Preparing Student Teaching Interns: Advice from Current Business Educators

By Crews, Tena B.; Bodenhamer, Johanna | The Journal of Research in Business Education, Winter 2009 | Go to article overview

Preparing Student Teaching Interns: Advice from Current Business Educators


Crews, Tena B., Bodenhamer, Johanna, The Journal of Research in Business Education


Abstract

Post-secondary business teacher educators strive to prepare student teachers for the classroom. However, post-secondary teacher educators must seek the input of experienced secondary teachers to assist them in developing such prepared student teachers. Secondary business educators in a southeastern state were surveyed to obtain data in the areas of: 1) the most important things business educators believe business education student teachers should do during student teaching; 2) the most important topics business teacher educators at colleges/universities should cover in business education methods courses prior to the student teaching experience; and 3) the most frequent student discipline issues current business educators face today. The findings from this study have implications for student teachers, current business educators, and business teacher educators.

Introduction

Post- secondary business teacher educators strive to prepare student teachers for the classroom. This challenging task involves several skills for students teachers to become prepared for the classroom. Such skills include managing classrooms, working effectively with diverse learners, organizing skills, lesson planning, teaching, and other soft skills. Student teachers must recognize the need to prepare secondary students for graduation and the workforce.

Secondary students need the following traits and skills upon graduation: "dependability, attention to detail, teamwork, obtaining and analyzing information, problem solving, and writing clearly" (Coplin, 2004, p. B5). This is important information for business education student teachers to keep in mind when they work with secondary students during student teaching and as they transition into becoming first year teachers. According to the Policies Commission for Business and Economic Education (PCBEE) Policy Statement 78, "business teacher education programs must prepare prospective teachers who can help their business students become confident, skillful, and interested participants in the economic and business environment" (PCBEE, 2006, p.l).

Business education student teachers will also prepare many secondary students for post- secondary education. However, secondary and post- secondary educators differ in their opinions about the skills students need to succeed in post- secondary education (ACT, 2006). Post-secondary educators do not believe that achieving state standards results in students being prepared for college. Data from the American College Testing (ACT) National Curriculum Survey® 2005-2006 provides this evidence.

Secondary and post- secondary educators were asked the following question: "How well do you think your state's standards prepare students for college-level work?" The results for those answering "well" or "very well" are listed in Table 1 below.

Consequently, secondary educators have a much higher perception of their state's standards in preparing students for college-level study. Conversely, postsecondary educators do not agree as noted by the low percentage of respondents indicating students were prepared "well' or "very well." In addition, the ACT National Curriculum study investigated the preparation of students for college. Preparing secondary students for employment, however, is equally important.

A discussion should occur between secondary and post- secondary educators along with student teachers as to whose role it is to prepare students for employment upon high school graduation. This discussion will help student teachers be more prepared to understand their role in educating others. Should school systems be tailoring the education process to produce graduates with the skills necessary for immediate employment or should that responsibility belong to the future employers (Krahn, Lowe, & Lehmann, 2002)? Student teachers must be aware of a school's educational goals, along with educators in the school, as to how students are being prepared and what skills are being taught to help students be successful in the workplace. …

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