|Archive article #0001
Reading Teacher Education in the Next Millennium:
It is likely that your grandparents were taught to read in school by teachers who had no more than two years preparation beyond their high school diploma. In their normal school studies, or the equivalent, your grandparents' teachers probably didn't take any specific courses on how to teach reading. Instead, they took one or two general courses in pedagogical methods and a series of content area courses on topics related directly to the subject areas of the elementary curriculum (Monroe, 1952). From our perspective today, and with our knowledge of the remarkable economic progress that has been made over the past 50 years, we can judge the efforts of these teachers as heroic in the context of limited resources. But the context for teaching has changed as our society has changed, just as the context for literacy practices has changed. Yesterday's standards for teaching and teacher education will not support the kinds of learning that tomorrows teachers must nurture among students who will be asked, in the next millennium, to meet literacy demands that our grandparents could not fathom.
Who will teach your grandchildren to read? How will their teachers be prepared? What will they know? What will they do? We can only speculate on the answers to these important questions. The possibilities are endless, and the reality will be shaped by many factors, some of which are broadly societal, and outside the realm of reading education and reading research. Consider the following projections for the start of the 21st century:
1. The children of the baby-boom generation are already filling our elementary schools to capacity, and their numbers will continue to escalate over the next three decades. Between 1996 and 2006, total public and private school enrollment will rise from a record 51.7 million to 54.6 million (U.S. Department of Education, 1996).
2. The proportion of children from poverty and second language backgrounds will continue to grow. For example, it is projected that between 2000 and 2020 there will be 47% more Hispanic children aged 513 in schools than there are today (National Center for Educational Statistics, 1997). These children have not been served well by our educational system in the past. With increasing numbers, the challenge is likely to continue to grow.
3. The teaching force is aging rapidly. Retirements, coupled with teacher attrition rates (nearly 30% quitting teaching during their first three years), could lead to a tremendous teacher shortage by the year 2010. "Over the next decade we will hire more than 2 million teachers for America's schools. More than half the teachers who will be teaching ten years from now will be hired during the next decade" (Darling-Hammond, 1996, p. 5). By the year 2006, we will need 190,000 additional teachers (U.S. Department of Education, 1996).
4. The profession struggles to attract and retain teachers (Archer, 1999), especially teachers who represent the diversity of the students we serve and the goals we embrace. At the elementary levels, we continue to be mostly white, mostly female, and mostly middle-class in background (Grant & Secada, 1990). We express a value for diverse thinking and creativity, and yet the teaching force is largely conservative and socialized toward traditional thinking and values (Zeichner, 1989; Zeichner & Tabachnick, 1985).
5. The literacy demands on the work force of the next millennium, in particular the use of electronic texts, will far outstrip anything we have known in the past (Reinking, 1995). It is quite possible that many people regarded as functionally literate today will live to see themselves become functionally illiterate.
Each of these projections presents a stark challenge to the future of reading teacher education. Collectively, they present a daunting scenario.
Some of the factors that will shape the future of teacher education lie within our purview as a reading research community. We contend that the reality that lies 1525 years ahead in reading teacher education will be shaped substantially by the research agenda we enact today. It is our goal in this article to make recommendations regarding this research agenda based on a consideration of where we have traveled in the past and where we find ourselves located in the present. We will go beyond a traditional retrospective synthesis of the findings from existing research to a prospective envisionment of the challenges the future holds and the critical role that research must play in setting a productive course of action. We structure our look-ahead around five basic questions.
1. Is teacher preparation effective?
We have not selected these questions because they are the ones for which we have answers. We have posed them because we believe that they embody the issues that will make our conversations regarding future research efforts most productive.
Is Teacher Preparation Effective?
Adopting a service model, we can address the question of effectiveness by looking at the satisfaction levels of those who participate in these programs (i.e., the clients). Here we find generally high levels of satisfaction with the patterns suggesting program improvements over the past decade. For example, the National Center for Educational Statistics (1995) reported on a survey of teacher satisfaction that compares perceived quality between all teachers and those with less than five years experience. For 1984, they reported that 46% of the teachers expressed a very high level of satisfaction with their preservice programs as compared with 58% in 1995. They found that 64% of those teachers with less than five years experience expressed a very high level of satisfaction. In another study, they reported on teacher satisfaction with their teacher preparation program with respect to teaching students from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. These data were collected on the same group of teachers before and after their first year of teaching. In the preservice phase of their development, they found that 81% of the teachers gave a positive response to the question. After the first year of teaching, the number dropped to 70% in the affirmative. The findings from these studies and others suggest a generally positive regard for teacher preparation.
