The factors that facilitate and impede collaboration between pre-service teachers during a paired-practicum in a school-based environment

Suzan Samimi-Duncan, Glen Duncan, Julie Lancaster

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Paired practicum has emerged as an alternative to single practicum placement for pre-service teacher development. Much is still not known about the fundamental nature of the collaborative relationship during paired practicum. In particular, the factors that facilitate and impede a successful paired practicum experience have not been comprehensively considered and organised. A case study was employed in which individual interviews were conducted with nine students enrolled in a tertiary Bachelor of Primary Education program who had completed a paired practicum. Thematic analysis was conducted on the interviews and associated documentation. From this analysis the various themes that reflected or influenced the nature of collaboration in paired practicum were organised into classifications. Each theme was categorised firstly into a sub-classification: practicum design, philosophy / belief, associate teacher's attitude, pair confidence, pair support, and living and travelling together. Each of these sub-classifications was then arranged into three broad classifications: structural, attitudinal and relational. Results from the interviews identified that the nature of collaboration was strongly characterised by relational aspects of the classification framework. Collaboration in paired practicum created an environment of support and encouragement for a pre-service teacher where they felt confident to take risks in teaching and innovate. This environment was facilitated by the other pre-service teacher or in-service teacher acting in the role of peer. As predicted by social constructivist theory, the peer assisted in reducing the zone of proximal development. The actual nature of collaboration itself was influenced by various positive and negative factors that influenced the interactions that took place. Consistent with social cognition theory, students learned through observation and social interaction but this learning could be facilitated or impeded by theseother factors. Most of the factors came from the structural and attitudinal aspects of the classification framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-162
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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