Using Self-Compassion and Teacher Identity to Examine the Transition from Teacher to Teacher Educator
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AbstractThere has been considerable research regarding teacher identity and the challenges involved with the transition from teacher to teacher educator, yet there is little existing literature that addresses how to manage or mitigate these challenges. In my research, I describe the influences on my identification process and use the concept of self-compassion as a tool to support the transition from teacher to teacher educator. Self-compassion “involves offering nonjudgmental understanding to one’s pain, inadequacies and failures, so that one’s experience is seen as part of the larger human experience” (Neff, 2003b, p. 87). Data gathering and analysis were informed by self-study methodology and consisted of personal reflections and conversations with a critical friend. From the ensuing analysis, I developed three themes. First, the challenges I faced included differentiating pedagogy, returning to academia, and my perspectives of others’ perceptions. Each of these factors influenced my identification process during my transition. Second, through conversations with a critical friend, we came to see my product over process mindset, which prompted a new way of conceptualizing and acting upon these challenges. Lastly, supportive others and engaging with self-study provided a means to better understand how I practiced self-compassion and shift my mindset about challenges in new ways. Implications for this research may resonate with others who undergo similar transitions; the findings may also be informative to others making personal and professional transitions in a broader context.
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Becoming a Queer Teacher: Perceptions of Queer Teacher Candidates in Initial Teacher Education ProgramsFleet, Courtenay; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in EducationThis study used narrative inquiry to explore the experiences of queer teacher candidates during their Initial Teacher Education Programs (ITEP) in Ontario. The study sought to further investigate: (a) stories teacher candidates tell about being queer in ITEPs; (b) how queer teacher candidates respond to social bias and stereotypes in the learning community; and (c) if and how queer teacher candidates’ narratives can inform teacher education reform. Through interviews and lettered correspondence, the participants and I share stories of being queer in ITEPs. The study examined our stories using Clandinin and Connelly’s (2000) 3 commonplaces of temporality, sociality, and place, as well as, Ciuffetelli Parker’s (2013, 2014) 3-R narrative elements of narrative reveal, narrative revelation, and narrative reformation. Four themes emerged: the complexity of the queer teacher candidates’ experience; the separation of personal and professional identity; silencing; and shame. These poignant narratives contribute to the literature by providing a context for teacher education programs and researchers to reconsider teacher education reform.
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Exploring Teacher Candidates’ Perception of Practicum Placement Within Concurrent Teacher Education in Two Ontario UniversitiesDusto, Claire; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2014-01-27)In this study, teacher candidates’ perception of their concurrent education program at two Ontario universities were examined, with specific emphasis on how the programs utilized practicum placements, to determine the effectiveness in preparing teacher candidates to teach. This research also strived to uncover the best ways to optimize concurrent teacher education through practicum placements. A questionnaire and interviews were used to uncover teacher candidates’ perceptions at one teacher education program that used full integration of practicum and one that used minimal integration of practicum. The findings revealed that teacher candidates were generally more satisfied with the overall program when there was full integration of practicum. There were statistically significant differences found between the two concurrent programs with regard to practicum time and preparedness and context of the practicum and a highly significant difference found for theory-practice divide. There was also a statistically significant difference (p < .05) observed between the teacher candidates at each university in terms of their beliefs about the need for improvement of their program. Some of the improvements that participants believed could be made to their respective programs included having (a) exceptional mentor teachers and teacher educators, (b) longer placements with a balance of observation and practicum teaching, (c) clear expectations and evaluations of practicum placement, and (d) more distinct connections between theory and practice made within the programs.