02 SES 02 C, VET Teachers' Competences and Understanding
General description on research questions, objectives and theoretical framework (up to 600 words)
Extensive studies points to the need for more research in teacher education and indicates that the cooperation between the university and the practice areas is particularly challenged. (Dalback et al 2011, Grande et al 2014, Hiim 2013 and Sylte 2015, 2017) with clear indications that professional education needs to have relevance to the field of work to increase the quality of education. (Billet 2014, Hiim 2013, 2015).
Our university works closely with the practical field in the education of student vocational teachers. The Post graduate vocational students at our university have 60 days teaching practice. Their educational course can be taken as a full time course or over two years part time.. In teaching practice they are mentored by experienced vocational teachers. However what student’s say they learn in their teaching practice, various greatly.
Practice teachers’ abilities vary, and even though it is required that they have fifteen study credits in mentoring (KD 2013) this is far from the case.
Many former students claim that they actually began to learn their profession and gained relevant professional skills after they finished their education and began working. (Schøn 1983, Rystad 1995, Hiim & Hippe 2001).
However although there exists research on the role of the school based practice teacher there is limited studies on the role of the practice teacher in the education of vocational student teachers. There is earlier research on practice mentoring (Nilssen 2010, Ottesen 2006) but there is little research which addresses what school based practice teachers actually do and how they work with vocational student teachers.
It was with this background that we were interested in enquiring into how the practice teachers and students understand and experience the practice teachers role.
This article concentrates on two main research questions:
How do practice teachers understand their professional role?
How does this understanding equate with the student teachers view and experience of what competencies the practice teacher should have?
Methods/methodology (up to 400 words) The research is a sub-project under a main project at our University. The lead project focuses on cooperation between the university, schools and working life. The data in the study is based on qualitative enquiries: We used the following methods: • Document analysis of policy documents for teaching practice and the Educational programme for the Post graduate course in Vocational Teacher Education. • Semi-structured interviews (Kvale & Brinkmann, 2009) with two practice teachers in april 2017 • Focus group interview (Barbour & Kitzinger 1999) with four vocational student teachers March 2017. The interviews were conducted in the schools where the teachers worked and the students were undertaking their teaching practice. The interview questionnaire was given to the participants before the interview. These interviews can be seen as a conversation where the participants were encourage to formulate in their own words experiences and attitudes relevant to the topic being discussed. Postholm (2010) describes this as involving and understanding the perspectives of the participants in their natural context. This gives us as researchers closeness to the perspectives of the students and the practice teachers. The interviews were transcribed and analysed resulting in sub-themes under each of the main themes. Emerging themes from the data collected were indexed by us, independently of each other, before the data was categorized and discussed and moderated in cooperation (Gadamer 2004). These can be understood as: Mentoring challenges: Cooperation and involvement, Role identity and professional practice challenges.
Expected outcomes/results (up to 300 words) In the preliminary analyses there has been a particular focus on various themes that both the students and the practice teachers find challenging. The first preliminary finding is need for more direct cooperation between the University teacher and the practice teacher. Both the practice teacher and the students want this. They both want more support and mentoring from the University during the students teaching practice but the practice teacher wants this on a regular basis. The second finding is that both students and practice teachers experience challenges with mentoring. The students are concerned that it happens too quickly the teachers that they don’t have enough time in a busy day with many pupils to focus on. The third finding is that practice teachers identify themselves as teachers of teachers in only a limited degree. The students also comment this. The practice teachers interviewed still call themselves mentors and said that a practice teacher is not a professional role. It is just an extra role in a busy day and lacks status. The fourth finding is that the practice teachers want to be updated and more proficient in vocational didactics, work related themes and pedagogy. The want the University to offer courses in this. The students also said that this was necessary. We hope this research can contribute to a deeper understanding of the professional role challenges the practice teachers faces in her double role as both a teacher of student teachers and a teacher of pupils.
References (400 words) Billett, S., (2014). Learning in the circumstances of practice International Journal of Life & Educaton Volume 33, 2014 - Issue 5 Barbour, R.S. & Kitzinger, J. (1999)Developing Focus Group Research: Politics, Theory and Practice London SAGE publications Dahlback, J., Hansen, K., Haaland, G. & Sylte, A. L. (2011). Yrkesdidaktisk kunnskapsutvikling og implementering av nye læreplaner (KIP): Dewey, J., (1933). How we think. A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. Boston: D.C. Heath and Company Dewey, J., (1916/1961). Democracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy of education. New York: The Macmillan Company Retrieved from https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Democracy_and_Education Dreyfus , H., Dreyfus,S., (1986). Mind over Machine: The Power of Human Intuition and Experience in the Era of the Computer. New York: The Free Press Hiim, H.. (2001): Å utdanne profesjonelle yrkesutøvere. Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag A/S. Hiim, H. (2013). Praksisbasert yrkesutdanning. Hvordan utvikle relevant yrkesutdanning for elever og arbeidsliv? Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk. Hiim, H. ,(2016). Educational action Research and the Development of Professional teacher knowledg. Action research for democracy: New ideas and perspectives from Scandinavia. 8. s. 147-161. London Routledge Hiim, H., (2017). Ensuring curriculum relevance in vocational education and training: epistemological perspectives in a curriculum research project International journal for research in vocational education and training 4 (2017) 1, S. 1-19 Kolb D. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. London: Kogan Page. Kvale, S. Og Brinkmann, S. (2010). Det kvalitative forskningsintervju Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk. Lave J. og Wenger E. (2003). Situert læring og andre tekster. Hans Reitzels Forlag, dansk utgave. Maphalala M.C., ( 2017)Understanding teacher mentor roles during teaching practice sessions International journal f of education sciences Volume 5, 2013 - Issue 2 Postholm, M.B.(2010) En lærende organisasjon for elvenes læring. Prosjekt Rystad, J., (1995) Det rasjonalistiske spøkelse i høyere utdanning – om hvorfor kunnskap ikke blir kompetanse Uniped02 / 1995 (Volum 18) l Hentet fra https://www.idunn.no/uniped/1995/02/det_rasjonalistiske_spoekelse_i_hoeyere_utdanning__om_hvorfor Schøn D. A. (1996). Educating the Reflective Practitioner: Towards a New Design for Teaching and Learning in the Professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc. Tharp, Press.G. og Gallimore,R.(1988). Rousing minds to life. Teaching,learning and schooling in social context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Sylte, A. L (2015). Yrkesretting av teorien og yrkesdifferensiering. In .O. Eikeland, H. Hiim & E. Schwencke (Eds), Yrkespedagogiske perspektiver. (s. 140 – 167). Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk Sylte, A. L. (2017) Didaktiske prinsipper for relevant yrkes- og profesjonsutdanning. Ph.d. HiOA.
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