Pedagogical Innovations for Teaching Practicum

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF10 Sub-theme: Fostering Lifelong Learning // Teaching practicum plays a significant role in teacher education programs and helps to upgrade teachers’ professional competencies. The teaching practicum component employed by the Faculty of Education, The Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL), and the Faculty of Education, University of Colombo provides a systematic mechanism for fostering the professional development of teachers through their Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programmes. This comparative study was done to identify strategies and innovative methods that need to be adopted by the two universities to increase the effectiveness of teaching practicum. The participant of this study were 117 student teachers, 30 school mentors, 57 master teachers, and 5 university academics representing two universities. The data collected using questionnaires, interviews, and teaching practice records were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Findings revealed that the pedagogical knowledge and guidance provided by the universities, the collaborative atmosphere of the schools, the effective role of school mentors and master teachers, and the motivation and commitment of student teachers strongly affect the effectiveness of the teaching practice component. The establishment of a strong collaborative school-university partnership, creating a professional body of school mentors and master teachers with continuous training provisions, and improving the commitment to educational research on teaching practicum were identified as the most effective and enacting changes that need to be adopted by the two universities to cater the professional development of teachers. Overall, a new framework was developed with an innovative avenue to increase the effectiveness of teaching practicum. // Paper ID 7212

Professional Development,Pedagogy,Teacher Education
Sri Lanka