Communication in the socialization of preservice teachers

Download Communication in the socialization of preservice teachers

Post on 27-Mar-2017




1 download

Embed Size (px)


<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [University of Auckland Library]On: 24 November 2014, At: 19:46Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Communication EducationPublication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:</p><p>Communication in the socialization of preserviceteachersAnn Q. StatonSpicer a &amp; Ann L. Darling ba Department of Speech Communication , University of Washington , DL15, Seattle,Washington, 98195 Phone: 2065434860b Department of Speech Communication , University of Washington ,Published online: 18 May 2009.</p><p>To cite this article: Ann Q. StatonSpicer &amp; Ann L. Darling (1986) Communication in the socialization of preservice teachers,Communication Education, 35:3, 215-230, DOI: 10.1080/03634528609388345</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the Content) contained in thepublications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representationsor warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Anyopinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not theviews of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should beindependently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses,actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoevercaused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematicreproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in anyform to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p></p></li><li><p>COMMUNICATION IN THESOCIALIZATION OF</p><p>PRESERVICE TEACHERSAnn Q. Staton-SpicerAnn L. Darling</p><p>There is a renewed and widespread interest in educational excellence in Americatoday. In A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform (1983) theNational Commission on Excellence in Education recommended new directions infive broad areas, one of which was labeled Teaching and defined as "intended toimprove the preparation of teachers or to make teaching a more rewarding andrespected profession" (p. 30). An important aspect of teaching effectiveness is that ofteacher preparation. While certainly not the only factor contributing to success inteaching, many educators believe that teacher education is critical to the quality ofteachers who enter the marketplace. The focus of this paper is on the internshipphase of teacher training, the period in which individuals learn to be teachers andfirst enter schools as teachers.</p><p>Socialization has been defined as "the process by which people selectively acquirethe values and attitudes, the interests, skills and knowledgein short the culturecurrent in groups to which they are, or seek to become a member" (Merton, et al.,1957). Primary socialization is that which occurs from birth, the process by which achild becomes a part of society, while secondary socialization is "any subsequentprocess that inducts an already socialized individual into new sectors of the objectiveworld of his society" (Berger &amp; Luckmann, 1966, p. 130). As college/universitystudents become teachers, they experience a process of secondary socialization whichtakes two forms: (1) occupational or role socialization, and (2) organizationalsocialization.</p><p>Prospective teachers experience a decision-making period during which they makea commitment to enter the teaching profession, to become members of the occupa-tional group known as teachers. To do so is to agree to learn the role, to acquire therequisite skills and knowledge necessary to teach, and to become a part of the cultureof teachers, that is, to think and feel and join the world of teachers. As such, onenecessary dimension of teacher socialization is that of occupational learning(Wanous, 1977).</p><p>A second component of teacher socialization is that of organizational socialization.In the structure of American society, the educational system is a social institution inwhich people learn through interaction with others (Bassett &amp; Smythe, 1979). Thus,most instruction occurs within the context of schools, which are organizations in theirown right. Van Maanen (1976) has defined organizational socialization as "theprocess by which a person learns the values, norms and required behaviors whichpermit him to participate as a member of the organization" (p. 67). In addition tolearning how to teach, the socialization process also entails an individual becoming amember of the particular organization, becoming a part of the school system in whichhe or she teaches. Organizational socialization involves the new teacher learning both</p><p>Ann Q. Staton-Spicer, Department of Speech Communication DL-15, University of Washington,Seattle; Washington 98195, 206-543-4860.Ann L. Darting, Department of Speech Communication, University of WashingtonThe authors wish to thank Dave Games for his conscientious contributions to this study.</p><p>COMMUNICATION EDUCATION, Volume 35, July 1986</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f A</p><p>uckl</p><p>and </p><p>Lib</p><p>rary</p><p>] at</p><p> 19:</p><p>46 2</p><p>4 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>216COMMUNICATION EDUCATION</p><p>the culture of the school as well as his or her individual role within the school (Louis,1980).</p><p>Teacher socialization must be viewed, then, as complex and multifaceted. Theway one chooses to examine it is inextricably tied to the model of socialization towhich one adheres. Traditionally, teacher socialization has been viewed from afunctionalist perspective, a model in which "socialization fits the individual tosociety" (Lacey, 1977, p. 18), one in which people are considered as empty vessels,and one which takes a deterministic view of the individual in society (Parsons,1951).</p><p>In his excellent review of key processes in the socialization of student teachers,Zeichner (1980) identifies seven factors that serve as socializing influences: earlychildhood, peers, persons with evaluative power, pupils, persons in lateral roles,classroom ecology, and teacher subculture and the bureaucratic structure of theschools. Because of the variety of factors identified as important socializing agents inthis body of research, much of it can be viewed as disparate. The unifying thread,however, is that the various influences are seen as acting upon the preservice orbeginning teachers in a linear fashion. For example, a variety of research hasexamined attitudes and predispositions of persons before and after teacher training(Day, 1959; Hoy, 1968; Jacobs, 1968; Kremer &amp; Moore, 1978; Mahan &amp; Lacefield,1978; Muus, 1969), and before and after the early teaching experiences (Kuhlman &amp;Hoy, 1974; McArthur, 1978; McArthur, 1979). When changes are found to occur,they are attributed to the influences Zeichner identified, such as the cooperatingteacher or the school bureaucracy. These functionalist studies have provided insightsabout important socializing influences and changes that may occur, but have not beenas helpful in our understanding of what actually occurs during socialization.