Beyond the methods course: Using exploratory practice for graduate student teacher development

Crane, Cori
Sadler, Misumi
Ha, Jeeyoung Ahn
Otiato Ojiambo, Peter
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Heinle Cengage Learning
A qualitative analysis of graduate student teachers’ shared experiences in a teacher support group is presented. The analysis focuses on how the reflective teaching framework of exploratory practice can benefit more experienced graduate student teachers and provide a potential interdisciplinary model for professional development beyond the first-year teaching methods course in collegiate foreign language programs. Drawing on individual written reflections and transcripts from four collaborative group meetings over a two-month period, the authors show how a teacher support group made up of graduate students and language program coordinators enabled three experienced graduate student teachers to develop personally meaningful insights on their classrooms and learners. Findings from the study point to opportunities afforded for the graduate student teachers in understanding three interrelated areas of their teaching: (1) that reflection about teaching must involve learners, (2) that teaching is an inherently complex and dynamic process, and (3) that teaching communities promote deep understanding of classroom teaching.
Crane, C., Sadler, M., Ha, J.A., Otiato Ojiambo, P. (2011). Beyond the methods course: Using exploratory practice for graduate student teacher development. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 107-127.
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