Pre-service teachers’ professional learning experiences during rural teaching practice in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga Province
The concept of student teaching practice is globally rooted in training pre-service teachers to work within diverse schools and learner populations, in dissimilar contexts. It is also a drive towards the development of knowledge, professionalism, sense of efficacy, and flexibility in their performance and interactions. There is seemingly little research that has been done in South Africa to gain insight into the pre-service teachers’ development of knowledge and professionalism during rural teaching practice. In developing countries like South Africa, teaching practice challenges are usually severe, particularly in rural schools, where there is generally a paucity of information on the nature of school-based support pre-service teachers receive. In the article we explore pre-service teachers’ professional learning experiences during teaching practice in Acornhoek, rural Bushbuckridge. The project used qualitative semi-structured reflective discussions and students’ reflective journals to collect data. The findings show that pre-service teachers experienced a shift of mind as they engaged in professional thinking, learning and meaning making.
Keywords: complexity; leadership; Mpumalanga province; pre-service teachers; professional learning; rural school, situative theory; teaching experience
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