Graduate Institute of Educational Leadership and Development, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Graduate Institute of Educational Leadership and Development, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan (email@example.com)
Proper preparation prior to practice teachers’ actual internship is deemed as an important part of the teacher development program. This presentation depicts the summary and findings of a semester-long action research study with 19 practice teachers (PT) undertaken in the fall semester of 2013. After finishing all their required credits, PTs needed to prepare themselves for their upcoming internship. In order to help make their internship fruitful and be able to learn as much as possible from their teacher mentor, an internship preparation course designed as an action research was created to support PTs in being able to determine specific classroom observation skills. Within the course, PTs were separated into 4 groups and tasked with organizing all the previous theories learned from other courses in order to determine the key features of a good classroom teacher. Afterwards, the researchers oriented the PTs with the problem-based learning (PBL) approach in creating a list of key features of a good classroom teacher. After a month of preparation, PTs were then assigned to undergo two months of classroom observations in a nearby elementary school. In addition, the PTs needed to do two practice teaching sessions before the end of the observation period. During the classroom observations and practice teaching, the PTs used their list of key features of a good classroom teacher to evaluate each other. Pre-post conferences were accomplished before and after each practice teaching session. Researcher observations, interview, and PTs’ reflection logs were later collected and analyzed. Results indicate that PTs claimed that they are able to learn more within a PBL approach in developing an evaluation tool used in classroom observation as compared to the typical classroom discussion type setup. In sum, the process of classroom lectures presented in tandem with actual classroom observations and practice teaching has led to the enrichment of their overall pre-internship experiences, thus, helping them better prepare themselves for their future teaching career.
Keywords: teacher preparation; action research; problem-based learning; practice teacher; classroom observation