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A school advisor’s pedagogical reflections : towards a framework of learning to teach and teaching to learn Wong, Gina N.

Abstract

This self-study analyzes the reflections of a school advisor's perspective on issues and challenges of teaching future teachers how to teach during the practicum period. This research paper is based on the following three questions: What are the issues and challenges of a school advisor? What have I learned about teaching/learning in the role as a school advisor? How can identifying and recognizing these issues help other school advisors? As a result of analyzing a school advisor's pedagogical reflections, a three phase conceptual framework is developed to make sense of the dynamic processes of learning to teach and teaching to learn. Having struggled with the responsibility of guiding and supporting student teachers in the educational profession, I questioned the effectiveness of the knowledge, skills, and understanding of the school advisor's role in teacher education programs. There is substantial research focused on the issues, challenges, experiences, and development of student teachers during teaching practicum. Whenever research studies address the school advisor's role in the teacher training triad, they are often positioned from the view of the student teacher; few research studies present the perspective of school advisors who play a significant role in teacher education programs. The research data was gathered from the collection of practicum cycles of pre-and post-lesson conferences between a school advisor and a student teacher. Each conference was audio and video taped. The conferences focused on the reflective practice or thinking of the school advisor while guiding a student teacher through the practicum. School advisors must address pedagogical issues such as educational beliefs and values, curriculum planning, lesson implementation, child development, classroom management, and extracurricular activities. In addition, interpersonal challenges such as interpersonal skills, communication abilities, and social/emotional interactions contribute to the dynamics of all members involved in the learning process. A tentative framework is developed to encompass the dynamic processes of learning to teach and teaching to learn. The framework has three phases that progress in chronological order from initiation, advancing teaching development, and closure/launching. In summary, this self-study of pedagogical reflections from a school advisor contributes one voice to a neglected perspective in the conversations to advance our collective knowledge and understanding of teacher education.

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