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From Preparation to Profession in Two Cultures: Deweyan Influences on Philosophy and Practice

  • Author(s): Langlo, Tatzia
  • Advisor(s): Sloan, Tine;
  • Cook-Gumperz, Jenny
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation focuses on the professional philosophies, practices, and collaborative negotiation skills used and developed in two teacher education programs within two countries and how novice teachers integrate these ideas, skills, and processes in classrooms and schools. Simultaneously, this research examines how the patterns of democratic participation are reflected in school within the selected sites of Istanbul and California. This dissertation contributes to the field of teacher education in a globalized society as it addresses the challenges of diverse student and teacher populations, which other scholars have done in other places of study (Arnove et al., 2013; Ginsburg, 2012). We have yet to understand all that determines how curriculum and policy decisions are interpreted and implemented for better or worse (Ginsburg et al., 2012).

Exploring Deweyan influences in a global world, this study is an ethnographic comparative case study, comparing principles and practices used and developed in two Teacher Education Program (TEP) institutions. It compares and contrasts how novice professional teachers are able to integrate the approaches they develop during their preparation in TEP into classrooms when they begin their career as fully certified teachers. It explores the Deweyan influences found to be inherent in both these institutions and uses a Deweyan lens to examine the democratic experiences of educators as they apply theory to practice in curricula development, in teaching approaches, and in education policy negotiations.

The thematic research questions explored in this dissertation are: How are the TEPs in the two different sites organized (in terms of curriculum, missions, and governance policies) and in what ways do they reflect Deweyan philosophy? What are the teaching principles and practices that student/novice teachers develop in these two TEPs and in what ways do they reflect Deweyan philosophy of education? And, what teaching principles and practices are new teachers able to integrate into their subsequent classrooms?

Discoveries developed through this research have found that the TEPs at these two sites in California and Turkey are different in how the programs are structured, in enrollment processes, and in assessment requirements for developing teachers. However, they are similar in the practices and principles they use to prepare developing teachers in becoming educators in a global world. They also demonstrate Deweyan philosophical influences in the education approaches that are part of their program design. Additionally, the two TEP institutions are similar in the democratic participation that the teacher educators of this study and the teachers they educate engage in overcoming constraints to negotiate education policy in ways that allow them to apply theory to practice. Applying theory to practice is inherently Deweyan.

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