Preservice teachers' perceptions of the problems of beginning teachers

Year: 1994

Author: Richards, Carol, Killen, Roy

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

A body of literature suggests that preservice teachers enter teacher education not only with powerful preconceptions about what constitutes good teaching, but also with a great deal of confidence in their ability to teach successfully, even without formal training. It has been argued that these attributes may determine what aspects of professional preparation are assimilated or rejected by preservice teachers. It seems to be important, therefore, that teacher educators should discover what preconceptions are held by preservice teachers and determine how these preconceptions influence their learning.

This paper reports on a study of the expectations preservice teacher education students hold about their future performance in practice teaching and in later employment. Students from each year of the Bachelor of Education course and the Diploma in Education course were sampled to determine the extent to which these expectations were influenced by the teacher education program. The findings indicate that preservice teachers at all levels in their coursework possess high levels of confidence in their ability to teach and believe that the problems that teachers experience will present significantly less difficulty for them than the "average first-year teacher"