NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ795250
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
Finding the Truths in Teacher Preparation Field Experiences
Perry, Constance M.; Power, Brenda M.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v31 n2 p125-136 Spr 2004
In teacher education, as in many fields, there are several truths, each based on different assumptions and beliefs. "Conventional teacher education reflects a view of learning to teach as a two-step process of knowledge acquisition and application or transfer." In this view of truth, the university provides theory, skills, and knowledge through coursework, and the school provides the field setting where knowledge is applied. The preservice teacher integrates it all. Student teaching is seen as the bridge between theory, knowledge, and skills gained at the university and their application in the school. In a review of 97 empirical studies focusing on learning to teach, most of the beginning teachers studied were enrolled in programs based on the conventional truth model. However, the notion that coursework should provide teaching skills and information about teaching--and that beginning teachers can integrate and effectively implement that information--receives very little support from the research. In this article, the authors describe their discomfort with the conventional format for the field experience and student teaching part of their teacher preparation program, what they saw as barriers to learning in that format, and some of the changes they made to allow preservice teachers, their mentors, and themselves to engage in inquiry, develop practical knowledge, and grow as reflective teachers. The authors briefly address the limitations of the conventional model and then describe components of a University of Maine Professional Development School partnership that address Knowles and Cole's question--"How might field experiences in preservice teacher education better prepare teachers for the multiple roles and contextual complexities of life in schools and for careers as inquiring professionals?"--by altering the truths of field experiences and student teaching. (Contains 2 figures.)
Caddo Gap Press. 3145 Geary Blvd PMB 275, San Francisco, CA 94118. Tel: 415-666-3012; Fax: 415-666-3552; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maine