Teaching practicums as an ideal setting for the development of teachers-in-training.
The objective of the study on which this article is based was to identify the pedagogical knowledge and research skills achieved by a group of teachers-in-training from different discipline areas who undertook a newly developed teaching-practicum program at a Colombian university. This study used a qualitative methodological design. The data collection instruments were documents that were generated from the teaching practicums. These were documents that were filled out by the teachers-in-training, by mentor teachers, and by the practicum supervisor. Documents were collected from 21 undergraduate students (pre-service teachers) from two cohorts. The review and content analysis of the documents was complemented by a focus group in which the teachers-in-training were able to discuss and rank the skills and benchmarks of progress that they considered most important and those that they had most difficulty in achieving. The results illustrate: (i) the central role of teacher education in providing pre-service teachers with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to effectively perform the work of teachers; (ii) the education that pre-service teachers receive exerts a powerful influence on their concept of teaching and learning, which in turn affects their pedagogical practice; (iii) teaching practicums provide teachers in training with a valuable opportunity to implement what they have learned in the teacher training process, making the link between the abstract and the concrete more and more visible.
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