Learning from Student Perceptions of Teacher Education Programs

Year: 1998

Author: Deer, C.E., Brady, L., Segal, G., Bamford, A.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports findings from a study conducted at the University of Technology, Sydney which involved evaluating the experiences of a cohort of teacher education students over either the duration or the first three years of their initial teacher education program. Extensive data were collected by questionnaire and interview on eight different occasions, and analysed using a grounded theory approach that yielded thematic constructs. This paper focuses on one of these thematic constructs - the nexus between theory and practice, and specifically on the extent to which students perceive that their academic program content prepares them for their field-based experience or practicum. The findings are reported in terms of the major sub-themes apparent from refining data categories, viz. the realism of teaching, behaviour management, lesson planning, practicum assignments, assessment and evaluation, relationships with teachers, and the role of the tertiary adviser. Such findings have implications for contemporary teacher education programs that seek to realise national standards and guidelines.