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How do teachers construct an understanding of teaching? Skipper, Peter Gordon 2015

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     HOW DO TEACHERS CONSTRUCT AN UNDERSTANDING OF TEACHING?  by  Peter Gordon Skipper  B.A., The University of Victoria, 1976 M.Ed., The University of Victoria, 1984  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF EDUCATION in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Educational Leadership and Policy)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  November 2015  © Peter Gordon Skipper, 2015     ii  Abstract This mixed methods study examined the teaching perspectives of 14 teachers and how they constructed their understanding of teaching.  During the 2012-2013 school year interviews and an online survey were administered to these 14 teachers employed in two school districts and one private school in British Columbia.  The teachers varied in terms of gender, years of experience and levels of grades taught.   The study was conducted in two phases: a Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) survey was followed by interviews. The TPI results described the dominant teaching perspectives of each teacher as transmission, apprenticeship, developmental, nurturing or social reform. The interview data then helped explore teachers' personal, educational and teaching experiences and the way they shaped those dominant teaching perspectives.  The research was conceptualized and guided by a constructivist approach.  Social reality is created by individuals to explain their experiences and is influenced by what an individual brings to such experiences.  Conceptual lenses interpret what you see. The study was framed by the dimensions of examining teaching as a process of expertise, of interdependence, judgment and the self-expression needs of teachers.  Study findings highlighted the multifaceted problem solving contextual nature of teaching in shaping understanding as an improvisational experience towards ideals that may change over time. Such experiences ultimately favored collegially centered relationships with co-constructed learning support opportunities with other trusted educators.  The identity or understanding of what is good teaching is not fixed over time and developing awareness is a matter of reflexive practice and accumulating experience.  Teaching is not simple acts of productivity but productive acts of thinking to celebrate both emotional and intellectual ends.      iii  Preface  This dissertation is original, unpublished, independent work by the author, Peter Skipper.  The Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) used in the survey was researched and designed by Drs. Daniel Pratt and John Collins of UBC and used with their permission.  Professor Collins further provided K-12 TPI normative data so the author of this study could compare those results with his participant findings.  Ethics approval for this research was received on May 15, 2012 from the University of British Columbia Behavioral Research Ethics Board:  UBC BREB Certificate Number: H11-00954.                          iv  Table of Contents Abstract .......................................................................................................................................... ii Preface ........................................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................... iv List of Tables ............................................................................................................................... xii List of Figures ............................................................................................................................. xiv Acknowledgements ..................................................................................................................... xv Dedication ................................................................................................................................... xvi Chapter 1:  Teaching Seen Through My Eyes ........................................................................... 1 1.1 The Conundrum................................................................................................................ 1 1.2 My Journey ....................................................................................................................... 2 1.3 Research Question Considerations ................................................................................... 5 1.4 Dichotomy Debate............................................................................................................ 8 1.5 Complexity Theory ........................................................................................................ 11 1.6 Significance of this Study .............................................................................................. 13 Chapter 2:  Understanding Teachers’ Constructions of Teaching ........................................ 16 2.1   Perspectives on Teaching .................................................................................................. 17 2.2   Beyond Teaching Techniques ........................................................................................... 18 2.3   Rationale for the Study ...................................................................................................... 20 2.4   Configuring Teacher Learning .......................................................................................... 20 2.5   What is "Good Teaching"? ................................................................................................ 25 2.6   Teaching as Process .......................................................................................................... 26 2.6.1   Process as Building Expertise..................................................................................... 26 2.6.2   Process as Reflexive Progression ............................................................................... 28 2.6.3   Process as Persuasion ................................................................................................. 33 2.6.4   Process as Contested Conceptions .............................................................................. 35 2.7   Teaching as Interdependence ............................................................................................ 37 2.7.1   Interdependence as Context ........................................................................................ 37     v 2.7.2   Interdependence as Power and Control ...................................................................... 39 2.8   Teaching as Judgment ....................................................................................................... 42 2.8.1   Judgment as Ends and Means ..................................................................................... 43 2.8.2   Judgment as Practical Wisdom ................................................................................... 44 2.8.3   Judgment as Enabling ................................................................................................. 44 2.9   Teaching as Self-Expression ............................................................................................. 47 2.9.1   Self-Expression as Beliefs .......................................................................................... 48 2.9.2   Self-Expression as Intentions ..................................................................................... 49 2.9.3   Self-Expression as Actions ......................................................................................... 49 2.9.4   Self-Expression as Identity ......................................................................................... 50 2.9.5   Self-Expression as Mindsets ....................................................................................... 51 2.9.6   Self-Expression as Motivation .................................................................................... 53 2.10   Models of Teaching ......................................................................................................... 57 2.11   Dimensions of Understanding Teacher Constructions of Teaching ................................ 63 2.12   A Pluralistic View ........................................................................................................... 65 2.12.1   Transmission ............................................................................................................. 67 2.12.2   Apprenticeship .......................................................................................................... 67 2.12.3   Developmental .......................................................................................................... 68 2.12.4   Nurturing .................................................................................................................. 68 2.12.5   Social Reform ........................................................................................................... 69 2.13   Cultural and Systemic Influences .................................................................................... 70 Chapter 3:  Research Methods ................................................................................................... 73 3.1   A Mixed Methods Study ................................................................................................... 78 3.2   Research Participants ........................................................................................................ 80 3.3   Research Tools and Design ............................................................................................... 82 3.3.1   Phase I: TPI ................................................................................................................ 82 3.3.2   Phase II: Interviews .................................................................................................... 83 3.4   Data Analysis .................................................................................................................... 86 3.5   Ethical Considerations....................................................................................................... 91 3.6   Limitations of the Study .................................................................................................... 92 Chapter 4:  Research Findings .................................................................................................. 96 4.1   Phase I:   Mapping Teacher Perspectives on Teaching ..................................................... 97 4.1.1   Synopsis ...................................................................................................................... 97 4.1.2   Analysis ...................................................................................................................... 99 4.1.2.1   TPI........................................................................................................................ 99 4.1.2.2   Interviews ........................................................................................................... 109     vi 4.2   Phase II:   How do Teachers' Construct an Understanding of Teaching? ....................... 112 4.2.1   Synopsis .................................................................................................................... 112 4.2.2   Analysis of Interviews .............................................................................................. 113 4.2.3 ..................................................................................................................................... 115 Teaching as Process ............................................................................................................. 115 4.2.3.1   Process as Building Expertise ............................................................................ 115 4.2.3.2    Process as Progression ...................................................................................... 116 4.2.4   Teaching as Interdependence .................................................................................... 122 4.2.4.1   Interdependence as Social Capital ..................................................................... 122 4.2.4.2    Interdependence as Networks of Collegial Professional Collaboration ........... 130 4.2.4.3    Interdependence as Human Relationships ........................................................ 135 4.2.4.4    Interdependence as Organizational Culture ...................................................... 136 4.2.4.5    Interdependence as Power and Control ............................................................. 137 4.2.5   Teaching as Judgment .............................................................................................. 141 4.2.5.1    Judgment as Pragmatic/Technical Decisions .................................................... 142 4.2.5.2    Judgment as Means and Ends ........................................................................... 143 4.2.5.3    Judgment as Enabling ....................................................................................... 144 4.2.5.4    Judgment as Practical Wisdom ......................................................................... 146 4.2.6   Teaching as Self-Expression .................................................................................... 147 4.2.6.1    Self-Expression as Beliefs ................................................................................ 148 4.2.6.2   Self-Expression as Intentions ............................................................................. 149 4.2.6.3    Self-Expression as Actions ............................................................................... 150 4.2.6.4    Self-Expression as Identity ............................................................................... 151 4.2.6.5    Self-Expression as Mindsets/Motivation .......................................................... 153 4.2.7     Summary of Findings .............................................................................................. 156 Chapter 5:  Reflections and Conclusions ................................................................................ 157 5.1   Self-Expression as Retaining Your Humanity ................................................................ 158 5.2   Process as Playing Jazz ................................................................................................... 160 5.3   Interdependence as Partnerships ..................................................................................... 161 5.4   Judgment as Pathways ..................................................................................................... 163 5.5   Understanding Teaching ................................................................................................. 165 5.6    Politics............................................................................................................................. 170 5.7   Thinking, Judging and Acting Anew .............................................................................. 175 5.8   Implications for Orienting Policy .................................................................................... 181 5.9   Policy Orientation Themes .............................................................................................. 184     vii 5.9.1   Democratic Collaboration – How can we work together? ....................................... 184 5.9.2   A Professional Approach – How can we support further learning? ......................... 187 5.10   Implications for Practice ............................................................................................... 190 5.11    Further Research ........................................................................................................... 201 References .................................................................................................................................. 205 Appendices ................................................................................................................................. 218 Appendix A: Abigail ................................................................................................................... 218 A.1 Demographics ............................................................................................. 218 A.2 TPI Commentary ......................................................................................... 218 A.3 Teaching Influences .................................................................................... 219 A.4 Transitions ................................................................................................... 222 A.5 Teaching Intentions ..................................................................................... 223 A.6 Supportive or Hindering Influences ............................................................ 224 A.7 Wisdom and Values Identified as Good Teaching...................................... 225 A.8 Teaching Metaphor ..................................................................................... 226 A.9 Additional Comments on Understanding Teaching .................................... 226 A.10 Merging TPI & Interview Findings ............................................................ 227 Appendix B: Beatrice .................................................................................................................. 228 B.1 Demographics ............................................................................................. 228 B.2 TPI Commentary ......................................................................................... 228 B.3 Teaching Influences .................................................................................... 229 B.4 Transitions ................................................................................................... 231 B.5 Teaching Intentions ..................................................................................... 232 B.6 Supportive or Hindering Influences ............................................................ 232 B.7 Wisdom and Values Identified as Good Teaching...................................... 232 B.8 Teaching Metaphor ..................................................................................... 233 B.9 Additional Comments on Understanding Teaching .................................... 233 B.10 Merging TPI & Interview Findings ............................................................ 233 Appendix C: Corrine ................................................................................................................... 235 C.1 Demographics ............................................................................................. 235 C.2 TPI Commentary ......................................................................................... 235 C.3 Teaching Influences .................................................................................... 236 C.4 Transitions ................................................................................................... 239 C.5 Teaching Intentions ..................................................................................... 239 C.6 Supportive or Hindering Influences ............................................................ 240 C.7 Wisdom and Values Identified as Good Teaching...................................... 240 C.8 Teaching Metaphor ..................................................................................... 241     viii C.9 Additional Comments on Understanding Teaching .................................... 241 C.10 Merging TPI & Interview Findings ............................................................ 242 Appendix D: Donna .................................................................................................................... 243 D.1 Demographics ............................................................................................. 243 D.2 TPI Commentary ......................................................................................... 243 D.3 Teaching Influences .................................................................................... 244 D.4 Transitions ................................................................................................... 246 D.5 Teaching Intentions ..................................................................................... 247 D.6 Supportive or Hindering Influences ............................................................ 247 D.7 Wisdom and Values Identified as Good Teaching...................................... 248 D.8 Teaching Metaphor ..................................................................................... 248 D.9 Additional Comments on Understanding Teaching .................................... 249 D.10 Merging TPI & Interview Findings ............................................................ 249 Appendix E: Elise ....................................................................................................................... 251 E.1 Demographics ............................................................................................. 251 E.2 TPI Commentary ......................................................................................... 251 E.3 Teaching Influences .................................................................................... 253 E.4 Transitions ................................................................................................... 255 E.5 Teaching Intentions ..................................................................................... 256 E.6 Supportive or Hindering Influences ............................................................ 256 E.7 Wisdom and Values Identified as Good Teaching...................................... 257 E.8 Teaching Metaphor ..................................................................................... 258 E.9 Additional Comments on Understanding Teaching .................................... 258 E.10 Merging TPI & Interview Findings ............................................................ 259 Appendix F: Fiona ...................................................................................................................... 260 F.1 Demographics ............................................................................................. 260 F.2 TPI Commentary ......................................................................................... 260 F.3 Teaching Influences .................................................................................... 262 F.4 Transitions ................................................................................................... 264 F.5 Teaching Intentions ..................................................................................... 264 F.6 Supportive or Hindering Influences ............................................................ 265 F.7 Wisdom and Values Identified as Good Teaching...................................... 266 F.8 Teaching Metaphor ..................................................................................... 266 F.9 Additional Comments on Understanding Teaching .................................... 266 F.10 Merging TPI & Interview Findings ............................................................ 267 Appendix G: Gwen ..................................................................................................................... 269 G.1 Demographics ............................................................................................. 269 G.2 TPI Commentary ......................................................................................... 269 G.3 Teaching Influences .................................................................................... 272     ix G.4 Transitions ................................................................................................... 273 G.5 Teaching Intentions ..................................................................................... 274 G.6 Supportive or Hindering Influences ............................................................ 274 G.7 Teaching Metaphor ..................................................................................... 275 G.8 Additional Comments on Understanding Teaching .................................... 275 G.9 Merging TPI & Interview Findings ............................................................ 277 Appendix H: Holly ...................................................................................................................... 278 H.1 Demographics ............................................................................................. 278 H.2 TPI Commentary ......................................................................................... 278 H.3 Teaching Influences .................................................................................... 280 H.4 Transitions ................................................................................................... 282 H.5 Teaching Intentions ..................................................................................... 283 H.6 Supportive or Hindering Influences ............................................................ 283 H.7 Wisdom and Values Identified as Good Teaching...................................... 284 H.8 Teaching Metaphor ..................................................................................... 284 H.9 Additional Comments on Understanding Teaching .................................... 285 H.10 Merging TPI & Interview Findings ............................................................ 285 Appendix I: Ivan ......................................................................................................................... 286 I.1 Demographics ............................................................................................. 286 I.2 TPI Commentary ......................................................................................... 286 I.3 Teaching Influences .................................................................................... 288 I.4 Transitions ................................................................................................... 290 I.5 Teaching Intentions ..................................................................................... 291 I.6 Supportive or Hindering Influences ............................................................ 291 I.7 Wisdom and Values Identified as Good Teaching...................................... 292 I.8 Teaching Metaphor ..................................................................................... 292 I.9 Additional Comments on Understanding Teaching .................................... 292 I.10 Merging TPI & Interview Findings ............................................................ 293 Appendix J: Jenny ....................................................................................................................... 294 J.1 Demographics ............................................................................................. 294 J.2 TPI Commentary ......................................................................................... 294 J.3 Teaching Influences .................................................................................... 297 J.4 Transitions ................................................................................................... 299 J.5 Teaching Intentions ..................................................................................... 300 J.6 Supportive or Hindering Influences ............................................................ 301 J.7 Wisdom and Values Identified as Good Teaching...................................... 301 J.8 Teaching Metaphor ..................................................................................... 302 J.9 Additional Comments on Understanding Teaching .................................... 302 J.10 Merging TPI & Interview Findings ............................................................ 302     x Appendix K: Kevin ..................................................................................................................... 304 K.1 Demographics ............................................................................................. 304 K.2 TPI Commentary ......................................................................................... 304 K.3 Teaching Influences .................................................................................... 306 K.4 Transitions ................................................................................................... 307 K.5 Teaching Intentions ..................................................................................... 308 K.6 Supportive or Hindering Influences ............................................................ 309 K.7 Wisdom and Values Identified as Good Teaching...................................... 310 K.8 Teaching Metaphor ..................................................................................... 310 K.9 Additional Comments on Understanding Teaching .................................... 310 K.10 Merging TPI & Interview Findings ............................................................ 310 Appendix L: Lee ......................................................................................................................... 312 L.1 Demographics ............................................................................................. 312 L.2 TPI Commentary ......................................................................................... 312 L.3 Teaching Influences .................................................................................... 313 L.4 Transitions ................................................................................................... 314 L.5 Teaching Intentions ..................................................................................... 315 L.6 Supportive or Hindering Influences ............................................................ 315 L.7 Wisdom and Values Identified as Good Teaching...................................... 316 L.8 Teaching Metaphor ..................................................................................... 316 L.9 Additional Comments on Understanding Teaching .................................... 317 L.10 Merging TPI & Interview Findings ............................................................ 317 Appendix M: Mandy ................................................................................................................... 318 M.1 Demographics ............................................................................................. 318 M.2 TPI Commentary ......................................................................................... 318 M.3 Teaching Influences .................................................................................... 320 M.4 Transitions ................................................................................................... 322 M.5 Teaching Intentions ..................................................................................... 324 M.6 Supportive or Hindering Influences ............................................................ 325 M.7 Wisdom and Values Identified as Good Teaching...................................... 327 M.8 Teaching Metaphor ..................................................................................... 328 M.9 Additional Comments on Understanding Teaching .................................... 328 M.10 Merging TPI & Interview Findings ............................................................ 329 Appendix N: Nolan ..................................................................................................................... 330 N.1 Demographics ............................................................................................. 330 N.2 TPI Commentary ......................................................................................... 330 N.3 Teaching Influences .................................................................................... 331 N.4 Transitions ................................................................................................... 333 N.5 Teaching Intentions ..................................................................................... 333     xi N.6 Supportive or Hindering Influences ............................................................ 334 N.7 Wisdom and Values Identified as Good Teaching...................................... 335 N.8 Teaching Metaphor ..................................................................................... 335 N.9 Merging TPI & Interview Findings ............................................................ 336 Appendix O: Interview Questions .............................................................................................. 337 Appendix P: Participant Demographic & TPI Profiles ............................................................... 338 Appendix Q: Study Group TPI Results Compared to K-12 TPI Norms..................................... 340        xii  List of Tables  Table 4.1 Summary of TPI Participant Data* ............................................................................... 99 Table 4.2 TPI Survey Statement Preferences for Beliefs (B), Intentions (I) and Actions (A) ... 106 Table 4.3 Extent of Agreement among Participants Regarding Teaching.................................. 109 Table 4.4 How do Teachers Construct an Understanding of Teaching? .................................... 113 Table 5.1 Policy Themes that Support Constructing an Understanding of Teaching ................. 189 Table 5.2 A Principal’s Continuous Learning Journey ............................................................... 193 Table A.1 Abigail’s TPI Scores .................................................................................................. 218 Table A.2  Abigail’s TPI Benchmark Statements ....................................................................... 219 Table B.1 Beatrice’s TPI Scores ................................................................................................. 228 Table B.2 Beatrice’s TPI Benchmark Statements....................................................................... 229 Table C.1 Corrine’s TPI Scores .................................................................................................. 235 Table C.2 Corrine’s TPI Benchmark Statements ........................................................................ 