Online Practicum and Teacher Education in the Digital Society

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 10153

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Education, Faculty of Education, University of Salamanca, 37008 Salamanca, Spain
Interests: teacher education; ICT in education; mentoring; practicum
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues:

Teacher Education has been exposed to a major transformation due to the mainstream use of digital resources in teaching in the last two decades. The teaching practicum continues to be regarded as the most critical period for student teachers to learn the profession, i.e., they test their knowledge in practice, adapt their educational approaches to real scenarios, experiment with their classroom strategies, and partake in school dynamics.  However, this meaningful in-context learning at  schools has recently been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, as it is highly dependent on a presence-based modality, so practicums were cancelled or postponed in many teacher education programs around the world.

As teachers and teacher educators were asked to transition and implement online teaching due to school closures (Cutri, Mena, Whiting, 2020; McMurtrie 2020), the teaching practicum remained resistant to change due to its face-to-face nature. Therefore, there is a need to reimagine ways to include online tools that can complement it and expand its learning opportunities in the digital world. Technological tools such as mixed reality (augmented and/or virtual), video recordings, gamification software, videogames, MOOCs, SPOCs, blended learning sites, flipped classroom video editors, online planning and rubrics, online messaging and notifications, etc., are the forefront of this shift.

Observing and experimenting with classroom strategies requires a practicum to provide a wide variety of opportunities to implement the methods, strategies, and skills necessary to successfully conduct a class. Thus, the use of technologies can add value to it. Nonetheless, these multiple situated-learning situations should be lent meaning in the student teacher’s mind. For this reason, mentor teachers represent a significant source of support to the student teachers’ experiences, as they lead to a better understanding of the complexities of teaching (Heikonen, Toom, Pyhältö, Pietarinen, and Soini, 2017). Problem-solving situations, in-depth discussions, and collaborative work help student teachers to actively understand the teaching profession.

This Special Issue invites the submission of insightful research-based papers focused on the practicum, teaching education practices, mentoring, and the use of online tools. Papers should be relevant to the educational community and address practical and theoretical implications.

I look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Juanjo Mena
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • online practicum
  • online teaching
  • online mentoring
  • digital teacher education