Adopting a product perspective on teacher preparation, we can examine the data from teacher examinations, licensing procedures, and performance-based assessments. The vast majority of students completing teacher education programs pass the initial certification examinations, either meeting or exceeding the standards set by their states. Similarly, the studies of first-year teacher induction programs suggest that the vast majority complete these programs with high ratings on performance assessments while they are teaching. Principal ratings on the qualities of new teachers entering the teaching force are high (Hoffman, Edwards, O'Neal, Barnes, & Paulissen, 1986).
Adopting an evaluation perspective on teacher preparation, we can examine the data on program evaluations conducted by several major teacher education programs across the country (e.g., Ayers,1986). These studies have typically examined not just the quality of the graduates as they enter the teaching force; they have also attempted to map the features and emphases within preservice programs onto specific teaching practices in their first year of teaching. Although the vast majority of teacher education programs in the country do not collect follow-up or longitudinal data on their graduates, those that do have documented program impact on teaching qualities.
Adopting a productivity perspective on teacher preparation, we can examine the data from studies that have examined the impact of teacher education on student learning. The studies that fall into this perspective tend to be large-scale gross analyses of relationships between student test scores and resource allocations (including the level of teaching experience, teacher education levels, etc.). Ferguson (1991) examined the relationship between student scores on a state-mandated skills test in Texas and a number of resource allocation variables, including the scores of the teachers on another state-mandated test. He found that the variation in teacher test scores accounted for a statistically significant portion of the variance in student achievement. This analysis included complete data on teachers and students in 900 school districts (over 80% of the school districts in the state). He also reported similar positive effects on pupil test scores for teaching experience, advanced studies (i.e., positive effects for master's degrees in grades one through seven), and class size (i.e., larger class sizes leading to decreases in student scores). Greenwald, Hedges, and Lane (1996) explored similar issues in a meta-analysis of input-output studies relating educational resource allocation to variation in pupil test scores. Positive effects were found for levels of teacher education and experience. In one analysis, they reported that increased allocations of resources will reap the greatest rewards if the money is invested in teacher education. After reviewing the literature comparing nontraditional with traditional programs, Evertson, Hawley, and Zlotnik (1985) concluded that traditional programs look favorable, for the most part, in terms of outcome variables considered.
Finally, adopting an experimental design perspective, we find more evidence on the positive effects of teacher education. We are not aware of any pure experiments in teacher education, where, for example, teacher education was withheld from one group while provided to another; however, a number of studies have compared the teaching performance of graduates from traditional programs with teachers certified through alternate or emergency certification procedures. These studies suggest that the teaching performance, teacher satisfaction levels, and students learning in the classroom are inferior for the nontraditional students (Ashton & Crocker, 1987).
While most of these studies, regardless of perspective, fall short in identifying the qualities of effective teacher education practices or programs, they are encouraging in documenting the broad positive impact of teacher preparation. While most of the studies fail to offer specific information or guidance in matters of reading teacher education, they do suggest that a careful inspection of the reading teacher education literature has the potential to reveal similar patterns of excellence and impact.
What Do We Know About Teaching Teachers of Reading?
We will use training to refer to those direct actions of a teacher that are designed to enhance a learner's ability to do something fluently and efficiently. In a very direct sense, we can map the construct of training onto the notion of skill. Skills are behavioral routines that operate, when internalized, with automaticity and a minimum amount of cognitive attention or inspection. While there is a tendency to locate skill learning at a very simple level of operation, many would argue that the concept of skills, and thus skills training, can extend up to complex cognitive processes (e.g., higher-level thinking skills, problem solving skills, and even attitudes). Behaviorial psychology, which reached its high point of influence in educational psychology during the 60s and 70s, became the theoretical basis for framing this view of learning onto the training of teachers. In many ways, the training perspective is aligned with a technological perspective on teaching. By contrast, as we argue later in this essay, we regard teaching as the intentional actions of a teacher to promote personal control over and responsibility for learning within those who are taught.
Competency-Based/Performance-Based Teacher Education
Sartain and Stanton (1974) described the efforts of the International Reading Association (IRA) in the development of a set of modules for the preparation of reading teachers that drew heavily on a competency-based perspective. The IRA Commission on High Quality Teacher Education identified 17 essential components of a professional development program:
1. Understanding the English Language as a Communication System
Instructional modules were developed in each of these areas. The modules contained a list of "teacher competencies to be attaineda precise, behavioral statement of the expected outcomes " (Sartain, 1974, p. 35). In addition, each of the modules specifies criterion behaviors to specify learning outcomes, suggested learning experiences, and a continuing assessment plan. Other than the description of their development and the contents of these modules, we could not locate any published evaluation of their use in teacher education programs.
