Purpose of student teaching exercise

Student teaching practice exercise is an excellent opportunity for student teachers to experiment and test their knowledge and skills in the profession of teaching and learning with an understanding of their personal educational philosophies and theories. On this premise, Davis and Hall (2013) argue that student teaching practice is “a socializing experience into the teaching profession”. Thus, the rigorous negotiation during the school experience essentially leads to higher confidence in improving student teachers’ learning and professionalization.

Furthermore, student teaching practice provides student teachers with the satisfaction of their teaching career (Oh, Ankers, Llamas & Tomyoy, 2005). In this way, student teachers have to question their beliefs and assumptions in developing pedagogical knowledge during teaching practice to avoid practices that are not founded on pedagogical knowledge and theories since in the profession of teaching, the theoretical facets are embedded in and inseparable from practice (Kabilan & Izzaham 2008).

Kiggundu and Nayimuli (2009) summed it up by stating that a good student teaching experience is one of the most significant segments of the education of a pre-service teacher as this is gear towards:

  1. Helping student teacher to make the transition to the role of teacher.
  2. To help the student teacher to make better application of the theories and content contained in all the professional courses, such as the differences in students’ learning styles, appropriate instructional strategies, and the skills needed to manage a class.
  3. To give the student teacher an opportunity to demonstrate his or her competency in a real teaching situation.
  4. To further develop instructional strategies, such as preparing lesson plans, evaluating students’ learning, selecting appropriate teaching materials and media, and adapting instruction and assessment to diverse learners.

In the opinion of Griofa and Ruaire (2013), continuous professional development is an important component of effective teaching.  Student teaching is a learning experience.  The student teacher does not leave the student teaching experience as a finished product rather as a one of the processes of learning which should continue throughout his or her professional career.

References

Davis,J. & Hall, J. (2003). Building reciprocal relationships in the student teaching practicum. The Education Specialist, 19(1), 1-33.

Griofa, M.O. & Ruairc, T.O. ( 2013). Guidelines on School Placement. The Teaching Council. Retrieved on 12th, January, 2016 from http://www.aahe.org/tech-nology/ehrmann.htm

Kabilan, M.K. & Izzaham, R.I.R. (2008). Challenges faced and the strategies adopted by a Malaysian English language teacher during teaching practice. English Language Teaching, 1(1), 87-95.

Kiggundu, E. & Nayimuli, S. (2009). Teaching practice: A make or break phase for student teachers. South African Journal Education, 29(3), 345-358.

Oh, D., Ankers, A., Llamas, J. & Tomyoy, C. (2005). Impact of pre-service student teaching experience on urban school teachers.  Journal of Instructional Psychology, 32(1), 82-98.

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