Edited By Matthew Lynch
This book attempts to move the field to the next phase of its evolution and provides the U.S. K-12 system with the tools that it will need to return to its former preeminence. Reimagining Education Reform and Innovation generates a corpus of new and original scholarship that significantly examines the field of education reform and innovation broadly conceived. Each chapter examines one or more of the critical topics that are missing from or underrepresented in the extant literature. The various chapters of this book integrate into their analyses the conceptual, political, pedagogical, and practical histories, tensions, and resources that have established education reform and innovation as one of the most vital and growing movements within the field of education. A central tenet of this project is that we need to make visible the multiple perspectives and theoretical frames that currently drive
work in the field.
Chapter 5: Student Teachers as Active Participants in Schools’ Policy Contexts
Student Teachers AS Active Participants IN Schools’ Policy Contexts
ANNE MARIE GARTH
PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS RAISE POLICY CONCERNS
A few weeks into a literacy class I was teaching for elementary and special education majors, students began their early field placement experiences. During these placements in local classrooms the semester before student teaching, pre-service teachers (PSTs) were encouraged to attempt some of the practices they were learning in their courses with individual children or small groups. However, they were often frustrated when they returned to my literacy class from their field experiences. PSTs explained that they were carefully observing children and planning learning activities accordingly; however, some contextual factors were limiting their chances to enact these practices. When I questioned them further, they talked about rules, expectations, and arrangements, which were sometimes formal and sometimes informal; sometimes they were explicitly related to literacy and sometimes they weren’t. Though we had read and critiqued standards and curriculum for the assumptions they held about literacy, teachers, and learners, PST comments indicated there was more to policy than texts and tests.
I am not the first to notice the gap between the practices we encourage in PSTs and those they are able to enact in classrooms (Altwerger et al., 2004; Alsup et al., 2006; Christensen, 2006; Fleischer & Fox, 2004; McCracken, 2004). Nor am I the first to see the need for theoretically and methodologically sound ways to bridge ← 93 | 94 → this gap...
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