Journal of the Effective Schools Project, Volume 18, 2011 Page: 15
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constantly evaluating their pro-
gress as a growing teacher. For
one student, the Book Buddies
program was instrumental in help-
ing her evaluate her skills. She
reported, "It allows us, as future
teachers, to think of fun and excit-
ing activities to do with reading. It
is also good practice at reading
books out loud. It allows us to
practice using the correct tone,
diction, and enthusiasm while
reading different books (Huffman,
personal communication, Novem-
ber 16, 2010)."
Laframboise and Shea (2009) as-
serted that new teachers often re-
ported discord between what they
learned in pre-service education
courses and the real world of the
classroom. Tarleton students are
no different. They need practice
applying the theories from the text-
book to the real world of the class-
room. Over 50 students responded
to an email survey asking them to
describe the advantages and disad-
vantages of the Book Buddy pro-
gram. All fifty respondents stated
that the Book Buddy program gave
them first-hand experience work-
ing with students in the areas of
early literacy learning. For exam-
ple, "It has allowed me an oppor-
tunity to learn and apply first-hand
a wide variety of activities geared
toward early literacy" (Kelly, per-
sonal communication, November
15, 2010). Disadvantages listed
had to deal with scheduling, stu-
dent absences, and student attrition
in the public schools. Not one re-
spondent stated that the Book Bud-
dy Program was an experience that
was not worthy of their time.
Laframboise and Shea (2009) em-
phasized that pre-service teachers
define what they believe to be
good teaching is based on how
they were themselves taught. Addi-
tionally, these beliefs often prevail
over what they later learn about
exemplary teaching practices and
research. Therefore, university stu-
dents must have ample time to
practice implementing research-
based instructional strategies. Oth-
erwise, they will revert to teaching
strategies they saw their own ele-
mentary, middle, and high-school
teachers use. Consequently, it is
imperative that pre-service teachers
learn to modify their beliefs as they
are learning new theories and re-
search-based educational strategies.
Higher educational institutions can
not afford to wait until students are
in their student teaching practicum
to have students change their per-
ceptions of what good teaching is
based on. We must begin to trans-
form their way of thinking as soon
as they begin to learn the theories
and strategies in education classes.
Book Buddies and other field expe-
rience coursework allow students at
Tarleton to do just that. Taking
classroom theory into real world
application is impetrative to bridge
the gap that is often created be-
tween textbook learning and teach-
Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy.
In V.S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), En-
cyclopedia of human behavior, 4
(pp. 71-81). New York: Academ-
Barrett, E. (2010, October, 14).
Blanton, W., & Moorman, G.
(1985). The devil's advocate:
Field experiences: Aids or im-
pediments to classroom reading
instruction. Reading Research
and Instruction, 25 (1), 56-59.
institutions can not
afford to wait until
students are in their
practicum to have
students change their
perceptions of what good
teaching is based on.
Here’s what’s next.
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Tarleton State University. Effective Schools Project. Journal of the Effective Schools Project, Volume 18, 2011, periodical, 2011; Stephenville, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth201694/m1/19/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Tarleton State University.