ERIC Number: ED366559
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Oct
An Investigation into the Influence of Classroom Practica Experiences on Student Teachers' Thoughts about Teaching.
Gormley, Kathleen; And Others
Student teachers' thoughts about teaching can shape, foster, or impede their growth toward expert pedagogy. This study examined the thoughts about teaching of two groups of student teachers--45 graduate and 63 undergraduate students. The professional coursework of both groups was very similar, with one exception--graduate students had no practica experiences in elementary classrooms before student teaching. Questionnaires were administered to all student teachers before and after the student teaching placement. Findings support the strength of the undergraduate teacher education program. Prior to student teaching, the two groups were very similar in their thoughts about teaching. Following the experience, undergraduates revealed different kinds of thoughts than graduates. For example, graduate students continued to reflect concern about their basic teaching skills, lesson planning, and classroom management; undergraduates were more confident and more sophisticated in their thinking about classroom pedagogy and were better able to reflect on whether children learned from their teaching. Based on informants' responses, it was concluded that practica experiences help new teachers move more quickly to mature thoughts about both teaching and children's learning. (LL)
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Education Courses, Education Majors, Elementary Education, Graduate Students, Higher Education, Performance Factors, Practicums, Preservice Teacher Education, Program Design, Program Effectiveness, Student Teacher Attitudes, Student Teachers, Student Teaching, Teaching Experience, Teaching Skills, Undergraduate Students
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Educational Research Association (Ellenville, NY, October 15-17, 1993).