The competency-based movement peaked in the late 1970s. Roths(1976) review of CBTE programs in 56 colleges and universities was inconclusive regarding changes in teacher education. What had been heralded by many within the profession as the future of teacher education all but vanished in less than a decade. Explanations regarding the demise of the competency-based movement ranged from institutionalized resistance at the college/university level, to fears of a dehumanization of teacher education, to a questioning of the sparse research literature supporting such an initiative, to a growing distrust of anything in teaching remotely associated with a behaviorist view.
The Teaching Effectiveness Movement
Rosenshine and Furst (1973) made an impassioned call for a descriptive-correlational-experimental feedback loop in research in teaching. The science of teaching could best be advanced by taking the findings on effective teaching behaviors uncovered through correlational studies and putting them to the test in true experimental studies where the causal relationships are fully revealed. This became the focus for much of the research in teaching movement during the late 70s and early 80s. Since this research typically involved the training of teachers in particular teaching practices, the lines between research in teaching and research in teacher education began to blur. Studies of this type proliferated and ranged across content areas (e.g., Good & Grouws, 1977, in mathematics), teaching processes (e.g, Emmer, Evertson, & Anderson, 1980, in classroom management), and age levels (e.g., Stallings & Kaskowitz, 1974, in early childhood and Stallings, Needels, & Stayrook, 1979, with high school aged students).
Anderson, Evertson, and Brophys (1979) study of first-grade reading group instruction is instructive regarding this line of research. These researchers extrapolated a set of 22 research-based principles from their earlier process-product correlation studies. These principles ranged across a variety of areas from turn-taking practices in oral reading recitations to teacher feedback to inappropriate responses. Experimental teachers were trained in the principles, and control teachers were not. Implementation of the principles was systematically monitored and pupil achievement measured. The analysis focused on the degree to which the principles were successfully implemented under the experimental training conditions as well as an analysis of the relationship between the implementation of each particular principle and student achievement growth. The findings were interpreted as corroboration for the causal relationship of a number of the principles as influential on achievement. They were also interpreted in terms of a demonstration of the potential connection between research in teaching and teacher education.
Griffin and Barnes (1986) combined the research on effective staff-development with the findings from the research in teaching literature. Teachers and staff developers in the experimental group were trained in effective practices. Implementation was monitored through direct observations of teachers and analysis of the logs/journals of the staff developers. Positive effects for the training were observed for both the teachers and the staff developers. This study provided for a valuable linking of training at two levels: the teachers and the teacher trainer.
The findings from the process-product literature also entered into teacher education through the teacher evaluation and certification standards route. During the mid-1980s, many states began to develop and implement induction/evaluation programs for beginning teachers that would delay full certification until the demonstration of competence in actual classroom teaching. These programs were intended both to screen out the incompetent and to provide support for those struggling through their first year of teaching (Defino & Hoffman, 1984). The evaluation instruments used for these programs drew heavily on the process-product research literature. In turn, the induction programs to support first year teachers focused on training in the specific skills and strategies that had been identified. In a study of two state-mandated programs of this type, Hoffman and his colleagues found some positive effects for such programs in supporting teachers through their first year of teaching, but they found little evidence that the programs or the criteria were effective in screening out incompetent teachers (Hoffman et al., 1986)
While much of the work just described tended to focus on specific behaviors or routines drawn out of the process-product literature, other efforts tended to focus on the efficacy of larger constructs that might become the basis for teacher training. The work in the development of a direct instruction model is illustrative here. The roots of direct instruction, as it is connected to the research in teaching movement, are to be found in the Follow-Through studies (Stallings & Kaskowitz, 1974), the Beginning Teacher Evaluation Studies (BTES, Fisher et al., 1978) and the syntheses of Barak Rosenshine (Rosenshine, 1971; Rosenshine & Stevens, 1984). The direct instruction (DI) model proved to be eminently trainable to teachers under experimental conditions, effective in promoting student engagement in classroom tasks as demonstrated through classroom observations, and statistically significantly related to growth in pupil achievement as measured on standardized tests (Myer, 1988).
Paralleling this emerging conception of direct instruction in the process-product literature, we also find the writings of Madeline Hunter (Hunter, 1985, 1993) and Joyce and Showers (1988) influential in the staff development arena. Models of teaching and the direct instruction model itself began to coalesce in the late 1980s and on into the 1990s as a favorite teacher training model. As we point out later, the influence of these models has gradually atrophied since the mid-1980s, although the models appear to be resurfacing recently as more and more scholars return to the study of effective teaching and schooling, especially for students at-risk for failure to learn to read, write, and compute effectively (e.g., Puma et al., 1997; Stringfield, Millsap, & Herman, 1997; Wharton-MacDonald, Pressley, & Hampston, 1998).
