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ERIC Number: EJ1055641
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2158-592X
Independence and Interdependence: An Analysis of Pre-Service Candidates' Use of Focused Assignments on an Electronic Discussion Forum during the Initial Field Experience
Fisch, Audrey A.; Bennett, Deborah J.
Interdisciplinary Journal of Teaching and Learning, v1 n1 p23-42 Sum 2011
This article describes a case study using an electronic learning platform for creating an interactive learning community through asynchronous discussion to enhance the initial field experience of secondary math and English teacher candidates enrolled in Field Experience. We identified three problems with the field experience course--lack of structure, isolation of the candidates in the field, and passivity of the candidates. To address these problems, we established three goals--to create a way for candidates to structure their reflections in the field, to create a learning community of pre-professionals, and to foster independence and assertiveness in our candidates. With these goals in mind, focused assignments were developed and implemented in an interactive online discussion forum. The results of this study have two important implications for teacher preparation. First, the results suggest that with focused assignments and guidelines for peer interaction, on-line peer discussions can be a powerful tool in helping candidates to reflect on student learning and the student perspective in the classroom with virtually no University-Based Teacher Educator intervention. Secondly, the study reveals that the use of technology with focused assignments can be helpful in creating more assertive, independent candidates who are better able to think about and negotiate the school environments in which they plan careers.
Southern University and A & M College. College of Education, Arts and Humanities, PO Box 9983, Baton Rouge, LA 70813. Tel: 225-771-2291; Fax: 225-771-2292; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A