Zeichner (1990) identified six problems with the practicum experience as it pertains to pre-service teachers. Three of those problems provided impetus for the work conducted in this study: 1. The view of the practicum as an unmediated and unstructured apprenticeship. 2 The general lack of an explicit curriculum for the practicum and the frequent lack of connection between what students are taught at the college and are expected to teach in the schools. 3 The uneven quality of practicum supervision and the lack of formal preparation for both college and school-based supervisors We believe that a strategy for addressing these problems resides in video conference sessions wherein pre-service teachers deliver lessons from a faculty to students in school classrooms. The lessons occur before the practicum period begins and are recorded to disk for later review by faculty and pre-service teachers. Faculty provides feedback to the pre-service teachers after watching the performances and the pre-service teachers reflect on the feedback, their performance and the performances of their peers. The feedback and reflection is oriented to: prepare pre-service teachers for the practicum experience, enhance collaboration between the faculty and the school, structure the practicum experience, and; prepare faculty and in-service teachers for the process of practicum supervision. In addition to the above, it is the case that feedback and reflection on recorded teaching performances can be oriented toward improving pre-service teachers’ performance in the classroom. This article highlights how videoconferencing is already being used toward that end in one university in Ontario, Canada. Pre-service teachers work in two groups of 4 to deliver one lesson per week over a six week period to children in one of two classrooms (one group delivers to a grade 6 maths class and the other delivers to a grade 7/8 geography class). A scale for video-based assessment of teacher performance is applied to each set of 6 lessons. The scale is used to provide total lesson scores for each lesson which when plotted over time reveal changes in the quality of the teachers' performance.
|Keywords:||Videoconference, Practicum, Teaching Performance|
Asst Professor, Education, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Asst Professor, Science Education, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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