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Managing the dilemmas of learning to teach: an exploration of the strategies used by pre-service science… Rodriguez, Alberto J. 1994

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MANAGING THE DILEMMAS OF LEARNING TO TEACH: AN EXPLORATION OF THE STRATEGIES USED BY PRE-SERVICE SCIENCE TEACHERS By Alberto J. Rodriguez.-B.Sc, The University of New Brunswick, 1980 B.Ed., The University of Lethbridge, 1988 A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Curriculum and Instruction) in The Faculty of Graduate Studies Department of Mathematics and Science Education We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August, 1994 © Alberto J. Rodriguez, 1994 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. (Signature) Department of <;^c<?^Jr^<-ty''v/uC^-^^ J^^^^g'^^^-fe? The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date ^ ^ ^ ^ ^y/f/ DE-6 (2/88) Abstract The purpose of this study was to investigate the dilemmas pre-service science teachers encounter in relation to their participation in a project which sought to establish a constructivist and collaborative model of teaching and learning. I also explored the strategies the pre-service teachers implemented to manage the dilemmas they encountered, as well as how they perceived those dilemmas to have influenced their teaching practice and their personal philosophies of teaching and learning (PPoTaL). Since the construct of voice was an important factor in this study, I used a research method that I refer to as intercontext. This method has three major components: stimulated linkage, reflexivity and the dialectical conversation. To enact this research method, I conducted five interviews with each of the six pre-service teachers over the 12-month period of their professional preparation. In addition, I had many informal conversations with them and observed them several times during their university and school practicum experiences. I argued that social constructivism provides a fruitful theoretical framework to interpret the results of this study, because this orientation to teaching and learning is based on the notion that knowledge is socially constructed and mediated by.cultural, historical and institutional codes. In this light, three broad dilemmas were identified in relation to the students' experiences with the teacher education program's course content and design and six dilemmas were identified in relation to the roles the participants felt they needed to perform during their school practicum. The variety of dilemmas the pre-service teachers encountered and the direct and indirect strategies they implemented to manage those dilemmas could be explained in terms of two overarching issues. The first had to do with the difficulties associated with bridging the theory and practice of learning to teach in two distinct communities of practice (i.e., in the university and the school communities). The second general factor had to do with the type of relationship the pre-service teachers established with their school advisor(s) or/and faculty advisor; that is, from the the students' point of view they wondered to what extent they could frtvsf their advisors to allow them to take the risks associated with asking questions, trying innovative approaches in the classroom, and exploring their own teaching identity without any of these reflecting negatively in their final evaluation reports. Finally, a number of suggestions for practice and further research are provided. Table of Contents Abstract jj Table of Contents iv List of Tables ix List of Figures x Acknowledgements xi CHAPTER 1 Laying Down the Invisible Boundaries 1 I. Locating Myself in Relation to the Study 1 II. Locating this Study in Relation to Other Studies 4 III. Locating the Methodological Issues Identified in this Study in Relation to Other Studies 7 IV. Overview of the Document 10 CHAPTER 2 Claims, Issues and New Directions: A Critical Synthesis of Four Areas of Research in Science Teaching and Learning 12 I. Learning to Teach 13 Teachers' Personal Philosophies of Teaching and Learning and Program Change 13 Teachers' PPoTaL and Teacher Change 16 II. Conceptual Change 22 III. Teacher Socialization 30 IV. Sociocultural Orientations to Learning: Situated Cognition and Social Constructivism 41 Situated Cognition (Cognitive Apprenticeship) and Social Constructivism 41 V. Relationship to this Study 47 CHAPTER 3 The Three Faces of the Giver (and Taker) of Voice: A Rationale for Using Intercontext as an Alternative Research l\/lethod for Qualitative Studies in Education 52 I. What Is Voice and Why Should I Be Concerned with It as a Researcher? The Politics of Location 53 II. Why Has the Construct of Voice Become So Important in IV Educational Research? Some Answers Emerging From the Quantitative vs Qualitative Debate 55 lll.TheThreeFacesof the Giver (andlaker) of Voice 59 The Narrator 59 The Collaborator 64 The Emancipator 69 IV. Intercontext as an Alternative Research Method for Qualitative Studies 72 Elements of the Intercontextual Methodology 74 Reflexivity.. 74 The Dialectical Conversation 76 Stimulated linkage 77 V. Relationship to this Study 81 CHAPTER 4 The Pre-Service Teachers' Personal Philosophies of Teaching and Learning: Metaphors, Role Models and Emerging identities 83 I. The Guide and the Traveller-Exploring Alfred's PPoTaL 83 Parting Metaphor 87 II. The Gardener and the Gardern-Exploring Barton's PPoTaL 88 Parting Metaphor 90 III. The Flexible Guide-Exploring Chris' PPoTaL 91 Parting Metaphor 92 IV. Three Metaphors-Exploring Dean's PPoTaL 93 Parting Metaphors 96 V. Switching Roles-Exploring Ellen's PPoTaL 96 Parting Metaphor 100 VI. The Construction Workers & the Gardener-Exploring Frank's PPoTaL 101 Parting Metaphors 103 VII. Cracks and Crevices 104 CHAPTER 5 Understanding the Conceptions of Theory and Practice From the Pre-Service Teachers' Point of View 107 I. "Like Learning to Ride a Bike by Watching a Movie:" The Pre-Service Teachers' Conceptions of Theory and Practice Before the Extended Practicum 109 The Two-Week Orientation Practicum I l l II. "Switching into Survival Mode:" The Pre-Service Teachers' Conceptions of Theory and Practice During the Extended Practicum 115 III. "Just Reflect on It and Everything Will Be Fine:" The Pre-Service Teachers' Conceptions of Theory and Practice After the Extended Practicum 119 IV. Intellectually Stimulating Work and Busy Work 129 V. "Show Us Don't Tell Us:" A Teacher's Adage Revisited 135 Classroom Management 136 Practicum Pedagogical Activities To Enhance Teacher Preparation 137 Other Comments on the Program's Structure and Design 138 VI. Summary and Conclusions 139 CHAPTER 6 Roles, Resistance and Learning to Teach Science 147 I. "Chalk and Talk:" Expectations and First Impressions During the School Practicum 148 Expectations 148 First Impressions 150 II. Two Groups, Two Paths: Baptism by Fire versus Baptism by Exploration 151 Baptism by Exploration 152 Baptism by Fire 153 III. What Technicians Say Is Not What Practitioners Do 156 IV. Meeting the Demands of a Multiplicity of Roles and Managing the Dilemmas of Learning to Teach Science 158 Pre-Service Teachers As Centered Professionals 158 Pre-Service Teachers As Sorters of Contradictory Information.. 168 Pre-Service Teachers As Bridge Builders 173 Pre-Service Teachers as Laboratory Assistant/ Team Teachers 176 Pre-Service Teachers as Game Players 177 Pre-Service Teachers as Risk-Taking Colleagues 182 VI V. Parting Metaphors, Role Models and Truncated Dreams 186 Revisiting the Memories of a Baptism by Exploration 187 Revisiting the Memories of a Baptism by Fire 187 CHAPTER 7 Becoming a Functioning IMember of a Community of Practice: Suggestions for Practice and for Furtlier Research 194 I. Managing the Dilemmas of Becoming a Functioning Member of a Community of Practice 194 Dilemmas, Strategies and Practice: The Impact of the Teacher Education Program's Course Content and Design on the Pre-Service Teachers' Actions 196 Dilemmas, Strategies and Practice: The Impact of the School and Faculty Advisors on the Pre-Service Teachers' Actions 199 Dilemmas, Strategies and Practice: Points of Convergence 202 II. Becoming a Functioning Member of a Community of Practice in Relationship to Four Areas of Educational Research 203 III. Using Intercontext as a Tool for Research and for Professional Development 210 Limitations of this study 212 IV. Suggestions for Practice 214 V. Suggestions for Further Research 219 References 222 Appendix I Intercontextuai Research l\/lethod 232 The Science Teacher Education Practicum Project 232 Selecting the Pre-Service Teacher and their Schools 232 Research Role 233 Gathering Information 234 On Campus Observations, the Orientation Practicum and First Interviews 236 Videotapes and Extended Practicum Interviews 237 End of Practicum Interview 238 Summer Term 238 VII Analysis 239 APPENDIX II Notes From the Field 240 A Day in the Life of a Single Father Would-Be Researcher 240 Grade 10 Science: Hormones, Electricity and Practice Teaching 243 APPENDIX III Anatomy of a l\/lisunderstanding 248 APPENDIX IV An Example of one of the Interview Summaries Used During Stimulated Linkage 266 VIM List of Tables Table 1 Claims and research issues arising from four related areas of educational research in teaching and learning 49 Table 2 Dilemmas associated with the teacher education program's course content and design and the strategies the pre-service teachers used manage them 140 Table 3 Dilemmas associated with the the variety of roles the pre-service teachers felt they needed to perform during their professional preparation 159 Table 4 Summary of the types of strategies employed by the pre-service science teachers to manage the dilemmas they encountered 192 List of Figures Figure 1 Research Design and Analysis 235 Figure 2 Theoretical orientations and the intercontext methodology 73 Figure 3 Qualitative inquiry using an intercontextual research method...80 Figure 4 The teacher education program course structure and sequence 108 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I could have not completed this work without the support and guidance of my supervisor, Gaalen Erickson. He has been without any doubt my most influential role model of what it means to be a good university professor and supervisor. As I get ready to start a new life as a university professor myself, I am inspired by the fact of having learned so much from his patience, his openness to divergent points of views, his commitment to helping students do their best and his friendship. I also wish to thank Leslie Roman and Jim Gaskell, the other members of my dissertation committee, for their stimulating questions and for encouraging me to fight against the sneaky demons of dualism. A special thanks go to all the pre-service teachers who participated in this study. Their openness and fhendship not only enabled me to conduct this study, but it also made it possible for me to learn a great deal about teaching science. My sincere thanks go to the members of my dissertation group, Jane Dawson, Andrea Kastner, Josette McGregor and Cathie Dunlop, who read parts of my work at various stages of development, and provided me with stimulating feedback. I dedicate this work to my children, Brandon and Chantelle for being so good while I was writing this document. I also dedicate this thesis to all single parents and to all Latinos and Latinas who are engaged in the struggle for voiceln the academic community, "jpa'iante va el sapo aunque le puyen los ojos!" Finally, I dedicate this work to Pancho (Francisco) Ibainez, a Latino who most certainly has the ability and the passion to pursue an academic career, but due to AIDS has been prevented from achieving his goals. This dreadful disease has robbed us of what we could have learned from the accomplishments of a very special individual. XI • CHAPTER 1 Laying Down the Invisible Boundaries My goal in this dissertation is to explore with six pre-service science teachers answers to the following research questions: 1.- What are the dilemmas pre-service teachers identify as they progress through their teacher education program? 2.- What relationship do pre-service teachers perceive between the dilemmas they encounter and their teaching practice? 3.- What strategies do pre-service teachers implement to obtain favorable outcomes in light of the dilemmas they encounter during their professional preparation program? In order to better appreciate the reasons why I believe these questions are worth pursuing, I begin with a brief description of how my own biography, or accumulation of expenences and beliefs, prompted me to do research in this area. This is followed by an introduction to the theoretical framework I used to inform my study. In addition, due to the nature of my research questions and my interest in allowing the voices of the research participants to be heard in the study, I designed an alternate research methodology for conducting this project. A brief description of this methodology, which I called intercontext, is also provided below. Finally, in the last section, I give an overview for each one of the chapters comprising this thesis. I. Locating Myself in Relation to the Study I am a Latino Canadian. I learned how to be a school pupil in Venezuela (the country where I was born), but I studied to be a teacher, and for the most part taught, in Canada. My history and experiences locate me in Canadian society just as much as the color of my skin or my Spanish accent. Therefore, even though this dissertation is nof about me-in the biographical sense-it is about me in the sense that the research questions I wished to pursue, and what I learned from this project, were definitely shaped by my previous experiences as a student teacher an6 as a science teacher. My interest in doing research in teacher education originated from the difficulties I encountered in trying to teach in ways which were considered to be against the accepted norm in some schools. For instance, when I told my faculty advisor (the university-based supervisor) about my interests in teaching against the grain, he cautioned me and said "not to rock the boat and to do what the school advisor wanted me to do." He added that once I get my degree, I could "experiment" in my own classroom. Even though, I was disappointed with the lack of opportunities to apply what I was learning in the university context to the school context, most of the time I did what I could to please my advisors when they came to observe my lessons. However, when they were not there, I taught in ways that I thought would be more interesting for me and the pupils. I just felt it was unreasonable to wait to get my own classroom so that I could try some of the pedagogical ideas that were bursting out of my head as an eager pre-service teacher. When I eventually got my own classroom, I thought I could finally try unhindered some of my own pupil-centered ideas for teaching. However, much to my surprise, this time it was mainly the pupils-especially those in grades 11 and 12~who complained and demanded that I "lecture" in order to "really" cover the curriculum. Grade-12 pupils were particularly anxious about covering content, because 50% of their final marks were to be assessed from their performance on a Province-wide examination. The results of this exam determined whether they could pursue their chosen university careers; therefore, many of them saw group discussions, critical thinking activities and forms of assessment other than pencil and paper tests as a "waste of time." In short, the pupils perceived science as a fixed body of knowledge and they just wanted me to giveVnem the facts. In addition, being the Latino teacher who looked different and was doing things differently than everyone else did not help my situation much. There were many other institutional constraints which pressured me to conform to a teacher-centered style of instruction. If it was not just avoiding the extra pressure from the pupils, it was simply the expediency and ease of just lecturing and doing the thinking for everyone else. I mean, preparing pupil-centered lessons and innovative laboratory activities or demonstrations was hard and time-consuming, and the extrinsic rewards were not there. It seemed that I could cover a lot of content and keep my pupils busy and out of trouble if I lectured and assigned them busy, seat-work. This was what they expected. This was the way I have been taught most of the time, and this is the way I saw teachers teach during my own practicum and at university. In any case, in order to find some kind of balance, I adjusted as much as I could to the demands of the teacher culture in the school where I worked, while, at the same time, I tried to find ways to get pupils to appreciate the value of alternate teaching and learning strategies. The issue I wish to emphasise here in relationship to this study is that I did not capitulate with respect to my beliefs in spite of the predominant school culture. Therefore, my experiences in this regard contradicted the image of teacher as victims of a socialization process which I encountered in so many journal articles when I started graduate schooM. I began my doctorate with a strong desire to find ways to enhance the preparation of science teachers, but I kept on encountehng articles which described the professional lives of novice and experienced teachers as devoid of voices of resistance to the social and institutional pressures inherent in their work. Furthermore, pre-service and experienced teachers were culturally homogenized into researchers' narratives which appeared remote from my experiences as a Latino learning to teach in Canada. In addition, researchers would often make sweeping recommendations for teacher education reform which seemed contradictory to other suggestions proposed by researchers from different areas of educational inquiry. This was especially the case for studies based on inferences drawn from the researchers' perspectives, and not from the interpretation the participants themselves attached to their own experiences. Therefore, in order to carry out this dissertation, I needed to design a comprehensive study which could enable me to investigate how the participants interacted with the cultural, historical and institutional codes inherent in the process of learning to teach science in two contexts; that is, the university and the school settings. Furthermore, the fact that I mentioned that I am a Latino Canadian, and that my experiences did not resonate for the most part with many of the claims emerging from educational inquiry, "" I expand on this critique in the following two chapters, so I will only provide examples of those studies there. does not mean that in order to conduct this study, I had to work with participants who had the same ethnic background and similar life-histories as me. Although, I am sure such a project could have proven to be very useful. My point is that perhaps because of my history and struggle for voice (as the desire to be heard and to act on one's beliefs),2 and because of how participants are often portrayed in educational research, I have a vested interest in allowing the voices of the participants to be heard in my own project (I expand on this issue in Chapter 3). This interest in turn gave me incentive to look more closely into the cracks and the crevices of what it meant to learn to teach science for a group of pre-service science teachers. In this light, the first goal of my dissertation was to explore how claims from related areas of educational research could inform the design and direction of my own study. II. Locating this Study in Relation to Other Studies In the next chapter, I provide a critical synthesis of key articles from four areas of educational inquiry; namely, learning to teach, conceptual change, teacher socialization and situated cognition/social constructivism.3 My goal in pursuing this analysis was to establish conceptual bridges among these areas of research in order to better inform the theoretical framework of my study, as well as to explore where further inquiry was most needed. I found that several educators propose many provocative and informative suggestions which at times contradicted others proposed by educators from other fields of research. For instance, in spite of numerous qualitative studies in the last 20 years on issues related to the professional preparation of new teachers, little appears to have changed from the pre- and in-service teachers' point of view. For example, Kagan (1992) in an extensive review of key articles states, 2|n this study, I also use Bakhtin's definition of voice as "the speaking personality, the speaking consciousness" of the individual (Holquist and Emerson, 1981, cited in Wertsch, 1991). - I^n the same chapter, I will explain that, even though situated cognition and social constructivism draw from the same Vygotskian theoretical framework (1978), these orientations to learning have different foci. Almost everyone of the 40 studies reviewed in earlier sections of this article indicates that university courses fail to provide novices with adequate procedural knowledge of classrooms, adequate knowledge of pupils or the extended practica needed to acquire that knowledge, or a realistic view of teaching in its full classroom/school context. (162) Kagan's suggestion to address this pervasive problem is the establishment of a developmental model for the preparation of new teachers. This model, however, has been strongly criticized by educators such as Grossman (1992), who question the lack of a critical perspective in Kagan's review, as well as the functionalist focus of her views on learning to teach. Grossman adds, "Just as classroom teachers are learning to regard their students as thinkers, so must teacher educators learn to honor the capacities of their students as pedagogically critical thinkers" (176). I share with Grossman her desire to honor the voice, or capacity, of pre-service teachers to construct and to seek meaning from their own experiences. The principal problem still remains, however, teacher education programs are not meeting the needs of their students. The challenge is then to find better ways to document the meaning pre-service teachers, themselves, attach to their experiences in the process of learning to teach, so that we can design teacher education programs which are more responsive to their needs. To this end, I believe it is essential that we first gain a better understanding of how the pre-service teachers' personal philosophies of teaching and learning (PPoTaL)^ interact with the contextual codes inherent in the university and school settings in which they work. However, as my review indicates in the next chapter, educators who start off with this goal, often end up engaging in a language of persuasion with which they make sweeping recommendations for teacher education. For instance, in addition to Kagan's developmental model above, other extensive reports have proposed dramatic changes on how teachers are to be prepared to enter the profession. Among these are reports commissioned for the Provinces of British Columbia and Ontario, respectively. Authors of ^That is, the combination of their biographies, belief systems, previous academic preparation, and goals. these studies call for the establishment of teacher education programs which are clinically based, reflective and practice oriented (Bowman, 1991; Fullan, Connely, & Watson, 1990). Other studies on learning to teach make suggestions based on investigations of the repertoire of metaphorical figures teachers use to describe their beliefs and experiences. These researchers claim that by identifying the pre-service teachers' original metaphors of teaching and learning, more effective and "appropriate" ways of thinking and teaching can then be introduced. (Tobin, 1990). In the area of conceptual change, the popularity of individual constructivism^ as an orientation for teaching and learning in the science classroom is beginning to be recognized as an important tool in the preparation of teachers. However, the same language of persuasion permeates advances in this field when researchers propose methods for identifying the students' conceptions so that they can be altered for more "appropriate" ones (Hewson and Hewson, 1987b). On the other hand, teacher socialization researchers warned that program changes will accomplish little unless close attention is paid to necessary institutional changes affecting the working lives of teachers (Hargreaves, 1989). In other words, the suggestion that collaboration among teachers and reflection on one's practice are effective professional development tools are indeed commonsensical and hard to dispute. However, pre-service and experienced teachers need to be provided with the institutional changes necessary to have to time to collaborate with peers, as well as to be provided with the professional support required to act on the product of their reflections. The issues arising from the four areas of educational inquiry I have chosen to inform my work are very complex and need much elaboration. Therefore, to facilitate the presentation of the relationships I found among these areas of research, and to illustrate how they seemed to complement each other, I organized the analysis in the next chapter in the form of related knowledge claims and research issues emanating from representative ^Individual constructivism is based on the assumption that the individuals' prior knowledge plays an important role in how they construct meaning from new information; hence, teachers need to employ a variety of pupil-centered activities to elicit and use the knowledge pupils bring with them into the classroom. studies. The results are very revealing and highlight the need for educators to produce more critical syntheses of this nature. This review of the literature also provided me with a better understanding of the scope and significance of social constructivism. I define social constructivism as an orientation to teaching and learning which takes into account that knowledge is socially constructed and mediated by cultural, historical, and institutional codes (Wertsch, 1991; O'Loughlin 1992a, 1992b). All of these codes are, of course, closely interlinked and influence, and are being influenced by, the learners and their actions. Therefore, social constructivism provided a common tool for building connections among these four areas of inquiry, and for interpreting the results and impact of my study in a broader sense. III. Locating the Methodological Issues Identified in this Study in Relation to Other Studies The critical synthesis I provide in Chapter 2 also informed the research design of my study. For instance, in that review, I identified several methodological issues which highlighted for me the importance of drawing sharper distinctions between what social scientists mean by research methodology and by research method. Hence, I refer to methodology as the set of arguments which explains how researchers can go about finding out what they believe can be known. Research method, on the other hand, is meant to describe the specific set of procedures and research tools for conducting a study. Keeping this distinction in mind, the methodological issues I identified in the previous chapter were also congruent with my interest in conducting a study which honored the voices of the research participants. That is, a study in which my voice as researcher, as science teacher and now as a graduate student was not the only voice making sense of the participants' experiences. To this end, I needed then to design a research methodology which would enable the participants to monitor and reflect on their own narratives, and on how they made sense of their experiences as they progressed through their professional preparation. At the same time, this methodology had to provide me with opportunities to enter into the participants' lives as a trusted, fellow teacher. Therefore, the construct of voice again played a guiding role in my study which I explain in Chapter 3. There, I present the results of a cntical review of key studies in which researchers claimed to have "given" voice to the research participants. My aim was to investigate what exactly educators meant by giving voice and how they went about it. Hence, my review includes ethnographic, collaborative, autobiographical and case study methodologies. From this analysis, I concluded that in order to obtain some answers to the research questions I have mentioned above, I needed to use a research methodology that built on the best features of the studies I have reviewed. Therefore, I argue that intercontext is as an alternate research methodology which enabled me to address my concerns for allowing the voices of the researcher and of the researched to be heard in a qualitative study such as this one. Intercontext has three major components: stimulated linkage, reflexivity and the dialectical conversation. I expand on the rationale used for this methodology in Chapter 3 and on the details of the method in Appendix I. However, at this point, I will briefly describe some of the general features of the study. Information gathered for this dissertation was part of larger project involving over 9-school advisors, 6-pre-service teachers, 2-faculty advisors/researchers and 3-researchers. All of these individuals participated in the Science Teacher Education Practicum Project (STEPP) which aimed to establish collaborative relationships among university-based supervisors (faculty advisors), the pre-service teachers and their respective school advisors. Participation in the STEP Project consisted in attending monthly meetings to share information and resources and to discuss issues related to learning to teach. One of the researchers (another graduate student) was in charge of working with the school advisors as part of his doctoral dissertation. I was responsible for working with the 6-pre-service teachers (one woman and five men representing all the high school sciences). In addition, my association with the students was different in the sense that I 8 acted as a resource person for the entire 12-months of their professional preparation. That is, as a resource person, I had an opportunity to be a sounding board for the students' ideas, to offer advice and materials for lessons, and to videotape and discuss some of their lessons with them. At the same time, I also had opportunities to appreciate what was involved in being a pre-service teacher in this program through numerous observations on and off-campus. In addition, five in-depth interviews, spread over the entire length of the teacher education program, provided me with many insights on the dilemmas the students encountered and how they responded to those dilemmas. Furthermore, to facilitate discussion and to encourage reflection on the issues affecting the students' PPoTaL, we talked about their original metaphors of teaching and learning science and monitored how they changed (or remained the same) throughout the program. As I explain in Appendix I, I followed an ethnographic approach for data collection and analysis in order to develop categories which represented the shared-meaning and the differences the pre-service teachers attached to their experiences. To close, I would add that, just like in other qualitative studies, there are some limitations regarding the generalizability of results using an intercontextual research methodology. I also discuss some of these and other limitations associated with intercontext in the last chapter. I want to emphasise, however, the need for the intercontextual research methodology I employed in this project. I indicate in Chapter 2 that most of the studies I reviewed relied on the participants' self reports of their experiences with little, or no in-class observations. In addition, most of those studies described the inferences researchers constructed from the participants' explanations of their experiences. This is not the same as describing what the participants tliemselves made of their experiences. Furthermore, often some of these researchers use a narrative that portrays participants as victims, and as devoid of the voices of resistance inherent in human interactions where power relations, beliefs, and institutional codes facilitate or obstruct how the learner constructs meaning. All of these issues guided the design of intercontext as an alternate research method, and I elaborate on them at length in Chapter 3. IV. Overview of the Document I have already explained that the next chapter provides a critical synthesis of four related areas of educational research. This analysis is complemented in Chapter 3 by a review of the construct of voice and what some researchers mean by giving voice to research participants. I also explain that the insights I have gained from the critical reviews presented in those chapters, informed the design of intercontext as an alternate research methodology. A discussion of the findings from my work with the six pre-service teachers begins in Chapter 4. In this Chapter, I provide biographical sketches of the students, as well as a discussion of the factors which influenced their decision to go into teaching. Furthermore, I describe the pre-service teachers' original metaphors of teaching and learning and how these changed or remained the same after their teacher preparation. My goal is to provide a general overview of the students' explanations regarding the factors which influenced their development of a professional teacher identity. Chapter 4 sets the stage for me to elaborate in more detail on the various dilemmas the pre-service teachers encountered and on the strategies they implemented to manage those dilemmas.^ In Chapter 5, I focus on the analysis of the impact of the teacher education program's design and course content on the students' personal philosophies of teaching and learning (PPoTaL). I close this Chapter with a series of recommendations, mainly put forward by the students themselves, aimed at improving their teacher education program. Chapter 5 also provides a background for the next chapter. In Chapter 6, I discuss the variety of roles the students felt they needed to play in order to manage the dilemmas associated with the nature of the relationship they established with their school and faculty advisors^. ®i use Cuban's (1992) notion that a dilemma represents a "conflict-filled situation that requires choices because competing, highly prized values cannot be fully satisfied" (6). Therefore, dilemmas cannot be resolved only managed. ^Tables #2 to #4 provide a summary of all the students' dilemmas and strategies identified in this study. 10 Finally, I end the dissertation with a chapter devoted to summarizing all the findings and insights gathered as a result of undertaking this project. In the last sections of Chapter 7, I make a series of methodological suggestions regarding the use and limitations of intercontext. In addition, I propose some suggestions for improving the preparation of science teachers and for pursuing related studies in the future. 11 CHAPTER 2 Claims, Issues and New Directions: A Critical Synthesis of Four Areas of Research in Science Teaching and Learning In the last two decades, many qualitative studies have aimed at increasing our understanding of the system of beliefs, ideas and alternative conceptions on teaching and learning pre-service teachers bring with them into their university programs. The findings from various studies have been documented in comprehensive volumes, such as Clark and Peterson's (1986) review of research on teachers' thought processes, and Feiman-Nemser and Floden's (1986) discourse on the cultures of teaching and how these influence teachers' responses in the school context. In a similar fashion, the Handbook of Research on Teacher Education (1990) includes a chapter on the research themes that guides various forms of inquiry on teacher education (Doyle, 1990); a chapter on teacher socialization (Zeichner, & Gore, 1990); another on teachers' professional knowledge (Tom, & Valli, 1990); and a chapter on learning to teach research (Carter, 1990). More recently, the Handbook for Research in Science Teaching and Learning (1994) is divided into sections which provide extensive reviews on the areas of science teaching, learning, problem-solving, curriculum and context. Further, Kagan (1992) provides an analysis of forty learning-to-teach qualitative studies published in the last five years. Kagan's intentions were to draw inferences for the construction of a teacher education program which would be most likely to facilitate professional growth among preservice and beginning teachers.^ These reviews provide very useful accounts of research in teaching and learning, the state of the teaching profession, and directions for future research agendas. Nevertheless, as a science teacher and researcher, I find that these reviews reflect the compartmentalization of educational research all too well. In other words, those of us who are interested in drawing from more than one area of educational inquiry find very frustrating the lack of ^As mentioned earlier, there are several contentious points regarding Kagan's developmental model for teacher education. Insightful counterarguments for her conclusions are provided by Grossman (1992). 12 connection among related areas of research. Often, authors-even of extensive reviews-do not seem aware of significant studies which directly impact on the knowledge and normative claims being proposed by other educators in closely-related fields. Therefore, in this Chapter, I provide a critical synthesis of recent studies from four areas of educational inquiry: learning to teach, conceptual change, teacher socialization and situated cognition/social constructivism. My intention is not to replicate the exhaustive reviews mentioned above, but to provide conceptual bridges among these four areas of inquiry which are usually presented to research consumers in an egg-crate format. Hence, I have organized this Chapter into several sections which make specific knowledge claims with an aim to make the research issues among these four areas more apparent. Of course, there are many more knowledge claims and research issues which could be discussed here, but my goal-through this synthesis-is to highlight shared meaning among these four fields of inquiry, as well as topics in need of further research and clarification. This, in turn, has helped to sharpen the focus of my own study and given it a more significant direction. I. Learning to Teach Teachers' Personal Philosophies of Teaching and Learnino and Program Change Claim #1 Teacher education programs have little or no impact on pre-service teachers' personal philosophies of teaching and learning. The study of students'^ personal philosophies of teaching and learning (PPoTa^io have generated much discussion on the effectiveness of teacher ^To enhance clarity, the following word key is provided: student- is another term used for pre-service teacher; and pupi l - is a term used for individuals enrolled in a high school program. ^°ln the literature, what I call personal philosophies of teaching and learning (PPoTaL) is referred to as the pre-service and/or experienced teachers' belief systems, conceptions or perspectives on teaching and learning. Therefore, for the sake of consistency, throughout this study, I will mainly use the term PPoTaL to include all other similar referents. 13 education programs and on the need to make these programs more responsive and relevant to aspiring teachers. In general, as indicated in Claim #1 above, many of these studies have reaffirmed the notion that teacher education programs seem to have little influence on the students' prior belief systems (Britzman, 1986; Goodman, 1988a; Hollingsworth, 1989; Kagan, 1992; Lacey, 1977; Lortie, 1975; McNeil, 1986; Zeichner, et al., 1990; 1981). On the other hand, a few studies have refuted this claim and demonstrated that students have been significantly influenced by their academic course work. For instance, Alverman (1981) states that some students welcomed the "inner struggle" produced by the dissonance between the university courses and the practicum experience, and, in fact, it served as a driving force for encouraging reflection on the value of their teaching strategies and beliefs. Similarly, Grossman and Richert (1988) found that the student teachers' conceptions on subject matter, general pedagogical knowledge, and awareness of pupil understanding were positively influenced by the university's professional course work. In spite of these conflicting views, researchers on teachers' beliefs are in general agreement that teacher education programs must find ways to be responsive to the students' prior beliefs in order to increase the program's impact on the students' professional preparation. However, researchers again become polarized by their distinct epistemological visions on how to accomplish this goal. For example, Grossman and Richert (1988) suggest that it may be premature to introduce pre-service teachers to issues related to pupils' diverse abilities for understanding before the students gain school experience. Grossman and Richert add that "once students have experience in the field their capacity for understanding student diversity [in abilities], as well as their need for understanding how to manage it, grows rapidly" (61). Hollingsworth (1989) seems to agree. Her research team interviewed and observed 14 elementary and secondary pre-service teachers throughout their professional education, and the team found that the students' understanding of how to respond to pupils' diverse reading skills was just as diverse. Hollingsworth concluded that even though these students were exposed to 15 hours of lecture/discussion sessions on reading during the course of their program, some students seemed to have forgotten how to use 14 this information. Hence, Hoilingsworth explained that based on findings such as this it may be necessary to reverse the order of program content so that the information on remediation and assessment of problem readers could occur in the second semester when pre-service teachers had more experience with both the content and pedagogy of reading and were placed in classrooms with students who have more learning difficulties. (187) This statement is in direct contrast with Goodman (1988a), who proposes a more proactive approach to teacher education by first, and foremost, identifying the students' "intuitive screens"^ ^  so that specific interventions can be devised to reinforce certain students' conceptions, "while in another instance . . . find ways to help a student alter his or her initial perspectives" (134). Some of the most significant drawbacks of these studies are that specific features about the teacher education programs, to which the students in these projects were exposed, are not explained. For instance, readers do not know what and how some educational theories and pedagogical strategies were introduced to students in the university setting. Several review studies have indicated that students often complained about the lack of connection between their academic course work and school practice (Kagan, 1992, Carter, 1990 and Zeichner & Gore, 1990). Hence, one would expect that a university program which is based on a philosophy of reflective practice, which attempts to identify the students' intuitive screens, may have little impact on students if they are not helped to make concrete connections between what the students perceive as theoretical or prepositional knowledge in the university setting and practical or procedural knowledge in the school setting (I will come back to this point later). The studies discussed so far indicate how some researchers have sought to better understand the pre-service teachers' PPoTaL so that specific program changes in structure and content could be implemented. Hence, the basic and underlying premise here appears to be: change the program structure and content and consequently the students' PPoTaL will ^'' Intuitive screens refer to the points of reference students use to make sense of their experiences as they "sift" through the information (educational theories, ideas, strategies, etc.) presented to them during their teacher education. 