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Title:Teacher Perspectives Influencing Pedagogical Problem Solving (Microcomputer, Simulation, Teacher Beliefs)
Author(s):Trumbull, Deborah Jeanne
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Teacher Training
Abstract:Teacher education efforts have frequently been criticized for not providing students opportunities to practice skills and principles learned. Various forms of simulation activities have been proposed as one remedy. This research examined the use of a microcomputer simulation designed to help experienced teachers learn and/or apply principles of teaching emphasized in an approach to special education.
In this naturalistic study I sought to determine how this microcomputer simulation would actually be used by experienced teachers. The simulation was written within a well-defined and coherent ideology. I was interested also in determining possible effects of this ideology.
Using loosely structured and practice-oriented interviews, I worked with six teachers of various backgrounds to elicit their conceptions of pedagogy or teaching perspectives on dilemmas of education represented in the problem situations on the simulation. I then sat with each teacher as she went through six problem situations on the simulation, asking her to think aloud as she read the problem descriptions and made her decisions. I probed to determine how she was "seeing" or constructing the problem situations.
The teachers generally commented that the simulation did not serve as a portrayal of reality, that it seemed primarily a test. Also, the data indicated that each teacher conceived of the problem described on the simulation in different ways. These conceptions were clearly influenced by the teaching perspectives and pedagogical conceptions of the teachers, not always in ways which could be predicted.
Different interpretations seemed also to occur because the ideology of the simulation stressed the use of directly observable measures (e.g. percentage of work completed) to describe students. Most teachers pointed out that these measures would have different meanings in different contexts, but the simulation gave too little contextual information to determine the meaning of observed variables.
Some teachers learned some principles from this simulation. There were no data to suggest that the simulation helped users learn how to recognize the situations to which principles would be applicable, nor how to formulate better the problems which they might face in practice.
Issue Date:1984
Description:240 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8502323
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1984

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