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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The extended practicum beyond the classroom option : impacts of a pre-service practicum in a museum setting Jenkins, Jarrid Cameron


A key challenge facing reformist teacher educators and researchers today is one of aligning pre-service teachers’ epistemologies and pedagogies with current theories of learning and teaching. The deficiencies in the traditional school-based practicum experience can be argued to complicate the process by reinforcing pre-service teachers’ value of naïve epistemologies and contributing to pre-service teachers’ questions about the relevance of more dominant epistemologies of learning and teaching. Based on recent research, teacher educators considered the role of non-traditional practicum structures in teacher development to be a viable complement, specifically the development of a Schönian practicum option. A qualitative study case study methodology was employed to examine the experiences, conceptions of learning and teaching, and teaching development of three small cohorts of pre-service teachers participating in practicum experiences at an aquarium, an art gallery, and a science centre. Participants developed flexible pedagogies, gained experience using constructivist pedagogical principles, insights into the affective components of pedagogical relationships, felt better prepared for the role of a Teacher-On-Call, and used reflective practice to consider the effect of their pedagogical choices on student engagement, learning and motivation. This study illustrates the potential for using museum spaces as the context of non-traditional Schönian practicum spaces that can more effectively transition pre-service teachers’ naïve epistemologies of learning and teaching to more sophisticated ones and supports the potential for effective reforms to programs of teacher education.

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