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Eric.ed.gov – Independence and Interdependence: An Analysis of Pre-Service Candidates’ Use of Focused Assignments on an Electronic Discussion Forum during the Initial Field Experience

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This article describes a case study using an electronic learning platform for creating an interactive learning community through asynchronous discussion to enhance the initial field experience of secondary math and English teacher candidates enrolled in Field Experience. We identified three problems with the field experience course–lack of structure, isolation of the candidates in the field, and passivity of the candidates. To address these problems, we established three goals–to create a way for candidates to structure their reflections in the field, to create a learning community of pre-professionals, and to foster independence and assertiveness in our candidates. With these goals in mind, focused assignments were developed and implemented in an interactive online discussion forum. The results of this study have two important implications for teacher preparation. First, the results suggest that with focused assignments and guidelines for peer interaction, on-line peer discussions can be a powerful tool in helping candidates to reflect on student learning and the student perspective in the classroom with virtually no University-Based Teacher Educator intervention. Secondly, the study reveals that the use of technology with focused assignments can be helpful in creating more assertive, independent candidates who are better able to think about and negotiate the school environments in which they plan careers.

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som adjunkt hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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