|Students of teaching: the professional development of the teachers of the nineteenth century|
Elana Beth Elster
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: 19th century, Education, history, teachers, Training of, United States
STUDENTS OF TEACHING: THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE TEACHERS OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
Elana Beth Elster
The education, preparation, and experiences of nineteenth century teachers in America, as documented in their own writings, is the subject of this study.
Though the nineteenth century witnessed the development of normal schools and teachersĂ institutes and the expansion of educational journals and writings, formal efforts to train the teachers of this period remained nominal or impractical. This study of nineteenth century teacher writings focuses on understanding the evolving transition from students to teachers of a select group of nineteenth century teachers. It seeks to illuminate on their perceptions of their role as teachers during this period, on the source of their knowledge about teaching, on the evolution of this knowledge base, and on the influences which were responsible for their professional development.
The diaries, journals, and autobiographies of a selected group of nineteenth century teachers are the dominant source of information and insight in this historical study. On one level, the analysis of the content of these writings is straightforward--direct references from the teachersĂ writings to shed light on how they learned to teach. At another level, the analysis of the content is linked to the work of Sharon Feiman-Nemser and Lee Shulman. Through linking Feiman-NemserĂs phases in the process of learning to teach with ShulmanĂs categories of the knowledge base for teaching, this analysis seeks to understand how these teachers progressed through these same or other phases and how their knowledge base increased during each phase.
Though these teachers who taught in the developing common schools of the nineteenth century played an important role, few acknowledge in their writings any grater significance to their work than the transmittal of knowledge and the facilitation of learning. As they advanced through a variety of stages in their evolution as teachers, these teachers benefitted from diverse educators and instructional experiences. Their education and professional development was a continuous process fostered by a variety of people, opportunities, resources, and experiences. Each contributed to their professional development. They remained students throughout their professional lives. They were what John Dewey has called ˘life-long students of teaching.÷