Programmatic Models for Reading Teacher Training
Reading Recovery. The Reading Recovery program was developed in New Zealand by Marie Clay. The program was formally introduced into the United States through a collaborative arrangement with Ohio State University (Lyons, Pinnell, & DeFord, 1993). The program offers intensive instruction at the first-grade level to struggling readers in need of acceleration. Students enrolled in the program are tutored intensively for 30 minutes daily. In theory, the students being tutored are reading well enough to be discontinued after 12 to 14 weeks of remedial help.
Studies in New Zealand and in the United States suggest that this program has been highly effective in accelerating the development of reading skills (Clay, 1990a, 1990b; Lyons et al., 1993). In a comprehensive review of the studies examining the effectiveness of Reading Recovery, Shanahan and Barr (1995) reported favorably on the findings from studies showing positive effects, concluding that many of the students served by Reading Recovery are brought up to the level of their average-achieving peers. However, they express some concerns over methodological issues (e.g., the exclusion of certain students who were not responding well to the program from the data analysis in some evaluation studies), program costs, and professional development.
Of most interest to us is the model of teacher training/education implicit in the implementation of Reading Recovery (see Gaffney & Anderson, 1991). The training is intensive, long-term, and universal (everyone at every level participates). Reading Recovery teachers are enrolled in over a year of intensive training in the strategies and routines to be followed in the tutorial. "While training is delivered during two hour inservice sessions at one or two weekly intervals over the period of a year, teachers are working with children and carrying out other teaching duties throughout the period they are in training" (Clay, 1987, p. 45). The training involves a great deal of on-line reflection about teaching. This is facilitated by a one-way mirror set-up. One trainee conducts a live lesson with an individual child behind the glass, while the rest of the class looks on and, with the prompting and probing of the trainer, conducts an on-line critique of the lesson, trying to ferret out the bases of her/his decisions and alternative practices he or she might have tried at key points. Afterward, the behind-the-glass teacher joins the rest of the class for a recapitulation of the lesson and the critique. This type of reflective but focused critique helps to ensure the high levels of fidelity to the program elements and philosophy that are demanded both during the initial training and in the follow-up phases. And there is some evidence (Gaffney & Anderson, 1991) to suggest that the reflection teachers engage in during these training sessions shows up as changes in their classroom teaching repertoire; that is, they work differently with groups in their classrooms because they possess new knowledge about learning to read. While containing aspects of an educative (what we are calling teaching teachers) model of teacher learning, the model in Reading Recovery must, in the final analysis, be regarded as either as a training model, because of its emphasis on the mastery of a specific set of teaching procedures, or as an example of training set in the context of teaching, a topic to which we will return as we speculate about the future of this line of research.
Success for All. Robert Slavin and collegues have developed a program designed to ensure that every child in a school is reading on grade level by the end of the third grade (Slavin, Madden, Karweit, Livermon, & Dolan, 1990). The program, Success for All (SFA), is designed as a schoolwide intervention and includes components focused at the preschool and kindergarten levels up through the intermediate grades. The literacy program is intensive and varied and is centered in a daily period of reading instructional time. The content and processes of the reading period are based on classroom research into the CIRC model (Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition) conducted at Johns Hopkins (Stevens, Madden, Slavin, & Farnish, 1987). Students are grouped for instruction (cross-aged) based on skill level for this block. Instructional group size is reduced to 15 students per teacher for the reading block. Tutoring support is also available to students in an additional 20-minute daily period.
Monitoring of student progress is a critical part of the SFA model. Children's progress is assessed four times a year. Training for teachers is intensive, and the implementation of the program elements is carefully monitored. The adoption of the SFA model in a school requires a formal commitment by the faculty and staff to the effort. The initial reports regarding the effectiveness of the SFA program have been positive (Slavin, Madden, Karweit, Dolan, &Wasik, 1992). However, some recent reports raise questions regarding effectiveness (e.g., Jones, Gottfredson, & Gottfredson, 1997). SFA proponents argue that the degree of success of the program is directly tied to the fidelity of implementation. Fully implemented programs are required for success to result in challenging settings (Nunnery et al., 1997), and, of course, full implementation is highly dependent upon the fidelity of the staff development program to the goals and procedures of SFA. Staff development is a key feature of the model; each site, in fact, has a full-time coordinator whose major responsibility is to conduct staff development sessions that initiate teachers into the SFA routines and sustain their continued use throughout the duration of the program.