236 Table D.1 Donna’s TPI Scores ................................................................................................... 243 Table D.2 Donna’s TPI Benchmark Statements ......................................................................... 244 Table E.1 Elise’s TPI Scores ...................................................................................................... 251 Table E.2 Elise’s Benchmark Statements ................................................................................... 253 Table F.1 Fiona’s TPI Scores...................................................................................................... 260 Table F.2 Fiona’s TPI Benchmark Statements ........................................................................... 261 Table G.1 Gwen’s TPI Scores .................................................................................................... 269 Table G.2 Gwen’s Benchmark Statements ................................................................................. 270 Table H.1 Holly’s TPI Scores ..................................................................................................... 278     xiii Table H.2 Holly’s Benchmark Statements .................................................................................. 279 Table I.1 Ivan’s TPI Scores ........................................................................................................ 286 Table I.2 Ivan’s TPI Benchmark Statements .............................................................................. 287 Table J.1 Jenny’s TPI Scores ...................................................................................................... 294 Table J.2 Jenny’s TPI Benchmark Statements ............................................................................ 296 Table K.1 Kevin’s TPI Scores .................................................................................................... 304 Table K.2 Kevin’s TPI Benchmark Statements .......................................................................... 305 Table L.1 Lee’s TPI Scores ........................................................................................................ 312 Table L.2 Lee’s TPI Benchmark Statements .............................................................................. 313 Table M.1 Mandy’s TPI Scores .................................................................................................. 318 Table M.2 Mandy’s TPI Benchmark Statements ........................................................................ 319 Table N.1 Nolan’s TPI Scores .................................................................................................... 330 Table N.2 Nolan’s TPI Benchmark Statements .......................................................................... 331           xiv List of Figures Figure 2.1 A General Model of Teaching  .................................................................................... 62 Figure 2.2 Dimensions of How Teachers Construct an Understanding of Teaching ................... 71 Figure 4.1 Dimensions of Practice ~ How Teachers Construct an Understanding of Teaching.155     xv  Acknowledgements  I would like to acknowledge my deep regard and gratitude for the patient guidance and friendly mentorship of my supervisor, Dr. Andre Mazawi.  He took me from a wandering novice of a graduate student through the paths of academic study and practice to accomplishments that I could not have done on my own. His questions, insights and keen analysis opened my eyes to discern vistas of education and understanding my previous professional life had not seen nor comprehended.  I am grateful for the opportunity to work with him and his confidence in me to grow in my skills and thinking.  I am also indebted to the acumen and expertise of my co-supervisor, Dr. Daniel Pratt.  Dr. Pratt's area of research interests and suggestions on formatting my research questions were helpful and influential in my work.   I would also like to thank my other committee members, Drs. John Collins and Wendy Poole for their assistance and counsel.  Dr. John Collin's assistance with gathering information from the TPI surveys was a key step in collecting the needed data.  Dr. Wendy Poole's critique of the initial thesis proved instrumental in me being open to other perspectives.    Similarly, I wish to recognize the teachers who participated in this study.  They graciously shared stories of their careers and other aspects of their personal lives related to education.  My research study was not possible without the generous gift of their time and insights and for that I am deeply grateful.    I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the influence of Dr. Barrie Bennett in my professional work.  His mentorship and example over the decades has inspired me.    Finally, I extend my appreciation to my wife, Colleen, and family for their support and encouragement in helping me along the way in sticking to the task.      xvi  Dedication  I dedicate this thesis to my granddaughter, Pemberley, and to the memory of my loving mother, Lydia.  Their lives and the intervening generations between embody the expanding horizons and opportunities for those that believe in and pursue the benefits of education.    1  Chapter 1:  Teaching Seen Through My Eyes The act of teaching is informed by multiple forms of knowledge and is representative of a variety of ways of personal, professional and contextual knowing.    Ardra Cole & J. Gary Knowles 1.1 The Conundrum Mine eyes have seen the glory of teaching at its best, from enthralling lectures to invigorating investigations, from revealing discussions to thoughtful assignments and to encouraging words.  At least I thought so but, surprisingly, my point of view in perceiving and thinking about what had just transpired in those situations was not unanimously shared by others.  What I had just experienced as inspiring and enabling fell flat with other teaching colleagues or learners.  I poignantly recall a mid-career staff meeting where a teacher had swept me off my educational feet in espousing the gospel and virtues of the benefits of guided reading.  As I gazed around the staffroom that afternoon, I was taken aback by the extent of the adverse reaction of a few colleagues to showing their displeasure to such an initiative by turning away from the speaker.  One had even dramatically folded her arms across her chest in an unmistakable show of rejection or disapproval.  I took this on as a challenge to convince those alleged misguided opponents of the errors of their ways.  I thought that learning about proven effective teaching practices should not be contentious but obvious.     Needless to say, this was an example of a string of numerous initiatives that met with the ebb and flow of partial successes with supporters and detractors of said best or promising practices.  It became apparent that teachers do not all attend to similar thinking in what works in constructing an understanding of teaching.  This became an enduring and perplexing personal professional enigma of how to gain consensus on how to teach children.  To paraphrase, you can   2  persuade all of the teachers some of the time, and some of the teachers all of the time, but you cannot persuade all of the teachers all of the time into accepting how or what to teach.  Teaching evidently goes beyond complex and challenging craft-like technique to other intentions, perceptions or assumptions of what works.  What lies beneath teacher actions is worth investigating.   My conceptions and assumptions arising from my life experiences interpreted the professional world around me, often limiting the horizons of what I could see, as well as how I saw them.  Such ways of knowing and being developed in the past, to be potentially amended by the present, to set the provisional knowledge or “prejudices” to meet the future, shapes us as individuals.  New experiences can confirm or challenge present understandings.  Those encounters that contextually and comparatively unsettle preconceptions can shift understandings to experience the world in richer or different ways.  In this chapter, I seek to share with readers the context and considerations from which this study arose to see the world with new eyes.         1.2 My Journey  To explain the coherence between this study and my practice, let me step back and recall my adventure in constructing an understanding of teaching.  Such discernment began at an early age, even before the start of school, with willing and involved parents sharing and modelling their interest in books and learning.  In our home I had a wealth of books, records, dinner conversations and bedtime stories.  The relatively new phenomenon of television broadcasts and programing brought an even bigger world of experiences and schema to my acquaintance.  The awe and wonder of this wonderful world of early imagination and inquiry, and play and practice, created a positive impression of the power of learning new knowledge and applying fresh skills.  The opportunities and support provided by parents in those early years afforded a context for an   3  easy entry into formal schooling.  Learning and schooling were priority values set by my circumstance.  My mother's weekday after school routine of multiplication tables and spelling words around our kitchen table reinforced this message.  I came to know knowledge and learning as specific things you explicitly acquire.  My understanding improved by mastering a new spelling word, replicating an arithmetic algorithm, recalling specific science formulas, reciting French words or retelling historical facts or events.  In high school, I remember hour long classes of writing copious notes from the teacher's chalk board into my notebooks for study.  Learning was receiving, retaining and returning such knowledge.  There were ideas out there that great minds discovered to explain to the rest of us.  The scientific method as the way to discern reality was drummed into me.  Truth existed on the pages of non-fiction texts.  University, initially, was not much different.  The emphasis on supporting your point of view by citing examples in texts gave the opportunity to assemble such knowledge, through study and reflection, into novel and gratifying ways of expressing yourself.  However, learning through summative marks still seemed to be rewarded by returning a similar point of view or knowledge shared by your professors.  The culture of experts and reliance on them became an implicitly held value by me.  As I began teaching, I frequently followed the methods taught to me to insert them craft- like into the classes I taught.  Madeline Hunter's direct instructional model and teacher guide books tended to rule my early teaching as part of the passive reliance on expertise.  I acted in ways my favorite high school teachers or university professors did in their teaching.  It was an informal apprenticeship of sorts in what I discerned as ways to teach well based upon my years as a student.  The gradual adjustment to more independent thinking grew out of a need to attend to novel classroom challenges.  These professional insights gained from teaching soon had me   4  searching for a better conceptual model of what teaching was all about.  Overtime, as my proficiency and confidence grew, I gradually changed from an apprentice to someone less reliant on templates of practice or guides.   I turned to research literature represented in professional periodicals and sought out in-service opportunities in the search of the best way to teach. I often listened to the advice of fellow teachers in what they found to be successful.  A conceptual overview of teaching based upon the research of certain professors highlighted my practice.  This provided the assurance and theoretical reasoning behind why certain skills, strategies and teaching tactics, complemented by subject knowledge and classroom management, gradually became my version of understanding teaching.  I put my puzzle pieces together in the image of what I thought teaching should be.  My teaching was about productivity and accountability in getting mandated learning outcomes into students.  I followed the principles and practiced the specifics of this framework over time and it made sense to me in terms of professional satisfaction and recognition.  These tenets were reinforced and sanctioned by my appointment as a supervising principal.  As a principal, my decades’ long non-contested conception of my leadership role was supported and reinforced by local governance policy and research.  So, I persisted in trying to persuade teachers I worked with to adopt certain interpretations or understandings of teaching, particularly as it applied to espousing academic research favored teaching techniques. This technocracy-like view of education seemed to be a rational approach to the challenges of teaching.  I met with partial successes for short periods of time but, too frequently, modest results over the longer term.  Teachers who shared similar thinking felt like kindred spirits and those times were the professional highlights of my career in certain schools at certain times.  Too frequently, from my perspective, I was not able to motivate critical masses of teachers to do what   5  I asked.  I thought teaching could be framed as best practices for others to follow.  I regarded this impasse as a professional setback, so I sought the world of further expertise in doctoral studies to find some answers.    1.3 Research Question Considerations Based upon my experiences with teaching, I understood teaching as both intuitive and deliberative thinking.   Successful persuasion of teachers by authorities or experts involved more than the technical aspects of teaching in developing a conceptual understanding of teaching.  The emotional aspects of learning are entwined with the cognitive dimensions (Dumont, Istance, Benavides, 2010), and therefore are important constituents of how teachers come to construct their understanding of teaching.  It was intriguing to speculate about what teaching experiences developed or helped shape views and approaches to practice.  My research aimed to explore teacher perspectives about teaching, with some description and explanation for how teachers in this study constructed their understanding of teaching.  The key research question became how do teachers' construct an understanding of teaching?  A co-requisite research question then also arose of what are these understandings of teaching? Understandings depend upon prior perceptions about teaching.  A teaching perspective is “an inter-related set of beliefs and intentions which gives meaning and justification for our actions” (Pratt, 1998a, p. 33).  Examining possible interactive experiences in how teachers perceive and construct such teaching perspectives and what these perspectives may be were the main considerations of this research.  Clarifying the processes by which teachers make sense of their teaching practices would help me and others understand the epistemic, and perhaps even ontological bases, of their professional knowledge.  My point of departure in this exploration is the realization that teaching is not just a technical pursuit.  Nor are endorsed 'best practices' —   6  whether research based or not — likely to help clarify the ways in which teachers come to understand their role and responsibilities as 'teacher'.  Teaching as a cultural and systemic activity involves both explicit and implicit ways of knowing.  Such ways of knowing influence the way teachers approach teaching and how they translate this knowledge into action and pedagogic practice. It follows that teachers’ awareness of how their understandings of teaching translate into practice represent a key component of professional learning.  Such mindfulness provides the means to judge and justify their teaching actions.  However, such ways of knowing go beyond mere technical changes in teaching as our teaching culture either supports or resists change.  "Structural change that is not supported by cultural change will eventually be overwhelmed by the culture, for it is in the culture that any organization finds meaning and stability" (Schlechty, 2001, p. 52).   From personal experience, structural or technical changes on their own, especially when managerial in origin, that do not engage the bigger questions of the purposes of education or learning, will not address constructing an understanding of teaching that leads to commitment as ethical actions.  Changing beliefs, habits, and attitudes as cultural forms of adjustment require attention to values and intentions held by the culture of schools, school districts, departments of education and the public.  Such systems are presently based on "the technicist, positivitist tradition of producing knowledge" (Kincheloe, 2012, p. 7) which tends to reduce teaching to preferred technical standards and thinking about teaching as ticking off formal curriculum boxes.   This productivity and authoritarian reform vision tends to want to condense teaching to a monoculture in meeting the needs of overwhelming diversity.  The ideal is that there are preferred ways to teach and think about teaching.  As a child of such rational positivist thinking,   7  based upon our western cultural and scientific traditions, I was constantly searching for the discovery of the best way to teach as both a moral and technical absolute.    The research literature is replete with evidence for why teachers should continue to refine and extend their teaching repertoire as what teachers know and do have implications for student learning (Bennett, B., & Rolheiser, C. 2001; Bereiter, C., & Scardamalia, M. 1993; Brown, J., & Moffett, C. 1999; Darling-Hammond, L. 1999, 2009; Davis, B., & Sumara, D. 2010; Dufour, R., & Eaker, R., 2005; Dumont, Istance, Benavides, 2010; Hargreaves, A. 1994; Hattie, J. 2003, 2009; Joyce, B., & Showers, B. 2002; Kaser, L., & Halbert, J. 2009; Little, J. 1990; Marzano, R., 2003; Reeves, D. 2001; Richardson, N., 2009; Rowe, K. 2003; Smoker, M. 2006; Sparks, D. 1995, 2002; Stigler, J.W., & Hiebert, J. 1999).  Moreover, educational jurisdictions, from schools to departments of education, often appear to favor or hold one perspective about teaching as established orthodoxy (Pratt, 2002).  The diversity of teaching perspectives of teachers within less tolerant organizational belief systems often appear to be grounds for conflict as teachers are differing over the ends of their teaching and not merely the means (Poole, 2008).  A well-articulated grasp of why and how individual teaching perspectives arise, or whether some teachers are aware of what their philosophical orientations are, seems elusive.  The extent of influences that support what teachers do, how they do it and why they want to do it is useful information for fellow educators in order to accommodate diverse educational perspectives.    The most important responsibility of my role as a principal was to help create the conditions under which teachers can teach well while developing and applying their knowledge and practice of pedagogy.  For much of my career, I thought it was the role of largely outside academic researchers and policy makers to construct this for the teaching community of which I was a part.  The inconsistencies I experienced because of such thinking made me question how   8  teachers came to understand and construct teaching, or certainly my role in it.  The intent of this research then was to enlighten my thinking about how teachers construct their understanding of teaching.  Examining connections between teaching perspectives and the ways of constructing understandings of teaching to assist teachers, principals and policy makers in their respective roles was a worthwhile initiative to avoid narrow minded habits or sterile teaching formulae.  1.4 Dichotomy Debate  Until recently, I was an exacting Slavinian (Slavin, 2002, 2004); I saw the world through the eyes of the positivist or natural science paradigm exclusively.  Aggregate patterns of relationships or ways of doing and being were out there awaiting a discerning eye and mind to bring them into universal view. I grew up loving ideas that described ‘realities’.  In my formative years, for example, a book like my grandfather’s Architects of Ideas: The Story of the Great Theories of Mankind (Trattner, 1938) was read with avid fascination, as I tried to make sense of and comprehend the world around me.  Darwin, Marx, Freud, Malthus, Einstein and other great thinkers and scientists discovered the reality of the world around us.  I believed there was a ‘reality’ out there waiting to be revealed by systematic study and analysis by uncovering facts.  Based upon those facts one could make deductions to reveal the truth to help understanding.  In other words, I was looking for ‘what works’ in an objective universal educational sense.  Science and rational thought were like a religion to me.  Experimental research was the gospel that explained life.   Like Slavin, I thought the epistemology of choice for studies that seek to make causal conclusions was experimental design, and preferentially randomized experiments to reduce the psychological effects of human subjectivity (that should have given me a clue).  In comparing outcomes of alternative programs or policies, there is no substitute for a well-designed   9  experiment (Slavin, 2002, 2004).  Experimental research in education, Slavin asserts, would improve the relevance and applicability for use by policy makers and transform educational policy and practice similar to what historically happened in medicine. This was a rational and common sense way of viewing reality for me.  I was a disciple of such perceiving, believing and thinking.  For example, in my role as principal, when Hattie's (2003, 2009) research of synthesizing over 800 meta-analyses relating to student achievement first came out,  it was my duty and responsibility to ensure teachers had such information and acted accordingly.  I emphasized such evidence in espousing certain teaching strategies as more productive in terms of student achievement and success as universally better methods of ways to teach.      Due to this paradigm, ‘research says’ was my mantra.  I thought if I could get whatever individuals within an organization I was working with to all see and apply this truth, or Holy Grail, we would solve the challenges facing us.  Despairingly and frustratingly, my practice, despite persistent diligence, did not achieve the full success that I expected or desired by following this perception of reality.  Bewildered, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, lost in a perplexing world, I sought out the Yellow Brick Road to obtain the help of The Great and Powerful Oz of doctoral studies to improve my understanding.  My model of ‘reality’ was not fully explaining all the inconsistencies I experienced.  What were the missing pieces that would enlighten me?     I should have realized I was living in a dialectic parallel universe as a child growing up in the Cold War, between the world of study and its application.  I remember a sense of dread, likely coming from the apprehension of my parents, in the Cuban Missile Crisis, due to what I then believed were those adversarial communists that wanted to destroy our way of life.  I distinctly recall my vicarious partisanship as a high school student in the campus protests,   10  marches and demonstrations brought on by the Viet Nam War and the civil rights movement.  These crises and tensions were man-made due to disputes over power and control caused by vying ideologies and policies that explained different versions of reality and how things should be.  Such phenomena were as real as any theories arising from experimental evidence or books, as people were fighting and dying over such interpretations of truth due to their beliefs.    Into this dialectic came the ideas of Olson (2004), which I read.  I saw, like Dorothy, “home” with new eyes. The Olsonian view is that I cannot divorce human consciousness from the human being. Perceptions influence what is real.  There is no way as yet to randomize for human belief systems that impact experimental research (Olson, 2004).  Perceptions of reality are influenced by subjectivity.  Depersonalizing research is not easy to do.  Reality is constructed by personal beliefs and assumptions that change over time.   Olson (2004) highlights the Hawthorne Effect and the fact that human experience over time alters thinking, thus influencing experimental results.  He cites examples of clinical trials that demonstrate that different treatments can have similar effects.  Due to such influences, assumptions about causality are problematic.  There are many inferential paths that may lead to understanding.  Rather than merely discovering pathways of reality, we construct them.  Research, in other words, should not be designed to “dictate what one does” but is to be used by teachers and students as information in making informed decisions in the varied and multiple contexts in which people work (Olson, 2004).  The patriot and the rebel arise from different perceptions of a shared, but not necessarily similarly experienced, circumstance.  What one brings to an experience is an important influence to any human knowledge or skill acquired from the context of involvement, particularly as it relates to the social sciences.     11  Therefore, social reality is a construct created by individuals to explain their particular experience and make sense of their overall existence in society.  It is likely to change over time due to our reasoning and thinking nature. What works changes over time as different contexts appear and wane.  Individual perceptions are no less real than theories about aggregate experiences or relationships of larger groups of humanity.  Insights shift as new information becomes available or is comprehended.  Social phenomena are a mixture of temporary creed, circumstance, and lived experiences, each influencing, interacting and ultimately modifying the other.   1.5 Complexity Theory A second paradigm that revised my ontological view about social reality was complexity theory as described by Clarke & Collins (2006).  This second paradigm is predicated on the variety and multitude of interacting influences that come into play that affect something or someone.  Teaching, if it were to be described as a system, is complex and multifaceted.  Complexity theory is further compounded by the thinking nature of human behavior.  Human consciousness and agency make the predictability of human behavior more difficult.  Linearity and compliance, as often educational prescriptions, becomes more problematic when viewed through these lenses of awareness and intention.  Classrooms as self-organizing systems are constructed rather than delivered, due to the adaptations and innovations necessary, as classrooms of learners are not constants but changing places (Clarke & Collins, 2006).  Teaching frequently deals with spontaneity, novelty and invention to meet the learning occasion.   Clarke and Collins (2006) indicate that simple phenomena with fewer influences, such as the movement of a ball around a billiard table, can be accurately predicted.  Complicated phenomena have many influences, thus providing difficulty in exactly predicting the outcome in   12  every specific instance.  However, over time there is enough regularity that patterns can be detected and aggregate outcomes predicted within confidence measures.  This statistical analysis can be used to describe overall but not specific individual outcomes.  The functioning of the insurance industry would be an example of this.     Clark and Collins (2006) explain that complex phenomena have many influences as well, but, unlike complicated phenomena outcomes, they are more difficult to predict.  Financial markets, flu viruses, fashion tastes and weather systems would be some examples they provide.  According to Clark and Collins (2006), complex systems are networked, like the Internet, rather than hierarchical, and have feedback loops that due to their nonlinearity means information can be communicated quickly.  The multiple branching means that complex systems have the capacity for self-regulation or organization and are not dependent on a single point or location for direction (Clark & Collins, 2006). They assert that it is difficult to control such a system as this capacity for change transcends control agents.  This constant state of change permeates and generates the constant tension for creative interventions (Clark & Collins, 2006).  An important characteristic of complex phenomena is that they represent systems within systems like interactive nestled cups of various sizes (Clark & Collins, 2006).  A highly successful local football coach who applied systems theory to his coaching and classroom teaching explained this concept to me as a collection of tin can lids connected by elastic bands.  When you grab onto one, you tend to engage or jiggle to various extents some or all of the others depending upon the arrangement of this matrix of interactive phenomena.  John Muir (1911) phrased this concept as, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe" (p.110).     13  Reducing learning and teaching to specific interventions as simply complicated rather than complex phenomena, within the myriad of influences upon teacher and student, may explain why educational research has not provided the boost to education that such research did for medicine in curing illness.  Fostering improved student learning, much like promoting improved patient health, is a much more complex thing to do.  In this respect, medicine is as far behind as education in meeting its ideals.  Exercising more, eating healthier foods, stopping smoking, reducing addictions and maintaining recommended weight are more complex initiatives than taking a prescription, having a vaccination or undergoing a particular operation.  Espousing improved student achievement, similar to promoting health, is a much more complex and challenging task to do.  The conceptual model of complex phenomena therefore seems a good fit for much of what happens in education.  Such dynamic phenomena are characteristic of social organizations including education (Fullan, 1993, cited in Clarke & Collins, 2006).   Consequently, as a school principal, it is important to be mindful of the complex nature of the subjective experiences and influences that provide meaning to each educator in reaching their respective teaching perspectives.  Furthermore, as both a practitioner and researcher, such interpretations are sorted through my conceptual understandings and exposures to various pedagogical traditions.  Being vigilant for novel or unexpected arrangements of influences, processes and effects that facilitate the understanding and construction of teaching is necessary.  Indeed, that is a purpose for research, to see the world in new ways. 1.6 Significance of this Study At a more personal level, this study helped explain the conundrum and frustration of my career long quest for understanding why ‘research says’ was not the panacea or mantra for   14  rallying teacher compliance to ‘what works’ in order to transform schools and improve learning.  Orderly, linear, structured cause and effect paradigms and interventions that dominate the thinking and operation of schools, as extolled by much of the research of which I was familiar, perplexingly were not working for me.    For principals and teachers, determining what induces and permits certain teachers to surpass expectations in their practice, to eventually become and continue to emerge into highly accomplished and satisfied educators, is worthy of study.  In responding to my research question, I accounted for how different teachers came to construct their understanding of teaching in order to gain insight into their beliefs and practices of "good teaching".  "Good teaching" or “promising practices” is about individual teacher deductions of successful and effective practice as to “what works” in varied contexts.  Understanding that something is good teaching benefits from understanding why something works in teaching, as well as how you go about deciding whether it worked, and what “worked” means.  Teachers are more likely able to adapt their teaching successes to changes in contexts, learners and circumstances if they understand the why in addition to the what and how.   Showing interest in and understanding teacher viewpoints, rather than trying to get teachers interested in my way, required a shift from the manner in which I practiced.  The public places faith in teachers to be the best they can be.  Engaging teachers in examining their values, attitudes and habits increases professional awareness between the means and ends of teaching and empowers their practice. In this chapter, I described for readers my journey and struggle to decipher, as a practitioner, a few key conceptual understandings through which I made sense of the world of teaching.  In the second chapter, I elaborate upon my further journey of eclectic encounters with   15  the academic literature, as a novice scholar, in trying to meaningfully sort out the theoretical traditions of research that were often contradictory or incoherent.  In the third chapter, I show how I designed the study to generate data to respond to my research questions.  In the fourth chapter, I share my significant findings of what are study participant understandings of teaching and how they constructed such understandings of teaching.  In the final chapter, I present my reflections and the implications of my findings for impacting my practice and for thinking, judging and acting anew in responding to teacher learning.  It is my aspiration that this study will enhance the conversation of teaching practice beyond conventional methods to more nuanced considerations of how teachers come to be effective teachers.    Before moving to the literature review, I want to emphasize that the work of teaching or learning of teaching is often synonymously attached to schooling or formal education.  Education, as I understand it, is not limited to formal schooling, but is made up of all of life’s experiences over a lifetime.  Schooling is often viewed as an instrumental process with specific outcomes in mind that are expressly taught.  Education encompasses a broader context of cultural learning and making sense of life experiences in all its ramifications of problem solving, inquisitiveness, creativity, relationships, conduct and critical thinking.   So when I use the term education in this thesis, it is not limited to formal schooling.            16   Chapter 2:  Understanding Teachers’ Constructions of Teaching Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things…I am tempted to think…there are no little things.       Bruce Barton  Parents and students reasonably expect teachers to demonstrate expert behavior (Bennett & Rolheiser, 2001).  How and why teachers make sense of their teaching so they may teach with understanding — connecting the means to the ends of their work as they see it — is important information for societies emphasizing change and improvement to their educational systems.  I have always been intrigued by what induces and permits certain teachers to surpass student learning expectations in their practice to eventually become highly respected teachers and continue to progressively develop into highly confident and accomplished educators.  I suspect it may be the depth of their consciously skilled understanding of how to meaningfully integrate their practice with the perspective they hold as to the purposes of education — the how and the why.  The influences that subtly or deliberately shape our teaching perspectives and subsequent practice must be kept in mind, as beliefs on what is ‘good teaching’ filter or constrain views of suitable practice.  For example, those who favor teaching math that emphasizes discovery learning may look more critically at those who profess the rote and rigor of direct instruction as preferable in developing the necessary math skills. Similar educational partisanship has gone on about the teaching of reading as to whether phonics or whole language is ‘good teaching.’  Consequently, this inquiry was open to possible combinations of influences that may be responsible for inspiring a certain perspective or way of understanding and constructing teaching.     17  To this end, this chapter chronicles my eclectic journey of my emerging perceptions of the literature on understanding teaching.  I encountered different traditions of research in seeking insights on how teachers may construct an understanding of teaching.  Insights arose about different perspectives or purposes for teaching, the importance of expertise going beyond technique, the significance of experience in developing expertise, the implications for how teacher learning is configured and the complexity of the debate over what is good teaching.  I also examined previous models or plans from which to design or understand teaching for the purposes of my research.  From the research literature, I was able to synthesize a framework of cultural and systemic influences or dimensions that helped me interpret my data for the purposes of this study.      2.1   Perspectives on Teaching My primary source for identifying perspectives on teaching is based upon the work of Pratt and Associates (1998).  Over decades of research and study, five dominant views or perspectives of teaching have been documented: transmission, apprenticeship, developmental, nurturing and social reform (Pratt, 1992; Pratt & Associates, 1998).  A subsequent instrument for identifying these teaching perspectives, the Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) was developed (Collins & Pratt, 2000).  Unlike other inventories (Hattie, 2003, 2009; Trigwell, Prosser, Ginns, 2005), which offer measurements of a continuum of desired attributes that maintain “some approaches to teaching are considered more complete, and have more effect on desired learning outcomes than others” (Trigwell et al, 2005, p. 350), the TPI profiles a multiplicity or plurality of forms of good teaching.  The TPI inventory considers teacher beliefs as well as intentions in supporting teaching actions.  This is an important consideration when   18  implementing practice as not merely a technocratic enterprise but one that recognizes change with its systemic human, social and cultural implications.      As teaching is a cultural activity within a complex system (Stigler & Hiebert, 1999), tacit beliefs and assumptions need to be examined within a framework of an integrated dynamic whole.  This facilitates describing how and why the teaching components fit together and relate to each other.  The observable words and deeds of teaching are like the tip of the proverbial metaphorical iceberg.  The thinking that remains hidden below the surface as unstated is critical information in explaining teaching decisions around the displayed practice.  Getting to reflect upon teaching actions and the reasons behind them is important in order to justify such teaching as ethical and purposeful activity.  It is an ongoing conversation by making the invisible creative process visible by articulating processes as an expression of teacher identity through teaching.   2.2   Beyond Teaching Techniques In understanding teaching, in order to demonstrate expertise, teachers need to comprehend how and realize why they use certain instructional ways of knowing and doing.  This is important information for exercising and clarifying professional judgment. In developing deep understanding, Dufour and Fullan (2013) indicate that "clarity precedes competence" (p. 48) and "we must address why before how" (p. 48).  Expertise goes beyond concentrating on customary routine and procedural actions in order to engage the diverse needs and abilities of learners.  Informed teaching is not just skilled craft-like replication of a single instructional approach, but innovative and creative professional judgments adjusting instruction to the ever dynamic and changing classroom environment.  Teaching under such conditions connects both reflective thoughts and reflexive acts based upon experiential insights to achieve what matters in the minds of teachers in meeting various student needs.  Based upon the work of Perkins (1995),   19  expert or intelligent behavior "is predicated on a combination of deep knowledge within multiple domains, the ability to recognize patterns, the ability to thoughtfully access an extensive  repertoire of strategies, and taking time to reflect" (Bennett, Sharratt & Sangster, 2003, p.3).  Teacher awareness of why and how they make instructional choices is important for job success, professional growth and satisfaction.  Influences contributing to understanding teaching exist within the context of an organizational culture and society.  How educational and community organizations conceive of education by providing opportunity for and support of teachers is integral to the extent of how teachers interpret teaching as an innovative activity or a prescribed one. The purposes of education and design of teacher work is not exclusively a solitary activity but a social one.   The extent of alignment between teacher inspired practices and organizational expectations are factors to consider in how teaching is constructed.      So, what distinguishes or describes educators in their ways of understanding instruction may offer important insights to other teachers and shape the larger discourses around teachers' knowledge and professionalism.  In order to accommodate diverse educational perspectives, conversations that share personal stories or observations of what teachers do, how they do it and why they want to do it is useful information for fellow educators.  Such information is important not only for individual metacognitive reflection, but also for possibly persuasive conversations that may further broaden understanding to connect knowledge and practice.  I suspect this is attributable to the scholar-practitioner paradigm that would integrate both worlds (Stack, Coulter, Grosjean, Mazawi & Smith, 2006).     20  2.3   Rationale for the Study In an anecdote told by Stephen Covey (1989), a person came upon a woodcutter working feverishly to cut down a tree. Upon the woodsman’s explanation of his exhausted state due to five hours of hard work, the visitor asked the woodcutter why he didn’t take a few minutes to ‘sharpen the saw’ as the task then would go much faster.  The woodcutter responded that, “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw.  I’m too busy sawing!”   This is a reasonable allegory of the world of teaching today.  In my experience few teachers get the collegial moments or space necessary to sharpen their saw.  The demands, complexity and busyness of schooling in organizational roles, processes and structures that shape teacher behavior leave few opportunities for such collaboration.  Such time is necessary to work through concerns to engage in promising practices that require a deep understanding to feel more confident and to be more successful (Hord, Rutherford, Huling-Austin, & Hall, 1987).  Without adequate time to “work out the meaning of the change for themselves” (Fullan & Stigelbauer, 1991, p. 112), implementing and integrating instructional knowledge with practice is likely to falter due to lack of support and opportunity.  Teachers "too often get too little time and insufficient support to become experts" (Bennett, Sharratt, & Sangster, 2003, p.5).   2.4   Configuring Teacher Learning Mandated “top-down” reforms rarely systemically produce improved teaching (Cawelti, 1995).  “No top-down mandate can replace the insights and skills teachers need to manage complex classrooms and address the different needs of individual students, whatever their age. No textbook, packaged curriculum or testing system can discern what students already know or create the rich array of experiences they need to move ahead” (National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future, 1996, p. 10).  On this point, Finley (2000) further observes that,   21  “There is a general realization that teachers can’t simply be recipients of reform packages, but must be active partners in the process of changing schools” (p. 11). The circumstances and influences that invite or detract from such participation, using complexity theory and a constructivist paradigm as a framework, are multifaceted and need to be examined.  Corroboratively, complexity theory explains that in complex systems such as education, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Unlike a chain of causality, the interactions of the parts are relatively limitless, usually invisible, and often unpredictable (Clarke & Collins, 2006). Everything is connected to everything else and a change in any one area synergistically affects all the other parts and as a consequence the whole (Clarke & Collins, 2006; Sparks, 1995).  Systems theory is a “framework for seeing relationships rather than things” (Senge, 1990, p. 69), so looking at power structures and processes that influence behavior is important.  Small changes at certain points can leverage big changes (Senge, 1990).  Little, not obvious, things can initiate big differences overall (Arnell, 2010; Gladwell, 2002).   Learning organizations are continuously learning to learn together (Senge, 1990).  To go beyond invention, which is producing an idea, to innovation, which is extensive practical use of the idea,  requires later widespread development of supporting technologies, as in the example of the invention of the airplane to prevalent decades later everyday commercial use (Senge, 1990, cited in Bennett, Sharratt and Sangster, 2003).   Bennett, Sharratt and Sangster (2003) assert that a similar principle exists in education, whereby "extensive and separate bodies of knowledge related to classroom improvement, school improvement, valuing the teachers as learners, the process of educational change, and thinking systemically" (p.7) need to come together in interactive and supportive ways to make any change in practice systemic.    22    Consequently, small incremental refinements of teaching over time may result in amplified long term continuous development of expertise.  Under supportive conditions, such changes may become systemic.  Yet, here, it is worth referring to Stigler and Hiebert (1999) who observed that teaching — as a cultural activity — does not change quickly or drastically as it is “emphatically not a reform-like process” (p. 121).  Small gradual changes in practice are much better accommodated, as they are built on existing patterns of instruction.  Such small steps respect teaching as a cultural activity whose situated learning and meaning making is integral to the physical context and schemas in which it occurs.  Such embedded and tacit knowledge increases with experience as it develops and operates within an environment of application and practice (Sternberg & Horvath, 1995, cited in Pratt and Associates, 1998).  This hidden instructional experiential knowledge is usually not explicitly taught, or is difficult to teach, to novice teachers but is necessary for becoming skillful (Pratt and Associates, 1998).  When encouraging expertise, the significance of understanding teaching as a cultural phenomenon, as learning done by participation and observation but not necessarily deliberate study (Stigler & Hiebert, 1999), needs to be considered as part of an overall system rather than an isolated part of the whole.  School improvement initiatives in the past often had a project mentality. Such enterprise, without due consideration given to how such initiatives impact and are impacted in return by other elements of the system, provide often frustrating consequences and at best partial successes (Sparks, 1995).  Given the importance of education, and the responsibility of teachers in fulfilling its purpose in our diverse and ever more global knowledge society (Hargreaves, 2003), educators and the public must acknowledge the role of teachers as being more than technicians or craftspeople.  This is necessary to fulfill the often conflicting aims of education (Egan, 2001). It   23  is not just a matter of knowing and applying accomplished routines so students perform well on standardized tests, which tend to narrow the curriculum in the short term, and often disengage students from learning in the longer term.  More important are the judgments that go into ongoing problem solving and continual reflection about pedagogical practice. Teachers are thereby enabled to support and guide individual students and their colleagues in creating meaningful learning situations. Teaching is not a faceless and inflexible process.  “What teachers know and can do makes the crucial difference in what children learn.  And the ways school systems organize their work makes a big difference in what teachers can accomplish” (National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future, 1996, p. 5).  The key determinate in student experiences and schooling outcomes is what teachers’ know and do (Darling-Hammond, 1999), “supported by strategic teacher professional development” (Rowe, 2003, p.1).  It is against this backdrop that Bruner (1996) laments at how little attention is paid to the knowledge of how teachers go about teaching at the expense of emphasizing performance targets and higher standards.  Isolating and focusing exclusively on individual teacher quality, without examining the context of their work, and the meanings they attach to it, remains highly problematic.  A frequent theme in the research emphasizes the problem of teacher isolation as hindering collaboration to talk about teaching and cooperative ways to improve it (Wagner, 2004; Schmoker, 2006).  Rarely do teachers have an opportunity to jointly teach with or observe a colleague teach.  Teaching is considered a private rather than a public activity.  With little direct teaching contact with others, teachers seldom have a reference point upon which to bench mark their own skills.  Collaboration increases professional interaction and reduces isolation among teachers who collectively become their own experts through study and reflection, by   24  action and conversation.  This facilitates more confidence in believing in the wisdom of their practice and in their own expertise to solve problems.  Teaching is a social and cultural phenomenon "where the power of the group – and all of the group's insights, knowledge, experience and support" (Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012, p. 145) contribute to a collective expertise and professional culture.   Schmoker (2006) emphasizes that, “Unlike other professionals, and despite near universal agreement on the importance of teaming, teachers do not work in teams.  They do not prepare lessons and assessments together, and they do not test and refine their lessons regularly on the basis of assessment results” (p. 18).  This harmful impact of teacher isolation upon student achievement and success has been widely documented (Dufour, 2005; Elmore, 2000; Fullan, 2000; Little, 1990; Lortie, 1975; Marzano, 2003; Reeves, 2001; Schmoker, 2006; Wagner, 2004).  Elmore (2000) and Reeves (2001) argue against elevating teacher isolation or privacy in the name of autonomy, as to what and how to teach to the point of ‘inviolability’, as “then inferior practices will dominate in most schools” (Haycock, 2005, cited in Schmoker, 2006, p. 25).  Twenty one researchers signed a call for concerted action. It stated: If there is anything that the research community agrees on, it is this: the right kind of continuous, structured teacher collaboration improves the quality of teaching and pays big, often immediate dividends in student learning and professional morale in virtually any setting. (Schmoker et al, 2005, p. xii)   25  2.5   What is "Good Teaching"? However, the research on what distinguishes good teaching has been “ambiguous at best" (Sumara & Davis, 2010, p. 2).  Sumara and Davis (2010) surmise that the issue may be the untenable assumption that most people agree on what constitutes effective teaching. This insight is useful as it corroborates the work of Pratt (1992, 1998) about what it means to teach in that teachers have diverse teaching perspectives, “Ask a dozen people and you will hear a range of answers” (p. xii).  The importance of such diversity, therefore, should be a consideration in discussing appropriate instructional practices in various contexts in what are the suitable ways to “sharpen the saw.”  Given the cultural habits of schooling, the dialectic dance of standardization of curriculum and teaching versus its possible customization of ways to teach is an important consideration. The extent to which a balance may be found marginalizes certain conceptions of teaching to the ascendency of others, while alienating some teachers while encompassing others. For my purposes of understanding the influences of how teachers come to construct their teaching, the TPI which describes different teaching perspectives is an appropriate instrument to use.  There is a tendency in education, predominantly based upon standardized testing of students, as certainly one common belief as a measure of success, to assume that it is possible to have a few sizes of teacher practice fit all (Pratt, 2002).  This assumption needs to be verified by a concerted and open focus upon the attributes, disposition and skills of what an educated person is to better explain or describe the purpose and practice of teaching and learning (Coulter & Wiens, 2008).  Interpreting teaching emphasizes the importance of what a teacher values and believes as trustworthy means towards fulfilling the ethical ends of their practice.  It also lines up with Olson’s (2004) contention that different treatments can have similar effects.  It challenges   26  the utility of searching for the fountain of best practice, an educational El Dorado or Holy Grail. It supports the notion of accepting a diversity of innovative, effective and promising practices resourcefully suited to various circumstances that match a teacher’s instructional practice to student learning needs and teaching intent.  Teaching is a creative and complex process.    Beyond the question of teacher actions and methods and how they are carried out, it is important to add clarity around teachers’ beliefs and intentions when analyzing teaching.  The ends of teaching as well as the means need to be intelligibly connected.  Exploring how teachers construct an understanding of teaching by subscribing to certain beliefs, intentions and actions is a focus of this research.  Identifying some key themes from the literature is the task to which I now turn. 2.6   Teaching as Process  A reading of the literature on teaching emphasizes the importance of learning to build a repertoire of knowledge, skills and techniques in order to teach well.  Often this discussion of the what and how of teaching becomes an exclusive debate, regardless of other important educational concepts and purposes (Stack, Coulter, Grosjean, Mazawi and Smith, 2006).  Nevertheless, teaching as a process of learning skills, approaches, strategies and techniques through experience deserves attention as a key consideration in the construction of an understanding of teaching.    2.6.1   Process as Building Expertise It seems that understanding teaching, as defined by the process of expertise (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1993), is based upon gradual increments of ever deeper understanding over time of “simply knowing a lot about what you are doing” (Perkins, 1995, p. 80).  Sternberg (2005)   27  indicates that purposeful engagement is necessary in order to develop expertise.  Hattie (2003) asserts that the difference between experts and experienced teachers is not so much the amount of knowledge of curriculum or teaching strategies but the ability to organize, integrate, and combine this knowledge to meet student needs.  Experts are much better at using such knowledge by incorporating prior knowledge and by recognizing patterns of interaction in the classroom and acting accordingly.  Biographical investigations indicate that many years of deliberative practice is necessary to develop deep understanding to recognize challenges and opportunities in ever more advanced levels of performance (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1993; Perkins, 1995).  Given that requisite, it is interesting to speculate on the pedagogical identities and motivations of some teachers to dedicate themselves to the process of understanding and constructing teaching.    Understanding teaching as a process describes what influences certain individual teachers to "surpass themselves" by engaging in ongoing expert-like practices dedicated to progressive pedagogical problem solving or some other alternate professional learning process.  Bereiter and Scardamalia (1993) indicate that the difference between an expert and an experienced non-expert is the reinvestment and progressive problem solving strategy that experts engage in which constitutes the process of expertise.    Reinvestment involves the motivational aspect of conserving the necessary mental and physical resources to be put back into the learning activity itself rather than dispersing them elsewhere (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1993).  Bereiter and Scardamalia (1993) argue that, “Progressive problem solving is the cognitive aspect of the process of expertise” (p. 82). What is learned is transformed into a next effort that is better conceived and articulated. Such reflective experience provides a rich endowment of knowledge for quick and intuitive perceptual ability to   28  discern patterns for successful interaction that may have not been recognizable to teachers before (Perkins, 1995).   Typical learning eventually permits the learner to adapt to novel or challenging circumstances with well-learned practices that reduce the amount of mental and physical activity required to sustain that level of work. “Things that [previously] required deliberate attention and thought come to be second nature” (Bereiter and Scardamalia, 1993, p. 81), similar to the process in learning to drive a stick shift car.  It eventually takes less immediate concentrated thinking and physical coordination of how to change gears, steer and brake and so on to free up the mind and body to think or do other things as one navigates the roadways.   In that sense, the career of the expert “is one of progressively advancing on the problems constituting a field of work, whereas the career of the non-expert is one of gradually constricting the field of work so that it more closely conforms to the routines the non-expert is prepared to execute” (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1993, p. 11).  The expert, paradoxically, lives on the edge of his or her competence, while the experienced, but not expert-inclined, person is content to be satisfied with what they know.  Another way to look at the process of expertise is brought out in the work of Pfeffer and Sutton (2000).  The learning task is to explore better ways to implement "what is already known" by refining and applying such learning by engaging with colleagues rather than focusing on more formal training.     2.6.2   Process as Reflexive Progression Understanding teaching as a process is also conceived as a very individual progression (Hord, S., Rutherford, W., Huling-Austin, L., & Hall, G., 1987).  For instance, in the Concerns Based Adoption Model (CBAM), individuals progress through a set of developmental feelings and skills.  According to Hord et al (1987) personal concerns are addressed first by acquiring   29  information as to how the change will affect them.  Task concerns follow, as in how to do the new practice technically and efficiently.  Later concerns relate to overall effectiveness and refinement of the innovation.  This practice adoption model may be viewed as a positivistic and systemic process or tool to institutionalize "best practice".  Its intent could be as a means to adopt a particular innovation in teaching favored by formal leaders.  It may also be considered as a self-regulating and self-organizing framework to conceptualize how individuals go about creating shifts in their practice.  The ownership of the process determines whether the end goal is the adoption of a certain prescribed innovation or one embraced by a teacher as an enabling innovation to assist their teaching based upon their professional thinking.    Although these stages of or contexts for concern are important considerations in any implementation process, CBAM assumes linear or developmental progression, as do other models (see Bridges, 1991; Rogers, 1995, following).  Framed by the realities of professional practice, this type of process, due to constructivist and systems theory dynamics within teaching, rarely happen in the direct articulated way conceptual models are presented so as to be understood.  Individual change processes appear to be more organic than mechanistic, more cyclical than linear, as much emotional as rational, and as amply intuitive as logical. The difficulty with CBAM is its assumed linearity of process and its often strong arm application by professional developers and educational leaders to attempt to get teachers to adopt particular approaches to teaching.  Its conceptualization of the concerns individuals consider when adopting a practice or innovation is its strength.  In a sense, the application is an abridged version of the theory. The replication of theory as practice is synergistic. Theory may helpfully describe, predict or simulate reality but rarely is an exact holistic replication of practice.  "Theoretical concepts do not yield concrete prescriptions for classroom application but good theory can be   30  used flexibly and creatively by teachers in their planning and educational practice" (Groff, 2010, p. 3).   "The contexts in which teachers work, however, seldom mirror the contexts in which theories have been developed.  Formal theories must be considered in relation to the unique learning environment of each school" (Halbert & Kaser, 2013, p. 54) and classroom.   Theories are like written driving tests that may explain or describe the rules of the road, but rarely foretell the exact intuitive, interactive and subjective experience of the actual performance of any situational driving.  Often an experience, novel or otherwise, may only be understood upon reflection after the occurrence.  Similar to Soren Kierkegaard’s famous saying “Life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forwards” and Steve Job’s more recent quote that “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”  From a constructivist and systemic view, this makes sense when dealing with the immediacy, numerous permutations and unpredictable combinations of many if not most of life’s experiences.  It is in the living or doing that provides the fodder for understanding, often from hindsight for later application, which we call experience.  People don’t live theory; they live in a hectic tangible world of practice.  From the Olsonian perspective, in constructing frameworks for understanding from our experiences, many dynamics are at play within the teaching considerations of any teacher.   Diverse working contexts, prior experiences and knowledge, implicit and explicit understandings, beliefs, abilities, interests, intentions and different organizational cultures engage teachers’ perspectives and approaches.  The messiness of multiple factors influencing thoughts and actions have a momentum of their own, which web like entangles many anticipated and interloping interactive factors.  Our uniqueness identifies individuals as much as what unites teachers as social beings.    31   The concepts of CBAM’s personal, task and effectiveness concerns are helpful descriptors, however, for addressing transitions and changes contemplated and undertaken by teachers.  They likely all interact, in a dialectic fashion of various arrangements and mixtures, and are considered as an overall array by teachers in addressing any instructional change.  As Hargreaves and Fink (2006) have observed, “Change in education is easy to propose, hard to implement, and extraordinarily difficult to sustain” (p.1).  The myriad of interactive influences that imbed social contexts, vortex like, do not readily submit to undeviating linear progressions.    The process of developing expertise should be considered within organizational or environmental constraints or supports as well as individual motivation.  Embracing any change appears to be influenced by both personal beliefs and intentions and cultural factors that often act implicitly in shaping understanding.  The unease relating to any involvement in adjusting practice means a teacher has to be individually concerned or dissatisfied enough with present ways of thinking or acting to be interested or to take notice to likely engage in any change actions (Hord et al, 1987).  A teacher’s participation depends upon whether the ends of the proposed new idea or skill are a fit for their present way of being and knowing.  A teacher engages if they have hope it is doable and the loss of what they previously held or did is expendable or adaptable.  Teachers thus are motivated to put in the effort necessary to contribute and perhaps transform the present situation.  Teaching as a process of learning is highly regarded and fulfilling for teachers when they are individually motivated to engage as a process of developing personal professional expertise.    Garmston & Wellman (1999) observe that, “vision that is neither shared nor connected … [to the needs and desires of the individual] … sputters out into inspirational vagueness” (p. 248) and that, “Without shared dissatisfaction, all the vision and strategies in the world do not   32  promote a desire to change” (p. 248).  This may explain the difficulty of systemic top down initiatives in institutionalizing change on others by authorizing what is considered best practice and may simply be the image of change.  Not only is such change difficult to initiate but it is also problematic in sustaining.  Bridges (1991) describes these “transitions” as psychological readjustments or thresholds to change.  His three step process includes endings, a neutral zone and new beginnings.  He argues that, “It isn’t the changes themselves that people resist … It’s the losses and endings that they experience and the transition that they are resisting” (Bridges, 1991, p. 20).  Without acknowledging these transitions teachers “cling to the tried and true” (Garmston & Wellman, 1999), unwilling to let go of the old.  Bridges suggests the “four P’s” to initiate new beginnings to alleviate the anxiety and discomfort such change arises: a purpose, a picture of the future, a plan and a part in the outcome.  Selling the problem and not the solution Bridges suggests is the key to facilitate engagement by educational leaders.  Teachers socially and professionally constructing their own expertise, based upon exigent needs within their work contexts, likely would not need to be "sold" on change suggested by outsiders.  Idealistically, they should be more inclined to be self-motivated to do so driven by their perceptions of the practical challenges and professional ethical concerns facing them.  Loucks-Horsley and Sparks (1989) indicate there are four components to the change process: people, processes, practices, and policies.  People considerations, as already mentioned, are similar to the work of Hord and others (1987).  Processes (initiation, implementation and institutionalization) are comparable in intent and purpose to the work of Bridges.  The focus on practices resembles the work of Bereiter and Scardamalia (1993) by emphasizing the need to be highly accomplished in what one knows and does.  Policies in this model have a role in   33  providing adequate organizational support to fulfill the desired mandate(s).  Professional growth therefore is also an interdependent factor of organizational requirements and expectations.  2.6.3   Process as Persuasion Another, albeit linear, view of understanding teaching as process is presented by Roger’s (1962) diffusion of innovation theory.  Innovation as a new idea, way of thinking or method of doing something is pertinent to instructional creativity.  Understanding and constructing teaching is a steady progression of reflective study and application to improve the knowledge and skill of teaching.  New ideas and methods arise from such thinking.  The diffusion model, as a roadmap of describing how new ideas or changes may spread within a social system, is a useful concept for educators.  Within the realities teachers inhabit and the complexities they engage with, the causal implications for why and how teachers do things are likely much more messily intertwined than described in this model.  Although it may not mimic the exact dynamic experience of each teacher, it is useful for the purposes of conceptually understanding teaching as a process.  Again, the caution is who controls the process, whether it is teacher initiated or whether it is some mandated change to convince teachers to do things they may not otherwise be inclined to do.  The process of building expertise is dependent upon wholehearted teacher participation and professional identity.  In this model, individuals go through a five step process as to whether to participate in the innovation. The knowledge phase provides information about the innovation and how it functions.  