Title

The Lived Experiences of Three Student Teachers in a Birth-Third Grade Teacher Licensure Program

Date of Award

12-1-2006

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Teaching & Learning

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to discover themes in the experience, behavior, and attitude of three students in a Birth-Third Grade Teacher Licensure Program, at a specific midwestern university, as the students were involved in their primary-level student teaching experience. In looking at the lived experiences of these three student teachers, the focus was on their level of confidence and preparedness before, during, and after student teaching.

This qualitative study used a phenomenological research approach. The phenomenon in this particular study is the primary-level student teaching experience. This study sought understanding of what this student teaching experience was for the students who were participating in it. The methods used to collect data included interview discussions, student teaching journals, observations, and e-mail discussions. Four categories were established from coded data; from these categories, five themes emerged.

Based on the findings of this study, three broad-based conclusions were offered:

1. Successful completion of the content of coursework in the Licensure Program at the midwestern university under study helped determine feelings of confidence and preparedness before and during the student teaching experience.

2. Prior successful experience working with children as well as student teaching experience in the Licensure Program helped determine feelings of confidence and preparedness before and during the student teaching experience.

3. Successful completion of the 10-week primary-level student teaching experience determined feelings of confidence and preparedness at the end of the student teaching experience.

Recommendations were made for the specific Birth-Third Grade Teacher Licensure Program as well as for further research.

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