The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

The Covid-19 Pandemic and its Effects on the Preservice Teacher Practicum: A Literature Review

Joseph Vancell, University of Malta (Malta)


In March last year most schools and universities in Europe shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic causing disruptions in initial teacher education. The training dimension that was hardest hit was the practicum. Due to the shutdown, prospective teachers were deprived of the ‘normal’ field experience and actual classroom teaching practices in authentic classroom settings. Various practicum modalities however unfolded all over the globe and these are documented in many papers published during 2020 and early 2021. Through a systematic literature review, this paper attempts to answer the question: How has COVID-19 impacted teacher education and particularly the students’ practicum? It explores how pedagogies adapted when pre-service students students and practicum examiners moved to new online spaces. It describes how established student teaching practices changed quickly, with students showing an immense disposition for change. However, despite the rapid move and difficulties encountered (including lack of training in online teaching and learning), many principles and teaching philosophies remained unchanged. This research is relevant on an international level as it considers the alternative pedagogies and technologies that can support professional learning in lieu of a non-school-based practicum. It also reveals that it is critical for teacher education institutions and tutors to think beyond normal educational practices so that they can plan and consider limitations that they may face in the future. It thereby argues that it is necessary to provide student teachers with opportunities and skills that were largely lacking in teacher training programmes  include online teaching and interacting with children through this mediu.

Keywords: Online learning, preservice teacher education, practicum and COVID-19

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