We feature these two programs in our discussion because of the high levels of popularity they enjoy. While there are important differences in their philosophical underpinnings regarding reading, reading acquisition, and intervention, there are strong similarities with respect to a view of teacher development. They share a commitment to the systematic training of teachers as a critical element to improvement. Both programs are school-based, and both programs are connected to broadly conceived reform initiatives (Clay, 1990a, 1990b; Cooper, Slavin, & Madden, 1996). And, when all is said and done, with their emphasis on learning an explicit set of procedures and routines, they bring a training, not a teaching, model to the question of how best to promote teacher learning.
The Critical Elements of Teacher Training
1. Establish clear performance goals and communicate them to learners.
Variations in the labeling, ordering, and emphasis of some of these aspects of skill teaching abound, but the essential elements are represented in these 15 points.
We base this argument on the findings from research in teaching that have revealed the qualities of expertise that go beyond the level of teaching behaviors. Process-product research did not help us to understand the nature of teacher knowledge or offer us insight into the reflective, adaptive, and responsive aspects of teaching. These elusive but important entities, which seemed so important even from a prima facie analysis, just could not be characterized using skill level analyses and interpretations. Interestingly, the impetus for this line of work parallels the evolution of the impetus for the process-product movement itself. The fundamental advances in research in teaching emerged as researchers moved into classrooms to understand teaching. Similarly, fundamental advances in teacher education are emerging as researchers have begun to study directly the processes and contexts of teacher learning, including both the college classroom and the classrooms in our schools.
And so, we begin this section with an answer of no to the question of, Do we know how to teach teachers of reading? But we hasten to add that we are learning a great deal from ongoing research, much of it in the area of reading education. We will inspect, in this section, some of the promising programs of research in reading teacher education for what they might reveal.
First, though, we present some conceptual preliminaries. New theoretical insights have made this sort of analysis more accessible than ever before. Recently, both Richardson and Placier (in press) and Cochran-Smith & Lytle (in press) have provided useful heuristics for understanding the essence of teaching teachers. Cochran-Smith and Lytle distinguish three approaches to understanding teacher learning: knowledge-for-practice, knowledge-in-practice, and knowledge-of-practice. In the knowledge-for-practice tradition of teacher learning, teachers are providedusually, though not necessarily, by being toldthe knowledge they will need to be effective teachers by more knowledgeable others, usually university professors. In the knowledge-in-practice approach, teachers discover the knowledge they need in the field as they reflect on and critique their own practice, either individually or in some collaborative arrangement. In the knowledge-of-practice approach, teachers, invariably in community settings, construct their own knowledge of practice through deliberate inquiry, which may well involve ideas and experiences that emerge from their own practice as well as those codified as formal knowledge within the profession. Cochran-Smith and Lytle value the knowledge-of-practice conception of teacher learning because of their conviction that knowledge thus constructed is the only truly professional knowledgethe only knowledge that will sustain teachers through the exigencies of daily practice.
Richardson and Placier, because their topic is teacher change, focus on learning in school settings. A major distinction in their treatment of teacher change is between empirical-rational and normativere-educative approaches (after Chin & Benne, 1969). In the former, when an innovation is deemed desirable, someone (other than a teacher) initiates professional development; "teachers are told about it, it is demonstrated to them, and, as rational human beings, they are expected to implement it in their classrooms" (Richardson & Placier, in press, p. 2). In this view, teacher change (and teacher learning) is a necessary evilexternally imposed, difficult, and painful, but needed for improvement in student learning. This is very much in the classic dissemination/ technology transfer tradition spawned by the Enlightenment and the modernist research tradition emanating from it (Gallagher, Goudvis, & Pearson, 1988): give people new information (i.e., the truth) and it (the truth) will make them free. This is very much like Cochran-Smith and Lytles knowledge-for-practice conception of teacher learning. Prototypic examples of the rational-empirical approach are the teacher education reforms emanating from the effective teaching movement discussed earlier. By contrast, in the normativere-educative approach, control is exercised by teachers who have voluntarily decided that change is required; they set the agenda, engage in the inquiry, and determine the topics and resources needed. Outsiders, such as administrators or university facilitators might be involved, but only in facilitative or advisory capacities. Richardson and Placiers normativere-educative approach appears to embrace both the knowledge-in-practice and the knowledge-of-practice conceptions of teacher learning detailed by Cochran-Smith and Lytle, though with a clear bias for the knowledge-of-practice approach, with its emphasis on teachers constructing knowledge through deliberate inquiry in response to a variety of experiences and information sources.