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 261 KiB  
Article
Online Practicum Effectiveness: Investigation on Tutors’ and Student-Teachers’ Perceptions Pre/Post-Pandemic
by Loredana Perla and Laura Sara Agrati
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1191; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13121191 - 27 Nov 2023
Viewed by 938
Abstract
The practicum is an essential activity for initial teacher training courses as it ensures the immersion in real contexts and sharing practice with experts. The early experiments on online practicums occurred thanks to the development of technologies and in view of overcoming unbridgeable [...] Read more.
The practicum is an essential activity for initial teacher training courses as it ensures the immersion in real contexts and sharing practice with experts. The early experiments on online practicums occurred thanks to the development of technologies and in view of overcoming unbridgeable distances. In the COVID-19 pandemic phase, online practicum experiences are carried out and studies have investigated their effects in general and on the student-teachers involved. This work presents the first results of an investigation on the perceptions of effectiveness of 578 student-teachers and 33 tutors regarding the online practicum carried out at the ‘Primary Education Sciences’ bachelor’s degree at the University of Bari and Bergamo. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through a mixed questionnaire and analyzed statistically and through the QDA procedure. The study offers elements to understand the effectiveness of the online practicum from the perspective of student-teachers and tutors, i.e., overcoming spatial distance and greater sharing of experiences and materials. It paints online practicum as a positive post-pandemic reality and offers some useful insights for teacher training course leaders and teacher education scholars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online Practicum and Teacher Education in the Digital Society)
12 pages, 939 KiB  
Article
Video-Based Feedback for Collaborative Reflection among Mentors, University Tutors and Students
by Eva Liesa, Paula Mayoral, Mireia Giralt-Romeu and Salvador Angulo
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13090879 - 29 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 982
Abstract
Using video technology to support individual and collaborative reflection in pre-service teacher education is an increasingly common practice. This paper explores the type of teaching practice challenges identified by the pre-service teachers and the feedback provided during analysis by school mentors and university [...] Read more.
Using video technology to support individual and collaborative reflection in pre-service teacher education is an increasingly common practice. This paper explores the type of teaching practice challenges identified by the pre-service teachers and the feedback provided during analysis by school mentors and university tutors through the use of the VEO app to supervise a teaching practicum. Student teachers selected and uploaded a short clip of their dissatisfied interventions during the practicum to the app. Each student analyzed their clip and received online feedback from their school mentor and university tutor. The objectives were to analyze the challenges in the chosen video clips, identify which mentoring feedback episodes occurred, characterize them according to their feedback strategies and analyze differences between school mentors’ and university tutors’ feedback. We conducted a descriptive and exploratory study with a sample of 12 pre-service teachers, their school mentors and their university tutors. Pre-service teachers identified communication and the learning climate as frequent challenges. University tutors used more emotional feedback strategies and a greater range of task assistance feedback than school mentors. Three types of feedback episodes were identified (complementary, collaboration and school mentor-centered episodes). Implications in teacher learning and mentoring programs were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online Practicum and Teacher Education in the Digital Society)
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19 pages, 2750 KiB  
Article
Teachers’ Professional Training through Augmented Reality: A Literature Review
by Juanjo Mena, Odiel Estrada-Molina and Esperanza Pérez-Calvo
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(5), 517; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13050517 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2479
Abstract
Practicum is regarded as a fundamental aspect of the training of prospective teachers. In addition, digital tools are increasingly used to enrich a traditional face-to-face experience. However, the technological exploitation of Augmented Reality (AR) by undergraduate students studying early childhood and primary education [...] Read more.
Practicum is regarded as a fundamental aspect of the training of prospective teachers. In addition, digital tools are increasingly used to enrich a traditional face-to-face experience. However, the technological exploitation of Augmented Reality (AR) by undergraduate students studying early childhood and primary education is low. A Systematic Literature Review (SLR) on the use of Augmented Reality (AR) in teacher training was conducted. Based on the overarching objectives of the ERASMUS+ project, entitled Digital Practicum 3.0 Exploring Augmented Reality, Remote Classrooms, and Virtual Learning to Enrich and Expand Pre-service Teacher Education Preparation (2020-1-ES01-KA226-HE-096120), the ultimate purpose of this study was to assess whether the use of this resource favors learning and expertise. Two main results are prominent. First, it is noteworthy how the use of this digital technology is limited, given the scarcity of studies. Second, the research studies available focus largely on the benefits of the use of AR in teacher education at a theoretical level. Thus, future research needs to further explore the use of AR in teacher training specially focused on student teachers’ learning processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online Practicum and Teacher Education in the Digital Society)
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14 pages, 647 KiB  
Article
Mediational Effect of Teacher-Based Discrimination on Academic Performance: An Intersectional Analysis of Race, Gender, and Income/Class
by Eric Kyere, Saahoon Hong and Carolyn Sherlet Gentle-Genitty
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(4), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13040387 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3009
Abstract
Drawing on prior research, this study applies an intersectional framework to investigate discrimination in the context of teacher–student relationships and its influence on students’ academic outcomes. Outcomes assessed were inclusive of self-efficacy, school attendance, and grade point average (GPA). For this analysis, structural [...] Read more.
Drawing on prior research, this study applies an intersectional framework to investigate discrimination in the context of teacher–student relationships and its influence on students’ academic outcomes. Outcomes assessed were inclusive of self-efficacy, school attendance, and grade point average (GPA). For this analysis, structural equation modeling was used with a cross-sectional sample of the Maryland and Adolescent Development in Context Study (MADICS) and the youth self-administered (YSA) questionnaires administered when the youth were in 8th grade (Wave 3). A total of 1182 students completed the survey, of whom 704 were selected for this study. Findings show teacher discrimination as a mechanism to uncover some of the ways race, gender, and income simultaneously intersect to affect students’ academic outcomes. The current study confirms and extends prior work establishing associations among race, gender, income, and teacher discrimination and academic outcomes among African American youth. African American students, especially males, regardless of income levels, may benefit directly—evidenced in visible academic performance—from more positive and race-conscious interactions with teachers. Future implications for practice are shared. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online Practicum and Teacher Education in the Digital Society)
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13 pages, 249 KiB  
Article
Live Remote Classroom: A Tool for Coherent Teacher Education
by Marit Ulvik, Liv Eide, Edel Karin Kvam and Dag Roness
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(2), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13020180 - 8 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1494
Abstract
Teacher education has been criticised for a lack of coherence and for not preparing student teachers for teaching. To prepare student teachers for practicum and create connections between theory and practice and between schools and university, this study explores how the practice field [...] Read more.
Teacher education has been criticised for a lack of coherence and for not preparing student teachers for teaching. To prepare student teachers for practicum and create connections between theory and practice and between schools and university, this study explores how the practice field can be brought onto the university campus through digital resources. Four teacher educators in secondary school teacher education in Norway collaborated with a schoolteacher and tested Live Remote Classroom. The tool provides student teachers with real-life classroom experiences while they are on campus by providing access to a streamed lesson. Using an action research design, the teacher educators evaluated their facilitation of the arrangement through an interview with the involved schoolteacher, a focus group interview with student teachers and the teacher educators’ own logs. The results show that by presenting authentic practice situations, Live Remote Classroom created opportunities to prepare for teaching. However, certain conditions need to be in place for that to happen. We see it as important to support student teachers in their analysis of the observed lesson and to collaborate with a schoolteacher who is able to make her professional choices explicit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Online Practicum and Teacher Education in the Digital Society)
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