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Exploring the cognitive apprenticeship approach in teacher education: A case study of an early childhood practicum experience


High quality field or practicum experiences are important for preparing preservice teachers for the profession. Studies suggest preservice teachers rate their practicum experiences more favourably when their cooperating teachers mentor them using apprenticeship-type practices. There is scant research on how such an approach is used in early childhood practicum settings. Using a case study design, the researcher investigated how the teaching methods of the cognitive apprenticeship (CA) could be used to support a year-long early childhood practicum. Twenty junior year practicum students and two cooperating teachers participated in the study. Data were collected from interviews, focus groups, and observations. Findings indicate the methods of the CA approach supported teaching and learning at the practicum site because of intentional support for shared practice among participants, gradual release of support from cooperating teachers, and because the practicum was nested in a community where relationships and collaboration were prioritized. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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