A Decade of Evolution in the Practice Teaching Component of a Canadian Teacher Education Program: What Drove Change, What Insights Were Gleaned, and What Challenges Lie Ahead.

Fiona Benson, Kate Hooton

Abstract


This paper explores the many and diverse factors that have driven changes to the field-based component of a program of teacher education in a large Canadian university over the past 10 years.  We look at key contexts of influence to any work in program change; that of internal and external bodies at the institutional level, the operational or program delivery level, feedback from stakeholders in teacher education, and lastly, the research and scholarship in teacher education that provides a framework for innovation and improvement.   A significant inclusion in this paper is the perspective on the support, at ground level, that is required but rarely acknowledged, to move any change initiatives forward.  We present models that capture a decade of change to 4 undergraduate field experiences and 2 graduate level internships that comprise the field component of our teacher education program.  We share key indicators of success resulting from these changes, highlight important insights gleaned, and point to pressing challenges that we face as we look to future program evolution that will carry us into the next decade.  While this work reflects one single field-based component of a teacher education program in Canada – we trust that useful parallels can be drawn by the reader as they contemplate or are in the process of addressing and moving through similar orbits of change and evolution within their own programs.

Keywords


Practice teaching; teacher education; program design; field experience; policy; change

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ISSN: 2325-663X