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Repetitive Microteaching:Learning to Teach Elementary Social Studies

Author(s): Derek L. ANDERSON | Don BARR | Christina LaBAIJ

Journal: Journal of Social Studies Education Research
ISSN 1309-9108

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 21;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: teacher education | field experiences | practice | elementary

The role of deliberate practice in the development of performance has been studied extensively in many contexts, such as in athletics. The construct of deliberate practice in the development of teacher performance has been receiving heightened examination lately, though the role of practice in the development of elementary social studies teachers remains essentially unexplored. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a repeated practice microteaching model on the teaching behaviors of 64 elementary preservice teachers (PSTs) who taught the same social studies lessons to small groups of 4th-grade students four times in succession. PST reflection journals from all PSTs, observational transcripts of 14 teaching pairs, focus group interviews with the PSTs, and informal cooperating teacher interviews revealed that the PSTs’ lessons changed over the four successive teaching episodes. The PSTs became more comfortable and confident after teaching the same social studies lesson multiple times. PSTs also reported that their lessons became better, yet the qualitative data revealed that even though their teaching became more efficient and student work correctness improved, only a few PSTs increased the cognitive demand of their questions and activities. Nonetheless, most PSTs demonstrated increased use of social studies pedagogical content knowledge through their examples and discussions, as well as increased attention to student thinking. Repeated practice field experiences seem to hold potential for elementary PSTs to develop their use ofsocial studies pedagogical content knowledge
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