15 be more significantly influenced. Yet, as I have indicated, these studies do not provide enough information about the existing design and course content of the programs to which their research participants were exposed. (This is a drawback which I address in this project by providing more detailed information about the overall features of the teacher education program in which the participants in my study were enrolled). In contrast with the studies mentioned above, other researchers have focused on identifying the pre-service teachers' PPoTaL so that specific strategies could be devised to alter their original beliefs. This type of educational inquiry elicits several methodological and ethical questions as to what the goals of teacher education programs should be and to what extent the end should justify the means. Teachers' PPoTaL and Teacher Change Goodman (1988a) raises an important issue regarding current research on pre-service teachers' PPoTaL: too often this research has relied on conceptual categories that have emerged from the researcher's mind rather than the linguistic framework of the informants. As a result, we know little about the way students conceptualize their own professional perspectives. (122) Hence, given the discussion presented above, and the perceived lack of program impact on the pre-service teachers' original PPoTaL, and Goodman's challenge to seek a better understanding of the ways pre-service teachers construct meaning from their own professional experiences, we need to consider the following research issue: Issue #1 What are the aspects of a teacher education program that-from the pre-service teachers' point of w'ew-have some, little or no impact on their PPoTaL? In an effort to address this problem, several researchers have sought to investigate teachers' "perspectives" (or PPoTaL) as they pertain to their actions. That is, according to Becker et al (1961, cited in Goodman, 1988a) a 16 teacher's perspective includes the individual's actions and not just her or his disposition to act. For example, Munby, (1986) through his analyses of teachers' metaphors, has sought "to capture the thinking of teachers in their own language, rather than in the language of the researcher. . ." (198). Munby found that by using a computer program to search for selected words from transcribed interviews he could effectively draw out many instances of teachers' metaphors "in-use." And indeed, Munby inferred, through his analysis of 17 interviews with one teacher (Alice), that teachers use a rich repertoire of metaphorical figures in their speech in regard to teaching and learning. Hence, Munby (1986) and others (Marshall, 1990; Munby, & Russell, 1990; Tobin, 1990) argue that if we can unpack the metaphorical content teachers use in their speech then we could share in the meaning teachers construct from their professional reality as they see it. This type of educational inquiry has grown considerably in recent years and have provided hch insights into pre- and in-service teachers' PPoTaL; however, educators need to consider several methodological, ethical and epistemological issues regarding this form of educational research. What purpose does it serve to learn about the students' conceptions of teaching and learning in "their own language"? Is what teachers represent in their espoused metaphors related to what they actually do in the classroom, and how could we determine this if most researchers mainly base their conclusions on in-depth interviews? Is it possible for the researcher to "share" in exactly the same meaning a teacher attached to a metaphor? To answer the first question, Tobin (1992, 1990) explains the goal of the study of metaphors in teacher thinking: "By conceptualizing teachers' beliefs and roles through the metaphors they use, and then introducing other, more appropriate metaphors, teacher change can be implemented" (1990, 127). This suggestion for teacher education programs presupposes that what teacher educators perceive as the appropriate metaphors are going to be accepted as such by student teachers. It is disturbing to think that the students' own metaphors could be used to manipulate their perceptions instead of using metaphors as heuristic devices to help the students reflect on what is meaningful and relevant to them, and on what aspects of their professional education they see as in need of improvement. Tobin et al 17 (1994), IVlunby and Russell (1990) and others also suggest that as student teachers are encouraged to closely examine the metaphors they use in learning to teach, they will become aware of whether conflicts exist between their espoused metaphors and the various roles and beliefs emerging from their experiences in the classroom. I believe that this may be the fundamental role of the study of metaphors used by teachers. This role is also congruent with a constructivist perspectivei2 that respects the students' experiences and ways of making sense of their world. However, in a teacher education program that claims to use a constructivist perspective, and that claims to use the study of metaphors as part of the students' professional preparation, to then introduce what the teacher educators consider to be the appropriate metaphors seems intellectually dishonest and methodologically flawed. This brings us to the second question posed above. I do not believe that an individual's beliefs, embedded in their espoused metaphors, will always translate into action. A person may have a metaphor that reflects their desired actions, but a disposition to act is not the same as acting on a disposition. This observation has important ramifications for those who seek to incorporate the analysis of students' metaphors on teaching and learning as part of the students' professional preparation. I argue that there is great value in helping student teachers dialectically engage with their own beliefs on teaching and learning and with the metaphors they use to represent their desire for action. I also agree that this process may aid students in recognizing where their metaphors may be in conflict with what teacher educators consider to be the appropriate ways of teaching and the appropriate ways pupils learn. But, again, an awareness of conflicts does not necessarily translate into action because it is possible that students may lack the tools to resolve the perceived conflicts between their own beliefs, the philosophy of the teacher education program they are pursuing, and the jingleism^^ of other approaches to teaching and learning presented in the literature. "•^ Most of these studies seem to uphold a constructivist orientation to learning as indicated by Glasersfeld (1989) and Driver (1989). ^^Jingleism refers to the tendency of researchers, teachers and administrators alike to homogenize certain educational concepts to the point that these terms lose their original 18 This problem may be compounded by the assumption that a researcher can share exactly the same meaning students attach to their metaphors on education. I believe that this issue needs clarification by the proponents of metaphor analysis as a tool for improving teacher professional preparation. I am in agreement with Marshall (1990) who states that if metaphor analysis is incorporated in teacher education courses, steps must be taken to aid students to act on the new roles and beliefs they may form as a result of participating in those courses. Marshall adds that among student teachers a group seminar without individual follow-up may not be sufficient to promote more than the recognition of the need for alternatives. Individual conferencing may be an essential element in moving from insight into action. More individual discussion and interaction might help facilitate implementation of [perceived] new roles (132)''4. It seems important then for those who do research on teacher thinking and, in particular, on teachers' beliefs to move beyond their reliance on participants' self-reports in order to effectively document changes in the teachers' thinking. Needless to say, this is not an easy task because it requires the researcher and the participants to work in close association in order to identify and interpret the possible factors affecting the student teachers' experiences. For the most part, researchers on teacher thinking do not carry out in-class observations of the participants, and when they do, they say very little about how the observation sessions impact on their findings (for examples of these studies see Campbell, 1990; Clark, 1986 Hewson, 1987a; 1987b; Trumbull, 1987; Marshall, 1990; Munby, 1986 1990; Tobin, 1990; Zeichner, 1985; Brickhouse, 1987; Aguirre, 1991 Bullough, 1991, 1992). There are, however, a few interesting exceptions. For instance, Duffy (1977, cited in Clark and Peterson, 1986) studied the conceptions of the teaching of reading among 350 teachers by providing them with 36 prepositional statements that reflected commonly held, yet meaning and significance. A good example of jingleism is the way the terms reflection and the reflective practitioner are now indiscriminately being used in educational circles. ^'^In a recent study Bullough (1994) appears to follow Marshall's suggestion. Bullough conducted a project with 22 pre-service teachers aimed at exploring the analysis of their personal teaching metaphors "as a mean for professional development." 19 contrasting, approaches to teaching reading.^s of the 350 teachers, Duffy found that only 37 appeared to hold "pure" conceptions; that is, these small group of teachers consistently chose prepositional statements that reflected the corresponding approaches to teaching reading. These results demonstrated the fact-which we seem to be more readily accepting now-that teachers may have various and complex conceptions on teaching which may not always be congruent with research-based categories. What is even more significant about Duffy's research is that, in the second phase of his study, he attempted to compare the "pure" types' espoused beliefs "on paper" with their actual behavior in the classroom. From the "pure" types, Duffy selected eight teachers who showed the most consistency in their espoused beliefs and then observed them teach on 10 separate occasions. Using ethnographic field notes and post-observation interviews, Duffy concluded that only four of the eight teachers observed actively used instructional strategies that were congruent with their espoused beliefs. As Clark and Peterson (1986) explain Duffy's findings, the results (of this study) suggest that constraints on teacher behavior such as mandated curriculum materials, resources, time available, habits, and student abilities may interpose between theory and action and account for the observed discrepancies. (289) Duffy's findings, although very significant, leave us without the voices'"^ of those he observed. What would the participants have said if they had become aware that they were acting or not acting on their espoused beliefs? What were the factors that the participants themselves saw as vehicles for allowing them to act on, or barriers preventing them to act in accordance with their espoused beliefs. Therefore, even though Duffy's study moves away from the reliance of in-depth interviews as the main sources of data on teachers' thinking, he-like many other researchers-leaves the participants voiceless and unaware of the researchers' observations, inferences and conclusions. Unfortunately, there seems to be little interest in including in-^^These approaches to teaching derived from the literature review listed by Duffy were: basal text, linear skills, natural language, interest, and integrated whole. •"^As I mentioned earlier, in this study, I use Bakhtin's definition of voice as "the speaking personality, the speaking consciousness" of the individual (Holquist and Emerson, 1981, cited in Wertsch, 1991). 20 class observations as well as in-depth interviews in the study of pre-service teachers' PPoTaL. And, most importantly, there also seems to be a lack of interest in pursuing shared meanings between the researcher and the researched by allowing the participants to become aware of their changes in conceptions as perceived and filtered by the researcher's own lens. This is an important research methodology "gap" in current studies to which close attention will be paid in the methodology proposed in this project (see Chapter 3). There are also a few exceptions to the above critique. The meticulous work of Goodman (1988a), for instance, aims not only to investigate the student teachers' conceptions, but how they act on their beliefs as they construct a "personal philosophy of teaching." To this end, Goodman has grounded his research on the language the students use to explain their beliefs. Using the principles of "ethnographic semantics," Goodman found that the students' practical philosophies of teaching are highly influenced by the students' past school experiences. These experiences translated into guiding Images which acted as "intuitive screens through which they interpreted their professional education" (130, emphasis mine). However, through in-classroom observations, Goodman found that students did not always act on their espoused beliefs. He reports that It is important to note that students also expressed the belief that "individualization" has something to do with being aware of children's interests. However, students were rarely observed teaching a lesson that incorporated their pupils' interests. (127) Goodman-like several other researchers (among them Hollingsworth, 1989 )"moves beyond the sole reliance on in-depth interviews in the study of student teachers' conceptions. His work demonstrates a clear attempt to ground the research on the meanings students attached to their own experiences. However, what it is missing in his analysis is more opportunities for the reader to liear the students' voices recounting their conceptual transformations. Goodman appears to unwittingly silence the emerging voices of the student teachers by depriving the reader of what the students said or saw and felt in their own words. 21 Nevertheless, studies in teachers' beliefs have provided us with revealing windows into the minds of beginning teachers. The task now is to address some of the conceptual and methodology issues arising from this field of inquiry as indicated above. To this end, the design I propose in Chapter 3 for my study attempts to meet, at least to some degree, some of those issues. To sum up, the analysis I have presented demonstrates that many educational researchers on pre-service teachers' PPoTaL echo the same conclusion: Claim #2 For professional growth to occur, the pre-service teachers' PPoTaL must be identified so that they can be modified or reconstructed. Therefore, the claims and research issue discussed above give raise to another important factor, which some researchers have began to pursue in recent years, and which is the focus of my analysis in the next section: Issue #2 What procedures or strategies can be implemented to assist pre-service teachers to identify, modify and ultimately reconstruct their PPoTaL to fit with the perspective underlying their teacher program? II. Conceptual Change Pfundt and Quit's bibliographic monograph (1991, cited in Wandersee et al, 1994) indicate that there are now close to 2000 studies on pupils' alternative conceptions'"^ in the subject area of science. In the advent of the increasing popularity of this field of educational inquiry, some science educators have began to recognize the need to extend the research agenda to include the study of pre-service and experienced teachers' alternative conceptions of natural phenomena. In addition, several educators have ^^1 am in agreement with Wandersee et al (1994) who suggest that the term alternative conceptions is a better term to use than misconception when referring to the participants' experienced-based explanations. The use of alternative conception "confers intellectual respect on the learner" (178) instead of undervaluing the learner's point of view. 22 began to explore pre- and in-service teachers' alternative conceptions of teaching and learning science. Therefore, in response to Claim #2 above, I provide an analysis of the most significant work being done in the area of pre-service teachers' conceptual change. In other words, I present a critical synthesis of the studies, which-by using a constructivist orientation to teaching and learning-have sought to identify the participants' PPoTaL in an effort to encourage them to modify or reconstruct their prior views. In fact, most of these educators have taken to heart the words of Glasersfeld (1989) when he states that . . .we shall have to create at least some circumstances where the students have the possibility of experiencing the pleasure of finding that a conceptual model they have constructed is, in fact, an adequate and satisfying model in a new situation. Only the experience of such success and the pleasure they provide can motivate a learner intellectually for the task of constructing further conceptual models. (137) Therefore, research in this area of science education has also focused on exploring fruitful, learner-centered pedagogical strategies'"^ to assist learners contrast their PPoTaL with those upheld by their respective teacher education programs. (This is a research focus which, in turn, directly addresses research issue #2 described above). In this light, perhaps, the agenda for conceptual change research in science education is best explained by Hewson and Hewson (1987a) of the University of Wisconsin-Madison: if we want to improve science teaching (and national reports are calling for just that), and if science teaching depends on teacher thinking, and if science thinking can be influenced by science teacher education, then we need to do research on science certification programs (182). Hewson and Hewson (1987a, 1987b, 1988) have suggested that science teacher education programs should incorporate specific activities that aim at ^^These learner-centered strategies were aimed at modifying the pupils' alternative conceptions in the schools; however, these strategies are now also being used in science teacher preparation programs. 23 forming appropriate conceptions of science teaching in pre-service teachers. These educators' proposal for effecting conceptual change echoes that of Tobin, Russell, Munby, Bullough, Goodman and others as discussed above. Hewson and Hewson (1987b), however, believe that instead of using the pre-service teachers' original metaphors of teaching and learning as a starting point for "conceptual reconstruction," the same end could be accomplished by using a conceptual change model of learning (CCM). That is, learning as a process which may involve "changing a person's conceptions in addition to adding new knowledge to what is already there" (427). These educators further explain that "learning involves an interaction between new and existing conceptions with the outcome being dependent on the nature of the interaction" (Hewson and Hewson, 1988, 605). Therefore, according to this model, learners use their PPoTaL to decide whether "a new conception is intelligible (knowing what it means), plausible (believing it to be true) and fruitful (finding it useful)" (605). They add that if all these three conditions are met learners are said to have acquired a new conception without difficulty. But, if conflicts result between the learners' PPoTaL and the new conception then steps need to be taken to assist learners to restructure their conceptions. Hewson and Hewson explain the details for using their conceptual change model in science teacher education elsewhere (Hewson and Hewson, 1987a, 1987b and 1988). However, of special interest for my study is Hewson and his colleagues' recent reports from their project entitled: "Developing Appropriate Conceptions of Teaching Science During Pre-Service Teacher Education." In their first paper, Hewson, Zeichner, Tabachnick, Blomker and Toolin (1992) laid out the overall design of their three-year project. This study consisted of working closely with pre-service elementary and secondary science teachers for the entire period of their teacher preparation, and with the possibility of following some of them up during their first-year of teaching. Basically, the project was divided into two major components. The first, involved exposing the students to a constructivist perspective of teaching and learning in a methods class-in which the instructor modelled the "appropriate" pedagogical strategies and classroom environment. The second component of the study consisted of designing and carrying out an action research project during their student 24 teaching term. During the course of their projects, the students were required to participate in an action research seminar group and to keep reflective journals about their experiences. In a separate paper, Tabachnick and Zeichner (1994) provide more details on the action research phase of the project. They add that prior to the students' practicum, the researchers provide students with information on action research ideas, theories, and procedures similar to those suggested by Kemmis and McTaggart's (1988) action research planner. The preliminary results of this project reported by some members of the research team (Lemberger, Hewson, Meyer, & Park, 1994; Meyer, Hewson, Lemberger, & Park, 1994) indicate that the pre-service teachers, from both the elementary and secondary groups, experienced substantial change in their original conceptions of teaching and learning science. The authors claimed that the students basically moved from transmissive and teacher-as-expert models of teaching and learning to a constructivist orientation.''9 This was inferred in spite of the students' difficulties in implementing in their own classes the strategies they had learned from the university methods courses. For instance, Lemberger et al (1994) describe their conclusions (based on the experiences of one secondary pre-service teacher they used as an illustrative case study in their paper): [Cora] came into the program thinking that learning involved "grasping" fully formed ideas presented by the teacher. [But,] she came out of the program thinking that students learn best when they construct their own ideas about things. This represents a significant shift in her view of the learner from a mostly passive to a more active agent in the learning process. She was still struggling, however, with how to help [pupils] construct their knowledge. (12) It is tempting to begin a critique of Hewson and his colleagues' project at this point, but in keeping with the spirit of providing a critical synthesis of related studies in this field of inquiry, I feel it is important to first describe another large-scale project aimed at stimulating conceptual change among science teachers. I am referring to the Project for Enhancing Effective •"^ i sometimes refer to individual constructivism as simply constructivism. The latter term is more commonly used in the science education literature. 25 Learning (PEEL) initiated by John Baird and Ian Mitchell of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia (Baird, & Mitchell, 1986; Baird, & Northfield, 1992). For the last decade the Monash Team have sought to develop effective pedagogical strategies aimed at helping science teachers establish and maintain a constructivist, learner-centered environment in their classrooms. In fact, they have sought to find ways to reduce the kinds of struggles Cora, the pre-service teacher quoted above encountered in spite of her science methods course preparation and action research project. Baird and Mitchell (1986) originally documented the project which started with 10 experienced teachers who taught in five different subject areas in the same school. The researchers' aim was to seek ways for enhancing a collaborative relationship among these teachers. At the same time, both groups wished to develop and explore the use of constructivist teaching strategies to enhance professional development and pupil learning. The results of these efforts are documented by the teachers and researchers in the first PEEL book (Baird & Mitchell, 1986), in which all participants describe their conjectures about the difficulties and successes of the project. This approach proved to be quite appealing and has now spread to include 12 or more school districts in Melbourne and surrounding area. They describe the details of their new insights and experiences from the expansion of PEEL in their latest book. Learning From the PEEL Experience (Baird & Northfield, 1992). 20 Drawing upon their successes and drawbacks, some faculty members from Monash University, who were affiliated with PEEL, decided to take the next logical step. They expanded their research agenda to include pre-service science teacher education in addition to the study of teacher professional development and pupils' constructivist learning. Therefore, the work of Gunstone and his associates is of special significance to this study. 20AS a side note. Chapter 10 of this book includes a refined version of various constructivist pedagogical strategies which I have found to be very useful in my science methods classes and in my role as a faculty advisor with pre-service teachers (outside of this project) whom I have supervised during their school practicum. 26 Gunstone, Slattery and Baird's (1989) project sought to provide a flexible and innovative professional program2i which catered to the students' needs and concerns. The authors add that "to address personal needs [they ignored] much of what are usually termed foundation subjects in the period Ieading22 to the initial 3 week teaching practice block, a period of about 7 weeks, and [integrated] all activities under the theme 'preparation for teachers' " (4). In a supportive environment, students in this program were guided through what the authors call three "broad areas of constructivist learning," (7). That is, first, activities were implemented to elicit and explore the students' initial views on teaching and learning (or PPoTaL). In this way, the students were encouraged to reflect and discuss with small groups of peers and instructors their views of self as science teachers and as persons. And, finally, opportunities were provided to strengthen the students' competence and confidence of their understanding of the subject-matter they would teach. This was accomplished by offering "minicourses" in areas outside their subject specialization. In addition, students were urged to explore their own alternative conceptions of natural phenomena and, in turn, experience the types of constructivist pedagogical strategies their instructors were encouraging them to use with pupils in school classrooms. Gunstone etal (1989) add: In this way the conceptual difficulties of the [pre-service teachers] can be used to contribute substantially to the development of their views of teaching and learning, and their attitudes to science education. (10) From detailed case studies and questionnaires, Gunstone et al (1989) concluded--like Hewson and his colleagues above-that the students showed significant professional growth in both affective and cognitive domains. Students often associated their growth in task-related skills and competencies to the program's emphasis on a reflective dialogue with peers and instructors about the overall teaching experience. 21 For a report on an innovative professional development program for experienced teachers aimed at effecting "significant and worthwhile" conceptual change, see Richardson (1990). 22|n the original text, the authors use the word "learning," but I believe this must be an error. 27 The emphasis on dialogue, collaboration and reflection among teachers and their students was the focus of similar projects conducted by Erickson and MacKinnon (1991a), Mackinnon and Erickson (1988) and Erickson (1991b) of the University of British Columbia (UBC). These educators documented how "master teachers" can assist students put practical professional knowledge into action through modelling and reflective conversations. It is in the context of "the doing"--these authors argue in support of Schon's reflective practitioner model (1983, 1987, 1988, 1991)-that the teacher's practical professional knowledge can be made explicit to students during a discussion of a lesson taught by the latter, or by the modelling teacher. Erickson and MacKinnon (1988) explain that "the act of making one's knowledge explicit and providing reasons for one's behavior rarely occurs in the normal activities and routines engaged in by the teacher" (18). Hence, to facilitate this process, the researchers videotaped lessons of both the experienced and novice teachers in the school setting. In this way, the experienced teacher was able to use the videotape lessons as an educational tool for engaging in a "reflective conversation" with the student. On the other hand, the student had an opportunity to bridge prepositional understandings (in this case constructivism as a theory of learning) with school practice (as the experienced teacher explained actual classroom situations in the video). At this point, I wish to highlight the importance of bridging the studies being conducted by the UBC, Monash and Wisconsin Teams because their work seems to complement each other. All three of these research groups use the same guiding theoretical framework (constructivism), and they use, for the most part, similar research tools (action research, questionnaires, interviews and in-class observations). However, their research foci differ from one another. For instance, the aspects of the Wisconsin Team which were more salient in comparison to the other studies was their focus on conceptual change. On the other hand the UBC team's main concern was the development of fruitful, collaborative relationships; whereas the Monash Team seemed to focus on the development of effective, constructivist, instructional strategies to bring about conceptual change among science pupils. Nevertheless, these researchers all seem to arrive at the same general claim: 28 CLAIM #3 Professional growth occurs when pre-service teachers participate in teacher education programs based on a constructivist model of teaching and learning with the following characteristics: a. the establishment of collaborative relationships with school and faculty advisors. b. On-going opportunities to use constructivist pedagogical strategies in the school classroom, and c. On-going opportunities for pre-service teachers to reflect on and discuss their PPoTaL as they learn to teach. This includes reflecting on and discussing their understanding of their subject-area specialization. These studies, although very significant to the development of a theory of teaching and learning, seem to have one major drawback in common. That is, they seem to take for granted the complex, context-dependent, power relationships which inherently form between pre-service teachers and their school and faculty advisors. In addition, these studies do not address what pre-service teachers say or do when, as a result of their action research projects and reflective journals, they come to terms with the politically charged social inequalities commonly reflected in school classrooms. A step in this direction is provided by Zeichner and Tabachnick' action research component of the Wisconsin study described earlier. However, there seems to be an underlying assumption that by using a hypothetic-deductive model of reflection and action research, social and institutional constraints and inequalities in the classroom could be easily resolved. My argument is that if pre-service teachers only engage in reflecting on and discussing the results of their action research projects, without drawing concrete strategies for transformative action or for building alliances, they may end up feeling only more aware of how monumentally difficult the task of bringing about change truly is. For example, what does a well-prepared and reflective science pre-service teacher do when he or she is being asked to teach a lab with too many students and not enough equipment and supplies? Or, what does a pre-service teacher do when his or her's PPoTaL conflict with those upheld by the school or university advisors? What strategies can these students 29 implement to explore their--and their pupils'-possible sexist, racist and homophobic behaviors, which in turn influence the establishment of a collaborative and safe environment in the classroom? Or, how do pre-service teachers manage the fact that even though they are being encouraged to explore their pupils' prior knowledge, they-and their pupils'-know that sooner or later the teacher would expect pupils to demonstrate that they have learned the established knowledge and ways of knowing in exams or other assignments? One might argue that these issues have nothing to do with science teaching and learning, and that the goal of the science teacher is to help pupils learn science. This objectification of science as a body of knowledge that can be learned out there, and of the learning process as something that is mechanical and free of institutional, cultural and historical codes is a topic that I will discuss in more detail below. In any case, for my study, rather than ignore these issues, I will remain attentive to the pre-service teachers' strategies for dealing with the dilemmas associated with some of the above questions. Why remain attentive to questions such as these? According to teacher socialization researchers, all the claims (in particular Claim #3) and issues discussed thus far are affected by the normative claims emerging from this field and cannot be ignored. ill. Teacher Socialization The use of the term socialization is problematic from the start due to its functionalist connotation. Therefore, I believe Zeichner and Gore's (1990) critical definition of socialization adequately deals with this issue: . . .a critical view of socialization [depicts] the socialization process as contradictory and dialectical, as collective as well as individual, and as situated within the broader context of institutions, society, culture and history. (343) This view of socialization in the professional preparation of science teachers is reflected in two general claims arising from research in this field: Claim #4 The ecology of institutional features (at both the university 30 and school levels), as well as cultural characteristics (at both the university and school levels), play powerful roles in the socialization of pre-service teachers. Claim #5 Pre-service teachers are active participants in their own socialization--they influence the culture into which they are being socialized. In this section I provide a brief critical synthesis of key articles on teacher socialization which explain and contrast Claims #4 and #5 with the other claims and research issues discussed so far. Therefore, the best place to start is by explaining where my work is situated in terms of current orientations to teacher socialization studies. There are three theoretical frameworks in teacher socialization research: critical, functionalist and interpretive. The oldest and most widely accepted is based on the functionalist perspective. Functionalism, as Zeichner and Gore (1990) explain "is based on a conception of science that emphasizes the possibility of objective inquiry capable of providing true explanatory and predictive knowledge of an external reality" (330). On the other hand, the interpretive approach to teacher socialization seeks to explain and understand the "external reality" as it is perceived and affected by the participants. Similarly, researchers with a critical orientation also seek meaning by looking at the world from the participant's point of view. The critical perspective supporters, however, go further by attempting to bring "to consciousness the ability to criticize what is taken for granted about everyday life" (331). My proposed study draws from the interpretive perspective because it seeks to understand the pre-service teachers' PPoTaL, and the factors that they themselves identify as having an impact on their espoused conceptions. My study also has a critical orientation because the participants will be assisted to reflect on how their biographies^a and distinct voices ^^Biography is defined as the individual's socio-economic and cultural history which shapes his or her personal philosophies of teaching and learning and desire for action 31 influence and are being influenced by the existing culture. Therefore, reflection becomes a central construct here since the participants will be encouraged to become more aware of their immediate world, to discuss the most critical incidents that affect them, and to explain the steps they may choose to resolve the issues, or manage the dilemmas, that concern them during their professional preparation (see Chapter 3, methodology). Therefore, the term reflection has a somewhat different meaning here than that commonly used in the studies discussed above. In this paper, I suggest that individuals are reflective when they become cognizant of the issues (pedagogical or social) readily affecting their immediate world; and when they actively seek to resolve or manage those issues. Therefore, it can be said that individuals who seek to transform the events that affect them are also seeking to become empowered, and individuals who seek to become empowered to act on their own PPoTaL eventually also affect the culture to which they belong. I have already mentioned that the basic premise in the learning to teach and conceptual change research literature seems to be based on the notion that the teachers' PPoTaL influence the teachers' actions. However, a disposition to act is not the same as acting on a disposition. Teacher socialization research has clearly indicated that teachers are not always able to act on their espoused PPoTaL. This may be due to many factors such as institutional constraints (Britzman, 1991; Goodman, 1988b; McNeil, 1986), the existing teacher and school cultures (Anyon, 1981; Britzman, 1986; Lortie, 1975; McLaren, 1989; Sparkes, 1991), or simply due to the fact that their own beliefs on what constitutes good teaching and learning are in a state of flux as they, as novice teachers, negotiate meaning from their experiences (Bullough & Stokes, 1994; Bullough et al, 1992; Bullough, 1991; Zeichner & Tabachnick, 1985). This latter point urges one to consider Lortie's (1975) conclusion that beginning teachers already come into teacher education programs with deeply ingrained ideas of what it is to be a teacher. This phenomenon is the product of the teachers' 15 or more years of schooling before they commence their professional teacher preparation. This "apprenticeship of observation" to which all student teachers have been exposed is also 32 compounded by their individual biographies. Therefore, is it reasonable to expect that a working-class, single, white male has a different lens or "intuitive screen" (or PPoTaL) (Goodman, 1988a) for mal<ing sense of his experiences as compared to a middle-class, married, female of color? If we agree that socio-economical status, gender, academic and ideological locations play a role in how we make sense of our experiences-including learning to teach science-then we need to explore in more detail some of the aspects of teacher socialization research which directly come to bear on the claims and issues I have presented in this Chapter. To this end, I will use Britzman's (1986, 1991) work as a focal point to organize and briefly discuss the value of critical teacher socialization research for enhancing our understanding of the impact of institutional, cultural and social factors on the pre-service teachers' construction of a professional identity. According to Britzman (1991), there are three inescapable myths that haunt novice teachers. These myths are: everything depends upon the teacher; the teacher as expert; and teachers are self-made. Everything depends upon the teacher describes the cultural demand imposed on pre-service teachers to be the center-ring masters at all times. "The problem is that within this push to control learning, the [pre-service teacher] must devalue his own power to explore with students the dangerous territory of the unknown" (224). Therefore, knowledge is reduced to packages that can only be effectively transmitted to a well-behaved (controlled) class. Consequently, pedagogy simply becomes the means for delivering the subject matter with technocratic precision, without attempting to reflect and come to understand "the mutual dependency and the power relationships that shape classroom life" (225). According to Britzman, when pre-service teachers face a conflict in the classroom they internalize the incident, blaming themselves and justifying it on their lack of experience. The pressure to maintain an image of the teacher as noncontradictory and in tight control of the class prevents him or her from acknowledging and thriving on the possibility of conflicts as opportunities, opportunities to reflect upon the multiple voices that compose any given class, and how these voices struggle for negotiating control of time, the curriculum (what is to be learned) and attention (how it is to be learned). 