ERIC Number: ED196754
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov-27
Reference Count: 0
Differentiated Needs of Teacher Trainees: Implications for Social Studies.
Van Cleaf, David W.; And Others
This paper explores perceptions of teacher education students regarding the relative value of four methods-course components--experiences with children, methods, content, and theory. The objective is to provide information to educators in teacher training programs as they determine how various components of the teacher education process influence preservice teacher growth and development. Data are based on a survey of 138 teacher education majors enrolled in an elementary social studies methods course. Respondents were divided into four groups, according to how much time they spent interacting with elementary school children during the methods course. Group I spent 30% of scheduled class time with individual and small groups of elementary age children; groups II and III spent 5% of class time working with large groups of children during a fall and spring semester, respectively; and group IV spent 2.5% of class time with individual elementary school children. Statistical analysis of responses indicated that groups II, III, and IV identified experience with children (individuals and/or groups) as the most valuable component of their methods course. Group I, however, ranked field experience with children as the least important component. The methods component of the course was ranked second by Groups II, III, and IV, and first by group I; the content component was ranked second by group I, third by groups II and III, and fourth by group IV; and theory was rated third by groups I and IV and fourth by groups II and III. The conclusions are that the amount of time spent working with children affects student perception of the importance of working with children, and specifically, that too much time spent in field work with children can diminish the perceived value of the experience to a preservice teacher. Additional research is suggested on structuring an appropriate balance among experiences with children, methods, content, and theory in a methods course. (DB)
Descriptors: Educational Assessment, Educational Needs, Educational Research, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Experiential Learning, Higher Education, Information Needs, Methods Courses, Needs Assessment, Social Studies, Student Needs, Student Teaching, Surveys, Tables (Data), Teacher Education
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (60th, New Orleans, LA, November 27, 1980).