Third Space Creates Collaborative Environments to Develop Pre-service Teachers
Keywords:Third Space, teacher preparation, field-based experience, clincial practice
In the fall of 2012, 11% (n=157) of clinical practice (i.e. student teaching) candidates at a metropolitan university were in jeopardy of not passing clinical practice. Public schools in the area began to voice their concerns, and placements of candidates became a challenge. As a result, the university re-envisioned the program, utilizing third space to facilitate discourse between local school districts and university faculty. The development of third space was based on program data, which led to the following shifts in the program: scaffolded coursework with increased time in the field; instructional coaching prior to clinical practice; and a system for collecting feedback to sustain partnerships. Collaboration between P-12 schools and the university was essential in preparing candidates to connect theory and apply it in practice. By spring 2016, the initiatives implemented led to a 12% decrease of candidates in jeopardy of not passing clinical practice. As the teacher preparation program continues to grow, one of the biggest challenges is continuing to build and sustain new partnerships. The authors provide a framework for how programs could adapt some of these initiatives to develop and sustain university and school partnerships.
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