33 The myth of teacher as expert, Britzman argues, is one of the principal sources of anxiety for pre-service teachers. Pupils and sponsor teachers alike expect pre-service teachers to know everything about their subject and this carries many implications on how pre-service teachers perceive their practicum; that is, they may see the practicum as an opportunity to expand their bag of tricks so that their survival in the classroom will be guaranteed. This view becomes increasingly problematic because as pre-service teachers and their sponsors interact within this framework, knowing is NOT seen as "an intellectual, emotional, and aesthetic challenge, but as a func-tion of accumulating classroom experience" (229). As pre-service teachers expand, and become more skilful in using, their "bag of tricks" (i.e., become more experienced), the easier it will be for them to maintain control of the class, of what is learned and how it is learned. This myth, however, does not account for the reality of the classroom. If classroom life is maintained in such a rigid state of stasis by skilful manipulation of "tricks of the trade," classrooms cannot possibly be places for minds to grow, but places where minds stagnate. As Britzman states, "The teacher as expert, then, is in ac-tuality a normalizing fiction that serves to protect the status quo, heighten the power of knowledge to normalize, and deny the more significant problems of how we know, how we learn, and how we are taught" (230). Teachers are self-made. This represents the third myth suggested by Britzman, and one that depicts teacher education, and in particular the practicum, as this "tortuous moment that tests the inner strength of the novice. A kind of Darwinism is also sustained, where only the strong survive" (230). This ritualistic "baptism by fire" draws into question the purpose of the academic component of teacher education programs whose goals are to introduce pre-service teachers to various theories on curriculum, teaching and learning, as well as various teaching methodologies, in the hope that they will put this theory to good use during the practicum. However, given the constraints that rigid and high expectations always conjure, and given the little margin for~and willingness to forgive-errors, student teachers are often forced to find the most direct route to survival. Britzman convincingly explains that "like [the] other myths, this one provides the final brush strokes 34 on the portrait of the teacher as rugged individual: if one cannot make the grade, one is not meant to be a teacher" (232). There are many researchers who would agree with Britzman's claims. For instance, McNeil (1986) in her book Contradictions of Control: Sctiool Structure and Scliool Knowledge documents how some teachers use "defensive teaching" as a strategy for survival in the classroom. In her words, through defensive teaching, teachers choose "methods of presentation and evaluation that they hope will make their workload more efficient and create as little student resistance as possible" (158). This is an interesting finding because it supports the equation of content knowledge control as classroom control. In the same fashion, pre-service teachers, working under sponsor teachers who hold this view, would form distorted images of what is im-portant in the classroom. Furthermore, McNeil states that these distortions are also picked up by the pupils who ended up NOT seeing knowledge as a useful, collectively constructed and essential tool for making sense of the world but as "school knowledge," an artifice, a product of converging distortions. In this sense the function of "school knowledge" is to aid "in meeting the obligations teachers and students have within the institution of schooling" (191). Therefore, knowledge as a tool to explore and create personal meaning and understanding of the world is dismissed as problem-atic because of the possibilities it has for being contradictory and thus disruptive to the ordered classroom. It seems, then, that in her book McNeil illustrates the dark side of the myths discussed by Britzman. That is, Britzman makes us aware of the high expectations the school culture presses upon teachers in the form of myths, but McNeil tells of the strategies some teachers use to survive the school culture's demanding expectations. Other investigators such as Goodman (1988b), Sparkes (1991), Zeichner and Gore (1990), Carter (1990), and Feiman-Nemser and Floden (1986) document and discuss the negative socializing effects of school and teacher cultures on learning how to become a teacher. These studies, like Britzman's (1991), suggest that the behaviorist and the traditional/craft apprenticeship models of teacher education must be substantially altered to provide pre-service teachers with the opportunities to become more critically reflective of their experiences. In order to accomplish this end, Britzman 35 (1991) proposes that teachers can be encouraged to explore "the contradictory dynamics of their own biograph(ies)" so that they can empower themselves to "determine the interventions necessary to move beyond the sway of the cultural authority" (233). For Britzman, the ongoing conversation with the self and professionally significant others (i.e., school and faculty advisors, peers, other teachers and university instructors) is central for a transformative awareness of what it means to be a teacher-one voice among many negotiating to understand and to be understood. In this light, teacher socialization researchers and learning to teach and conceptual change researchers essentially appear to have the same ultimate goal. That is, to encourage and provide opportunities for pre-service teachers to explore their original PPoTaL as a starting point to seek meaning and relevance in their professional preparation. All researchers in these fields also agree on the importance of assisting students to become critical, reflective and innovative as they are urged to move "beyond the sway of cultural authority," or transmissive view of teaching and learning. However, the radical difference between these camps is that learning to teach and conceptual change research seem, for the most part, to ignore issues of power and authority embedded in the university and teacher cultures. As Claims #4 and #5 indicated at the beginning of this section, educators need to take into account the cultural and institutional codes ingrained in the contexts in which pre-service teachers learn to teach. It is neither desirable nor possible to separate one from the other; therefore, educators might as well make these codes part of the agenda for students to reflect about, discuss, and act upon. This is not say that pre-service teachers must be trained to be the soldiers of change. Teacher socialization research indicates that due to the power hierarchy, pre-service teachers are the ones with most to lose when attempting cultural or structural changes. Therefore, university and school educators could assist pre-service teachers to become more aware of the difficulties and resistance they are bound to encounter from established school and pupil cultures.24 From a new understanding of the potential difficulties in implementing change, pre-service teachers could ^^See Baird and Mitchell (1986) for a discussion of some of difficulties they encountered at their school. 36 be better prepared to discuss and implement strategies for transformative action. For example, Marylyn Cochran-Smith (1991) proposes that one way to effectively prepare teachers for social change could be to place students with experienced teachers who are actively engaged in "teaching against the grain." That is, teachers who are themselves "struggling to be reformers in their own classrooms, schools and communities" (279) In any case, I advocate caution. It is important for educators to be cautious regarding the impact of their recommendations on the welfare of novice teachers. This is particularly so in the case of critical theorists, who like Britzman, Giroux (1990) and Apple (1981), provide convincing discourses on what is wrong with our educational institutions, but then suggest dubious strategies on how to effect change. Critical theorists have been taken to task by educators such as Elizabeth Ellsworth (1989, 1990) who poignantly challenges the assumption that through critical dialogue and reflection teachers could become empowered and willing to help their pupils [and their pre-service teachers] to become aware of--and act on--the injustices of their own and other's oppression. Ellsworth (1989) argues that critical theohsts assume that "all members have equal opportunity to speak, all members respect other members' rights to speak and feel safe to speak, and all ideas are tolerated and subjected to rational critical assessment against fundamental judgments and moral principles" (314). This is not to say that Ellsworth opposes critical reflection as a fundamental tool for gaining voice; her aim, however, is to keep us more intellectually honest by reminding us that critical theorists too were, and continue to be, subjected to the same socializing pressures as all of us. Therefore, "when educational researchers writing about critical pedagogy fail to examine the implications of the gendered, raced, and classed teacher and student for the theory of critical pedagogy, they reproduce, by default, the category of generic 'critical teacher'"(310). By default, then, Britzman's suggestions for improvement discussed above exemplifies Ellsworth's "generic" critical theory researcher. Britzman does, however, recognize that engaging in the dialogic process is not an easy task and that new skills must be learned. For instance, she proposes that the "newly arrived" must practice observation, meticulous analysis of 37 one's own biography (accumulated experiences as a student and as an individual), always raising questions and always vigilant to consider the Other's point of view. She also suggests that "the identity of the teacher as expert can shift to that of inquirer" (241). In this fashion, the teacher can avoid taking for granted how his or her own formation is shaped by the influence of others and by his or her perceptions of the world. At least in the areas of learning to teach and conceptual change research, some educators have found ways of moving the ethereal recommendations of critical theorists to the world of school practice. In any case, the UBC, Monash and Wisconsin Research Teams have clearly demonstrated that substantial changes in program structure, content and professional support are required to provide pre-service teachers with a learner-centered model of learning to teach. Otherwise, when exactly are novice teachers going to find the time in already crowded and demanding preparation programs to "critically reflect" on how the interactions of their own biographies with those of their peers and their pupils result in the reproduction or transformation of the status quo? Who is going to teach, encourage and support pre-service teachers to engage in the difficult process of conducting a reflective practice? The dialogic, as suggested by the educators mentioned here, demands a great deal of trust among all parties concerned. How is this trust going to be built and maintained in a profession that encourages isolation-a process well represented in Britzman's cultural myths about teachers? Furthermore, Andy Hargreaves (1989) cautions us that any strategies of cultural interruption will be short-lived unless they are accompanied by sound structural redefinition. This concept involves the creation of specific policies directed toward "changing the existing material structures of subject specialization, inservice training and the like to which the culture of teaching is a response and upon which it feeds" (68). Therefore, teachers must not only be encouraged to critically reflect on their practice, to become inquirers, to explore constructivism as an orientation to teaching and learning, and to engage in meaningful discourse with others, but they must also be provided with the time in which to do all of these things, and the freedom and support to act on the product of their reflections. 38 But, anybody who has ever spent some time teaching in a school knows that schools are less than perfect places where a multitude of vo/ces-pupils, teachers, parents and administrators-negotiate for meaning and power. Therefore, given the analysis I have provided thus far, educators need to explore the dilemmas that arise when the goals and means of the university enter in conflict with those of the school. Larry Cuban's (1992) definition of dilemma is useful here. A dilemma is a "conflict-filled situation that requires choices because competing, highly prized values cannot be fully satisfied" (6). Hence, Cuban argues, dilemmas cannot be resolved, but only managed. Nevertheless, I believe we should seek to identify the places where shared dilemmas among different groups intercept so that we can honestly and productively explore the contextual nature of teaching and learning and the possibilities for preparing teacher for transformative action. My goal in this project is to at least begin this process by investigating the dilemmas pre-service teachers encountered in the process of learning to teach science in two different contexts, the school and the university classrooms.25 It is at the this juncture that the three principal researcli questions of my study can be introduced. From the above discussion, it follows that if our intention is to assist pre-service teachers become active members of a community of teachers, then we need to explore the possible answers to the following research issues: Issue #3 What are the dilemmas pre-service teachers identify as they progress through their teacher education program? Issue #4 What relationship do pre-service teachers perceive between the dilemmas they encounter and their teaching practice? Issue #5 What strategies do pre-service teachers implement to obtain favorable outcomes in light of the dilemmas 25 Another researcher from the STEP Project is in the process of analysing the school advisors' perspectives. In my study I only provide an analysis of the pre-service teachers' experiences. 39 they encounter during their professional preparation? These questions take into account the potential for the individual to affect the culture into which he or she is being socialized (Claim #5). Furthermore, by framing the questions in the context of dilemmas, I recognize the powerful role that institutional and cultural codes play in what pre-service teachers wish to do and what they are allowed to do (Claim #4). Since the participants in my study took part in a methods class based on a constructivist orientation to teaching and learning and in the STEP collaborative project (Claim #3 and # 2), I hope that my study will enrich our understanding on how to develop teacher education programs that are more effective and responsive to the needs of pre-service teachers and the community of teachers at large (Claim #1). My intention has been to provide a critical synthesis of learning to teach, conceptual change and teacher socialization research. These three areas, although complementary to one another, often appear as separate and apart in the literature. Hence, to move away from that tradition, I have highlighted what I believe to be the common issues and claims where these areas of inquiry intercept. In keeping with this analysis, there is one more area of inquiry that must be included in this review, that is, the field of situated cognition/social constructivism. We need to turn our attention now to this emerging area(s) of research because researchers from this field urge us to take into account the social, historical and cognitive aspects of learning. In fact, the basic premise of this field of inquiry is: Claim #6 Learning, action and context are closely interlinked and cannot be understood in isolation of one another. Therefore, a sociocultural approach to learning states that human action is situated in cultural, historical and institutional settings. 40 IV. Sociocultural Orientations to Learning: Situated Cognition and Social Constructivism What is the difference between individual constructivism and a sociocultural orientation to learning? A sociocultural approach is exemplified by Vygotsky's theory of higher mental functioning. In Vygotsky's view, learning essentially consisted of children developing an awareness of cultural, historical and institutional codes for interpreting a task and articulating an answer (Mercer, 1992). Whereas, individual constructivism draws from the work of Piaget (1975). For Piaget, learning consisted of children developing an ability to carry out more complex and abstract tasks; hence, he believed that the individual's mind was the focus of his cognitive development theory. For Vygotsky (1978), on the other hand, the focus was on the sociocultural codes which mediated the individual's actions. I will expand only briefly on these differences since extensive critiques on the work of these scholars have been written by several, better qualified authors (e.g. O'Loughlin (1992a, 1993), Fosnot (1993)). But, before I continue, I want to clarify that one of my goals in this section is to explain why I feel is necessary to also distinguish between situated cognition and social constructivism. Supporters from both of these camps appeared to draw from the same Vygotskian theoretical framework,26 but social constructivists take more seriously the impact of historical, cultural and institutional codes on the process of learning. This difference has significant implications not only for the pedagogy of children, but for the preparation of teachers as well. Situated Cognition (Cognitive Apprenticeship) and Social Constructivism There are strong similarities between the Piagetian constructivist point of view upheld by the conceptual change researchers discussed previously and the Vygotskian point of view upheld by situated cognition educators such as Lave and Wenger (1992), Hennessy (1993) and Brown, Collins and Duguid (1989). For instance, both camps recognize the importance of prior knowledge and experience in the process of constructing meaning. In addition both camps also state that the learning process can be facilitated by 26The reader is reminded that the conceptual change researchers mentioned earlier draw from an individual (more Piagetian) constructivist orientation to learning. 41 guiding the learner through a series of steps to acquire a higher understanding of the topic under consideration. It seems, however, that the fundamental difference rests in Vygotsky's (1978) suggestion that activity itself-with all its social, institutional and cultural "signs"--shapes what is to be learned. On the other hand, for Piaget (1975), what is to be learned is based on the individual's ability to rationally extract from experience the required clues to arrive to an objective answer. For Piaget, decentering, or the learner's increasing ability to come to view knowledge objectively, consisted of moving through a set of processes; namely, assimilation, accommodation, equilibration and finally decentration. More recently, a situated-cognition version of structuring the process of learning into a set of distinguishable processes has been introduced by Collins, Brown and Newman (1989) and Brown, Collins and Duguid (1989). Collins et al (1989, cited in Hennessy, 1993, 11) suggest that learning can be enhanced by assisting learners to reflect on their own problem-solving abilities and by guiding them through a cognitive apprenticeship n)o6e\. This model consists of the following learning processes: modelling, coaching, scaffolding, fading and articulation. According to these authors, modelling involves working in close association with an experienced individual who demonstrates "the desirable ways of problem solving in authentic activity." (Hennessy, 1993, 12). This is often followed by fading which entails a gradual distancing of the expert from the learner in order to enhance the learner's growth as an independent thinker. Scaffolding ensures that the learners are provided with enough assistance to reach the maximum level of their competence so that new and more difficult tasks can be assigned. This stage is similar to Vygotsky's (1978) zone of proximal development, that is, the distance between the actual development level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers. (86) Throughout this cognitive apprenticeship model, Collins et al (1989) argue that articulation, or a dialectical engagement among peers and instructors, is a crucial factor for ensuring understanding. In two other articles. Brown et al (1989) and Hennessy (1993) provide several examples 42 of mathematics instruction which illustrate keys aspects of this model. These aspects in turn clearly illustrate that cognitive apprenticeship has similar components to those suggested by conceptual change researchers from Monash University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Wisconsin discussed earlier. For instance, all seem to be interested in reflection as a tool for learning on one's own experience (very similar to that proposed by Schon, 1983, 1991); in authentic practice (i.e., activities embedded in the culture of the practitioner); in metacognition (learning about how one learns); in active collaboration and dialogue with peers; in modelling appropriate strategies; and in the learner's prior views. The major difference in this case is that Collins et al and Brown et al appear to draw from a Vygotskian perspective; whereas, conceptual change researchers have tended to focus more upon the individual's (i.e. more Piagetian) view of learning as mentioned above. But, as it can be observed, both camps seem to use essentially the same model of teaching and learning! In addition, neither one of these groups pursues a critical analysis of the cultural, historical and institutional codes embedded in the process of learning itself. In other words, neither of these groups question, for instance, the inherent power relations that might influence the learning process as the learner engages in debate with "more capable peers" or with the instructor who is expected to "model the appropriate" strategies. Therefore, the critique posed by teacher socialization researchers (as explained earlier) also applies here. In other words, the instructors, who model the appropriate behaviors and strategies to be learned, and the context in which this occurs, can not be expected to be culturally and ideologically neutral. The question then remains, how do historical, cultural and institutional codes affect the learning process and what is to be learned?^^ And, how do other educators in this field interpret situated cognition? Lave and Wenger (1991) and Lave (1992) seem to agree with Collins et al's notion of cognitive apprenticeship in principle, but Lave and Wenger make more clear the influence of Vygotsky on their theoretical framework. They define situated learning (or situated cognition) as a. ^^This is an issue that through my participation in the STEP Project I wish to pursue more closely. 43 . . .comprehensive understanding involving the whole person rather than "receiving" a body of factual knowledge about the world; on activity in and with the world; and on the view that agent, activity, and the world mutually constitute each other. (33) To emphasise their view of learning as a "generative social practice," Lave and Wenger (1991) propose the concept of legitimate peripheral participation (LPP) "as a descriptor of engagement in social practice that entails learning as an integral constituent" (35). In other words, LPP involves the development of "knowledgeably skilled identities in practice and to the reproduction and transformation of communities of practice" (55). LPP, they add, is intended as a conceptual bridge which draws attention to the inherent relationship between learners and the community of practice to which they want to belong. But what does all this mean and how can it be accomplished? Valerie Walkerdine (1992, 1988) echoes my sentiments exactly regarding Lave and Wenger's LPP view of learning. Although Lave's account is extremely suggestive, I do not think that she gets to ghps with an account of how practices in which thinking is inscribed are produced. She makes reference to the concept of activity , but . . .she does not really theorise how subjects are produced in practice. (Walkerdine, 1992, 5) It is here where I feel it is necessary to draw a distinction between situated cognition and social constructivism. Social constructivists, like Walkerdine, seem to adhere more closely to a Vygotskian orientation to learning. She elaborates further on her differences with Lave's views , For Lave, practices are activities and people acting in a setting, specified by a dialectical relationship. I do not think that this is at all clear and carries the danger that neither the person nor the setting is theorised. Thus, we are left rather too close to traditional individual/society dualism that I presume that Lave would like. (Walkerdine, 1992, 12). Walkerdine goes on to explain how socially accepted constructs become "truths" which play normalising roles in society. For instance, she describes how through "truths" in developmental psychology a child as an individual is transformed from being a subject to being subjectified. In other words, 44 each child in the classroom is classified according to the record card. The records take on the status of truth.. .it is clear that not each child will be judged to be the same. Some will be fast developers, some slow and so for. The regulation of those Others: girls, black children, working class children, etc. . .will take the form of their categorization and sometimes pathologisation within the truths of child development. (13) Therefore, for Walkerdine it is not enough to take into consideration the learner's prior views, or to engage in legitimate peripheral participation in communities of practice, but it is also necessary to unpack the possibilities for subjectifying the subject through the socially conceived, appropriate "practices" themselves. This view is shared by another social constructivist, Michael O'Loughlin. In his extensive critique of Piagetian constructivismss, O'Loughlin (1992a) expands on this issue and goes on to propose a sociocultural model of teaching and learning which takes seriously the notion that learning is situated in contexts, that students bring their own subjectivities and cultural perspectives to bear in constructing understanding, that issues of power exist in the classroom that need to be addressed, and that education into scientific ways of knowing requires understanding modes of classroom discourse and enabling students to negotiate these modes effectively so that they may master and critique scientific ways of knowing without, in the process, sacrificing their own personality and culturally constructed ways of knowing. (791) O'Loughlin's critique of Piagetian constructivism is insightful and his sociocultural model for teaching and learning very provocative, but he does not provide any guidelines of how such a complex model could be implemented in the classroom. In a separate paper, he recognizes that the emancipatory power of a social constructivist model of teaching and learning is difficult to ignite and that it requires sustainable support even at the university level. In this article, O'Loughlin (1992b) describes his 28For a rebuttal to O'Loughlin's critique, see Fosnot (1993). Also, in the same issue, O'Loughlin (1993) responds to Fosnot's defense of Piagetian constructivism. 45 experiences leading a summer institute which sought to help elementary and secondary teachers examine their own biographies, their beliefs about teaching and learning, and the conflicts and contradictions they experience as a result of trying to balance their own professional goals with the demands imposed by curriculum and testing requirements. (339) He explains that most teachers found the seminar to be a rewarding experience which-through assigned readings and peer discussion-encouraged them to reflect on their practice and envision possibilities for change. However, O'Loughlin learned through interviews with the teachers that in most cases the teachers' efforts for change were focused inside their own classrooms and "little reference was made to the possibility of radically reconstructing schooling" (346). This makes obvious what I believe to be the fundamental problem with social constructivism. That is, in spite of its well-articulated theoretical tenets (which are similar to those of critical teacher socialization discussed earlier) social constructivists fall short in providing clear examples of how to move from theoretical tenets to the everyday demands of teaching and learning. To close, I would like to add it has been difficult to write a critical synthesis of studies on situated cognition and social constructivism. This was mainly due to the fact that authors from these areas do not appear to be aware of the innovative work in science teaching and learning led by Hewson et al at the University of Wisconsin, by Richard Gunstone et al at Monash University, and by Gaalen Erickson et al at UBC. Furthermore, the critiques launched by the situated cognition and social constructivist researchers I have included here are broad and generic. I believe that we would be able to forward the debate on constructivism considerably if critics were to focus their analyses on the work of researchers within specific areas of inquiry, such as the ones I have included in this review (i.e. conceptual change, learning to teach, teacher socialization or situated cognition/social constructivism). In any case, I have hoped to illustrate how the relatively new areas of situated cognition and social constructivism appear to have different foci, yet, 46 draw from the same Vygotskian theoretical framework. In addition, I have shown where these two areas of educational inquiry shared similar goals, and complement, those in conceptual change, learning to teach and teacher socialization research. Therefore, from this analysis, there is another research issue which deserves close attention during the progress of my study: Issue #6 How can pre-service teachers become members of a community of practice and, at the same time, actively contribute to its growth and development (i.e., how can they become functioning members of a community of practice?) V. Relationship to this Study My goal for this Chapter was to provide a critical synthesis of recent research in the areas of learning to teach, conceptual change, teacher socialization and situated cognition. I have argued that there is a strong need to provide more syntheses of related research areas such as these in order to debate and advance our understanding of common research issues and agendas in science teaching and learning. By exploring the knowledge and normative claims, as well as related research issues being suggested by educators in these fields, I wanted to inform the theoretical framework and design of my own study. Therefore, I identify more closely with a social constructivist orientation to teaching and learning science because it provides a conceptual framework which permits the analysis of learning as a human activity embedded in the historical, institutional and cultural context of the setting (see Claim #6, Table #1). This perspective to learning takes into account the potential for the individual to affect the culture into which he or she is being socialized (Claim #5). Furthermore, by framing my research questions in the context of dilemmas, I recognize the powerful role that institutional and social codes play in what pre-service teachers wish to do and what they are allowed to do in the culture in which they work (Claim #4). Another important aspect of my study involves the participation of the pre-service teachers in the Science Teacher Education Practicum Project 47 (STEPP). Since they took science methods classes based on a constructivist orientation to teaching and learning, and since they participated in monthly meetings with all other pre-service teachers and school and faculty advisors, ample opportunities were provided to the participants to explore their PPoTaL under the auspices of an innovative and collaborative science preparation project (Claims #3 and #2). Finally,I hope that findings from my study will enrich our understanding on how to develop teacher education programs that are more effective and responsive to the needs of pre-service teachers and the community of teachers at large (Claim #1). I have also identify several related research issues (see Table 1). From these. Issues #3 - #5 represent the principal research questions of my study. Throughout, the project, however, I also paid close attention to the other issues shown in Table 1, as these informed my understanding of the pre-service teachers' experiences. In the next chapter, I discuss the methodology or rationale I employed for implementing a set of procedures which could effectively assist me in exploring the dilemmas pre-service teachers encounter in the process of learning to teach science. 48 Table #1 Claims and research issues arising from four related areas of educational research in teaching and learning I. LEARNING TO TEACH CLAIM #1 Teacher education programs have little or no impact on pre-service teachers' personal philosophies of teaching and learning (PPoTaL). ISSUE #1 What are the aspects of a teacher education program that-from the pre-service teachers' point of view-have some, little or no impact on their PPoTaL? CLAIM #2 For professional growth to occur, the pre-service teachers' PPoTaL must be identified so that they can be modified or reconstructed. ISSUE #2 What procedures or strategies can be implemented to assist pre-service teachers to identify, modify and ultimately reconstruct their PPoTaL to fit the perspective underlying their teacher education program? II. CONCEPTUAL CHANGE CLAIM #3 Professional growth occurs when pre-service teachers participate in teacher education programs based on a constructivist model of teaching and learning with the following characteristics: a. the establishment of collaborative relationships with school and faculty advisors. 49 Table #1 (continued) b.opportunities to use constructivist pedagogical strategies in the school classroom c. On-going opportunities for pre-service teachers to reflect on and discuss their PPoTaL as they learn to teach. This includes reflecting on and discussing their understanding of their subject-area specialization. III. TEACHER SOCIALIZATION CLAIM #4 The ecology of institutional features (at both the university and school levels) as well as cultural characteristics (at both the university and school levels) play powerful roles in the socialization of pre-service teachers. CLAIM #5 Pre-service teachers are active participants in their own socialization-they influence the culture into which they are being socialized. *ISSUE #3 What are the dilemmas pre-service teachers identify as they progress through their teacher education program? *ISSUE #4 What relationship do pre-service teachers perceive between the dilemmas they encounter and their teaching practice? *ISSUE #5 What strategies do pre-service teachers implement to obtain favorable out-comes in light of the dilemmas they encounter during their professional preparation? 50 Table #1 (continued) IV. SITUATED COGNITION / SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM CLAIM #6 Learning, action and environment are closely interlinked and cannot be understood in isolation of one another. Therefore, a sociocultural approach to learning states that human action is situated in cultural,historical, institutional settings. ISSUE #6 How can pre-service teachers become members of a community of practice and at the same time actively contribute to its growth and development (i.e. how can they become functioning members of a community of practice)? 'These are the principal questions investigated in this study. 51 CHAPTER 3 The Three Faces of the Giver (and Taker) of Voice: A Rationale for Using Intercontext as an Alternative Research iVIethod for Qualitative Studies in Education The critical synthesis I have presented in Chapter 2, as well as the principal research questions I wished to pursue, raised some important methodologica|29 issues. Namely, what research method could be employed to effectively investigate the dilemmas that-from the pre-service teachers' point of weiv-influence: (a) their personal philosophies of teaching and learning; (b) their actual teaching practice during the practicum; and (c) their relationship with their schools and faculty advisors? I also required a research method which would allow me to document the strategies used by the pre-service teachers to manage the dilemmas associated with all three factors above. A key element in all of these questions was the need to find a research method which would allow the voices^° of the participants to be heard. This, in turn, is consistent with the social constructivist orientation I presented in the previous chapter. In other words, if we agree that knowledge is socially constructed and mediated by institutional, cultural and historical contexts, then the researcher--as learner of other people's experiences and meaningmaking-cannot be excluded from this process. Researchers, by virtue of their presence in a setting, and by virtue of their interactions with the participants influence the existing ecology to the point that they become objects of their own studies-whether they acknowledge it or not (I elaborate on this issue below). Therefore, my interests in a social constructivist orientation prompted me to explore two broad methodological questions which in turn could help answer the specific questions I posed above. First, what do researchers 29Note that I define methodology as the rationale for using a specific set of research tools; whereas, method specifically describes how certain research tools are used. -^OAS indicated in Chapter 2, I use Bakhtin's definition of voice as the "speaking consciousness" of the individual. I expand on this definition later in this chapter. 52 mean by "giving" voice to their research participants? I am particularly uncomfortable with this notion because as a member of a visible minority I believe it minimizes the struggles in which research participants are already engaged in their own contexts before the researcher appears with the "power to give" them voice. Second, what Idnd of method do researchers use in order to "give" voice to the participants? After a critical review of recent studies with pre-service and experienced teachers, I propose that there are three types of faces (or roles) which educators bring to life when they claim to give voice to the research participants. These roles are: the narrator, the collaborator and the emancipator. The findings from this review encourage me to suggest an alternate research method, which I call intercontext. This method, I argue, builds on the best features of each of the other roles and their corresponding research tools. Hence, I conclude that by using an intercontextual research methodology I was able to allow the voices of the research participants, as well as my own, to be heard in the analyses I provide in this study. Before, I begin, however, I feel it is important to explore how the construct of voice is currently defined in educational research, why it is important to me to consider it in this project, and how important this construct has become to the educational community at large. I. What Is Voice and Why Should I Be Concerned with It as a Researcher? The Politics of Location. I think every researcher should be concerned about what they mean by giving voice to research participants, but in my case, because of who I am, this construct has a very special significance. Being a dark-skinned, single-father, culturally-different, new Canadian, the struggle for voice is not something I just write about. I live it. Therefore, finding a research method which would allow the voices o1 the participants to be heard is as important a methodological issue for me as it is ideological and ethical. This affirmation also intensifies for me the dilemma that some qualitative researchers have when they are seriously considering the construct of voice in their studies. That is, how do I allow my own voice, as researcher, as science teacher, and/or as university instructor to be heard without it becoming the regulatory. 53 authoritative, or expert voice? There is no perfect answer for this dilemma, but this is an issue to which I give special attention as I begin this review. So what is voice? How is it currently defined in educational circles? As voice rapidly becomes part of the "jingleism"3i found in conferences, educational journals and university classrooms definitions of this term abound. Perhaps the most succinct is suggested by Richard Butt and his associates (1992): The notion of teachers' voice is important in that it carries the tone, the language, the quality, the feelings, that are conveyed by the way a teacher speaks or writes. In a political sense the notion of the teacher's voice addresses the right to speak and be represented. It can represent both the unique individual and the collective voice; one that is characteristic of teachers as compared to other groups. (57) Cast in this light, the concept of voice is an organic entity that arises from a different, more egalitarian relationship between the researcher and the researched. The participant's voice not only influences the self but the researcher as well. As Deborah Britzman (1991) points out, "attending to the voice of teachers attempts to remedy the traditionally imposed silences of research subjects as primarily spoken about but rarely speaking for themselves" (52). This may sound very similar to another construct emanating from critical social science, the concept of empowerment. Although voice and empowerment are mutually inclusive, it is important to distinguish between them for the purpose of discussion in this study. I see voice as the first step toward empowerment, the medium through which we manifest a state of awareness and self-confidence. Empowerment is a more complex process. It involves "people coming into a sense of their own power, a new relationship with their own contexts" (Fox quoted in Lather 1991,4). 3''As I mentioned earlier, Jingleism refers to the tendency of researchers, teachers and administrators to homogenize certain educational concepts to the point that these terms lose their original meaning and significance. I already mentioned the term reflection as an example. Others example of jingleism are terms such as, empowerment, synergy, collaboration, building community, and many others. 54 It is easy to appreciate, then, why the construct of voice would be very appealing to educators interested in social justice and transformative action. This popularity has also had a larger impact on the research community at large. II. Why Has the Construct of Voice Become So Important in Educational Research? Some Answers Emerging From the Quantitative vs Qualitative Debate The resurgence of the debate between supporters of quantitative (positivistic) inquiry and supporters of qualitative (subjective/naturalistic) inquiry is evident in recently published volumes and articles dedicated to this topic. Among these are: Eisner and Peshkin's (1990) Qualitative Inquiry in Education: Ttie Continuing Debate, as well as chapters written by authors such as Cherryholmes (1988), Lather (1991), and Schon (1991). The following summary contrasts the various positions generally taken by supporters of these two forms of educational inquiry: > World view. Qualitative researcfi is based on a naturalistic-phenomenological philosophy which assumes that "multiple realities are socially constructed through individual and collective definitions of the situation" (McMillan, & Schumacher, 1989, 14). Quantitative researcli is based on a logical positivist philosophy which maintains that a single, objective reality can be captured and described apart from the feelings and beliefs of the observer. > Research purpose. The goal of qualitative researchers is to enhance our understanding of what meaning participants construct from their lived experiences, whereas, quantitative researchers seek to identify causal relationships from cyefac/7ed observations in order to predict and guide future practice. > Research methods and research roles. In qualitative research, the investigator usually adopts the role of participant observer by which he or she becomes immersed in the social phenomenon under study. Therefore, analysis in qualitative studies takes the form of an "emergent design" (Goetz, & LeCompte, 1984; Hammersley, & Atkinson, 1983). Quantitative research, on the other hand, employs the experimental or scientific method by which an explicit design is essential before data collection in order to test specific hypotheses. In short, the primary concern of qualitative or interpretivist studies is "particularizability rather than generalizability" (Erickson, 1986, 130). 