Introduction “Learning on the Job: An Analysis of the Acquisition of a Teacher’s Knowledge” attempts to understand the criteria a teacher uses when selecting knowledge appropriate to their profession (Schempp, 1995). It focuses on a case study of a single teacher, Bob Hallstrop, teaching in an extremely high achieving high-school, Hillcrest High School, in the rural town of Hillcrest (Schempp 1995)…
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First is, as Schempp points out, any person in a professional occupation is mainly delineated from those who are not by the unique knowledge they have that relates to their occupation. The kind of knowledge a teacher chooses to gain, uses, and how they choose to gain and use that knowledge is thus a key part of the teaching profession, and different methods could result in vastly different results in the classroom. In this conception of knowledge, Schempp tends to bundle skills in with the conception of knowledge; he treats the use of classroom management skills as a class of knowledge, that is, the knowledge of how to manage a classroom. This lack of differentiation between knowledge and skills has some inherent problems in the context of the article, because much of the research itself is based on application, how the teacher actually behaves in a classroom and commentaries on this behavior, while the theoretical framework and research referenced is largely based on epistemological and theoretical constructions, rather than practice. This leads to something of a disconnect in the research. The research uses entirely classroom (skill-based) evidence to try to talk about knowledge acquisition and maintenance, which can be but is not necessarily a connected phenomenon. Literature Review This article has an incredibly extensive bibliography and many and varied citations. This, however, has mixed results. While the vast majority of references are appropriate and on topic, there are some that are somewhat unnecessary, or have incomplete explanations. In one The literature referenced can be divided roughly into two groups: theoretical references and data analysis references. The literature Schempp references is, as a rule, on point, applicable and accurate. He usually does a good job explaining the ways in which he used a particular kind of literature (especially in the cases of theoretical references). The problems emerge, however, when Schempp possibly over-references or fails to explain uses of sources. In one instance, when describing the data analysis themes and categories used for his articles, he simply states that he used: “procedures recommended by Miles and Huberman (1984), Goetz and LeCompte (1984) and Patton (1980),” (pg. 239). This statement, however, seems to imply that all three procedures recommended were the same, in which case obviously only a single reference would be necessary. If this was not the case Schempp should have gone into much greater detail about the division between the authors and which categories or themes he got from each author. Schempp’s occasional unnecessary or poorly explained reference is not the only problem with the research in this article. Of these two divisions in research, theoretical research and data analysis research, the theoretical framework is probably the weaker. As mentioned in the introduction, one of the major stumbling blocks of this article is its inability to connect the experience observed in the classroom with the references to theoretical undertaking. Schempp references a great deal of materials covering the growth of teacher’s knowledge base, which is supposed to be the crux of his article, but fails to connect this to practical skills or account for the interaction between knowledge and skill. A case study, using as it must practical, real world situations cannot
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