Teacher Educators and the New Technologies: Maximizing Theory-Practice Connections Made by Pre-Service Teachers in a Practicum

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Changing technological tools offer pre-service teachers opportunities to engage in knowledge building; however, new ways do not necessarily result in high quality learning. Additionally, the use of such tools requires that teacher educators possess knowledge and understanding of these technologies. This paper describes a study of the process through which two teacher educators refined the design of an assignment which required students to participate in an asynchronous dialogue over a one-month period while engaged in their practicum experience. The refinements were intended to maximize the possibility of deepening the theory-practice connections made by pre-service teachers in a practicum. The paper focuses on an 18 month period during which the teacher educators began by drawing on current research in online learning communities and teacher education. It examines factors that influenced the series of refinements that were made, including pre-service teachers’ perceptions of the impact of their participation in the forum on their learning.

Keywords: Technological Tools, Teacher Education, Theory-Practice Connections
Stream: Teacher Training and Professional Development
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Teacher Educators and the New Technologies

Dr. Joanne Kingsley

Associate Professor, Education, Bishop's University
Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

Dr. Kingsley has been working in the field of education for over thirty years, first as a teacher in public schools and more recently as a teacher educator at Bishop’s University. Her research has been focused on literacy practices in elementary schools and in preschool programs. She worked as a consultant in professional development facilitating the implementation of a reformed curriculum in the province of Quebec and now focuses on preparing pre-service teachers for the challenges of the 21st century.

Ref: L09P0577