The Practical Source of Educational Knowledge for Pre-Service Teachers in Confronting Field-Based Challenges in School Practicum

  •  Hsien-Chang Tsai    
  •  Shih-Hsiung Liu    


Educational value in teacher education courses is unquestioned; however, there are still many doubts about the practicality of the knowledge acquired from university courses and a field-based course in school practicum. The purpose of this study is to identify the practicality of the educational knowledge from the above courses for pre-service teachers in confronting field-based challenges in school practicum. A survey method was utilized to collect the data about pre-service teachers’ perceptions on the acquisition of educational knowledge as well as practicality of the knowledge. A total of 298 Taiwanese pre-service teachers were invited to fill in a validated questionnaire in January 2013, which is the last month in school practicum. Data were analyzed using the Friedman test and multiple regression analysis. This study concludes that disciplinary content knowledge was perceived as the top-ranked one among six categories of educational knowledge from university courses, while this category of knowledge was perceived as the fourth-highest order on practicality of the knowledge. The finding implies that university courses do not fit to the needs of pre-service teachers in confronting challenges in school practicum. Except for disciplinary content knowledge, other categories of educational knowledge tended to maintain approximate rank-order. Another finding reveals that all categories of educational knowledge from the field-based course were significant predictors of practicality of the educational knowledge, while all those acquired from university courses were not. A recommendation was proposed that teacher educators in universities should build a course version of practical knowledge through integrating field-based experiences into teacher education courses.

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