10 SES 01 B, Field Experience in Teacher Education
Although the connection between teaching theoretical knowledge and professional practice is still a key challenge, pedagogical field experiences represent an essential learning opportunity within university education (Darling-Hammond, Hammerness, Grossman, Rust, & Shulman, 2005). Therefore, the structure and curricula of pedagogical field experiences in teacher education have undergone a transformation process in the last years. Austria followed this challenge and implemented a new teacher training model (UG 2002, BGBl. I Nr. 120/2002, HG 2005; BGBl. I Nr. 20/2006, Kucher & Rulofs 2018). This new model led to profound organisational and curricular changes in the pedagogical field experiences and a stronger practical orientation in teacher training for secondary education. It is merely no longer regarded as a place to apply theoretical models or practice but is instead seen as an interface to "merge multiple perspectives and knowledge resources into a sustainable professional knowledge of teachers" (Fraefel & Seel, 2017, p. 7).
Nevertheless, Hascher (2012, p. 110) states large discrepancies between theory and practice and questions the mentioned expectations of internships' effectiveness. It is argued that, especially regarding the pedagogical field experiences' objectives, internships provide three types of learning opportunities: intended and desirable, not intended but desirable, and not desirable (ibid. 123). Besides, students have been doing their practical training in distance learning since spring 2020. It is reasonable to assume that the corona pandemic has led to a quantitative shift toward the last two.
To analyse the learning opportunities before and during the CoViD times, we will adapt the offer-and-use-model (Helmke, 2012) for learning in pedagogical field experiences and show results of a longitudinal evaluation of the pedagogical field experiences within the Cluster Linz ( part of the regional Cluster "Mitte", one of four Clusters in Austria). In the Cluster Linz six different universities work together and organise practical field experiences in their new curriculum. This curriculum is based on reciprocal theoretical and practical training elements at the university and schools (Entwicklungsverbund Cluster Mitte, 2019, p. 23). To this end, internships, which are mentored by school teachers, are held in combination with pedagogical content knowledge (pck) and special pedagogical knowledge (spk) university courses. While these courses offer a space for reflection on practical experiences, the practical part provides a space for testing theoretical contents learned at university courses. To ensure that desired learning opportunities are being used and keep unwanted learning opportunities to a minimum, the internships and pck and spk courses in Upper Austria are linked more closely with common concepts.
However, we know little about the extent to which the Cluster Linz students are experiencing required learning and unintended opportunities in the schools. Furthermore, our mentors have little insight into the new teacher programs as mentors acquired their certificates in former teacher education systems. I.e., mentors are on different levels, following different standards and show specific habits according to their school type and location. Furthermore, the closure of schools due to CoVid-19 strongly challenged this goal. Therefore, we examine three questions in this paper: First, did the changed requirements find their way into implementing the internships? Second, which intended and non-intended learning opportunities experience students? Third, what was the impact of the corona pandemic on these opportunities? Insofar, this paper aims to gain specific insights into pedagogical field experiences and addresses the changes brought about by the corona pandemic. In the longer term, this should enable stakeholders to influence the structure and implementation of teacher training programs and implement the benefits of the learning opportunities created by distance learning.
Our contribution explains (i) the evaluation design, (ii) shows results to intended and unintended opportunities to learn before and by the pandemic situation and (iii) discusses our theoretical model, which adapts the offer-and-use-model (Helmke, 2012) for learning in pedagogical field experiences. A threefold objective characterises the research rationale (ad i). (a) Our students obtain an opportunity to give feedback, which helps us (b) inform mentors about students' perception of learning opportunities in pedagogical field experiences and (c) to ensure further sustainable development of internships. The research approach (ad ii) follows a mixed-methods design and is based on a quantitative longitudinal study supported by additional qualitative surveys. In the first phase, an online survey was conducted in January 2020 of all secondary school students who had completed an internship in the winter semester 2019/20 (nt1=260). Therefore, scales indexing learning in practice were compared with the required learning opportunities in two different practical concepts (e. g. Rühl, Förster, Strauß, Kaspar, and König (2016) or Staub, Waldis, Futter, and Schatzmann (2014)). The questionnaire focuses on the quality of offered/used learning opportunities ('observing lessons', 'planning and conducting lessons' and 'reflecting and evaluating lessons'); self-assessed competences regarding teaching; the organisation and the general conditions of the pedagogical field experiences, the student-mentor-relationship, and the fit between university courses and the pedagogical field experiences. In April 2020 four qualitative Interviews of mentors were conducted (Himmelsbach, Gamsjäger, Lenz & Wimmer, 2020). Due to the pandemic situation an adapted survey was conducted in June 2020 (nt2=259) and in February 2021 (nt3), taking distance learning into account.
