Introduction: A Case-Based Approach
Like the first edition, the second edition of this highly applied text introduces beginning education students to teaching and attempts to present an honest look at the real world of students, teachers, classrooms, and schools. The topics included in this book and the ways in which they're presented have been designed to answer the question, "What does this have to do with me and my fixture life as a teacher?"
To answer this question, we have developed case studies and features that highlight the issues and challenges important in teachers' everyday lives. Each chapter begins with a case study that provides a framework for the discussions that follow and helps readers understand how chapter topics relate to the real world of teaching. Additional cases and vignettes are used to further illustrate the content of the chapter to make it real and concrete. The case margin icon identifies where cases and vignettes are integrated with the topics in each chapter.
The book is organized around three themesProfessionalism, Reform, and Decision Makingwhich provide the threads that bind together the topics of the chapters.
Professionalism is the theme that ties together topics such as career selection, teacher working conditions, career-long development, teacher evaluation, and relationships with supervisors, peers, students, parents, and the community. The movement toward professionalism provides a tangible goal that can guide beginning teachers as they develop, and it has both short- and long-term potential for improving teaching. Professionalism also provides a framework for examining a number of important issues that developing teachers face, such as standards, accountability and testing, and merit pay. The Online Portfolio Activities at the end of each chapter are connected to INTASC standards. The activities are intended to encourage students to evaluate their own professional growth. The first portfolio activity in each chapter uses a Personal journal Reflection to help the reader connect his or her ideas to issues raised in the chapter. The Reflect on This feature within each chapter connects the reader to realistic online cases that provide additional opportunities for professional growth through decision making.
Reform has always been a factor in our educational system. However, at no time in the past has reform had a more profound influence on education. Standards, accountability, and testingfor teachers and studentsare being proposed as solutions to both educational and societal problems. No Child Left Behind, a sweeping federal reform initiative, has already changed schools and will continue to shape the profession for new teachers. The Teaching in an Era of Reform feature in each chapter frames a specific reform issue as it relates to chapter content and asks students to make a personal evaluation of its potential.
Decision making, which involves goal-oriented problem solving based on professional knowledge, is one of the central characteristics of teacher professionalism. This theme is introduced in Chapter 1 and integrated throughout the book. Each chapter concludes with Decision Making: Defining Yourself as a Professional, which asks readers to begin thinking about personal and professional decisions that will influence the kinds of teachers they will become.
New to This Edition
This edition of Introduction to Teaching: Becoming a Professional continues to focus on providing students with a realistic view of the teaching profession along with the knowledge and decision-making skills that will help shape them as professionals. To do this, we have updated and expanded coverage of current issues and practices, such as culturally relevant teaching, portfolio building, preparing for the Praxis test, and developing a personal teaching portfolio. These carefully selected additions and updates support the thrust of the second editionto help students answer the question, "What does this have to do with me and my future life as a teacher?"
The content of this edition places a strong emphasis on professionalism by focusing on:
- Professional Decision Making. This theme is introduced in Chapter 1 and reinforced in each chapter.
- Reflection. This topic is also introduced in Chapter 1 and expanded upon in every chapter as a critical part of professional development.
- Praxis: Comprehensive Teacher Testing. The Praxis guides in this edition are intended to help students be accountable for meeting professional standards.
- No Child Left Behind. NCLB is examined in Chapter 1 and connected with other topics throughout the text.
- Induction Programs. Characteristics of quality induction programs are analyzed for beginning teachers.
- Action Research. This new topic is described and connected to teachers' career-long professional development.
- Expanded Coverage of Classroom Management. Beginning teachers' primary challenge is described in terms of the realities of classroom life.
- Merit Pay. The pros and cons of this reform effort are analyzed.
- Privatization. The privatization movement is described in terms of its potential effects on students.
- Expanded Coverage of School Choice. Recent developments in charter schools and vouchers are described and related to teachers and students.
- Homeschooling. This growing national movement is analyzed in terms of strengths and potential pitfalls.
New features to this edition include:
- Praxis Practice Exercises. Each chapter contains practice exercises with feedback on the text's Companion Website to prepare students for the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching exam.
- Praxis and INTASC Correlation Guides. These guides connect chapter topics to the maxis Principles of Learning and Teaching exam and the INTASC standards.
- Keys to Success on the Praxis. This new feature provides helpful tips for students on how to succeed on the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching exam.
- Decision Making: Defining Yourself as a Professional. This end-of-chapter feature emphasizes professional decision making and encourages readers to define themselves as professionals in terms of chapter content.
- Classroom Windows DVD. Each text now comes with a 1JVD containing eight videos of real teachers in real classrooms. These are integrated in Chapters 1, 2, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, and 13 and are also available on videocassettes for use by instructors in their classrooms.
- Personal Reflection Portfolio Activities. These are found in each chapter, encouraging students to personally reflect upon chapter content through portfolio activities.
Features of the Text
The book is interactive, encouraging prospective teachers to make conscious decisions about the kind of teacher they want to become. To create this interactive environment, the text includes Theme Features, Field Experience Features, Video Features, and Pedagogical Features to enhance the content and aid prospective teachers in their journey toward becoming a professional.
Theme Features highlight the three themes around which the book is organizedProfessionalism, Reform, and Decision Makingand present the content in an interactive way.
- Exploring Diversity examines an issue related to each chanter's content for which the increasing diversity in today's students has important implications.
- Teaching in an Era of Reform provides an in-depth analysis of a reform issue related to each chapter's content. At the end of this section, You Take a Position invites the reader to take a personal position with respect to the issue presented in the chapter.
- Reflect on This is an online activity that promotes professional reflection by presenting students with realistic dilemmas in the form of case studies that ask students to make professional decisions. Students can then compare their responses to feedback on the book's Companion Website.
- Decision Making: Defining Yourself as a Professional, a chapter-closing section, integrates chapter topics with implications for contemporary teachers.
- Online Portfolio Activities, linked to INTASC standards, encourage students to begin constructing professional portfolio entries tied to each chapter's content. These involve students in a range of activities, including visiting the Web sites of professional organizations, beginning work on their philosophy of education, as well as connecting with local districts and state offices of education. The first portfolio activity in each chapter involves a Personal Journal Reflection that asks students to think about chapter content in terms of their own strengths and goals.
Field Experience Features engage the student in reel or virtual classroom experiences to enhance their understanding of chapter content.
- Going into Schools, which appears at the end of each chapter, invites students to apply the information in the chapter to themselves and school settings. Using observations and interviews, students connect to the schools and classrooms in which they'll teach.
- Classroom Observation Guides describe concrete suggestions for observing and analyzing classrooms. Found in Chapters 3, 6, 10, 11 and 12, these observational guides encourage students to apply chapter content to actual classrooms.
- Virtual Field Experience, an extension of the Going into Schools feature, allows students who do not have a formal field experience component as part of their co...