester, between 10and 15 VCU students from the Master of Teaching inEarly and Elementary Education program are placedat MMMS to complete a 40-hour practicum. Betweenone and three interns from the same program are alsoassigned there for their semester-long final field ex-perience. Although a VCU faculty liaison spends oneday each week at the school working with teachersand elementary students, the MMMS faculty largelycarries the responsibility for planning and supervis-ing the teacher preparation field experiences (Fox &amp;Branch, 1999). Because of the well-established rela-tionship between VCU and the school, faculty andadministration at both facilities have been able toidentify several strengths in the field experiences that</p><p>* Corresponding author. Tel.: +1-804-828-1305; fax:+ 1-804-744-8169.</p><p>E-mail address: jfox@vcu.edu (J.E. Fox).</p><p>preservice teachers receive at MMMS. They havealso found several areas on which to focus for en-hancement.</p><p>A key strength of the field experiences at MMMSwas the teachers' enthusiasm that greeted VCU stu-dents who were assigned to their classrooms. MMMSteachers are extremely generous in sharing their time,resources and expertise with these preservice teach-ers. Many MMMS teachers are themselves VCUalumni and, recalling their own field experiences,enjoy assuming the role of cooperating teacher forthe interns. Because of the high level of parent in-volvement and community support at MMMS, teach-ers and students alike are accustomed to visitors andvolunteers in the building and classrooms, and theaddition of another adult causes little disruption inthe daily instructional routine. Accountability issuesaround state-mandated standards and testing meanthat teachers and parents welcome the presence ofinterns and practicum students to provide more indi-vidualized and small group instruction for students.And, finally, at their field location, VCU students areable to see and participate in excellent instruction inauthentic classroom settings that demonstrate whatthey have learned during their professional prepara-tion (VCU Teaching Intern and Student TeachingHandbook, 2000-2001).</p><p>/ . / . Role of the teacher educator</p><p>Over the seven years of this partnership, however,an area in need of attention became evident to allinvolved in the field experiences. Cooperating teach-ers at MMMS, although excellent at what they dowith children, were many times uncomfortable in therole of teacher educator. Providing feedback, giving</p><p>0163-6388/01/$ - see front matter 2001 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.PII: S1090-1027(01)00109-X</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f U</p><p>lste</p><p>r L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ry] </p><p>at 0</p><p>4:08</p><p> 05 </p><p>Nov</p><p>embe</p><p>r 20</p><p>14 </p></li><li><p>70 J.E. Fox, P. Lindstrom / Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education 22 (2001) 69-72</p><p>direction, and setting expectations for adults, whowere often similar in age, were not roles manyMMMS teachers had experienced. This issue was notunique to the MMMS-VCU partnership. Cooperatingteachers in many settings find themselves acceptingbehaviors from preservice teachers that they wouldnever tolerate from the students in their classrooms.Tardiness, late submission of lesson plans for ap-proval, and lack of preparation for responsibilities areintern behaviors that must be reflected, formally orinformally, in formative and summative evaluationsof the intern by the cooperating teacher. Cooperatingteachers may voice frustration about an intern'sshortcomings or lack of professionalism to the uni-versity supervisor without ever having addressed theissue with the intern.</p><p>While giving positive feedback and celebratingsuccesses with adult learners are relatively fun andeasy activities for cooperating teachers, offering cri-tiques and suggesting needed improvements are not(Developmental Studies Center, 2000). Cooperatingteachers have had training and experience with as-sessing and evaluating children, but the same activ-ities conducted with adults who may argue the pointand raise complaints about the outcome can be veryintimidating.</p><p>1.2. Conflicting viewpoints on the purpose of theinternship</p><p>As the VCU liaison and the MMMS principal andteachers began to discuss issues around providingfeedback to preservice teachers, a second issue alsobecame evident. A shared definition of the purpose ofthe internship in VCU's program did not exist amongthe MMMS faculty. Cooperating teachers tended toview the internship in light of their own teacherpreparation experiences. Most cooperating teachersbelieved, consistent with VCU philosophy, that theinternship is the culminating learning experience inthe program, but that it is still a learning experience.Interns are preprofessionals, students who are learn-ing by observing models, teaming with their instruc-tors, participating in direct experiences, and receivingand applying feedback. On the other hand, othercooperating teachers held a different viewpoint, be-lieving that it was a first professional experience. Inthis perspective, interns were preservice teachers whohad completed their training and should be ready tocompetently assume the full responsibilities of aclassroom at the beginning of their placements.</p><p>As stated previously, these issues were not uniqueto the MMMS-VCU partnership. What was unique tothe partnership, however, was that the long-standingrelationship offered an avenue to assist cooperating</p><p>teachers in developing their skills as teacher educa-tors.