“Do we really need this class?”: Former K-12 Teachers Transitioning to Teaching as University Faculty

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Margarita Jimenez-Silva
Pamela Hodges Kulinna
Anna Montana Cirell
Matt Balmaseda


Background: It was the purpose of this study to investigate graduate students’ perceptions and the processes related to learning to teach at university/college level using  socio-cultural theory and ecological systems. . Methods: A survey based on Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems (1977)  and a Knowledge –Confidence-Usefulness instrument (Barton-Arwood, Morrow, Lane & Jolivette, 2005) was administered to graduate students four times (N=10). Four interviews, class observations and document analyses were also conducted.  Descriptive statistics were calculated for the survey data and interview data were analyzed via constant comparison. Results: Findings showed high internal consistency reliability of the items (>.93) and that graduate students’ perceptions of their experiences to prepare to teach at the university level were quite positive. Themes were related to being confident, having the potential to be effective at the post-secondary level, and a mismatch between experiences and expectations. Using the emergent process model of Chi and colleagues (2012), overall perceived dynamics (macro level), the individuated university agents/students within the socialization process (micro level) and the social subgroups into which the agent/student network (meso level) support an ecological form of faculty development. Conclusions: Results provide support for an ecological systems model as well as insights into faculty teaching development. 


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Jimenez-Silva, M., Kulinna, P., Cirell, A., & Balmaseda, M. (2019). “Do we really need this class?”: Former K-12 Teachers Transitioning to Teaching as University Faculty. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 19(3). https://doi.org/10.14434/josotl.v19i2.23732