55 However, the notion of voice provides a different perspective for studying the subjectivity-versus-objectivity dispute. For instance, supporters of the quantitative paradigm ground their voices on their statistically significant, allegedly objective data; while, some qualitative researchers use their close relationship with the participants to describe the context in which the researched's professional life unfolds. In addition, voice as a research tool in qualitative studies demands that the relationship between researcher and researched be dialogic and collaborative as both participants and researchers construct meaning from their "shared" experiences. Therefore, the detached role of the positivist inquirer is anathematized in qualitative research. Similarly, Leslie Roman (1993) states that the suppressed subjectivity of the participant observer required for "going native" or for metamorphosing into the "fly-on-the-wall" would not do (I expand on this perspective in Chapter 3). In this light, what are some of the key arguments proposed by educators in support of one research paradigm over the other, and what impact does this debate have on the construct of voice? As a point of departure, we could begin with Michael Apple's uncertain epitaph, "Positivism has been displaced, or so we hope" (in Lather 1991, vii). More recently-as he prepares to mount a defense of positivism-Francis Schrag (1992) elaborates on the current perception of this battered philosophy of science: In some academic circles, positivism is a living faith. In others, it is a dead creed whose remaining adherents are either naive science worshippers or political reactionaries (or both). (5) If positivism is "dead" then it keeps on reappearing like the ghost of Hamlet's father, and it wants revenge. In a recent issue of the Educational Researcher, Schrag (1992) challenged well-known critics of positivist research (such as Henry Giroux, Elliot Eisner, Frederick Erickson and Thomas Popkewitz) with a bold statement: "insofar as they wish their work to enhance the education of children-they are logically committed to propositions that can be tested only through positivist research paradigms" (5). Schrag bases his arguments on 56 the language of persuasion that permeates the conceptual frameworks put forward by some interpretivist researchers. Take for instance, Eisner's (1979) notion of teacher as connoisseur. He proposes that in order to effectively evaluate or design educational programs, the teacher must be like an arts connoisseur; that is, a teacher with the skills "to perceive the subtleties, to become a student of human behavior (and) to focus (his or her) perception" (195). Eisner adds that the teacher as connoisseur is able to recognize the "subtle particulars of educational life" and the way these particulars "form part of the structure within the classroom" (195). This is an appealing notion, but Eisner never elaborates on how a teacher can become a connoisseur, neither does he explain how a state of connoisseurship can be evaluated. Because of this, Eisner's teacher-as-connoisseur remains no more than unanalysed romantic metaphor. It is this type of unanalysed and "untested" notions that Schrag (1992) feels compelled to question; hence, we now hear his voice-not only providing a counter-argument but also a directive for how knowledge claims are to be properly produced: If the argument is to be persuasive, it must show the superiority of the innovation. To demonstrate that superiority, it will have to provide evidence that compared with current practice the innovation yields more educational value. Where can such evidence come from? It can come from philosophical considerations that support or undermine the innovation regardless of its consequences. Or it can come from data derived from experiments that utilize the educational trial. I see no other alternative. (7, emphasis in the original) To this charge, Eisner (1992) points out that adherence to the scientific method as the only tool to generate knowledge in education is unfeasible. Educational research does not yield prescriptions teachers get from an educational pharmacy which they can then implement in their classrooms. What they can get are ideas, suggestions, possibilities. These important contnbutions are cues, not prescriptions. (9) Of all the responses Schrag's (1992) article received (see Eisner, 1992; Erickson, 1992; and Popkewitz, 1992), only Erickson's (1992) acknowledges 57 what may be a crucial, often ignored issue of the subjectivity-versus-objectivity debate. He explains that Schrag does raise a point worth thinking about; those who write narrative case studies often do make daims for the generalization of their findings beyond the local setting in which their observations took place. And the positivist model of the educational/clinical trial is so ubiquitous in the conventional wisdom about research for educational improvement that some qualitative researchers may have inadvertently slipped into thinking of generalizations in the usual positivist sense. (9) It is this inadvertent "skid" past the researcher's self-imposed methodological boundaries which deserves elaboration. Qualitative researchers, of course, do not have a monopoly on transgressing the methodological limitations of the research paradigms they choose to uphold. We only need to look at the long history of teaching effectiveness research that began in the 1920s and has endured for over 50 years (Doyle, 1990). Leading researchers in this field of inquiry such as Brophy (1986), Gage (1978), Good (1979), Anderson (1979), and Rosenshine (1986, 1987)-who, I must add, had little teaching or administrative experience in school settings-sought to investigate measurable, statistically significant teacher behaviors (processes) that would result in increased student performance (product). According to Doyle (1990), when some of these studies demonstrated significant correlations between specific teaching behaviors and the students' academic performance, administrators and government officials appropriated these findings as the basis for establishing new "quality control" mechanisms for teachers and schooling. As a consequence, the educational research agenda was greatly focused to "generate a technology for the management of teachers rather than to provide knowledge that teachers might use to inform their own practice" (Doyle, 1990, 12). And it is this recognition to move beyond technorational objectives that has encouraged some qualitative researchers to acknowledge that teachers are not just consumers of research-generated knowledge, but that they are constantly engaged in using and producing "practical personal 58 knowledge"32 jp their every-day practice. As a consequence, this has created a spate of articles in recent years focusing on giving voice to the researched. In addition this methodological shift to giving voice to participants is increasingly being waved as the new flag of validity in qualitative studies; a new flag to fan the old fire between the objectivity versus subjectivity debate. Therefore, we need to take a closer look at what exactly do educators mean by giving voice to teachers and how they go about accomplishing this task. I begin, then, with an analysis of the role of narrator, perhaps the most commonly found role played by researchers interested in giving voice to their research participants. lll.The Three Faces of the Giver (and Taker) of Voice The Narrator Recently, some researchers have been narrating the lives of teachers with the same intensity and drama as TV six o'clock news reporters. Consider the following: Jamie Owl is a small white working-class woman of Swedish ancestry. Her eyes are intent and serious, her smile and manner warm and engaging. She was twenty-three years old at the start of her student teaching. That semester was her last. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in English in February 1984, but she did not qualify for secondary English teacher certification, because she chose not to complete all education course requirements. (Britzman 1991, 61) You now become curious about why somebody with such "intent eyes" and "warm" smile and "engaging" manner would choose not to be a teacher. Therefore, you want to find out more; this time you hear Jamie's own voice; [Four weeks into student teaching...] I didn't have anything prepared for that day. My ninth-graders asked to get around in a circle. And I was very pleased because I was going to ask them to do that anyways. So we sat around and I said, "Well, I'd really like to talk to you for a minute. I have decided not to teach." And I went into a few reasons why. Actually, I really didn't ^^\ will expand on this construct later when I discuss Connelly and Clandinin's (1986) work. 59 know how to express [it], I found I was at such a loss for words. I was very vague. "It's something to do with the structure and the way the system is set up." And they were wonderful. "Oh why? Why do you want to leave?" "Is it us?" They thought, maybe if we worked harder, you would stay. That was nice. They thought out ideas of what I should do, maybe be a psychologist, a counsellor, or philosopher. And I started to cry during the class after they had expressed their sentiments. I left the room and went out in the hall for a few minutes and thought about what am I doing? Do I really want to do this? If it's right for me to leave, why do I feel so bad? (Britzman 1991, 90) These are no doubt moving moments in the lives of special people, and it is not my intention to make light of their struggles. My goal is to point out that although some studies are insightful and provocative, some researchers tend to document the participants' experiences as a Greek tragedy-where the actors usually are at the mercy of their fate. Consider this example from Bullough et al's (1992) case study with novice teachers. They offer as evidence Nancy's voice, a first-year Spanish teacher: I'm knocking myself out. I've got to have them doing more on their own. [I] talked too much today [and] have quite a headache . . . [I] cried too much last night, . . [and] talked to my [boyfriend] about the discouragement I fee l . . . Why the compressed head? (46) By the end of the study, what became of Nancy's professional life? Below, the epitaph of her teaching career is recounted this time by the narrator's (researcher's) voice: When the school doors finally closed at the end of the academic year, Nancy's commitment to the school and to teaching was low. She was especially disappointed by her inability to establish engaging relationships with the students. Not only did teaching tire her, but in class she lacked animation. The year had not been easy. She had been severely tested and in her own eyes had not passed the test. "Teaching," she concluded, "in traditional classrooms may not be for me." (Bullough et al 1992, 57) The research-narrator, like a TV news announcer, describes in precise detail the moments of frustration and despair, of broken dreams and wasted times. I must be clear about my purpose, however. I do not intend to diminish the analysis suggested by authors such as Bullough and his associates (1992), (Bullough, 1991) or Britzman's (1986, 1991). I do believe that their 60 work contributes to our understanding of the most difficult experiences that some beginning teachers^a encounter. Nevertheless, by concentrating on the beginning teachers' failures or negative incidents, these researchers only provide the reader with an incomplete canvas, the canvas of individuals portrayed as voiceless and hopeless victims of oppressive institutional and cultural conditions.3"^  We need to make a distinction between talking about participants as victims and talking about how institutional and cultural constraints v/cf/m/ze participants; that how these factors inhibit their actions. Otherwise, I believe that we run the risk of robbing the participants' of their legitimate voices and accomplishments by writing only compelling narratives about their struggles, but never about their strategies for transformative action. As researchers and educators we need to ask ourselves, was there ever a moment of triumph for the beginning teachers in Britzman's extensive ethnography and Buliough et al's case studies? Were the participants ever able to fulfill their own agendas, to make one class, one lesson work just as they had planned? Why are we never told this? Why are the institutional conditions of the university education programs or those influencing the teachers' daily professional lives not explained? These structural or institutional factors play powerful roles in the regulation of these teachers' sense of voice or voicelessness even before researchers come into the setting. More importantly, if these special people who aspire to be teachers were having such taxing and difficult times, where were the researchers? After all, Buliough et al (1992) and Britzman (1991) are all educators with teaching experience. Did they ever offer a word of advice or comfort? We are never told this either. Britzman does say, however, that her work with Jamie "was not designed to help Jamie in her pedagogical strategies, although during our time together I often became a sounding board for her ideas, fears, and deep investments" (62). I find this very confusing, since the central themes in Britzman's book have to do with voice, empowerment, and the dialogic. Britzman adds that the dialogic allows us to move beyond the conversation itself to attend to the conditions of its production: the words we choose, the way we 33|ncludes pre-service and first-year teachers. 34For an extensive critique of Britzman's (1991) book. Practice Makes Practice: A Critical Study of Learning to Teach, see Rodriguez (1992). 61 reinflect them with past and personal meanings, the style used to position meanings, and the mix of intentions that are inevitable when speakers interact. (238) The question is, how could Britzman arrive at this conclusion if she was only "a sounding board" when Jamie was doing the talking and the "deep investing"? I would also argue that Britzman only reports on her interpretations of Jamie's and Jack's^s daunting ordeals, not on the meanings Jamie or Jack constructed from their own experiences. As demonstrated above-and just like in TV news reports--we are invited to hear the protagonists' own words of despair, but this has little to do with voice. It has little to do with encouraging teachers to explore "the contradictory dynamics of their biograph(ies)" so that they can empower themselves to "determine the interventions necessary to move beyond the sway of the cultural authority" (Britzman 1991, 233). One might argue that if teachers choose to quit teaching, they are exercising their voices, but voice should not only be seen as a tool that grants exit without permission. There is a remarkable difference between using one's voice to move "beyond the sway of cultural authority" as opposed to using one's voice to safely retreat away from the ruling hegemony of an institution. Robert Bullough et al (1992) unfolds a narrative very similar to Britzman's above. After closely working with six first-year teachers, Bullough and his associates confess at the end of their book: Not wanting to muddy up or complicate the experience of the first year of teaching too much, we took a somewhat passive stance toward the teachers and their development . . . Had we played a more active role, we may have been able to help ameliorate some of their difficulties, especially those encountered by Larry, Nancy and Marilyn. (202) We now know what happened to Nancy by the end of the school year (as mentioned above). Let's see how each of the other two teachers who experienced the most "difficulties" fared by the time the school bell brought to a close the academic year. "^^Jack is the other participant in Britzman's study. 62 Larry was looking forward to his first teaching assignment, but he quickly became disappointed with the students' lack of interest in school and their increasing misbehavior. "Feeling vulnerable, [the students] seem to him to be 'beasts.' " (Bullough et al 1992, 37). Therefore, Larry opted for the only role that he thought would guarantee his survival, the role of teacher as "policeman." Bullough et al explain: By springtime, Larry had obtained a "truce" with the students but continued to be fraught with self-doubts as he continued to struggle with the question of who he was as a teacher. (38) The other teacher participant was Marilyn. Bullough et al explain that after Marilyn felt "adrift in an ocean of student misbehavior which she eventually tried to ignore" (75), she decided to actively seek support from various people: She returned to a professional therapist, attended a classroom-management workshop, learned more about her school's discipline system, and sought help from colleagues at school, who responded favorably. By year's end Marilyn had improved in her ability to manage the classroom, but she did not come to terms with her conflicting conceptions of herself as teacher. (75) The events experienced by these teachers, and described in graphic detail in Bullough et al's book, may seem like "difficulties" that the researchers did not want to "muddy up," but I fail to understand how exactly then Bullough and his associates accomplished one of their principal aims, that is, "to help the teachers recognize more fully how they author their own stories and to identify within stories the potential for development latent within them" (198). I believe that-especially in the case of the beginning teachers mentioned here-acting as a "sounding board" was not good enough to help these teachers "recognize how they author their own stories," much less assist them in using their own voice. After all, what is the main objective of researchers who seek to give voice? Is it to promote the researched's self-transformation, the pursuit of structural changes in working conditions, social change, or all of these? Important ethical issues emerge from these concerns and they require that educators look inward and 63 explore in more detail whether what we say is what we do (I will expand on this topic later). Bullough and his associates must be given credit, however, for asking the teachers to critique drafts of their case studies (something that apparently Britzman did not do in her ethnographic study). Nevertheless, we are never told what becomes of these critiques. What did the teachers feel should be left unchanged or taken out and why? Most importantly, in Bullough et al's book each of the six case studies is written in a very descriptive, unanalysed fashion, but there are two chapters in which the authors analyze and contrast two clusters of three case studies each (i.e., the teachers with successful beginnings and the ones with less luck). What case studies were given to the teachers for critique, the descriptive educational life histories or the researchers' analyzed versions? Would this have made a difference in the teachers "authoring" their own lives? When researchers claim to give their participants voice, how involved in the analysis and write up of the study should the participants be? This brings us to the issue of collaboration and the role of collaborator. The Collaborator To enhance our understanding on teachers' knowledge and how it is generated, some researchers have sought to collaborate more closely with the participants. This methodological approach is based on the premise that by giving the participants voice in the designing, interpreting and/or publishing of the research enterprise, it would yield closer approximations to the practitioner's reality and sense-making. Furthermore, as Butt and his associates (1992) explain; The study of experiential knowledge, where an understanding of the search for individual meaning is critical, will expose the teacher's voice, in both its alienated and unadulterated modes, to the researcher and the teacher herself. (56) Various procedures for conducting collaborative research have been published (Clark, et al., 1986). Recently, some methods require the participants to write cases based on actual school situations that they consider problematic (Shulman, 1991). Here, the investigator's role is more 64 that of an editor, helping the teachers to reflect on their experiences and to "write compelling narratives," which are read and commented upon by two "outsiders" (school administrators or university officials). Other investigators such as Kagan and Tippings (1991) have chosen to present participants with already written "typical" classroom cases to which the teachers (24 inservice and 22 preservice) were required to respond. Connelly and Clandinin (1986) sought deeper relationships with their participants by attempting to become part of the practitioner's immediate reality. In this fashion, they argue, the researcher would expenence "the pain and glory in some small way similar to that of practitioners" (296). Agreeing with that statement, educators such as Richard Butt and his associates (1992) propose that teachers' autobiographies are effective methods for uncovering the practitioner's professional knowledge. They suggest that teachers can be provided with guidance in the reconstruction of significant past professional events. The teachers are then encouraged to reflect on how their most "memorable" events influence their current practice. Of particular interest for my study is the work of Connelly and Clandinin and that of Butt and his associates because they have chosen to include in-class observations as part of their research design. Observation of the participants in action, in their own classrooms, I believe is essential for collaborative researchers to truly engage in meaningful conversations with the teachers. Therefore, I will focus my analysis on what it means for researchers to allow the voice of the research participants to be heard in collaborative inquiry by using illustrative examples from studies conducted by Butt et al and by Connelly and Clandinin. First of all, it is very striking to contrast the work of Britzman (1991) with preservice teachers and that of Bullough et al (1992) with first-year teachers (discussed above) to the research findings of Butt and his associates (1992) with experienced teachers. On the one hand, as previously discussed, the former group presents preservice and first-year teachers as victims of a relentless socialization process and, on the other. Butt et al, using teacher autobiographies, provide informative, yet unmoving, narratives of experienced teachers who seemed to have found comfortable niches in the ruling hegemony of their schools. From one extreme to the other, these 65 researchers have one thing in common despite the differences in research methods used, they all claim to give the research participants voice. However, I would argue that these collaborative studies, like the other studies discussed previously, do not attend to the participants' voices. That is, the researchers do not appear to give accounts of the sense the participants themselves made of their own experiences. Readers only seem to hear illustrative quotes of the participants' negative experiences, but we do not get to hear what those negative experiences meant to them. Furthermore, and just as importantly, readers are not given opportunities to follow up the participants' actions or the strategies they used to improve their condition. Let's examine this further. One of the main objectives in Connelly and Clandinin's (1986) and Clandinin and Connelly's (1991) collaborative research paradigm is to reconstruct-in close interaction with the participants--the meanings that teachers attach to their everyday practice. This is accomplished "as the researchers and teacher participants jointly explore origins and explanations in interview and in narrative accounts as written, discussed, and re-written" (1986, 307). The end result then is a "narrative unity" in which the researcher's and the researched's interpretations are collapsed into a more meaningful account of the teacher's "personal philosophy" (or how a teacher implements his personal pedagogical beliefs to action). For instance, Clandinin and Connelly (1988) state that the presence of the researcher in the professional context of the participants generates a new shared narrative for each as it does in friendship and does not in acquaintanceship. Each person constitutes part of the other's situation requiring a special re-collection from the narrative history and a special reconstruction to accommodate the other. (281) Therefore, for these authors, collaborative research "requires a close relationship akin to friendship." They add that "[rjelationships are joined . . . by the narrative unities of our lives" (281). How exactly can this state of "unity" and sharing be achieved? Clandinin and Connelly have delineated various steps for establishing and 66 maintaining a narrative-focused collaborative project in the studies already mentioned above, but I find worth noting this example detailing how the teacher-researcher interaction takes place. First, the researcher (in this case, Kroma, a graduate student-research assistant) is in charge of interviewing teachers based on his in-class observations (Connelly, et al., 1986). From this interview, the researcher then writes a first draft of all the information gathered and key ideas. And, as Connelly and Clandinin explain: These ideas are ones which are based on observed reflection-in-action at one level and reflected upon in interview at another. The development, therefore, is dialectic in the sense that we have used it: it involves the researcher and participant in a mutual development of ideas. Mutuality is enhanced as researcher and participant discuss and modify the participant's narratives. (306) I celebrate these authors' quest in assisting teachers to explore and recast the teachers' "personal practical knowledge" in a way that is meant to be meaningful and useful to the participants themselves. However, I fear that the strong focus for a "narrative unity" appears so antiseptic that it might serve to legitimise existing oppressive institutional structures or even a teacher's feeling of voicelessness. As John Willinsky (1989) points out in his extensive critique of the Connelly and Clandinin's team, "[TJhis focus on the individual's actions limits the basis of collaboration and conceptually isolates the teacher's practices from their inescapable institutional element" (251). I believe it is important for educators to investigate more fully the possibility that their well-intentioned agenda for enhancing collaboration, dialectic discourses and reflection might produce quite the opposite results than those expected (Ellsworth, 1989; Elwood, 1992). This realization is perhaps best illustrated by Kenneth Zeichner's (1993) compelling retrospective journey of two decades as a teacher-educator and researcher. Zeichner's aim has always been to expose his students to critical social issues in his classes. That is, by making the social context of schooling problematic, Zeichner thought that student teachers could begin a process of awareness which in turn may lead them to develop strategies for action against racism, sexism, injustice, etc. However, after reading hundreds of 67 student evaluations of the courses he had taught, Zeichner discovered that many students were still seeing "the seminar activities as something separate from the process of learning to teach, as just another set of academic hoops to jump through for certification" (13). From this realization, and since 1984, Zeichner and his associates at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have emphasized the inclusion of social critical issues in their teacher education by systematically "drawing the students' attention to certain elements of their practice" (14). In this way, through action research, Zeichner hopes to facilitate the students' development of practical knowledge as a process deeply embedded into the critical social aspects of schooling. Therefore, it might not be readily apparent to the participants--as some collaborative researchers claim-that By writing narrative accounts and discussing them with practitioners, [the] researchers and teachers see . . . classrooms in general, in new ways. This growth in meaning constitutes an act of school reform. (Connelly and Clandinin, 1986, 309). Another aspect of narrative inquiry that raises questions is that it seems to defy the complexity of relationships or "friendships," as Clandinin and Connelly calls them, between researcher and participant. If interpretive conflict imbues human interaction why should researchers--as observers-be interested in homogenizing the others'--Xhe practitioners'-experiences? This issue becomes much more complicated when we consider that researchers assume to have the power to transcend their own academic locations (as a result of their being university officials); their own social locations (for example, as a result of their being white upper middle-class persons); and their own ideological locations or personal philosophies of teaching and learning. All of these factors play a significant role in how researchers instinctively construct the other's experiences. The posturing associated with the collaborator's role reifies the oxymorons: researcher as neutral yet researcher as authoritative, researcher as "equal" yet researcher as university official. In any case, through the types collaborative studies discussed thus far, the researchers exert their authoritative voices by declaring that they have something to share with the teacher participants. 68 such as the research analysis; while, at the same time, mapping out how the "sharing" is to take place. Therefore, we must remain cognizant of the strong possibility that what teacher participants really need for improving their practice or for developing strategies for social action may pass unnoticed as the search for a narrative unity becomes the focus of the research enterprise. As John Willinsky (1989) explains: Personal practical knowledge is a celebration of the individual sensibility and the unique life of images, rhythms, and narrative that has produced it. But this individuality may be ploughed under in labouring for a collection of voices and the production of shared meanings. (255) The Emancipator The researcher as "emancipator" suggested by critical theorists (Giroux, 1988; McLaren, 1988) seeks to give voice to teachers so that they would have a better understanding of their practice and working conditions and, hence, would actively seek to transform them. This is definitely an ethical issue that puts the researcher in a position of provocateur. I do not argue against this stance, but what I wish to discuss is whether it is ethically acceptable for us, as researchers, to actively intervene in other people's ways of making sense of their world, to encourage them to use their voices to effect change, and then to leave them to their own devices. In short, is it ethically acceptable for us to act as intermittent emancipators, leaving the ottier to pursue difficult and risky personal and institutional transformations while we retreat to the safety of our offices? Furthermore, I suggest that researchers in the emancipator's role take for granted that all participants would be interested in being involved in the researchers' "chosen" emancipatory process, and that those in positions of power will be sympathetic to this cause (Ellsworth, 1989). Again, as discussed above, in spite of the educator's good intentions, this benevolent posturing may also cause to pass unnoticed the struggles for voice or transformation in which participants are a/ready engaged. Let's consider an example of the researcher as emancipator by examining the implications of the construct, "catalytic validity" (Reason and 69 Rowan; Brown and Tandom quoted in Lather 1991, 68). According to Lather (1991), "catalytic validity represents the degree to which the research process re-orients, focuses and energizes participants toward knowing reality in order to transform it" (68). Does this mean that if we do not manage to instigate participants to significantly transform their "reality" that our research enterprise has failed? How much catalytic validity is good enough to legitimise our pre-determined agenda for championing the oppressed other? What about if our emancipatory excursions create serious repercussions between the employer and the employees as the oppressed feel "energized" to act on their newly found voice? Would we be prepared to move from the safe theoretical periphery into the battlefield in support of those whom we encouraged to fight against social injustice? These are difficult questions to answer for all of us who see the potential of voice in educational research as a tool for resisting against inequality issues in our schools, but these are questions that we can neither afford to ignore nor take for granted under the auspices of our good intentions. Furthermore, how we choose to answer these questions has compounding ramifications on how much we may end up influencing the existing ecology of the setting and people we wish to study. I am not advocating ideological detachment. I am suggesting that we need to reflect on the purpose of our research and on Its potential impact on the lives of the participants. Elizabeth Ellsworth (1989) suggests an excellent way to start any form of an intellectually honest and dialogic enterprise: If you can talk to me in ways that show you understand that your knowledge of me, the world, and the 'right thing to do' will always be partial, interested, and potentially oppressive to others, and if I can do the same, then we can work together on shaping and reshaping alliances in which [people]^^ of difference can thrive. (324) After completing this brief analysis of recent studies, can we conclude that it is possible to give voice to the research participants in qualitative inquiry? Do the roles of narrator, collaborator and/or emancipator pro\/\de the best forms of interaction for allowing the voice of the participants to be ^^Ellsworth used the word student here. Begging the indulgence of the author, I believe that her thought-provoking statement should applied to all peoples. 70 heard? The ethnographic, case studies, autobiographical and collaborative projects I have reviewed in this Chapter demonstrate a genuine interest on the part of educators to work closely with teachers in producing an enriched environment for better understanding the teaching experience. Nevertheless, I have indicated that the research role of narrator appears to actually mask the participants' voice by describing only the participants' struggles and negative experiences without indicating the strategies of resistance inherently present when human interactions are mediated by asymmetric power relations. The roles of collaborator and emancipator raise important methodological and ethical issues. I have argued that researchers cannot transcend-nor should they-their own personal belief systems, ideological locations and social status. A truly collaborative research enterprise between researcher and researched may begin by acknowledging that they both have vested interests, independent voices and authorities instead of trying to suppress any of these (Alcoff, 1991; Ellsworth, 1989; Opie, 1992; Roman, 1993). After all, why should a university professor, after spending years of academic preparation to gain the voice and authority to do educational research, pretend to be able to put all that aside for the duration of a study? This position may not only prevent the participants from benefiting from the wealth of information and resources the researcher brings into the study, but it may also close the possibility for truly honest communication. The arguments presented here demonstrate that there is much to be gained by making educational research an intellectually honest enterprise by which the researchers and researched do not pretend to be equal, but acknowledge and appreciate their differences. It is the documentation of the interpretive conflicts and compromises that arise among ail participants in a study that may advance our understanding of teachers' personal practical knowledge. Any attempt to homogenize teachers' lived experiences by putting them through some sort of interpretive blender might render colorful narratives, but such narratives would be devoid of the essence and flavor of its forming constituents. In the same fashion, any attempt to begin a collaborative relationship with participants when the original intent of the researcher is to champion and emancipate the already assumed to be voiceless other is methodologically and socially 71 flawed. The emancipator role taken by some researchers runs the risk of having a silencing effect on the voices of struggle already present in a setting, because the researcher does not come in with the intention to learn how to become an ally, but with the intention to regulate how the emancipatory process is to take place. Therefore, I propose an alternative research method which builds on the insights from this critique and on the best methodological features of the studies discussed thus far. IV. Intercontext as an Alternative Research Method for Qualitative Studies Intercontext (see Figure #2, next page), is a research method based on a social constructivist orientation to knowledge construction (as discussed in Chapter 2). Intercontex is composed of three elements: reflexivity, the dialectic conversation and stimulated linkage. Hence, the participants' biography, personal philosophies of teaching and learning (PPoTaL), and academic background are important aspects to be considered in order to understand how participants make sense of their experiences. In addition, this method allows researchers to make explicit the ideological orientations which inform their work (reflexivity). In my case, as indicated in Figure #2 (next page), I draw from a theory of social justice. For me, conducting educational research provides an opportunity to engage in work for social transformation because it is guided by the principle that social justice can be accomplished through education. This view is different from the emancipator role described above because, through intercontext, researchers neither attempt to impose their ideological orientations on the participants, nor try to suppress them. Instead, the researchers' ideologies are simply open for discussion and debate as part of the dialectic conversation (this term is discussed below). As it can also be observed in Figure #2, it is important for researchers to be cognizant of where their ideological and epistemological orientations intercept with the cultural contexts in which participants operate. This understanding allows the researcher to select appropriate research tools for carrying out the research enterprise 72 Figure #2 Theoretical orientations and the intercontext methodology IDEOLOGICAL ORIENTATION EPISTEMOLOGICAL ORIENTATION Theory of social justice / Intercontext e^ / research 1 method j X ^ Research ^ x » \ questions . Equity & \ / Anti- \ / discriminatory > i w , / ^ pedagogy^^^^^'K^,^^^ The pupils' The teachers' The classroom's The school's The university's \ Social \ constructivism Biograph^v PPoTaL* \ J Academic \ ^ / ^ backgrouri^,,^r^ CULTURAL CONTEXTS (Sometimes in conflict with one another) 'Personal philosophies of teaching and learning Furthermore, by placing the research questions for the study where the theoretical orientations (represented by the circles) intercept, the researcher can ascertain the feasibility of such questions given the chosen research tools and the characteristics of the cultural and institutional contexts. Once researchers are aware of the potential impact of these orientations on their work and on the lives of the participants, they can begin the research 73 process by attending to the three principal elements of the intercontextual methodology. Elements of the Intercontextual Methodology The detailed procedure or method used in this study is explained in Appendix I. I will only describe here the major components which I believe make intercontext an alternative research methodology. Reflexivitv Expanding on Hammersley and Atkinson's (1983) ref/ex/V/fy construct, intercontext is defined here as the recognition on the part of researchers that they are part of the social world being explored. Therefore, reflexivity allows researchers to gaze inward at their own subjectivities in order to facilitate their understanding of the participants' experiences and to explore the possibilities for transformative action. For instance, Roman (1993), Roman (1990), and Peshkin (1988) argue that researchers' attempts to go "native" or to be "flies on the wall" are futile since these colonial anthropological stances aim to "bring into the shadows" the researchers' own subjectivities. This is a position that is neither possible nor desirable since researchers, as individuals, cannot transcend their own social, ideological and academic locations, as I mentioned above. In recent years, there have been several studies in which the researchers followed the type of implosive reflexivity I believe is possible through intercontext. Excellent examples can be found represented in Katherine Borland's (1991) folkloric work with her grandmother, Leslie Roman's (1993) ethnographic study on the identity formation of females in the Punk subculture, and Joseph Tobin and Dana Davidson's (1990) discussion of the ethical dilemmas they faced as they inadvertently textualized the lives of research participants in their book. Tobin and Davidson's original intentions--like the other researchers mentioned here thus far-were no doubt well-meaning; they wished to "develop a polyvocal ethnographic research strategy designed to empower teachers to speak directly in our text" (271). However, the teachers criticized various parts of the book that they felt were not doing justice to the context of their experiences. The teachers knew that they did not have editing or censorship privileges but felt compelled to let the 74 authors know of their disagreement. In their insightful paper, Tobin and Davidson recognize that in their book they "wrote with intermittently lapsed jargon, academic posturing, and arcane methodological and theoretical hair-splitting" (282) that excluded school teachers as readers--the very people they sought to empower in the first place. A very important factor to note here is that because of Tobin and Davidson's commitment to reflexivity they have acknowledged the power teachers have to speak for themselves which is different from the authoritative stance (discussed earlier) of thinking that they could give this power to (or empower) the teachers. In the same fashion, because of their reflexive approach, the researchers seem to have learned a great deal about themselves as researchers, educators and persons. This again is much more meaningful than declaring that they have the power to transcend their own social, academic and ideological locations. I believe that the elements of intercontext I used in this study should be apparent to the reader throughout the document, but, at the risk of appearing artificial and contrived, I wish to provide some specific examples. In Appendix II, I give some indication of one of the issues I needed to grapple with as a novice educational researcher/science teacher. In other words, after several entries in my field journal, I discovered that my researcher persona and my science teacher persona created a dilemma for me when observing the pre-service teachers teach during their practicum. In my role of resource person/researcher (see Appendix I), I was to provide the students with whatever support and advice they requested, but I was not to take the evaluative role of their school or academic advisors. Yet, as a science teacher, I saw myself writing comments in my field journal as if I were one of their supervisors (see Appendix II for more details). 1 felt very uncomfortable about this because I knew that the pre-service teachers already had at least two or three advisors giving them plenty of evaluative comments and the last thing they needed was yet another critic. On the other hand, I had worked hard to develop a sense of trust with the participants and they deserved, and expected, honest and constructive answers when they sought my input. They particularly often expected immediate feedback after we watched the videotapes of lessons I had videotaped for them. I am not sure whether 1 ever managed to strike a balance between my researcher and my science teacher personae, but I what I know is that through a reflexive process I was 75 able to manage this dilemma. One of the ways in which I dealt with this issue was to use my observations and the strong sense of trust we had developed to assist the students reflect on the reasons why there was a dissonance between their espoused PPoTaL and how they actually taught in the classroom (this is explained in Chapter 5 and 6). I also used the reflexive process to help me distinguish when the science teacher persona was being judgemental and how this influenced my analysis. Appendix II, therefore, provides a glimpse at some of the moments in the life of a science teacher, graduate student and single father attempting to learn how to become a researcher by trying to be one. Finally, a reflexive approach enabled me to come to terms with the fact that I was in a very similar situation as the pre-service teachers in my study; that is, we were all trying to translate what we learned in the safety of university classes to the school (field-based) context. Therefore, as I became more aware of the factors which influenced my understanding of the participants' experiences, I was able to ask more significant and probing questions at the next interview or meeting. The Dialectical Conversation Significant and probing questions are the heart of the dialectical conversation. The dialectical conversation is based on a mutual sense of trust and close interaction with the participants. These, in turn, enable the researcher to probe the meaning the participants attach to their actions and explanations of those actions. It is essential, therefore, that the participants feel comfortable with the researcher and that questions are not perceived to be judgemental or demeaning. I have attempted throughout this study to include my questions and comments when I quote from the students interviews. My intention is to provide the reader with opportunities to appreciate the contextual framework in which the participants based their answers. In any case, in Appendix III, the reader will be able to appreciate the importance of the dialectic conversation as a research tool for both researcher and participant to negotiate and construct meaning. In this Appendix, I present an abridged interview with Dean as he and I try to make sense of the events leading to his school advisors' decision that they could not work with him and that he should be transferred to a different school. In 76 addition, through the dialectic conversation, my aim was to assist Dean to reflect on the impact of those events on his professional development. Other examples of the dialectic conversation are provided in the example I give below regarding stimulated linkage. Stimulated linkage This is perhaps the most significant element of the intercontextual research methodology which differs from other qualitative research studies. After each interview I had with the participants, I prepared a profile of significant information or critical incidents which influenced the pre-service teachers' point of view at the time. By significant information I mean the students' answers to questions such as who their teaching role models were, or what were their metaphors of teaching and learning, etc. By critical incidents I mean the specific events the students themselves identified as having an impact on their personal philosophies of teaching and learning or actions. Therefore, the process of stimulated linkage consisted of providing participants with summaries or profiles of significant information and critical incidents they discussed in previous interviews or wrote in their journals. In this way, I have hoped to give them an opportunity to read the profiles before the next interview so that they could reflect and //M their own explanations of current actions to their formerly espoused beliefs and actions. By providing the profiles with a number of direct quotes from the participants' own words, they could explain, expand and/or refute their previous claims. In addition, it gave me an opportunity to probe whether the sense I was making about what was significant or critical to them was indeed perceived that way by the participants themselves (see Appendix IV for an example of a PPoTaL profile). In the following excerpts I provide some examples of the usefulness stimulated linkage has in the difficult process of constructing shared meaning in qualitative studies. Note that I usually began the formal interview by asking if there was anything the participant wanted to talk about. Sometimes we would talk about some incident or event that was important to them. And, sometimes this conversation led us right into talking about the summary profile I had given them and about how things had changed or 77 remained the same, in any case, I always got a reaction from the students regarding their profiles^^. The following excerpt is from interview # 4 with Barton after he had completed the practicum and after he had begun to take the first set of summer courses (for more details on the interview formats and the teacher education program see Appendix I): Well, after reading this profile, I just want to get a general reaction from you. Do you feel that it captured what you were thinking and feeling at that time, at the mid-practicum? Barton Yeah. I find that it captures glimpses of things that I think, that I feel. I get off on tangents sometimes. And this cuts bits and pieces of it. If I was to follow along a specific line it would take a while to get a lot of information out and then re-filter it and then come down to what the key point is. But I thought that there were a lot of things in there that--when I was just re-reading it-triggered off "oh, yeah, okay." And I still agree with a lot of it. This excerpt is from Ellen about the same time as above: Let me just ask you, after reading the profile here for [the interview conducted at mid-point of the practicum], do you feel that this profile more or less represents your views about teaching and learning? Or how you were feeling up to the mid-practicum? Ellen: Yeah, more or less because I noticed that I was reading them and I was going, "Oh, I didn't know I believed that," and then I thought, "Was this at practicum?" Because I thought, "Well, at the [short] practicum I certainly didn't feel this way." Oh, good. Ellen: But at mid-practicum, yeah, I did. Good. Ellen: I mean, I was still not having problems with [my biology school advisor]. Or not as much. I didn't pursue the problems as much. Right, that's true. 37| also had a prepared set of questions designed to clarify my interpretations of the students' experiences and to explore the impact of new events on their PPoTaL and actions. 78 Ellen: You know, so that way I was reading it and I was going, "Yeah, that's true, I did feel that way." Oh, good, because then we can talk more about how some of those particular things have changed. Ellen: Yeah. I expand on Ellen's incidents with her biology school advisor in Chapter 6, but what is important to note here is how through stimulated linkage pre-service teachers can be assisted to systematically reflect on the meaning of their experiences as they try to make sense of a variety of often contradictory situations. Figure #3 (next page), provides a visual summary of how the dialectic conversation, reflexivity and stimulated linkage provide bridges of communication between the researcher and the participant. Note that this figure is different from Figure #2. I used Venn Diagrams for both of these figures because they seem to best represent the areas where negotiated understanding and relationships are possible. In addition, Figure #3 shows the partiality of the interceptions in meaning (illustrated by the dash lines). That is, since illustrations often tend to oversimplify complex information, I wish to emphasise in Figure # 3 the fact that meaning is always negotiated and contested between the researcher and the research participants. 79 Figure #3 Qualitative inquiry using intercontextual methods RESEARCHER Biography. Personal philosophy of teaching and learning. Academic background. Negotiated meaning I(always partial & contested) ^Dialectic conversation Reflexivity Stimulated Linkage A STORY >ARTICIPANT Biography. Personal philosophy of teaching and learning. Academic background. Observations Particifiant's experiences Expefctations from school advisors and pupilfe in the school context. I Expefctations from University irtstructors in thfe university context. 1 Expefctations from faculty advisors in boih contexts. 1 SETTING Negotiated meaning ! (always partial & con tes t ) 80 V. Relationship to this Study When Elizabeth Ellsworth (1989) wrote in her extensive critique of critical theory that educators should always consider that the" 'right thing to do' will always be partial, interested, and potentially oppressive to others," she encountered a lot of opposition. Peter McLaren (1988) , for instance, charged that educators should instead be more concerned with the risks of "political inertia or moral cowardice"(72) in their work. Would an /A7fercontexfL/a/approach to qualitative inquiry lead to some form of "political inertia and moral cowardice"? I had hoped that by discussing what I see as the three recurring research roles in qualitative inquiry, the narrator, the collaborator and the emancipator, it should be apparent that "political inertia or moral cowardice" on the part of the investigators is the least of their problems. On the contrary, it seems that--in addition to disciplined subjectivity as suggested by Erickson (1986)--qualitative researchers should aim for establishing a disciplined ego. That is, researchers should reflect and acknowledge that no one has the power to transcend one's own ideological, academic and social locations to declare that one can work with the other as "equal." Educators also need to avoid taking the omnipotent position that they have power to give voice, power to give power to{or empower) the victimized other, and power to retreat once they have incited the other to seek self-transformation. I am definitely not advocating "political inertia or moral cowardice." I am advocating ethical responsibility and intellectual honesty. If we choose to enter a research relationship which might lead the participants to seek personal and social transformation, then we must also be prepared to move from the theoretical sidelines and into the field; we must be willing to provide concrete and strategic assistance in their struggle. Nevertheless, researchers need to monitor the extent of their involvement so that they can avoid appropriating the role of the expert and regulatory voice. We, as educators and researchers, should acknowledge, and make apparent to the research participants, that our voices are just a few of many. I have also attempted to demonstrate that using an interpretive blender-through which the lived experiences of the other are discussed, written and 81 re-written in close collaboration with the researcher--may not yield the expected "valid" narratives where the voice of the teacher participant is louder and clearer. On the contrary, this avoidance of interpretive conflict may have, as a side effect, a silencing of the voice of resistance inherent in all human interactions. Hence, researchers as collaborators who come in with a predisposition to give voice and authority to the teacher-participant may already be compromising their ability to hear the voice and authority that already resides with the otiier. I have suggested that by using an intercontextual methodology based on reflexivity, dialogic conversation and stimulated linkage in our research we will strengthen the quality of our work. This of course is not to imply that some of the studies reviewed here laci< quality. In order to make (or refute) this claim, research consumers would have to be cognizant of the researchers' intent, i. e., the essence of the subjectivities that drive their educative agendas. However, as I have tried to argue in this paper, we simply do not know how the researchers' ideological, social and academic locations influence how they construct the discourses arising from their work. Therefore, we still wonder whose face is being portrayed and whose voice is being heard in studies that claim to give voice to the research participants. Finally, I hope that the issues discussed here add to the rekindled subjectivity-versus-objectivity debate because the ghost of positivism-if you believe it is dead and if you believe in ghosts-seems to haunt qualitative researchers who, in increasing numbers, use the notion of voice as the new research flag that symbolizes validity and legitimacy. Voice is becoming in qualitative inquiry what statistical significance is in quantitative research. Using the insights I have gained from this review and from an intercontextual research methodology, I begin the analysis phase of this study by providing a discussion of the pre-service teachers' original personal philosophies of teaching and learning and how these changed (or remained the same) as the students progressed through their teacher preparation. 82 CHAPTER 4 The Pre-Service Teachers' Personal Philosophies of Teaching and Learning: IMetaphors, Role Models and Emerging Identities My intention in this Chapter is to introduce the pre-service teachers' personal philosophies of teaching and learning or PPoTaL. As early as 1975 Lortie suggested that pre-service teachers enter teacher education programs with deeply entrenched conceptions and role models of what constitutes being a teacher. He argues that these conceptions are formed through an "apprenticeship of observation" of 16 or more years of being a school pupil and a university student. The findings in this project support Lortie's conclusion. However, my goal here goes beyond describing the pre-service teachers' PPoTaL. The pre-service teachers in this study-and the researcher-were/are individuals with complex lives both inside and outside of the teacher education program. I thought that it would not be enough to simply recount their PPoTaL without exploring the reasons why they chose science teaching as a career. Therefore, this Chapter represents a more personal reference source where stories about beliefs and emerging identities can be found, and where I begin to explore the external factors which collided or congealed with the pre-service teachers' original PPoTaL. To this end, I present the reader with the students' views on teaching and learning as embodied in the metaphors they first selected when they began their teacher preparation. In addition, I contrast their prior views with those they held by the end of their University Program. My aim is to emphasise the need to look more closely at the complex and context-dependant process of learning to teach over time; i.e., if we wish to make sense of the forest, we need to look beyond the trees. I. The Guide and the Traveller-Exploring Alfred's PPoTaL Alfred was the very first pre-service teacher I interviewed in this study-in fact, the first person I have ever interviewed in an education research project. Needless to say, I was very nervous. The night before the interview, I rehearsed many times in my head everything from small-talk, ice-breakers to 83 interesting and probing questions. I was but a poor caricature of a late-night, talk-show host. This realization made me even more nervous. I kept on wondering what if he doesn't want to talk? Alfred came into my office right on time. He was wearing a smile and a relaxed manner. He sat comfortably by my desk and pulled out a Tupperware container from his bag. Inside-with the cheese still steaming after a quick zap in the microwave-was a succulent piece of lasagna his mother had baked the night before. I realized then that I was worrying too much and that talking about food, about his day, about his goals and about teaching and learning were all part of who he was, and none of it was small-talk-not really. I found out that he was an Italian Canadian, very much in touch with his heritage. He attended high school in Vancouver and completed his first degree in Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia (UBC). At 21 years of age, and right after completing his B.Sc degree, he enrolled in the UBC's Teacher education Program. Alfred has always had a high grade-point average since high school. Why did he decide to go into teaching and not another science-related profession? He, like several other participants in this study, did not plan to go into teaching from the start. On the contrary, his decision to become a teacher was made during the last stages of their first degrees. For example, Alfred explains: I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I didn't know...I started out, you know, general science and then I went into chemistry. And I was thinking about going into biology, but I thought, "Nah. I might not like it." So I went into bio-chemistry, I was just jumping around, trying to figure out what I wanted~l didn't even know what I wanted to do as an undergrad. So this is a kind of a recent decision to go into teaching? Alfred; Within the last year. . .Within a year before I entered the program. (Interview before the Orientation Practicum, 0P1, italics mine) 84 For Alfred, the notion to work with children became more appealing than working as a laboratory assistant, since he felt that with a Bachelor's degree in biochemistry there was little else he could do. He added, "So, I thought that, well, I like science, too, and what could I do? I like working with people. So I put it all together and I came up with teaching." (0P1). He also felt that two other factors influenced his decision to become a science teacher. First, he remembered how some of his teachers were "interesting to listen to" and how "they made learning fun." He felt that these teachers acted as role models of how he would like to teach. Below, he describes one of the teachers who influenced his thinking on what constitutes good teaching: I admired one teacher I had in science in high school. I had him in grade eight, ten and 12. And he had a good system set up to get everybody to do the homework and to pay attention-well, to basically, you know, behave in class. He would give a quiz at the beginning of every class-almost every class. Or at least we were told that if there's a reading assigned, you can expect a quiz. It doesn't mean you're going to get it, but you can expect one. And everybody would always read the chapter and study book, 'cause I mean, maybe half of your marks-throughout the overall year-would end up coming from quizzes. You know, that was a big chunk of your mark. So if you started missing quizzes left and right, you know, you were going to hurt it. And that was one thing. He would give you minus five if you talked in class when you shouldn't or if you were acting up-'cause what else is he going to do for discipline? Send you out of the room? That was like, wow, some people, they were hurting to get through. I mean, they were struggling just to pass, so they couldn't afford to get, you know, marks taken off for bad behavior. I don't know. I guess other teachers, too, they treated you as a person and not like "I'm the boss, you're the student. Listen to what I have to tell you and don't ask me any questions or something." They were humanly people. You know, your friends more than your teacher sort of thing. They wouldn't appear to be such a figurehead above you or like your boss or something. They were more like your friend. Or at least the one that I can remember. (0P1) In the next chapter, I explain how Alfred was concerned with learning about behavior management strategies to avoid potential conflicts during his practicum. It seemed that for him striking a balance between not being a "figurehead" above his students and being a teacher who could maintain control in the classroom was paramount to his image of what it means to be 85 a good science teacher. The teachers he had as role models were able to manage disruptions in the class and at the same time, they were organized. They didn't jump into something without telling you what they were going to talk about. Or sort of jump between things. Like they would keep things in order. I remember, one thing would follow after the other. It would make sense to learn about something else after you learned about the thing before it. (0P1). Another important factor which inspired Alfred to go into teaching was his successful experiences with tutoring high school students while he was completing his first degree. He explained that his students always commented on his ability to clarify difficult concepts and that they encouraged him to become a teacher. After exploring Alfred's background and reasons for going into teaching, we can now turn our attention to the images that best illustrated his conceptions of learning and teaching science. The reader will recall that Alfred, as well as all the other students taking the fall term, science methods courses, was given a sheet during the first day of classes which contained six illustrations. These illustrations represented commonly held metaphors of teaching and learning (see Appendix I for details on the method used for this study). Therefore, as an assignment, the pre-service teachers were expected to select one or more of these metaphors, or come up with one of their own, in order to encourage them to reflect and write about their views on teaching and learning. They were also expected to write their comments in their journal book (see Appendix I). My first formal interview with the students was after five-weeks of university course work, and I wanted to know whether they had changed the original metaphor(s) of teaching and learning. My goal was to explore the reasons the students attributed to any changes in their views, as well as to discuss what they perceived to had learned from their academic course so far. In Alfred's case, he originally selected the metaphor of the guide and the traveller, where the guide represented the teacher and the traveller the learner. He still felt comfortable with this metaphor after being exposed to five-weeks of course work, and he did not find it necessary to select a 86 different metaphor from the original sheet given to him nor to make up another metaphor to reflect his thinkings^. He explained that the guide and the traveller metaphor best described his conception of learning about science because it involved doing and "seeing" science. He added: [In chemistry], you can't really show the electrons and protons and neutrons , and say "yeah, this makes us an atom". But if you have something, you know, as a model. Something that they can see. It might, I don't know...for me, at least, it clicks in a little better than when somebody tells me about what it is. If I see something, like a model or visual representation, it's easier to understand. (0P1) In fact, Alfred's conception of what constituted good teaching involved having the pupils manipulate objects and equipment. He believed that "practical work with the theory of the lesson" was essential to learn about science. Parting Metaphor During our last formal interview (in August), I asked Alfred again whether his original metaphor of the guide and traveller had changed now that he had almost completed his teacher education. His reply indicated that he still held to his previous metaphor in principle, but refined it to acknowledge the impact the pupils had had in his own learning. He felt very strongly about this issue: If I was to go out and teach right now the way I thought I should be teaching science, say when I was in high school or when I came out of school coming into university, or even during university, thinking, "Okay, I want to be a teacher. Okay. I know how I'm going to teach." If it was going to be put into effect right now, I'd hate myself. I couldn't stand being a student in my own class. Alfred felt that his original interpretation of the guide and the traveller metaphor was too teacher-centered; hence, throughout the program he struggled to find a balance between teacher-centered and student-centered teaching and learning strategies: 38AS mentioned earlier, the pre-service teachers' metaphors were used as research tools to facilitate the monitoring of the students' thinking about teaching and learning science and to encourage them to reflect on their experiences throughout the program. 87 I picked that tour guide [metaphor] probably, like I said, because of the way I've been taught. But now that I've been exposed to this new way--not new way, it's always been there, but just that I've been made aware of the fact that there is another way to learn^s. Not that I'm saying that strict lessons sometimes or hard textbook reading and work and answering questions aren't necessary. They have their place. They always will. Just like the theory always has its place somewhere. I'm just saying that I probably would have taught from the chalk-and-talk kind of version because that's how I learned. I'd gotten used to that, whether I liked it or not, that's how I did it. And that's my idea of teaching. You get up there and you do notes and you ask them questions and da-da da-da. [But] I really learned stuff from the students about things 1 already knew. 1 learned something else about them. And I was thinking, you know how the teacher passes the information the one way. But, really, it goes back and forth. There's more going one way, from teacher to student, but it comes back, too. (Last interview, LIS) Alfred's desire, however, to implement some of the constructivist teaching strategies that appealed to him during his pre-practicum course work met with a series of obstacles which he felt unable to control; obstacles such as the lack of connection between his university course work and school practice and issues related to the hierarchical power relationships among him and his school and faculty advisors. These factors played a significant role in what Alfred felt he could or could not do during his professional preparation. The issues and dilemmas and the variety of strategies the pre-service teachers implemented to manage them are discussed at length in the next chapters. The points to emphasise here are that Alfred refined-not changed-his original metaphor for teaching and learning, and that by the end of the teacher education program he felt that his preferred metaphor could only be implemented when he would be-what he called-a "real teacher" in his own classroom. II. The Gardener and the Gardern-Exploring Barton's PPoTaL Barton also attended high school in Vancouver-in fact, he attended East Secondary, the school where one of the pre-service teachers from this ^^Alfred refers here to the constructivist orientation to teaching and learning to which he was exposed in his methods classes and at the Science Teacher Education Practicum Project (STEPP) meetings. 88 Project completed his practicum. Barton obtained his biology degree from UBC and enrolled in the Teacher education Program shortly after. At 23 years of age, he was a person who loved the outdoors and passionate about environmental issues. He strongly wanted to find a teaching job in a small coastal and rural area of British Columbia, far away from what he saw as the busy and detached lives of city dwellers. He was an outspoken and articulate individual and the only one of the the participants who felt that he has "always wanted to be a teacher." This was a profession he was determined to pursue in spite of tough financial constraints, difficulties in securing a student loan and an increasing debt associated with obtaining a higher education. Below, he explains some of the reasons why he decided to become a science teacher: 1 was doing some tutoring, and 1 have a younger brother and a younger sister, and when I know something, 1 really like to pass it on. Someone doesn't understand something, 1 really like to see them sort of "oh, I get it." And 1 felt that way over a long time, right? 1 don't know if it's natural or whatever-but I think that 1 have this ability that I find it really easy trying to sort of take something, "okay, you don't understand this way, well, we'll bring in analogies in and throw them in and sort of instead of getting to the topic from this way, you can relate it to something else then bring it back." That kind of idea. And if seems to work and I don't seem to have a problem with it. It's just something that sort of natural to me. (0P1) Another aspect about Barton's background is that he, unlike Alfred, felt that his images of what constitutes a good teacher were guided more from "negative models" since he "didn't have a lot of good teachers in high school." (0P1). He adds,". . .My biology teacher was a nice guy, but he was far too arrogant. For example, when we had a group assignment, he had favorites and not favorites, he would pick on people and sort of embarrass them in front of the class" (0P1). From these negative role models during his schooling, Barton drew images of how not to teach. His goal was to teach very much unlike how he was taught as a pupil--and even as a university student. He complained that a lot of his university courses consisted of "you do your lab, you hand in your lab, and it's all pretty mindless. You know what's supposed to happen, and 89 then you relate [your results] to what's supposed to happen. And, then, you write on it" (0P1). Barton's preferred metaphor for teaching and learning illustrated how he planned to implement what he had learned from his negative role models. He chose the metaphor of the gardener tending a garden. He explained that the gardener represented the teacher and the seeds and the plants represented the pupils. Even though, at first glance, this metaphor appears to be teacher-centered, this is not the case after close inspection: You're the gardener and what you do is you have a flower garden or whatever and you have to sort of cultivate them. You can't control exactly what the flowers are going to look like, or the students are going to look like. But you can, you know, use certain things to try and change it and to get it to do certain things. And you have external influences, like weeds, and there are weeds that are going to come. Not all of them are bad. Right? But you can't filter out all the weeds and have this isolated flower and make it into what you want to have. I guess they'd to be factors like nutrients and sun and rain and light and weeds and everything. All these factors, like, you have the student here and all these things pushing in on the student, and the student is to try and change--or the student adapts to all the forces being put on it. And I want to provide a positive force on it so that it might even help counteract some of the negative forces. Sort of build up an idea of "all plants are unique to themselves.". .So I guess a gardener would be not too bad, since you're sort of helping it grow, but you're not making it grow. (0P1) Parting Metaphor By the end of Barton's teacher preparation, he was quite disillusioned with the Program and the contradictions it created for him. This was so much so that even at this stage he was uncertain about how to best make sense of the dilemmas and issues he encountered in the process of learning to teach. He explained that his original metaphor was the same. However, he "didn't know if the ideal had changed, but the means to get there had definitely opened up" (LIS). In other words, his exposure to the complexity of teaching and learning and to the factors that influence teachers' working lives made him more aware of how difficult it was going to be to act on his PPoTaL. In addition, he revealed that he needed time to reflect on his experiences during the Teacher Education Program (TEP) in order to re-examine the one 90 thing he was always sure of before he enrolled in the TEP-that he always wanted to be a teacher: These courses [in TEP] have a lot of bad and a little bit of good, and they worked as counter-examples to things that you believe in, so it could have been a long progress of things. And I'm even planning on taking time off. Thinking a little more about things. Get things a little straightened out. Look back on what I think and find out exactly what I believe in, what I will and will not accept as far as a role as a teacher, and not so much-oh, yeah, student-wise as well but also administration. What I want in a school. I refuse to work in a school that I'm not happy with, but that limits me, so I don't want to do that. (LC5) Barton's comments are particularly interesting because the relationship he established with his school advisor was very different from that between Alfred and his advisor as mentioned above. Barton established a collaborative relationship from the start. Yet, he continued to be frustrated with his professional preparation due to what he perceived to be as a strong dissonance between the TEP's theories and practices and his placement school's theories and practices. This issue is one the foci of the next chapter. III. The Flexible Guide-Exploring Chris' PPoTaL At 25 years of age, Chris had decided to enroll in the UBC's Teacher Education program after completing his Bachelor of Science degree in physics at the same institution. Becoming a science teacher, however, was not his first career choice. He wanted to become an engineer at first, but he stated that it was only after his second or third year that he began to consider teaching physics as a more interesting profession. Chris obtained his physics degree in '85, and after that worked at Whistler Mountain (a popular ski resort) doing several jobs until he earned "enough money to come back to school" (0P1). He added that one of the reasons he decided to go into teaching was because his successful experiences with tutoring high school students part-time while working at Whistler. 91 When Chris enrolled in the TEP, he opted to register as a double major (physics and mathematics), which would enable him to teach both subjects at the high school level. Even though, he lived and attended high school in an affluent district of Vancouver, he was hoping to find a teaching position in a small town in Northern British Columbia. What were Chris' beginning images of what constituted to be a good science teacher? He selected the metaphor of the guide and the traveller as the most "appealing" from the sheet his methods instructor provided. He felt that the guide as the teacher could point the pupils "in the right direction rather than just telling them the right answer or a specific way of how to do it" (0P1). When I asked him whether his selection had changed or whether he had decided to construct his own metaphor after five weeks of on campus classes, his answer was similar to that of Alfred and Barton. He clarified, however, that his metaphor was better "informed" by being exposed to his university courses and to his Instructors' teaching styles. He elaborated as follows: Well, I think, that a lot of that will change, you know, once I'm in the school and observing and stuff like that. 'Cause right now it's all drilled and... That's one thing I find about this whole program is they tell you one thing and they teach you in a totally different way. (0P1) Parting Metaphor Just like Barton above, Chris continued to be frustrated with the lack of connection between his academic course work and his student practicum right to the end of his teacher preparation. And, again, like Barton, Chris developed a strong collaborative relationship with his school advisor which should have made it easier for him to build conceptual bridges between his academic course work and his school practice. But, why did this not occur? In the next chapters I explain at length that the fact that some pre-service teachers developed positive relationships with their school and faculty advisors was not enough to narrow the gap between the students' PPoTaL and the institutionalized constraints of practicing teaching. Chris' parting comments about his professional preparation exemplifies this issue,". . .you 92 learn a lot about how not to be a teacher by listening to some of your [university] instructors" (LIS). This perception that the university instructors were not modelling the pedagogical theories and practices they were instigating their students to adopt was indeed a common concern among all the participants in this study. Having concluded this, did Chris' original metaphor of teaching and learning change as a result of his experiences in the TEP? His answer was simply, "No." However, he explained earlier that he had to adjust his prior conceptions to differentiate between junior and senior high kids' abilities and willingness to learn. He believed that the guide and the traveller metaphor was more appropriate for senior high pupils; whereas, the metaphor of shepherd herding sheep would be more appropriate to describe his interactions with junior science pupils (Interviews at mid-point and the end of the extended practicum, MP3 & EP4). IV. Three Metaphors-Exploring Dean's PPoTaL Dean was 30 years old and this made him the oldest of all the pre-service teachers participating in this project. He and I were also the only persons of color and we both came from strictly working-class backgrounds. By coincidence. Dean and I were also historically and geographically associated by our countries of origin. He was born in Guyana and I in Venezuela. Even though, the cultures and languages of these two countries were different, and even though, unlike me. Dean had lived in Canada most of his life, my friendship with him blossomed faster than with the other participants. Dean had travelled far to become a science teacher. He lived in Ontario most of his life and completed his first degree in physics and biology there, but pursuing a teacher career in Ontario was very difficult due to tough entrance requirements and even tougher quotas. He, like many other students from Ontario, looked at UBC as a good university where he could accomplish his professional goal. However, moving away from all his family, his fiancee, and friends demanded a great deal of emotional stress and financial expense which he was willing to risk. After securing another student loan, he moved to Vancouver and then began an intensive, and 93 expensive, 12-month journey^o which turned out to be a great deal more stressful than he ever imagined. Why would Dean want to go into teaching so badly that would make him leave behind the safety of the familiar and the support of loved ones? He, like most of the other pre-service teachers in this study, did not think of teaching as his first career choice. When he was enrolled in his Bachelor of Science degree, he first thought about pursuing a career as a researcher or lab assistant, but he explained that his experiences with tutoring students helped him reconsider his decision. He added: I was tutoring some students in calculus and there was a lot of positive feedback with that relationship. I really learned a lot from my students and how I interrelated with them and eventually everyone kept on saying, you know, [Dean], you would make a good teacher. It sort of eventually evolved from there. (0P1) Dean's positive experiences as lab assistant for one of his university professors also played a significant role in helping him decide to go into teaching. For him, this professor was the most influential teaching role model he experienced: Dean: I worked as a teaching assistant for the last two years of my biology degree for a professor who taught a human biology course. He just retired- he's 66 this year and he's been teaching this course for a long time and he would give us a lot of freedom to explore teaching methods and he just had such an incredible energy level and enthusiasm level for his course and I think that's my biggest model - my strongest model in terms of teaching. What are the kinds of things that he was doing in his classes that influenced you? Dean: His enthusiasm, I think, was the one thing. He would do things like he'd be talking, say about the phospholipid bilayer in cells, you know, he would jump around and he would sort of stick his arms out and he'd pretend he was a lipid and he'd say, you know, "Lipids are connected," and he would jump from different parts of the room. He was talking about digestion one morning. He walked in with a doughnut and a coffee - this was at 8:30 in the morning - takes a chomp of his doughnut and bellows into the "^ OThe length of the teacher education program at UBC is 12-months. 94 microphone to this class of 300 people. It just woke us up (laughs) and he said, "I'm hydrolyzing my food." Then he went into, you know, what happened as the food was passing through his digestive tract. He just had a lot of enthusiasm and he really was committed to the course. There was a lot of commitment and he really cared about people. And he was a real father figure to me, I think. I went in and had lots of talks with him and stuff like that. (0P1, italics mine) Dean's rich experiences with tutoring students and with working as a lab assistant for two years appeared to have influenced his choices for the metaphors that he selected to represent his original views about teaching and learning. He chose the gas attendant filling up a car with fuel to indicate the process of teaching, and he selected the illustration of a boy throwing pebbles in a pond to exemplify the process of learning. This is how Dean articulated the reasons for his choices: I think the learner is the person driving the car and the teacher is providing fuel for the student in terms of giving them an opportunity to move ahead and to expand their own knowledge. I kind of look at a car as a way to explore the terrain and explore what's happening in the world and go beyond the classroom. I think that's what I was looking at mainly was the fact that the car can go beyond the classroom. And into the rest of the world. Gives them a lot of freedom. It was interesting then tliat you selected the metaphor of the boy by the pond to illustrate learning.. . Dean: I think that students need - I'm thinking particularly about science - is they need to do things and it's active. They need to watch things and look at things and then, in so doing, you kind of get an idea of how things fit together. . . I'm sort of looking at how the students look at everything and observe how the ripples work and then maybe later on they might try and figure out why. (0P1) Now, after five weeks of on campus classes, did Dean feel it was necessary to adjust or change his original metaphors? This time his answer was less certain than before: More or less, yes. More or less, yes, they've pretty well stayed the same. I think I'm probably sort of hedging in terms of the model of the teacher being a little bit more towards a guide as well as the gas attendant. A little bit of both. Sort of a hybrid. And I think what I've 95 maybe gained a little bit in terms of maybe just learning that maybe one model doesn't necessarily fit everything. That's probably the only thing that I think that changes - the fact that one particular type of model there doesn't really fit everything. (0P1) Parting Metaphors From our first formal conversation, and as he became more exposed to teaching in schools. Dean maintained the position that maybe teaching could not be encapsulated in one metaphor. On the contrary, by mid-point of the extended practicum he explained: I find that, you know, the more I'm into the practicum, I'm finding that there really isn't one metaphor to describe how I feel about things because it's very fluid. It depends on what I'm teaching. The class I'm teaching. The subject I'm teaching. And it's just a whole bunch of factors and, you know, sometimes I have to be, you know, different metaphors at different times. (MP3) He also explained that the Teacher Education Program (TEP) has had an impact on his PPoTaL. On one hand, the TEP "reaffirmed some of the beliefs" he previously had about what constituted good teaching and learning. But, on the other hand, the impact of the TEP did not go beyond "increasing his knowledge base" (LIS). By "knowledge base," Dean meant his awareness to "different ideas and different philosophies" in education, so that he now had "a wider picture of what teaching is all about" (LIS). In the next Chapters I will explain that what pre-service teachers meant by "learning what teaching is all about" translated into the implementation of a series of strategies of "survival" during their on and off-campus professional preparation. For Dean, who had to be transferred to a different school due to conflicts with his school advisors, developing and implementing strategies to manage the dilemmas he encountered simply meant passing or failing-getting his degree or losing all he had invested in coming to Vancouver to learn how to be a good science teacher. V. Switching Roles-Exploring Ellen's PPoTaL Ellen was an energetic and goal-oriented woman from a small community in Northern British Columbia. At 24 years of age, she was 96 determined to get her Bachelor of Education degree from UBC, even if meant having to spend a qualifying year before being accepted into the Teacher Education Program (TEP). Ellen had already taken a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Performance at the University of Victoha, but according to UBC Officials, she was short some courses in Physical Education--her primary subject area of interest. Hence, she needed to take some required courses in gymnastics and dance in order to make her previous degree equivalent to a UBC's Physical Education degree. In any case, teaching physical education and biology, with the former being her principal subject area, was not Ellen's first choice for a life-time career either. At first, Ellen was undecided about whether to go into physiotherapy or teaching. She had extensive coaching experience in figure skating, so she thought she would like to study sports training and physiotherapy. However, she became concerned with the kind of lifestyle this type of professional had to live. She explained that you had to travel a lot and that "it was very hard for a woman to get into" (0P1). In addition, the high entrance requirements (a grade point average of 80% plus) made it more difficult tor her to be admitted into the physiotherapy program. Ellen's grades were good, but not that good. Nevertheless, while she was considering her career choices, Ellen volunteered as a teacher aide to assist her former physical education high school teachers. And, during this process she came to realize that she really enjoyed teaching and decided to enrol in the TEP. Once in the TEP, Ellen drew from former physical education teachers as role models for how she wanted-and not wanted--to teach. Here, she describes one of her negative models: . . .My senior high phys ed teacher I didn't like. I thought she was horrible. And I thought, "This is horrible. We shouldn't have teachers like that." That really bothers me, is when I see teachers like that l/V/iy was she horrible? What did she do? Ellen: Well, she had favorites. Like, I was in an advanced P. E. class. I mean, I could participate just as well as the boys. I could out-run 97 half of them. Like, 1 ran cross-country. That sort of thing. I would get the B's and they would get the A's. That's totally unfair. Was this a male or a female teacher? Ellen: It was a lady. She told me outright, "Guys get A's. Girls don't." She told me that. That's Incredible! Ellen: I just went, "Oh my god." But it made me mad. And I think that--sometimes that's a good thing. Because it forces people to action. It made me mad. I didn't like that. And, I don't know, just going throughout university and stuff like that, you come across teachers that you don't like. Or you hear about teachers," that's a tough one." And, I don't know, it just made me want to change it. Not that I want to be a great rabble-rouser and change the educational system and stuff like that. But it did affect me to-it motivated me. Ellen's positive model was mainly embodied by her junior physical education teacher, who had apparently warned her not to pursue a career as a teacher due the stress and constraints associated with the profession. Ellen explained that she appreciated her teacher's honesty and friendship and her ability to care for her pupils-traits she wanted to emulate with her own pupils. This is probably why Ellen felt so strongly about the metaphor of the guide and the traveller as the most representative of her views on teaching and learning. Below, she describes her conception of how she had hoped to originally implement the guide and the traveller metaphor effectively in her classroom: [For this metaphor] it would probably be like a modification of the two in that you have the guide and the traveller. And the guide may be the expert but sometimes the traveller knows more than the guide, so they switch places and they teach each other. It's basically how I view teaching and learning. Like, I don't see them as-well, I guess they're distinct, but in my mind I don't really separate them as much as-"well, today I'm presenting information, but I'm going to learn from those people and how they learn about what I'm presenting to them." So we're both learning on two different ways. (0P1) However, after five weeks of on campus class work, Ellen began to differentiate between what she called her "ideal metaphor" with the "real," or 98 what she could actually enact in her own classroom. She expands on this point as follows: I would have to say [my original metaphor had] changed a bit in that I realize that's the ideal situation, and it would be a perfect world if that occurred, but I don't think it would be like that sometimes--l don't know if you'd call it, like, "I have to be." I call it "being a hag." I have to say, "You are going to learn this this way." There's no two ways about it. There's no interaction. I have to present the information and make that person learn. So, in a way, it's not a two-way street any more. It's me telling, dictating. That sort of thing. So, I realize now that that's the ideal and I can work towards that, but I don't know if when I teach it will always be like that. It will probably be more teacher-directed. But what makes you think that? What makes you think that it will be-like that most of the time-that you're going to have to be directing instead of guiding the lesson? Ellen: I think a lot of my methods courses in the way we present the information to the students. Not that it's going to be totally teacher-directed. I don't want you to think that. But more like I won't be taking-how do I say this? When I teach, it won't be like, well, I'll teach for a while and the students will teach me. Sometimes you'll be just me teaching. I will be the guide for longer periods of times than I am the traveller because in some things like phys ed, say, which is one of my areas, if I'm teaching soccer, I have to teach how to kick the ball. I can't say, "Go out there and discover it for yourself." I don't have time for that. And time is a very real factor that sometimes I forget about. I'm still, like, thinking the time and the type of things that you have to do. They sort of sometimes say, like, "You have to teach in this way." I mean, you can modify as much as you want, and maybe I might be able to do that when I get more experience, but right now that's what it looks like. (0P1) Notably, after observing university instructors contradict the pedagogical strategies they were espousing, Ellen became more aware that she too might not be able to act on her preferred metaphor or views on teaching and learning. In the next Chapters, I explain how the conceptual dissonance students like Ellen expenenced early in their teacher preparation grew into large chasms which became more and more difficult to bridge as their concerns and needs remained unmet. 