Learning to Teach Through a Practicum-Based Microteaching Model

Winter, 2011

Source: Action in Teacher Education, Vol. 33 Issue 4, p. 343-358. Winter, 2011.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

Microteaching provides preservice teachers with opportunities to recognize the complexities of teaching and to connect theory to practice (Pringle, Dawson, & Adams, 2003).

The authors developed the practicum-based microteaching model based on the notion of "approximations of practice" to explore how the concept provides meaningful opportunities for preservice teachers' teacher learning in a general secondary methods course.

The practicum-based microteaching is characterized by the integration of theory and practice, the university course and practicum, and the reduced complexity learning situation and the actual complex classroom.

For this purpose, the following research question was developed:
How does the practicum-based microteaching model provide opportunities for preservice teachers to learn to teach?

In addition, more specific questions to address the research question of this study:
What important learning tasks does this model include in addition to teaching skills?
How do feedback and reflection support this model and help preservice teachers transition from a learning situation of reduced complexity to one of real complexity?

Practicum-Based Microteaching Model

This practicum-based microteaching is performed through three phases.

In Phase One, preservice teachers plan and teach a 15- to 20-minute lesson in a university classroom.
The preservice teachers should get verbal and written evaluation from peers and the instructor for the demonstrated teaching skills, as well as subject matter based on the peer feedback protocol.

Phase Two represents a crucial transition as the preservice teachers move from the reduced complexity learning situation to a real and complex learning situation through this replanning and reteaching experience.

In Phase Three, after completing their teaching in Phase One and Phase Two, preservice teachers write a reflection paper.
The reflection is based on the feedback of multisources: peers, instructors, and mentors.

Participants and Method
Sixteen secondary preservice teachers participated in the study in Fall 2009.
The participants consisted of eight males and eight females.
The study was conducted in an urban teacher education program at a large university in the southwestern United States.

Data sources consisted of a microteaching reflection paper, a survey, and a focus group interview.


In this study, the practicum-based microteaching teaching model was shown to enhance preservice teachers' learning to teach as a result of opportunities to experiment with interactive learning practices and receive immediate feedback.
Additionally, the findings also demonstrated how the multisource feedback triggered meaningful reflection on learning to teach.

The findings also indicated that 12 preservice teachers stated that they had opportunities to learn teaching skills such as presentation, technology application, movement, pacing, time management, questioning, examples, humor, enthusiasm, and so on.
Additionally, 15 preservice teachers reported their progress in dealing with content knowledge.


The results reveal that the practicum-based microteaching model provided preservice teachers with opportunities for interactive learning practices, for rehearsal, revision, and retrial, and for manageable chunking of professional practices.

Moreover, this study also found that preservice teachers well accepted the learning tasks such as planning and teaching a microlesson as manageable chunks of professional practices in teacher education.

Grossman, P, Compton, C, Igra, D., Ronald. M.. Shahan. E., & Williamson. P. (2009). Teaching practice: A cross-professional perspective. Teacher College Record, 111(9), 2055-2100.

Pringle, R. M., Dawson, K.. & Adams, T. (2003). Technology, science and preservice teachers: Creating a culture of technology-savvy elementary teachers. Action in Teacher Education. 24(4). 46-52.

Updated: Sep. 03, 2013