</p><p>An alternative perspective to that of functionalism is what Lacey (1977) refers toas a conflict model of socialization and Zeichner (1980) terms a dialectical model.Lacey views socialization as going beyond the simple explanations provided by thefunctionalists, and presents it as "a more complex, interactive, negotiated, provi-sional process. The model. . . also stresses the importance of man as a creative force,as a searcher for solutions and as possessing a considerable potential to shape thesociety in which he lives" (p. 22). In this perspective people cannot be viewed aspassive recipients of external socializing forces. As Zeichner states, the "dialecticalmodels of the socialization process focus on the constant interplay between individu-als and the institutions into which they are socialized" (p. 2).</p><p>Research on teacher socialization grounded in the dialectical perspective isbeginning to emerge. Friebus (1977), in an interview study of teacher trainees,concluded that preservice teachers are active agents in their own socialization.Tabachnick, Popkewitz, and Zeichner (1980) examined the student internship as aforum for exploring "students' developing beliefs about teaching and about them-selves as teachers" during socialization (p. 12). Gehrke (1981) conducted a five-yearstudy to "generate a grounded theory of the way teachers adapt the teacher role tomeet their own needs (role personalization), while at the same time being socializedto the role demanded by others" (p. 34). More recently, Zeichner and Tabachnick(1984) studied four beginning teachers to understand "the interplay of individualintent and institutional constraint during entry into the teaching role" (p. 5).</p><p>The assumptions of our study are congruent with these four studies. We viewteacher socialization from a dialectical perspective and conceive of it as occurring inphases. The three commonly discussed phases of organizational socialization (Van</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f A</p><p>uckl</p><p>and </p><p>Lib</p><p>rary</p><p>] at</p><p> 19:</p><p>46 2</p><p>4 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>COMMUNICATION IN THE SOCIALIZATION OF PRESERVICE TEACHERS217</p><p>Maanen, 1976; Van Maanen &amp; Schein, 1979) are applicable to teacher socialization.As Van Maanen describes, anticipatory socialization refers to the choice phaseduring which a person decides to become a member of an organization. We haveexpanded his description to include the choice phase of occupational socialization aswell, in which a person decides to enter the chosen profession. The entry or encounterphase is that in which the newcomer confronts the job situation (both theoccupationthe actual teaching, and the organizationthe particular school) forthe first time. The third stage is that of continuance or adaptation or metamorphosisduring which the individual makes changes as needed to remain in the profession orin the organization.</p><p>Our study examines the formal, almost universal preservice training componentknown as the internship. It emerged as a critical aspect of study for several reasons.First, much literature touts the internship as "the most valuable experience of thepreservice program" (Pataniczek &amp; Isaacson, 1981). Second, the internship providesthe opportunity to study both formal and informal aspects of the socializationprocess. Internships are formal, structured programs for learning to be teachers.Within the formal structure, however, are numerous informal socializing influences(e.g., routine interactions with others on the job) that serve to define more clearly theteacher role and reduce uncertainty. A third reason is that individuals involved in aninternship simultaneously experience both anticipatory socialization and entryphases of occupational and organizational socialization. Although these preserviceteachers have already made some commitment to the teaching profession, they arestill in training and often view the internship as the final factor in their occupationaldecision to enter teaching. Thus, occupational or vocational (Jablin, 1985) anticipa-tory socialization is occurring. At the same time, however, these preservice teachersface the everyday job realities of the teaching profession for the first time. Certainlythe internship is different from a first teaching position (e.g., the time period isusually shorter, it is a temporary position, the intern does not have full authority orresponsibility for pupils, the intern is under constant and close supervision), but thesepreservice teachers do experience what can be considered the entry or encounterphase of occupational socialization. Similarly, these preservice teachers also undergoorganizational anticipatory socialization and organizational entry or encounter.Since the internship occurs in a particular school setting that they have selected orthat has been selected for them, they have the experience of entering a neworganization. Because interns remain in a given school for the entire school year, theuniversity teacher education program encourages them to become a part of theschool. These interns had a range of alternative settings available to them, includinginner city, suburban, and even private schools. As Jablin (1984) notes, the basiccomponents of anticipatory socialization are the previous work experiences and theexpectations about the new organization (p. 8). None of the interns was assured of aregular job in the school and, indeed, viewed the internship as a time to experiencewhat it was like to teach in an inner-city school and compare that to theirexpectations of teaching in other contexts. At the same time, however, the internsactually entered a new school and realized what Jablin refers to as "the degree towhich his/her job and organizational expectations are congruent with the 'reality' oforganizational life" (p. 9). Finally, the internship is an important focus of studybecause it is a distinct socialization mechanism. While certain other professionsinclude internships as part of the training experience, (e.g., medical), the descriptionsof the socialization of doctors (Merton, et al., 1957) and nurses (Olesen &amp; Whittaker,</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f A</p><p>uckl</p><p>and </p><p>Lib</p><p>rary</p><p>] at</p><p> 19:</p><p>46 2</p><p>4 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>218COMMUNICATION EDUCATION</p><p>1968) clearly indicate that a teaching internship is different from a medicalinternship. For example, preservice teachers interact regularly with a large numberof students (e.g., 25-30) at one time while those in the medical profession typicallyinteract with patients on a one-to-one basis.</p><p>Thus, our study focuses on the internship period of preservice teacher education.This period is one in which preservice teachers experience both anticipatory andentry phases of occupational and organizational socialization. Because of the trainingdimension and temporary nature of the internship, we do not consider thesepreservice teachers to have experienced the continuance stage of either occupationalor organizational socialization.</p><p>COMMUNICATION CONCERN FRAMEWORK</p><p>The perspective we take for understanding socialization is that of communication. AsZeichner (1980) comments, "It has become evident from a dialectical perspectiv...</p></li></ul>


View more >