Perspectives on becoming an elementary teacher: reflections of early experience
Noting that little is known about the effect of early experience on the process of becoming an elementary teacher, this researcher explored the perceptions of 17 preservice teachers. Data produced from structured, open-ended interviews were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Common descriptions of what is (images), what ought to be (constructs), and preservice teachers' means (context maps) of explaining why phenomena exist emerged from the data. The images were (1) Teachers guide, (2) Teachers are there for the children, (3) Teaching is hard work, (4) Teaching is controlled, (5) Students learn by doing, (6) Students are individuals, (7) Students choose to learn, (8) Student teaching is an apprenticeship, (9) Student teachers develop chameleon like qualities, (10) Student teaching is a tug of war, and (11) The curriculum is not balanced. An overall image (metaphor) of the preservice teachers was that they were awkward teenagers. The constructs were (1) The curriculum should be interesting, (2) The curriculum should be better balanced, and (3) The curriculum should be integrated using themes. Context maps were incomplete; it appeared that the preservice teachers' frames of reference were still being formed. Findings suggested that, although the preservice teachers' identities as teachers was solidified, there was a hidden curriculum that the preservice teachers felt but could not explain. Implications were that preservice teachers needed a supportive social environment and time to discuss, analyze, and interpret information received from observations of classroom practice, knowledge presented in pedagogy classes, and their own experiences as students.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic
Corcoaran, Carol A., "Perspectives on becoming an elementary teacher: reflections of early experience" (1989). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 4125.