Academic journal article CEPS Journal : Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal

Pre-Service Home Economics Teachers' Attitudes on Selected Aspects of Practical Teaching

Academic journal article CEPS Journal : Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal

Pre-Service Home Economics Teachers' Attitudes on Selected Aspects of Practical Teaching

Article excerpt

Introduction

One of the global trends in teacher education is a shift to a more practical approach (Moon, 2007). Throughout teaching practice (the systematic guided mentoring process), the mentored student should acquire the teaching knowledge, experience, and skills to become a competent teacher. Labare (2004, p. 45) also asserted the importance of emotions: Another characteristic of teaching that makes it difficult is the way it requires teachers to establish and actively manage an emotional relationship with students.' Sutton and Wheatley (2003) noted that several negative emotions in teaching (anger, anxiety, helplessness, stress, etc.) could also appear. Emotions can negatively impact the student's efficacy and self-confidence, but they can also heighten the intrinsic motivation to teach. According to the Self-Determination Theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000), three fundamental psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) should be satisfied in order to foster self-motivation (intrinsic motivation) and well-being (Vansteenkiste & Ryan, 2013).

Teaching practice provides students an in-depth understanding of themselves, aids in developing skills of planning, leading, evaluating, and assessing their suitability for the teaching profession (Valencic Zuljan & Vogrinc, 2012). It is vital that learning through practice often takes place without the student even realising that they are learning (Jurisevic, 2007).

Korthagen (2011) developed a so-called 'realistic approach to education, which emphasises concrete, practical problems the teachers experienced in real contexts, and the promotion of systematic reflection, ('gestalt') as the starting point for professional learning, the integration of theory and practice and the integration of several disciplines. Selvi (2010, p. 167) discussed the importance of teachers' competences in the teaching-learning process because: 'Teachers' competencies affect their values, behaviours, communication, aims and practices in school and also they support professional development and curricular studies.' With this in mind, it is fascinating to see how teachers perceive different competences for their teaching success. Malm (2009) studied educators' opinions' on what competences/qualities they considered to be essential to developing teachers from students during their teacher education. The result of this study showed that it was crucial for educators to develop teaching skills, communication skills, leadership qualities, and cognitive capacities (to develop the reflective practitioner). Competences called 'didactic competence' and 'developing childrens self-confidence and personality' were not perceived as being very important.

Fuller (1970 in Akbari, 2007) stated that teachers go through three stages of development. In the first stage, the focus is on themselves; in the second stage, the attention is on classroom management and the maintenance of discipline; it is only in the third stage that the teacher has enough confidence in teaching that they can think about improvements in the students' achievement. Therefore, it is imperative to consider how and when to start reflective practice. The development of the capability of professional reflection is crucial. According to Harford and MacRuaire (2008), professional reflection is the essence of a teachers professional development, because it gives an individual the possibility to change within existing teaching practices (Kemmis & McTaggart, 1988), and allows teachers to better understand their students' goals and needs (Korthagen & Kessels, 1999) or, according to Larrivee (2000, p. 293), teaching as a reflective practitioner can help individuals to overcome the possibility of remaining 'trapped in unexamined judgements, interpretations, assumptions, and expectations'. Korthagen and Lagerwerf (1996) stated that the premature introduction of reflective teaching could have inhibitory effects. However, when it is integrated in a proper way, it is a very helpful tool for professional knowledge development of the pre-service teachers. …

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