Volume 22 Issue 3 
English/Language Arts Education
Teacher Candidates’ Pivot to Virtual Literacy Field Experiences: The Interplay of Culturally Responsive Sustaining Pedagogies and Improvisation
This qualitative investigation examines how teacher candidates enrolled in literacy courses navigated virtual field work experiences during summer and fall 2020. The study is grounded in theories of improvisation as a pedagogical practice and culturally responsive and sustaining approaches to teaching. Data show that teacher candidates took advantage of the affordances of the environment and adapted their practice to suit the new situation by improvising and growing their virtual teaching skillset for culturally responsive literacy instruction. Findings reveal the importance of teacher candidates developing improvisational culturally responsive and sustaining practices, including learning about students’ interests, cultures, and experiences and applying that knowledge to build rapport and curricular connections.
Impacts of Microcredentials on Teachers’ Understanding of Instructional Practices in Elementary Mathematics
Microcredentials are a promising means for expanding teacher access to high quality professional development. This study examined the effectiveness of online, self-paced microcredential courses designed for teachers working in underserved rural communities. The content of these competency-based microcredentials centered on recommended instructional strategies from the What Works Clearinghouse practice guides of the Institute of Education Sciences. To examine the effectiveness of the microcredentials, teacher participants were randomly assigned to one of two microcredentials on elementary mathematics, one on teaching word problems and the other on teaching fractions. Participants (n = 573) completed the pre-post assessments for each course, and follow-up interviews were conducted with a subset of participants (n = 65). Results revealed both microcredential courses were effective in increasing participants’ knowledge of evidence-based instructional practices targeted in their respective microcredential. The authors suggest that online microcredentials present an accessible and affordable means for teacher professional development, especially in locations or situations where face-to-face professional development is challenging.
Using a Framework to Develop Preservice Teacher Noticing of Students’ Mathematical Thinking Within Technology-Mediated Learning
Noticing students’ mathematical thinking is a complex, but important practice for preservice secondary mathematics teachers (PSMTs) to develop. This practice is further complicated when secondary students use technology, as it requires the dual and interconnected attention to students’ mathematical thinking and the ways they engage with the technology as they are learning. The purpose of this study was to examine how explicitly sharing a framework for noticing students’ mathematical thinking in technology-mediated learning environments and providing opportunities for practice supported PSMTs’ noticing. Pre- and post-video-based assessments were used to examine changes in PSMTs’ noticing as a result of engaging with the framework. The findings of this study suggest that using this framework to support PSMTs’ development of the teaching practice of noticing students’ thinking has promise, especially related to coordinating students’ written and spoken mathematical thinking with their technology engagement.
Effect of a Science-Based TPACK Program for Elementary Preservice Teachers According to Their Gender
The study sought to analyze the effects of the Technology, Pedagogy, and Content Knowledge (TPACK) program on the relationship between preservice elementary school teachers (n = 194) and the variables of their gender. Quantitative data collected during the fall semesters of 2018 and 2019 were statistically analyzed using the Wilcoxon rank sum test to compare the teachers’ attitudes toward convergence, TPACK, and science teaching efficacy beliefs according to group variables. The comparison of attitudes toward convergence indicated gender-specific differences in Year 1 in knowledge, personal relevance, social relevance, interest, and overall scores. No significant differences were found in most components in Year 2. The pre- and posttest TPACK results revealed significant gender-specific differences in Year 1 for Technological Knowledge (TK), Content Knowledge (CK) of Science, Content Knowledge of Korean, Pedagogical Knowledge, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Technological Content Knowledge, Technological Pedagogical Knowledge, TPACK, and overall scores. In Year 2, gender-specific differences were present in TK, CK of Mathematics, CK of Social studies, CK of Science, and TPACK. Analysis of Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (STEBI-B) by gender indicated that the overall scores and personal science teaching efficacy of female student teachers improved in Year 1. In Year 2, no significant gender-specific differences were found in the STEBI-B in the pre- and posttest results.
Critical Innovators: How Teachers and Entrepreneurs Position Themselves as Technology Innovators in Schools
Teachers have been called upon to be more entrepreneurial in their approaches to change. However, the universities in which preservice teachers learn and the schools in which teachers practice tend to emphasize standards, accountability, and risk-management, while traditional entrepreneurial conceptions of innovation tend to promote risk-taking and the pursuit of disruptive change. In this interpretive qualitative study, the authors conducted semistructured interviews of 14 teachers, entrepreneurs, and teachers-turned-entrepreneurs, analyzing how they position themselves in terms of guiding interests, approaches to change-making, and orientations to power and the educational status quo. Findings revealed that innovators in schools must often work subversively and in an oppositional manner to make change. Teachers must position themselves beyond traditional roles as managers, consumers, and rote implementers of technology in preference of more creative and agentic modes of innovational leadership. Considering their critical emic perspectives, their professional ethic of care and their authority of expertise, the authors suggest that teachers could be developed as uniquely trustworthy agents of calculated risk-taking in change-resistant schools. They highlight measures that could be taken to better prepare and support them as critical innovators with technology, and draw implications for teacher education.