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Journal of Teaching and Teaching Education

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Teacher preparation programs in the field of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) often require pre-service teachers to engage in some observations and teaching as part of their coursework or practicum. Some programs require their students to observe classrooms and record their thoughts in their observation journals. These observation journals could vary from being unguided with little or no support to being guided with specific directions or readings on what to observe. For practicum students, they may be asked to tutor one-on-one, work in small groups or teach the entire class, but what they are expected to learn from these experiences remains unclear. This article reports on a case study, documenting the learning of two candidates and myself, serving both as their mentor teacher and teacher educator, as we worked together to negotiate their learning tasks during their practicum experiences. Throughout the process beginning with unguided journals then transitioning to guided journals, and finally microteaching experiences, it was hoped that the dialogical learning spaces interwoven throughout these iterations would serve as a mediation tool to understand candidate learning from these experiences. As a mentor teacher seeking to provide optimal learning experiences for these candidates, it became clear that navigating teacher learning is indeed a challenging and complex task. Further research in this area may support mentor teachers in providing teacher candidates with the kinds of deliberate dialogues necessary to gain insight into candidate learning about teaching practice.


Original publication information: Molina, S. C., “Mediating Teacher Learning Through Dialogical Learning Spaces Integrated in a Practicum Experience”, Journal of Teaching and Teacher Education, 2015: 3 (1), 75-88.

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