The Factors that Facilitate and Impede Collaboration between Pre-Service Teachers During a Paired-Practicum in a School-Based Environment

By Suzan Samimi-Duncan, Glen William Duncan and Julie Lancaster.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Paired practicum has emerged as an alternative to single practicum placement for pre-service teacher development. Much is still not known about the fundamental nature of the collaborative relationship during paired practicum. In particular, the factors that facilitate and impede a successful paired practicum experience have not been comprehensively considered and organised. A case study was employed in which individual interviews were conducted with nine students enrolled in a tertiary Bachelor of Primary Education program who had completed a paired practicum. Thematic analysis was conducted on the interviews and associated documentation. From this analysis the various themes that reflected or influenced the nature of collaboration in paired practicum were organised into classifications. Each theme was categorised firstly into a sub-classification: practicum design, philosophy / belief, associate teacher’s attitude, pair confidence, pair support, and living and travelling together. Each of these sub-classifications was then arranged into three broad classifications: structural, attitudinal and relational. Results from the interviews identified that the nature of collaboration was strongly characterised by relational aspects of the classification framework. Collaboration in paired practicum created an environment of support and encouragement for a pre-service teacher where they felt confident to take risks in teaching and innovate. This environment was facilitated by the other pre-service teacher or in-service teacher acting in the role of peer. As predicted by social constructivist theory, the peer assisted in reducing the zone of proximal development. The actual nature of collaboration itself was influenced by various positive and negative factors that influenced the interactions that took place. Consistent with social cognition theory, students learned through observation and social interaction but this learning could be facilitated or impeded by these other factors. Most of the factors came from the structural and attitudinal aspects of the classification framework.

Keywords: Paired Practicum, Pre-Service Teachers, Collaboration, Framework

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp.143-162. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 723.086KB).

Suzan Samimi-Duncan

Independent Researcher, Orange, New South Wales, Australia

Suzan is a qualified primary school teacher and has gained a Masters of Educational Research from Charles Sturt University, Australia. Suzan is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at Charles Sturt University and a private tutor in the Illawarra region of Australia. Suzan is passionate about research in the field of education, management and spirituality and its possibilities. Suzan has worked for 11 years for a diverse range of organisations, including Royal North Shore Hospital, Carmel Consulting Pty Ltd and several not-for-profit organisations. In various roles, Suzan was responsible for delivering and caring for cancer patients, business administration and mentoring new parents to gain a better understanding of their children’s gems within; their virtues. Suzan’s varied background in health, management, mentoring and above all motherhood has provided the perfect foundation for research in education. Suzan’s own experience during practicum inspired her to research further in this area.

Dr. Glen William Duncan

Lecturer in Management, Faculty of Business / Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia

Glen Duncan is a Lecturer in Management at Charles Sturt University. In his first degree, he majored in information systems and minored in accounting. Upon graduation, he worked for a number of years as an analyst/programmer. He has over ten years experience in professional and managerial positions at a variety of manufacturing and service organisations within Australia. For several years he also acted as managing director of his own consulting company. Glen has completed a PhD in Management at the University of Technology, Sydney. The research conducted for his thesis resulted in the development and testing of a high level framework for managing knowledge within organisations. Glen's current research interests are in management education, change management, knowledge management, organisational learning, business networks and organisational communication.

Julie Lancaster

Lecturer, School of Teacher Education, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia

Julie has published extensively in the areas of teacher education and inclusive education.

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