Feedback system factors and their effects on attitudes, perspectives, and pedagogical content knowledge of university foreign language teachers.
AuthorPeterson, Dorothy Clare.
Committee ChairSmith, Karen L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA substantial concern in foreign language research is the development of learner-centered teachers, but the prescriptive means for attaining this educational outcome remain unclear. Foreign language teaching assistant (TA) development offers a setting wherein the analysis of instruction becomes formative in nature. This case study of thirty-seven new foreign language TAs and their three teacher educators from the French, German, and Spanish language programs at University of Arizona explores the development process through feedback system factors (e.g., audiotaped interviews and surveys). This study evaluates the relationship between teacher educators' and novice TAs' attitudes, perspectives, and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) regarding teacher- versus student-centered classroom structures (e.g., demonstrations versus reflective discussion). The constant comparative method of qualitative analysis (Glaser and Strauss, 1967) was used to compare expressed attitudes and perspectives. Similar attitudes and perspectives regarding instructional techniques, power messages, content, and learning outcomes verify the usefulness of the PCK construct, generate basic properties, illuminate problems of implementing learner-centered instruction, and indicate fundamental uniformities of greatest scope. Diverse attitudes and perspectives indicate fundamental differences between PCK categories and the two cultures' hypotheses, thereby forcing dense development of the PCK construct, integrating categories and properties, and delimiting a substantive framework of university foreign language PCK. The goal is to clarify the attitudes and perspectives that exist in our attempts to develop learner-centered language teachers. Constant comparison revealed that neither culture agreed on a definition of student-centered instruction, nor shared decision-making with adult learners regarding preferred instructional methods--an element inherent to learner-centered or andragogical processes (Knowles, 1984). This case study also indicated that coercive power, a highly teacher-centered power, continues to predominate in teacher education and language classrooms. Finally, a teacher's referent power was found as the most influential factor on learning by adult students in this study, but referent power remains underaddressed in the formal development process. Multivariate research designs are needed to explore these findings with greater precision.
Degree ProgramSecond Language Acquisition and Teaching