Uncovering the Skills That Preservice Teachers Bring to Teacher Education: The Practice of Eliciting a Student’s Thinking

Although teacher education is the formal means by which novices are prepared for teaching, they come having already had significant experience in schools. Preservice teachers have formed habits of “teaching” which influence their learning to teach. This article reports a study of the specific knowledge of and skills with teaching practice that novices bring to teacher education with respect to one teaching practice, eliciting student thinking in elementary mathematics, and describes the use of a standardized teaching simulation to learn about novices’ skills. The findings reveal details about preservice teachers’ skills and habits of practice at the point that they enter formal teacher preparation. Preservice teachers’ ways of carrying out this particular practice are categorized into three distinct categories: (a) skills that need to be learned, (b) skills that can be built on, and (c) approaches that need to be unlearned.

Shaughnessy, M., & Boerst, T. (2018). Appraising the skills that preservice teachers bring to teacher education: Skill with the practice of eliciting a student’s thinking. Journal of Teacher Education, 69(1), 40–55.