Preservice Mathematics Teacher Professional Learning through Informal Field Experiences (pp. 37--46)

Kelly Colabianchi, Gabriel Matney


This study investigated the role that involvement in a program wide informal field experience had on the professional learning of preservice mathematics teachers at a university in the Midwestern portion of the United States.  Participants completed a survey as well as a semi-structured interview which was transcribed.  The qualitative coding and analysis was structured in accordance with a previously developed theoretical framework involving a reflexive inquiry model for preservice teacher education.  The framework was adapted to fit the specific context of the informal field experience and focused on the following three lenses; inquiry into self in relation to prior experience, inquiry into contexts and personnel roles, and inquiry into relationships.  Analysis revealed thirteen categories which demonstrated connections preservice teachers made between their programmatic informal field experience involvement and their professional learning as teachers.  Preservice teachers described positive aspects of impact from the informal field experience in areas including classroom management, rapport, planning, and collaboration. Implications for teacher educators are discussed.

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