ERIC Number: EJ1110331
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Connecting University Course Work and Practitioner Knowledge through Mediated Field Experiences
Campbell, Sara Sunshine; Dunleavy, Teresa K.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v43 n3 p49-70 Sum 2016
Teacher preparation in the United States, both university based and alternative, has been strongly critiqued as ineffective when it comes to preparing new teachers. Although many criticisms have been directed at alternative teacher education, this article focuses on university-based teacher education because approximately 70% of our nation's teachers are certified through these programs. For the past few decades, teacher education has most often been modeled on university instructors first teaching theory and then sending teacher candidates (TCs) into the field to practice the theory they have learned. This research study responds to the call for empirical evidence addressing the course work-fieldwork gap. In this study, researchers examine how one university-based secondary teacher education program utilized mediated field experiences (MFEs) during TCs' first quarter in their four-quarter master's in teaching program. The data for this qualitative study were taken from a graduate teacher education program located in a large research university in the northwestern region of the United States. Findings indicate that each university instructor organized the MFE around TC learning while drawing on practitioner knowledge. TCs were provided opportunities to make sense of their university experiences within the context of an MFE. Although the university instructors in this study were driven by different goals about what they wanted their candidates to learn during field experiences, their goals created structures and activities that positioned the partner teachers as teacher educators and worked to bridge the course work-fieldwork gap through mediating theory and practice.
Descriptors: College School Cooperation, Partnerships in Education, College Curriculum, Teaching Methods, Teacher Education, Teacher Education Programs, Semi Structured Interviews, Field Experience Programs, Qualitative Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
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