The proposed contribution will present and discuss a theoretical model for learning in pedagogical field experiences, following offer-and-use-model of Helmke (2012), explain the evaluation design of the internships in a teacher education program at Cluster Linz (Austria) and presents results from the quantitative surveys of survey date t1 to t3. Since the comparison of t1 and t2 is in progress and t3 is conducted in February 2021, we try to give an idea of what kind of results are to be expected by describing our hypothesis based on the first results of t1 and t2. Based on Rühl et al. (2016) and Staub et al. (2014) the data of t1 and t2 show a respectful relationship between students and teachers, but there is a demand for improvement in the teacher's consultations. It shows differences between the internships for the learning opportunities 'observing lessons', 'planning and conducting lessons' and 'reflection and evaluating lessons. Following Grassmé, Biermann, and Gläser-Zikuda (2018), higher self-assessed competency is accompanied by a more positive assessment of the placements' conditions (organisation and learning opportunities), the student-mentor-relationship, the learning opportunities and the fit between theory and practice. Despite the corona pandemic students experienced a variety of learning opportunities during distance learning. Most students have analysed the new learning situation together with their practice teachers. However, only about half have jointly derived conclusions for future lesson design. In contrast, the pck and spk courses at the universities addressed the implications of the pandemic for PPS in less detail. The level of contact with students was significantly lower. Only just under 19% were able to teach virtually. But overall, students experienced the changes from the last regular internship very differently.
BMBWF [Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung] (2020). PädagogInnenbildung NEU. Retrieved from https://www.bmbwf.gv.at/Themen/schule/fpp/ausb/pbneu.html Darling-Hammond, L., Hammerness, K., Grossman, P., Rust, F., & Shulman, L. (2005). The Design of Teacher Education Programs. In L. Darling-Hammond & J. Bransford (Eds.), Preparing teachers for a changing world: What teachers should learn and be able to do (1st ed., pp. 390–441). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Entwicklungsverbund Cluster Mitte (2019). Curriculum Bachelorstudium Lehramt Sekundarstufe (Allgemeinbildung) Entwicklungsverbund “Cluster Mitte”. Linz. Fraefel, U., & Seel, A. (2017). Konzeptionelle Perspektiven Schulpraktischer Studien - eine Einführung. In U. Fraefel & A. Seel (Eds.), Schulpraktische Studien und Professionalisierung: Band 2. Konzeptionelle Perspektiven schulpraktischer Studien: Partnerschaftsmodelle - Praktikumskonzepte - Begleitformate (pp. 7–10). Münster, New York: Waxmann. Grassmé, I., Biermann, A., & Gläser-Zikuda, M. (2018). Lerngelegenheiten in Schulpraktika und ihre Bedeutung für professionsbezogene Kompetenzen von Lehramtsstudierenden. In M. Rothland, & I. Biederbeck, I. (Hrsg.), Praxisphasen in der Lehrerbildung im Fokus der Bildungsforschung. Reihe Beiträge zur Lehrerbildung und Bildungsforschung (BzLB) Band 4 (S. 15-24). Münster: Waxmann. Hascher, T. (2012). Lernfeld Praktikum –Evidenzbasierte Entwicklungen in der Lehrer/innenbildung. Zeitschrift für Bildungsforschung, 2(2), 109-129. Helmke , A. (2012). Unterrichtsqualität und Lehrerprofessionalität. Seelze: Klett. Himmelsbach, M., Gamsjäger, M., Lenz, S. & Wimmer, B. (2020). Mentor*innen als Lehrerbildner*innen. Schulheft 179/4. Kucher, V; Rulofs, M (2018). Gemeinsam eingerichtete Lehramtsstudien in Österreich. HLZ-Onlinejournal, 1, S. 147 – 157. https://www.herausforderung-lehrerinnenbildung.de/index.php/hlz/article/view/2391 Rühl, A.‑M., Förster, S., Strauß, S., Kaspar, K., & König, J. (2016). Hochschulweites Bildungsmonitoring. Befragung von Lehramtsstudierenden. Skalendokumentation (Allgemeiner Teil): 1. Messzeitpunkt Sommersemester 2016. Universität Köln, Köln. Staub, F., Waldis, M., Futter, K., & Schatzmann, S. (2014). Unterrichtsbesprechungen als Lerngelegenheiten im Praktikum. In K.-H. Arnold, A. Gröschner, & T. Hascher (Eds.), Schulpraktika in der Lehrerbildung: Theoretische Grundlagen, Konzeptionen, Prozesse und Effekte [Pedagogical field experiences in teacher education. Theoretical foundations, programmes, processes, and effects]. Waxmann: Waxmann.
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