The author investigated the characteristics of practical reasoning elementary teacher candidates demonstrated when they engaged with case-based pedagogies. Twenty-seven teacher candidates responded to a dilemma case based on a sensitive topic. The author identified three characteristics of practical reasoning using an iterative process of reading the literature and interpreting the data: emotion, cognition, and imagination. Next, the author used these characteristics to analyze the data according to two components of the practical reasoning process, making decisions and taking action, and in relation to two case-based pedagogies, written case analysis and case-based discussion. Findings suggest that combining the three characteristics of practical reasoning is indicative of stronger practical reasoning than is a singular characteristic or two-characteristic response. The findings also indicate that teacher candidates demonstrated different characteristics depending on the component of practical reasoning and the case-based pedagogy employed. The findings are considered in the context of elementary social studies teacher preparation. The author recommends using dilemma cases to address sensitive topics in an elementary social studies methods course.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. September 2016. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Patricia Avery. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 127 pages.
Elementary Teacher Candidates' Practical Reasoning: Engaging with Case-Based Pedagogies about Sensitive Topics in a Social Studies Methods Course.
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