A variety of case studies describing the experiences of US academic teacher trainers
Michael Dias, Charles J Eick and Laurie Brantley-Dias (eds)
2014 | 210pp | £117 (HB)
This book offers a wide variety of case studies describing the experiences of US academic teacher trainers. All of these focus on the individuals making the transition from a higher education setting to school classroom teaching, across the entire school age range.
The book is broken down into sections based on the type of relationship the academic maintained with their universities during their secondment to the classroom. This ranged from no formal interaction and teaching while on sabbatical, to co-teaching in the classroom and university. The chapters themselves have a broad theoretical basis with a strong emphasis on good educational research. An individual’s experiences cannot avoid being anecdotal, but I think this enhances the science rather than replacing it.
Three recurring themes run through all of the chapters. The first is that legitimacy in teacher education is gained by teaching in the classroom: in practice, teachers are often sceptical of academically sound teaching theory if it has not been performed by the professor singing its virtues. The second is that perspective gained while in the classroom is invaluable: the in-class experience removes the academic from ivory tower isolation (which I know I have experienced), directly benefiting their teaching when they return to university life. The final theme is that of overcoming adversity, whether in the form of bureaucracy, classroom logistics, or dealing with the students themselves – insightful practical advice is given on overcoming these in the real world.
While this book is exclusively focused on the US school system, the broad backgrounds of its authors ensures that most people would gain some benefit from it, especially those in the teacher training profession. Aside from its academic credentials, I think it gives a fascinating anecdotal insight into the US school and university system.
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