AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

What can secondary student teachers learn from a day in a primary school? The impact of a primary field observation in secondary initial teacher education

by Karyn Ann Fielding

Institution: University of Otago
Year: 0
Keywords: initial teacher education; field observation; secondary student teachers
Record ID: 1303178
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5627


This research examined the effects of a 1-day observation in a primary school for the 2012 (n = 68) and 2013 (n = 65) cohorts of secondary initial teacher education (ITE) students in New Zealand. Reflective journal entries on the field observation and 16 individual interviews yielded 5 themes: The value of an observational visit in a primary setting for secondary ITE students as a representation of practice (Grossman, Compton, Igra, Ronfeldt, Shahan & Williamson, 2009), learner development primary to secondary school transitions, enhancing pedagogical knowledge of group learning, and enhancing pedagogical knowledge of curriculum integration. This sample of secondary student teachers valued observing for a day in a primary school as an opportunity to: consider learner transitions; link theory, teaching techniques, and strategies covered at university to practice in the field; and, affirm career choice. For some secondary student teachers, a day observing in a primary school enhanced their pedagogical knowledge of group learning and curriculum integration. They gained a richer understanding of learner development and transitions from primary to secondary school, and a greater appreciation of the professional practice of teachers in another sector.