Managing the Field Experience in Distance Delivered Teacher Education Programmes

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2002-07
Authors
Simpson, Mary
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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PCF2 // Field experience is a core element in a pre-service teacher education programme. It allows students to enact, and reflect on, their developing philosophies of teaching and is the ‘testing ground’ for theory/practice links. Educational theorists and programme planners in distance delivered teacher education programmes acknowledge the centrality of field experience. Yet for distance education students that experience is often minimalized because of delivery costs and a range of supervision and programme factors. For distance students it is essential that their field experience is of comparable quality and rigor to that of their on-campus counterparts so that a distance gained teaching qualification meets the same standards as one gained on-campus. This paper explores some of the ways field experience can be implemented in a distance delivered teacher education programme. Special emphasis is placed on how quality field experience in distance delivered teacher education programmes can ensure that students receive equitable opportunities and have successful experiences. It draws on an international comparative study of distance delivered pre-service teacher education and examples provided reflect the diversity of settings in which pre-service teacher education is undertaken. Particular reference is made to a New Zealand programme that has employed print, video, telephone and CMC as well as the more traditional and costly personal visits of teacher experts in the preparation and supervision phases of field experience. //
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New Zealand
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Pacific
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