Involving a Village: Student Teachers' Sense of Belonging in their School-Based Placement

Apr. 20, 2010

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 38, Issue 2, p. 103–116 (April 2010).

Educating a student on teaching placement involves a 'village', just as it takes a whole 'village' to raise a child.
The author argues that creating a 'village' around each student teacher gives them greater agency, a sense of belonging and being valued as a member of that professional 'village'.

Participating students, teachers and lecturers share their perceptions of experiences in one-day school-based placement that student teachers are required to undertake in a University of Waikato distance programme. Opportunities, relationships and a sense of inclusion are identified as influencing characteristics, “the all important human infrastructure that provides the opportunity for learners to succeed” (Campbell-Gibson, 1997, p. 8) rather than any modern technologies.

Findings indicate that where the school acted as the 'village of learning', the perceived suitability of the placement as a site for learning teaching was conceptualised through a developed sense of belonging, accomplishment and inclusion.
The author argues that greater effort should be made by initial teacher education providers to locate such 'villages' for student teacher placements.

Updated: Nov. 30, 2010