Becoming a Teacher Goodlad Notes

Goodlad, J. I. (1990). Teachers for our nation's schools. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Chapter 6: Becoming a Teacher

·      Teachers-to-Be

o   Teacher candidates are primarily women.

o   Future teachers are perceived by faculty to have lower academic status and abilities.

o   "Most (teacher candidates) had experienced strong negative pressure regarding their career choice from parents, peers, former teachers, current professors, and even current supervisors of student teaching - sometimes from all of these (p. 201)."

o   "Students often expressed impatience with certain requirements, including required courses in general education that appeared to them only to delay their entry (p. 201)."

o   Teacher candidates choose their particular university because of proximity and not because of the reputation of teacher education program.

·      The Formal Curriculum

o   The typical traditional curriculum consists of courses in social foundations, educational psychology, child development, methods courses, and field based experiences, primarily student teaching.

o   Student teaching is typically the capstone experience.

o   "It is important that prospective teachers perceive themselves as meeting high standards for entry and high standards of performance throughout the entire preparatory curriculum (p. 206)."

·      The Informal Curriculum

o   "Only during student teaching did the values of becoming a teacher take over - and at this stage these values were primarily in the hands of cooperating teachers in the schools (pp. 206-207)."

o   "But our overall impression was that students in teacher education programs lack a sense of cohesiveness that would encourage close bonds of friendship (p. 209)."

o   Teacher candidates have low interest, influence, and little opportunity in peer culture because of limited opportunities to engage with faculty and other students.

o   Teacher education programs promote individualism.

·      Internalization of Values and Beliefs

o   Job satisfaction and wanting to work with children were primary reasons for entering a teacher education program.

o   Teacher candidates place more value in the field experiences. "Their interest in and satisfaction with the program increased in direct proportion to increased field experiences and then student teaching (p. 213)."

o   (MY QUESTION - How do supervisors build relationships with children in classrooms and especially when the classroom community is outside of their control?)

o   "First, the transition from being a student to being a teacher appeared, for most students, to be more an occupational than an intellectual transcendence. That is, they shifted from being students in a college or university to teachers in a school, rather than from students of the contents of their own curriculum to inquirers into teaching, learning, and enculturation (p. 214)."

o   Traditional programs lack of and students' resistance towards developing an inquiry stance: "Second, internalization of what it means to be a teacher generally involved absorbing 'what works' with a classroom of children or youths. Being 'able to do it' - as, for example, one's mentor in student teaching did it - became more important to these students than questions of why a certain way was successful or an exploration of alternative possibilities (p. 214)."

o   "The socialization process appeared to nurture the ability to acquire teaching skills through experience rather than the ability to think through unpredictable circumstances. Perhaps this explains, in part, why teachers, largely cut off from one another, appear relatively eager to attend practically oriented, short workshops but are reluctant to participate in in-service opportunities that emphasize principles and theories (p. 215)."

o   "Teacher education faculty members saw themselves as a source of strong influence as well, although students placed them significantly and consistently below cooperating teachers in their impact on educational values and beliefs (p. 215)."

o   "Those who went out from the university to supervise their student teaching placements were ranked for influence below faculty members who teach campus classes (p. 215)."

o   "They (teacher candidates) had no context or vocabulary for moral discourse (p. 216)."

o   "...both students and faculty members viewed field experiences and student teaching - when students are immersed in the basic skills orientation common to schools - to be the most effective and useful components of their preparation programs (p. 217)."

o   "It is expecting a lot to ask prospective teachers, most of whom were relatively passive in their student roles, to become both reflective students and reflective practitioners in the course of a relatively short teacher education program. And if the final socialization process is largely in the hands of practitioners in regulated, relatively conservative school districts, we can hardly expect novices to challenge the conventional wisdom from alternative, contradictory perspectives (p. 219)."

o   Teacher candidates want to be good teachers because they experienced good teaching as students.

o   Teacher candidates did not have a good concept of the moral obligations of teaching.

o   "Teaching was viewed by most as primarily a job - a desirable job, with good colleagues and needful young people in their care. For most, however, the concept of being an intellectual role model in the classroom and the community appeared not to be a powerfully influencing factor (p. 220)."

·      Summary and Discussion

o   Teacher education should have more money in order to improve programs especially with regard to working towards and with the informal socialization processes.

o   "Formal courses emerged as almost the sole structure for shaping attitudes and beliefs about teaching. However, because most programs we reviewed lacked a clearly articulated mission and the infusion of its constituent elements into the curricular sequence, most of this potential appeared to dissipate (p. 223)."

o   "The first involves the apparent disjuncture between the highly practical goals and expectations of prospective teachers and the more generalized intellectual orientation of preparation programs in the college or university context. Most of the students are strongly motivated to teach; they judge the quality of everything encountered on grounds of perceived practicality (p. 224)."

o   "The push of students toward what appears to work, backed by public perception of teaching as a natural activity based on common sense, had forced programs toward the technocratic rather than the theoretical. The consequences appear to be reinforcement of the conventional wisdom regarding the low intellectual content of teacher education, on one hand, and of an operational rather than intellectual socialization of students into teaching, on the other (p. 225)."

o   The reflective practitioner is one who is "...forever inquiring into relevant theories and principles and their implications for practice (p. 225)."