New Zealand Early Childhood Pre-service Teachers’ Perceptions of Practicum and Potential for Video Review
This qualitative study of 20 pre-service early childhood teachers investigated the students’ perceptions of their practicum experiences and views of the potential for video review use using two on-line surveys of Student Teachers (STs) in their second and third year of study in a New Zealand undergraduate three-year degree Initial Teacher Education Programme (ITEP). This study found STs perceived practicum as highly significant within their ITEP and value practicum opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills in the real-world context of ECE centres with children and within teaching teams. However, STs reported a wide range of perceived challenges indicating that the practicum is problematic at times. These challenges involve the establishment of relationships and communication, transparency of assessment practices, and STs’ agency. These issues appear interrelated and impact upon student teacher responses within, and perceptions of, their practicum experience. Students were ambivalent to the potential use of video review while also recognising the benefits to their teacher development. The findings of this study provide further evidence of the need to re-examine the traditional practicum model and to consider alternative approaches by ITEP’s including video review.