10 SES 03 C, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
Our recent research on practicum in initial teacher education in Sweden, China, Australia and Canada has identified that the most important/critical moments in the practicum are the ‘encounters’ in the classroom and the ‘enactment’ of these in pedagogical terms. Further, our international collaboration that includes researchers and initial teacher educators in Australia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Canada, Iceland, Holland and the UK has led us to see practicum as a ‘participatory and empowering practice’ and how this might influence current practices.
We recognise the importance of involving teacher educators and school based teachers in a partnership to support student teachers during the practicum. We argue strongly for the role of university based teacher educators as collaborators, facilitators, co-teachers and strategic planners for preservice teacher practicum learning and mentor learning and guidance. Their understandings of practicum should be wide and deep, offering views and support beyond the particularities of one placement or classroom or school, yet their position should also acknowledge the particular and local knowledge of the classroom teacher and school leaders (see Rorrison, 2010).
We believe that the ‘Practicum Turn in Teacher Education’ (Mattsson, Eilertsen & Rorrison, 2011; Männikkö-Barbutiu & Rorrison, 2011) is a sign of a conscious effort to develop practicum learning and strengthen its position in initial teacher education programs. Practicum learning for the preservice teacher should occur in an atmosphere of open communication (a partnership) between the preservice teacher, the mentors within the school and the teacher educators/mentors within the university. Developing these lines of communication can be a challenge due to time, distance and the complexities of school and university ecologies.
During 2012 pilot studies will be conducted with preservice teachers and their mentors in Australia and Sweden to identify the practice architectures and ecologies that best support increased opportunities for the enactment of pedagogical ‘encounters’ during practicum. Using new technologies to support frequent communication and mentoring opportunities despite the complications of distance and numbers involved, we hope to identify whether quality and frequent encounters can be ensured during practicum. Through the increased incidence of ‘visits’ to the practicum site (albeit electronically) by university based teacher educators we hope to alleviate one of the most criticized aspects of practicum experiences- the lack of support from the university personnel. We would also like to identify whether increased opportunities for collaboration, discussion and guidance actually improves the quality and outcome of the practicum experience for the preservice teacher and the mentors.
Our research questions are:
- In what ways can the professional development of student teachers benefit from the developed communication between student teacher, teacher educator and mentor teacher?
- In what ways could this communication contribute to the practicum as a participatory and empowering practice?
- How can ICT enhance the communication during the practicum?
Carr, W. (2009). Practice without theory? A postmodern perspective on educational practice. In B. Green (Ed.), Understanding and researching professional practice. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Cherryholmes, C. H. (1988). Power and Criticism. Poststructural Investigations in Education. New York: Teachers College Press. Kemmis S.,& Smith T. J. (Eds.), Enabling praxis: Challenges for education. Rotterdam: SensePublishers. Kincheloe, J. (2004). The Knowledges of Teacher Education: Developing a Critical Complex Epistemology. Teacher Education Quarterly, Winter, 2004, 49-66. Lampert, M. (2010). Learning Teaching in, from, and for Practice: What Do We Mean? Journal of Teacher Education, 61(21). Männikkö-Barbutiu, S., Rorrison, D., with Zeng, L. (2011). Memorable Encounters: Learning Narratives From Preservice Teachers´ Practicum in Sweden, Australia and China. In M. Mattsson, T. V. Eilertsen & D. Rorrison (Eds.), A Practicum Turn in Teacher Education. Rotterdam: Sense Publishing. Mattsson, M., Eilertsen, T. V., & Rorrison, D. (2011). A Practicum Turn in Teacher Education. Rotterdam: Sense Publishing. O'Sullivan, E., Morrell, A., & O'Connor, M. A. (Eds.). (2002). Expanding the Boundaries of Transformative Learning. NY: Palgrave. Poulou, M. (2007). Student-teachers' concerns about teaching practice. European Journal of Teacher Education, 30(1), 91-110. Romano, M. (2005). Preservice Teachers’ Reflections On Observed ’Bumpy Moments’ in Teaching Teacher Educator, Vol. 40, Nbr. 4, April 2005, pp. 257-277. Rorrison, D. (2008). Jumping Through Spinning Hoops. Stories of the middle school and secondary practicum. South Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia. Rorrison, D. (2010). Assessing the Practicum in Teacher Education. Advocating for the student teacher and questioning the gate keepers. Educational Studies, 36(5), 505. Rönnerman, K., Furu, E.M., & Salo, P. (Eds.). Nurturing Praxis: Action Research in Partnerships Between School and University in a Nordic Light. Rotterdam: SensePublishers. Smith, K., & Lev-Ari, L. (2005). The place of the practicum in pre‚ service teacher education: the voice of the students. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 33(3), 289-302.
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