Problematising practicum arrangements: Sharing experiences from different traditions and contexts

Doreen Rorrison, Paul Hennissen, Philip Bonanno, Sirkku Männikkö-Barbutiu

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Our 2016 ATEE presentation was an active presentation where arrangements of practicum from four different countries were presented, discussed and problematised. Based on the conclusions drawn in the volume “A Practicum Turn in Teacher Education” (Mattsson, Eilertsen, & Rorrison, 2011), these arrangements would be situated within current and emerging theories related to professional experience. After the presentation delegates would be invited to present their own experiences of practicum arrangements or models, through interactive activities, then situate them within the emerging theories and concepts.The introduction was based on the above edited volume and the concept of renewed interest in practice knowledge and frameworks for organizing practicum. A major contribution of the volume is a list of practicum ‘models’ that emerges and is theorised as ways of describing how practicum learning might be organised (Chapter 12). As our international collaboration has developed and our discussions have widened we remain committed to developing a deeper understanding of these practicum arrangements both within our local contexts and with a wider lens. We are aware that practicum arrangements are developed incorporating several models and consequently we are suggesting a move from a descriptive view based on ‘models’ to a process-oriented view based on ‘arrangements’. We see this as a natural evolution, as what is actually happening in different contexts is that those responsible for professional learning are creating their own arrangements to meet the needs or constraints of their context.The different arrangements of practicum were presented by members of the International Network of Practicum Research and Development, representing four countries. An arrangement that combines theory and practice in a curriculum was presented (Paul Hennissen, Netherlands), followed by emergent partnerships and technology (Philip Bonanno, Malta), then Doreen Rorrison (Australia) provided an overview of a range of different programs and finally mentoring dialogues within practicum (Sirkku Männikkö Barbutiu, Sweden) were discussed.Participants were asked to respond to the emerging concept of ‘evolved’ practicum arrangements by presenting their own stories of practicum situating them within the key elements of the conceptual models. Unfortunately the next step of aligning their tentative ‘models’ with one of the presented models and theorising the ‘arrangements’ within the new concept of evolving models was cancelled due to the scheduling change that allowed only one hour.Our brief was to provide a presentation that was empowering for teacher educators who were interested in sharing and problematising their practices related to practicum. By sharing what works and what kind of arrangements there are in practicum learning, it was hoped participants would develop their understandings of their own emergent arrangement. Through guiding delegates to an evolving view of practicum, it was hoped that they would be in a position to build new theories to share and critique and take back to their workplace. Although the range of countries represented (20 delegates from 12 countries) added to the richness of the discussion it also limited the impact where quite different arrangements were described with traditions and language so disparate that sharing and problematising was difficult.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings
Subtitle of host publication41st Annual ATEE Conference
EditorsQuinta Kools, Bob Kosta, Anouke Bakx, Paul Hennissen
Place of PublicationBrussels, Belgium
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9789082506525
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event41st Conference ATEE (Association for Teacher Education in Europe) - Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 22 Aug 201624 Aug 2016


Conference41st Conference ATEE (Association for Teacher Education in Europe)
Abbreviated titleEducating the Best Teachers: a Challenge for Teacher Education
Internet address


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