Title

Integrating Coursework and Field Placements: The Impact on Preservice Elementary Mathematics Teachers' Connections to Teaching

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Teacher Education Quarterly

Volume

33

Issue

1

Publication Date

2006

First Page

37

Last Page

56

Abstract

A brief narrative description of the journal article, document, or resource. Teacher education programs provide many environments and experiences in an effort to support elementary preservice teacher development. Ultimately the goal is to transform the student into the teacher. Students enter teacher education programs focused on their present education, grades, and getting that long-sought-after degree; by selecting a degree in education, students also make a commitment to becoming a teacher. But what do these students really know and understand about what it means to be a classroom teacher? This article presents a study that considers the influence of the integration of methods coursework and field placements on the preservice teaching experience, especially its impact on preservice teachers' motivation in college coursework and understanding of what it means to be an elementary mathematics teacher. The goal of this study was to examine the impact of integrating methods coursework and field placements at a school site on preservice teachers' motivation in their college coursework and their understandings of becoming a teacher. Preservice teachers who attended their methods courses on the university campus (Group 1) seemed to retain their college-student focus throughout the year, whereas the preservice teachers who attended their methods courses on an elementary school campus (Group 2) seemed focused on developing the skills necessary to achieve their future goals of becoming a teacher. In the final analysis, it seemed that the impact on the preservice teachers may have been less a result of the methods courses being situated at the school site and more a result of the preservice teachers being situated at the school site for an extended length of time, the methods coursework integrated with that experience, and the placement of the entire group at one school site together.

Comments

Originally published by Caddo Gap Press. Access provided through ERIC.