Learning to Teach and Teaching Teachers: Consonance and Dissonance between Pre-service and In-service Teachers about Practicum
Lily L. Dyson.
Practicum teaching is pivotal to a career in teaching. Practicum teaching, however, is not invariably successful and failure may discourage a teaching aspiration. Key to the success or failure of practicum is the sponsor teacher. The goodness-of-fit of the student teacher and the sponsor teacher becomes crucial to a successful practicum. Yet, different orientations toward teaching and expectations of role and practicum may exist to disturb the practicum student and sponsor teacher relationships. Understanding the perception of roles and practicum teaching and supervision thus would help more successful practicum. There is, however, insufficient information on these matters. This study examined the consonance and dissonance of orientation, roles, and expectations of sponsor teachers and pre- and post- practicum students regarding the practicum teaching process. Interviews using a questionnaire with 25 sponsor teachers, 25 pre practicum students, and 30 post practicum students compared and contrasted the participants' perceptions concerning the roles and expectations of sponsor and student teachers. Pre- and post-practicum students' answers were also compared to evaluate whether perceptions and opinions changed as a result of the practicum experience. Finally, suggestions for enhancing the relationship between the sponsor and student teacher were analyzed. Results show a range of perceptions, both comparable and conflicting regarding roles, expectations, and student teacher -sponsor teacher relationships. Implications for facilitating a smooth and satisfactory practicum teaching experience are suggested.
Lily L. Dyson (Canada)
Department of Educational Psychology
University of Victoria
Dr. Lily Dyson is a Professor of Special Education and Educational Psychology in the Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership Studies, University of Victoria, Victoria, B. C., Canada. She teaches special education and human development and conducts research in these areas. Among Dr. Dyson's specific research interests are inclusion, childhood poverty, cross-cultural study, and teacher education.
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)