Bernson & Breault Notes The Novice Teacher

Bernson, M. J., & Breault, R. A. (2000). The novice teacher. In B.E. Steffy, M. P. Wolfe, S. H. Pasch, & B. J. Enz, (Eds.), Life cycle of the career Teacher pp. 26-43. California: Kappa Delta Pi and Corwin Press, Inc.

Viewing the Novice Phase Through Case Study

Defining the Novice Phase

·      Confused, overwhelmed

·      Tension between expectations and realities of classrooms

·      Alternative Models of Preparation

·      Transitions From School to Work Environments

o   "The novice brings to the situation idealism, enthusiasm, and good ideas but very few 'street smarts' (p. 33)."

o   The focus in teacher education should be on developing critical reflection and risk taking and therefore include elements of inquiry, collegiality, trust, and support

o   The tensions between universities and schools put novices in the middle


Threads of Continuity

·      "The problem rests not so much with the lack of theoretical content as it does with the lack of deliberate linking of theory to practice as well as not providing experiences and activities in which that can happen (p. 35)."

·      The Role of Prior Beliefs

o   Teacher educators must have an awareness of novice's prior experiences and beliefs.

o   "In reality, few preservice teachers think about their future instruction by using research-based rationales to predict possible effects of instructional decisions (p. 36)."

o   "The benefits of easing the novice-to-apprentice transition are threefold: First, the new openness to theory and research could lessen tensions between the school and the university, thereby lessening feelings of inadequacy or incompetence. Second, the increased self-knowledge and ability to integrate theory and practice could improve crucial reflection as well as provide a larger repertoire of strategies with which to solve classroom problems. Third, as teacher educators gain insight intot he pedagogical conceptions and significant past events of preserve teachers, they will better identify what Levin and Ammon (1992) called 'leverage points' to help future teachers grown and develop in needed areas (p. 37)."

·      Making Good Use of Prior Experiences


Professional-Development Strategies

·      "Most important, an active school-university partnership can demonstrate the integration of theory into practice and the contribution of practice to theory (p. 38)."


Recommendations for Research and Practice

·      "Given the amount of time university faculty members now spend in the field, more effort must be put into finding out what happens during that time and what results emerge from field experiences (p. 39)." (ARGUMENT FOR MY DISSERTATION RESEARCH ??? to some extent)

·      "Furthermore, many university supervisors are unprepared to offer meaningful feedback (p. 40)."  (DISSERTATION!!!)

·      "The characteristics nurtured in future teachers must go beyond teaching techniques to frames of mind or dispositions that will serve them well throughout their career (p. 40)."