The concept of teaching practice

Teaching practice is an important component of becoming a teacher. It grants student teachers experience in the actual teaching and learning environment. During teaching practice, a student teacher is given the opportunity to try the art of teaching before actually getting into the real world of the teaching profession. Student teachers also know the value of teaching practice and they perceive it as ‘the peak of their preparation for the teaching profession’ since it provides for the ‘real interface’ between studenthood and membership of the profession. As a result, teaching practice creates a mixture of anticipation, anxiety, excitement and apprehen­sion in the student teachers as they commence their teaching practice.

The role of the external examiner in teaching practice

In teaching practice, the role of the external examiner is to help ensure that:

  • There is maintenance of the threshold of academic standards set for its awards in accordance with the frameworks for qualifications and applicable subject benchmark statements, and that the standards of student performance are properly judged against this;
  • the assessment process measures student achievement against the intended learning outcomes, and is rigorous, fairly operated, and in line with policies and regulations;
  • that the assessment process is fair and is fairly operated in the marking, grading and classification of student performance, and that decisions are made in accordance with regulations;
  • various teachers training institution are being able to compare the standard of awards with those in other institutions;
  • programmes and units are well structured and balanced with appropriate content;
  • good practice and innovation relating to learning, teaching and assessment is identified and shared.

How teaching practice is organized.

Teaching practice is regulated by the guidelines that are well known to the supervising teachers as well as students. Its format is being constantly improved. Before teaching practice starts, a preliminary workshop takes place. The students will learn more about their obligations, tasks and rights, in addition to those which have already been fixed in the guidelines. The students will be assigned to their basic schools and will have supervising teachers in every subject. In addition to subject classes, the students have also the responsibilities of the homeroom teacher. The practice bases for social pedagogy are different and it is possible to have practice outside schools, such as in alternative educational establishments, e.g. prison for juvenile delinquents.

In the course of practice, the students collect materials and finally produce their portfolio which describes all the activities of the practice period: notes about the observed classes together with analysis, summaries of classes taught by the students accompanied by the supervising teacher’s evaluation, activities in the role of class-teacher, self-reflection, and feedback from school. For summing up, a special final seminar takes place, providing the students with the possibility to express their ideas about the organization of practice, review what was done, what was successful and what was not, and also mention the drawbacks.

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