Towards a Model for Improving the Professional Quality of the Student Teaching Practicum
Author(s)Rohe, C. James, Jr.
KeywordsEducation, Teacher Training
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Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Ideally, the student teaching practicum should be the capstone in a carefully structured sequence of learning experiences that prepare a student for entry into professional practice. This practicum should provide the student with opportunities which facilitate the formation of a meaningful whole from the teacher education curriculum. In reality, however, a more accurate description of the practicum is that it resembles a loosely structured apprenticeship.
This thesis proposes a model which would help colleges or departments of education structure and focus the student teaching practicum. This proposed model may be described as an interaction model; interaction between teacher and learner. The student teacher interacts as teacher with the students in the classroom and as learner with the cooperating teacher and university supervisor. The steps of the teaching process, i.e., assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating, guide interactions toward accomplishing cognitive, affective, and psychomotor learning tasks.
The interaction model is fleshed out with the works of theorists identified in the teacher education program's conceptual framework and the additional theories and related subject area content added at the course level. The model with the accompanying curricular documents thus has the potential to provide university faculty, student teachers, cooperating teachers, and university supervisors with a clearly defined process and theory content to be creatively applied in the practicum setting.
The author suggests that the implementation of the proposed model may be a way to improve the professional quality of the student teaching practicum experience. An integral part of the process of implementing the proposed model is teacher education curriculum revision. It is suggested that practitioners, including cooperating teachers, share involvement in the curriculum development/revision process, and that a comprehensive inservice training program for cooperating teachers and university supervisors be developed.