Developing adaptive practice in preservice teachers during a student teaching practicum

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The purpose of this study was to understand how an instructional intervention with preservice teachers promoted adaptive teaching practices during a student teaching practicum. The study focused on teaching interactions during literacy instruction. The theoretical framework for this study included the following theoretical perspectives: Cultural-Historical Theory (Vygotsky, 1978), Reflective Practice (Dewey, 1933, 1939; Schon, 1983, 1987; Zeichner and Liston, 1996), and Adaptive Expertise and Adaptive Practice (Hatano & Inagaki, 1986; Hatano & Oura, 2003; Parsons, 2012). The participants were preservice teachers in their final semester of an undergraduate teacher preparation program. This qualitative study was designed as a formative experiment for the purpose of developing adaptive practice through the interactions of an instructional intervention designed to accomplish pedagogical goals (Reinking & Bradley, 2008). The six participants of the study were completing a fourteen-week student teaching practicum during the instructional intervention. The instructional intervention had multiple components including self- and peer-analysis of videotaped teaching episodes of each participant, participation in cohort sessions that included discussions and debriefing, observations by the researcher, debriefings with the researcher, written reflections, and participation in an exit interview and Google survey at the conclusion of the study. The findings from this study showed increased knowledge of reflective and adaptive practice as reported by the participants. They identified times when they made adaptations to their teaching, either before, during or after a teaching episode. The descriptions of teaching adaptations ranged in quality from minimally thoughtful to considerably thoughtful. Participants reported an increased use of reflective practice and attributed deeper thinking about their teaching to the written reflections, debriefings with the researcher and cohort session discussions. The participants demonstrated different levels of adaptive practice; however, all participants reported an increase in their ability to be reflective and adaptive in their thinking and their ability to analyze their teaching.

adaptive expertise, adaptive practice, adaptive teaching, literacy, literacy lessons, reflection, reflective practice, teacher preparation