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Collaborating Through the Complexity: Four Teacher Education Programs’ Commitment to Redesign Preservice Literacy Teacher Preparation
Unformatted Document Text:  assessments, and the focus of the clinical experiences. This same strategy was used to analyze the conceptual framework developed by the literacy subgroup. Conversational analysis was employed to make sense of the topics discussed and interactions that occurred during project meetings where the framework was constructed. A modified form of holistic and primary trait writing assessment scoring was used to analyze the pre and post concept maps. Qualitative analysis of surveys and interviews with teacher educators and preservice teachers included a question-by-question analysis (Patton, 2002). Assertions and patterns were generated, supported by data from multiple sources, and interpretive commentary was constructed to connect the assertions (Erickson, 1985). Ultimately, the conceptual framework document and agreed-upon assignments (described in more detail below) developed by the literacy professors constitutes the necessary knowledge and exemplary practices preservice teachers need in order to teach today’s youth.Implication for Action: This project provides teacher education programs with a model of how to collaborate across institutions and what can potentially result from this collaboration. Our goal is to develop measures to sustain the efforts and to share results with other teacher preparation institutions in the state and nationally. In our case, data reveal significant changes throughout the project. For instance, pre-grant work analyses indicated that faculty had a commitment to INTASC and NCATE standards but no evidence was found of any systematic inclusion of agreed-upon literacy concepts/knowledge base. Second, courses appeared to proceed in a linear fashion with the coverage of a variety of topics, an assessment, and then moving to the next topic. Additionally, the majority of course time appeared to center on specific strategies and topics that were historically situated within the respective institutions instead of being situated in the identified current literacy teacher preparation research base. At the close of the grant work important shifts had occurred. The concepts described in syllabi indicated that teacher educators used much of the extensive literature review they conducted, including current and research-based ideas from national reports, research syntheses, and sets of standards developed by professional organizations in literacy education, and “methods” texts. A change catalyst in literacy teacher preparation at the four institutions was the development of a conceptual framework. This document includes foundational knowledge needed to undergird literacy methods courses; foundational knowledge needed in literacy methods courses; pedagogical content knowledge that bridges content knowledge and practices; knowledge about specific practices and materials needed to teach literacy effectively; literacy assessments and the use and interpretation of data gleaned from these; knowledge of professional development activities vital to effective literacy teacher development; and beginning repertoire (Feinman-Nemser, 2001) or what new literacy teachers should be prepared to do in practice. The framework specifically addresses the preparation of literacy teachers to work with diverse learners in K-12 classroom settings. The assignments in literacy teacher preparation coursework also changed as a result of the project. Four agreed-upon assignments were created during the collaborative project and are now being used at all four institutions. Faculty also developed agreed-upon scoring rubrics for the assessments. The pre and post assessments of preservice teachers’ knowledge indicated growth and evidence of the impact of the framework and project work. These data were also used in project meetings as tools for teacher educators to learn about future teachers’

Authors: Dillon, Deborah. and Vagle, Mark.
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assessments, and the focus of the clinical experiences. This same strategy was used to
analyze the conceptual framework developed by the literacy subgroup. Conversational
analysis was employed to make sense of the topics discussed and interactions that
occurred during project meetings where the framework was constructed. A modified
form of holistic and primary trait writing assessment scoring was used to analyze the pre
and post concept maps. Qualitative analysis of surveys and interviews with teacher
educators and preservice teachers included a question-by-question analysis (Patton,
2002). Assertions and patterns were generated, supported by data from multiple sources,
and interpretive commentary was constructed to connect the assertions (Erickson, 1985).
Ultimately, the conceptual framework document and agreed-upon assignments (described
in more detail below) developed by the literacy professors constitutes the necessary
knowledge and exemplary practices preservice teachers need in order to teach today’s
youth.
Implication for Action: This project provides teacher education programs with a model
of how to collaborate across institutions and what can potentially result from this
collaboration. Our goal is to develop measures to sustain the efforts and to share results
with other teacher preparation institutions in the state and nationally. In our case, data
reveal significant changes throughout the project. For instance, pre-grant work analyses
indicated that faculty had a commitment to INTASC and NCATE standards but no
evidence was found of any systematic inclusion of agreed-upon literacy
concepts/knowledge base. Second, courses appeared to proceed in a linear fashion with
the coverage of a variety of topics, an assessment, and then moving to the next topic.
Additionally, the majority of course time appeared to center on specific strategies and
topics that were historically situated within the respective institutions instead of being
situated in the identified current literacy teacher preparation research base. At the close
of the grant work important shifts had occurred. The concepts described in syllabi
indicated that teacher educators used much of the extensive literature review they
conducted, including current and research-based ideas from national reports, research
syntheses, and sets of standards developed by professional organizations in literacy
education, and “methods” texts. A change catalyst in literacy teacher preparation at the
four institutions was the development of a conceptual framework. This document
includes foundational knowledge needed to undergird literacy methods courses;
foundational knowledge needed in literacy methods courses; pedagogical content
knowledge that bridges content knowledge and practices; knowledge about specific
practices and materials needed to teach literacy effectively; literacy assessments and the
use and interpretation of data gleaned from these; knowledge of professional
development activities vital to effective literacy teacher development; and beginning
repertoire (Feinman-Nemser, 2001) or what new literacy teachers should be prepared to
do in practice. The framework specifically addresses the preparation of literacy teachers
to work with diverse learners in K-12 classroom settings. The assignments in literacy
teacher preparation coursework also changed as a result of the project. Four agreed-upon
assignments were created during the collaborative project and are now being used at all
four institutions. Faculty also developed agreed-upon scoring rubrics for the
assessments. The pre and post assessments of preservice teachers’ knowledge indicated
growth and evidence of the impact of the framework and project work. These data were
also used in project meetings as tools for teacher educators to learn about future teachers’


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