A Critical Needs Analysis of Practicum Courses at Farhangian University: Mentors and Students’ Perspectives

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Sheikh Bahaee University

Abstract

Practicum is a significant component of teacher education which links theory to practice and prepares student teachers for their job. The purpose of the courses, as defined within the Curriculum of Teacher Education at Farhangian University, is to prepare student teachers for their teaching career by observing and analyzing the real situation at schools and relating it to their theoretical findings. The present study was an attempt to conduct a critical needs analysis in which teachers and learners voiced their concerns, problems and needs in practicum courses. It mostly focused on student teachers’ voice since they are the most powerless in this educational setting. It intended to look for distinctive features of the practicum courses (four courses) presented at Farhangian University. To this end, the study investigated the achievement of the course objectives, stated in the curriculum for practicum, and the fulfillment of students’ needs from stakeholders’ perspective. Findings revealed major problems with these courses including (a) lack of training in action research, lesson study, critical thinking, and reflection skills for all members of practicum, (b) insufficiency of flexibility in teaching methods, resources and materials used by cooperating teachers at schools to act as a role model for student teachers, (c) lack of cooperation between schools and university, and (d) lack of proper supervision by teacher educators, to name a few. Findings of the study would raise TEFL curriculum developers, teacher educators, and cooperating teachers’ awareness of student teachers’ needs in practicum courses.

Keywords


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