Pre-service teacher efficacy development within clinically based practice : examining the structures and strategies in the collaborative cohort
Will-Dubyak, Kathryn Deeanne.
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Research indicates that teachers benefit from education coursework in their preparation that provides opportunities to develop and practice pedagogical understandings (Darling-Hammond, 2000, 2006). Research also indicates that opportunities to enact learning from coursework are beneficial in teacher efficacy development within teacher preparation (Tschannen-Moran, 2007). Therefore, teacher education programs need to examine their structures and practices in an effort to provide the opportunities to enact their coursework to develop teachers' pedagogical understandings and teacher efficacy. What needs to be better understood are the actual structures and strategies within the communities of practice that provide and encourage opportunities for growth of teacher efficacy for pre-service teachers. A case study methodology was used to explore the structures and strategies that pre-service teachers identified as contributing to the development of teacher efficacy within the collaborative cohort during the fall 2015 semester in a teacher education preparation program located in the Rocky Mountain West. The findings suggest that (a) school communities matter as a context for preservice teacher efficacy development, (b) purposeful, aligned, situated learning experiences which bridge course and field work contribute to efficacy development, and (c) a mindset of continual professional growth within practice develops confidence.