Teacher education and the teachers’ competencies : a view from primary school pre-service teachers’ perceptions
|Franklin da Silva, Larissa1
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
|PDF Full Text (PDF, 2 MB)
Oulu : L. Franklin da Silva,
Scholars understand competencies as a mixture of abilities, knowledge, skills, and behaviors. Equally, it can be understood as a measure of one’s performance. Thus, varied catalogs of teachers’ competencies are discussed in the academical set. However, Ding (2016), categorized eight key competencies for the primary teacher. They are: Pedagogical competencies; Curriculum Knowledge; Assessment; Classroom Management; Culture and Cross-Culture competencies; Ethical and Professional Values; Social, Emotional and Communication; and Life-long Learning competencies. This set of competencies was chosen as the base of data collection and helped to categorize the data in the data analysis procedure.
The aim was to explore the teachers’ competencies in Primary Teacher Education based on the pre-service teachers’ perceptions and to explore the competencies required for the teaching practice in Primary Schools, making a comparison between work field and teacher training under the competencies theme. The study was conducted using a qualitative method, and the data was collected via semi-structured one-on-one interviews and content analyzed. The chosen method for sampling was the non-probabilistic convenience one. The research questions were: What are the pre-service teachers’ perceptions of the competencies the Teacher Education provides? What are the competencies the work requires according to the Primary school curriculum? And what are the differences and similarities between the pre-service teachers’ perceptions of competencies they have gained and the competencies the Primary Education field actually requires?
As results, this study showed that there is a difference between the competencies pre-service teachers are learning in Teacher Education and the competencies they need in the working field. Also, the relevance of practice was explored as it helps bridge the gap that exists between theoretical knowledge and challenges that are encountered in the classroom. The relatively short time for teaching practice, the low acquisition of teachers’ competencies from the student-teachers, and the lack of a mentor’s support from University or the school are some of the issues the pre-service teachers are facing that are establishing this gap.
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