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Title:Exploring the meaning of being a cooperating teacher
Author(s):Slocum, Annabelle Dryden
Department / Program:Philosophy
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:Within current concerns for improvement in teacher education programs is the inadequacy of research concerned with questions of meaning, such as what it means to be a cooperating teacher. Interpretive research investigates our way of experiencing the world and addresses questions of being. A phenomenological research approach allows the particular, the unique to be revealed that is frequently overlooked within research that seeks generalizable knowledge. The significance of this study for teacher education rests in bringing to the educational discourse another perspective on teacher preparation toward informed and appropriate action through raised awareness of the nature of the lived experienced of the cooperating teacher.
Conversation as a mode of inquiry was chosen in an attempt to form a co-researching relationship with the cooperating teachers and to narrow the gap between the researcher and the researched. The text of the conversations was explored, thematized, descriptively written, and interpreted. The written description was framed in story form containing analogies and questions of meaning followed by segments of conversations from the cooperating teachers. A hermeneutic process was conducted through reflections on the conversations.
From this study of the conversations new questions of meaning emerged and tensions were revealed. Through exploring the question, "What is at the heart of heeding the call to become a cooperating teacher," tension emerged between duty and hope. In revealing ways that hope is manifested in the lived reality of the cooperating teacher tension between imposed authority and evolving authority was disclosed. Reflection on the meaningful and real struggles and the promise hidden in the experience uncovered tension between isolation and community.
This phenomenological approach to making sense of the conventional image of the cooperating teacher shows the cooperating teacher as one being called from inauthentic existence toward her own authenticity. In this move from conventional performance to thoughtful action the cooperating teacher needs to be constructively involved in the unfolding and making of the student teaching practicum. Those associated with the practicum need to recognize that teaching can be renewing, life forming, and transforming when lived out in community.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Slocum, Annabelle Dryden
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI8916306
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI8916306

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