99 Parting Metaphor Unfortunately, Ellen was one of the three student teachers who experienced great difficulties during her extended school practicum. This conflict appeared to be rooted in her relationship with her biology school advisor^ "!, who she perceived to be absent and unsupportive. In other words, since Ellen felt insecure about her subject-matter content knowledge in biology she expected her advisor to play the role of mentor and guide, but in her view he did not provide the support she needed. This and other issues will be explained in the next chapters; however, the issue I would like to explore at this point is whether Ellen's original views on teaching and learning had changed by the end of the TEP: I think I'm about the same. I can't see that I changed all that much. I've thought more about what 1 believe in and I realize now that after the practicum, I did some things that I didn't believe in. I marked my students with a rating scale that was in my head and not on paper. And I really, firmly believe in trying and give kids as much objective feedback as possible. And a rating scale would have helped in PE. And I got quite mad at myself for two days. I didn't talk to anybody. When I realized that I had actually done that. And then I thought back to why I did that, and I realized that I was told, "Do it this way. That's how we do it." And I followed what was there. I mean, I had so much information coming in, I was getting information overload. So I did the best I could to cope. But I'm pretty sure that one thing when I get my own classroom, I think I'm going to make some very definite changes in how I do things. (U5) So, Ellen's closing remarks indicated, just like Alfred's above, that they believed that when they become "real teachers" and get their "own classrooms," they will be able to act on their PPoTaL. The question teacher educators need to ask themselves is: what is the point to have teacher education programs with a practicum component if pre-service teachers perceive that what happens there is not "really" helping them become "real teachers"? '*•'Ellen's relationship with her physical education school advisor was more collaborative and productive. 100 VI. The Construction Workers & the Gardener-Exploring Frank's PPoTaL Frank had a very insightful side which he masked behind his soft-spoken and easy-going manner. He was a fun-loving individual who was the first at the pub, where we would gather to talk about everything on Friday afternoons after school or after a week of student teaching. Dean, Frank and I were always there and the rest of the gang would show up often, but they never did seem to get as many chicken wings as we did. Frank has always lived in Vancouver, but has travelled extensively around Europe. He was fascinated by visiting new places and sampling the local beer. His home was in an affluent district of Vancouver, where he lived while attending UBC for his Bachelor of Science degree in physics. However, at 25 years of age, he needed to move to an apartment while he attended UBC for his Bachelor of Education degree. After living at home for so long, this was a big move for him, but he had no choice. His father was a physics professor and that year he was going away on sabbatical. When I asked Frank why he decided to go into teaching and who were his role models, he laughed and said, "definitely it wasn't my physics teacher!" He went on to explain: My dad might have influenced me because he's a physics professor and he explains things really well to me so that's probably why 1 really love physics, you know. He's actually out at UBC, so, we made sure I was never in any of his classes, (laughs) That would have been too uncomfortable. But, yeah, he's a physics prof so I kind of maybe got influenced. He didn't push me into anything. But I think 1 just liked it probably because he liked it. (0P1) Frank also seemed to be quite certain about which metaphors best represented his views on teaching and learning. He chose the illustration with the construction workers working on a building site to represent the process of teaching and learning. This is how he explained his choice: Well, the learner, 1 was thinking of somebody observing the interactions of everybody. Sort of a bigger picture. So you get a more integrated observation. You can sort of see how things are related. That's why I kind of picked that one because you can see 101 how different concepts are connected, you know, bricklaying, carpentry and how everything works together. That's kind of why I picked that. So I was thinking of the learner as an observer of that situation. (0P1) It was also intriguing that Frank selected the illustration of the gardener tending a garden as an additional metaphor to represent the learner. He adds: I'm thinking of the learner as a gardener there because he's doing it on his own and, by experience, and from even errors he makes, he will come to conclusions and self-realizations from his own experience and making mistakes and if you've learned something that way, you've really learned it. If you've learned from your own errors and do something to change that, then you've really learned it. That's what I think the gardening thing is, you know. It's like doing a lab, you know, student-centred lab or something where the student's kind of thinking of his own things there. That's interesting. So tine teacher is not present here. Frank: The teacher isn't really in this one, not really prevalent, no. (0P1) It was evident that Frank's strong PPoTaL remained essentially unchanged after five-weeks of on-campus course work. He explained that the "practical aspects of how to carry out teaching," or the "decision-making process" had definitely been made "more complicated because of hearing different views of teaching" in his classes (0P1). However, what he called the "principles" of his beliefs remained the same. Frank added that he was looking fonward to his teaching practicum in order to explore some of the various perspectives to which he was being exposed and which were making his PPoTaL more "complicated:" [There are] so many different views. I haven't been out teaching yet so I can't say [the TEP] changed what 1 do as a teaching strategy but it's making me think a lot more about what will be the best way of teaching and what should I listen to, what shouldn't 1, and what should I do on my own, kind of thing. That's what it's making a bit more complicated. (0P1) 102 So, what happened after Frank had more teaching experience? Did he change his strongly held views on teaching and learning, and if so, why? Parting Metaphors During our last formal interview'*2 Frank had the same response as the other pre-service teachers in this study. He still believed that his originally chosen metaphors best represented his views on teaching and learning. However, I feel that Frank's comments after 7-weeks of teaching during the extended practicum best illustrate the reasons why he found no need to change his views-only a need to adjust them to what he, Ellen and Alfred called the "reality" of teaching; [My views] hasn't really changed that much. Although something that's come to light is how difficult it is to get students--to challenge everybody because it's not homogeneous, right? You can't make an activity where it challenges everybody. Like this discovery-Iearning43 thing. I found that it would be nice for everybody to discover it and learn that way, but I think it's not practical. For everything. Time pressure. [For example], to prepare everybody for a test that you're going to have at some point, you're going to have to prepare other students who may not be as quick, and you'll have to give them more information than maybe you wouldn't have thought in an idealistic sense, just because [classes are] not homogeneous. . . You can't do [constructivist strategies] with every student. You're going to have to give other people more information or they won't understand and they won't pick up on it at all. So I find that sometimes a bit of a barrier because you're inevitably preparing them to write-to perform on some test or something to value it. You know, I find sometimes it's not as easy to employ that kind of thing. (MP3) Frank's comments are an excellent example of the dilemmas the pre-service teachers expehenced in the process of learning to teach while being encouraged to adopt a constructivist orientation to teaching and learning science. Frank's case is particularly interesting because he was one of the three students who developed a strong and supportive professional relationship with his school advisor and he was given a great deal of latitude 42As mentioned earlier, the last set of interviews were conducted close to the end of the students' teacher preparation. 43"Discovery learning" was another term used for constructivist pedagogical activities. 103 to "experiment" in the classroom. What were the factors then that obstructed Frank's, and the other pre-service teachers', opportunities to act upon their PPoTaL and to learn how to effectively implement a constructivist orientation to teaching and learning? I propose possible answers to these and other questions in the next two chapters. VII. Cracks and Crevices The brief introductory analysis I have presented here has raised many questions. What follows is a summary of some of the key points observed so far. I have pointed out that all participants, with the exception of Barton, did not choose teaching as their first choice for a life-long career. There were various reasons why the participants in this study went into teaching, but a common factor among them was their successful experiences in tutoring pupils. Most of them claimed to have negative models of teachers from their school years, and hoped to use these models as exemplars of what notXo do in their own classrooms. Some of the pre-service teachers indicated that among the phnciple features they wished to emulate from their positive teaching models were the ability to be be enthusiastic, democratic, firm and knowledgeable. In addition, I indicated that the participants selected a range of metaphors to represent their views on teaching and learning. Even though the most commonly chosen metaphor was that of the guide and the traveller, the pre-service teachers had different interpretations for this metaphor. For Alfred this metaphor was essentially visual because he wished to create opportunities for his pupils to "see" science in the classroom through activities and demonstrations of scientific phenomena. On the other hand, for Ellen, the guide and the traveller offered an opportunity for the teacher to switch roles with the pupils. In this way, a more collaborative classroom could be established where one can easily learn from the other. Interestingly, after completing their teacher preparation, none of the pre-service teachers substantially changed their original metaphors, but they claimed to have adjusted them in order to meet what they perceived to be the "reality of the school classroom." 104 In any case, all participants, regardless of their chosen metaphors, agreed in principle with the constructivist orientation to teaching and learning their faculty advisors encouraged them to pursue. This might have been due in part because their chosen metaphors resonated with the pupil-centered-approach of constructivism. The participants' feelings about their other university courses were not as positive, however. In fact, they were all in agreement regarding the teacher education program; they believed that for the most part the program appeared to be disconnected and distant from school practice and it did not meet their expectations. In spite of this, were the students able to explore the possibilities of using constructivism as a pedagogical tool for implementing their well-defined views of teaching and learning in their classrooms? As I have mentioned, three of the students encountered many difficulties with their school advisors. This, in turn, prevented them for trying anything they perceived to be "risky" in their classrooms. On the other hand, the pre-service teachers who established collaborative relationships with their advisors, and who had a great deal of freedom to "teach as they wanted," did not pursue a constructivist orientation. This and other issues are the focus of the discussion in Chapter 6. As it can be observed, the analysis I have presented here is full of cracks and crevices, and it was meant to be so. My main goal was to draw attention to the pre-service teachers as individuals with rich lives outside the Teacher Education Program. Their beliefs, metaphors, role models and life-histories (past and emerging) all formed part of their PPoTaL and became the tools with which they constructed meaning. Hence, it was important to describe what their PPoTaL were in conjunction with brief biographical sketches in order to better appreciate in the next Chapters the intensity of the frustrations, the danger of the risks, and the degrees of satisfaction which the pre-service teachers experienced at one time or another during their professional preparation. The cracks and crevices need to be explored now, and in the following discussion I provide an analysis of the major factors which influenced the 105 pre-service teachers' conceptions of teaching and learning, the dilemmas they encountered, the roles they felt they needed to play, and the strategies they implemented to guarantee the successful completion of their professional preparation. 106 CHAPTER 5 Understanding the Conceptions of Tlieory and Practice From the Pre-Service Teachers' Point of View This Chapter presents an analysis of the conceptions of theory and practice formed by the participants in this study during their professional preparation,^ ^4 AS it will be shown, the pre-service teachers stated that the theory and practice of learning to teach science in the university context was for the most part remote from the theory and practice of practicing teactiing in the school context. As a consequence, the student teachers developed a series of strategies for managing the dilemmas which arose from what they perceived to be disconnected educational perspectives and busy academic course work during their professional preparation. As one could appreciate, this Chapter covers a broad area. Therefore, in order to eliminate redundancy and increase the clarity of the arguments presented here, I focus my analysis specifically on the influence of the teacher education program design and structure on the pre-service teachers' expectations and beliefs of what it means to be an effective teacher. Consequently, I present an exploration of the impact of the types of courses pre-service teachers took before their practica and how these courses influenced their involvement in the short, two-week practicum (during the fall semester) and in the extended practicum (during the winter semester). I also provide a discussion of the value students attached to two consecutive, summer sessions of academic course work after completing their extended practica (see Figure #4 for details on the course structure and sequence of the teacher education program). The metaphors indicated in the quotation marks for the first three subtitles below come from the students' own theorizing and, hence, are representative of their beliefs at various stages in the teacher education program. These metaphors also embody three general dilemmas that the '^M preliminary analysis of the pre-service teachers' conceptions of theory and and practice was published in The Journal of Teacher Education (Rodriguez, 1993). 107 pre-service teachers encountered in relation to the teacher education program structure and course content. Therefore, I will close the chapter with a discussion of these dilemmas and a series of suggestions, mainly put forward by the pre-service teachers. These suggestions are aimed at assisting university officials, instructors and future teacher candidates manage the dilemmas Figure #4 The teacher education program's course structure and sequence Term 1: September-December Course Credits (hours/week) Education 311: The Principles of Teaching 4 Education 315; Pre-practicum experience (observations in school settings) 0 Education 319: Two-week practicum 0 Educational Psychology and Special Education 306: Education during the adolescent years 2 Educational Psychology and Special Education 317: Development and Exceptionality in the regular classroom 3 Educational Studies 314: Analysis of education 3 Curriculum and Instructional Studies: methods course in first teaching area 4 methods course in second teaching area 2-4 Term 2: January-April Course : Credits (hours/week) Education 316: Communication skills in teaching 3 Education 329: Extended (13-week) practicum secondary 18 Term 3: May -August Course Credits (hours/week) Education 420: School organization in its social context 2 Ed. Psy. and Special Education 423: Learning, measurement and teaching 3 English Education 426: Language across the curriculum 4 One of the following foundation courses: Educational Studies 425: Educational anthropology 3 426: History of education 427: Philosophy of education 428: Social foundations of education 429: Educational sociology Elective or prescribed courses related to teaching major concentrations 9 Total program requirements 60-62 credits. 108 which are bound to surface in the complex process of preparing science teachers when a multitude of vested interests, visions and personal philosophies of teaching and learning converge. I begin, then, with an analysis of the students' perceptions of the teacher education program's impact on their conceptions of teaching and learning after the first five weeks of course work. I. "Like Learning to Ride a Bil<e by Watching a l\/lovie": The Pre-Service Teachers' Conceptions of Theory and Practice Before the Extended Practicum As indicated in Chapter 4, the pre-service teachers in this study entered the teacher education program with a strong awareness of their beliefs, not only about teaching and learning but about the possible barriers that may interfere in their professional growth. In light of this, did they feel the university was preparing them well to meet the demands associated with the short and extended practicum components'^ ? After five weeks of on-campus course work, and immediately before they began their two-week orientation practicum, the first in-depth interview (0P1) revealed that students recognized the usefulness of some of their courses but wished the content would have been more "practical" and less "theoretical". The participants in this study explained that theoretical courses were those where instructors lectured most of the time on educational theories and perspectives without making links to school practice and without addressing the students' needs and concerns. For example. Dean continued to be worried about how to deal with possible classroom management problems effectively during the two-week orientation practicum. He felt frustrated because he wished the instructors would "take [classroom management] and apply it directly rather than talking about it abstractly" (0P1). Dean could not understand how he could be expected to learn about classroom management in only two 90-'^ ^The reader is reminded that pre-service teachers in this program were expected to complete two school practica. The two-week practicum offered during the fall semester and the extended (13-week) practicum offered during the winter semester. 109 minute lectures in a crowded lecture hall along with 300 fellow students."^^ Other students were disappointed that their instructors did not model the teaching and learning theories they were espousing: We're being taught about getting the students motivated and interested and do a variety of things like provide opportunities for quality learning and help them think for themselves, and then the way they teach us, it's almost completely opposite of what they tell us. (0P1 with Alfred) In addition to expecting to learn by example, the pre-service teachers also expected their academic course work to provide them with practical opportunities for translating abstract theoretical concepts into possible activities or strategies in the school classroom. Even though students were given some practical activities in the university setting, such as writing lesson plans, group discussions, and making presentations in some of their courses, they felt that this form of practice was still contrived and remote from the school context. Barton added that some course assignments contradicted their original purpose and became meaningless. For instance, when he was asked to write detailed, mock lesson plans, he explained that instructors encouraged students to be "very creative and do this and this, except it has to look like this. And as long as it looks like this, you can make it as creative as you want" (0P1). It seems that many of these assignments lacked school-related contextual clues that could have made them more relevant to the students in relation to potential classroom situations during their practicum. This theme of busy work as opposed to assignments relevant to learning to teach in various school contexts will be discussed in more detailed later. Not all pre-practicum courses were deemed to be of little value by the students. All six participants in the study agreed that their methods courses were, for the most part, consistent with their expectations of what they needed to learn to become effective science teachers. Hence, the participants perceived the methods courses to be practical because these ^ These lectures were part of the Principles of Teaching course (see Rgure #4), which was a required course for all secondary pre-service teachers. The lectures were often delivered by guest speakers. 110 courses addressed issues believed to be of upmost importance to successfully complete the practicum. Issues such as innovative teaching strategies, pupil motivation and behavior management techniques, laboratory safety, pupil assessment as well as opportunities to carry out activities to practice and explore these issues were high on the students agenda of what it meant to learn to teach science. Ellen elaborates on the reasons why she believed the methods courses to be practical: [In] our science ed. courses, we do labs and demo stations. The last lab we did was a [pupilj-centered lab where the [pupils] make their own experiment up and do their own creative and critical thinking of it. Stuff like that I would like to implement most definitely. Anything that gets the kids questioning. (0P1) The Two-Week Orientation Practicum The pre-service teachers in this study were exposed to a constructivist theory of teaching and learning in their pre-practicum methods courses (which were taught by instructors also participating in the Science Teacher Education Practicum Project, STEPP, as indicated earlier). A constructivist perspective of learning to teach science involved having pre-service teachers carry out pupil-centered learning activities and strategies as those indicated by Ellen above. After the students completed their two-week orientation practicum, it was apparent that the methods courses had greatly influenced the first attempts at teaching by Chris, Dean and Ellen. Each one of these three students tried out a specific activity discussed in their science methods classes. For example, Chris had grade 12 Physics pupils carry out translational activities'^ ^ using the concept of motion down an inclined plane. He first divided the class into three groups and gave pupils a choice from doing an interview-role play, performing a skit or writing a song. He was pleased with the results and commented how supportive his school advisor was (Orientation Practicum, Interview # 2, 0P2). Dean was asked to teach two Biology 11 labs to two different classes. He quickly became aware of the need to assist pupils to manage the amount of information presented in '^''Translational activities consist of having pupils demonstrate how well they understand science concepts by having them "translate" or represent what they know into another form. For example, after studying the structure and function of the cell, pupils may be asked to write a poem using the new terms they have learned. 111 these labs. He explained, "I read over the manual and my brain 'tripped' in 'cognitive overload '^.' It was like 'there's too much garbage here.' " (0P2). So, Dean proceeded to divide the lab up into smaller, more manageable sections for the pupils to work on. He also had the pupils organize the information for each section into charts. Ellen, like Chris, also attempted a translational activity with her Biology 11 class. She had her students undertake a "journey" in order to explore the stages in the life cycle of the flowering plant. She called this activity "Bob and Fred's Excellent Adventure." In regards to these constructivist teaching and learning strategies, the pre-service teachers explained that they were eager to try and experiment with them during the short practicum because these activities resonated with their own personal philosophies or predominant metaphors. For instance, Ellen commented that her "Fred and Bob's Excellent Adventure with her Biology 11 pupils went well because ". . .those sort of things tie right in with my personality and the way I would like to teach. So I didn't find a problem doing it at all" (0P2). This is an important point to keep in mind because, as it was mentioned in Chapter 4, the students' personal philosophies of teaching and learning (PPoTaL) for the most part remained unchanged throughout their involvement in the teacher education program. Furthermore, students were selective about what they adopted into their teaching repertoire even from the methods courses. As Ellen illustrates, I listen to what [my methods instructor] has to say and I think about it. It's not like I listen to what she says and totally dismiss it. But I think about it. And if I can use part of it, or think about it as I'm teaching my next lesson, I will use it. But if I don't have time and I don't see it helping me I don't do it. (0P2) This indicates that students did not blindly accept all pedagogical ideas, theories or strategies which they deemed to be closely linked to the school context or presented in what they saw as practical courses. As with all other information presented in their university classes, they submitted it to a '^^This term was commonly used in their methods classes. It refers to the "overloading" of information to the point that the student cannot make sense of it or cannot engage with any further information. 112 screening process according to their deeply-held PPoTaL. Hence, the participants' pre-conceptions of what constituted theory and of what constituted practice played a principal role on what they perceived to be worth using in their orientation practicum. Frank explains how he felt about doing laboratory demonstrations in his methods class: 1 probably would have done [lab demonstrations in my classes] anyway, but I think maybe [practicing in the methods class] made it sink in more because doing those demos. And also the interactive questioning. I saw a videotape of my faculty advisor, and he was quite good at getting responses from students. I saw a video of him teaching a class and, I guess, it's similar to my sponsor teacher. But, seeing my sponsor teacher do it just made that a bit more clear. (0P2) Indeed, the two-week orientation practicum seemed to have allowed students to compare and contrast their PPoTaL, or what they desired, with the poss/i)/e-given the institutional constraints of the teacher education program as discussed above. Barton expressed that his first teaching experiences and contacts with pupils and school advisors during the short practicum proved to be a "dose of reality"(0P2). Even though pre-service teachers are expected to engage in only limited teaching and concentrate on classroom observations during this period, the two-week practicum proved to be a very significant event in the participants' professional preparation. In addition, students commented on the dissonance between being asked to teach one way by their faculty advisors and then observing different approaches being modelled by their school advisors, by other teachers they observed at their practicum school, and even by their own university instructors (this issue will be discussed at length in Chapter 6). When I asked Ellen to describe anything that she found interesting or useful, or that made her think about her own ideas of teaching and learning during her two-week practicum, she said: To tell you the truth, 1 can't remember if something did. 1 think if it did I probably would have written it in my [journal] book. The one thing 1 do remember is that some teachers, they talked. And they talked. And they talked. And they talked and talked. And you could just see 113 the kids glaze over. And they're all learning this perfect expression like the one we all practice in the [educational] psych class. You sit there and you look interested. It looks like you're so fascinated, but inside you're thinking about the things that you have to do. You're just bored. Totally bored. And I could see these students practicing it. It's actually kind of funny. (0P2) The dissonance between what went on in schools and what was presented in the university classroom, led Barton to conclude that the teacher education program appeared to offer an implicit and unrealistic focus on how to learn "to teach the 'good [pupil]' " (0P2). Some students were so concerned with this issue that soon after the short practicum, representatives of the Education Undergraduate Students' Association (to which one of the participants of this study belonged) had a meeting with a high-ranked teacher education program official to air their views and make suggestions for improvement (Field Notes I, 54). This observation supports the argument that pre-service teachers are not passive elements in their teacher socialization process; on the contrary, and as it will be demonstrated here and in the next chapter, the participants in this study engaged in various forms of overt and covert strategies of resistance in order to forward their beliefs and principles, and in order to make more meaningful connections between their academic course work and the school practicum. To sum, by mid-point of their first term in the teacher education program, the pre-service teacher faced a fundamental dilemma: given their limited exposure to teaching during the two-week practicum, how could they build conceptual bridges between their academic course work and what they believed they needed to know to teach effectively during the extended practicum? As explained earlier, this dilemma was aggravated by the university's lack of interest in the students' well-defined PPoTaL, and by the program focus on educational theories and activities deemed by the students to be remote from the "realities of schools" (Barton, 0P2). Therefore, according to the pre-service teachers, the chasm between their university course work and what they expected from the program widened from the end of the two-week orientation practicum onward. In the following section, I will expand on this point as I describe how the students 114 managed the dilemmas associated with learning to teach as they teach during the extended practicum. II. "Switching Into Survival Mode": The Pre-Service Teachers' Conceptions of Theory and Practice During the Extended Practicum By the extended practicum's mid-point, all six students had formed well-articulated images of what they perceived to be useful or practical as opposed to theoretical or "airy-fairy"49 in their university course work. Now that they had been teaching in the schools for about six weeks and had attempted some of the teaching strategies that had appealed to them in accordance with their PPoTaL, I asked the participants whether their pre-practicum course work had prepared them adequately for the school teaching component of the program. Barton's answer reflected well the views of the other participants: I thought that those two courses, my science [biology and general science] methods courses, were the best classes I took. . .When I left [the methods classes], I had at home a list of activities to try. We did some of those. We actually kept an organism alive. We actually did it. We made a model. We did his pond water sample and did the activity so we were working on a lot of activities. So when we left, I had things to do. (IVIid-point of extended practicum. Interview #3, MPS) Chris, who wanted to be a physics teacher, also believed that the general science and physics methods classes were practical and useful^o. On the other hand, he explained that his mathematics methods course was "irrelevant" because the activities deemed to be practical by the instructor did not meet with his expectations; I still have yet to find anything of any relevance from that math methods was an irrelevant course. I mean, we didn't do anything. We didn't look through the curriculum guide so we didn't even consider the curriculum in the math other than the five strands or whatever that there are, but basically we looked at the structure '^ ^ A term used by Alfred throughout this project to describe some of his university courses. ^°As mentioned earlier these methods courses were taught by the Faculty Advisors who were also involved in the STEP Project. These instructors followed a constructivist approach to learning science in their classes. 115 of, you know, there's this course, this course, this course, this course and you can move from this course to this course and that took a day to do that. (MP3) It is evident that the school practicum provided various opportunities for the pre-service teachers to continue sorting out what they believed useful or practical from their academic course work as they sought ways to meet the increasing demands of teaching. Alfred explained why he found it so difficult to translate his university assignments to the context of the school classroom: "it's hard to picture what the things they teach you in [the Principles of Teaching course] are in reality. Sure, you can talk about them brilliantly in lesson plans, theoretical lesson plans and essays and whatever you do, but once you get into the real world and do it, it's a little bit different." (MP3). This dilemma of finding ways to link academic course work with what they saw as the "real world" of school practice intensified for all students by the seventh week into their practicum. At this point, all pre-service teachers were required to increase their teaching load from two or three classes to three or four classes per day depending on their placement school^^ For Dean and Ellen, who were also experiencing difficulties with their school advisorsS2 the added pressure of learning to be a teacher one lesson at a time motivated them to switch into "survival mode"^^ 33 an effective strategy to cope. "Surviving" the practicum versus exploring and trying out constructivist teaching strategies became the principal dilemma for the pre-service teachers at this time. On one hand, the students' faculty advisors expected them to implement the teaching techniques and concepts discussed in their methods classes, but on the other, the school advisors expected the students to keep pupils under control and to cover the curriculum expeditiously. The "tug of war" that ensued with the pre-service teachers caught in the middle will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 6. At this point, however. Dean provides an example of the frustration and ^^The teacher education program required students to gradually increase their teaching load to 80% of that assigned to the school advisors. s^These and other conflicts associated with the hierarchical relationship among students and their faculty and school advisors will be discussed in the next chapter. "^^ This term was coined by Dean to describe his practicum experiences at this time. 116 anxiety associated with the dilemma of struggling to "survive" the practicum and learning to teach; I put in, you l<now, little tidbits here and there as much as I could fit in. It's just that I'm finding that it's difficult to apply those [constructivist] ideas because they're sort of framed in a theoretical frame. And I sort of have to translate that theoretical framework into a practical, realistic, you know, hands-on application. And I have to transcribe it into that so that takes a little bit of work. And that's extra work. . .Taking all these ideas and then applying them to the classroom. And then I find, you know, like I'm sort of up and down, always oscillating between up and down. Some weeks some things work and some weeks, they don't. ( MP3) At a later date, during one of our many informal conversations, Dean added that as the practicum progressed he continued his work in "survival mode," that is, he concentrated his energy on the successful completion of the practicum by any means possible. Among Dean's coping strategies was what he called "performing" in order to keep his advisors "happy." He explained; "I am just finding that sometimes all that stuff I learned in my methods class, I just going 'chuck' (flips his hands over his head). I am just throwing all that away because I am just 'performing.'" (Field Notes I, 98). Interestingly, after a full semester of course work and seven weeks into the extended practicum, the pre-service teachers remained focused on teaching strategies which could ensure the smooth classroom management^"* of both the curriculum and the pupils. The participants pursued this strategy partially in response to what they believed was expected of them from their school and faculty advisors, and partially in response to their own perceptions of what a "good" teacher needed to do to function effectively in the classroom. In this light, they continued to sort out high-yield, low-risk pedagogical and behavior management techniques from the academic courses they took before the practicum and from discussions with their school advisors. As the demands of the extended practicum increased, however, the pre-service teachers' focus on a behaviorist. "^^ In this study, the pre-service teachers define classroom management as the ability of the teacher to handle any disruptions effectively and to establish and maintain a productive working environment in the classroom. 