Title

TEACHER IDENTITIES AS DECISION-MAKERS AND FACILITATORS: AN INVESTIGATION OF PRE-SERVICE TEACHER PERFORMANCES AND REFLECTIONS WITHIN A CLINICAL SIMULATION

Date of Award

May 2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Embargo Date

8-8-2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Teaching and Leadership

Advisor(s)

Benjamin H. Dotger

Keywords

Clinical simulations, Decision-making, Emotional Geographies, Facilitation, Pre-service teachers, Teacher identity

Subject Categories

Education

Abstract

This study explores how pre-service teachers' identity characteristics affected their decision-making and facilitation skills during a clinically simulated parent-teacher conference. The concept of emotional geographies, as defined by Hargreaves' Emotional Geographies of Teaching framework (2001a), was used as a tool to interpret pre-service teachers' actions and reflections. Standardized individuals (SIs) were hired and trained to perform as parents in a parent-teacher conference and to implement specific triggers to create a controlled environment during the clinical simulations. The collection of data was focused on (a) exploring how the pre-service teachers' personal experiences, beliefs, and values affected their facilitation and decision-making skills, (b) investigating how emotional geographies manifested in the pre-service teachers' actions and reflections, and (c) providing information on how clinical simulations might be used as an experiential tool to help pre-service teachers explore, identify and re-construct their dispositions, beliefs, and values. The findings indicate that although pre-service teachers used their personal experience to make decisions and facilitate the discussion, their lack of professional experience impaired their decision-making and facilitation skills. There is also evidence that the pre-service teachers' beliefs, values, and former experience regarding their career choices affected their actions and reflections. Elements of sociocultural, moral, political, and professional geographies were potent throughout the interactions between the pre-service teachers and the standardized parents. Clinical simulations could be used as an experiential teaching methodology to better prepare pre-service teachers to explore their dispositions and establish effective interactions with parents and the communities in which they work.

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