Redefining the contribution of fieldwork in initial teacher education to student teachers’ professional competence

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper presents a mixed-methods study on preservice student teachers’ perceived professional competence in the context of a Five-year BEd Programme in Hong Kong. Two rounds of data collection took place. 282 participated in the first survey and 346 participated in the second survey, with 15 student teachers joining semi-structured interview. The quantitative findings showed a significant increase in two competence factors, namely (1) Competence in Classroom Teaching; and (2) Pedagogical and Educational Knowledge after the second block of ITE fieldwork. The qualitative findings showed the characteristics of growing perceived professional competence and the constituting factors, like student teachers’ learning from experience in the first block of ITE fieldwork, support from school teachers and feedback from university supervisors. A few student teachers reported negative change in perceived competence in challenging class settings and school contexts. Challenges and constraints encountered by these student teachers were identified to gain a deeper understanding of student teachers’ experience. This study affirms the value of ITE fieldwork in contributing to growth in student teachers’ professional competence. The deeper understanding of changes in student teachers’ self-assessed professional competence provides insights on the relationship between professional competence and teaching contexts. This deeper understanding generates implications for ITE programmes and schools (sites of ITE fieldwork) to provide conditions to enhance student teachers’ growth in professional competence. Equally important, student teachers need to be prepared to cope with challenging teaching contexts, including unfamiliar school contexts, schools / teachers with different teaching philosophies, and classes with diverse learning needs. Copyright © 2017 The Education University of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


student teacher
Hong Kong


Tang, S. Y. F., Wong, A. K. Y., Li, D. D. Y., & Cheng, M. M. H. (2017, November). Redefining the contribution of fieldwork in initial teacher education to student teachers’ professional competence. Paper presented at the WERA Focal Meeting & HKERA International Conference 2017 (WERA-HKERA 2017): Innovation, Reform and Education Change in a Contemporary World, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.