Within reading education, an interesting illustration of the movement toward this tradition is represented in the work of Gerald Duffy and his colleagues. Duffy (1991), in his presidential address to the National Reading Conference, described his intellectual growth from an implanting of effective skills and strategies view of teacher education to more teacher-centered, deliberative models. He argued that our reading teacher education models must be directed toward the development of empowered teachers who are in control of their own thinking and actions. He cautioned against a wide range of disempowering practices that exist, not only within our teacher education programs, but also within the practices of reading teacher education researchers themselves. He argued:
One of the more ambitious studies within this emerging tradition was carried out by Richardson and her colleagues (see Anders & Richardson, 1991; Placier & Hamilton, 1994; Richardson & Anders, 1994; Richardson & Hamilton, 1994). The researchers worked with 39 intermediate grade (36) teachers over a period of three years, examining changes in their beliefs and practices in response to readings and discussions about improving students reading comprehension. A major focus of their research was the development of a theory about the relationship between teacher beliefs and practices. Indeed, a major breakthrough was the finding that in their naturalistic (under local teacher control) change setting, teachers often changed their beliefs prior to changing their practices (or changed beliefs interactively with changes in practice), thus contradicting the more common finding, especially in studies of mandated change, of changes in practice preceding changes in beliefs.
Over the three-year period of the study, they found that both beliefs and practices changed in ways that were consistent with the ideas (dubbed practical arguments, after Fenstermacher, 1986, 1994) arising from dyadic and larger group discussions. It appeared that teachers were, in a manner consistent with Cochran-Smith and Lytles knowledge-of-practice approach, constructing new knowledge of teaching in response to both external (the readings brought in by the university partners) and local ideas and experiences. It is worth noting that this group of researchers was able to document increased learning among students of the teachers engaged in the staff development (Bos & Anders, 1994), as well as a disposition among these teachers to continue to reflect on and change their practices well after the formal conclusion of the research study (Valdez, 1992). The Valdez study is classic in its embodiment of the principles underlying the normativere-educative approach and, in our view, the knowledge-for-practice conception. As Richardson and Placier (in press) noted:
In the Metcalf Project, Tierney and his colleagues (1988) conducted a two-year study cut from the same cloth. Using the model of teacher as researcher (Goswami & Stillman, 1987; Lytle, in press; Lytle & Cochran-Smith, 1992), they documented the teacher learning, curriculum change, and student learning that occurs when individual teachers take charge of their own professional development within a collaborative setting. The approach to teacher research within a collegial study group involved several steps/activities. Teachers found their own problems and questions, designed their own approaches to studying them, shared their work with colleagues, supported colleagues in similar endeavors by critiquing their work, and participated in public dissemination about the project. Moll (1992), as a part of his larger funds of knowledge project, engaged teachers in a different model of research. He involved them as community ethnographers to encourage them to learn more about the Latino community in which their children and their childrens families lived and worked. The net result was substantial learning on the part of the teachers leading to a documented increase in their culturally relevant pedagogy.
The model teacher as researcher is but one of many collaborative models in place in todays schools. Other models of collaboration have an equally long and illustrious history (see Cochran-Smith & Lytle, in press, for a full treatment of teacher learning communities). We have been involved (separately, not jointly) in learning communities organized to address dilemmas around the problems of classroom assessment. In addition to attempting to improve assessment practices, these collaborations provided opportunities to examine teacher learning when it is focused on highly specific goals. While not directly germane to this agenda, it is worth noting that in all of these efforts, as well as others not directly related to teacher learning (see Pearson, Spalding, & Myers, 1998), discussions of assessment tools lead almost inevitably to discussions of curriculum and teaching. Teachers want to know what sorts of teaching led to the artifacts in question; thus, discussions of better ways to assess student learning appear to be useful catalysts for discussions of practice.
In a series of studies, Pearson and his collaborators (Sarroub, Lycke & Pearson, 1997; Sarroub, Pearson, Dykema & Lloyd, 1997) have examined teacher learning, teacher practice, and student response to new assessment initiatives. In a junior high school setting (Sarroub et al, 1997a, 1997b), they found that the activities, which focused on building a consequential English language arts portfolio based upon new state standards, and the school-university collaboration itself influenced teacher learning and the evolution of roles played by the teachers in the effort. In the case of one teacher, the collaboration became a site for reconstructing her entire English curriculum. In the case of a second, the portfolio became a way of engaging students in reflections on their own growth as readers and writers. Most significant in the elementary English as a Second Language (ESL) setting was the evolution of roles played by university and school members of the collaborative (see McVee, Pearson, McLellan, Svoboda, & Roehler, 1997), from the more traditional division of labor in which university folks do the research and school folks implement the practices to a model of shared responsibility for all roles. In Vygotskian terms (after Gavelek & Raphael, 1996), the teachers literally appropriated the discourse, tools, and roles of researchers as the collaboration played itself out. The impact on student learning in both the junior high setting and the elementary ESL setting was evident in increased student capacity to reflect on and evaluate their own progress as readers, writers, and speakers.