The persuasion step is critical in forming a positive or uncomplimentary opinion of the innovation.  Following this, the individual makes a decision to adopt or reject the innovation. If adopted, the implementation phase is where the person puts the innovation into practice.  The   34  concluding confirmation stage is where the individual assesses and embraces the success of the innovation that has been put into action.   The four components that influence the process of diffusion are the innovation, the communication channels available, time and a social system.  People adopt new processes based upon the relative utility of the innovation to their circumstance and personal characteristics.  Due to such diversity individuals implement the innovation at different times, some waiting for others to see how well the innovations work before they get involved.  As more and more adopters move to the new way of being or doing, the innovation “tips” into widely held acceptance.   The degree of openness to accepting innovation is characterized by five categories or groups.  However, another caveat to the indiscriminate application of such models is the presumptuous use of precise percentages as meaningful and worthwhile in describing teacher activity.  Rogers (1962) identifies innovators as the 2.5% of any group that enjoy being venturesome and trying out new possibilities.  They are followed by early adopters that comprise 13.5% of any given set who base their decisions upon the experiences of the innovators (Rogers, 1962).  This group is followed by a larger subsection called early majority at 34% who, when involved in the trend, tip the system so that the late majority of 34% comes on board (Rogers, 1962).  The final group called laggards are late adopters, if at all, based upon their traditional outlook or isolation (Rogers, 1962).  Such "laggards" or late adopters may likely consider the innovation not pertinent to their context and consequently a lack of participation should not be necessarily inferred as a lack of professionalism within the teaching context.  It could be differences owing to teaching beliefs and professional intentions.  According to Rogers (1962), the significant people in adopting innovations are the key opinion leaders that are early adopters.  Due to their followers trust and respect for their   35  judgment, these individuals are instrumental in whether a new idea catches on or not.  This small pivot or tipping point upon which the relative rapid spread of an innovation depends springs from these opinion leaders or mentors.  This model assumes that certain people may have much power, control and influence over others which is contradicted to some extent by complexity theory where multiple pathways of influence are available.  Impacting the attitude of these key people within a social system is therefore instrumental as to whether others may adopt the innovation or conversely be dissuaded from choosing it.  As well, Rogers maintains that some social cultures are more resistant to change than others.  Opinion leaders in these more risk averse systems do not have the influence to the degree the cultural norms of the other systems do.  Schooling might be considered a candidate of this more risk adverse culture, as its basic methodologies and structures have maintained themselves for well over a century.  2.6.4   Process as Contested Conceptions Educational change has become an oxymoron to some, as the more educators talk about it the more controversial and resistant the educational culture appears to those within and without educational organizations.  Critics in the media, educational gurus and governments, those furthest removed from the act of teaching, contribute to the hype and oversimplification of the issues with proposals for quick and easy fixes. These solutions tend to use mandates, coercion or rewards, not fully understanding the important role process plays.  Those that have not experienced the protracted teaching apprenticeship through situational practice are unlikely to fully appreciate the context and intricacies of the work.  Imposed teaching initiatives that are recipe-like are soon modified by the personal experiences of practice as teaching is a generative innovative process.  Teaching actions often emerge spontaneously to fit the circumstances or   36  interactive flow between teacher and students.  Inventiveness based upon prior knowledge and experience arises from those unrehearsed and unconstrained situations.  Good educational practice is often prescribed as productive type solutions that are much easier to understand, see and do, such as best practice panaceas or government testing targets to measure student progress.  Approaches to change as suggested by the concerns based adoption model and innovation diffusion theory is highly dependent upon the persuasion step.  Whether the initiative is externally implemented and controlled by authorities, as a preferred best practice, or self- initiated by teachers as a need in developing their expertise to resolve personal professional challenges, it impacts teacher enterprise and resourcefulness.  The results of growing expertise are created by experiences that honor the personalized attainments from learning and the professional interests of respective teachers.  Teaching as a process to build expertise is much like the process of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) (Hammond, 1998; Barrett & Fry, 2005).  Such inquiry is identified by what works for certain individuals in particular contexts and "further analysis of how to do more of what works" (Hammond, 1998, p.3) which is constantly being created by the teachers who engage in the process of teaching.  Traditional reform approaches, which focus on what is deficient, wrong, or broken to fix it, tend to look at intervening often in mechanistic ways to come up with the right solution or answer to what is best practice for everyone.  Appreciative Inquiry however aims to find what is working in organizations like schools.  The participation of teachers who do the work generates the knowledge of how to create the conditions by doing more of what works (Hammond, 1998).   Unlike imposed change which is framed by concerns of dysfunction, building expertise is highlighted by enabling participants to find out their own best practices and to generate the   37  conditions for further success.  Teaching as a process to incrementally find out what works over time values differences in approaches as the inventory and catalyst for developing expertise.  Unfortunately, educators have taken little or no time to adequately reflect on the question of what is educational practice.  Most educators seem to believe it is a private process rather than a collaborative one and this hinders us exchanging the wisdom we gain from our teaching expertise over time.  Educators rarely talk about the purposes of education as we fixate on delivering methodology or certain curriculum outcomes.  "Teachers learn about teaching through daily conversations with their colleagues" (Leadership and Teacher Development Branch, 2005, p. 11).  "It is only through the collective work of teachers and by creating shared professional knowledge that sustained school improvement will be secured" (Leadership and Teacher Development Branch, 2005, p. 13).  The interdependent nature of the culture and organization of teaching that systemically promotes and engages teachers in constructing their understanding of teaching is the topic to which we now turn.   2.7   Teaching as Interdependence  Teachers are shaped by the contexts in which they live and work.  The interaction among the complexity of those constituent parts and the relative degree to which teachers have power and control over those influences impacts how they construct an understanding of teaching. 2.7.1   Interdependence as Context Educational reform agendas in most bureaucratic and political jurisdictions are predicated on improving or cajoling teacher quality.  This is a rational deduction to make as ultimately “what teachers know and can do makes the crucial difference in what children learn” (Darling-Hammond, 1998, p. 12). What is often lacking from these reform developments is due   38  consideration of the context of teachers’ work which lies largely outside the influence and control of teachers and thus lacks the core characteristics of professional work (Silva, 2010; Hargreaves, 1994, 2003; Ingersoll, 2003).  Teaching is contextual and is connected to and influenced by people, places, processes and time.  Interdependent relationships are important to teacher learning (Joyce and Calhoun, 2010).  As described by Joyce and Calhoun (2010), engaging in professional development for most teachers is dependent upon supportive professional and social environments.  In this model, teachers are grouped according to four categories as to levels of engagement, although such labelling can have negative associative and relationship consequences when used as an excuse or justification for interventions. Gourmet omnivores are those teachers who are proactive in seeking out their own professional development. They learn readily from the context of their teaching environments and many engage colleagues in these pursuits.  Active consumers are slightly less proactive than gourmet omnivores in seeking out opportunities to learn, but readily work like gourmet omnivores when grouped with them.  These groups make up approximately a third of teachers (Joyce & Calhoun, 2010).  The third category is the largest one consisting of more than half the teaching population characterized as passive consumers.  This group is dependent upon the former two categories of teachers and stimulating professional environments to enhance and engage their participation.  Without motivating leadership, passive consumers may not take advantage of learning development opportunities (Joyce and Calhoun, 2010).  The fourth group is labelled reticent consumers as they tend not to actively engage with their colleagues.  The key point is that 90 to 95 percent of teachers will initiate or partake in collective and collaborative professional learning due to the influence of their fellow teachers and inspiring work sites.      39   To paraphrase John Dunne, "no teacher is an island entire of itself.”   The ways school systems organize their work makes a big difference in what teachers can accomplish (Darling-Hammond, 1998; Acker, 1999).  Most teacher work schedules and places hinder rather than facilitate the time to define and the opportunity to support improvement and so persisting in ignoring this structural design problem will continue to confound reform initiatives (Silva, 2010).  Unlike imposed "quick fix" initiatives that usually have a castigatory aspect about them, building expertise is a longer term endeavor (Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012).  The school culture "of norms, values and beliefs, rituals and ceremonies, symbols and stories" (Peterson, 2002, p. 1) reinforces and builds the way people work in schools.  Timberley (2008) expresses the influence of teaching as interdependence as follows: Professional learning is strongly shaped by the context in which the teacher practices.  This is usually the classroom, which, in turn, is strongly influenced by the wider school culture and the community and society in which the  school is situated.  Teachers' daily experiences in their practice context shape their understandings, and their understandings shape their experiences. (p.6) 2.7.2   Interdependence as Power and Control Consequently, providing cohesion between the diversity of teacher perspectives and opportunities to sustain professional learning is essential.  If our schools are to operate as meaningful and engaging places to learn, for both staff and students, supportive school systems are necessary to facilitate this learning.  The complexity of the process of harmonizing individual teacher needs, interests and desires with organizational requirements and expectations is complex, often frustrating, if not dysfunctional (Hargreaves, 1994; Poole, 2008).  As Levin (2008) says, "moving from policy to practice is a very uncertain business" (p. 142).  Imposing   40  mandated forms of learning communities (Dufour, Dufour, Eaker & Many, 2006; Schmoker, 2006) with specific agendas will perpetuate the technocratic regime and inhibit teacher inspired and created forms of engendering collective responsibility.  Harmonizing is dependent upon collaborating and coming to agreements about organizational requirements and expectations as to desired ends.  However, despite work place impediments, some educators seem to make this process work more readily than others.  At this juncture, important questions arise regarding the ways through which these teachers navigate the school system to create opportunities for understanding teaching for themselves and for others.  One educator described her job as “managing the drama” (Acker, 1999). This description underscores the problem that teachers, in particular, have relatively little power or control over the many decisions that impact their work and the societal forces that affect their efforts, but much responsibility in implementing the decisions of the educational bureaucracy (Ingersoll, 2003).  A high proportion of teachers feel they are made to be the scapegoats for all the problems of education and thus high rates of turn over relative to other professions emphasize the frustration and disillusionment experienced by teachers (Ingersoll, 2003).  Fullan (2010) concurs indicating "teachers received more blame than the 'system' did for failing schools" (p. 95) after decades of failed reforms.  Hargreaves (2003) decries how our society has "subjected teachers to public attacks; eroded their autonomy of judgment and conditions of work; [and] created epidemics of standardization and over-regulation" (p.10) that devalues the teaching profession.  Cuban (2004) describes the dilemma this way: The paradox of distrusting teachers and principals for having created the problem [lack of student success] and then turning around and demanding that they solve the problem they created has flummoxed school reformers   41  in the past.  As a result, reformers then and now have pressed for curricular, managerial, governance, and organizational changes to give them more control over the behavior of teachers and principals. (p.5)  Despite the assaults of past innovations, our schools continue to predominately pursue “chalk and talk” textbook learning as it serves a useful purpose (Osborne, 2008).  It helps cover a prescribed curriculum, maintains order and control, prepares students for exams and makes lesson planning and delivery manageable (Osborne, 2008).  It helps teachers to cope with a myriad of pressures to satisfy prominent accountability measures (Osborne, 2008).  It is a treadmill existence, of factory lines of age specific grade levels on a curricular conveyor belt (Osborne, 2008; Robinson, 2010).  Those students that may not fit a prescribed profile are labeled ostensibly to help educate them but equally to sort, rank and manage them within our schools.  Schools thus provide little or no sustained time within the largely harried and insular conditions of teaching work to focus on the process of developing expertise.  On this point, Schmoker (2006) observed that, “Educators in overwhelming majorities have agreed that there is indeed a yawning gap between the most well-known, incontestably essential practices and the reality of most classrooms” (p. 2).  Schmoker (2006) elaborates that among such essential practices are "generous amounts of close, purposeful reading, rereading, writing and talking" (p. 53) and the actions of "rightly defined" (p. 103) professional learning communities.  Educators, such as Michael Fullan (2005), have also referred to the need to address “the awful inertia of past decades” (p. 32).  Notwithstanding, while researchers have well documented the conditions of teacher learning that translate into changes in practice that improve student learning (Joyce & Showers, 2002; Darling-Hammond & Richardson, 2009), such   42  research often places the onus on teachers to change without giving due consideration to the system that likely gets in the way of any such transformation.   Hargreaves (1994) and Robinson (2010) argue that public schools are remnants of industrial age thinking and any conceived reforms confined to such a paradigm and culture are inadequate to transform our schools to the needs of students and teachers in our present knowledge society and post-modern world. This theme is echoed by the work of Abbott & Ryan (2001) who reason that our present system was created for a world 150 years ago that no longer exists.  They maintain that the system needs to be redesigned for the 21st century rather than relying on fruitlessly trying to mend an outmoded way of “receiving, retaining and returning” what we are taught (Gilbert, 2005).  Decades of educational reform, based upon raising standards and focusing on the basics, has not improved student engagement nor desired progress in achievement (Kohn, 1999; Canadian Education Statistics Council, 2005).  If teacher effort could solely improve the system, it should have tipped long ago.  At this juncture, then, conceiving of teaching as a cultural and systemic process zooms in on the interdependent influences and confluences that either detract or support teacher understanding of instruction in any process of change.  Teacher judgment within this context is critical to instructional success.  2.8   Teaching as Judgment  Teaching as judgment is significant as both a tactical and strategic dimension of teaching.  It encompasses not only the myriad of classroom decisions in a day but the sources of expansive knowledge, values and thinking that would give rise to such decisions.  Teaching perspectives are based on "a complex web of actions, intentions, and beliefs; each, in turn, creates its own criteria for judging or evaluating right and wrong, true and false, effective and ineffective" (Pratt,   43  1998a, p. 35).  Teaching as judgment acts as successive cross road gauges to decide which direction to take based upon the predilections and the extent of awareness of the possibilities by each teacher.     2.8.1   Judgment as Ends and Means Aristotle discriminated between poiesis, an action whose purpose was some specific product or artifact, and praxis, an action that will realize some morally worthwhile achievement (such as the ability to discern and apply the process of understanding teaching to assist others over time).  In the Aristotelian tradition, it was the latter interpretation of intrinsically worthwhile ends, rather than the former use of a technical set of rules to guide practice, that was the conception of education.  “Educational practice cannot be made intelligible as a form of poiesis guided by fixed ends and governed by determinate rules.  It can only be made intelligible as a form of praxis guided by ethical criteria immanent in educational practice itself” (Carr, 1987, p, 173).   The significant fixation of what and how to teach without discriminating as to its broader purpose or ends is problematic (Stack, Coulter, Grosjean, Mazawi and Smith, 2006).  Teaching should involve more than just delivering a programmed lesson as an act of measurable production.  Its outcome, as a morally worthwhile achievement, such as collective teacher practice ultimately aims to do, must primarily involve teacher judgments of their actions.  Such praxis leads to a broader understanding and fulfillment of the ultimate ethical purpose of their teaching.  Reducing teaching to a technical science stands in contradistinction to understanding teaching without reference to its moral purpose and ethical appraisal (Kristensson, 2014).     44  2.8.2   Judgment as Practical Wisdom The aim of praxis was centered on what ought to be done through a process called phronesis, a form of practical wisdom based upon experience (Carr, 1987).  Such practical judgment consists of “doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons with the right people” (Coulter, Coulter, Daniel, Decker, Essex, Naslund, Naylor, Phelan, 2007, p. 6).  If we assume that the ends and means of education are aligned, then we need to engage and connect instructional methodology (the how), with learning outcomes (the what) with the understanding (the why, where, when and who) of doing something.  ‘Teacher proof modes of practice,’ by emphasizing teacher ‘how to’ guides of various sorts or similarly oriented short term in-service regarding pedagogy, reduce instruction to set patterns or techniques to create products.  The prudent and thoughtful action of practical progressive experiential wisdom cannot really be taught, directed or assigned but has to be learned in the doing.  If we only learn methods, we are attached to those methods, but if we exercise judgment, we can develop our own methods using our imaginations (Tomlinson & Imbeau, 2010).   2.8.3   Judgment as Enabling Habitual practices and assembly line like schooling organizations does not make an expert.  Teaching as a complex activity is unsuited to agendas of memorizing and applying rote practices because of the varied needs and contexts teachers must adjust to.  Despite this, "teachers are often encouraged to be compliant laborers, delivering curriculum using best practice strategies and having their work checked by quality control testing tied to objective standards" (Coulter & Wiens, 2002, p. 23), with few opportunities for reviewing with peers about matters of teaching expertise.  It is highly unlikely one specific teaching approach fits all in satisfying outcomes for students (Timberley, 2008).  Nor is it likely that just knowing more   45  about teaching without good judgment going hand in hand means better teaching (Coulter & Wiens, 2002).    Constraining and controlling work in such a way is ‘deskilling’ as those in power and influence ‘dumb down’ the need to know or the abilities of the employees by the way the work is organized (Ingersoll, 2003). "Deskilling of teachers and dumbing down of the curriculum take place when teachers are seen as receivers not producers of knowledge "(Kincheloe, 2012, p.18). Such deskilling becomes self-fulfilling prophecy; by degrading the quality of the job you devalue the quality of the work (Ingersoll, 2003).  It is a paradox that educators do not emphasize this point more — how to create expertise — rather than what presumably works in the way of standardized reforms that tend to deskill teacher work.  Emphasizing expertise would help to better connect the intent of teaching. Teachers’ judgments around methodology and resources that are most suited to deliver desired outcomes would prevail over customary applications of pedagogy.   Prescriptive teaching marginalizes teachers’ judgment in how to meet the various needs of different learners.  Green (1978) admonishes us to “not tell [teachers] what to do but help to attain some kind of clarity about how to choose how to decide what to do” (p. 48).  Green suggests that people live lives in mechanical rounds of habitual activities and that, “Lacking wide-awakeness … individuals are likely to drift, to act on impulses of expediency” (p. 43).  If teachers are to ‘surpass themselves’ beyond expediency, they need to be awake to the wisdom of their practice. A part of this ‘scholarship of practice' would include more influence over access to sustainable resources and time to develop such expertise.   Such professional discourse allows teachers to focus their energies on constructing understandings of teaching that provide hope and identity (Grimmett, Dagenais, D'Amico,   46  Jacquet and D'Amico, 2007).  Without such self-determination, teachers are reduced to a technician role of limited judgment and routine decision making mainly imposed by outsiders.  Teaching is an emotional form of work as well as technical.  Teachers who felt pressured to conform to imposed initiatives, whether top down or bottom up “perceived themselves as less self-determined about teaching," and consequently became less concerned about student achievement (Pelletier, Sequin-Levesque, & Legault, 2002, as cited in Grimmett et al, 2007, p. 3).  Bennett et al (2003) cite the need for collaboration to sustain moral purpose between those who are "presenting the change and those who implement the change" (p.5) in terms of the work of Paulo Freire (1984).   Bennett et al (2003) indicate that Freire "argues that in the absence of dialogue, we will unintentionally position ourselves as the oppressed and the oppressors," (p.6) a situation which limits trusting interrelations and resolutions.   A lack of control over their work due to political influence has teachers feeling a state of despair (Grimmett et al, 2007).  "Having a lot of teachers struggling or using an innovation in a routine, mediocre manner … are facades of change, serving political agendas, and are divorced from meaningful, sustainable educational change" (Bennett et al, 2003, p. 12).  Freedom of choice within professional conversations is necessary for teacher ownership of how they do their work set to ethical ends.  Members of the public at large, with generally thirteen plus years of schooling education, apparently believe that they share an apprenticeship with teachers to intervene in ways they would not likely consider for law, engineering, medicine or other professions.  The educational system needs to design incentives and opportunities for teachers to explore their practice to enhance teaching as judgment rather than just expect resistance to externally imposed solutions.  Constructing an understanding of teaching is not supported in a "no man's land" of professional alienation.  Learners to be genuinely engaged in learning about   47  teaching need to be owners of that learning.  "Only participants themselves can decide what is and what is not of common concern to them" (Fraser, 1990, p. 71).    In sum, to develop teacher potential we must come to realize there is unlikely a best way to learn or teach, as it is defined by context and increasingly refined by growing understanding based upon progressive practice.  In relation to this, teaching is by definition a doing activity.  Teachers need to believe in and have some social control over their own expertise, to critically reflect upon their beliefs, intentions and practice to meet the constantly changing particular needs of students.  Society and those in power need to realize that the power of expertise based upon respect for praxis rather than a reliance on poiesis is what education is about – what ought to be done, not just how.  The influence of understanding teaching as judgment is how individual teachers construct their instructional understanding and identity based upon their awareness of practice and informed decision making.  2.9   Teaching as Self-Expression  Self-expression is revealing or presenting our individual thinking and emotions.  Self-expression is only realized when our thoughts and deeds are connected.  It is a holistic expression of self that has many facets.  Teaching as self-expression combines elements of expressiveness, personal ideas, ideals, emotions, individuality, creativity and assertiveness.  It creates the space to appear as a matter of individual responsibility to think for ourselves to act morally (Arendt, 1958).  If teachers do not use it, it passes into the hands of others to express or superimpose their identity and influence.  As an essential teaching condition, self-expression is intelligible as expressions of beliefs, intentions, actions, identity, mindsets and motivation.       48  2.9.1   Self-Expression as Beliefs  Understanding teaching is also shaped by the way an individual perceives and acts in the world as a means of self-expression.  Pratt (1998b) indicates that perspectives on teaching are expressions of an ideal or ideology often implicitly held, but sometimes openly displayed in word and deed.  What it means to teach is synchronously viewed and interpreted by teacher beliefs and commitments (Pratt, 1998b).  "We may not be aware of a perspective because it is usually something we look through, rather than look at, when teaching" (Pratt, 1998b, p. 33).  The guiding principles underlying different perspectives of teaching therefore "both enable and limit what teachers think about their own teaching and the teaching of others" (Pratt, 1998b, p. 217).   "Our beliefs about knowledge determine what we will teach and what we will accept as evidence that people have learned" (Pratt, 1998c, p. 21).  A limited awareness of the diversity of perspectives about teaching restricts interpretations of what we see as good teaching as other perspectives are hidden from view (Pratt, 1998a).   Perceptions of teaching, due to beliefs and commitments, serve as the lens of the mind for viewing and comprehending teaching as self-expression in order to fulfill professional needs and desires.  Such self-expression is applied through moral reasoning whereby "intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second [italics in original]" (Haidt, 2012. p. 91).  Haidt (2012) argues that "reasoning can take us to almost any conclusion we want to reach, because we ask ‘Can I believe it?’ when we want to believe something, but ‘Must I believe it?’ when we don't want to believe" (p. 91).  With the former question we seek out supporting evidence, while in the latter we hunt for contrary evidence (Haidt, 2012).  Finding any single reason to provide support or doubt for these respective questions provides us with the "permission to believe" or "doubt the claim" (Haidt, 2012).     49  Therefore, teaching as self-expression through beliefs and commitments arising from them are very powerful arbiters for constructing an understanding of teaching.  According to Muhammad (2009), teacher beliefs around student learning induce some teachers to be more inclined to the status quo and stability, predictability and self-interest, while others are more amenable to change to meet the needs of organizational goals.  Unlike the explicit administrative agenda expressed in this technocratic view of teacher beliefs, teachers are as likely to make such self-expressive choices as reflective professionals, and not as conforming procedural technicians.     2.9.2   Self-Expression as Intentions  Intentions "are an enthusiastic statement of commitment and an indication of ones' role and responsibility" (Pratt, 1998c, p. 20).  Intentions go beyond specific technocratic micromanaged learning outcomes or instructional objectives (Pratt, 1998c).  As bigger picture emotive commitments to expressions of what a teacher is trying to accomplish, intentions as a form of self-expression communicate agency for some purpose.  Intentions are the bridges of integrity that connect beliefs to actions.  Self-expression as intention leads to identification of perspectives, allegiances or associations. These attachments to one or more purposes or groups are due to ends based and or means based ways of thinking and being.    2.9.3   Self-Expression as Actions Actions are the techniques and routines of teaching (Pratt, 1998c).  It is self-expression as an interpretation of the world through action.  Beliefs may initiate new actions, but more likely actions shape teacher beliefs as “ideas do not evolve in a logical or even ‘step-wise’ fashion for many teachers” (Tomlinson & Imbeau, 2010, p. 26).  This is an important point. Trying something out and finding it beneficial forms what teachers believe what works and this is how   50  an effective practice proceeds (Tomlinson & Imbeau, 2010). "Change appears to be promoted by a cyclical process in which teachers have their current assumptions challenged by the demonstration of effective alternative practice" (Timberley, 2008, p.18).  Challenging assumptions keeps teachers actively and continually reflecting about how they express their practice.  Like exercise, it keeps them pedagogically fit.  Eventually getting to a place where the ideals of teacher aspirations or intentions resonate with their judgments about technical teaching skill sets and actions takes much experiential time and commitment.  2.9.4   Self-Expression as Identity Identities are forged from both personal and professional experiences shaped by understandings arising from those experiences.  Teacher sense of self is therefore an ongoing creation. Cole and Knowles (2000) observe that, “Teaching is an expression of who teachers are as people; imbued with the beliefs, values, perspectives, and experiences developed over the course of a teacher’s lifetime” (p. 2). In effecting an understanding of teaching, the words of Parker Palmer come to mind. Educational cultures are fearful “of hearing something that would challenge and change us” (Palmer, 1999, p. 21).  Educators have an “obsession with a narrow range of facts, credits and credentials … [when practitioners] all know that what will transform education is not another theory, another book, or another formula but educators who are willing to seek a transformed way of being in the world” (Palmer, 1999, p. 15).  A way of being is associated with teacher ways of knowing.  The practice of respect by others for how teachers identify themselves through their ways of knowing is instrumental for trusting relationships and an openness to develop a refined understanding of teaching by overcoming fear of learning new ways.    51   It is not simply a matter for teachers to change mindsets and beliefs about education in a technical sense, but of challenging fundamental assumptions of what ought to be happening.  Teachers’ emotional, social, cognitive and ethical essence must be engaged if their needs, wants and goals are to have an opportunity to flourish and succeed.  For explicit understandings of teaching to occur teachers must identify with and consciously choose how they wish to be influenced.  As pointed out by Sparks (2002), such “stretch goals” are powerful motivators for transformational change although such understanding of teaching seldom follows a linear plan.    To this end, teachers need to have a comprehensive understanding of what the purpose and practice of education is in order to enlighten, persuade and ultimately become willing actors.  Teachers must be inspired and energized by a vision of meaningful ends and emboldened and encouraged by a plan and a sense of competencies as the means to reach those goals.  An essential purpose of understanding teaching is to create an ethical image of a future that one is willing to construct with others.  Teacher beliefs and mindset must connect and identify with such a vision of a possible future; otherwise you will not be motivated to proceed.     