Making Sense of Divides and Disconnects in a Preservice Teacher Education Program

Karen Goodnough, Ronald J. MacDonald, Thomas Falkenberg, Elizabeth Murphy

Abstract


This study’s purpose was to make sense of divides and disconnects in a teacher education program that included university-based courses combined with school-based field experiences. The study took place in Québec, Canada, which has the longest practicum of all provinces and programs designed to develop professional autonomy and competency. Data collection relied on documents, interviews, surveys, and focus groups with 44 preservice teachers along with field supervisors and instructors. Analysis relied on cultural historical activity theory and its principle of contradictions. Findings revealed that contradictions resulted in unintended and unfavourable outcomes such as teacher candidates feeling unprepared and untouched by the program. Resolution of contradictions may be realized through expansion of the division of labour to include more peer and self-assessment and through expansion of tools to support boundary crossing between theory, practice, schools, and university.

            Keywords: Preservice teacher education; cultural historical activity theory; contradictions; school-university partnerships; divides and disconnects


Keywords


Cultural Historical Activity Theory; contradictions; teacher education and preparation; theory; practice

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