Description: The purpose of this study was to construct portrayals of teachers7 work conceptions in various career stages from the stories they told and the metaphors they used to describe the ways in which teachers learned about their work. Specifically, the study included preservice teachers, first-year teachers, third-year teachers, and teachers with more than four years of teaching experience at the elementary and secondary school levels. Thirty-five elementary and secondary school teachers from the North-Central area of Texas participated in this study (nineteen inservice and sixteen preservice teachers). Qualitative techniques were employed to collect data. The preservice teachers filled out a questionnaire and wrote short stories about their preconceptions of their first year of teaching. Inservice teachers were interviewed using a short questionnaire and a long interview schedule. Nine inservice teachers participated in a storytelling workshop/focus group session. Group stories based on predetermined scenarios were constructed, tape-recorded and transcribed. The focus group session was videotaped and transcribed. Fifteen categories emerged from the analysis of the data: cyclical, ritualized, hierarchical, reciprocal, developmental, experiential, reflective, cumulative, body of knowledge, folkloric, individualized/personalized, order/control/manage, disciplinarian, facilitative, and replicative. These categories represent a summary of the constructs, images, contextual maps and metaphors held by these teachers to describe their enculturation process. The descriptive categories developed in this study offer teacher educators, supervisors and teachers a basis for understanding the culture of teachers. The storytelling technigues used in this study provide a means by which teachers and teacher-related personnel can generate further information about the enculturation process that can be applied to recruitment, orientation/ induction programming, reflective teacher preparation and change strategies.
Date: August 1990
Creator: Van Derveer Naylor, Sharon L. (Sharon Lynne)