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Developing an online practicum in professional education: a case study from UK teacher education

Hulme, Moira ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4095-3880, Olsson Rost, Anna ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7309-9721 and O'Sullivan, Rachel (2022) Developing an online practicum in professional education: a case study from UK teacher education. In: Applied Degree Education and the Future of Learning. Lecture Notes in Educational Technology . Springer Singapore, Singapore. ISBN 9789811698118 (hardback); 9789811698125 (ebook)

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Abstract

A ‘practicum’, ‘clinical experience’ or ‘internship’ is an established component of professional preparation in education, health, social work, law, accountancy and engineering. Across diverse occupational fields, employability and work readiness are gaining prominence in college marketing strategies. The disruption to work placements during the Covid-19 pandemic in programmes linked to licensure rapidly increased the pace and scale of virtualisation and the need for systematic evaluation of curriculum re-design. This chapter presents a case study of the transition to a fully online practicum for UK university students training to be teachers during 2020/21. Drawing on interviews with students, university tutors and school partners, the chapter outlines key learning about partnership formation and innovation. The evaluation suggests that online supervision requires participants to work harder to establish a positive working alliance and sense of belonging across time-space-digital media. The study highlights the importance of iterative review to promote reciprocity, transparency and voice.

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