2.9.5   Self-Expression as Mindsets Mindsets are “broad cognitive-emotional capacities rather than narrow forms of behavioral competencies” (Kaser & Halbert, 2009, p. 2).  Self-expression when framed as mindsets are approaches to interacting with the world to help classify how one copes and relates to others (Dweck, 2008). It is the awareness of ‘what lies within us’ as a way of thinking, being and approaching life.  It is the “view that you adopt for yourself … [that shapes] the way you lead your life” (Dweck, 2008, p. 6).  Mindsets as beliefs have the power to define individuals (Dweck, 2008) and therefore identify each of us.    52   As beliefs, a mindset goes beyond self-insight into what motivates individuals to engage.  It serves as a conception of how teachers perceive, interpret and understand.   Mindset is the paradigm behind individual options to choose, and sets the stage for proactivity as a function of “initiative and responsibility to make things happen” (Covey, 1989, p. 71).  Mindset changes are significant and difficult work that involve “seeing things in a new way” (Dweck, 2008, p. 238).   Carol Dweck’s (2008) research over the past two decades suggests there are two basic mindset types that frame up personal perspectives of individuals and approaches to what are possible.  Although described as dichotomies, it is unlikely that individual teachers are all one or the other exclusively, but rather are more nuanced continuum composites depending upon changing circumstances and reflections over time.  Thinking people can change how they cope and approach life.    The first approach is portrayed as believing in a fixed mindset that emphasizes the importance of those assets nature has bestowed upon you.  Such individuals agree with statements that indicate people have only a “certain amount of intelligence, and you can’t really do much to change it” (Dweck, 2008, p. 17).  Fixed mindset individuals do not seek out challenges as they want to feel smart and talented and are only interested in things they can do well right away.  They do not want to expose deficiencies as that would negatively reflect on their ability and their enjoyment of success. A “fixed mindset makes people into non-learners” (Dweck, 2008, p. 18).  Such individuals would tend to constrict their professional work to those practices they are prepared to execute and are satisfied with what they know.  It is unlikely much professional growth outside of certain areas of competence would be initiated by a fixed mindset.  The other view of approaching new tasks and learning is called the growth mindset (Dweck, 2008) emphasizing the principle of nurture in developing growth.  Individuals with this   53  belief trust that developing and fulfilling their potential, such as praxis in the case of teachers, is all about stretching themselves through practice and effort.  They tend to seek out challenges to help them grow their talents and abilities.  Dweck (2008) indicates that growth mindset people do not expect ability to show up on its own and get motivated by what is challenging rather than what they have already mastered.  People with a growth mindset realize it takes time to reach your potential and afford themselves the opportunity to be patient and engage with the processes of learning.  Such individuals do not need constant validation that they are better than others, as failure, although an uncomfortable experience, doesn’t define them, but is to be learned from (Dweck, 2008).  One learns from mistakes as effort defines the improvement of ability over time and not inability.  Accomplishment arises as you progressively advance on the problems constituting a field of work.  The growth mindset lives on the edge of competence.   2.9.6   Self-Expression as Motivation Allied with mindset, the factors that influence motivation are integral to driving an understanding of teaching.  Based upon the work of Deci (1971, 1972), Deci, Koestner & Ryan (2001), and Deci & Ryan (2000, 2008), Pink (2009) summarizes the three essential elements of motivation: autonomy, the desire to direct your life; mastery, the urge to get better at something that matters to you; and purpose, a desire to contribute to something larger than self.  This “drive” process is best motivated by the satisfaction of the activity itself, or intrinsic motivation (Pink, 2009).  If-then, carrot and stick, or reward and punishment external enticements, typical of traditional stimulus response thinking only work for relatively routine and repetitive (boring, uncreative or simple) tasks that demand compliance (Pink, 2009).  For more creative, complex and non-routine tasks, internal or self-motivating behavior works much better to engage the   54  learner or participant (Pink, 2009).  Teaching is fundamentally a complex and creative process but can be fashioned to be routine, repetitive and boring.      Research has shown rewards and punishments actually act as a disincentive for self-initiation, diminishing performance, creativity and desired behaviors in the longer term (Deci, 1972; Kohn, 1999).  This has implications for jurisdictional pressure and support endeavors as people believe they are worth more or need more for validation. Individuals can become fixated or addicted to external rewards or prizes and develop an expectation for such compensation.  If they don’t receive it, they do not perform or expect ever higher rewards to engage.  The reward and not the ongoing learning becomes the end.  Ayers (2010) points out research that indicates merit pay and similar market forces business model reforms have made no difference in teacher performance.   To develop motivation or engagement, each individual, such as a teacher, must find a purpose in the task that helps them think they are making a contribution beyond oneself (or have the potential to), that they are getting better at something that matters, and that they have some ownership over what they do, when they do it, who they do it with and how they do it (Pink, 2009).  Pink suggests that tasks — that are not too hard and not too easy, that make or challenge you to put in the effort to improve yourself — are what to aim for.  The knowing-doing gap in comprehending what really motivates people in dealing with complex tasks is crucial as it leads to either engagement or subdued compliance. The concepts of pressure and support have been used to describe the impetus to engage change and provide for accountability in education (Dosdall, 2007).  Such processes are largely reminiscent of the if-then, carrot and stick analogy, which has been shown to act as a disincentive and can dumb down the creativity of the people involved in the organization.  What   55  drives an understanding of teaching needs to be more closely aligned with readily available research on motivation.  The imbalance between what we know about motivation and what we do when dealing with it can either create drive and action or much pessimism, detachment and ennui.  From this perspective then, closing the motive gap between a teacher’s beliefs about their principles and practice and what the system values provides a longer term resolution to the challenges of education than short term efforts to change teacher attitudes and behaviors.  Widely sharing in the control of any initiative is what sustains the quality of any innovation (Bennett et al, 2003).    Challenging teachers to think more deeply about their practice, rather than just attempting to change techniques, may likely lead them and the system to more functional success as the ends and the means will likely be better aligned. Teaching is a continual set of judgments of what ought to be done, not just how it ought to be done.  Principles and purpose form the basis of such judgments to guide practice in varying and complex contexts.  Closing such a motive gap, with all its complexities, seems to be a potential promising factor in promoting an understanding of the construction of teaching.   Self-expression is observable behaviors reflecting teacher beliefs, intentions, actions, identity, mindsets and motivations.  The concept of understanding teaching as self-expression emphasizes the importance of teaching as an autobiographical act (Cole & Knowles, 2000). Teachers teach “who we are” (Cole & Knowles, 2000, p. 188).  Cole and Knowles describe good teaching as reflexive inquiry, “an ongoing process of examining and refining practice … situated within a context” (p.2).  The sense making examination of “past experiences within the context of current and future actions” (Cole & Knowles, 2000, p. 14) involves both personal and professional interactive influences.  “Much of what teachers know and express in their practice is   56  tacit” (Cole & Knowles, 2000, p. 6) and not readily explained and therefore not “measureable, controlled and standardized” (p. 79).  Outcomes of teaching are not necessarily dominated by routines and prescriptions, but emerge as a form of creative expression that relies on innovation and improvisation as the situational exigencies warrant (Cole & Knowles, 2000).  Exploring the influences of teacher self-expression in constructing an understanding teaching is a critical concept.  The affinity and inclination of teachers to act by expressing their personal doctrine and principles contribute to their vision and action towards accomplishing certain goals.   Teacher thinking and acting is shaped by teacher nature and nurture.  It is similar to what Gandhi once described as a process of our thoughts eventually leading through our words, behaviors and habits to demonstrate values of what is right, just and worthy (Gold, 2002).  Teacher values, reflected by ways of being and doing, ultimately determine their intentions, or the paths teachers travel, or those with whom they associate.   Understanding teaching as self-expression is an important factor in influencing approaches as to how and why teachers know their practice.  Teachers are likely to rebuff changes in teaching if new ideas conflict with their current ideas of self-expression as a teacher unless such assumptions can be successfully challenged (Timperley, 2008).  As teachers develop their expertise and gain in experience, their thinking about what is good teaching may change. These adjustments likely impact some aspects of self-expression be it the means or ends of teaching.  Observing small changes in practice, that bring better results for students in the minds of teachers, may be persuasive enough to develop new ideas relating to teaching as self-expression.     57  2.10   Models of Teaching The research literature when viewed through the eye glasses of constructivist and complexity theory bring into focus multiple interactive dimensions or pathways along which teachers construct their understanding of teaching.  Building teaching knowledge and skills as processes while swathed within interdependent institutional/organizational contexts and dynamic relational experiences help shape these constructions.  So do the judgments and self-expressive needs of teachers.  Ideals and contexts account for what shapes teachers’ commitment to a certain perspective of teaching from among a variety of approaches.  Such a rich diversity of settings in how to construct an understanding of teaching is highly influenced by the multiplicity of models of teaching that teachers may have a commitment to or are immersed in as a cultural dynamic.      In order to frame and structure this study, it is important to describe what teaching is and point out some of the various models that have attempted to represent this concept.  There are various models of teaching which provide helpful conceptual oversights of teaching.  A model is a pattern or plan from which to design or understand teaching (Joyce, Weil & Showers, 1992).  Each of these models succeeds in certain ways to express teaching practices, but also has some limitations in explaining how teachers come to construct such an understanding of teaching as depicted in these models.  In fact, my point of departure in this study is to supplement or complement these respective models of teaching by exploring contextual influences among these teachers that may give rise to favoring certain representations of teaching over others.  Joyce, Weil & Showers (1992) in Models of Teaching provide an extensive research based overview of information processing, personal, social and behavior systems that they identify as four groups or families of teaching.  Each model describes teaching orientations   58  towards a general purpose or particular intention of learning and how people learn. The models represent different ways of thinking about the purposes of teaching to facilitate different designs and applications of teaching and instructional materials.  Each model has an articulated theoretical and pragmatic experiential basis to achieve the ends for which they were designed by various scholars and teachers (Joyce et al, 1992).  A teacher’s understanding of such a variety of models would enhance their repertoire of teaching strategies.  For example, the social models of teaching are designed to build learning communities by way of developing school cultures that construct norms or ways of interacting (Joyce et al, 1992).  Social models of teaching emphasize cooperative learning practices, role playing, and case study methods designed to build social skills and self-esteem as well as academic learning.  Information processing models, on the other hand, accentuate ways of making sense of the world by organizing and handling data (Joyce et al, 1992).  Some develop concepts and language while others emphasize thinking and creative processes.  Examples of such information processing models are inductive thinking, concept attainment (method of teaching concepts), mnemonics (memory assists), advance organizers, inquiry training, synectics (method for gaining new perspectives) and so on.   The personal models of learning favor developing concepts of self-hood and individual consciousness.  Their intent is individual awareness or self-knowledge, leading creative lives, and personal responsibility to enhance our potential (Joyce et al, 1992).  Such productive independence and self-understanding is facilitated by the work of Abraham Maslow in enhancing self-concept and in the research of psychologist and counselor, Carl Rogers, in designing non-directive teaching.  The behavioral systems family is based upon social learning theory (Joyce et al, 1992).  Humans "modify behavior in response to information about how successfully tasks   59  are navigated" (Joyce et al, 1992, p. 10).  These models rely on "observable behavior and clearly defined tasks and methods of communicating progress to the student" (Joyce et al, 1992, p.11) and have been widely researched.  Bloom's mastery learning, Glasser's direct instruction, Skinner's operant condition in learning self-control and Robert Gagne's conditions of learning whereby learner needs and sequencing instruction are attended to are some specific examples.  These models are very useful for conceptualizing teaching practices with strategies for teaching.  Mastering them would likely increase teacher effectiveness for particular purposes. A high degree of teaching literacy in these models would undoubtedly enhance teacher practices of knowledgeably and skillfully connecting the ends and means of their desired teaching.  The mystery for me, however, as I have experienced in my practice, is that when such representations are shared with teachers as another tool for teaching to add to their instructional knowledge and skillset, why do some teachers come on board while others still stay adrift from emphasizing such teaching?  What are the influences to their teaching that may predispose them to certain ways of teaching?  These models are limited towards such an explanation which is an important missing link in my role as a principal in supporting and providing opportunities for teachers to develop their teaching practices.  Bennett & Smilanich (1994) constructed a practical and integrative framework of teaching that I have used most of my professional career as my conceptual overview of what is teaching. Their framework (they don’t describe it as a model, as components may change, but in my experience it serves the same purpose) has three interactive dimensions.  They are: classroom improvement which describes the technical aspects of teaching; teacher as learner which describes the elements that focus on the teacher as a life-long learner and school improvement which illustrates the factors involved in how schools may be mobilized and improved. Within   60  each of these systems are embedded other systems.  For example, classroom improvement has the dimensions of content, instructional strategies, instructional skills and classroom management.  Teacher as learner has the dimensions of teacher repertoire, teacher as researcher, collaboration and reflective practices.  School improvement has collegiality, shared purpose, continuous improvement and structure.   As mentioned, this framework of teaching and learning has been my "bible" in describing teaching practices and the change processes to enable educators to construct their expertise in their teaching.  Previously, as a beginning teacher, I felt lost in a professional world of minutia and complexity.   Student assignments, learning outcomes, teaching tasks and teacher guidebooks jostled each other with little cohesion or sense making.  This framework provided my first glimpse of teaching as an integrative whole providing meaning, coherence and clarity of what teaching was about.  Like a puzzle box top picture it was a very useful conceptual overview of teaching and an organizational tool for teaching of how to construct teaching.  It was a great fit for what I would later learn was my dominant developmental profile of evolving cognitive structures for learners to understand content.  Yet, over my career to date, it was unable to answer why some teachers chose to favor certain ways of teaching over others.  What were the influences in teacher experiences and contexts that lead them to what they do?  What were the influences that helped them construct their teaching?  This is an important point in any discussion of personal or systemic transformations in education.     Armstrong & Epps (2010) Propeller Model provides another dynamic teaching framework, based upon teacher inquiry to engage open ended learning questions derived from curriculum, as another conception of what teaching is or could be. The elements of the Propeller Model comprised: Universal Design for Learning, where all students are included in multiple   61  ways of representing, expressing and processing learning; Circle of Learning Conversations to deepen and clarify meaning of what is being learned; and Ongoing Assessment for Learning which emphasizes formative assessment to further learning.  It was significant for me to note, in a subsequent conversation several years later with one of the authors, that they too had expanded and continued to re-conceptualize and refine their understanding of teaching.   To help describe or define what teaching is, Pratt (1998d) suggests that “a meaningful examination of teaching needs to address types of commitment more than [just] a series of techniques” (p. 10).  The General Model of Teaching, presented in Figure 2.1, identifies five elements (teacher, learners, content, ideals and context) and three overarching relationships (lines X, Y, Z respectively) that reference teaching (Pratt, 1998d).  Various teachers commit themselves to some elements, through emphasizing certain respective relationships as more important or meaningful than others, based upon their beliefs, intentions and actions, thus identifying their different perspectives of teaching. The General Model of Teaching, depicted in Figure 2.1, suggests a common frame of reference for conceptualizing teaching perspectives.  It was developed by Pratt and Associates (1998) as a model to help explain and accommodate the diversity of teaching approaches that their research unveiled. The relationships between the elements are represented by lines.  The various ways to engage students in content are signified by line X.  The types of desired relationships with students are represented by line Y.  Line Z emphasizes the importance of a teacher’s course expertise.  Relative commitment by different teachers to the importance of each respective element would be emphasized through one or more of the relationships.  Such commitment is revealed through ideals as to why certain teaching actions and objectives to accomplish are desirable and justifiable (Pratt, 1998d).  Moreover, such teaching is located    62                                                          Context       Learners                                                                                        Content  Figure 2.1 A General Model of Teaching (Pratt et al, 1998, p. 4)   within a context or circumstance that may favor, emphasize or reward certain ways or aspects of teaching.  The holistic dynamics of actions, intentions and beliefs underpinning the General Model overview serve as a useful sort of comprehensive executive summary of teaching.  The ideals or beliefs, behind the strategic and tactical dimensions of teaching techniques and agendas, that are missing or implicit in the other models, makes the General Model a key tool for my research purposes.  Ideals are central to constructing an understanding of teaching. Such ideals are the missing or neglected link in understanding teacher perspectives and constructions of teaching.  "Every perspective on teaching is an expression of an ideal, or an ideology, it is usually implicit, operating unconsciously to direct teaching” (Pratt, 1998b, p. 246).  The General Model recognizes this fundamental aspect of teaching, and by doing, so acknowledges the need to Teacher Ideals  Z Y X   63  understand what these ideals are that induces teachers to teach the way they do.  Such  perspectives influence what teachers wish to learn in constructing an understanding of teaching and then how to do it. The General Model, although providing for a highly useful descriptive archetype of teaching, is limited in the degree to which it explores the context of how teachers may come to emphasize certain ways of teaching over others.  The influences arising from context that may support and construct certain perspectives on teaching, although identified as part of the model, are not covered in any detail by this model either.  This is significant and important information when addressing teacher learning, particularly for principals and teachers in providing support and opportunities for such learning to take place.   The General Model emphasizes five significant dimensions of teaching: teacher, learners, content, context (physical and social environment) and ideals.  The five dimensions of the General Model are useful in describing the pieces in the teaching environment, like a chess board, and the basic moves, but they do not inform the influential dynamics behind the thinking of what teachers as players are trying to do (intent), how they do it (actions) and why they do it (beliefs).  Ideals shape the relative degrees of preference for accentuating the teacher learner relationship dynamic or the ways to engage the learner with course content or the relative importance of course expertise when teaching.  The relational and contextual experiences that shape these constructions within the descriptions of teaching are my focus.   2.11   Dimensions of Understanding Teacher Constructions of Teaching Arising from the literature, for the purpose of exploring relational and contextual teaching experiences in constructing an understanding of teaching, the four cultural and systemic   64  dimensions of process, interdependence, judgment and self-expression are worth exploring as a formative organizational framework.   What are the influences that particularly contribute to understanding teaching as a process in the lives of teachers?  Teaching as process explores the gradual increments of ever deeper understanding over time of teacher practice.  In teacher conversations, I expected to hear stories of purposeful engagement of how they gradually organized, integrated and refined their knowledge of teaching strategies and curriculum.  I anticipated stories of trials, tribulations and triumphs of incorporating prior knowledge and recognizing patterns of classroom interaction to enhance their teaching success over time.  What interdependent factors socialize or inspire teachers to construct their practice based upon explicit or implicit influences of social or organizational contexts?  How systems organize teacher work makes a big difference in what teachers can accomplish (Darling-Hammond, 1998; Acker, 1999).  Systemic, contextual and cultural influences articulated by individual teachers as sources of support or impediments to their needs, interests and desires as teachers is information I listened for.     What influences build teacher judgment over time?  Decision making is a key aspect of teaching and what dynamics impact how judgment develops to influence their practice. I listened for statements about teaching as guided by rules, measurable products or fixed ends, or else, conversely, comments reflecting decisions made with ethical and moral reasoning in mind.    Teacher judgments reflect connecting the means of their teaching to the ends of their teaching about what ought to be done.  I attended to those ideas in the interviews.  Similarly, teaching may be viewed as self-expression, the ideals that drive them. What influences shape teacher beliefs around what is good teaching to which they aspire?  Teachers   65  interpret or perceive the world through their thinking and experiences. Their affinity for and inclination to act in certain ways in their teaching is the iceberg as seen. Such actions float upon generally unseen personal doctrine and principles that contribute to their professional vision and fulfillment towards accomplishing certain goals.  I looked for comments that reflect values, principles and beliefs.   These formative questions are not entirely and comprehensively addressed in the previous models.  These limitations are the missing pieces of the puzzle I am seeking in order to answer the inconsistences I have experienced in my practice.  Just emphasizing the enhancement of important technical aspects of various teaching methods in professional learning does not address why some teachers apparently hold different perspectives on teaching, whether evidence based or not.  This is an important question to ask.  Teachers so partake and are committed to some actions and not others.  My research seeks to answer how do teachers construct an understanding of teaching which seems to be largely neglected in describing teacher practice thus far in the obsession over the polemicizing of favored methods.  I looked for influences through the lenses of teaching as a process, as interdependence, as judgments and self-expression.   2.12   A Pluralistic View Overall, understanding teaching, and subsequent teacher learning, needs to be guided by critically reflecting upon teachers’ underlying beliefs and intentions.  How teachers go about constructing an understanding of teacher is likely predicated on what types of understanding of teaching they comprehend as good teaching. This is frequently absent from many professional programs, in deference to the more common professional development routine or focus of scrutinizing and studying teaching actions.  Central to the General Model of Teaching (Figure   66  2.1) are the ideals or conceptions of teaching that drive preferences for attending to the different teaching emphases of processes, relationships or outcomes.    From the research of Pratt and associates (1998) a framework for understanding such preferences came into being.  Their five perspectives of teaching are based upon the assumption that there is "a pluralistic view of teaching and a diversity of commitments and perspectives" (Pratt,  1998d, p. 11).  Within the hindsight of my professional experience, this is what I have experienced and it is the reason for entering into this research.  Each perspective (transmission, apprenticeship, developmental, nurturing and social reform) emphasizes a different ideal of coming to terms with constructing an understanding of teaching.  The Teaching Perspectives Model represents a plurality of good or quality teaching approaches that are amenable to change due to shifting experiential insights.  It serves as a pragmatic and theoretical starting point as a collegial discussion tool for reflecting on teacher experiences and intentionality (Collins & Pratt, 2011).   Perspectives are not to be confused with teaching methods of which the latter can be common across perspectives (Pratt, 2002).  What differentiates perspectives is how such methods are purposely used to dissimilar distinct favored ends (Pratt, 2002).  Through the Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI), an on-line questionnaire relating to beliefs, intentions and teaching actions, certain perspectives of instruction can be identified and measured. The TPI documents that the majority of teachers "hold only one or two perspectives as their dominant view of teaching [one standard deviation above the mean of all perspectives in their individual profile] and only marginally identify with one or two others" (Pratt, 2002, p. 2).  Merging this descriptive information with an analysis of teacher narratives of how and why they came to teach the way they do provided insights into influences upon teaching practice.     67  A summary description of each perspective now follows taken from the TPI website (see www.teachingperspectives.com):   2.12.1   Transmission  "Effective teaching requires a substantial commitment to the content or subject matter. Good teaching means having mastery of the subject matter or content. Teachers' primary responsibilities are to represent the content accurately and efficiently. Learner's responsibilities are to learn that content in its authorized or legitimate forms. Good teachers take learners systematically through tasks leading to content mastery: providing clear objectives, adjusting the pace of lecturing, making efficient use of class time, clarifying misunderstandings, answering questions, providing timely feedback, correcting errors, providing reviews, summarizing what has been presented, directing students to appropriate resources, setting high standards for achievement and developing objective means of assessing learning. Good teachers are enthusiastic about their content and convey that enthusiasm to their students. For many learners, good transmission teachers are memorable presenters of their content." 2.12.2   Apprenticeship "Effective teaching is a process of socializing students into new behavioral norms and ways of working. Good teachers are highly skilled practitioners of what they teach. Whether in classrooms or at work sites, they are recognized for their expertise. Teachers must reveal the inner workings of skilled performance and must translate it into accessible language and an ordered set of tasks which usually proceed from simple to complex, allowing for different points of entry depending upon the learner's capability. Good teachers know what their learners can do on their own and where they need guidance and direction; they engage learners within their 'zone   68  of development'. As learners mature and become more competent, the teacher's role changes; they offer less direction and give more responsibility as students' progress from dependent learners to independent workers."  2.12.3   Developmental "Effective teaching must be planned and conducted 'from the learner's point of view.' Good teachers must understand how their learners think and reason about the content. The primary goal is to help learners develop increasingly complex and sophisticated cognitive structures for comprehending the content. The key to changing those structures lies in a combination of two skills: (1) effective questioning that challenges learners to move from relatively simple to more complex forms of thinking, and (2) 'bridging knowledge' which provides examples that are meaningful to the learner. Questions, problems, cases, and examples form these bridges that teachers use to transport learners from simpler ways of thinking and reasoning to new, more complex and sophisticated forms of reasoning. Good teachers adapt their knowledge to learners' levels of understanding and ways of thinking."  2.12.4   Nurturing "Effective teaching assumes that long-term, hard, persistent effort to achieve comes from the heart, not the head. People become motivated and productive learners when they are working on issues or problems without fear of failure. Learners are nurtured in knowing that (a) they can succeed at learning if they give it a good try; (b) their achievement is a product of their own effort and ability, rather than the benevolence of a teacher; and (c) their learning efforts will be supported by both teacher and peers. Good teachers care about their students and understand that   69  some have histories of failure resulting in lowered self-confidence. However they make no excuses for learners. Rather, they encourage their efforts while challenging students to do their very best by promoting a climate of caring and trust, helping people set challenging but achievable goals, and supporting effort as well as achievement. Good teachers provide encouragement and support, along with clear expectations and reasonable goals for all learners but do not sacrifice self-efficacy or self-esteem for achievement. Their assessments of learning consider individual growth as well as absolute achievement."  2.12.5   Social Reform "Effective teaching seeks to change society in substantive ways.  From the Social Reform point of view, the object of teaching is the collective rather than the individual. Good teachers awaken students to values and ideologies that are embedded in texts and common practices within their disciplines. Good teachers challenge the status quo and encourage students to consider how learners are positioned and constructed in particular discourses and practices. To do so, they analyze and deconstruct common practices for ways in which such practices perpetuate conditions that are unacceptable. Class discussion is focused less on how knowledge has been created, and more by whom and for what purposes. Texts are interrogated for what is said and what is not said; what is included and what is excluded; who is represented and who is omitted from the dominant discourse. Students are encouraged to take critical stances to give them power to take social action to improve their own lives and the lives of others. Critical deconstruction, though central to this view, is not an end in itself."    