Sustaining evolving teaching practicum models in higher education: A conversational ethnodrama between South African teacher educators

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18820/2519593X/pie.v40.i3.11

Keywords:

Teaching practicum models, Under-served teacher education institution, Transformation, Conversational ethnodrama analysis and representation

Abstract

This article explores the evolving trajectory of the Teaching Practicum (TP) models within a selected South African teacher education institution (TEI) to accommodate the localised challenges of shifting from face-to-face support of professional learning towards online modes of delivery during Covid-19 times. Over time, even before the onset of Covid-19, the specific institution was characterised by increasing diversification of its student body and increased enrolment of student teachers resonating with similar patterns across other TEIs nationally. The study draws on the ethnographic tradition of celebrating participants’ lived experiences within the field of teacher education by capturing how a teaching practicum coordinator attempted to deal with complex and multiple challenges to enact and sustain a re-imagined TP programme. The pattern of responsiveness continues even as the pandemic (potentially) wanes. A reconstructed dialogue represents the responses of the internal coordinator within the institution (foregrounding changing operational concerns) and a senior teacher educator external to the institution (foregrounding shifting theoretical and policy considerations). Drawing from ethnodrama traditions, this dialogical conversation acknowledges the lived experiences of everyday designing, delivering and using TP models. It includes the hesitance of school mentors, student teachers and teacher educator supervisors to adopt alternative practices to conventionalised rituals of TP. The conversation questions the academic rationale of the various models of TP in their bolstering of student teachers’ professional learning. The study’s findings indicate that the successful implementation of a meaningful and contextualised revised TP curriculum necessitates re-imagining the roles of the various partners involved in the TP endeavour: who are co-responsible for conceptualising and ensuring transformative professional growth and development.

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Published

2022-09-30

How to Cite

Brown, C. J. W., & Samuel, M. A. (2022). Sustaining evolving teaching practicum models in higher education: A conversational ethnodrama between South African teacher educators. Perspectives in Education, 40(3), 163-180. https://doi.org/10.18820/2519593X/pie.v40.i3.11