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ERIC Number: EJ778796
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 14
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0738-0593
Messages about Good Teaching: Primary Teacher Trainees' Experiences of the Practicum in Trinidad and Tobago
George, June; Worrell, Patricia; Rampersad, Jocelyn
International Journal of Educational Development, v22 n3-4 p291-304 Apr-Jul 2002
This article reports on a study of the preparation of teacher trainees for field experience, and the conduct of the actual practicum in Trinidad and Tobago. Its purpose was to gain insights into the kinds of messages sent to trainees about teaching, and the ways in which these messages impacted on how and what trainees learned about good teaching. The study employed "grounded theory" methodology, and was conducted through document analysis, observations of practice and post-practice conferences, as well as through interviews with participants. It was found that the messages varied across physical sites and among members of the professional community. However, the most significant messages emerged around three common themes: the role of theory, the nature of good teaching, and how good teaching is learned. Trainees' responses suggested that the messages helped them to shape the principal understandings that "good" teaching: (i) had to be certified by an acknowledged expert in a formal process of assessment; (ii) could often be informed by practical experience shared by members of the teaching community, more than by formal theory; and (iii) demanded thorough college preparation and attention by expert members of the community, but these would not always be provided. As a result, trainees learned to value certain survival skills more than they valued a reflective, self-evaluative teaching practice. These centred largely on the ability to "read" and satisfy the expectations of acknowledged experts--their supervisors--who, in turn, were often guided principally by the formal understandings about good teaching contained in the official assessment instrument. The findings suggest that careful attention must be paid to major factors that seemed to shape these messages and understandings, including the assessment process, the quality and quantity of reflective thinking in which trainees engage, and the opportunities for professional development of supervisors.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Trinidad and Tobago