Hoffman and his colleagues worked with a group of first-grade teachers who had become concerned about the pernicious influence that standardized assessments were having on their students and their own teaching of early reading and mathematics (Hoffman, Roser, & Worthy, 1998). They petitioned for and were granted a waiver from standardized testing in their classrooms. In its place they worked to develop a performance-based assessment plan that would provide data useful to teachers for making classrooms and to administration for making macrolevel decisions. The PALM (Performance Assessment in Language Arts and Mathematics) system was implemented and evaluated in a yearlong study. The study yielded compelling findings regarding the potential for this assessment plan to provide data that was useful to both audiences. In addition, the conceptualization, planning, implementation, and evaluation processes proved to have a powerful impact on the participating teachers professional development.
It is important, we believe, that all of the examples we selected to document teaching teachers come from inservice settings in schools rather than preservice settings in universities. While some scholars have documented attempts to create undergraduate classroom communities in literacy education (e.g., Florio-Ruane, 1994) there are surprisingly few efforts of this sort reported in the literature. We are not sure why this discontinuity exists. It could be that we have a naive view that novices require more direction from us, thus we feel virtually compelled to adopt a knowledge-for-teaching stance toward them as we introduce them into the profession, with the clear but implicit promise to bring them into full partnership later on. It could be that preservice training is so massive in scope, at least in comparison to the inservice settings in which we find ourselves working (e.g., we tend to hook up with small collectives of teachers, not the entire elementary force of a large district). That the discontinuity, both in our research and in our practice, exists should be of such concern to us that we are compelled to address it in a timely and energetic fashion.
It is also true that we have privileged, highly situated, decidedly local, and intensely personal models of teacher learning in this section on teaching teachers. It is our position that such models challenge us to think differently than traditional change and staff development models (Hoffman, 1998). We could have taken a more critical stance on these efforts, as have some of our colleagues in professional development (e.g., Hargreaves & Fullan, 1992), and cited their idiosyncratic, " self-indulgent, slow, time-consuming, costly, and unpredictable" (pp. 1213) character. Indeed, many leading scholars (e.g., Fullan, 1993; Lieberman, 1996; Little, 1981, 1992; Nelson & Hammerman, 1996) insist that the school is the appropriate unit of teacher learning, that teacher learning is school learning. Even so, we are equally suspicious of the bureaucratization of learning that can occur when individual needs and interests are overlooked in favor of the common good. Both Little (1992) and Richardson and Placier (in press) provide a way of coping with the individual-collective dilemma. What we need, according to Richardson and Placier, is some "sense of autonomy and responsibility that goes beyond the individual classroom to the school and community levels" (p. 62). Littles (1992) solution to the tension between individual liberty and civic responsibility is to find joint work that provides an occasion for teachers to leave their autonomy in the classroom in the service of schoolwide issues and goals.
We would also comment on the range of research methodologies represented in the examples we have selected. Classical, experimental designs are absent, but they are not limited to qualitative/interpretive studies. In every case, the studies have involved highly interactive models of inquiry that position the researchers in close contact, if not identification, with the participants. Many of the studies involved quantitative measures and a statistical analysis of outcomes, but always along with rich descriptions of contexts and cases. Mixed-methods tend to dominate. It is our view that the adoption of a wide range of research methodologies, both within and across studies, offers greater opportunity to fathom the complexities of learning to teach and the effects of various forms of support on both teacher and student learning.
We said, in the beginning of this section, that we did not know how to teach teachers. We hope, however, that we have convinced you that we have many promising models to emulate and study with greater care and precision. The truth is that serious attempts to teach teachers, to engage them in educative practice and inquiry rather than provide them with a set of bureaucratically endorsed recipes, is a relatively new phenomenon. The concept has been around for a long time (Dewey, 1904), but it has been a serious matter of scholarship and enactment for only a few decades at most. It needs our nurture and our scrutiny.
