A4 Article in conference proceedings
Teaching practice – a bridge from theory to practice

List of Authors: Marjaana Soininen, Tuula Merisuo-Storm
Place: Prague
Publication year: 2015
Book title *: Proceedings of the 15th International Academic Conference
Number of pages: 12
ISBN: 978-80-87927-08-3
ISSN: 2336-5617


Finland is one of the few countries where the teacher education is given at the universities. It is a five year education at the end of which the students get the Master’s degree, and at the same time the certificate for teaching. Teaching practice is done in the training schools, which are a part of the faculties of education. Since there are two parties – the university supervisors (tutors) and the training school teachers (mentors) – educating the prospective teachers a question has been raised, how well this triad works together? This question can also be understood: how well we can connect the theoretical knowledge taught by the tutors to the teaching practice supervised by the mentors to be optimal to student teachers? The prospective teachers attend four teaching practice periods during their five year preparation. At the end of every training period, the students fill an electronic evaluation questionnaire. At the department of teacher education Rauma unit in the University of Turku, we constructed a new model for the teaching practice. The first training period called Orientation to teaching took place at the fall semester of the first study year 2014. The training consisted of different training sessions. In our presentation, we focus on the session called Guided observation during which every trainee had to attend five lessons with a supervisor who represented different aspects of the theory studies. The authors created an observation sheet the trainees filled during the observation followed by the feedback discussion with the tutor and the mentor.

The study focuses on how student-teachers reflect their learning, and how they evaluate practical work during a lesson. Altogether 73 self-reports were read and analyzed using the grounded theory approach. The trainees had attended the lectures addressed by the first author where they studied the basic theories and concepts of developmental and educational psychology. In this paper, the main goal is to investigate the students’ comments to five specific questions: 1) didactical issues e.g. different working habits, learning material, grouping, illustration 2) developmental age e.g. cognitive development, motor development, social development 3) interaction e.g. activity, ethos 4) equality and equity e.g. gender, and 5) the trainees’ own reflections of learning. The results show that the trainees liked this new model of observation. Many of them mentioned that the structured observation sheet helped them to concentrate on certain aspects. They also liked the feedback discussions after the observed lessons.

Last updated on 2019-29-01 at 22:43