Exploring Teacher Candidates’ Perception of Practicum Placement Within Concurrent Teacher Education in Two Ontario Universities
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AbstractIn this study, teacher candidates’ perception of their concurrent education program at two Ontario universities were examined, with specific emphasis on how the programs utilized practicum placements, to determine the effectiveness in preparing teacher candidates to teach. This research also strived to uncover the best ways to optimize concurrent teacher education through practicum placements. A questionnaire and interviews were used to uncover teacher candidates’ perceptions at one teacher education program that used full integration of practicum and one that used minimal integration of practicum. The findings revealed that teacher candidates were generally more satisfied with the overall program when there was full integration of practicum. There were statistically significant differences found between the two concurrent programs with regard to practicum time and preparedness and context of the practicum and a highly significant difference found for theory-practice divide. There was also a statistically significant difference (p < .05) observed between the teacher candidates at each university in terms of their beliefs about the need for improvement of their program. Some of the improvements that participants believed could be made to their respective programs included having (a) exceptional mentor teachers and teacher educators, (b) longer placements with a balance of observation and practicum teaching, (c) clear expectations and evaluations of practicum placement, and (d) more distinct connections between theory and practice made within the programs.
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Becoming a Queer Teacher: Perceptions of Queer Teacher Candidates in Initial Teacher Education ProgramsFleet, Courtenay; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in EducationThis study used narrative inquiry to explore the experiences of queer teacher candidates during their Initial Teacher Education Programs (ITEP) in Ontario. The study sought to further investigate: (a) stories teacher candidates tell about being queer in ITEPs; (b) how queer teacher candidates respond to social bias and stereotypes in the learning community; and (c) if and how queer teacher candidates’ narratives can inform teacher education reform. Through interviews and lettered correspondence, the participants and I share stories of being queer in ITEPs. The study examined our stories using Clandinin and Connelly’s (2000) 3 commonplaces of temporality, sociality, and place, as well as, Ciuffetelli Parker’s (2013, 2014) 3-R narrative elements of narrative reveal, narrative revelation, and narrative reformation. Four themes emerged: the complexity of the queer teacher candidates’ experience; the separation of personal and professional identity; silencing; and shame. These poignant narratives contribute to the literature by providing a context for teacher education programs and researchers to reconsider teacher education reform.
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