Owning the Classroom: Student Teachers’ Experiences and Concerns during Practicum

PREMALATHA NAIR, SHARMINI GHANAGURU

Abstract


Various ways are adopted by Malaysian teacher training institutions to link theory with practice, among which is the practicum. The practicum stint allows student teachers to explore their capabilities and put what they have learnt into practice. However, quite often student teachers face various problems during practicum which can demotivate them from becoming excellent teachers. This qualitative study aims to look into a group of 25 B.Ed. TESL student teachers’ concerns in terms of the preparation, teaching and evaluation stages of their 12 week practicum stint. It also focuses on student teachers’ ability to bridge theory and practice in terms of teaching methodology and pedagogy. Two types of instruments are used for data collection; open-ended questionnaires and document analysis consisting of student teachers’ reflections. The study also looks into the role of supervisors and cooperating teachers in providing support for the student teachers. Finally, the study unpacks the effectiveness of the pedagogical skills learnt in managing the practicum. 


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