ERRR Podcast #006. Jennifer Stephenson and Instructional Decision Making of Teacher Education Students

Listen to all past episodes of the ERRR podcast here.

In this episode we spoke to Jennifer Stephenson.

Jennifer is an honorary research fellow and associate professor at Macquarie University. She has a background in teaching students with severe disabilities and over 20 years experience in preparing special educators. Her research interests include the use of effective and ineffective practices in special education, augmentative and alterative communication for students with severe disabilities, students with autism spectrum disorder, challenging behaviour, and the use of iPads with children with disability. She has published over 80 refereed journal articles and book chapters.

Jennifer’s paper that we read was entitled ‘Factors in Instructional Decision-Making, Ratings of Evidence and Intended Instructional Practices of Australian Final Year Teacher Education Students’. This article details Jennifer’s survey with 290 pre-service teachers in their final year of teacher training. The survey aimed to discover how well these PSTs were able to distinguish between evidence based and non-evidence based instructional practices, and to determine which sources of information, and which experiences most influenced the practices that these PSTs planned to adopt in the classroom. This paper prompted a really interesting discussion, and even a little instructional practices quiz that was held for the attendees of the ERRR.

Jennifer’s nominated article was:  Factors in Instructional Decision-Making, Ratings of Evidence and Intended Instructional Practices of Australian Final Year Teacher Education Students. This article details Jennifer’s survey with 290 pre-service teachers in their final year of teacher training. The survey had two broad goals: 1. To discover how well these PSTs were able to distinguish between evidence based and non-evidence based instructional practices (From learning styles instruction to direct instruction), 2. To determine which sources of information, and which experiences most influenced the practices that these PSTs planned to adopt in the classroom (from experiences during placement to journal articles). This article will no doubt lead prompt a lively discussion on the role of evidence-based practices in the classroom, as well as various strengths and weaknesses of current teacher training programs throughout Australia.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

Links mentioned during the interview

Links Mentioned in the Intro (Thanks to Max Lenoy for providing links)