10 SES 01 E, Learning from Practice
In Sweden a small number of experienced teachers who supervise and mentor student teachers during their in-school or internship courses (known as the VFU in Sweden, practicum or professional practice in other parts of the world) receive some training to be a supervisor. This one-year project aimed at building upon this training where Mentor teachers (referred to as LLUs) and researchers from Gothenburg University cooperated to improve both the skills of supervision, and the experience of VFU for student teachers by enriching the feedback given and received in VFU encounters. This research further examined how partnerships between a teacher education program at Gothenburg University and three schools were strengthened with this targeted intervention in the VFU program.
The push for the positive use of classroom evidence to improve teaching practice is well documented internationally (eg. Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005; Hattie & Timperley, 2007; Henningsson-Yousif & Aasen, 2015). The intervention introduced a descriptive observation tool (the ‘protocol’) to record as evidence teaching practices (pedagogy) that both LLUs and student teachers utilized. The teachers were asked to use the protocol during ten minutes of a lesson at least three times a week when observing the student teacher in their classrooms. The protocol was then used as the starting point for post-lesson dialogue and feedback. The teachers (both LLU and student) participating in the study taught pupils in grade 1-6. The three schools differed in size and socio-economic status and location but were all in the greater Gothenburg city area.
We used a qualitative research design to investigate if the effects of the use of evidence-informed records in combination with a dialogic approach could strengthen the teaching practices of both student teachers and experienced teachers in these settings. Copies of the protocols were collected and analysed and interviews with LLUs, students teachers and university educators were conducted.
In an earlier study Kriewaldt, Nash, Windsor, Thornton, and Reid (2018) found such a protocol could be a strong foundation for multiple loops of evidence-informed feedback on teaching practice. Our results showed that the protocol fostered and mediated stronger and more effective post-lesson feedback conversations between the student teachers and the LLUs. Further, use of the protocol contributed to increasing the discussion about teaching not only between the LLU and the student teacher, but also between the student teacher, the LLU and the teacher educator from the university. These three way conversations or triadic dialogues were found to be empowering for the participants who felt a greater sense of agency is this taken-for-granted triadic relationship (Klemp & Nilssen, 2017). This strengthened triadic dialogue further assisted in the assessment and grading of the student teachers as they undertook the VFU as a university course. This pilot study forms the basis of a new research study that seeks understanding of how the hosting of VFU periods and student teachers can contribute to whole school improvement and the professional development of practicing teachers.
Darling-Hammond, L., & Bransford, J. (2005). Preparing teachers for a changing world : what teachers should learn and be able to do. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass. Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77, 81-112. Henningsson-Yousif, A., & Aasen, S. F. (2015). Making Teachers' Pedagogical Capital Visible and Useful. Journal of Workplace Learning, 27(5), 332-344. Klemp, T., & Nilssen, V. (2017). Positionings in an immature triad in teacher education. European Journal of Teacher Education, 40(2), 257-270. doi:10.1080/02619768.2017.1282456 Kriewaldt, J., Nash, M., Windsor, S., Thornton, J., & Reid, C. (2018). Fostering Professional Learning Through Evidence-Informed Mentoring Dialogues in School Settings. In J. Kriewaldt, A. Ambrosetti, D. Rorrison, & R. Capeness (Eds.), Educating Future Teachers: Innovative Perspectives in Professional Experience. Singapore: Springer.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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