Preparing Freshmen Teacher Candidates for Academia, Self-Regulation and Teaching: Effects of an Intervention Program

Apr. 02, 2013

Source: Flavian, Heidi & Huner, Gunter L. (Eds.), Building Bridges, Qualitative Psychology Nexus: Vol. 11, 243-262. (2013). 

(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

The authors examine the rationale and description of intervention workshops, Pla'ot (Hebrew acronym for Developing Academic Learning and Self-Regulation).
The authors specifically examine the effects of the intervention workshops on its participants.

Research Questions
The main research question was the following:
What is the effect of Pla'ot on freshman teacher candidates as learners and future teachers?

The authors were interested in finding out the following:
(a) After the intervention, what were the reported changes, if any, to freshmen teacher candidates in the areas of academic study strategies and self-regulation?

(b)What was candidates' commitment to address future pupils' study strategies and self-regulation?

(c) What else, if anything, did the intervention contribute to the candidates?

(d) Can we justify making the intervention obligatory for all our freshmen teacher candidates?

The Participants
The participants were five instructors, who taught in the workshops, and 96 freshmen teacher candidates in various majors at an Israeli college of education.
The students were majored in teaching Sciences, Special Education, and Humanities.
Over 99% of the candidates were females, with an age range of from 21-25 years old.

The workshops were conducted in Hebrew.
There were four female and one male instructor.
Data was collected through two online pre/post-tests, written reflections, and focus-group and individual interviews.


The findings indicated that After participating in Pla'ot, candidates reportedly improved their
(a) academic study strategies, and
(b) self-regulation, particularly time management and self-efficacy.

Furthermore, the authors were surprised that before the workshops began, virtually no participants predicted that they would need a support group in college.
However after the workshops, 66% of participants candidates significantly valued the workshops as a support group.

In addition, self-proclaimed "weaker" students valued intervention from the beginning.
In contrast, self-proclaimed, academically "stronger" students valued intervention after some or more workshop sessions, when requirements in other courses became more challenging and they saw the need for more effective strategies.

Finally, . "stronger" as well as "weaker" students expressed a commitment to helping future pupils with similar strategies.
The authors conclude that the intervention contributed to all freshmen and should be a required course.

Updated: May. 01, 2013