The dynamics of school-based learning in initial teacher education

Yee Fan Sylvia TANG

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Student teachers' learning in the field experience is seen as being at the heart of their professional training in initial teacher education. This paper reports a qualitative case study of preservice student teachers' learning experiences in school placements in Hong Kong. A multi-case study was conducted in a concurrent teacher education programme for secondary school teachers, with the examination of seven student teachers' professional learning journeys over two years. Methods of data collection included interview, field observation, document analysis and audio-recording of supervisory conferences. Progressive focusing characterized the research process. Student teachers' professional learning is conceptualized as learning how to frame teaching situations. By exploring pre-training influences, the teacher education programme and the student teaching context, the paper seeks to examine the dynamics and complexity of learning how to frame teaching situations. It develops an integrated framework for understanding student teachers' professional learning as the dynamic interaction of the teaching self, knowledge construction in the teaching repertoire and the framing process. This framework can be used as an analytical tool for understanding the dynamics and complexities of student teachers' professional learning and exploring the contribution of coursework and fieldwork to such learning in initial teacher education. The findings of the study reveal that the strength of the teaching self, the richness of the teaching repertoire and the appropriate mix of challenge and support in the student teaching context are important variables that constitute student teachers' productive learning experiences. Implications for practices in initial teacher education are discussed. Copyright © 2004 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-204
JournalResearch Papers in Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


Tang, S. Y. F. (2004). The dynamics of school-based learning in initial teacher education. Research Papers in Education, 19(2), 185-204.


  • Initial teacher education
  • Student teachers
  • Student teaching
  • Professional learning
  • Teaching self
  • Teacher knowledge


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