Pre-Service Teacher Experiences during COVID 19: Exploring the Uncertainties between Clinical Practice and Distance Learning
Keywords:Distance Learning, Experiential Learning Theory, Quality Supervision, Covid -19
Teacher preparation programs assist candidates with the pedagogical, theoretical, and practical application of teaching and learning. This article explored the dialog between a state education agency and teacher preparation programs’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The author presents a research study of current teacher performance expectations (TPEs), online readiness, and the design of distance learning in pre-service teacher clinical practice. The participants are 10 current pre-service teachers. The researcher collected data from fieldwork supervisors, observations, and survey results from participants. Kolb’s experiential theory was used in the analysis of co-requisite policy and observations of field experiences of students in a teacher education program. The article analyzed data that suggested that in-person observations and opportunities to practice classroom instruction contribute to teacher readiness and relationship building in comparison to online learning. Furthermore, states will have to re-assess their teacher certification requirements, quality control efforts, and mandatory exams since COVID-19, which may lead to the reauthorization of the pre-service guidelines. Program learning outcomes and critical assignments that allow candidates to demonstrate content knowledge and instructional delivery are being compromised. The finding were that pre-service candidates did not have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of specific teacher performance expectations within the distance learning format. This article aims to encourage further research teacher education and distance learning to discuss potential alternatives to certification and creative ways to embed flexibility into teacher preparation. Substantial changes can lower the quality of a program and significantly decrease effectiveness while increasing data misrepresentation. Distance learning can potentially limit quality supervision and teacher mentoring. In addition, pre-service teachers will enter classrooms with substantially fewer clinical practice hours.
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