Impacts on socialization of student teachers: an ethnographic study

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Petersen, Kathryn
Major Professor
Cheryl O. Hausafus
Jerelyn B. Schultz
Committee Member
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Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies

Student teaching has been cited as a valuable component in teacher preparation but research conflicts on specific socializing influences. Some researchers argue that student teachers are predominantly socialized through prior life experiences and others argue that student teachers passively accept the norms of the institution. These two arguments suggest that socialization is unidirectional. Current socialization researchers argue that socialization occurs through an interaction effect. The purpose of this study is to describe the process through which student teachers selectively acquire the attitudes, values, beliefs, skills, and knowledge that are current in the teaching profession;The study setting is eight placement sites within a 60-mile radius of a midwestern university. Four students student taught in home economics programs at two sites for eight weeks in each site in middle/junior and senior high programs. Traditional/non-traditional enrollment status of student teachers was the primary variable of interest selected for the study;Three methods of ethnographic data collection were utilized: (a) semi-structured interviews; (b) non-interactive, non-participant observations; and (c) review of program-related materials. Data collection provided a basis for detailed descriptions of the impact of socializing variables, teacher role identities (TRIs), and interaction effects over sixteen weeks for four student teachers;Content analyses support the contention that student teachers entered student teaching with well-developed TRIs. They were active agents in their own socialization processes. Former high school teachers emerged as socializing influences for traditional student teachers; life experiences and past teaching experiences in non-formal settings emerged as socializing influences for non-traditional student teachers. Student teachers perceived that knowledge and skill levels would change with teaching experiences. Findings support the contention that knowledge bases and methodological skills were not significantly altered but knowledge transferral and classroom management skills increased. TRIs served as lenses through which to interpret their value as teachers;One implication for future socialization research is that more qualitative research should be conducted to further describe TRIs and the interaction between student teachers and program features, settings, and people.

Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1989