The present study aims to study the perception of the student teachers, lecturers and cooperating teachers on their role in the Cooperating Teacher Scheme (CTS), which seems to have a different rationale with the traditional teaching practice. The study includes a quantitative component and qualitative component. Eighty schools were selected randomly from a list of 130 schools participating in the CTS in 1995-96. Four agents, viz. School heads, co-operative teachers, lecturers and student-teachers involved in the CTS are invited to complete a questionnaire, representatives from each category (6 school heads, 12 teachers, 10 lecturers and 10 student- teachers) were being interviewed as well to collect more information other than those obtained from the questionnaires. There were significant differences among perception of student-teachers' own learning outcome with their lecturers, and student-teachers with co-operating teachers. On the other hand, similar perception of student- teachers' learning outcomes were found among lecturers and co-operating teachers. Such findings represented a strong implication of the readiness and level of expertise of cooperative teachers, and the fruitful product on student-teachers' professional development with the collaboration of co-operating teachers and lecturers. Based on the findings, implications of the CTS in understanding opportunities for collaboration between the teacher education institute and the school is examined. In addition, inspirations of in-service school-based teacher development is drawn from the experience. Direct experience in classrooms and schools is not only one of the many ways, it is also the most important one to achieve the mission of achieving integration of theory and practice in teacher education program. The Co- operating Teacher Scheme (CTS), a school-based program, with intensive involvement of both the lecturers, co- operation teachers and student-teachers is a shift from the traditional model of teaching practice to a more comprehensive exposure of student-teachers to different facets of a teacher's role in school. With the implementation of the CTS, both the lecturers and the cooperating teachers are significant in supporting and assisting the professional development of student-teachers. The consensus or discrepancies concerning the role of lecturers and the co-operating teachers is thus an important issue. It is of utmost importance to both the teacher education institute and the school to secure this as a starting point of professional collaboration. From the point of view of the school, participation in the CTS implies taking a different role in the teaching practice. The culture, understanding, degree of readiness and the expertise of the cooperating teachers have great influence towards the development of student-teachers. The readiness of school teachers to have been observations, to teach together, to share experience, to evaluate and to give feedback to student-teachers' teaching is of prime importance to the effectiveness of the CTS. Besides, it is worthwhile to examine if these practices can be extended to some forms of school-based teacher development.
|Publication status||Published - 1996|