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Title:From roots to blossoms: a description of the shared teaching experiences of Jamaican teacher educators
Author(s):Mayne, Hope
Director of Research:Noffke, Susan E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Noffke, Susan E.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Parsons, Marilyn A.; Darder, Antonia; Higgins, Christopher R.
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Teacher Education
Critical Pedagogy
Preservice teachers
Teacher Educators
critical thinking
postcolonial agency
Abstract:Abstract The study explored teaching and teacher education in the postcolonial context, Jamaica, based on arguments that Jamaica's education system and teacher training is constructed on its colonial past and the heavy reliance on knowledge from the West. It provided a rich description of the shared teaching experiences of teacher educators in Jamaica, answering the central research questions: (a) How do teacher educators see themselves in their practice? (b) What do teacher educators understand to be the impact of colonization on education and their teaching (teacher education), and how do they evaluate this? (c) How do teacher educators describe their education, and how does this impact their teacher education practice? (d) How do they describe their practice? (e) What does this practice look like? The study was framed on a qualitative research design and used theories of phenomenology to uncover lived experiences of teacher educators. Data collection methods were in-depth interviews, observations, and focus groups. Fourteen participants were included in the study from three teacher education sites in Jamaica. A postcolonial theoretical perspective was used to interpret the findings, but also drew on critical pedagogy and critical thinking to explain the emerging phenomenon. Data were coded and analyzed using the cross-case analysis thematic design. Based on the theoretical perspectives, I reported these findings: Teacher educators see the impact of colonialism as having an inherent value in the construction of knowledge; it is historically and socially embedded, reproduced, and a fostered dependency. Their educational background has impacted who they are as teacher educators in that it gave them the foundation needed to frame their own perceptions about teaching and learning. They find benefit in adopting new approaches, in particular, student-centered classrooms, but this is not without challenges. Teacher educators’ teaching philosophy is reflective of these characteristics: developing teacher characteristics in a loving and structured way, fostering constructive classrooms, sharing experiences, and preparing students for life. Their classroom practice is innovative, facilitative, structured, and consultative. Some challenges they encounter in their practice are a disconnect with theory and practice, limited exposure of the real experience in microteaching sessions, challenges with using learner-centered approaches, and poor language skills in the classroom.
Issue Date:2012-09-18
Rights Information:Copyright Hope Mayne 2012
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-09-18
Date Deposited:2012-08

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