70  2.13   Cultural and Systemic Influences The point of my research then was to explore what the cultural and systemic influences acting upon and within the General Model of Teaching may be.  What were the particular influences that motivate or induce my teacher participants to build their own understanding of teaching?  As previously mentioned, such examination was guided by the theoretical understandings of teaching: as process, as interdependence, as judgment and as self-expression. These dimensions upon understanding teaching are not mutually exclusive of each other and likely interact in numerous ways.  These four pillars provide the cultural and systemic mediums or dimensions within which teachers construct their understanding of teaching.  The dynamic I explored is shown in the following Figure 2.2, entitled Dimensions of How Teachers Construct an Understanding of Teaching, and which build on Pratt & Associates (1998) approach.  To their model, I added the four interactive constructive dimensions of teaching as process, as interdependence, as judgment and as self-expression.  They provide the cultural and systemic (organizational) contextual backdrop of dynamic influences impacting the General Model of Teaching at its center.  The intention of this research was to use this theoretical classification to explore the actual reported learning experiences of teachers in how they came to construct their understanding of teaching and to determine what those cultural and systemic influences may be.  Exploring teachers' constructions of teaching through the lens developed in Figure 2.2 allowed me to account for teaching as a lived experience.  Each teacher narrated a pedagogical autobiography, influenced by their processes, interdependence, judgments and self-expression.  Teaching, as culturally implicit activities and explicit systemic experiences, includes historical personal life, schooling and professional involvements or contexts that influence instruction. By exploring such structures, relationships and processes that impact upon teaching   71  perspectives, I analyzed how teachers came to construct their beliefs and approaches to teaching within the contexts of their practice.    Figure 2.2 Dimensions of How Teachers Construct an Understanding of Teaching By looking at the intersections of both descriptive (TPI) and analytical (interview) data, I went beyond labeling a practice to understanding the developments for how it arose.  It is important to identify teaching practices and how they work, but it is equally significant to ascertain the influences behind such practices or preferences.  After describing teaching perspectives through the TPI surveys, the use of teacher interviews sought to decipher what teachers hear, see and feel.  This helped connect their experiences to ways in which teaching decisions and interventions were made.  When we look at teaching, it is important to know the lenses through which we see — and therefore how it frames our teaching and what we see.  How TeachingProcesspurposeful engagement in deeper understanding over timeInterdependenceconnections with people, places, processes and timeJudgment"doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons with the right people"Self-Expressionagency & fulfillment of needs and desires  72  I operationalized the research to determine what influences teachers experienced to construct their understanding of teaching is the topic to which I turn.     73  Chapter 3:  Research Methods You see things relative to your frame of reference, I see things relative to mine and there are no privileged observers.           Einstein  The design of social research begins with a problem or issue to be explored, described or explained (Creswell, 2007).  My observations in the field of practice have led me to my inquiry to explore and describe teacher experiences of how teachers constructed their understanding of teaching.  To organize my study I articulated a conceptual framework through my literature review.  I had a sense of what to look for, but rather than merely seeking a confirmatory deductive approach to the study arising from the literature review with a hypothesis to endorse or not, I sought to also inductively build ideas about this inquiry derived from the analysis of teacher interviews.  Data collection is a selective process (Miles & Huberman, 1994), thus subsequent analysis of the data is a codetermination of meaning between the researcher and interview participant (Creswell, 2007).  Coding condensed from the literature review was complemented with codes arising from individual interview narratives.  Both were used to capture knowledge or understanding as broad social constructions as well as individual conceptions.    Methods are merely tools, but like any tool their usefulness depends upon the insight and skill of the user (Charmaz, 2006).  Charmaz (2006) characterizes that “what we bring to the study … influences what we can see” (p. 15 [original emphasis]).  Conceptions are the cultural lenses or knowledge constructs of how individuals perceive and understand the world (Rubin & Rubin, 2012).  Such world views or conceptions have underlying theoretical assumptions of how knowledge is formed, and thus has implications for posing questions, analyzing and interpreting interview data (Roulston, 2010).   Different epistemological conceptual frameworks emphasize   74  different ways of knowing and being, and thus lead to different interpretations of data counting as evidence.  Belief systems are the interpreters of perceptions.  Therefore the credibility and dependability of results from using the interview as a research tool must be framed by making the researcher’s epistemological preferences clear about what is reality and how one comes to know it.  As these constructs are usually invisible, in an editorial sense, unless articulated, it is important that any credible account of a research method be prefaced.   My theoretical assumption, as a researcher, is that individual conceptions are embedded in the experiences of a person with the world around them.  This is a congenial fit with phenomenology as well.  Phenomenology refers to “social phenomena from the actors’ own perspectives and describe the world as experienced by the subjects, with the assumption that the important reality is what people perceive it to be” (Kvale & Brinkmann, 2009, p. 26).  It is the study of the nature and meaning of phenomena (Findlay, 2008) where the “focus is on the way things appear to us through experience or in our consciousness" (p. 1).  Phenomenology therefore entails approaching understanding as subjective perception and interpretation of the world in the eyes and mind of the beholder.  Understanding human behavior due to this thinking and meaning making nature of humans, as cognitive actors in our experiences, means understanding from the actor’s point of view (Olson, 2004).  The use of the interview in my research was a compatible tool to capture such perspectives in relating how teachers come to understand their teaching.   I also considered that knowledge, as a social construction, existed not entirely in the individual teacher's mind where experiences inform beliefs.  Certain social phenomena are experienced as more "objective" in the sense that many individuals comprehend similar things, and therefore certain patterns of ways of knowing can be co-determined and agreed to over time.    75  Meaning making may be an individual exercise, but it is influenced by social and cultural contexts.  “Social phenomena exist not only in the mind but also in the objective world” (Miles & Huberman, 1994, p. 4), therefore “we can derive constructs that underlie individual and social life” (p. 4).  Such "objective" constructs are frequently determined by those actors with power, authority and influence to structure the contexts of interaction and reduce understandings to certain ways of knowing.  Understandings can therefore be perceived as arising from both objective or general and subjective or individualized senses and are both exposed to challenge and change.  That such constructs may not be visible to the human eye does not invalidate them (Miles & Huberman, 1994).  Understanding of teaching is a reflective and usually after the fact moment.  Comprehension may not crystallize or come into focus until well along in the meaning making journey based upon accumulations of daily practice and experiences.  As Charmaz (2006) also alludes to, our understanding of the world is based upon the inquiry our questions create and there are no unbiased questions (Barrett & Fry, 2005).   Questions arise from one’s ontological beliefs and epistemology.  How knowledge exists and how such knowledge may be studied and justified are theoretical concepts that need to be carefully defined, and made explicit as the foundation of any research study purporting to be either accurate or truthful.  Theories are conceptual explanations describing how things work or explaining how they happen (Roulston, 2010).  These assumptions create research paradigms or philosophies that shape how a researcher goes about their work (Rubin & Rubin, 2012).  Such paradigms then, in turn, create the criteria upon which to evaluate the quality and reliability of the research evidence (Rubin & Rubin, 2012).  These research paradigms determine the nature of the questions we are prepared to ask about reality, the types of knowledge sought, the role of the researcher and the implications for the findings (Rubin & Rubin, 2012).   76  In research, as in other walks of life, we inhabit the world our inquiries help create.   In transforming social systems “language precedes changes in structures, systems, policies, and even awareness” (Barrett & Fry, 2005, p. 82, italics in the original). Words therefore create worlds of understanding. Without the necessary words to describe concepts or actions, we are limited by what we may conceive, understand, ask and share.  The questions we ask shape what we find (Barrett & Fry, 2005).  Questions do more than gain information as they focus attention and direct energy setting agendas for action (Barrett & Fry, 2005). We move holistically in the direction of what we ask questions about (Barrett & Fry, 2005).  Appropriately formatted research questions are essential for attaining useful data.   Our awareness is consequently circumscribed by prior experience, language and social interaction.  Such understandings influence practice and subsequent approaches to how teachers understand teaching as well. Patterns of receptivity and utility are impacted by what we believe and create the inquiries we pursue.  In Michener’s novel, Chesapeake, he writes: But always he lacked the essential tool without which the workman can  never attain true mastery: he did not know the names of any of the parts he was building, and without the name he was artistically incomplete.  It was not by accident that doctors and lawyers and butchers invented specific but  secret names for things they did: to possess the name was to know the secret. With the correct names one entered into a new world of proficiency, became a  performer of merit.  The meaning people bring to and construct from their experiences is limited by their awareness of words that describe their understanding and the questions they ask themselves in   77  pursuit of understanding teaching.  The telling of personal stories is an important venue through which teachers’ construction of their understanding of teaching takes place. Personal stories (recollecting child and adult experiences, teachers chronicling their successes or lack thereof with students, describing examples of student work or recounting classroom activities) reflect the complexities associated with teachers’ work, their respective context, and experiences with educational reforms.  Like the proverbial tale of the boy ‘making a difference’ for each stranded starfish he threw back into the sea, upon a beach littered with them, the emotional impact of such stories likely creates a more personal connection and context.  This serves as a stimulus for accessing intuitive reflection and identity rather than just relying upon statistical analysis.  Such opportunity for exchanging information and feelings promotes prospects for the achievement of personal goals and accomplishments by often engendering interest and support from a wider audience.    Story telling is a longtime human tradition.  Researchers are like storytellers interpreting their research experiences and insights (Wolcott, 1990).  Telling the story of the experiential influences of teachers’ understanding and construction of teaching at a deep introspective level is the aim of my mixed methods research –  descriptive profiles from which to draw insights “to get beyond initial conceptions and to generate or revise conceptual frameworks" (Miles & Huberman, 1994, p.1).  Reality in the social sciences must consider the thinking nature of people as heuristic cycles of learning building upon experiences.  Discursive methods, such as an interview, permit individuals to relate their experiences and thinking regarding their understanding of teaching over time about how such individuals constructed their likely shifting realities.    78  3.1   A Mixed Methods Study How individual teachers make sense of teaching can be answered through a systematic procedure of gathering insights through questioning of how these teachers structure and give meaning to the pursuit of reflective study and application about their work.  With due consideration of the various paradigms and perspectives on research, I came to the conclusion that a qualitative interview would work well for my dissertation as a primary research method in combination with a questionnaire format previously designed by other researchers.  This mixed methods approach had two data sources complementing each other to respond to and support the study of my research question.  The survey revealed and described validated and reliable respective teaching perspectives.  The qualitative interviewing sought to provide credible and dependable complementary detailed descriptions or explanations for how individuals came to hold such particular teaching perspectives.  Research questions best suited for mixed methods are those where a singular data source is insufficient to explore results or explain findings (Creswell & Clark, 2011).  My study made use of both sources of data for its investigation.  Statistical trends or general statements supported by personal stories are popular in describing and exploring phenomena and are an “intuitive way of doing research” (Creswell & Clark, 2011, p. 1). A progressive mixed methods study seemed best for my purpose of exploring teacher stories of how they came to understand teaching and describing what teachers' held as their teaching perspectives.  Its two phase sequential structure was relatively straightforward to do and provides for “a better understanding of research problems than either approach alone” (Creswell & Clark, 2011, p.5).  Green (2007) describes mixed research as “multiple ways of seeing and hearing” (p. 20).  The quantitative survey provided for a deductive outlook of describing teacher perspectives   79  of teaching while the qualitative research added a more constructivist or inductive way of sequentially building upon those perspectives by analyzing how they came to be.  Through these two lenses of looking at the world, this research design combined these two methods to conduct this study.   The quantitative survey results described the teaching perspectives profile of each teacher while the qualitative research endeavored to help explore or analyze how such an understanding of teaching came into being.  The interview was used to supplement the survey so that a more detailed understanding of how teachers construct their understanding of teaching may be revealed.  Harris and Brown (2010) assert that “the main attraction of using mixed method research is that data gained through different methods may complement each other” (p. 12). Mixed methods research is a pragmatic bridge of mixing generalized findings with more personalized and individualized outcomes.  One data base is used to help explain the other (Creswell & Clark, 2011).   For example, two participants may have had very different scores on the social reform perspective of the TPI.  One may have been very high, a dominant perspective, contrasted to the other participant’s relatively low score as a recessive perspective.  Such descriptions as scores were helpful in acknowledging the relative importance of these perspectives to these two different teachers.  The interviews, as a narrative, had the opportunity to supplement and complement this data by providing insights as to why or how the respective teachers came to those perspectives.   One participant in their interview may have revealed that a narrow religious upbringing into young adulthood had soured their view of espousing or proselytizing a certain way of thinking or believing as a truth or way to a better life. While another, growing up in poverty, saw their schooling success as an opportunity and support to continue to reform or   80  change the culture of poverty through schooling as an impact upon individuals and society.   These contrasting and divergent data sets, of both the TPI and interviews, helped provide not only an overall descriptive profile of teaching perspectives, but also an analysis of what influences or experiences helped construct such an understanding of teaching. This methodology then facilitated the intent of this study which is to describe and explain the influences of how teachers come to construct their understanding of teaching.   In summary, the intent of the research was to first capture the teaching perspectives that help describe teacher beliefs, intentions and teaching actions as exemplified by the TPI survey (Collins and Pratt, 2011; Pratt and Collins, 2000).  The second intent was to analyze the participant interviews as narratives in making sense of their professional experiences and influences.  By combining the TPI, which is a descriptive tool of teaching perspectives, beliefs, intentions and actions, with the interviews, as an analytical tool, exploring the formative influences upon teaching, this research identified and explored how some teachers construct their teaching. 3.2   Research Participants In organizing my study design, a purposive sample of participants was originally sought with as much variety of teaching specialties and teaching locations as possible within the bounds of reasonable research logistics, willing participants and time available to facilitate the study.  Study participants were recruited from certain public school districts and private schools through the permission of district superintendents or private school headmasters.  Requests for study participants were disseminated through a local teacher's union and through headmasters in private schools.  A few participants were accessed through snowball sampling based upon initial participants later encouraging colleagues to participate.  Fourteen participants were finally   81  voluntarily interviewed with their informed written consent as to the processes and nature of the study.    Selection criteria encouraged as diverse a group of teachers as possible, according to gender, teaching experience and teaching areas (secondary, elementary, specialists like counselors and librarians), from diverse teaching settings (rural, suburban, inner city, private schools) and subject areas (elementary and various secondary subject areas).  Teacher participants eventually came from two different public school districts and one private school.   I am aware that my findings are not generalizable to other populations due to the small sampling size and lack of random selection.  My purpose however was to explore and describe influences that support and provide opportunities for the teachers in my sample to construct their understanding of teaching.   One school district from which participants came had approximately twice the student population than the other which had a more rural and small town demographic.  Pseudonym names were allocated to the districts.  The larger district, the Coast Salish School District, has a larger urban population than the smaller Pacific Ocean School District.  The private school that is in this study offers a non-denominational, co-ed, university-prep program with International Baccalaureate standing.  Of the fourteen teachers ultimately participating in this study, teaching experience ranged from two weeks to 34 years.  A majority of 12 participants came from the Coast Salish School District due to snowball sampling within that district.  Of the fourteen study participants, ten of the participants were female and four male.  Seven extensively taught in secondary settings while seven taught in elementary schools.  A factor to be considered of the relatively low numbers of teacher participants was that the request for study participants was   82  extended during a time of public school job action and strike action across the province.   Profiles of the teacher participants in this study are documented in Appendices A-N.    3.3   Research Tools and Design My data collection was designed to take place in two sequential phases:  3.3.1   Phase I: TPI  Each participating teacher completed an online TPI Survey prior to the interview and had the results of the TPI available for the researcher following the interview.  TPI results were returned online within a few minutes to the survey taker with TPI scores automatically profiled for printing off.  Each perspective received a score relative to the other perspectives in terms of the degree of favorable responses that align with the beliefs, intentions and action statements of that perspective.   A higher score means a relative preference for that perspective.  The TPI (www.teachingperspectives.com) as introduced earlier is a well-researched, validated and reliable survey instrument developed to identify five ways of knowing teaching as: transmission, as apprenticeship, as developmental, as emphasizing nurturing or as espousing a social reform perspective.  Within the five perspectives of teaching are survey items related to beliefs, intentions and actions connected to a teacher’s teaching perspective preferences.  This 45 item five point scale appraisal of teaching perspectives thus profiles a teacher’s view of teaching.  These conceptualizations of teaching are featured in their dominant (perspective favored by an individual teacher), backup (next highest) and recessive (perspective less favored by an individual teacher) summaries.  A maximum score in any perspective is 45 and a minimum is 9.  Dominant and recessive perspectives are those scores one standard deviation or more above or respectively below the personal mean of all five of each participant’s TPI scores (Collins and   83  Pratt, 2011).  According to Collins and Pratt (2011) most people have one and sometimes two dominant perspectives, one recessive and one or two back-up perspectives that are high scoring but less so than the dominant perspective.  Dominant and recessive scores mean current highly favored or least favored teaching perspectives.  There is no intent in the TPI to have any perspective labelled as a poor practice as this survey favors a pluralistic view of accepted teaching practices.  The intent of the TPI is to provide a personal profile that identifies each respondent's present conceptions of viewing teaching.   The survey took about 20 to 30 minutes to do on line and the results were quickly available to each participant.  Participants voluntarily provided a copy of their TPI summary to the researcher to facilitate the research data collection.  The survey has been used reliably before with K-12 teachers (Pratt, Collins & Jarvis - Selinger, 2001).  The survey results served as a reference point to begin the interview conversation and also provided conceptual language, if needed, to facilitate the interpretation, understanding and sharing of experiences.  The survey results similarly served to help surface implicit ways of knowing as well as the more conscious ones.  Such ways of knowing influence the way teachers approached teaching and how they translated this knowledge into action and pedagogic practice. 3.3.2   Phase II: Interviews The second step in gathering data for this study was a semi-structured interview.  An interview, as a research method, is a conversation that has both purpose and structure (Kvale & Brinkman, 2009).  The reflections that construct these kinds of stories or narratives provide for a way of knowing as a meaning making process (Seidman, 2006).  The intent of such conversations is to explore and learn from the perspectives of others (Rubin & Rubin, 2012).  The research interviewer’s role is to both discern and describe the meaning of the stories or   84  experiences of those that are interviewed (Kvale, 1996; Seidman, 2006).  Researcher presuppositions enter into the composing of their questions (Creswell, 2007).     Gathering meaningful narrative data through thoughtful, insightful questions is a challenging and critical task.  Key interview questions have a strategic significance in that they are structured to answer the main themes of the research question (Rubin & Rubin, 2012).  Follow-up questions are tactically used to ensure the depth, detail and richness of data that the interviewer requires (Rubin & Rubin, 2012).  Probes are simply worded questions used to manage the interview to keep it flowing, focused and clear (Rubin & Rubin, 2012).  As a novice researcher and interviewer, I used an interview guide with a few key open ended questions to engage respondents (see Appendix O), with some possible prepared follow-ups relating to the main questions and several ready probes as needed.  Interviews and transcription occurred over a six month period from September 2012 to February 2013.   The role of the qualitative researcher interviewer goes beyond determining what is important to ask as the data gathering process itself is informative (Palys, 2003).  Interview diary notes were kept to include interviewer reflections and commentary of the interview process as it unfolded.  The interviews were also recorded and transcribed for later analysis to provide narrative insights into how teachers came to understand and construct teaching.  The questions were created to help participants reflect on how they developed their understanding of teaching over their lives and career.  The criteria for formulating the questions emphasized open ended opportunities for participants to enable thoughtful responses across a range of personal, organizational and professional experiences, relationships and contexts.  “Increasingly qualitative researchers are realizing that interviews are not neutral tools of data gathering but active interactions between two or more people leading to negotiated,   85  contextually based results” (Fontana & Frey, 2000, p. 646). “Few activities are more powerful for professional learning than reflection on practice” (Danielson & McGreal, 2000, p. 24).  Learning is a non-linear dialogical process of making meaning (Brown & Moffett, 1999).  The interviews provided opportunities for and support of insights on how teachers constructed their understandings of teaching given the open ended invitation to share participant experiences and ideas.   The beliefs and attitudes of respondents must be respected for a truthful account.  The open-ended format encouraged a comfortable and engaging participant oriented interview, providing probes as necessary to clarify responses.  Respondents were informed they had an opportunity to review their transcript upon request.  Although no participants made such a request, after transcribing the interviews two participants were later emailed to elaborate further on certain questions for clarification of what they meant which was not immediately followed up during the interviews.  Such changes to the initial transcript were noted as additions to the original transcript.   The interview contained a range of questions relating to personal, organizational and professional influences that may help shape a teacher’s construction of teaching prior to, during and after teacher training (See Appendix O).  Previous studies (Carter, 1990; Feiman-Nemser, 1988) indicated that personal beliefs about “good teaching” may be formed prior to actual teaching, so my study included questions directed to experiences preceding teaching as well. However, my study focused primarily on practicing, experienced teachers, with one beginning teacher exception, through the retrospective lens they then viewed their work.  The interview conversation was structured around the beliefs, intentions, and actions (BIA) of the TPI as well to facilitate inquiry relating to influences pertaining to such phenomena   86  (See Appendix O).  The interview was initiated by asking the participants how they perceived the TPI profiles as a reasonably accurate general or broad portrayal of them as a teacher and whether it may have changed over time.  Questions related to teaching intentions came next (which is usually something people can easily talk about) and then a following question about supports or hindrances that aligned actions (or not) with their intentions.  The latter question was provided to gather any data that might explain a discrepancy or gap between what teachers believed in and intended and what they could do in their teaching.  Such information may also explain any large differences in TPI scores between beliefs, intentions and actions.   In my experience talking about beliefs is a harder thing to do, as teachers tend to deal with tangible practices rather than abstractions.  So beliefs come later in the interview under the guise of what the participant described as good teaching.  Aligning my interview questions with the data collected by the TPI helped facilitate later coding and analysis.  The interviews averaged forty-five minutes with an additional opportunity given to each participant to add any other thoughts at the end of the interview.  3.4   Data Analysis The transcription process goes beyond data collection and is a foundational step in analyzing data.  A digital audio recorder was used to record the full interview to enable transformation of the oral language to a later written form.  Such translations involve a number of judgments and decisions as the non-verbal communication that goes on in a face to face interview is difficult to represent in written text (Kvale & Brinkmann, 2009).  Transcriptions involve some hermeneutical choices between the two narrative modes of communication (Kvale & Brinkmann, 2009).  As my main interest is in the content of the narrative, these initial interpretive decisions were more syntactical than in essences of meaning.  In my two pilot   87  interview transcription experiences, it was not always easy to know when one sentence started and the other ended.  Pilot interview data from Abigail and Beatrice was included for this study with the information from their initial responses later aligned to the revised interview questions.  Beyond gathering the data and transcribing it, I went with an eclectic analysis format building both deductively (initial pre-existing coding based upon objectives of study) and inductively (nascent initial coding derived from participant narrative) from my interviews to reduce the data into codes, patterns and themes.  Coding is linking as well as labeling and is a heuristic cyclical act (Saldana, 2009).  Coding is an analytic tool.  Coding brings some systemic order to the data to begin to consolidate and condense meaning and explanation (Saldana, 2009).  I was able to organize and group similarly coded data into categories to give rise to interpreting the data based upon such analysis.  From such inquiry and study came my descriptions, theories or hypotheses that responded to the original purpose of the research question.   Another way to look at it is that coding begins to shape the analytic framework by generating “the bones of your analysis,” whereby “theoretical integration will assemble these bones into a working skeleton” (Charmaz, 2006, p. 45).  Through coding I attached ’names’ to segments of interview narrative as an initial analytic heading or condensation of meaning from which later theoretical categories arose.  The coding process was a successive reiterative editing of clarifying and synthesizing coding definitions to enable nascent theory for my study.   Charmaz (2006) describes coding as the “pivotal link between collecting data and developing an emergent theory to explain these data” (p. 46).   Miles and Huberman (1994) assert that “coding is analysis” (p. 56) by labeling units of meaning be it a word, phrase, line, sentence or whole paragraph.  Codes analyze different levels of thinking “from descriptive to inferential” (Miles & Huberman, 1994, p. 58) with inferential   88  ones typically coming later.   Descriptive codes that label a passage or word involve little interpretation, although the same section could be coded more interpretatively (Miles & Huberman, 1994).   Upon a second coding, I analyzed patterns or categories in order to label trends discerned in the data.  Such pattern coding involves both inferential and explanatory analysis (Miles & Huberman, 1994).  After initial coding, through this process of sequential analysis, I restated or renamed codes to better reflect what I discerned was the categorical intent or meaning of segments of data.  Charmaz (2006) calls this second phase focused coding which Saldana (2009) terms second cycle coding.  Charmaz (2006) describes focused coding as “using the most significant and/or frequent earlier codes to sift through large amounts of data” (p. 57) to reduce the data into categories or clusters of meaning.  Such coding may be followed by more theoretical coding where integrative generalizations are made to come up with hypotheses or theories (Charmaz, 2006).   Charmaz (2006) recommends initial coding to be data driven which means to “stick closely with the data” (p. 47) to avoid bringing pre-existing categories to the data. Miles & Huberman (1994) however prefer a more concept driven approach by beginning with a provisional “start list” of codes based upon their conceptual framework.  I used both approaches to select, simplify and interpret the data as explained below.  Creswell (2007) points out that hermeneutical and postmodern thinking means that there likely is a “legitimate plurality of interpretations” (p. 212) for a text but less than most people would assume.  