Juanjo Mena and Anthony Clarke

Edited by Juanjo Mena, Ana García-Valcárel and Francisco García Peñalvo

Edited by Juanjo Mena, Ana García-Valcárel and Francisco García Peñalvo

Edited by Juanjo Mena, Ana García-Valcárel and Francisco García Peñalvo

Edited by Juanjo Mena, Ana García-Valcárcel and Francisco J. García-Peñalvo

The essence of this book is to shed light on the nature of current educational practices from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Both teachers and their trainers provide a better understanding of teacher training and learning processes. Mutual interrelations and the provision of knowledge between academia and schools are essential for merging discourses and aligning positions, whereby turning practice into theory and theory into practice in today’s teaching is vital for suitably responding to multiple issues and increasingly diverse contexts.

The array of studies from around the world compiled in this volume allow readers to find common ground, discover shared concerns, and define goals. Studying teaching practice and training in different contexts reveals the state-of-the-art practices and identifies those issues that enable educators to understand the complexities involved. The chapters examine the development of our knowledge and understanding of teaching practices, at the same time as analysing engaging learning environments, the sustainability of learning and teaching practices, and highlighting new practices based on the use of ICTs. The diverse teaching contexts considered in this compilation of international research are organized according to the following topics: Teaching occupational learning and knowledge; Teacher beliefs and reflective thinking; and Innovative teaching procedures.

The contributors are Laura Sara Agrati, Dyann Barras, Verónica Basilotta Gómez-Pablos, Benignus Bitu, Robyn Brandenburg, Heather Braund, Michael Cavanagh, Chiou-hui Chou, Jean Clandinin, Leah L. Echiverri, Maria Flores, Francisco García Peñalvo, María García-Rodríguez, Ana García-Valcárcel, Stephen Geofroy, Raquel Gómez, Jenna Granados, Hafdís Guðjónsdóttir, Jukka Husu, Jóhanna Karlsdóttir, Keith Lane, Celina Lay, Samuel Lochan, Marta Martín-del-Pozo, Ella Mazor, Sharon M. McDonough, Lennox McLeod, Juanjo Mena, Wendy Moran, Brian Mundy, Nkopodi Nkopodi, Lily Orland-Barak, Edda Óskarsdóttir, Samuel O. Oyoo, Stefinee Pinnegar, Eleftherios Soleas, Lystra Stephens-James, Linda Turner, Antoinette Valentine-Lewis, and Sarah Witt.

Raquel Gómez, Juanjo Mena, María-Luisa García-Rodríguez and Franciso García Peñalvo

Abstract

In this chapter we describe teachers’ professional practice by scrutinizing the type of practical knowledge that preservice teachers acquire during the practicum period as well as by assessing the type of support they receive from their mentors and peers. We conducted the study with preservice students from the Primary Education degree at the University of Salamanca, Spain. They were recorded a teaching a lesson and also reflecting on it afterwards: first individually, then with a peer preservice teacher and, finally, with a mentor.

The data analysis followed three stages. We first identify critical incidents (positive and negative) according to three major themes: the teacher, the student and the content. Secondly, we conducted a propositional analysis to classify the contet of the preservice teachers’ reflections according to four types of practical knowledge. Thirdly, we analyze the mentoring support according to the MERID model (Hennissen et al., 2008).

The results show that reflecting with the help of another person (either a peer or a mentor) is more beneficial than acomplishing reflection individually since they elicit more inferential and sophisticated knowledge than individual reflections do. In addition, our data suggest that the assistance of mentors leads to more generalizable knowledge that preservice teachers can use in future school experiences.