10 SES 03 C, Learning to Teach: Competence, wellbeing and reflection
The universal theory-practice dilemma in teacher education is old; already hundred years ago Dewey pointed out a gap between theory and practice (Korthagen 2010). As a consequence of this gap, educational science studies during teacher education do not necessarily transfer to instructional practices of in-service teachers (Eraut 2004). Incorporating educational theory into instructional practice is not a simple process of adding up elements.
Practicum studies during teacher education have been seen as especially important area for promotion of theory-practice reflection, and various studies have been conducted striving to narrow the gap between theory and practice in teacher practicum (see e.g., Eroz-Tuga 2013; Allen, 2011). However, these studies mostly focus on enhancing reflection skills among the pre-service teachers but do not use educational theory as a tool for problematizing practice. In this presentation we argue that in order to support pre-service teachers in making productive use of educational theory in practice, educational research should be promoted intentionally.
In order to answer to the challenge of theory-practice gap in teacher education, the Learning Bridges thematic practicum was designed in University of Helsinki in 2010. The theme practicum was based on three connected and contributing planning principles. According to the first planning principle, the pre-service teachers, along with a supervisor teachers, take part in developing authentic teaching and learning practices. The second planning principle is an emphasis on collaborative learning between supervisor teachers, researchers and student teachers in pursuit of a shared aim (Wenger, 1998; also Engeström, 2008).The third planning principle involves explicitly promoting the dialogue between theory and practice. This is done by shaping current educational research results jointly into functional pedagogical practices.
We posed the following main question: How theory-practice reflection may be supported in teacher practicum? The sub-questions are: How do student teachers combine theory and practice in their practicum portfolios? How portfolios by general practicum student teachers’ differs from portfolios by thematic practicum student teachers?
Allen, J.M (2011). Stakeholders’ perspectives of the nature and role of assessment during practicum. Teacheing and Teacher Education 27,4, 742-750. Engeström, Y. (2008). From teams to knots. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Eraut, M. (2004). Transfer of knowledge between education and workplace settings. In H. Rainbird, A. Fuller & A. Munro (Eds.) Workkplace learning in context. (pp. 201-221). London: Routledge. Eroz-Tuga, B. (2013). Reflective feedback sessions using video recordings. ELT Journal 67, 2, 175-183. Korthagen, F. (2010). The relationship between theory and practice in teacher education. In: E. Baker., B. McGaw & P. Peterson (Eds.). International Encyclopedia of Education, vol. 7 (pp. 669-675). Oxford: Elsevi Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: Learning, meaning and identity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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