Learning to Teach: A Mixed-Methods Study of Interns Learning the Skills of Teaching
Mascio, Bryan Dennis
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AbstractOur understanding of learning has improved dramatically throughout the last century; cognitivists built upon behaviorists, and in turn provided the foundation for increasingly advanced insights into the learning process. Dynamic Skill Theory is a neo-Piagetian conception with important implications for how we understand student learning, teaching, and research. It surfaces key elements of learning such as: variability, multiple learning pathways, complex and dynamic systems, and the importance of context.
This dissertation, grounded in Dynamic Skill Theory, takes a mixed methods approach to investigate the process of how teacher interns—in the culminating phase of a comprehensive university-based teacher preparation program—learn the skills of teaching.
The first article, Can’t You Just Tell Me?!, is a portrait whose narrative takes place on a single day in the fall of Katie’s year-long internship, examining the complexities of learning, teaching, and learning to teach – while revealing the parallels between these processes. Katie’s identity as a learner, based in her traditional K-12 background, threatens to stymie her progress as a teacher, which requires active engagement in constructing her teacher knowledge.
The second article, Teaching In The Mirror, is a group portrait of three interns whose learning to teach is shaped by their autobiographical journeys. Their narratives reflect on the influence of their personal histories on their developing practice.
The third article, Nothing Exists Alone, offers a tool and technique that can be used by either researchers or teacher educators to better understand the learning of interns or teachers. Three interns report their thinking while problem-solving in the classroom, multiple times through the year. By using a dynamic analysis technique, I am able to examine the dynamic nature of multiple skills each intern is developing.
In combination, these three articles call for changes in how teachers (and student teachers) are regarded in preparation, policy, and research. Namely, teachers must be considered as (continuous) learners, and learning must be understood in far more complex terms than is commonly encountered.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:37935836