Review of the studies on teaching practicum courses in Turkey: Suggestions for teacher education
Keywords:teaching practicum courses; teacher education; strengths and weaknesses; suggestions
Teacher candidates studying at the education faculties of universities are expected to complete their preparations for their profession and improve their teaching skills by organizing various activities in practice schools with “Teaching Practicum Courses”. As mentioned in the literature, practicum courses include several strengths along with its weaknesses. This study aims to theoretically present strengths and weaknesses of practicum courses and define suggestions and implications. A review of the literature reveals several strengths such as: providing student- teachers with a plenty of teaching experiences, and realization of the value of their profession and the opportunities to evaluate their performance which help them have more self-confidence and independency. Apart from these, the practicum courses include some weak points as well such as; students-teachers having inadequate educational knowledge for preparing for classes, selecting material and carrying on lessons as well as the problems stemming from the supervisors’ uncomfortable attitudes, negative aspects of the classroom environment and the big discrepancy between the conditions in real school settings and what presented to student in theory. Finally, the study presents suggestions and implication for student-teachers, mentors and supervisors, regulations of the ministry of education and higher education council. These suggestions may reduce the theory practice dilemma via practicum courses opportunities for student-teachers to be able to practice what they have learnt in theory.