Providing professional experience in teacher education at the university, as well as at the secondary school: Teacher education practice and action learning

Year: 1994

Author: Sim, Cheryl R.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In relation to the theme of this conference of Educational Research: Innovation and Practice, this paper will focus on the opportunities for student teachers to experience professional issues within the subject matter subjects that prepare them for their teaching in secondary schools. In the main, the practicum is considered as the site for providing professional experience in teacher education courses. In fact the trend across many countries in the world is to place even greater emphasis on this setting for the preparation of teachers. However this raises concerns regarding the development of change in practice and of the opportunities for critical reflection to occur. Yet learning through experience without reflection is of little value. Tertiary institutions that offer teacher education courses have a major role to play in this area of enhancing the value of experience.

This presentation addresses the subject matter preparation of secondary student teachers. Through research conducted by the presenter, it considers to what extent teacher educator practice that focuses on the use of action learning can influence the classroom practice of these student teachers.

The setting is a history subject for student teachers who will teach social education to secondary students. The presentation will be looking at the reactions of a group of second-year undergraduates to learning history content through a highly student-focused, inquiry- oriented process. The presentation looks to their reactions to such experiences and to any evidence regarding the practice of teacher educators in preparing secondary school teachers.