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The voice of the school advisor : perceptions of their practice Schmidt, Christina Renee

Abstract

This study explores the role of the school advisor in teacher education. The role of the school advisor has been viewed as problematic because of the ambiguity surrounding the expectations of this position. In fact, 13.7% of the beginning teachers found that uncertain expectations of the school advisor's role were a source of conflict in their practicum (BCCT, 2001, p. 17). This study examines responses to the "Voice of the School Advisor" survey, which asked school advisors to provide perceptions of their role. The qualitative responses provided for these questions were analyzed using comparative analysis (Strauss and Corbin, 1998), where categories are developed from the similarities and differences among responses. Twenty-seven response categories emerged from the advisors' responses to Question (10): What are the three most important things that you try to communicate to your student teachers? Nineteen categories emerged from Questions (17/18): If you were able to change one thing about the way in which UBC organizes its practica, what would it be? Is there anything else you would like to highlight in your work with student teachers? The definition and explanation of these categories presents a colourful and dynamic picture of the advisory role, which is generally found to be professionally satisfying and personally invigorating. Their paramount focus as advisors is to instil practical skills, while at the same time, the main concerns revolve around the way the university addresses these same issues. The identification of advisors' perceptions has implications for pre-service teacher education.

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