117 pedagogical approach also increased. This shift in focus contradicted the image of teachers as guides and of pupils as travellers which some of them indicated in Chapter 4 to be their predominant metaphor for teaching and learning. But it seemed that they were resigned to accept this contradiction as another way for them to cope with the fundamental dilemma of trying to build conceptual bridges between their academic course work and what was expected from them in the school setting. This strategy was also part of what Dean called "switching into survival mode." Nevertheless, "switching into survival mode" created another problem for the students, how to please their teaching supervisors when they often have different expectations. By mid-point of the extended practicum, students believed that pupil control and command of the subject-matter were the principal trade-marks of good teachers, and the yard-sticks by which their school advisors would measure their performance. On the other hand, faculty advisors encouraged and expected the students to implement the constructivist, pupil-centered pedagogical techniques they had taught in their pre-practicum methods courses. These pulling forces among the desired, the expected and the possible wielded by those in superior hierarchical locations than the pre-service teachers, appeared to have reduced the educational impact of the students' practicum component. In other words, a student might have missed opportunities during the practicum for critically examining educational theories, the institutional structures which facilitate or obstruct schooling, and the actual usefulness of various teaching strategies which do not yield immediate and quantifiable results. As a consequence, by the mid-point of the students' practicum experience, they seemed to have abandoned their original goal. That is to say, the goal of learning to be a good science teacher was displaced by that of learning how to successfully finish the practicum as a student teacher. This strategy led the pre-service teachers to draw sharper distinctions between the context-dependent, "real-world" of teaching and what they saw for the most part as "airy-fairy" educational theories and expectations from their academic course work. Frank elaborates on this point as he explains how the practicum experience was a "dose of reality" in comparison to his own initial metaphor of teaching and learning: 118 You get more practical experience [during the extended practicum] of what can be done and what cannot be done. It's almost like how teaching is not perfect-you'll never be perfect. It can never be ideal like the simple metaphors we had at the beginning. It can't work so simply. It's sounding like what you're talking about it's not just one metaphor at a time. Maybe it's a combination of things. Frank: Yeah, you see, this is a metaphor for maybe real learning, but then there's a metaphor for the school system. (MP3, italics mine) As the practicum progressed, students continued a strict sorting process for low-risk, high-yield teaching and behavior management strategies. Those strategies which did not work or did not work as well as expected, but still appealed to their PPoTaL were put in their "l-try-that-when-I'm-a-real-teacher" file. I wish to explore this topic further in the next section as I present the students' impressions after completing their extended school practicum and after the first three weeks of summer classes. III. "Just Reflect on It and Everything Will Be Fine": The Pre-Service Teachers' Conceptions of Theory and Practice After the Extended Practicum. At the end of the extended practicum, the pre-service teachers welcomed a short, two-week break. They knew that what awaited them was four-months of intensive course work during the summer divided into two consecutive sessions. They knew that each class was two-and-half hours long, and that they were expected to take from three to four courses per session in order to complete all their degree requirements. In addition, they had to begin preparing resumes, applying for jobs, and hopefully to attend a few interviews, if they wanted to be considered for a teaching position in the fall. The pre-service teachers' anxiety for learning how to teach effectively was now compounded by their preoccupation of making themselves as marketable as possible. What new insights did the pre-service teachers bring into their summer classes now that the extended practicum was over-the one component in their professional preparation which according to Ellen "makes you or 119 breaks you" (0P1)? It seems that the practicum experience gave the students a heightened awareness of the specific areas they needed to improve in order to be successful science teachers. Hence, some of them came back with very concrete questions ranging from how to deal with the diversity of abilities and ethnic backgrounds in the classroom, to how to increase their subject-knowledge base of certain science topics outside their major concentration. However, they again felt very frustrated because their needs were not being met by the teacher education program. Barton illustrates this point so strongly that I feel compelled to let his own voice convey some of the feelings of despair that were shared by the other participants in this study (my questions/comments are in italics): One of the most brilliant things that I think the university program has done is that they've managed to shield themselves from a lot of flak. I don't know if it was planned, but we didn't get a good taste of teaching until most of our courses were over with, because there's a lot of people-and myself included--who realized what a bunch of crap we've been fed. And you don't recognize it as crap because we don't know what to look for. And I just think that having the student teachers see what happens and then feeding them stuff in lectures they would know what they liked, what they didn't like--they would know what to look for, and would enhance what they're actually being taught. I think that would be a key. So I guess your comments about how well the teacher education program has prepared you for the practicum experience, now that you've completed it, are pretty much the same [as in the last interview, MP3]. Barton; I would say, in general, I prepared myself better for teaching than the university did. I don't know if that makes any sense. Not that I think that I'm some great teacher, born to teach. Some prophet. But I've felt that I have taught myself more through interactions with friends and discussions and going to class and realizing that "hey, this doesn't work, this doesn't make sense." So in one way it's good that the university allowed these courses-some of the courses I think are really useful. But some of the courses are really use/ess. And to be able to filter that out sometimes gets complicated And the ones that you found useful were like the methods courses^^. ^^The reader is reminded that one of the research tools employed in this study is what I called stimulated linl<age. That is, I provided opportunities for the participants to reflect on or tie-in 120 Barton: I thought the methods courses were definitely useful. The funny irony is that the university, in general, I find-they say one thing and they do something else. One of the greatest things that a teacher can do--and I've been told this--is to model what they want. So it's like an unseen, hidden curriculum kind of thing. You model something and you say, "Oh, okay." And out here we're told one thing and another thing's done. And it's really ridiculous. We're always told about getting away from this evaluation thing, yet we have multiple choice tests. I have one class now, [educational] psychology "the return," which is just another load of crap. Reading textbook. Getting tested on textbook material. What is the point? Fifty-six dollar textbook which I would burn if I had a chance. If I had known now back then I wouldn't even have bought the textbook. It just seems like such-what's the point? So you haven't got a chance to talk in the psychology class or in other classes about your experience in the practicum, about what happened, what you did well, what you didn't do very well? Get to talk to other people? Barton: Well, the psychology course now-or whatever you would like to call it if it was changed--it shouldn't be something that has a curriculum. Right now, they have a curriculum, they have material that they have to get by. And they're bound by that. And that is ruining the potential for these classes. We have now a bunch of people with direct experience on these topics. You could have a general outline of what we'd like to talk about and let the students do the teaching and the talking. We all have enough experience now. Thirteen weeks of them. To discuss things. If a topic of classroom management comes up, there's in one class 40 to 50 people who've had direct, close experience with the realities of being a student teacher, and they have more input than somebody who had taught for 17 years but has now been in the university for X amount of years and has completely lost touch, whether they'd like to admit it or not, with what's really happening out there. And this one class that I have right now, it's painful to go to. I wouldn't go if there wasn't any test. What do they do there? I went to a couple of Alfred's educational psychology classes, but I haven't gone to yours, yet. Does somebody just lecture in your class? Barton: She lectures for two hours and 45 minutes out of three hours. Two hours and 45 minutes of just straight standing up talk lecturing. I have-l'll quote something that's been said to me. . . their comments with previous responses. My goal was two fold: to probe whether their beliefs had changed and to assist them reflect on their experiences. 121 She's a really nice woman, but as far as the course goes, there's one thing where she's talking about questions and she said basically it's good to have questions but can you hold onto them, we don't have time for them now. And it's like "wo!" We're talking about group work--we did group one day. And the reason that was done was not because it was a group learning-it was an assignment. It was an in-class assignment that needed to be done in group work. Other than that we had no learning group work. You know, it was really disappointing. That's amazing. You said you had a quote? Barton; Well, I wrote down something in psychology just because it drove me nuts. I write down little things about what she said--what was said that's just complete crud. Like this is what we talk about: "Talk about behaviour problems and disorders. Hyperactivity, depression, aggression. Hyperactivity: attention deficit disorder. Always on the go, very active, moves during sleep"--l mean, who cares? This is just-pretty much everybody knows what hyperactivity is. The general definition would be nice. There's nothing on the causes, drugs to use, you know, things to do, what's being done. Nowhere we discuss, "What you might do." We've got a few things of what you can do but not actual practical examples of how it would work in the real classroom. So you don't have a chance to tie that in with what you experienced in the practicum. Barton: Yeah. Oh, an example of that-that somebody had in how they dealt with it that did or did not work-would be extremely important. I had two instances of hyperactive students in my grade nine class. And it was almost impossible to deal with. For the most part they were manageable but any time you turned around they'd be off doing something. By the end of the practicum, I didn't really know how to approach it any more and I came here seeking wisdom and guidance. And you're not getting help here now. Barton: No, I don't think so. I mean, I think that there are little spurts that come out every now and then, kind of like that one good shot when you go shoot 18 holes of golf and you get 120 but you had that one good shot. / assume that other people in the class feel the same way. Have you guys talked to the instructor at all or say, "Why don't we talk a little bit more about what we experienced in the practicum"? 122 Barton: Well, we had discussions about certain things, but she's very defensive. She see things as a personal attack on her. We've discussed the point of having multiple choice exams. Why bother? I don't even see why we're being evaluated. So you have said that in class? Barton: We've had--this is with people who've just tried to discuss that. She sees that as defensive and nothing seems to get accomplished. There's no communication. Like it's all of a sudden a suggestion which is seen as a complete attack and I don't know whether technically it is or not, and then the burrs go up and she doesn't want to say anything. It gets very difficult. You found the quote? Barton: Yeah, to quote from her. "One of the most powerful tools is group work." And I wrote underneath "why don't we use it?" Right, like if it's the most powerful tool, how come we're sitting here for two hours and 45 minutes being talked to? She says, "I'm going to do two more questions." Two. Why'd you pick two and not eight? Why not one? There's a bunch of hands up. "I'll pick two." She's afraid we'll go off on a tangent because "oh, no, we've got to talk about attention deficit disorders and aggressiveness and we've got to get this stuff so you can do your readings." . . It's just-not only do we have this stuff that we have to listen to for two hours and 45 minutes just talking, we also have four chapters to read for a test with 20 questions on it. Like, what kind of evaluation technique is that? It's absolutely useless. Like, completely useless. Yet we're taught on evaluation and we don't do anything that we're being told to do. It'd be impossible to go out there--you know, we don't know what to believe. If I was still in the gullible stage that I might have been in September, I would have thought that this is what you're supposed to do. But, here they don't practice what they preach. No wonder UBC gets slammed for its education program. I mean, I'll go out there and I'll slam it, too. (EP4, emphasis his) It should be noted that Barton attributed the inability of some instructors to grant pre-service teachers the space to voice their concerns and needs to two major factors. First, he felt that some academic courses (such as educational psychology) had a rigid curricula which instructors felt compelled to follow. I wish to emphasise that the participants in this study do not protest against the academic curriculum of their courses per se. As Barton and others have demonstrated so far, they are mainly concerned with the lack of connection between their university course work and school practice and with the contradictory teaching styles modelled by their 123 instructors. Second, Barton argued above that most university instructors seemed to be insensitive to their needs because the instructors appeared to be "out of touch" with the demands of the school classroom. Barton's views on this regard reflected those of all the other participants in this study, except one. Unlike the other pre-service teachers, Alfred found his educational psychologyse course quite practical and useful because it provided direct examples of how to use abstract theoretical principles in the school context. During our last in-depth interview (LIS), I asked him to elaborate on what he meant by theoretical courses as opposed to practical ones now that he has been exposed to a variety of courses and school experiences: Perfect example is the Psychology course during the last semester it was all lectures. . .There were student presentations and some class discussions, but it was not well organized to "learn." On the other hand, the Ed Psych class taught during the summer by another instructor was very practical because he'd bring real--we wouldn't talk about the airy-fairy student who misbehaves in class. He gave us real examples of people. He had a kid who did this [in his class]. He knows another teacher who had a kid who threw a knife at him. Another teacher who got belted. You know. All these scenarios that he would bring in. He'd bring up a scenario and say what would we do with it. It seems that in Alfred's case this educational psychology class met his pre-conceived notions of what such a course should offer to pre-service teachers and how the instructor should convey that information. Language Across the Curriculum, was another required course which was also found to meet the students expectations. This time, unlike the educational psychology class mentioned above, all pre-service teachers agreed that this English Education course allowed for the discussion of theories and educational issues in relation to school practice. In addition, they felt that the assignments in this course made use of the teaching experience they had ^^This course was the same as that mentioned by Barton, but it was taught by a different instructor. The educational psychology course. Learning, Measurement and Teaching is a required course; therefore, there were several sessions of the same course available to accommodate all the students. 124 acquired during the extended practicum. Dean's comments about this course reflects those of the other participants: I think the most important thing that I can say-upon reflection-is that I have a lot to compare with now. A lot more to compare with. So I can say, "Well, that works but that won't work." For me, for example, one of the things I felt I'm learning about now in my Language Across the Curriculum course is about reading and about writing in science. And I'm thinking back to my practicum and I looked at my sponsor teacher and looked at how I dealt with the text and how the kids used the text. And now I think I would change the way--l think it's a combination of the practicum and this course I'm taking now-has changed my view on how I would go about helping kids to use language better in terms of reading. For example, for the textbook, I would now make it a point to teach them how the textbook is structured. Heading, sub-headings, highlighted words. How to use the textbook more effectively because what my sponsor teacher did--and I ended up doing it too--was basically assigning reading and not spending a lot of time preparing them for reading or getting the most out of a reading. And that's something I think that's a major concern for me to learn about now. I think because it's a really relevant thing. (End of Practicum, Interview #4, EP4). These findings made me re-evaluate my original perceptions of what students meant by useful and practical courses. It seems that for a course to be useful to a science pre-service teacher it does not necessarily have to be a science methods course where they could be exposed to laboratory activities and demonstrations. In fact, unlike the pre-practicum courses, some of the students found only a few of their summer methods courses to be useful and practical. As Dean indicated above, the students' practicum experience and prior course work provided them with a heightened awareness of what was important lor them to learn in the short term in preparation to meet the demands of teaching full-time. Hence, whether a course was perceived to be too theoretical or practical was mainly determined by how well and how often university instructors provided concrete opportunities for the students to link the abstract educational theories, principles or course assignments to the school context. In other words, the pre-service teachers expected the theory and practice of learning 125 to teach in the university context to be closely associated with the theory and practice of teachin^^in the school context. Nevertheless, even after close inspection of the students' comments, it was still not clear to me whether the students were acknowledging the fact that a university class, no matter how practical it may seem, is still remote from the school context. Hence, it can be said that teacher education programs face a dilemma of their own: how to meet students' expectations for more concrete and practical experiences when university courses about teaching in schools could only be practical in the university context. Frank offered very enlightening insights regarding this issue: Well, I think if [the courses are] trying to be practical, they're trying to suggest things that can be used directly in the classroom, right? Like the philosophy [of education course] didn't try to do that. They were talking in general terms, so that's separate. But if they're trying, say, to use this in a classroom, I think just talking about it is sort of BS in the sense that it's going to go in one ear and out the other. Like it would be nice to have an example of it done in class. Even a mock example of using some management technique or using some, almost kind of a way of teaching someone. Either do it by example or run through specifically what you do rather than talking in vague notions. You know, what are we learning in that sense? If the courses, like the science methods [courses], are trying to do something practical, they either have to show specific examples, being like acting out something just for, like, five minutes. With an example, I can see it, or give very specific examples of how the student and teacher react to make this change in discipline. You know, exactly what do you do? But you l<now, that's still in the university classroom, right? Frank: Yeah, that's true. At least they should be able to create some example and do it, kind of get people involved. You know, kind of a role-play thing so we can see how a teacher should do it--"oh you should do this if this happens." OK. But there are still a lot of questions that come out along with that, right? What if this goes wrong? What if that goes wrong? ^^1 make a distinction between the theory and practice of learning to teach in the university setting with the theory and practice of teaching in the school context because in the former students are primarily engaged in talking about teaching; whereas, in the latter, they are primarily engaged in learning to teach by teaching. 126 OK. So something theoretical then would be something like the [Principles of Teaching POT class or the philosophy that doesn't really apply directly to the classroom. Frank: Yeah, POT. You know, there's nothing wrong with that. Getting that. You see, the whole difference here is that if you're taking a course where they are trying to teach you something to use directly in the classroom, like a management technique. To me, that's not general philosophies of teaching, which are useful. This is more like something that they're expecting us to use in a practical sense and they're delivering it in a poor fashion. Like the way they're giving it to you, it's going to go in one ear and out the other if you can't try it. It's like when somebody's talking to you about management, you would assume that this is something that you need to know now before you go on the practicum and you expect to see some examples. Frank: Yeah. But if somebody's talking to you about, like, philosophy of teaching, then you know it's more theoretical. Frank: Then I know it's more-it's theoretical and it's more like a general views of education and general kind of attitudes. And, of course, some things might come in. You know, lecturing, management, et cetera. You know, there's a fine line. There's some kind of line there, but when they're trying to teach you specific examples of classroom management or techniques of teaching, and they're trying to make it like something that you're going to use practically, without giving any kind of real example or not being specific enough with the teacher-student interaction, then it's useless I think. (Laughs) If they're trying to teach that to be used practically, in a specific case, without giving specific case examples. Like, for me, I'll just have to re-learn it in the practicum. Or when I'm teaching, because that, to me, is useless. Because I've never lived it; I've never seen the specific example and there are so many questions and exceptions to the rules, and all of this, that it's meaningless, really. (LIS) This excerpt continues to support the notion that students categorize their university courses according to how effective their university instructors were at facilitating connections between academic course work and school practice. Interestingly enough, and contrary to my own inferences before the 127 final interview, some students do seem to value what they considered to be strictly theoretical courses (such as educational philosophy). They recognize that some of these courses could not be applied directly to the school setting in the short term, but that they served to broaden their knowledge base in the long term. It seems that their primary source of frustration originated when they perceived a course to be practical (like educational psychology) but then were only provided with general principles, or even course work and assignments, without specific connections to the school setting. It appears that courses like educational psychology were expected to be practical because the instructors dealt with topics that the students perceived to be highly relevant to learning to teach, such as classroom management and control strategies. Another important aspect to note here is that students expected and demanded high yield, low-risk pedagogical and behavioural management strategies throughout their professional preparation as a "fail-safe" package of craft-knowledge that could be easily transferred from those who had it (the university instructors and school advisors) to those who needed it (the teachers in training). This image of craft knowledge transmission seemed to be deeply rooted in the PPoTaL the pre-service teachers brought with them after sixteen or so years of observing other teachers teach in school and university settings. In addition, the image of knowledge transmission seems to become more deeply entrenched during the pre-service teachers' professional preparation due to their increasing frustration with the mixed messages they obtain at both the university and the school setting as explained above. Therefore, the pre-service teachers became focused on sorting out what "works," and keeping what "works," in the school classroom. In the meantime, the actual social and structural causes of behavior management problems and pupil drop out such as racism, classism, sexism, overcrowded classes, lack of resources, lack of time for professional collaboration and consultation, and many other factors remained unquestioned as the pre-service teachers turned their energies to managing the dilemmas associated with learning to teach in a contradictory and self-perpetuating educational system. Hence, as mentioned earlier, it appears that opportunities to assist pre-service teachers to become more aware of the social and structural constraints that greatly influence the everyday 128 practice of teaching were missed. And, these missed opportunities were due to the university program's focus on covering set academic curricula and to the students' focus on trying to make sense of two sets of theory and practice.58 This is a very important issue which influenced how the pre-service students continued to construct their professional identity in relation to their school advisors and their pupils. I will explore this topic in subsequent chapters. I have argued thus far that the negative or contradictory pedagogical models the students encountered, even during the last phase of their academic preparation, encouraged students to continue looking for high-yield, low-risk teaching and management techniques. This strategy for finistiing being a student teacher, again, appeared to take precedence over deep understanding of important educational theories and their impact on the social process of schooling. This observation made me wonder whether the participants in this study found their professional preparation intellectually stimulating at all. Therefore, I explored the pre-service teachers' sense-making as they attempted to build bridges between what they perceived for the most part to be busy workaX university with what they believed they needed to learn to do teacfiers' worl<\n the school setting. IV. Intellectually Stimulating Work and Busy Work The first two sections described above present an analysis of what students found to be useful and practical in their teacher training, as well as, what they found to be "useless" or "airy-fairy." But, was what they considered to be practical also intellectually stimulating? Using a constructivist perspective of learning, I define the term, intellectually stimulating, as a process which involves experiencing conceptual change in such a way that one sees previously held beliefs or the taken-for-granted in new ways. Using this definition, it appears that the courses the students deemed to be practical, such as Language Across the Curriculum and some of the methods courses, were also found to be intellectually stimulating. ^^That is, the theory and practice offered in the university context and that offered in the school context. 129 Why did the pre-service teachers perceive most of the teacher education program notXo be intellectually challenging? There are several reasons for this phenomenon. The first, and most important one, has to do with the lack of connection between the students' academic course work and the school context. The second involves the failure of the teacher education program to identify and address the well-defined needs of the students. These two points have been discussed at length above, but in this section two more important factors shed light on the reasons why students considered most of their professional training busy work and not intellectually stimulating. In other words, I would argue that during the pre-service teachers' final stage of their professional preparation-i.e., the summer courses-two new dilemmas took form and shape. These dilemmas were: managing busy work and yielding to the lack of academic rigor in their university courses. As an example of the dilemma regarding busy work, Chris provides not only a detailed description of what this issue entails but also of his feelings of frustration and disappointment: I found that I was spending most of my time doing stupid little assignments. I mean, some were of value. I mean, doing the reading. I think I've mentioned it before. Doing the labs and the demonstrations and things and practical things I thought were useful experiences but doing five newspaper articles that we could possibly use in the classroom or ten lesson plans with full two-page rationales was pointless. That was just, you know, a waste of time. You know, it kept me busy basically. I thought a lot of it was busy work. I think there should be more, I guess, meshing between the classes. Things like doing the lesson plans and things. I mean, it got to the point where I had so much to do in the way of assignments, that you're handing in essentially the same assignment for 2 classes. . . [And] you're so busy doing the tasks that you don't even have enough time to reflect upon it. And I'd sort of like to think about what I'm handing in, rather than like the last 3 weeks [during the second summer session] when I had 3 classes, I was so busy doing stupid little assignments that I didn't have time to even, you know, go over them, edit them, think about what I was doing. I was just getting them in. (LIS) One may want to ask at this point what the factors are that make a university course intellectually stimulating. In this regard, Frank describes the reasons why he found one of his foundation courses. Philosophy of Education, more intellectually stimulating that any other of his courses 130 including the methods classes (interestingly enough, Frank was the only student to find a foundation course intellectually challenging): The philosophy (summer) class, I think, was the best of them because, it was the most intellectually challenging just because you're not doing some assignment to hand in. It's like you're just thinking a lot and you're given the chance to think in class discussions and that, to me, was more intellectually challenging than Principles of Teaching or science methods. . . .Because you're given the chance to reflect and think and write about what you think. If you're given that opportunity, I think, that's more intellectually challenging. And in your science methods classes you weren't given the chance to do that? Frank; Well, I think we were so assignment-driven that we never had the chance to reflect so nothing was ever given the chance to become intellectually challenging because you're in such a rush to just get this done, get that done, get that done. You're not looking. You're not reflecting about all the depth of some philosophical thing and it's implications. You don't have the time to reflect on that. So, in that sense, it's not intellectually challenging because you're never given a chance really to really reflect about it because it's just so assignment driven. . .A lot of busy work. (LIS) So it seems that the design and structure of the courses offered in this program contributed to the students' cognitive overload^^ to the point that many of their assignments became meaningless and mainly "busy work." In addition, it seems that students were expecting the same kinds of opportunities and conditions to enhance their learning as they were being asked to provide to their pupils when they secured employment as science teachers. In other words, the pre-service teachers wished they could get assignments that were relevant to their well-defined learning needs, that allowed collaboration with peers, that allowed questions for clarification, and that allowed them, as Frank explained above, "to reflect, think and write about what you think" (LIS). 59 As mentioned earlier, this term refers to the "overloading" of information to the point that the student cannot make sense of it or cannot engage with any further information. 131 There is another factor that substantiates the argument highlighted in Frank's comments in the above quote; that is, the apparent missed opportunities for deep understanding of what it means to be a science teacher, of what it means to use certain instructional techniques instead of others, and of what it means to follow a constructivist theory of learning and teaching as opposed to other educational perspectives. As I mentioned earlier, even at the end of their teacher training, most of the pre-service teachers' comments continued to be centered on specific teaching and management techniques and not on any analysis of the educational theories or principles in which these "tricks of the trade" were embedded. As Alfred illustrates, his reasons for finding the pre-practicum methods course intellectually stimulating were solely grounded on improving his classroom performance as a teacher: I thlnk--l have to give the man credit--[my methods instructor's] assignments, I think, more than in any other course-because you know like the Principles of Teaching lesson plan assignments, they were sort of a chore, just to crank out the dumb lesson plan. . . but my methods Instructor, he would not just challenge your teaching ideas, your actual knowledge basically. "Oh, wow, I thought I knew this stuff and I don't know it." . . . When we did concept maps^o, it was like "oh shit, I thought I knew this stuff, man. I really don't know it. I'd better review it." He would challenge you on two levels. The actual knowledge as the student. Something--it could be a simple concept like energy. And then the actual teaching Ideas, too, in viewing the concept map and how to use it in a class. Do you know what I mean? Both, the subject matter itself combined with the teaching strategy associated with teaching that subject matter. So he'd kind of do both. Not all of the assignments. But most of his assignments would kind of make you think. (LIS) In this case, the course Alfred found to be practical was also useful in the sense of enhancing his understanding of specific subject knowledge. This is of course important, but it appears that students, very early in the program, formed and maintained the image that any abstract, educational ideas which could not be easily taken from the "head" to the classroom had little value. Therefore, it seems that the image of craft knowledge transmission previously discussed appears to be closely associated with skills more than 60 The use of concept maps was one of several constructivist learning strategies that the students were asked to try during their practicum. 132 with ideas. 01 course, all skills or actions are grounded on some form of abstract thought or idea. My intention is not to establish a bogus dichotomy between thought and action and likewise between theory and practice. I have presented evidence here which demonstrates that the pre-service teachers are exposed to forms of theory and practice associated with learning to teach in the the university context, and to forms of theory and practice associated with practicing being a teactierin the school context. My principal aim at this point is to draw attention to the fact that the teacher education program not only failed to assist students make connections between abstract educational theories and how these influence school practice, but it also failed to assist them appreciate the depth and impact some of these theories have on sustaining schooling as a normalizing social process. As Frank indicated above, the pre-service teachers were not provided with opportunities to deeply analyse the implications of certain educational theories or teaching techniques because completion of numerous, decontextualized assignments took precedence over critical analysis. Therefore, "busy work" at the university represented a dilemma for the pre-service teachers who felt they needed to complete the required work, in spite of their reservations, in order to "finish" being a student teacher (this type of strategy of compliance is discussed in the next chapter). Associated with the apparent superficial learning of educational theories might be the participants' dissatisfaction with lack of academic rigor in the teacher education program. This factor embodied another dilemma which the students not only found annoying but also heightened their disappointment with their expensive professional education. It is important to keep in mind that all participants in this project had already invested a considerable amount of time and money to obtain a university degree before entering the 12-month teacher education program. These students had been exposed to what they considered to be rigourous screen'mg as they pursued their first degree in physics, in the biological sciences, or in chemistry. In addition, they had been admitted to the teacher education after successfully meeting the program's high academic standards. However, now that they were in the program, they grew increasingly frustrated with the quantity of unchallenging, yet time-consuming, assignments as indicated above. It seemed that the pre-service teachers were annoyed with how easy it was to 133 get very high grades, causing them to feel discouraged to do their best. Ellen illustrates the students' views on this topic after I asked her: In what ways (if any) did you find the teacher education program to be intellectually stimulating? Ellen: [I think my university courses were] not hard courses. Like, I work hard. And I think that there's a difference between working hard and being intellectually stimulated. . . I always think of intellectually stimulating like organic chem classes, right? Where there's all this knowledge that you have to be able to integrate and understand. Because organic chem, if you don't understand one part, you can't go on. So I didn't find it that way here. I could miss classes, come back, and I wouldn't have missed a thing. And you would still get a good grade? Ellen: Yeah. And still get a good grade. Although my attendance has been the best it's ever been. . . I'm getting the best marks I've ever gotten in my life. In fact, if you would ask one of my high school teachers, they would not believe that I'm here where I am today. I was always the person who was going to go work in the bank. You know. But I made it into university, I made it through with a science degree, and I made it to here. And here I am getting marks above 80. I never (laughs) in my life got those marks. And I thought that that was neat at first, but I find as we go on, it gets more competitive. And people go, "Oh, yeah, well. Education, you can guarantee a good grade-point average." But I don't know if that's the way that they want to be going because I've lost some respect for the program. Because it's so easy to get good marks. But I worked my butt off. . . I got 96 percent [in my Forestry Education course], I tied for the second highest mark in the class. . .Well, 60 percent of the course mark for Forestry was attendance. . . I had perfect attendance, so I got 60 percent. That's that right there. And then I did all my assignments. I spend a lot of time on my assignments. So if you attended and you did a half-decent job, you got 85 percent right there. (LIS) Barton and Ellen were the only participants who explicitly brought up the topic of academic rigor, but from informal conversations with the other pre-service teachers it seems that they all shared this concern. I already mentioned above why Chris' found so many of his course assignments to be "meaningless busy work," and Barton already also pointed out how he found the courses to be intellectually stimulating by "bad examples;" that is, the tendency of instructors to teach using traditional teacher-centered methods. 134 So it seems that the two dilemmas discussed here, busy work and lack of rigor are closely associated with one another. This fact compounded the difficulties pre-service teachers had to face for dealing with these dilemmas effectively. That is, on one hand, students (like Chris) felt they needed to hand in the same assignment to two different courses as a strategy to cope with the amount of "busy work," on the other hand, however, the lack of rigor in their classes made it easier for students to manage the quantity of "busy work" assigned from some courses. For example, Frank reported how pleased he was with his Philosophy of Education class because of the flexibility granted by the instructor regarding assessment. Frank explained that in this class they were allowed to choose two forms of evaluation from a list comprising; two quizzes, a paper, a group project or a class debate. He also mentioned that students were given opportunities to do something extra in order to improve their grades just in case they did not perform as well as they wanted on any one assignment. Frank liked this flexibility because it provided a balance from other courses that involved several set assignments and exams (Field Notes II, 36). My impression is that the pre-service teachers would have preferred that their courses had been graded on a pass/fail basis. And, if academic course work had to be graded at all, it should be based on some kind of intellectually challenging, school practice-based criterion. This view may become more clear in the next section where the pre-service teachers offer their visions for developing an effective teacher education program. That is, they offer suggestions for a program which is responsive to their emerging, professional needs and which presents a variety of educational perspectives embedded in the school-practice context. V. "Show Us Don't Tell Us." A Teacher's Adage Revisited In addition to insightful and articulate narratives of their experiences, the pre-service teachers provided numerous suggestions on how to improve the teacher education program throughout this study. Here, I present the participants' suggestions which add to the issues already discussed at length above. 