Chapter 13: Teacher Education: Qualitative Research Approaches
Mark Dressman, Wayne Journell and Jay Mann TEACHER EDUCATION Since the late 1980s, qualitative and ethnographic research methods have dominated inquiry across a wide range of age levels and content areas within teacher education. The complexity of teaching as a cultural activity and the individualistic quality of the profession, that is, the fact that teachers may be taught some things in cohorts but develop their habits of practice alone over extended periods of time in classrooms largely isolated from each other, has led researchers to focus on processes at local and often micro-ethnographic levels. In this chapter we focus our review of the research literature on three areas: the construction of teaching, teachers, and teacher education within North American and British/European contexts; case studies of teachers and programs; and action, or teacherresearch studies conducted by teachers themselves, typically in the middle or later years of their careers. In conclusion, we consider how the application of a method originating outside education by researchers who largely see themselves as educationists first and only later as social scientists (that is, as applied anthropologists or sociologists) changes both the method and the findings that it produces. We also offer three caveats about our review. First, our goal was not to be encyclopedic in our coverage of the research. There are many more interesting and informative studies of teacher education, both from a methodological and an issues-oriented viewpoint, than could be covered here. Rather, we chose to highlight particular studies representative of the methodological diversity...
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