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Losing Our Voice in the Din of Classroom Practice
Unformatted Document Text:  Section I: ContentA. Statement of the issue: It has often been argued that school-university partnerships are dominated by the university and that there is a general lack of respect for teachers’ practical knowledge within teacher education (e.g. Gallego, Hollingsworth, & Whitenack, 2001; Hohenbrink, Johnston, & Westhoven, 1997). However, after reading extensively from PDS literature, the case will be made that, in fact, it is the voice of teachers that dominates the literature. Moreover, it will be argued that a sort of over-compensation in deferring to classroom practice has led to a denigration of theory and research. As a result, there is a risk that the future teachers who are prepared in field experiences that honor practice over theory could result in teachers who are unable to conduct theoretical inquiry into their practice – what Henderson and Kesson (2004) termed theoria and an over-emphasis on what producing what Dewey (1964) called, “efficient workmen” who are technically proficient but lack a scientific foundation for what they do (p. 314).B. Literature Review: Studies that compare PDS versus on-campus preparation are rare and where they do exist are often contradictory (Blocker, & Mantle-Bromley, 1997; Wait, & Warren, 2002). Those that do exist tend to emphasize things like the preservice teachers’ perceptions of effectiveness or administrator assessment of the effectiveness of interns or first year teachers (e.g. Blocker & Mantle-Bromley, 1997; Gimbert & Nolan, 2003; Hayes, Wetherill, Calhoun, & Beaman, 1996). Both of those measures, however, tend to assess effectiveness based on existing models of schooling – how successfully a new teacher negotiates existing schools. They do not look for the ability to “envision and enact” (Henderson & Kesson, 2004) new sorts of classrooms. Moreover, being placed in extensive field experiences can do much to “wash out” what theory has been presented since teachers in PDSs can often to the university and theory or research (Bullough, , Kauchak, Crow, Hobbs, & Stokes, 1997; Frierson-Campbell, 2003) and often base their instructional decisions more on instinct and folklore than on critical reflection (Bliss & Mazur, 1997; Conle, 1996; Giebelhaus & Bowman, 1996; Levine, 1992; Lortie, 1976; Powell & McGowan, 1995). Therefore, diminishing theory and research in the preparation of teachers would seem to risk encouraging teaching that simply reinforces the status quo or lacks genuine direction and purpose.C. Contribution: The primary contribution of this study would be to Strand II. Its results suggest that as the PDS movement has grown, the role or importance of the university has diminished. In an effort to respect “practice”, the importance of theory and the thoughtful examination and use of research has been diluted. Without the reinvigorated role of theory and research, teachers will be less able to support their pedagogical decisions, critique current reforms, and assert their professional identity. The study also contributes to Strand V in that it suggests that students are being exposed to less theory and research and are increasingly immersed in school environments that are sometimes hostile to theory. As a result, they will be less likely to be able to discern high quality teaching, student learning, preservice education, and future professional development opportunities.D. Relevance: This study is relevant to the purpose of the conference in that it emphasizes the examination of and use of sound qualitative methodology in studying professional development site relationships. Moreover, the results imply policy changes relevant to reciprocity in PDS

Authors: Breault, Rick.
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Section I: Content
A. Statement of the issue:
It has often been argued that school-university partnerships are dominated by the
university and that there is a general lack of respect for teachers’ practical knowledge within
teacher education (e.g. Gallego, Hollingsworth, & Whitenack, 2001; Hohenbrink, Johnston, &
Westhoven, 1997). However, after reading extensively from PDS literature, the case will be
made that, in fact, it is the voice of teachers that dominates the literature. Moreover, it will be
argued that a sort of over-compensation in deferring to classroom practice has led to a
denigration of theory and research. As a result, there is a risk that the future teachers who are
prepared in field experiences that honor practice over theory could result in teachers who are
unable to conduct theoretical inquiry into their practice – what Henderson and Kesson (2004)
termed theoria and an over-emphasis on what producing what Dewey (1964) called, “efficient
workmen” who are technically proficient but lack a scientific foundation for what they do (p.
314).
B. Literature Review:
Studies that compare PDS versus on-campus preparation are rare and where they do exist
are often contradictory (Blocker, & Mantle-Bromley, 1997; Wait, & Warren, 2002). Those that
do exist tend to emphasize things like the preservice teachers’ perceptions of effectiveness or
administrator assessment of the effectiveness of interns or first year teachers (e.g. Blocker &
Mantle-Bromley, 1997; Gimbert & Nolan, 2003; Hayes, Wetherill, Calhoun, & Beaman, 1996).
Both of those measures, however, tend to assess effectiveness based on existing models of
schooling – how successfully a new teacher negotiates existing schools. They do not look for the
ability to “envision and enact” (Henderson & Kesson, 2004) new sorts of classrooms. Moreover,
being placed in extensive field experiences can do much to “wash out” what theory has been
presented since teachers in PDSs can often to the university and theory or research (Bullough, ,
Kauchak, Crow, Hobbs, & Stokes, 1997; Frierson-Campbell, 2003) and often base their
instructional decisions more on instinct and folklore than on critical reflection (Bliss & Mazur,
1997; Conle, 1996; Giebelhaus & Bowman, 1996; Levine, 1992; Lortie, 1976; Powell &
McGowan, 1995). Therefore, diminishing theory and research in the preparation of teachers
would seem to risk encouraging teaching that simply reinforces the status quo or lacks genuine
direction and purpose.
C. Contribution:
The primary contribution of this study would be to Strand II. Its results suggest that as the
PDS movement has grown, the role or importance of the university has diminished. In an effort
to respect “practice”, the importance of theory and the thoughtful examination and use of
research has been diluted. Without the reinvigorated role of theory and research, teachers will be
less able to support their pedagogical decisions, critique current reforms, and assert their
professional identity.
The study also contributes to Strand V in that it suggests that students are being exposed
to less theory and research and are increasingly immersed in school environments that are
sometimes hostile to theory. As a result, they will be less likely to be able to discern high quality
teaching, student learning, preservice education, and future professional development
opportunities.
D. Relevance:
This study is relevant to the purpose of the conference in that it emphasizes the
examination of and use of sound qualitative methodology in studying professional development
site relationships. Moreover, the results imply policy changes relevant to reciprocity in PDS


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