Student Teachers’ Practicum Experience and Attitudes

Novices often experience grave difficulties emanating from the teaching complexities, both in and out of the classroom. Clinical models of teacher education (TE) endeavor to ameliorate these difficulties by exposing STs to these complexities during their practice, and by providing them with adequate support as they actively perform teaching roles.This study was carried out at a TE college where two models (clinical and traditional) were employed. It examined STs’ active participation in challenging tasks and roles and STs’ attitudes toward their practice within each model and between the two. 36 STs participated in the study, 18 in each model. STs’ actual participation in teaching-learning activities was assessed by a self-report questionnaire. Factor analysis yielded four factors: Program’s contribution to the students (α=0.90), TE institute-school collaboration (α=0.86), STs’ participation in Professional-Learning-Communities (α=0.76), and the cooperating teacher’s involvement with TE (α=0.78). STs’ attitudes were measured by a quantitative questionnaire developed in the current study. STs within the clinical model (CM) reported significantly higher levels of active participation in all of the six teaching-learning activities. The attitudes of STs who participated in the CM toward their TE program were significantly more positive than those of students in the Traditional Model, in all four factors. Nonetheless, STs’ level of participation in staff meetings and PLCs was relatively low, suggesting that they were still not accepted as equal-status colleagues, even in the CM. Findings suggested that CM exposes STs to a variety of learning and activity opportunities, and results in more positive ST attitudes.

Teacher Education, Clinical Models

Learning in Higher Education

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