- 1What are pedagogies of teacher education?
- 2How do teacher education pedagogies map onto the learning cycle?
- 3What is the relationship between teacher education pedagogies and classroom teaching?
Teacher education pedagogies are instructional approaches used by teacher educators, including methods course instructors, field instructors, mentor teachers, and others to support the learning of novice teachers. They are the pedagogical structures and routines that teacher educators regularly use during coursework and in the field to help novices learn the work of teaching in practice-based ways.
In other professions, it is common for novices to have multiple opportunities to learn and practice before taking on full responsibility for clients or patients. Beginning teachers typically have fewer structured opportunities to try out teaching before formally entering the classroom. Through the practice-based pedagogies of teacher education described here, teacher educators can help novices learn to enact high-leverage practices in ways that are flexible and responsive, and that attend to advancing justice in the classroom. These pedagogies also provide scaffolded learning contexts that avoid serious risk to real children, and which create opportunities for novice teachers to learn content knowledge for teaching.
Different pedagogies of teacher education can afford teacher educators, mentor teachers, and field instructors distinct ways of supporting novice teachers. In fact, sometimes particular kinds of pedagogies are better suited for use at different stages in novice teachers’ learning. We use the learning cycle (McDonald, Kazemi, and Kavanagh, 2013; Lampert et al., 2013) to help signal when teacher educators might want to use different categories of teacher education pedagogies.
In the “introduce” phase of the learning cycle, teacher educators are likely to use pedagogies of representation (see Grossman et al, 2009; Grossman, Hammerness & McDonald, 2009) to help novice teachers see and analyze important parts of teaching practice. Teacher educators may, for example, provide novices with detailed descriptions of teaching practice and show them diverse examples of it being enacted in classrooms.
In the “prepare” phase, teacher educators can use pedagogies of approximation (see Grossman et al, 2009; Grossman, Hammerness & McDonald, 2009) to give novices opportunities to simulate critical elements of teaching. For example, teacher educators might engage novice teachers in coached group rehearsals inside the teacher education classroom in relation to different parts of teaching practice.
Teacher educators can also use teacher education pedagogies to support novices in trying out teaching in the P-12 classroom during the “enact” phase of the learning cycle. Teacher educators might, for example, assign field tasks to novices that direct them to teach a lesson to a small group of children and ask them to video record their performance. They might also use live coaching strategies to support novices during their early classroom teaching experiences.
In the “analyze” phase of the learning cycle, teacher educators create opportunities for novices to see and analyze their own (and one another’s) teaching practice, again through pedagogies of representation. For example, teacher educators might ask novice teachers to review video of themselves or colleagues teaching a lesson and comment on the performance.
For more information, see:
Grossman, P., Compton, C., Igra, D., Ronfeldt, M., Shahan, E., & Williamson, P. (2009). Teaching practice: A cross-professional perspective. Teachers College Record, 111(9), 2055-2100.
Grossman, P., Hammerness, K., & McDonald, M. (2009). Redefining teaching, re‐imagining teacher education. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 15(2), 273-289.
Lampert, M., Franke, M. L., Kazemi, E., Ghousseini, H., Turrou, A. C., Beasley, H., Cunard, A., & Crowe, K. (2013). Keeping it complex using rehearsals to support novice teacher learning of ambitious teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 64(3), 226-243.
McDonald, M., Kazemi, E., & Kavanagh, S. S. (2013). Core practices and pedagogies of teacher education: A call for a common language and collective activity. Journal of Teacher Education, 64(5), 378-386.
The different categories of teacher education pedagogies can scaffold novice teachers’ learning of instructional practice. Some pedagogical categories, like the use of representations, are typically more removed from classroom teaching. They are often used inside teacher education classrooms, and can feature magnified, decontextualized examples of teaching so that novices can better see and learn the work of instruction. In contrast, pedagogies of approximation and pedagogies that support novices to enact practice in the P-12 classroom can appear much closer to “actual” classroom teaching. They require that novices actually simulate the work of teaching or engage with real children, rather than simply having them observe and analyze teaching practice.
These categories of teacher education pedagogies therefore typically fall on a continuum in terms of their complexity and authenticity: pedagogies of representation are often the most distal from classroom teaching, pedagogies situated inside the P-12 classroom are the most proximal to it, and pedagogies of approximation often fall somewhere in the middle.