Teaching What They Learn, Learning What They Live: How Teachers' Personal Histories Shape Their Professional Development

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Teaching What They Learn, Learning What They Live explores the multiple social, political, and epistemological domains that comprise learning-to-teach. Based on a study of eight beginning English teachers at four different university teacher preparation programs, this book examines how beginning teachers’ personal dispositions and conceptions combine with their preparation programs’ professional knowledge and contexts to form their subsequent understandings of, and approaches toward, teaching.

Brad Olsen recasts teacher learning as a continuous, situated, identity process in which prior experiences produce deeply embedded ways of viewing the world that go on to organize current/future experience into meaning. Since experience shapes learning and everyone acquires different sets of experience, no individual teacher’s knowledge is exactly like another’s. Yet Olsen also shows that the process by which teachers construct professional knowledge is common: the what of teacher knowledge varies, but the how remains the same.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Brad Olsen richly portrays how beginning teachers draw on a range of knowledge sources—family, past schooling, and other personal experiences—to navigate the process of learning to teach. Teachers’ personal resources and dispositions loom large here, mediating or trumping the lessons of formal teacher education. Olsen’s illuminating account should be of interest to anyone seeking to influence what teachers know and do.”

“Who chooses to teach? Who stays? Who learns to teach well? Why? With another teacher shortage on the horizon, policymakers can learn a great deal from Brad Olsen. His up-close accounts of new teachers provide fresh and powerful insights into these critical education policy questions.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594515378
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 190
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Brad Olsen is Associate Professor of Education at the University of California–Santa Cruz. His research focuses primarily on teachers, teaching, and teacher education. Dr. Olsen previously worked as a high school English teacher, school administrator, and teacher educator. He is the author of Teaching What They Learn, Learning What They Live: How Teachers’ Personal Histories Shape Their Professional Development (Paradigm Publishers 2008).
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Table of Contents

Foreword   Ann Lieberman     v
Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: Teachers, Teaching, and Teacher Education     1
Theories of Knowing, Learning, and Teacher Knowledge     9
Liz: One Beginner Assembles a Teacher Self     31
Life Themes: Personal Experience as Influence on Knowledge Construction-Azar, Kimberly, William, and Liz     75
Conclusions and Implications for Practice and Research in Teacher Education     123
Studying Teacher Development-Research Methods and Methodology     141
References     163
Index     179
About the Author     187
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