We pose the "What will it be . . ?" question in recognition of the fact that there are tremendous pressures surrounding teacher education that favor a training model, and that these forces can, if not acknowledged and addressed, push the teaching of teachers into the background of preparation programs. The pressure to adopt a training model comes from a number of different directions and a number of different considerations. It is tempting to adopt a training preference for a host of reasons:
The pressures toward a training model for teacher preparation are not derived solely from practical arguments. There are those who would argue at a conceptual level that training can become the path to more complex levels of thinking in teaching. According to Showers, Joyce, and Bennett (1987):
Cruickshank (1987) has designed and studied a teacher education model to promote reflective teaching. According to his view, training in reflective teaching is a consistent and powerful strategy for teacher preparation.
We are cautious in accepting this representation of teaching and training. While we are comfortable with the notion that some level of technical training can scaffold a developing teacher to higher levels of thinking, we are skeptical regarding the broad application of training principles to all of teacher education. Training as a strategy, nested in a larger construct of teaching and learning to teach as reflective practice (Schon, 1983, 1987), is a more powerful and compelling vision for a future in which teachers are more likely to encounter change, not routine.
The debate over the direction we follow will involve a substantial commitment of resources and will therefore be a highly political struggle. In the absence of any compelling data that would document the value added from a broader perspective than just training teachers, we are left with a course chartered for the next millennium. The responsibility within the reading research community is clear: plan for a program of research that informs the practice of teacher education but also informs the public regarding the benefits of such a deliberative, reflective approach.
What Should Our Research Agenda for Reading Teacher Education Look Like?
1. Take a leadership role in building a research agenda for teacher preparation in reading. The paucity of research in the area of reading teacher education is disturbing given the large numbers of reading researchers who spend a good portion of their daily lives immersed in teacher preparation. It is becoming increasingly clear that, if reading teacher educators don't take initiative and responsibility for setting a research agenda, someone else will.
2. Create critical spaces for dialogue, deliberation, discussion, and debates regarding reading teacher education research. This is not a call for a new organization as much as it is a challenge for those in the reading teacher education community to become more visible and more active in research within existing structures such as IRA, NCTE, NRC, AERA, and AACTE.
3. Get started on a database for reading teacher education. As a profession of reading educators, we know too little about the range of programs operating nationally and around the worldtheir characteristics, course work patterns, course content, instruction, internship experiences, and enrollments in reading education courses. Without accurate, up-to-date information about the nature and impact of our programs, we have difficulty countering high profile claims made by individuals pushing a particular policy agenda. With these data, we can begin to establish the benchmarks for our reform efforts.
4. Develop better tools to assess the impact of teacher education. We have made great progress in expanding the repertoire of measures available to examine reading acquisition, and we can credit much of that progress to better conceptual frameworks for understanding the acquisition process. We need similar development in reading teacher educationboth better conceptual frameworks and better measures. Surely our search for better measures will include indices of student learning, but it will also include indicators for the knowledge, skills, and dispositions teachers need to promote student learning. And our search for better frameworks must include an account of how teacher learning improves student learning.
5. Encourage rapprochement between the traditions of teacher training and teacher education. Instead of using the other tradition as a straw person useful only for establishing the worth of one's own perspective, we should be asking what each tradition has to contribute to research on teacher learning and what we can learn about our own work from the work of others. It would be even more compelling if we were to document empirically the ways in which training and teaching can complement one another.
6. Listen carefully and respond to the concerns of the public and policymakers. As scholars of reading education, we certainly need to take the lead in setting our own research agenda, but ours is not the only voice in this conversation. The public wants better schools, and they see teacher education as an important lever for school improvement. Any hesitancy on our part in studying this critical linkage will (and should) be viewed with suspicion by a public uncertain about our capacity to contribute solutions to our educational problems.
7. Make electronic texts a viable part of our curriculum and pedagogy in reading teacher education. We cannot expect in our elementary classrooms what we fail to use in our own work. Research on how reading teacher education can be enhanced through the use of electronic media and texts must accompany our program development efforts.
8. Place issues of diversity at the top of our priority list for research. We put this at the end of our list because it may be the most challenging issue we face, but it is also the most important. It is simply unacceptable that a vastly disproportionate number of minority students fail to learn to read. It is unacceptable that we have so few teachers of color in our schools. It is even more unacceptable that so many majority teachers possess so little knowledge about cultural and linguistic diversity. We may not be the sole source of the problem, but we can and must become part of the solution.
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This research was conducted as part of CIERA, the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement, and supported under the Educational Research and Development Centers Program, PR/Award Number R305R70004, as administered by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. However, the contents of the described report do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the National Institute on Student Achievement, Curriculum, and Assessment or the National Institute on Early Childhood development, or the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.