Making the Grade: Describing Inherent Requirements for the Initial Teacher Education Practicum

September 2016

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 44, No. 3, 224–241, 2016
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study examines the development, description, and illustration of inherent requirement (IR) statements in relation to the professional practice component of an initial teacher education (ITE) course.

The participants were school-based and university staff involved in professional practice and ITE students.

The project developed illustrations of pre-service teachers’ performance in relation to these requirements.
The authors used consultative group processes with stakeholders involved in ITE to identify seven IR domains.
Furthermore, they used interviews with academics to develop first-person narratives and to illustrate pre-service teachers’ performance in complex professional practice scenarios.
Then, university staff and pre-service teachers rated the narratives in relation to three of the IR domains: self-awareness, social awareness, and sustained professional conduct. The narratives were placed along a continuum of performance using Rasch-model statistical analysis.

The analysis indicated that raters were able to identify narratives relevant to each of the constructs. The raters arranged the narratives to indicate a spectrum of performance from poor to very good.
The authors argue that the distribution of the narratives indicate that they provide examples of a wide range of performance and the person separation indices indicate a high level of agreement amongst raters.

The authors analysed the data to compare student ratings, prior to a completion of a practicum with those of experienced staff raters. They indicate that there was no statistically significant difference between these groups of raters. This finding suggests that even inexperienced pre-service teachers were able to identify a range of behaviour for each of the constructs.

The authors found an overlap between narratives particularly for self-awareness and social awareness, indicating a relationship between the constructs. They argue that narratives which are identified as illustrating both constructs have potential for use as resources for the educative process with students about placement performance, since these narratives present the complexity and the interrelationship of performance skills and knowledge. 

In conclusion, the authors believe that these narratives have potential to exemplify the IR, to develop understanding of professional practice performance requirements for pre-service teachers and to assist the decision-making of teacher educators. 

Updated: Feb. 13, 2018