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Title:Teachers' Ideologies and Reports of Practice: A Cross-Cultural Study (New Zealand, United States)
Author(s):Wagemaker, Hans
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Social Sciences
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between teachers' ideologies and reported classroom practices in New Zealand and the United States. In addition, an attempt was made to identify those factors that prevented teachers from teaching in a way that was consistent with their ideologies. Where theory and practice diverged, the study also focused on the means whereby teachers reconciled those differences.
Four main findings are suggested. First, while some ideological diversity exists among teachers in the schools in both countries, a general liberal ideology was held by the majority of teachers. Second, ideology and report of practice differed for many teachers in both cases. Third, the sources of divergence were clearly different. New Zealand teachers focused on the external examination system and American teachers focused on community values and clientele interest and preparation as sources of disjunction. Finally, in both countries, the teachers' response to disjunction ranged from attempting to re-define their situation, to withdrawal.
It is argued that teachers in both systems are in a position of mediating between system demands and individual differences and in accounting for the discrepancy between theory and practice, it is possible to speculate that the way in which each is organized at the state or national level has a significant effect on classroom teaching strategies.
In the United States the education may be characterized by its relative autonomy from federal controls and regulation at the same time it is more readily influenced by market demands. It is suggested that the lack of coherent structure may be in part responsible for some of the problems American teachers face. Teachers may lack authoritative support for the job they are trying to do.
On the other hand, the logic of such a highly centralized system in New Zealand directly affects pedagogy, frustrating practices mandated by ideological beliefs.
What the findings suggest is, that while disjunction may have diverse origins, a general conclusion may be drawn which is that the teacher's role and the relation between theory and practice should be understood in terms of the broader social and structural organization of education.
Issue Date:1982
Description:217 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8303016
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1982

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