|Becoming a Primary School Teacher in Trinidad & Tobago, Part 2: Teaching Practice - Experience of Trainees (CIE, 2000, 54 p.)|
|Chapter 1: Background To The Study|
Early in the research project, it was discovered that some stakeholders view the teaching practice enterprise as problematic. The decision was therefore taken that two teaching practice rounds would be observed and analysed - the session in the second term and the one in the fourth term of the two-year Teachers' College programme.
The researchers relied on the goodwill of the Teachers' College administration and academic staff for the execution of the work. Consequently, the sample of lecturers (supervisors) for this investigation consisted of those who were willing to have the researchers observe their teaching practice sessions. For the most part, the trainees on the second teaching practice round were different from those on the first round since the policy is that trainees are rotated among supervisors.
The data-collecting strategies involved analysis of documents, observation of trainees as they taught classes in the schools, observation of post-teaching conferences between trainees and supervisors, and in-depth, semi-structured interviews with trainees, supervisors, cooperating teachers, and principals of cooperating schools.
In the analysis of teaching practice field data, use was made of Shulman's (1987) distinctions among the various kinds of knowledge that are important for teaching. Shulman identified these as content knowledge, general pedagogic knowledge, curriculum knowledge, pedagogic content knowledge, knowledge of learners, knowledge of educational contexts, and knowledge of educational aims and values. The particular Shulman categories used in this analysis were content knowledge, general pedagogic knowledge, and pedagogic content knowledge.