English/Language Arts Education

Digital Practices and Literacy Identities: Preservice Teachers Negotiating Contradictory Discourses of Innovation

by Leticia Ortega
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This paper presents the results of a research study on preservice English teachers’ understandings of the interconnection of literacy and technology in relation to their teaching practices.  The study was conducted in an English education program among preservice teachers enrolled in a year-long internship.  The data analyzed consisted of interview and group discussion transcripts as well as semiotic artifacts (inquiry papers, written reflections, and short videos) produced by the seven participants.  Particular attention was given to the ways school structures were affecting possibilities for productive transformations in the use of technology and the ways contradictory discourses were negotiated by the participants.  Two contrasting approaches to the role of technology in the teaching of literacy were identified, which adopting Newman and Holzman’s (1993) terminology, were termed “tool-for-result” and “tool-and-result.”  The paper concludes with an identification of the conditions afforded by the teacher education program and the school setting that facilitated the development of tool-and-result understandings among the preservice teachers.

Mathematics Education

Developing Inquiry Practices in Middle Grades Mathematics Teachers: Examining the Introduction of Technology

by Andrew M. Tyminski, Leigh Haltiwanger, V. Serbay Zambak, Robert Horton & Traci Hedetniemi
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Over 2 years a small group of middle school mathematics teachers’ beliefs, attitudes, and practices were investigated in order to transform their practice to an inquiry-based, technology-rich model. Research has suggested that technology and pedagogical innovations should be introduced together, so that teachers learn mathematics in the way their students will.  This claim is examined within the study. Results indicate that all of the teachers expressed interest and had positive attitudes about incorporating the calculators as they moved to an inquiry-driven model, and these attitudes continued to improve over the course of the project. However, teachers were divided about when to introduce the calculators. Some were adamant that they would have been too overwhelmed had the technology been introduced during the first year when they were trying to deepen their own content knowledge and implement inquiry. One teacher, for whom all aspects were integrated from the outset, believed the technology provided the motivation to transform her practice. Results suggest that teachers’ backgrounds, their depth of knowledge, and their familiarity and comfort with integrating technology into their instruction should inform professional development design.

Social Studies Education

A Year of Reflection: The More Things Change

by Mark Pearcy
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The emphasis on technology in preservice teacher education has become more important with the introduction of new standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (2013). Despite continual efforts by teacher education programs, many social studies classroom teachers still do not effectively integrate technology into their instruction. This article considers the nature of teachers’ resistance to such integration, as well as the state of technology in classrooms today, in light of the new national standards.  Additionally, this article addresses how teacher education programs may more effectively prepare preservice social studies teachers to use technology in the classroom by examining one university program.


Creative Synthesis and TPACK: Supporting Teachers through a Technology and Inquiry-Rich Graduate Degree Program

by Meghan McGlinn Manfra & Hiller A. Spires
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This study offers a new way to assess TPACK within the context of a graduate program revitalized to focus on new literacies. Whereas previous studies have focused on teacher lesson planning or modeling best practices, our research examines TPACK by exploring the Creative Synthesis Projects of graduates from our program. These projects reveal the manner in which the teachers synthesized personal and professional insights gained over the course of graduate study. Portraits of four teachers provide a holistic understanding of the evolving nature of teacher professional knowledge, especially within the context of prolonged, authentic inquiry and reflection.

Current Practice

Technology-Supported Assessment Systems: A Comparison of Accredited and Unaccredited Programs

by Noela Haughton & Virginia Keil
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The debate surrounding teacher quality often fails to differentiate effectively between teacher-preparation providers. This failure also extends to distinguishing between teachers prepared in traditional campus-based accredited programs from those prepared in unaccredited campus-based programs. This paper compares assessment infrastructure and expenditure levels of accredited and unaccredited schools, colleges, and departments of education (SCDEs). The College of Education Assessment Infrastructure Survey was administered to 1,011 campus-based programs in 2007 and 2009. Six hundred seven responses—341 (33.7%) from 2009 and 266 (26.3%) from 2007—were analyzed. Results support the notion that accredited SCDEs are significantly more likely than their unaccredited counterparts (a) to implement electronic assessment systems, and (b) to invest at higher levels in assessment infrastructure. Implications include the role of accreditation reporting and other requirements on SCDE assessment policy and allocation of resources to support the growing need for enhanced capacity.