Approximations in English language arts: Scaffolding a shared teaching practice

Teach Teach Educ. 2019 May;81:100-111. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2019.01.004.


Recent research highlights the importance of providing teacher candidates with opportunities to approximate practice. Less attention focuses on tools teacher educators use within and surrounding approximations to focus candidates' attention on features of practice. This multi-case study investigates how three teacher educators use different approximations in ways that strategically reduce the complexity of learning to teach and scaffold the development of practice. Data indicate teacher educators capitalized on four tools that scaffolded and shaped approximations into spaces for co-constructing shared understandings of practice. These tools include: instructional activities, representations of practice, planning templates, and specified texts and instructional goals.

Keywords: Approximations; Literacy education; Pedagogical tools; Practice-based teacher education; Preservice teacher education.