Selected deductive or pre-existing categories describe the thoughts and ideas brought out in the literature review.  With this in mind, I used themes identified in my literature review that are relevant to the overall objectives of exploring and describing influences upon understanding   89  of teaching.  For example, the theme of understanding teaching as a process (PRO) initiated scrutiny of narratives arising from the interviews that described articulating, revising and refining practice.   Such narratives described building expertise and a progressive integration of practice with theory.  Interdependence (INTR) was a second major theme identified in the literature in understanding teaching.  So, I was looking for comments that may identify social and organizational factors that were background cultural and systemic influences of participant teaching.  Prior knowledge, relationships and collegial collaboration were commonly mentioned perceptions here.  A third major theme I explored was judgment (JUD).  I looked for commentary on principles or dynamics that informed teacher decisions on what they were trying to do.  Ethical means end thinking and pragmatic or technical teaching decisions were ideas that surfaced here.  A fourth theme from the literature highlighted teaching as self-expression (SEL) whereby articulated accounts of beliefs and values were sought that brought order, purpose and meaning to teaching.  Approaches akin to mindsets and motivational issues were mentioned here. The TPI questionnaire framework with questions related to beliefs, intentions and actions also permitted pre-coding as beliefs (BEL), intentions (INT) and actions (ACT) in teacher responses.  These were subsequently later synthesized as factors of self-expression (SEL).   Another contrasting approach to data reduction is using inductive theory generation.  Inductive theory generation arises from the data of the participants’ articulated accounts of their experiences. The intent is to go beyond description based upon the data to theory generation.  Here the research followed the advice of Creswell (2007) in “lean coding” so coding was not overwhelmed by the sheer volume of a complex data base.  Some initial inductive coding categories were:  settings (SET) [where influences happened], actors (ACTR) [family members, neighbors, teachers, colleagues, mentors, principals], and events (EVE) [moments in time of   90  social or interpersonal specific happenings, PD or learning occasions and recognized as such]. Some inductive coding replicated literature review or TPI themes.  Processes (PRO) [obvious or intuitive procedures, practices, methods or progressions as a series of actions directed towards a longer term particular objective that may be explicit or implicit and therefore, in the latter, recognized in hindsight] and TPI beliefs and values (BEL) [principles, philosophies, interests, needs, ideals] were two that intersected both the theory arising from the literature review and instances of practice as revealed by the interviews.  In eventual thematic findings, pre-existing coding came to the fore as such coding was more all-encompassing than initial inductive coding.       Harris and Brown (2010) found that “interview data may carry different messages than questionnaire data” (p. 11), and so they recommend that the two data sets be analyzed separately and then the results compared to “see if any common messages resonate from both sets of data” (p. 11).  Therefore, after following the theoretical insights and guidelines articulated above in the data analysis of the interviews, I then examined my TPI survey results.  Dominant and recessive perspectives, for each individual a score of one or more standard deviations above or below their personal mean of all five TPI perspectives, were identified by the TPI questionnaire data to recognize individually strongly favored or contrasting disfavored teaching approaches.    The next detailed step of scrutinizing TPI data involved item analysis of each teaching perspective by the responses each participant gave to each statement of the TPI questionnaire (see Table 4.2).  Each perspective is identified by nine questions distributed throughout the survey.  Three survey statements respectively identify beliefs, intentions or actions as indicators for each perspective.  The degree to which each participant either supports or disagrees with each statement of beliefs, intentions or actions along a continuum eventually identifies the relative preference for each perspective of teaching.     91  A critical final analysis took these itemized results and examined them by comparing and contrasting responses with the interview coding themes and each teacher's interview narrative.  The integration of qualitative and quantitative data for each participant arises by comparing qualitative interview coding with the TPI item analysis responses to beliefs, intentions or actions.  An always response will be considered  a “hot button” revealing strong association with a particular belief, intention or action coded statement of the questionnaire. A never response will be thought of as a “cool button” indicating a weak association for the respective belief, intent or action represented by that statement in the TPI questionnaire.  The intersection or convergence of any hot or cool buttons with qualitative coding for each individual will be thought to corroborate that code in influencing beliefs, intentions or actions pertaining to a particular teaching perspective.  In this way the two data sets helped explore and describe how teachers come to understand or hold certain teaching perspectives.  There should be evidence in what is said in the interviews about themselves echoed in one or more of their teaching perspectives.   In comparing and contrasting these data sets, some conclusions of how various influences helped construct participant understanding of teaching responded to the main research questions.  The dependability and credibility of the study results should be based upon the coherence, consistency and logic of my methods and analysis as shown in the findings.  TPI participant results from my study were also contrasted with TPI overall grade level norms for K-12 teachers to compare as a frame of reference (see Appendix Q) for any similarities and differences as noted in the findings.  3.5   Ethical Considerations In addition to understanding why researchers do the things the way they do, they should also be explicit in how they conduct their study (Delyser, 2008).  The practice of taking private   92  information and later publicly publishing it goes beyond mere strategy to ethical obligations to ensure the study participants’ rights and interests are protected (Palys, 2003).  Such considerations should attend to researcher reflexivity, positionality, any researcher potential conflicts of interest, the voluntary nature and informed consent of participants and the protection of their confidentiality in any published documents based upon their input.  Having the privilege of accessing participants’ private thinking of their experiences, motives and opinions involves a reciprocal level of confidence and trust in the researcher to fulfill their ethical responsibilities in the undertaking of the study. Therefore, all participating teachers were informed in writing of the purpose and procedures for my study.  Based upon such informed consent, all participation was voluntary and any participant could withdraw at any time.  No individual was identified in the presentation of data as all conversations and interviews were confidential. To emphasize this right to privacy all participants and locations were assigned pseudonyms.  Due consideration to protection from harm is forefront with participants’ not being subject to hardship to participate nor loss or gain of compensation from doing so.  Participants not comfortable with any particular interview question were permitted to omit it.    3.6   Limitations of the Study The limitation or test of this work is how authentically it truly represents and interprets the narratives of the study participants. The aim of this research was to generate insights into the complex and multifaceted dynamics that influence teachers' worldviews on teaching by what they say they think and do.  This research focuses on how teachers’ construct an understanding of teaching and not on what are more effective practices.      93  The leading limitation is my role as researcher and the predispositions and biases I bring to my way of being and thinking.  Research is interpreted through the ontological and epistemic views of the researcher.  My epistemic lens will impose certain inferences and interpretations on the "art of hearing data” of how interview participants account for their experiences.  Such ways of thinking and believing about teaching are likely to impact any research results.  My present constructivist and pragmatist predilections are duly noted, as well as my previous, albeit lingering, technocratic reliance on and affinity for aspects of research based teaching methodologies to resolve teaching and educational challenges.   As a researcher, to mitigate and guard against such "conceptual baggage" of implicit assumptions and theoretical frameworks, I in effect contrasted my experience and understanding of teaching with those articulated by the study participants.  This facilitated not only an examination of the content of my research question but also reflections upon my own practice.  This self-searching was a continuous part of the research process to surface such implicit thinking to where it was more transparently examined.  Dissertation committee meetings, particularly early on, were instrumental in exposing my tacit technocratic predispositions.  Through these meetings, I more consciously contemplated my teaching practices.  This awareness assisted me in recognizing my preconceptions to ensure a more authentic appreciation for what study participants were saying.  Such attentiveness prompted me to keep in mind what I could and could not infer from collected participant narrations, as well as assisting me in what I could extract.  Basically, through such reflexivity as a researcher, I became gradually more consciously knowing of who I was as a practitioner and this clarity assisted me in recognizing my part in the shared production of knowledge.  I became more aware of the eyes I was seeing through and how they influenced my perceptions.     94  My use of the TPI survey had limitations as an instrument for considering the complexities and contingencies for how K-12 teachers constructed an understanding of teaching.  As an arbiter of perspectives of teaching, including adult education, the TPI describes purposes of teaching and not specific methodologies or styles of teaching which could be used within any teaching perspective.  Although the interviews supplemented and extended such data, so that teacher participants could include such information, the use of the survey may have constrained or de-emphasized such constituent understandings of teaching. Another limitation of the scope of this research, in how teachers constructed an understanding of teaching, was the confinement of this study to practicing teachers.  The focus of this study regarding ultimate conclusions and recommendations was on career track teachers with more teaching experience.  The intent was to study teachers who had created lasting careers for themselves and the influences upon them.  A beginning teacher was included in the study, although participants generally discounted their pre-service education from the hindsight of experience.  This is not to say that pre-service education does not influence understandings in some precursor manner, as was noted in some interviews.  Therefore, conclusions and recommendations based upon this study do not directly address pre-service teacher needs or understandings which would be worthy of other study.   Also, other limitations of the study may be imposed by the circumstance that participants shared recollections of past understandings and experiences.  Those memories may become abridged by more recent adjustments in understanding.  There are also limitations and distortions in how well we know ourselves and those recollections even become frailer when the story is years or decades old.  Another possible limitation is that some participants may have succumbed to the ‘social desirability’ influence of telling me what they wanted me (and others) to think of   95  them as teachers.  As well, some snowball sampling of participants, linked by various personal and professional associations, may also have increased the likelihood of “kindred spirits” sharing their understanding of teaching, something which could limit the diversity of data collected.  Clearly, there are limits to what I as a researcher could possibly know about what truly influenced these participants to become the teachers they have become.     Finally, the interview questions in themselves may guide or limit teacher responses.  Merely being asked these questions may call upon a participant to interpret or construct from an experience something they may not have given due consideration before.  Certainly, however, each interview was based upon the prior knowledge and experiences of each teacher participant. Although the literature review provided for a conceptual framework, it left opportunities for other interpretations to emerge from the data as evidence arose.     96  Chapter 4:  Research Findings There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. William Shakespeare  The purpose of this research was to examine how teachers in this study constructed their understanding of teaching.  As well as assisting me in reflecting upon my practice, such awareness has implications for a wider audience in understanding personal epistemologies that validate teaching actions as “worthy and justified.”  It is important to understand how teachers conceive and reflect upon their practice as well as what their methods and theories are.  However, in order to properly address the study question of how teachers construct an understanding of teaching, it is important to summarize and analyze the representative data of what teacher participants comprehend or wish to build as good teaching.  In order to respond to the study question, I present data according to the two phases in which I collected them. In this chapter, I first start by reviewing the TPI scores obtained from participants.  The aim of Phase I is to present or map out what are the most important facets of teaching as represented by TPI data.  This information is also later supplemented in Phase I by interview commentary directly responding to teacher insights on their teaching perspective profiles.  In Phase II, I expand upon the scope of data analysis by drawing upon participant stories about their teaching journeys of how they conceptualized teaching (see Appendices A-N for participant narratives).   This study is anchored on the premise that there are many different ways to understand teaching and what good teaching stands for (Pratt, 1992; Sumara and Davis, 2010).  By combining the TPI, which is a descriptive tool of teaching perspectives, with the interviews, as a reflexive tool, the aim of this study was to explore what understandings these teachers held and   97  how they came to know them.  The interviews provided substance and detail — muscle to the TPI bones if it were — about the influences that shaped teachers' understandings of teaching as determined by the TPI.  By using both these two sources of data — TPI and interviews — the study provided a complimentary and intelligible account of identifying what favored teaching perspectives teachers held as well as gathering insights into how teachers came to embrace a variety of perspectives about teaching.  4.1   Phase I:   Mapping Teacher Perspectives on Teaching  4.1.1   Synopsis In Phase I, the TPI inventory was used to map five distinctive approaches to teaching:  transmission, apprenticeship, developmental, nurturing and social reform.  The following three major Phase I findings are based upon TPI survey results, supplemented by teacher interview commentary concerning their TPI profiles.  The dominant themes or facets of understanding teaching arising from this data are: 1. Teachers exhibit a mixture of multifaceted configurations of teaching perspectives. TPI results suggest that teachers are not ideologically locked, as professionals, on particular constructs of teaching.  Rather, they pragmatically utilize a range of perspectives and tools for possible application.  As a group, teachers seem not to opt for “extremes” as panaceas to practice but rely on eclectic combinations to meet teaching challenges.  In commenting on their TPI results in the interviews, teachers view teaching as a process of progressive learning and practice with understandings changing, modifying or shifting over time.  This means that teachers understand teaching as dynamic change, adapting to changing contexts and building upon experience.  Teachers   98  are mindful of contexts as a characteristic of professionalism.  As such, pragmatism rather than ideology determines which perspectives are used as approaches when seeking means to defined ends.  The notion of what is good teaching is not fixed.  Their awareness of their experiences shifts over time suggesting that teacher identities change as well.   2.  Nurturing stands out as a highly favored teaching perspective.   Teachers acknowledge and recognize emotions as part of teaching and learning by building and maintaining caring relations with their students and colleagues.  For them, relational trust is a core aspect of practice that enables formative learning.  In commenting on their various TPI perspectives in the interviews, teachers value ethical consistency which serves as the will and inspiration that drives teacher actions.  Teaching is an expression of beliefs, intentions and actions.  Teaching is not a succession of simple acts of productivity.  Rather, it captures productive acts of thinking that celebrates connecting moral, emotional and intellectual ends. 3. For many teachers apprenticeship consists of developing teaching expertise through mastering methods and processes of teaching and learning.  Teachers consider this aspect of teaching as an important personal responsibility, thus establishing expertise in didactic pedagogy as a central practice of teaching.  In commenting on developing expertise, teachers acknowledge that improving judgments about teaching success and fluency is developed through collegial relationships, co-constructed learning opportunities and reflexive practice.  This highlights the multifaceted problem solving contextual nature of teaching in shaping understanding.  Developing understanding is an improvisational experience towards paradigms or ideals that may change over time.    99  Experiences grounded in collaborative relationships and co-constructed learning opportunities with other trusted educators are significant and are highly valued contributors to teaching understanding. 4.1.2   Analysis 4.1.2.1   TPI   TPI analysis in Phase I is represented in Table 4.1, Summary of TPI Participant Data, and Table 4.2, TPI Survey Statement Preferences for Beliefs (B), Intentions (I) and Actions (A).   Table 4.1 provides overall examined results, while Table 4.2 provides additional detail of TPI survey statement preferences.  Related teacher interview commentary elaborates on this data breakdown.    Table 4.1 Summary of TPI Participant Data  Perspective* Study Group Preferred Perspectives  (dominant or tied highest scores) K-12 TPI Normative Preferred Perspectives in wider TPI survey by Pratt & Collins ** Study Group Back-up Perspectives (next highest after dominant scores) Study Group Least Preferred Perspectives (lowest or recessive score)  Nurturing 64% 51% 7% 0% Apprenticeship 43% 37% 36% 0% Developmental 21% 19% 36% 0% Social Reform 7% 3% 21% 50% Transmission 7% 13% 7% 64% *Participants may hold more than one dominant, back-up (tie) or recessive perspective **See Appendix Q         Teacher understandings of teaching involve all five teaching perspectives to various degrees.  TPI results featured all five perspectives as a preference in the study as shown in Table 4.1, Summary of TPI Participant Data.  Therefore all perspectives reflected a favored purpose   100  and ideal of teaching at the time of the TPI survey.  All perspectives also had individuals choosing them as a preferred back-up perspective (next highest scored perspective after the dominant one).  Dominant and recessive perspectives are those scores one standard deviation or more respectively above or below the personal mean of all five of each participant’s TPI scores (Collins and Pratt, 2011).     Nurturing led with 64% of teachers favoring it as a widely held dominant perspective and an important undertaking in their understanding of teaching.  Within this group of teachers and for teachers in general (corroborated by K-12 TPI survey norms presented in Appendix Q), nurturing had the highest average preferential score of all perspectives.  Meaningful relationships created by teachers with students increase the likelihood of success particularly for students living in poverty and with a lack of opportunity (Pannoni, 2014).  This study group's preferential dominant perspective results also closely paralleled the larger K-12 TPI normative outcomes (see Appendix Q) with nurturing and apprenticeship at the top, developmental in the middle and transmission and social reform at the bottom.  The least preferred teaching perspectives of this group were social reform and transmission with no other perspectives recorded as recessive. In the interviews, the participating teachers generally indicated that the TPI reflected a reasonably accurate profile of their perspectives on teaching overall (see Appendices A-N).  Such participant observations were based upon their initial taking of the TPI questionnaire and their understanding of what the perspectives meant when the interviews were conducted (the TPI survey was done first).  TPI perspectives were not explained prior to the taking of the questionnaire, so as to not bias any results due to prior judgments based upon teaching perspective titles and definitions.  Following the TPI survey, participants either read about the   101  perspectives on line to clarify what the concepts were or briefly asked questions about them during the interviews.   Social reform tended to have the most questions asked about it as an approach whose emphasis was reforming some aspect of society through your teaching related to values or ideology.  This concept was viewed as more directive in design than most study participants explicitly desired as none choose it as a dominant perspective (one participant chose it as a tied highest score).  Teacher interview commentary generally emphasized individual students in terms of progress as much as any consideration of collective student results. Due to social reform not being a dominant score among study participants, these K-12 teachers may interpret social reform as an implicit by-product of collective individual success which many might argue is the purpose of schooling.  A few connected systemic change of teaching practices as a collective reform of the education system, particularly as it relates to British Columbia.     Some participants did express surprise at the strength they held a certain perspective or not.  For example, both Elise and Mandy indicated during the interview that they did not think of themselves as "nurturing" as a dominant perspective on teaching. On the other hand, Kevin was "disappointed" that his nurturing perspective did not score higher, as he felt that was his dominant view in understanding teaching.  In explaining his TPI results, he said that, "When I answered those [TPI] questions the way I did, I might have pulled that score down a bit because frankly I think I am a very nurturing teacher. That is probably one of the things that defines me as a teacher is that I really care you know.  It's probably true of most teachers."  In Mandy’s case she felt her social reform perspective should have been her most dominant based upon her perception of where she is currently as a teacher. Mandy affirmed that with her Aboriginal   102  background she was not surprised that social reform is so high for her, observing that, "I would have thought that it would have come out as the highest one [it was second highest]."    Comments from transmission recessive teachers like Fiona mentioned her struggle with transmission, "I really felt that our role of teachers is changing because I think we are now more sort of coaches for learning. There is no way we can know everything about content anymore because it is changing so rapidly … the Internet is going to be far more valuable than you could ever be."  This perspective was followed by social reform with seven of fourteen participants indicating that this was their recessive teaching perspective.  Participants like Corrine stated, " … teaching French is not about changing society … to instill beliefs in children … that is not our job … that is the parent's job" (subject areas may have an influence on teaching perspectives and be worthy of further study).  None of the other perspectives received a recessive score from a participant, indicating apprenticeship, developmental and nurturing perspectives are currently perceived by these teachers as favored ways of understanding grade school teaching.    The large number of recessive scores for transmission amongst this group seems to be a contextual environmental shift in understanding teaching over the past decades or so.  Transmission was apparently initially seen as a dominant perspective early on in their careers by some participants.   Ready access to information through technology appears to be providing much impetus to this change in perception.  This rethinking of key curricular outcomes for education towards a more process or skills based approach emphasizes the how of learning rather than coverage of subject topics as learning.  Teachers appear more as coaches, guides or facilitators of learning rather than just purveyors of information in this evolving understanding of teaching.     103  Interview comments relating to the developmental perspective highlighted teacher perceptions that students should develop abilities to think critically and constructively rather than be just repositories of information.  Ivan's remarks as a developmental teacher were quite typical of some teachers in getting students to reason and think.  He shared that he tries to get students to try "to make sense of the material rather than me making sense for them."  The apprenticeship perspective of highly skilled teaching making learning accessible for a range of learners likewise had interview commentary responding to the importance of such expertise.  For example, Lee as an apprenticeship dominant teacher made observations such as, "inquiry is the best way for students to learn as it puts them at the center of their learning" as well as "in order to turn on those light bulbs for other teachers, I have to be forward learning myself."   Social reform was only held by Holly as a highest score (although tied with her apprenticeship and nurturing).  It also received strong support from Mandy, Fiona, Jenny and Gwen as well in their respective TPI responses relating to beliefs, intentions or actions (see Appendix P).  These five teachers held the highest scores in the social reform TPI category, perhaps due to three of the five having single parent or vulnerable formative experiences or both.  Social reform themes were supported by comments like: "I think in the next decade you will see more practitioners linking to researchers because it does have an effect upon policy. The stronger we build that bridge, the better the system will get".   Jenny's social reform comments around actions reinforced her interest in providing students with more opportunities and supports to succeed. "I think it is crucial we start giving them [students] more voice and the ability to actually invoke change or have impact on anything whether it is their learning or something they are passionate about whatever that might be."  A comment from Holly was another example of some teachers in this study with strong social   104  reform minded sympathies: "I want them [students] to remember the role they play in society. How they contribute and give back to their society. How they make a difference. How they become that citizen we can all be proud of." Views expressed by participants seem to indicate that the importance of social reform may be a more implied than explicit perspective.  Many of the teachers talked about improving student skillsets to survive, if not thrive, in later life which could eventually make an indirect collective difference in how society functions.  Although improving student skillsets on their own may not lead to social reform as a specific initiative, it is likely a preparatory state or precursor condition to provide the means and awareness to do it at some point. Therefore, it has the potential for students to live more fulfilling lives from that consideration of social justice which was mentioned by several teachers.   For most teachers in this group, although not all, social reform is viewed not so much in the aggregate as an activist teaching agenda.  Rather, if collectively transforming society is to be done, it is focused on the individual success of each student or of the effectiveness of each teacher to those ends.  These teachers view teaching as bringing hope and potential to society one student at a time.  Such teachers are not out there campaigning for a specific social reform cause in their teaching, unless as, in a few cases, it is changing the way teachers collectively teach.   These latter teachers, like Gwen, with an individual recessive score profile for the social reform perspective, still sat at the 95th percentile in overall K-12 TPI norms for this perspective (see Appendix Q).  Such percentile scores compare her to many other teachers but her dominant and recessive scores only contrast her high scores with her low scores.  Her higher support for social reform action statements, with a six point difference between her actions over her beliefs   105  (see Appendix P), provides evidence, as does her interview, on the importance of professional learning to change the system as she says by "doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do."  If improving society is defined as ways to advance teachers' knowledge and skills, or the potential for student successes in life, then social change thinking is a presence in the teaching of some of these teachers.  Teachers, like Gwen, coming from vulnerable or impoverished backgrounds do regard providing improved teaching and student support initiatives as opportunities to help society through more student success.   Moreover, a number of teachers revealed in their narratives that, through networks and professional outreach, they advocate with other teachers to systemically change teaching practices to what they regard as better ways to teach.  Such teachers, if not the initial innovators, are certainly strong early adopters of what they see as more promising teacher practices and use their influence with other teachers towards those ethically viewed ends.   The following Table 4.2, TPI Survey Statement Preferences for Beliefs (B), Intentions (I) and Actions (A), condenses the teacher participants’ TPI survey responses by displaying the highest rated always Beliefs, Intentions and Actions (BIA) statements for each perspective.  These statements are those beliefs, intentions and actions identified as being strongly held, as always, on the TPI Likert scale.  The collective frequency of "always", as the respective "hot" button for each teaching perspective statement, identifies a prioritized or preferred response.  This clearly discloses the most commonly held BIA sentiments and are reflective of the teaching cultures teachers would like to construct.   There were only five never responses (compared to 223 always responses) recorded by this group of participants. One never was logged for a transmission statement and four noted within social reform for teaching focusing on societal change.  Such a relative lack of categorical   106  rejection signifies a more pragmatic approach about teaching.  Teachers evidently have favored approaches to teaching, but not at the expense of considering other perspectives as teaching contexts and experiences to develop teacher understanding.    Table 4.2 TPI Survey Statement Preferences for Beliefs (B), Intentions (I) and Actions (A) Perspective Dimension Statement % Agreement in Group % of Survey Total of Always Statements  Nurturing  Held as dominant perspective or co-supportive high score by  9/14 teachers B  It’s important that I acknowledge learners’ emotional reactions. 71%    31%   I  I want to provide a balance between caring and challenging as I teach.   86% A  I find something to compliment in everyone’s work or contribution. 50% Apprenticeship  Held as dominant perspective or co-supportive high score by  6/14 teachers B  To be a good teacher, one must be a good practitioner. 71%  22% I  I want people to understand the realities of working in the real world. 50% A  I model the skills and methods of good practice.   50% Developmental  Held as dominant perspective or co-supportive high score by 3/14 teachers B  Teaching should build upon what people already know.   43%  22% I   My goal is to help people develop more complex ways of reasoning. 64% A  I ask a lot of questions while teaching.     71% Social Reform  Held as co-supportive high score by 1/14 teachers B  For me, teaching is a moral act as much as an intellectual activity. 57%   16%  I  My goal is to challenge people to seriously reconsider their values. 29% A  I emphasize values more than knowledge in my teaching. 43%  Transmission  Held as dominant perspective by 1/14 teachers B  Learning is enhanced by having predetermined objective. 57%  9% I  I want people to score well on examinations as a result of my teaching. 21% A  I make it very clear to people what they are to learn. 29%  The nurturing perspective intention of  I want to provide a balance between caring and challenging as I teach drew the most always responses with 86% of participants selecting it.  Nurturing also received the most always BIA statements with 31% of always statements   107  referring to this perspective.   As well, this perspective was ranked as the most favored among this group with nine of 14 teachers having it as their dominant or co-supportive high score.  