Mang Usep Ngalalana

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Teacher educators and student-directed learning

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As part of my learning journey, I would start posting a kind of annotated bibliography about topics that I am interested in. These posts may not look like an “actual” annotated bibliography as it is usually written by expert authors. They are just notes and a little review of the articles that I read. All the posts will be tagged under the category of “Annotated Bibliography”; so, if you are interested in reading it, you can click on the category, but I would say again that this is intended for my own personal learning.

Lunenberg, M. & Korthagen, F. (2003). Teacher educators and student-directed learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19., pp. 29-44

Drawing upon constructivist approach to teaching and learning which says that students must be given a certain degree of freedom to direct their own learning, the article reports a study intended to find out how teacher educators shift their practices from teacher educators-centered learning to students-centered learning.  The constructivist approach believes that we will not be able to teach students for their whole life. Therefore, teaching and learning process needs to facilitate students to be able to teach themselves.

The authors of the article see that this constructivist-based education practices may have consequences for teacher education process where teacher educators prepare future teachers. They say that teacher educators need to have knowledge and skills necessary to understand this constructivist education practice. In this article, relaying on the Dutch standard of teacher educators which emphasize that teacher educators must possess five major competencies – subject, pedagogical and didactical, organizational, communication, and competence to growth and develop, the authors conducted a study intended to identify how teacher educators in the Netherlands shift their teaching practices from educators-directed learning to student-directed learning. The question they pursued in this study was “do teacher educators show the views, as well as the teaching actions, that promote a shift to student-directed learning?”

To answer the question, this study employed case study where the data was collected through semi-structured interviews with five teacher educators and observations on their practices. In addition, the study also interviewed students who learned with the teacher educators. The study found that teacher educators will shift their practices in teaching future teachers from teacher educators-directed learning to students-directed learning if:

  • there is a correlation between how teacher educators and students view the images of themselves as teachers;
  • the teaching and learning orientations of teacher educators correlate with the orientations of student teachers, and/or teacher educators stimulate student teachers to broaden their learning orientations especially in the direction of a personal interest orientation;
  • the mental models of teaching and learning used by teacher educators correlate with the mental models of student teachers and/or teacher educators stimulate student teachers to broaden their mental models of learning, especially in the direction of a view of learning as the
    construction of knowledge;
  • teacher educators teach student teachers to reflect regularly and variedly on different
    aspects of the teaching profession; and
  • teacher educators act congruently: in other words, they behave as role models (teach as
    they preach) and explain their pedagogical and didactical choices (give metacommentary).

I would say that I am not really interested in the findings of this study. What intrigued me the most from this study is that it draws our attention to one aspect that is rarely illuminated in the literature about teacher education; it is about teacher educators professional development. This study urges that it is imperative to have a set of standards that identify the competencies teacher educators must posses. And in order to comply with the standards, the study suggests that professional development plans for teachers must also include programs intended for teacher educators in the form of courses that are focusing on improving their specific competencies. Then I have questions for this:

  1. Who are teacher educators intended by this study? Why taking courses included in teacher educator professional development plan?
  2. What about university-based teacher educators (lecturers and professors)? Do they need really to take courses as well?
  3. How do university-based teacher educators develop themselves professionally?
  4. How do lecturers/professors in university see themselves as teacher educators?
  5. In what ways do university-based teacher educators see that they already have the competencies needed to become teacher educators?
  6. What competencies do university-based teacher educators think important to be effective as teacher educators?



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Sebagai mahasiswa program Doktor di Penn State University College of Education yang didanai melalui program beasiswa LPDP, tulisan pada Blog ini merupakan pendapat saya pribadi dan tidak mewakili Penn State University of College of Education maupun LPDP secara kelembagaan.



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