135 Classroom Management This is a topic that was high in the pre-service teachers' agenda of what it meant to be a good teacher. All the students with the exception of Chris and Frank were deeply concerned with having to deal with discipline problems during their school placements, even before the start of the two-week orientation practicum^i. These students wished that the teacher education program had provided better opportunities for learning to deal with potential management problems. For instance, Dean suggested that the educational psychology classes should include "role-play activities to illustrate various behavior-management techniques" (0P1). Barton also agreed that it was important to know the work of psychologists such as Erickson and Piaget, but that you could do that quite well in 9 lessons. And then, spend the rest of the class time, the rest of the course, using case studies of actual situations that are going to happen in your class. Even extreme cases. Study extreme cases of what's going to happen and relate that back to certain theories. Show how the theories can be used, not as an answer but to have an understanding as a teacher where some of the things might come from. (0P2) Dean suggested that in-class analyses of videotaped classroom scenarios could prove to be very useful. He explained that the aim would be not to find "one" answer to deal with classroom situations, but that it would provide a practical context for discussing management strategies (0P1). Another way to enhance the linkage between previously discussed educational concepts and practice was to provide ample opportunities for pre-service teachers to deconstruct specific problems or issues they encountered during the short and extended practicum. Barton felt that meaning to the well-known teacher adage, show us, don't tell us could be made explicit by applying a problem-solving approach to actual procedural and conceptual difficulties experienced by the students. ^''This issue was alluded to in section I of this chapter. For more details, see Chapter 4. 136 Practicum Pedagogical Activities To Enhance Teacher Preparation The pre-service teachers were required to mainly engage in classroom observation of various school teachers in action during the two-week orientation practicum. However, they felt unprepared to carry out this task for two reasons. First, the students felt they lacked the professional experience required to critically observe the sometimes subtle cues that allow experienced teachers to perform effectively in the classroom. Second, most of the teachers they observed, including their school advisors, were not models of the constructivist teaching and learning perspective being emphasized in their methods courses. In fact, most of the school teachers reflected the traditional model of teacher-centered instruction to which the pre-service teachers had been exposed throughout their academic life. Therefore, students suggested that the practicum should actually provide concrete opportunities to observe teachers managing specific classroom situations or teaching strategies (Frank, EP4). In other words, it would make sense that if pre-service teachers learn about constructivist teaching and learning tools, such as concept maps, at the university that they are given opportunities to see these tools being implemented in a regular classroom (Barton, 0P2). One way to help pre-service teachers focus on the specific complexity of some pedagogical issues was suggested by Alfred. He found that by tutoring small groups of pupils before teaching a whole class, he became more aware of the need to bring the content material to "[the pupils'] level" of understanding (0P2). Chris added that students should teach at least two, consecutive whole-class lessons to the same pupils during the short practicum. He did not get a chance to do this during his first school placement. However, he found that preparing and teaching one lesson after the other would have given him a better appreciation for how to plan, pace and tie-in lessons for the extended practicum. As indicated earlier, the 13-week, extended practicum was found to be too long and physically demanding. It was so much so that by mid-practicum students were switching to what Dean called "survival mode" (MP3). In order to prevent the cognitive overload and burn out associated with this important 137 component of the teacher education program, all the participants suggested that the practicum should be divided into two, shorter practica with a brief, on-campus period for discussion and reflection. There were several versions to this proposal. Frank, for instance, recommended that the first half of the practicum be spent on half-days teaching at schools, and the other half taking relevant classes on campus to discuss emerging pedagogical issues. He added that the second half of the practicum could then be allocated for extensive teaching practice (EP4). Alfred was also concerned with the lack of opportunities for reflecting on his teaching practice as he became increasingly more busy during the extended practicum. He suggested that during the last two-weeks of the 13-week practicum pre-service teachers should be allowed to give back one of their classes to the advisors. He believed that the available time could be used to observe vahous teachers again, now they knew what to look for. Furthermore, he believed that giving one class back would prevent the abrupt completion of their practicum experience. "Bang! One day and you were done teaching. There was no ease off period," Alfred stated (EP4). Barton agreed with the suggestions proposed above. To these, he added that in order to increase the opportunities for reflection and discussion of various issues without fear of being evaluated, the university should provide an experienced teacher to act as resource person, similar to the role I undertook for this study. That is, a person with a sympathetic ear, who could provide ideas and suggestions and who was not required to evaluate them. He believed that a resource person was useful for assisting him to examine his growth as a teacher. Furthermore, he felt that this faculty resource person could be in charge of facilitating a group of twelve student teachers on campus once a week during the extended practicum (LIS). Other Comments on the Program's Structure and Design Since the pre-service teachers' original focus was to learn effective classroom management techniques and teaching strategies, they felt that the pre-practicum courses should mainly offer subject-specific, methods courses. For example, Chris felt that foundation courses, such as Principles 138 of Teaching and Educational Studies, should be offered after the practicum is completed (MP3). In addition to foundation courses being offered in the summer terms, Barton believed that subject-specific method courses should be offered without a set curriculum. The curriculum for these courses was to emerge from the discussion of topics of interest to the students after they had completed the practicum. Consequently, as Dean proposes, academic courses should be evaluated on a pass/fail basis and student attendance should be considered more seriously. Here, Dean refers to the massive exodus of students from classes they deemed to be too instructor-centered and remote from school practice. This and other strategies for resistance associated with the theme of ownership will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 6. VI. Summary and Conclusions I have discovered that the pre-service teachers in this study encountered three major dilemmas associated with the course content and structure of their teacher education program. These dilemmas can be represented in the form of questions as follows62 (see Table #2, next page). How can pre-service teachers: 1. build conceptual bridges between their academic course work and their school practice experience when the educational theories and strategies presented at university appear to be contradictory and remote from school practice {building conceptual bridges on their own)?; 2. act on the above dilemma and at the same time meet the demands associated with their school practicum component (managing increased worl<loads)7; 3. meet the emerging professional needs that they identified as a result of their previous course work and practicum experience when the last stage of the teacher education program was mainly composed-in their v iew-of ^2A short term to represent each dilemma is included in parentheses. 139 Table #2 Dilemmas associated with the teacher education program's course content and design and the strategies the pre-servlce teachers used to manage them Approxi mate time Line After 5-weeks of course work After 2-week practl-cum Dilemma (short term to represent dilemma) a.- How can students be expected to build conceptual bridges between their academic course work and their school practice experience when the educational theories and strategies presented at university appear to be contradictory and remote from school practice {building conceptual bridges on their own)? University work Is perceived to be even more remote from the "reality" of the school classroom). Strategy used to manage dilemma (brief definition of the strategy) a. Articulating differences. (face to face discussion of point of view with university Instructors) b. Seeking peer advice. (Seeking peer support to build understanding and alliances for action) c. Sorting out Information for hlgh-yleld-low-rlsk (HYLR) pedagogical activities. (Seeking instructional activities that "work") 140 Table #2 (continued) Approxim ate time Line Mid-point of extended practicum After the extended practicum and during first session of summer courses Dilemma (short term to represent dilemma) b.-How can students act on the above dilemma and at the same time meet the demands associated with their school practicum component {managing increased worl<loads)7 c.-How can students meet the emerging professional needs that they identified as a result of their previous course work and practicum experience when the last stage of the teacher education program was mainly composed--in their view--of assignment-driven, and intellectually unchallenging courses {managing busy worl< and lack of rigor)? This dilemma compounded the other two dilemmas mentioned above. Strategy used to manage dilemma (brief definition of the strategy) d. Switching into survival mode. (Focusing on just making it through the day). (Continue sorting out information for HYLR strategies). h. Strategic compliance (resigning to do assignments even though these are perceived mainly as busy work) -Continue focus on sorting out HYLR strategies. i. hand-in the same assignment to two different classes. j . Strategic exodus. (Leaving a class at the first available opportunity if the class was deemed to be boring or too instructor-centered). 141 assignment-driven, and intellectually unchallenging courses (managing busy work and lack of rigor)? I have argued here that all of the above dilemmas compounded, and at times contradicted, one another as the pre-service teachers progressed through their professional preparation. In regards to the first issue, building conceptual bridges on their own, it seems that all pre-service teachers valued the importance of learning about various educational perspectives and how these might impact on practice. However, they felt that the teacher education program placed too much emphasis on instructor-centered presentations of abstract concepts without either engaging the participants' views (or PPoTaL) or carrying out activities to illustrate links between theoretical perspectives and school practice. This created a dilemma for both student teachers and for university educators. In regards to the latter, how can professional programs provide concrete and practical opportunities for learning in the university setting; i.e., outside the context in which teachers are expected to function? I have suggested in this chapter that pre-service teachers seem to be intrinsically aware that the university can only provide a variety of ideas, strategies and theoretical perspectives in the process of learning to teach science. The students indeed do not enter the program with preconceived notions that what happens at the university is strictly theory and what happens during the practicum is strictly practice. On the contrary, the students enter the teacher education program with a clear vision that this is a professional program; hence, they expected the suggested theoretical perspectives to be embedded in school practice. In fact, the pre-service teachers had explained here that some of their courses met these expectations. Among these courses were the pre-practicum science methods courses which were taught by their Faculty Advisors using a constructivist orientation to teaching and learning. There were several courses found to be closely linked to school practice by one or a group of students, but there was another course that all students found to be practical. This was Language-Across-the-Curriculum. According to the students, the instructors of these courses, like those of the pre-practicum methods courses, modelled the teaching strategies they were espousing and assigned classroom work the students deemed to be relevant to learning to teach. In other words, the pre-service teachers saw the theory and practice 142 of learning to teach science in these classes closely tied to the theory and practice of practicing teaching in the school context. This observation led me to believe that the widening gap students perceived between most of their university course work and their school practicum experience is an artifact created by how the teacher education program is designed, structured and delivered to pre-service teachers. In response to this issue, the students had insightful suggestions for on and off campus activities meant to facilitate their understanding of how educational theories impact on the everyday practice of teaching. Among the various students' recommendations for program improvement, it can be observed that the two-week practicum is highly underestimated by university and school officials. This practicum provides students with their first concrete teaching experiences, first contacts with pupils and teachers, and with what the students call, a dose of reality regarding the preparation they will need to complete the practicum successfully. Therefore, faculties of education may need to take their introductory or short practicum experiences more seriously by exploring the anxieties associated with learning to teach science that the pre-service teachers bring with them into the program. For instance, universities may have to organize more structured activities geared to explore the students' PPoTaL and to meet their emerging professional needs. I have also indicated here that by mid-point of the students' extended practicum, they were at the zenith of a dilemma that threatened their survival in the teacher education program. The dilemma embedded in managing increased workloads was described by the students as the need to seek ways to ease the pressure associated with increased teaching loads and assessment responsibilities. This dilemma was aggravated by the first one discussed above. In other words, they wondered how they could be expected to bridge, on their own, the abstract content knowledge of their university work with the demands of the practicum experience? In addition, due to the contradictory teaching orientations and models they experienced between the university and school contexts, the students felt at odds soliciting assistance from either their university or school advisors, who 143 would often had different expectations (I will discuss this topic in more detail in Chapter 6). The students acted on the dilemma associated with managing increased workloads by implementing a strategy which some of them called switching into survival mode. That is, they focused their energies on two major concerns. The first involved learning effective behavior management techniques. The other had to do with learning reliable tricks of the trade (high-yield, low-risk teaching strategies and activities) to keep students interested in learning science. They felt that if they could master these two areas other related anxieties would be minimized, such as the pupils' academic performance, the evaluative role of the school and faculty advisors, their ability to instruct subject-specific topics, and their ability to meet curriculum demands. Of course, none of these areas can be antiseptically dissected from one another; in fact, they are closely interrelated-and the students knew this. Nevertheless, the pre-service teachers' perception was that when they become real teachers, i.e., when they obtain full-time employment, they could manage those other aspects of teaching. This finding led me to observe that the student teachers believed their professional preparation to be so remote from the school context and so assignment-driven that they did not seem to have opportunities to appreciate the depth of the educational theories to which they were exposed. Furthermore, all the students maintained that the teacher education program lacked academic rigor and that, with the exception of a few courses, their professional preparation was not intellectually stimulating. This represents the third dilemma pre-services encountered. The dilemma associated with managing busy work and lack of academic rigor became more apparent to me and the pre-service teachers when they were in the midst of the last phase of their academic preparation; that is, four more months of university courses after completing the extended practicum. By this time, the students managed this dilemma with a feeling of resignation. They felt that they had to live with the contradictions and hang in for a while longer to complete all their degree requirements. In the meantime, the most common strategy they used during this phase was to continue seeking for high-yield, low-risk 144 teaching and behavior management strategies which could facilitate the transition from being a student teacher to being a full-time professional. Other strategies they to used for coping with courses deemed to be "irrelevant" and "too instructor-centered" was to skip those classes (this strategy will be discussed in more detail in the next chapter). In sum, the arguments presented here demonstrate that the participants in this study were not passive participants during the socialization process of learning to teach in two different contexts; that is, the university and the school settings. The pre-service teachers were indeed, as shown above, engaged in a series of strategies aimed at managing the dilemmas they encountered. These dilemmas intensified as the students attempted to construct their own professional identity amidst contradictory information and practices. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the teacher education program, in spite of its shortcomings, enabled students to adopt and use various pedagogical skills, theoretical insights and a professional language. This was evident in our numerous conversations and in my on- and off-campus observations of the participants when they demonstrated that they had acquired skills in using specific pedagogical terms, in implementing various teaching strategies, in assessing pupil abilities, in generating and maintaining pupil interest, and in preparing unit and lesson plans. However, the fact that they claimed to have learned more from negative modelling in their university education supports the notion that the teacher education program missed opportunities to engage students in a dialectical discussion of how various theoretical perspectives or teaching strategies influence the everyday-practice of teaching. Furthermore, the teacher education program also missed the opportunity to engage pre-service teachers in the critical examination of the social and institutional constraints which influence the professional lives of teachers. This became more evident to me when students attempted to implement the teaching and management strategies they had acquired from courses they believed to be practical, useful and intellectually stimulating (such as their science methods classes). When some of these strategies did not work or did not work as well as they expected, the students often tended to internalize the outcomes as a consequence of their own inabilities as beginning teachers. They did this 145 without attributing any cause to the social context of their classroom, the variety of students' abilities, or the culture of the school. To close, the findings presented here suggest that the pre-service teachers' original focus to learn how to be an effective science teacfier shifted to that of how to successfully finish being a student teacher. These findings raise several issues regarding ownership of the experience of learning to teach. In other words, whose teacher education program is it, the student's, the university's or the school's advisor? Once we have formulated an answer for this question, we--as educators and researchers-need to ask ourselves how are student teachers going to be assisted to develop a sense of belonging to a community of practice and at the same time contribute to its development? 146 CHAPTER 6 Roles, Resistance and Learning to Teach Science I begin this Chapter with a brief discussion of the expectations the pre-service teachers had before they began their school practicum. This is followed by a description of the participants' first impressions of their school advisors and of the schools in which they were to learn how to become members of a community of practicing teachers. I felt it was necessary to provide this background in order to situate my analysis in the multitude of roles the pre-service teachers had to play in order to meet the demands of their practicum. I also provide a detailed description of the various strategies of resistance the pre-service teachers implemented to manage the inherent dilemmas associated with playing a variety of roles. Before I continue, I wish to emphasise that the analysis I provide here is mainly based on the pre-service teachers' interpretations of their experiences. Needless to say, my own PPoTaL and biography played a role in the re-telling of the participants' stories, but I have attempted to make this unescapable fact problematic through the use of intercontext as a research methodology (see Chapter 3). In any event, there are some voices that remained unheard in the followings stories, and these are the voices oi the school and faculty advisors and of the pupils. I am sure that their views and interpretations might differ in many ways with those of the pre-service teachers' accounts of the events that took place at one time or another. Nevertheless, as it was explained Chapter 3, the intercontextual methodology designed for this study required that a strong sense of trust be developed between the pre-service teachers and the researcher. Hence, trying to establish a researcher/resource person relationship with all of the voices involved in the process of learning to teach-without ever being able to discuss what one voice said about the other, or without never being able to directly assist in building better relationships between those in need of better communication was-for me-simply an untenable task. My role as resource person for the pre-service teachers was just that, a resource person. I could not play the role of judge in regards to their differences with people with or without power over them during the practicum. Neither could I 147 play the role of mediator myself, since I had no power of my own to effectively influence their experiences. Therefore, in this study I only report on the experiences of the pre-service teachers as they saw them, and as I made sense of their interpretations of what it meant for them to learn how to teach science under the auspices of an innovative teacher education project referred to earlier as STEPP. I. "Chalk and Talk": Expectations and First Impressions During the School Practicum Expectations After five weeks of on-campus course work, all the participants were eager to begin practice-teaching. Most of them had not been back in a school setting since they had graduated from high school; hence, their feelings of anticipation were marked with mixed feelings of anxiety and excitement. And, for at least two of the participants, these mixed feelings and expected fears unfortunately became unwelcome prophecies. At the beginning, all students seemed to be concerned in one way or another with maintaining control in the classroom. It was as if they were reminiscing about their days as pupils and the things they did with, or to, their own student teachers at that time. For instance, Alfred was concerned with being treated like a substitute teacher. He explains, "I think probably because I'm new to them they would treat me like a sub or they'd want to test me and see, find out what I'm all about, like 'I wonder what we can get away with this guy? Do we really have to do any work while he's here?' " (Interview before the two-week orientation practicum, 0P1). Barton, on the other hand was worried about having to play an authoritarian role which contradicted his Personal Philosophy of Teaching and Learning (PPoTaL). He expands on this as follows: One thing that I'm really sort of afraid of, or fear of-because apparently it's not really good, and I can see myself doing i t- is being friends with the [pupils]. Like, I don't like the idea of people being above people. I don't like people "I'm here, you're there. I'm being down to you." I think that you can be in a position where you're the one that you're supposed to, you know, pass on certain values and thinking and stuff to your students. I honestly feel that you don't have to be, like, "I'm up here, you're down here" and have 148 everything flow downhill. You know, it's like teaching and learning is a two-way street for everybody. The teacher there, you try and get your students to think certain things--you learn things from them continuously. But, apparently, from what I've heard, is that you just can't get too friendly with them. You have to keep a professional distance. And one thing that I'm concerned about is that I might get a little too close. Not so much, like, emotionally or whatever but be too friendly that the kids might get too relaxed. Not take it seriously. (0P1) Another factor that preoccupied the pre-service teachers was the nature of the relationship they could establish with their advisors. It is interesting to observe that two out of the three students who encountered difficulties with their school and/or faculty advisors were hoping to avoid just that. I will explain these events in more detail in the sections that follow, but it is important to point out here that Dean, the student who experienced the most predicaments, already was concerned with being paired with an advisor who would "slow him down." Just a few days before beginning his first school practicum. Dean stated: I have a lot of enthusiasm and that kind of worries me because I like to sort of really be energetic and I'm kind of concerned sometimes that maybe my practicum teacher might sort of dampen that enthusiasm and want me to sort of conform too much and kind of slow me down. I have a real passion for biology and it comes out when I'm teaching it and I like to really generate a lot of energy -internal energy - and that comes out in my teaching and that kind of concerns me. (0P1) In a similar fashion, Ellen was concerned with having to "play the game" in order to complete her practicum successfully. She, like the other participants, placed a great deal of value on their school practicum experience. Receiving good evaluations from their advisors was already perceived as paramount to secure a teaching job. Ellen describes the "stakes" associated with a good practicum placement: I would have to--to a certain degree-play the game. Do what they [school and/or faculty advisors] want me to do. You know? If they're not receptive towards me trying new things, then fine. You know, don't do that. I mean, it would upset me, probably make me kind of mad, but there's nothing I can do about it, and the practicum's the most important and I want to do well. I've had a principal from 149 another district tell me that if I graduated in the top--10 per cent of my class that he'd offer me a job. Now, I don't know if I believe that or not, but it is a goal that I'm trying to do, so my courses are important too. But the practicum mal<es you or breaks you. 'Cause if you don't do a good practicum, there's no going back. Like, there's just that one [extended practicum]. (OP1) Therefore, armed with five weeks of academic course work^a, riddled with mixed feelings of anxiety and excitement, and guided by their individually constructed images of what a good science teacher truly is (as discussed in Chapter 4), the participants in this study embarked on a two-week long, blind-date. What were the pre-service teachers' first impressions of the people who in those two-weeks had the power to say whether they could continue in the short practicum, whether they could enrol in the extended thirteen-week practicum in the same school next term, or even whether they could continue in the teacher education program at all? First Impressions As indicated in Appendix I, all six students were placed at random by a Placement Officer who was not part of the STEP Project. The only criterion for placement used was to match the pre-service teachers with school advisors teaching their subject area specializations in the participating schools.64 Alfred, Dean and Frank were placed in an academically oriented school (Central Secondary)65 with a reputation for having high expectations from pupils. It appears that this expectation extended to their pre-service teachers. For example, according to the teacher education program's policy, students were required to start their teaching load with no more than two classes; however, the school advisors at Central Secondary assigned the students from three to four classes right from the start-a decision that the students begrudgely called "front-loading." In addition, another strong indication that instruction was central to the culture of this school is how the school timetable was organized. There were no school-wide breaks or lunch hours; pupils, as well as teachers, had their breaks and lunch periods ® l^n Chapter 5 it was shown that most students felt frustrated with the lack of connection between their academic course work and their visions of school practice. ^^The reader is reminded that most of the science school advisors participated in the STEP Project. ^Spseudonyms are used here to respect the anonymity of the participants. 150 according to whatever time they had available from their instruction schedules. Another important feature of Central Secondary is that it predominantly served a white, middle to upper-class community. There were few pupils from visible minority groups at this school. On the other hand, Trimble Secondary, the school where Barton, Ellen and Chris were placed, served mainly a working to middle-class community. Interestingly enough, there were also few members of visible minorities at this school. Also, in contrast to Central Secondary, the school day at Trimble was organized similar to those of most schools, so students and teachers had common breaks and lunch periods in which to socialize. Regardless of the differences between these schools, the pre-service teachers were expected to engage in limited teaching by the second week of the practicum. They were also expected to mainly observe their school advisors and other teachers teach during this short practicum. All six students described their advisors' teaching style (at both schools) as teacher-centered with various degrees of interaction with pupils. The students defined this style as basically the traditional "chalk and talk" with some school advisors having stronger questioning skills than others. The students also explained that all the other teachers they observed in their respective schools concentrated on teacher-centered interactions with their pupils, consisting basically of lecturing and assigning seat work. This observation, in turn, as it was discussed in Chapter 5, created a great deal of frustration and anxiety among the participants who did not see the constructivist pedagogical skills to which they were being exposed in their methods classes modelled in their placement schools. Nevertheless, according to the pre-service teachers, some of the school advisors sought to foster a collaborative relationship with them; whereas, some of the advisors sought to establish a directive or authoritarian relationship. This is the focus of the next section. II. Two Groups, Two Paths: Baptism by Fire versus Baptism by Exploration 151 Baptism bv Exploration Barton and Chris, who were placed at Trimble Secondary School, and Frank, who was at Central Secondary School, established collaborative relationships with their school advisors from the start. Barton, who wished to develop a more "humanistic" relationship with his pupils as indicated above s^^  was quickly at ease when he realized that his school advisor was a kindred spirit. He explains: He helped me quite a bit. I was really happy with my sponsor teacher. I think he's great. He's really relaxed and he's got a style that I really hope to emulate. I think he's good. He's a good model for me to work towards. Like he's a teacher that I would sort of like to be. Which I was worried that I wasn't going to get someone like that. He's very much the humanistic type. He's got a daughter that goes to the school which, I think, helps a lot because I think she's about the same grade as some of [his pupils]. So he understands that these are kids and that they have problems and he knows that. He's not authoritative and he's got a really good view of everything. I think he's just good. People, kids come to class and, you know, they can hand in late assignments and they can re-write tests at lunch. They sort of get penalized a bit but, you know, they're allowed to do that. (Interview after the orientation practicum, 0P2) Frank and Chris, like Barton, were given freedom to teach as they planned under an atmosphere of exploration. The school advisors made it clear to them that they were there to field questions and ideas and provide suggestions. All three of these participants saw their school advisors as positive role models in spite of the students' interest to move from teacher-centered to more pupil-centered pedagogical styles. Again, as previously described in Chapter 5, this created a conceptual dissonance of sorts because, at the same time that the faculty advisors (who were also the science methods instructors) were encouraging students to pursue a constructivist orientation to teaching and learning, some participants were observing their school advisors carry out compelling teacher-centered lessons based on years of experience. For instance, Frank describes his first impressions of his school advisor's teaching style: S^AIso see Chapter 4 for more details about Barton's PPoTaL 152 [My school advisor] is probably one of the best teachers in the school (laughs). Fortunately for me. Like he has his kids - grade 8's -he teaches grade 8's and grade 11 and 12 physics and they're just so attentive and he has them on the edge of their seats, basically. And it's the way he phrases things, like the way he teaches things is very interesting but he's really funny, too. And he seems to have total control. He disciplines people simply by looking and not saying anything and like. He's just great. What would be his teaching style? Frank: He doesn't use an overhead [projector]. He mainly talks slowly, very clearly and then maybe writes example problems on the board, but a lot of what he teaches, it's more like the students are listening to him talking a bit and a lot of questioning. A lot of questioning. Like he says, 'So what do you think?' He's always interacting with the students by question and answer. So he's not lecturing per se. Frank: Not lecturing per se. He's getting there. He seems to get all their responses while, he gets them to see the principle by sort of channelling all their questioning. (0P2, italics mine) At this point it is important to observe that this conceptual dissonance between what was theoretically appealing (constructivist orientation to teaching and learning espoused by the methods instructors) and what was perceived to "work" in the school classroom influenced what the pre-service teachers felt "safe" to try during the short and the extended practica from this time onward. This dissonance was so much more so for the students who encountered difficulties with their school advisors. Baptism by Fire Dean and Alfred were placed at Central Secondary and Ellen at Trimble High. Dean was assigned to two school advisors in order to give him an opportunity to teach junior and senior high science classes. He felt that one of his first advisors basically fit the collaborative role described above; however, he explained that after teaching a first lesson for his principal advisor he felt that "[There] seems to be a power relationship in the sense that I am there to learn from her and there's no exchange" (0P2). In the few days that followed this student teacher encountered many difficulties with his 153 school advisors; so many so, that he had to be subsequently placed in another school for the extended practicum^ .^ Dean was told that he would be going to East Secondary School^ ^ late in the Fall term. This was mainly a working-class to middle-class school, very much like Trimble Secondary. Even though, these schools were only about 15 min away from each other by foot. East Secondary seemed to have a greater representation of visible minority students in the classrooms. Unfortunately for Dean, he only met his new school advisors two-weeks before the extended practicum began in late January (Field Diary I, FDI, 59). Apparently, university officials needed to wait for the teaching assignments to be organized by the school administration before Dean could know for certain who his new advisors would be. This, in turn, had put Dean in an even more disadvantaged position, because he had had much less time to prepare his classes than the other participants who had successfully finished the short practicum in their original placement schools in the Fall. The teacher education program encourages faculty advisors to assist student teachers in determining which classes the students will be teaching, and which topics, well in advance of the commencement of the extended practicum. But, in Dean's case, this was not possible. Nevertheless, Dean's first impressions of his new advisors were very positive. He commented that he felt "very comfortable with them and at home" (FDI, 59). However, as the pressures of teaching several classes a day increased in a school where all the periods were 75 min long. Dean began to have second thoughts. He explained that his principal school advisor was "very organized, and everything is laid out very precisely and everything is like clockwork for him. And, he, you know, he puts a lot of work into it and it comes from years of experience and I find that I'm really struggling to live up to his standards" (Interview at mid-point of the extended practicum, MPS). ^^Dean's story is a very complex one and I would not do justice if I began to recount it here in bits and pieces. Therefore, I give an in-depth account of his story, from his point of view, in Appendix III Anatomy of a Misunderstanding. ^^A pseudonym is used to respect the anonymity of the participants. 154 What about the other student who was placed at Central Secondary, how did he fair at this school? Alfred began his orientation practicum with an advisor who also played a collaborative role; however, during the extended practicum he was assigned to work with Dean's former, directive advisor in order increase his teaching load. Alfred's first impressions of this school advisor's supervisory style are strikingly similar to those of Dean's. Alfred explains: She is very different from [my principal school advisor] because she's like a perfectionist and everything has to be perfect. I mean totally perfect or look out. Like everything has to be in order that you're going to do it. She has to know exactly what you're going to do and I have to tell her why I'm going to do everything that I'm going to do. Do you know what I mean? (MP3) On the other hand, Ellen's experiences at Trimble High were quite the opposite with one of her school advisors; that is, she could not get any significant input from her science school advisor. It was as if Ellen's fears of having "to play the game" (mentioned above) became a reality during the first week of her two-week practicum. This is how her predicaments began: Ellen also had two school advisors, one in physical education (which according to her was her stronger subject area) and one in biology (her weaker subject area). The physical education advisor was perceived by Ellen to be basically collaborative; however, she encountered many difficulties with her science advisor. Since Ellen was aware of her weakness in the biological sciences, she was hoping to tap into her school advisor's resources and experiences. But, her advisor was absent from the school for five out of the ten days of the short practicum on school-related businesses (FDI, 14). This heightened Ellen's anxieties and feelings of despair: [My biology advisor] really didn't give me much direction, and I think it's going to be that way. He's just so busy. I think he's going to leave a lot of it up to me, which is something I don't like because I like having direction, especially if I'm learning. That first week [of the short practicum] I had serious doubts about education. I thought, "What am I doing?" I was really tired. I didn't feel like I wanted to do any work. And I thought, "I don't know if I want to go through all this stuff." And I think that for me to be tired 155 means I don't teach very well. Or I don't have very good feelings about things. That I think was a major factor in how I was feeling, that I was so down on things. Talking to [my biology advisor], finding out that he is a very busy person, that it will be hard to get time with him. (0P2) So, if some students were having some difficulties from the start, what role did the university faculty advisors play to alleviate the tension; in fact, from the students' point of view, what role did faculty advisors play in general? III. What Technicians Say Is Not What Practitioners Do It seemed that the more the students became aware of the dissonance between what they learned in their university courses and how their school advisors actually taught and managed their classrooms, the more the students seemed to construct a more defined, more distant image of the role their faculty advisors had in their professional preparation. In other words, it appears that faculty advisors were at first perceived as innovative teachers in their methods courses-teachers who had very appealing (constructivist) ideas for getting pupils motivated and interested in learning science. However, as the pre-service teachers began the short practicum and continued on to the extended practicum, they became more tentative about embracing the "new and appealing" ideas espoused by the faculty advisors. Hence, the faculty advisor began to be perceived more like a technician who brought ideas for different pedagogical strategies to be tried, whereas, the school advisors were perceived as the practitioners who knew what really works in the classroom. All pre-service teachers appeared to uphold this conception, but Barton's comments illustrate this finding most clearly: I don't look at the faculty advisor any more as someone that is actually supposed to help me deal with sort of teaching. Because she only comes in once a week for an hour and I think you can get nothing out of that. What she can do, which I think is great, is she's more of the analytical angle. What she does is she technically picks apart what you do. And tells you areas to improve on. And that works really good. She gives strategies. A way of doing things. And sort of, why don't you try this and this and this. Sort of more technical. Whereas the sponsor teacher is more about how to teach. Sort of, you know, ways to go about that sort of in realistic terms. 156 . . .And the fact [is the school advisors are] there. That's the person I go to every time. After every lesson I'll go up and I'll talk to them and I'll say something like, you know, Well, how was that? And then I'll offer what I think because by now I go there and you know what's going wrong, (laughs) If I have a lab today and everybody is asking questions - the directions weren't clear. And I maybe didn't demonstrate it properly enough. I know that so I go, OK, that's, I should fix that, right? So then w