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Title page for ETD etd-03262009-161249

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Furman, Jim Samuel
URN etd-03262009-161249
Title Outcomes and Assessment in Teacher Education: Contradictions, Tensions, and Implications for Educating Preservice Teachers
Degree PhD
Department Teaching and Learning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Victoria J. Risko Committee Chair
Donna Y. Ford Committee Member
H. Richard Milner Committee Member
Robert T. Jimenez Committee Member
  • preservice teacher education
  • student teaching
  • assessment
Date of Defense 2009-03-11
Availability unrestricted
This study investigated the experiences of preservice teachers within a program of teacher education and considered the interaction of the spaces and discourses therein during a semester of student teaching. The study built on previous research in the field of teacher education by examining multiple contexts, actors, documents, and tools that mediated the learning of student teachers. The investigation specifically addressed questions related to the outcomes of teacher education and the assessment of those outcomes, examining the ways in which they were enacted during various events related to student teaching and what the potential implications were for student teachers.

Data collection occurred throughout the semester under consideration and included observation of program meetings, classroom instruction, and team conferences. Other data sets included interviews with student teachers and artifacts related to the program and the student teachers’ practices. Two student teacher case studies were identified based on their desire to work in high-need school settings. Using qualitative methods of data analysis, findings were derived and organized according to three areas related to the contradictions and tensions that arose. Specifically, findings related to the lack of systematic focus on P-12 student learning during the student teaching semester, the manner in which the divide between the university and school contexts was exacerbated by aspects of the curriculum, and the crisis regarding the assessment of preservice teachers that indicated a disconnect between the practice of assessing and the actual learning of student teachers.

The study leads to new insights about teacher preparation and student teaching in particular. Given the findings within these three areas, recommendations are made for reconceptualizing the culminating experience of traditional programs of teacher education in order to create a more productively hybrid space that focuses on the learning of P-12 students in classrooms and uses systematic assessment to drive instruction during the experience as a model for preservice teachers.

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