Case Study 10: Constructing themselves as teachers
A Case Study from the Institute of Technology and Polytechnic (ITP) sector. Part of the Enhancing the Effectiveness of Tertiary Teaching and Learning through Assessment project.
The Institutes of Technology and Polytechnic Sector
Name: Robyn Muriel
Institution: Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec)
Researcher: Jane Stewart
'It's not just about received theory, it's about constructed theory, as teachers they are constructing theories as they experiment with teaching.'
A visit to a fourth year student highlighted concerns about a lack of understanding of the overall purpose of the practicum assessment tasks. Working through a simple example with the student provided a model for linking together the practicum assessment tasks, to give students more direction.
The purpose of the strategy is to link together assessment tasks for the practicum component into a meaningful whole for students, to support their construction of themselves as teachers.
The assessment strategy is a series of written tasks for the practicum modules of the teaching diploma in early childhood education. The written tasks, known as teaching spirals, are completed each year. They are a structured worksheet method of working through steps, based on Kolb's experiential learning theory and an action research model. Students complete 3 spirals each year until the fourth year, when they complete one. The spirals are developmental in nature, moving from simple to complex over the duration of the programme.
Students are supported in their efforts to be action researchers, to broaden their knowledge and skills and deeply reflect on themselves as Early Childhood Education (ECE) teachers.
Really positive feedback is received retrospectively from students. A whole range of response is received from students during the programme, with some students complaining about the quantity of work. Interest is expressed by other members of the ECE field-based training network