Becoming a student teacher: core features of the experience

August 2007

Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 30, Issue 3 August 2007, pages 225 – 248.

This paper reports early findings of a longitudinal research project on the experiences of beginning teachers in England. In the first phase of the study (2003-2004), data were generated via: (1) in-depth, face to face interviews with 85 student teachers throughout England; and (2) self-completion questionnaires, returned by 4,790 student teachers across a range of initial teacher preparation (ITP) routes.

Through these methods the study set out to explore student teachers' accounts of their motivations for entering ITP, their preconceptions and expectations of teaching and ITP, and their early experiences as student teachers.

A number of general themes were found to cut across all of these areas, and are presented here as core features of the experience of becoming a student teacher. These relate to the concept of teacher identity, the role of relationships, the notion of relevance, and the central presence of emotion.

Updated: Jan. 14, 2008