Scholarship in Action and the Syracuse Miracle
Edited by Bruce Kingma
Chapter 11: ‘Do it Again!’: Students Serving as Catalysts Within a Teacher Education Innovation
Benjamin Dotger The common mission of teacher education institutions is to prepare transformative teachers to serve in K-12 classrooms. As novice teachers move from relatively safe teacher preparation environments to the active and immediate demands of the daily classroom, they often experience the classic ‘gap’ between teacher preparation and practice (Korthagen and Kessels, 1999; Putnam and Borko, 2000). Practicing classroom teachers often perceive a clear divide between their daily instructional practices and the professional preparation they received through traditional coursework and multiple practical experiences in the field. This chapter examines a pedagogical initiative intended to help bridge the gap between teacher preparation and practice. Specifically, the chapter describes the diffusion of a medical education pedagogy to teacher education, and the catalyst that teacher candidates provided to enhance and extend this pedagogical approach to broader teacher education and school leader education contexts. BACKGROUND Research on family–school–community partnerships continues to indicate the positive impacts that parents/caregivers have on students’ academic and prosocial behaviors (Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler, 1997; Epstein, 2001; Hiatt-Michael, 2001; Keyes, 2004; Witmer, 2005; Pomerantz et al., 2007). Yet teacher preparation institutions frequently do not address the topic of school– family interactions beyond generic reference to the importance of communication and positive relationships (Tichenor, 1988; Shartrand et al., 1997; MacLure and Walker, 2000; McMurray-Schwarz and Baum, 2000; Ferrara and Ferrara, 2005; Epstein and Sanders, 2006). When the topic is addressed, it is often in the form of traditional readings and overly-generic references to the importance of parent–teacher partnerships...
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