An Exploration Into the Collaborative Experiences of L2 Pre-Service Teachers in Online Practicum
Yıldırım Altınok, Fatma Büşra
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Pre-service teachers acquire authentic classroom experience through School Experience and Teaching Practicum courses in the final year of their undergraduate education. In this learning to teach process, prospective teachers are in constant collaboration with university-based supervisors, school-based cooperating teachers, peer student teachers and learners. However, studies on the contributions of these stakeholders to collaboration from the perspectives of student teachers themselves are rare in the literature. To address this gap, this study describes collaborative experiences of prospective English language teachers with other stakeholders during their practicum. Data depicting the collaborative nature of an online practicum taking place during Covid-19 pandemic were collected through semi-structured interviews and open-ended questionnaires. Five student teachers supervised by the same faculty member participated in the study, representing various cases across primary, secondary, and high school levels, and in the form of solo or paired placement. Qualitative analysis uncovered the dynamics of collaborative experiences of student teachers. Although the field experience was based on the triangular teacher training model suggested by the Faculty-School Partnership Protocol, the model was reported to be not realised and student teachers showed different patterns of collaboration to compensate for the missing participant(s). This dissertation highlights collaborative facets of student teachers' practicum experiences and underscores the impact of interactive online practicum engagement on field experience quality. It emphasizes the role of clear policies in fostering effective collaboration, enhancing the practicum, and elevating teacher education quality.