Becoming a primary school teacher in Trinidad and Tobago: Part 2: Teaching practice experience of trainees


The monograph reports on a study that sought to gain insights into the process of learning to teach by obtaining information on the teaching practice process, observing teaching practice sessions, and documenting and analysing the views of the major stakeholders involved in this process, namely, the trainees, the teachers’ college lecturers who supervise the teaching practice, and principals and cooperating teachers in the primary schools to which trainees are attached for fieldwork. The study focused on the preparation of trainees at the two government teacher’s colleges—Valsayn Teachers’ College and Corinth Teachers’ College—in Trinidad and Tobago. Data were collected through document analysis; observation of trainees as they taught classes in the schools, observation of post teaching conferences between trainees and supervisors; and in-depth, semi-structured interviews with trainees, supervisors, cooperating teachers, and principals of cooperating schools. It was found that there were differences in provisions for teaching practice as well as in the structure of the programme between the colleges. The provisions for practice also varied significantly among the cooperating schools and determined the type of opportunities offered to trainees for applying the strategies taught. Teacher educators generally viewed the provisions for teaching practice as less than ideal. Trainees were generally of the view that they were overburdened with work in preparing units and lessons for teaching practice sessions. Most trainees were conscientious about making use of what they had learnt at college during the teaching practice.


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teachers colleges, primary school, teacher training