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Early practicum experiences: Preservice early childhood students' perceptions and sense of efficacy


The current study explored early practicum experiences (those occurring before student teaching) in an early childhood birth to kindergarten teacher education program. Undergraduates enrolled in practicum courses completed questionnaires about their overall practicum experience including: socio-emotional components (their perceived fit with their cooperating teacher and intrapersonal feelings while in the classroom), overall practicum satisfaction, and their sense of teacher efficacy. Results revealed that practicum students generally reported feelings of being energized and relaxed, though some practicum students reported feelings of frustration in their practicum classrooms. Feeling energized and relaxed and students' perception of fit with their cooperating teacher were positively associated with practicum satisfaction and practicum students' teacher efficacy. Feelings of frustration were negatively associated with students' fit with their cooperating teacher, practicum satisfaction, and students' teacher efficacy. Higher levels of practicum satisfaction predicted higher practicum students' teacher efficacy. Findings highlight the importance of understanding early practicum experiences and what factors of the practicum experience contribute teacher efficacy. Implications for future research and practice for early childhood teacher preparation programs are discussed. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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