This result illustrates that understanding teaching as both a cognitive and emotional human experience is significantly held by this group.   The Apprenticeship perspective was the second most widely held by participants as a dominant perspective.  To be a good teacher, one must be a good practitioner was held as always by 71% of survey participants. Through such a strongly held statement, this shows support and respect for the role and modeling of on-the-job expert practice.  This was corroborated by the apprenticeship intention statement I want people to understand the realities of working in the real world and the apprenticeship action statement I model the skills and methods of good practice as significant 50% always responses within this group. The developmental perspective also had strong support shown for participant intentions and actions in what teachers hoped to accomplish.  To help people develop more complex ways of reasoning was cited by 64% of participants as an always intention of teaching.  The statement I ask a lot of questions while teaching had 71% of participants indicating that as a developmental action they always do this.  These strongly held statements reveal that teachers intend that teaching and learning involves inquiry and cognitive processes that enhance thinking.  This is noteworthy as it establishes thinking or reasoning as an important technical aspect of teaching as well as a strongly held intention about teaching.  In the social reform perspective, 57% of participants always held the social reform belief statement of for me, teaching is a moral act as much as an intellectual activity.  Always intending to challenge people to reconsider their values was held by 29%.  It is evident some K-12 teachers do want to change and enhance collective student lives in social reform mindedness   108  ways in some fashion. This confirms the influences of constructing teaching as a strong ethical practice about impacting society.  However, social reform did receive mixed reviews with 21% of teachers describing the social reform belief statement of "My teaching focuses on societal change, not the individual learner” as something they never do.  The most controversial statement also came from social reform.  The social reform action statement “I emphasize values more than knowledge in my teaching” received 43% always responses but 7% as a never response. Similarly, transmission received a mixed response.  One teacher indicated that she never had as a goal to prepare people for content-related examinations. Transmission, as a dominant perspective, was only held by one teacher.  However, 57% of teachers always agreed with the transmission belief statement that learning is enhanced by having predetermined objectives. By this evidence, most teachers in this study believe in objectives guiding their practice whatever their dominant perspective.  These teachers appear to believe that their teaching is enhanced by planning to accomplish particular learning outcomes or goals as a purpose of their practice.  Having the end in mind of what students should learn as a product of their teaching is clearly important to these teachers. Other transmission statements received low scoring responses.  Since a variety of dominant or recessive teaching perspectives are derived as degrees of preferences for certain beliefs, intentions and actions, Tables 4.1 and 4.2 importantly show that all teacher participants held composite profiles. Beliefs, intentions and actions in non-dominant perspectives were a part of their understanding of teaching as well with few never scores.  Teaching is an amalgam of nuances of beliefs, intentions and actions with the potential to utilize or develop nascent dominant perspectives as the needs and contexts arise in teaching.  Such a complex composite of shades and tones of perspectives provides the resources and notions for   109  further inquiries into what works for each teacher in their teaching.   It belies, to some extent, the obdurate reputation for teachers to be unbending and inflexible to change in what they do, especially when combined with an open mind to exploring possibilities.   4.1.2.2   Interviews  Based upon teacher interview commentary, Table 4.3 Extent of Agreement among Participants Regarding Teaching, encapsulates the final thematic coding of understanding teaching.   After sequential analysis, the four final thematic results came to be: process, interdependence, judgment and self-expression.  The reasoning behind these themes is represented in this table by synthesized interview commentary represented as significant results.   The importance of process, as gradually becoming more proficient and expert like as a practitioner, was confirmed by having all 14 teachers report in various ways that this is an understanding of teaching that they had.  These teachers acknowledged that their perceptions of teaching changed over time or in the case of a new teacher very likely to.  These teachers mentioned constantly searching for what works for them within a particular context and point in time.  The ebbs and flows of practice accentuate latent or moderate current teaching preferences, and the degree to which certain teaching perspectives are relatively important.  This was a common theme pertaining to the influences brought on by their teaching experiences and the various teaching contexts they engaged with over their respective careers. All participants indicated that over time their on-the-job insights about what teaching was and how to go about it informed and constructed their understanding of teaching.   Interdependent understandings were a crucial element in teaching and were also critical to how teachers came to construct an understanding of teaching.  Abigail, for example,    110  Table 4.3 Extent of Agreement among Participants Regarding Teaching  Analysis  Final Thematic Coding and Findings % Agreeing (total 14 participants) Understandings of Teaching Significant Results Based on Interviews Summaries Process  Full agreement 100%   Teaching involves adapting and changing ways to teach to fit the situation  Perceptions of teaching changes over time – teaching is a dynamic process  Importance of an inquiry approach in developing teaching skills and knowledge through reflection and persistence — “I practiced for years to get that right.” Interdependence  Full agreement: 100%   Teaching is more than transmission in “checking off curriculum boxes”  Teaching is more than just technical competence with relationships key to teaching success with students and colleagues  Importance of learning skills and refining knowledge through collaboration with trusted or kindred spirit colleagues and mentors either in professional conversations or watching others teach; learning from highly skilled colleagues in areas of need or jointly pursuing learning by engaging in similar inquiry High Agreement: 71%   Learning through formal or informal networks  Importance of emotional connections and support from trusted colleagues and mentors; "spiritual, emotional level"  - similar bonding as to band of brothers and sisters in working in comparable challenging circumstances  Teachers acknowledged helpfulness of professional reading and investigating specific teaching methodologies through workshops and in-service in getting ideas and gaining awareness of other approaches to teaching Partial Agreement: 57%  Cultural influences of communities teachers grew up in as widening or narrowing expectations, support and opportunities mentioned as a influence on how they teach Judgment  Full Agreement: 100%  Teaching judgments improve through practice as the teacher becomes immersed in learning from the everyday whirl of doing High Agreement: 86%  Formative student assessment is critical to teaching and encouraging students High Agreement 71%  Teaching involves creativity and inventiveness to facilitate engagement in student learning  Self-Expression  Full Agreement 100%  Teaching intentions and actions arise from beliefs — sometimes not explicitly held but shown in the doing Partial Agreement 57%  Feelings about how teaching should be done or not done by teachers — “it is the right thing to do”   emphasized that working collaboratively with other teachers on common interests and challenges was the strongest way she knows to improve practice.  Elise stated that she has "mostly been   111   impacted by what has worked with me in the classroom." What she struggled with was what taught her to be creative and organized.  Fiona talked of practicing for years to get it right or close to right. "It is part of the learning process to be able to work away at something until it is right and know how to gets supports around that …"  Gwen concluded that "We are all learners and we are all teachers.  That is just the way it is."  These experiences affirm the notion of constructing an understanding of teaching as process which will be examined further later.     The relationship building aspect of teaching strongly resonated with the data found in the interviews.  Teachers, although acknowledging technical competence as an important part of teaching, also emphasized relationships as key to teaching success.  It was a major teacher satisfier along with collegiality.  As a matter of example: Gwen responded that "wise teaching comes from really getting to know your students" and "you need to have empathy around who they are as individuals."  Holly focused on "the needs of the entire child and all children".  Abigail indicated that if you can't connect with students then it is hard to teach them.  This sentiment was shared by all the remaining teachers when interviewed.  It is a significant aspect of teaching and a strong influence on successful teaching as described by these teachers.  The improving of judgment to enable fluent teaching came out as well as a consistent understanding of teaching.  The application of good judgment was essential for successful teaching as articulated by these teachers.  Self-expression was often cited by teachers as to why they do what they do in their teaching.  Teachers identified with certain beliefs, intentions and actions to create the type of teaching they deemed as purposeful and fulfilling.  These themes will be expanded upon in the upcoming Phase II of Chapter 4.          112  4.2   Phase II:   How do Teachers' Construct an Understanding of Teaching? 4.2.1   Synopsis How did teachers come to perceive teaching in the way they now do?  What do they tell about their journeys and the experiences which foster their current understanding of teaching?    By drawing on the interview data, I reflected upon how these teachers came to construct their understanding of teaching.  To that end I theorized understanding of teaching as process, interdependence, judgment and self-expression.  Interview findings point to these four interactive dimensions of how teachers engage in their professional journeys to construct an understanding of teaching:   1) Practices or processes in the acts of doing the work itself are key ways to construct understanding.  Teachers constructed an understanding of teaching based upon a progression of experiences in consideration of present and further technical needs.  Getting more self-confident and technically fluent through on-going practice to meet the complexities of their teaching was instrumental in shaping their teaching. 2) Interdependence as contexts and relationships for where teachers were situated played a role enabling and sometimes limiting horizons of practice. The openness and awareness of individual teacher minds were shaped by exposure to possibilities of practice created by accessibility to the collective knowledge of near and far collegial experiences.  This included managerial considerations and mandates about teaching practice. 3) Reflective thinking or judgments enhance how teachers come to understand teaching.  This metacognitive dimension of judgment increased awareness of possibilities by deliberating upon the means and ends of previous actions, events or   113  decisions, including ethical implications.  This allowed for refinements or changes in practice.   4) Self-determinative convictions or self-expression that articulate teacher individualities around ideals and agency that drive teacher motivation was the other constructive dimension. Both professional and humanistic concerns were matters corresponding to teaching perspectives of what ought to be done.   4.2.2   Analysis of Interviews The analysis of how teachers construct an understanding of teaching is highlighted in Table 4.4 How do Teachers Construct an Understanding of Teaching?  Successive syntheses of initial coding of the interviews lead to the conceptual categories shown in the table which will be elaborated upon further.      Table 4.4  How do Teachers Construct an Understanding of Teaching?  Dimensions Elements  Process   Building Expertise   Progression of Theory & Practice   Interdependence   Social capital   Relationships   Collegial Collaboration & Networks   Organizational Culture  Power and Control  Judgment   Pragmatic/technical  Ethical   Enabling  Practical Wisdom   Self-Expression   Beliefs  Intentions  Actions  Identity  Mindset/motivation   114  The Dimensions referred to in Table 4.4, constitute the complex phenomenon of teaching sorted and arranged into further subsets of inter active constituents or elements.   Such complex arrangements are interconnected and serve as a network of pathways along which the various perspectives of understanding teaching are created.  With multiple networked interrelated influential pathways for individual involvements, each teacher has the self-regulative idiosyncratic capacity for change.   Unlike our bias to think linearly in understanding or explaining things after the fact, based upon the power of reflection, our lived experiences exist in a frequent if not constant state of hectic interactions.  This often requires improvisational creative interventions as relayed by the participants in this study.  Formative experiences often are unanticipated and are therefore not dependent on a single point or location for direction and control of change.   Circumstances create intensely personal teaching moments in time as expressions of identity.  Understanding teaching is more than the sum of its parts due to its merging innovative nature in setting new directions or ways of thinking.   The complex phenomenon of teaching has undertones of principles of professional freedom and liberation to fully exploit diverse teaching opportunities.  An assortment of sources for growth has a democratic nature and a didactic purpose of promoting the spread of beliefs, intentions and actions to assist teachers in their obligations towards others as well as towards themselves.  Understanding teaching requires the consent of those learning its means and ends, and a shared consent of polishing and refining of self through collective social interaction.   The consideration of these observations are explored in the remaining commentary describing how teachers come to construct an understanding.  Each Dimension of Practice is built through various Elements arising from an analysis of the interviews. After a brief   115  reintroduction to each Dimension, the Elements of constructing an understanding of teaching are elaborated upon.     4.2.3  Teaching as Process Teaching as a process refers to gradual increments of ever deeper understanding over time in the ability to organize, integrate, and combine teaching knowledge and skills to meet student needs.  Teaching as a progressive process was an integral part of learning the technical aspects of teaching as represented in these teacher interviews.  All interviewed teachers reported gaining much knowledge and understanding of teaching by engaging with the results of their teaching.  Such experiences helped shape perceptual understandings and gave rise to preferences for, or awareness of, different teaching perspectives.  4.2.3.1   Process as Building Expertise Teaching as a process was upheld by these teacher stories.  Learning by doing, through trial and error, finding what works for them in their teaching contexts, helped them build both the greater expertise and confidence to read and react to situations.  Abigail described it as "trying something, seeing how that went and then refining it and trying it again – that back and forth interaction."  Fiona even talked about the work of teachers as not only informing teacher practice but research as well in providing an "impetus … to having an effect on systemic change."  As their sagacity in teaching proficiency and dexterity developed, many of the participants talked about their sense of ‘flow’ that arose in such contexts.  Elise described those moments as “almost like I am unaware of myself” as an intuitive kind of sense like a “jazz thing.”  Fiona called such a process as being nimble, flexible, adapting and changing and tweaking the lesson to keep it on track.  "I have had to redesign my whole instructional intention of what I was going to do with   116  them … that's because I am constantly tweaking … I will even do it in the middle of a lesson … I am tweaking constantly to try to get it back on track to where I need it to go or, gee, I thought that was the learning intention but obviously that's not going to be it.  I might have to begin down here and scaffold to that."  Even a teacher as young as Kevin talked about this concept, reminiscing about how his Taekwondo instruction over time began to help him recognize the patterns and flow of various moves to predict what will likely happen next and react to it seamlessly:    I spent hours and hours holding targets, holding bags, watching people  do the most basic elements of martial arts over and over again.  You  notice so many little things.  You do that for so long that the next time  you go into a competition and you are sparring with somebody and  you recognize the smallest shift of weight, the smallest movement in  their body, gives away everything that they are about to do.  You see  that because you have seen that in hundreds of students in hundreds  of hours of training.  It's the same in other subject areas too. 4.2.3.2    Process as Progression  In teaching as process, all participants mentioned their open and willing mindset towards change or risk taking in order to meet teaching challenges as being an influence in improving their opportunities and general enlightenment about teaching.  Corrine appeared the most resistant to initially changing her practice but, over time, she said that she acknowledged the need to change her teaching approach after reflecting on her practice and working on her Master’s degree.  This inclination and disposition to a progression of thoughtful amendment,   117  adjustment or transformation of one's ways of being and understanding of teaching seems to be a prerequisite for growth in confidence and in gaining expertise in teaching.    These transitions in teaching were emphasized by the concept of "journeying" coming up a great deal in the teacher interview narratives. Donna, Beatrice, Holly, Mandy and Nolan used this word in explaining their understanding of teaching.  Others, such as Abigail, used terms like “life long drive” to describe her growth and persistence in becoming a better informed and accomplished teacher.  Elise defined this search for improving her understanding of teaching as “looking for the way.”  Fiona, Gwen and Holly spoke of this pursuit for greater success in terms of "a movement."  This drive to change was portrayed by these three teachers (all with provincial or district teacher experience) to be as much of a concerted big picture development as an individual portrait or path.  Words like “flipping” or “tipping” and “the right thing to do” or “fighting for” were used for changing the education system.  None of the participants talked about this change in mechanistic or linear connotations, but rather identified a gradual reflexive growth process or recognition of such over time.    Of all interviewed teachers, 11 out of 14 thought of their teaching transitions as "evolutionary" in nature.  The remaining three indicated such changes were likely dawning upon them in a similar fashion but were noticed in moments of time rather than gradually.  For instance, Ivan, as one of the minority of three in this group, talked of these perceptions of transition in his teaching as “setting a fire” or like a “spark” that ignited the latent fuel that was there.  He also used the term “crystallization of things” that makes it possible for one's practice to take shape.  Nolan spoke of these times as feelings in his brain that something had moved prior to subsequent shifts in his practice.  "I feel that in a lot of my shifts I've known before I have shifted.  It has taken me a year or two to feel it out and try some things and talk to people   118  about other resources before I am able to shift the practice to feel more proficient or comfortable with it."  Kevin articulated his transitions as remembering the moments when you notice something has changed.  He elaborated that he doesn’t know if this means it happened suddenly, or whether it was just the first time he noticed this change: Honestly, I have no idea but I can always remember when you notice that something has   changed.  I don't know if that means it happens suddenly or if that is the first time I noticed but I remember those moments…in martial arts…on practicums when I was first learning how to teach music.  Sometimes it can be really, really sudden…all of a sudden [clicks fingers] I realized wow I can do that [laughs].  Who knew?   The transitions appeared to have a theme amongst these participants from a subject or content based initial approach, often perceived as a transmission perspective, towards a more student centered needs practice.  This pattern was supported by the most popular intention in the TPI survey being the nurturing comment, “I want to provide a balance between caring and challenging as I teach” with virtually all 12 of 14 indicating they always do that.   Another theme that arose in process as a progression of teacher understanding was providing students with the skills and tools to learn rather than just covering prescribed content.  This was particularly important for those scoring high in nurturing in order to build up all round student competencies without sacrificing encouraging relationship considerations.  Abigail highlighted this by saying the system needed to shift from grade content and rote learning to an emphasis on strategies and processes of learning.  This was a prevalent theme among study participants, likely echoing a popular refrain in the educational reform debate.  Beatrice talked of a limited focus on academics to the exclusion of the ‘spiritual and emotional’ side.  Over her career Corrine noticed this shift to be more inclined to student than subject focused.  She talked   119  about the lives of students influencing what matters (and this sensitivity from a transmission dominant teacher). "I think I did change over 32 years to be more accepting … When you teach, you encounter situations that change your perceptions."   Elise described her teacher centered to student centered teaching enlightenment passage as "connection, clarity and formative assessment" culminating in a "sense of knowing where the kids are at and where you want to go.  Just going beyond where you think they can go.  Constantly getting feedback and keeping them moving, moving, moving."  Gwen talked about the importance of emotional trust in order for students to engage.  Jenny similarly mentioned the struggle to “fight to retain your humanity” in what she described as the education mass production system.  Mandy, at some narrative length, said there was a need to look at learning more holistically.  Education in her view is too tipped to cognitive and academic objectives rather than a balance with spiritual, cultural and the emotional side of ourselves.  This imbalance, in part, she poignantly explained, is likely one of the reasons why Aboriginal students struggle so much within schools.   All participants commented that their teaching perspectives have likely changed over the years (Kevin thought his profile would change but he had only been teaching for two weeks as a music teacher).  This was a universal theme pertaining to the influences brought on by their teaching experiences and the various teaching contexts they engaged with over their respective careers.  All participants indicated that over time their progression of on the job insights about what teaching was, and how to go about it, informed and constructed their understanding of teaching in both its practical and ethical dimensions.  This affirms the notion of teaching as process.       120  For instance, Abigail commented that "a lot of what I learned was through experience" and "I have always been building on my knowledge and trying to find out more."  She went on to say, "It is not just reading a book and knowing about it.  It's applying it, trying it, retrying."  Beatrice confirmed this method of understanding teaching by stating, "Every day I go away, sort of evaluating and analyzing, thinking what can I do differently next round?  I think I have evolved quite a bit." Corrine remarked, "Kids got initially a different experience than what they would have later on.  I think you have to be willing to be always learning as a teacher . . .  if that doesn't work … try something different. Oh, this worked great.  I will use it next year and adapt it a bit. It is an evolving thing."   Elise summarized her teaching intentions as similar to an elastic image of engaging and stretching as far as she can go each time, every time, as she gradually improves like exercise.    Donna captured her implementation dip like experience this way, "… in the beginning you are failing more … but you are actually learning and the learning curve is huge."  Fiona talked about the constant being change:  "We are always changing and growing [our practice]." She continued that she is "always struggling to be more effective" by thinking "what could I have done differently? … It is like a puzzle.  I just keep persevering until if figure it out."   Holly stated she is a very different teacher today than when she was younger as she reflected that her teaching "has gone deeper" and is less concerned with "course content and summative driven assessment."   Ivan talked about his teaching as process journey as gains in competence and mastery from a "focus on the course content itself" to the "processes of learning."  His understanding of how learning happens he explained has been a "big shift."  Kevin talked about teaching as process as "persisting on things and working on it until they become so natural that you can see a   121  few movements and you can predict what will happen … that is what happens to classrooms … with teachers who are very accomplished."  Mandy struck an important point in highlighting her dissatisfaction with her lack of success in struggling to teach reading.  This caused her to search out other ways to teach reading until a method made sense to her and brought better results.  This process transitioned to other subject areas or as Mandy explained "grew into creative thinking, innovative thinking and global citizenship."   Nolan summarized his teaching as learning process as taking a "year or two to feel it out and try some things and talk to people about other resources before I am able to shift the practice to feel more proficient or comfortable in it."   The stories told by the teachers I interviewed confirm that they are constructing their understanding of teacher over time by their ongoing learning as they go about being engaged in what they are doing.  It appears to be both a systemic process, part of the teaching culture by their belief in continuous learning, and an individual effort with specific participant intentions to get better and take actions appropriate to what they are currently facing.  This experiential dimension of teaching as a process to develop technical expertise and greater awareness of the strategic implications of teaching is a fundamental part of coming to construct an understanding of teaching over time.  It is accomplished by the doing and the reflection upon such experiences both individually and collectively with others. Teacher interviews related that they improve through their practice. What was working in the mind of the teacher mediated their practice.  Fiona summarized this sense of professional progression, after 34 years of teaching, as feeling "more renewed and excited about learning and the profession than I ever have."     122  4.2.4   Teaching as Interdependence By the nature of their work, teachers teach within the context of school organizations and societal attitudes and expectations about teaching.  Teaching settings did shape understandings and such understandings shaped experiences.  Teachers learned from whom they were with or associated with.  The extent of what teachers can accomplish through such interactions and interdependent influences is an important consideration in constructing a teacher's understanding of teaching.   The connection between teaching practice in what teachers know and do to meet student learning needs is as much an interdependent cultural construction as it is learning specific technical applications of various instructional methodologies over time.  In light of this study, the most prevalent specific influence of how teachers individually constructed their understanding of teaching is associated with the professional communal environments near and far that teachers created or found themselves in.  Those teachers interviewed recognized that subsequent critical reflections had the potential to shift their individual teaching beliefs and intentions with appropriate adaptations over time.  This is due to the influence of social and organizational contexts in supporting or challenging their teaching actions.  However, preliminary insights about teaching and developing personal values, as shared by these participants, were often initiated during their formative years prior to the start of a career of in teaching.  Let's look at the findings that underpin these observations.  4.2.4.1   Interdependence as Social Capital  The participants in this study reported (see Appendices A-N) various personal experiences arising from seminal background social involvements which shaped their approach to or interest in teaching.  Family or home life, community contexts, their own K-12 schooling   123  and practicum experiences were mentioned by various participants.  Ten of 14 participants indicated some aspect of home life experiences or expectations that fashioned why or how they go about teaching.  Most of these experiences were positive and supportive but some were of situations they had to overcome to get to where they are.  Five of 14 teachers mentioned single parent households or challenging family circumstances to overcome.  Other teachers, including these five, also spoke of formative role models in their homes or in their communities that helped shape their beliefs and commitments to relationships and working with people.  These developmental experiences did provide a basis for later intentions and actions in their lives.  For instance, Gwen confided that she was raised in poor socioeconomic circumstances with the stigma, low expectations and relational trust issues that went along with that.  She acknowledged that she always "had to be very strong inside myself to be able to let these people in [later teaching colleagues] because I have always been afraid of being judged.  I have been judged all my life."  Due to that experiential context she still sometimes feels vulnerable to this day.  It also gave Gwen the impetus and drive "to do something to get out of here" as a childhood friend related to her.   Elise divulged that her upbringing in a fervently religious home strongly influenced her aversion to orthodoxy of all types which she perceives as propaganda.  As a result, she has a "hard time with the approach of I will tell you what you should value because I'm right and you're not because I am more enlightened."  She elaborated that teachers are "not going to change because you told them to.  Change does not come from the outside in."  Elise concluded that the exhortations by others to change your practice are "like religion":  "We are part of the in group and you are not.  We're the enlightened ones and you are still in the dark."  These past experiences in her family, she pointed out, created a strong skepticism about touted external   124  educational fixes to complex contextual teaching challenges or to imposed change.  Her strong apprenticeship profile speaks to her robust belief as teacher as practitioner that the learning comes from the setting and circumstances you are in.  Elise believes that the necessity for change exists in the mind of the individual.  Change processes for Elise are more successful being driven from the inside out. This conception began due to her home life experience.  Many of the interviewed teachers mentioned the expectations of their mother in particular as a key experience.  Abigail mentioned her parental expectations to continue education and the role modeling of her single parent mother in getting her degree while raising a family as being highly influential.  Beatrice cited her mother as a major reader, classical scholar and her interest in politics and the state of the world as being influential in inspiring Beatrice's educational path. Her mother - daughter sharing times gave Beatrice the insight to see the "beauty of the world" "from a stained glass window to a glowing sunset" and impressed upon her daughter her role in contributing to it.  Donna related her single mother's example in believing that her daughter should get an education as a strong family value.  Somehow her mom managed to support her financially to fulfill such desires.  This role modelling strongly influenced Donna's drive and commitment to complete her education and eventually obtain a Master's degree.  Jenny indicated her mother was one of the greatest influences in her life.  Her single mother's philosophy of identifying your objective and constantly reflecting and assessing as you move towards your objective was particularly influential.  Jenny recalled her mother's words of "the only question at the end of the day is how close are you to where you want to be" as becoming Jenny's maxim.  Kevin reported that his single mother home schooled him until his secondary years.  Her high standards and mentorship influence him to this day.      125  In contradistinction, Corrine reported that her parents