</p><p>1.2.1. Graduate coursework in supervisionWith the goal of building a cadre of clinical fac-</p><p>ulty to work with preservice teachers in its eightProfessional Development School partnerships, theVCU Division of Teacher Education offered a grad-uate course titled TEDU 501 Working with the Stu-dent Teacher. The MMMS Parent-Teacher Associa-tion provided tuition support to three teachers whoelected to enroll in the course. A major emphasis inthis course was the effective use of observation, feed-back, and evaluation. The use of positive interper-sonal skills was stressed and the roles and responsi-bilities of the cooperating teacher and the universitysupervisor were clearly defined. To aid the develop-ment of positive relationships between interns, coop-erating teachers, and university supervisors, specificinformation on guiding student teachers was in-cluded. Among the topics discussed were: individualdifferences in student teachers and how these differ-ences influence the best approach for supervision;stress factors outside the school setting which affectstudent teachers; and what cooperating teachers cando to encourage positive working relationships withstudent teachers. A guest lecturer was also invited topresent an overview of the legal issues related tostudent teachers in public school settings</p><p>After completing this course, and upon recom-mendation by their principal, the three MMMS teach-ers began to serve as university supervisors for theVCU interns placed at their school each semester.Formally titled "clinical faculty," these teachers werepaid by VCU to provide supervision for interns whilestill maintaining their classroom responsibilities. Theteachers agreed that completing the supervisioncourse built their confidence in their own abilities togive constructive feedback and guidance to the in-terns, and that their designation as clinical facultymade it "official" to the interns that they acted onbehalf of and in accordance with the university. At-tendance at regional and national conferences wherethey met other clinical faculty similarly engaged en-couraged them to develop internship activities andobservation and assessment protocols specific toMMMS. These encounters also reassured them thattheir activities were consistent with what is consid-ered best practice in the field of teacher educationtoday.</p><p>1.2.2. Staff development activitiesBecause of the number of preservice teachers</p><p>placed at MMMS each semester, most faculty haveregular contact with interns and/or practicum stu-dents. Working together, the faculty liaison and the</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f U</p><p>lste</p><p>r L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ry] </p><p>at 0</p><p>4:08</p><p> 05 </p><p>Nov</p><p>embe</p><p>r 20</p><p>14 </p></li><li><p>I.E. Fox, P. Lindstrom / Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education 22 (2001) 69-72 71</p><p>three MMMS clinical faculty designed a staff devel-opment program to share what they were learningabout working with interns and practicum studentswith the entire faculty. Additions to or changes in thefaculty each year, along with the evolving nature offield experiences at MMMS, have made this staffdevelopment session an annual event.</p><p>Activities and discussion in the staff developmentsession provided an overview of VCU's Master ofTeaching in Early and Elementary Education pro-gram and a fairly detailed discussion of the develop-mental stages of teaching (Veenman, 1984). As withthe graduate supervision course, the importance ofcommunication between the intern and the cooperat-ing teacher was emphasized. During an initial meet-ing with the intern, cooperating teachers werestrongly encouraged to clearly state their expecta-tions of the intern's responsibilities in accessing ma-terials in the classroom, managing student behavior,and communicating with parents. These were explic-itly identified as three issues that had been reported asproblematic during field experiences. The presentersemphasized that cooperating teachers should con-struct their own policies for interns around each ofthese issues, but early communication of those poli-cies was critical to the interns' success (Sudzina &amp;Coolican, 1994). The overall goal of the staff devel-opment session was to build a shared definition of theinternship as a learning experience among theMMMS faculty, encouraging them to actively as-sume the roles of teacher educators in the clinicalsettings their classrooms provide.</p><p>1.2.3. Book discussion groupDuring the 2000-2001 school year, the VCU fac-</p><p>ulty liaison and MMMS teachers formed a bookdiscussion group to explore innovative ideas and ac-tivities. With enthusiastic support from the principal,who viewed the discussion group as an additionalstaff development opportunity, the teachers com-pleted surveys on topics of interest to them. Theliaison and principal selected a book on each topicand the PTA purchased copies for the teachers. Thegroup met once a month for coffee and discussion oftheir shared readings.</p><p>The first topic identified by the teachers for thebook discussion group was working with interns. Thetext selected for reading was Company in Your Class-room (Developmental Studies Center, 2000). Thebook provided realistic anecdotes and vignettes thatresonated with similar ones experienced by MMMSteachers who worked with VCU interns and practi-cum students. In many ways, this particular bookdiscussion group served the same purpose for the restof the faculty that conference attendance had servedfor the three clinical faculty: validation of their ac-</p><p>tivities as consistent with best practices in teachereducation.</p><p>1.2.4. Informal mentoringAlthough more formal avenues of development</p><p>have been put in place, MMMS teachers still receivesignificant amounts of information and support forworking with interns and practicum students throughinformal mentoring. The three clinical faculty and, toa lesser extent, the faculty liaison, conference regu-larly with cooperating teachers about the preserviceteachers assigned to them and their classroom activ-ities. In this way, indi...</p></li></ul>