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Caroline Bodóczky and Angi Malderez: One year teaching experience: implications for teacher education

The three year teacher education programme at the Centre for English Teacher Training (CETT), Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest is one of the first of its kind. As such there has been much professional interest in the work done there, not least regarding the third year Teaching Experience component and the Mentor Development Course, run by CETT to prepare the teachers in the schools who will be responsible for student teachers during their practicum. This paper looks at how the programme is run, at the Mentor Development Course, and the feedback that we have received from assessment questionnaires, that have been regularly sent to all the parties concerned. Basically, the Teaching Experience component means that student teachers, in chosen pairs, take over the teaching of one class for the whole school (not university) year. It is felt that in this way they get practice not only in the narrower field of English language teaching methods, but in the broader educational sense of responsibility for a class over a prolonged period. The Mentor Development Course was designed to meet the specific needs of teachers in observation techniques, feedback and other interpersonal skills as well as evaluation. The teachers were selected primarily for their personal qualities, rather than their teaching methods. The questionnaires were administered to mentors, about their course and its relevance to their work, as well as their day to day work with trainees: and to student teachers concerning their mentors, the schools and their training in preparation for the teaching practicum. Other questionnaires were sent out to the principles of the schools, the form teachers and the students taught by trainees. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, but whatever negative feedback we have had, we have tried to act upon it to improve the relevant parts of the programme. Our chief concern is that the teaching profession should recognise the need for the integration of theory and practice, and that teaching is a skill that needs time to develop. Many beginner teachers leave the field after their first year of teaching, because the "shock" has been too much. Our full year teaching practicum aims at supporting them through this period, by having a trained mentor, a university tutor and a trainee partner, to help them. Finally we raise the question of how this could be applied to other subject teacher training.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 93. Number 1-2. 37-52. (1993)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Caroline Badóczky és Angi Malderez, ELTE BTK Angol Tanárképző Központ, H–1146 Budapest, Ajtósi Dürer sor 19–21.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia