New Perspectives for Learning - Briefing Paper 43

The potential of tele-guidance for teacher training

Context of the Research

The use of tele-guidance for teacher training has been shown to significantly contribute to the professional development of student teachers, but the effect on their reflection had not been studied. Through collaborative research this project aimed to identify and develop online tutoring strategies using various technologies within different European cultural contexts.

The project, consisting of partners from Norway, Spain The Netherlands and the UK, developed a coordinated research agenda for future research.

Key Conclusions

The following conclusions were reached in the four case studies that each of the partners produced: -

1.  The use of telematics was found to promote the reflective competencies of student teachers.

2.   Reliable prototypes for further research were developed during the course of the study.

University of Barcelona

3.    The experimental teacher education programme covered four themes:

a)    The historical art and education relationship.

b)     Psycho pedagogic bases in teaching and learning.

c)      Student-teaching experiences at schools.

d)  Presentation of didactic and curriculum resources.

4.    The case study found that networking is useful for monitoring the relationship between what students think and do. It is also a good way to encourage students’ reflection on this relationship.

University of Exeter

5.   The research showed evidence that point-to-point video conferencing can promote reflection.

6.    The reformulation and re-conception of teaching/learning through telematics influenced discourse in the following ways:

a)    The social presence helped to strengthen relationships and encouraged effective conversations.

b)     The formality of the preparation added structure to the conferences and promoted self-confidence in the users.

c)      The practice and particularly the screen-sharing mode enabled greater focus and supported shared meaning.

d)  The privacy of the activity maintained the intensity of the focus and promoted better preparation form the participants.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim)

7.   The curriculum of the teacher education programme covered:

a)     General curriculum theory.

b)     Pedagogical content knowledge.

c)      Teaching practice.

8.   The students needed closer supervision than in the other studies because their teaching practise was a greater distance from the University. This also meant that one visit from the tutor was not sufficient and the students totally depended on their mentor.

9.   During the teaching practise, tele tutoring enabled greater contact between the student teachers and their university tutor.

10. The positive aspects of the experiment for the student teacher were:

a)     Security – someone to talk to when it is necessary.

b)     Help with personal reflection - encouraged formulation of thought.

c)      Improved ability in didactic reflection – through the writing and partner response.

11.The negative aspects were mainly related to the technical problems.

Utrecht University

12. Supervising the student teachers through computer conferencing was beneficial as it: -

a)    Reinforces the effects of supervision meetings.

b)     Monitors the progress of students.

c)      Enables more involvement with the progress of students.

d)   Influence on the development of student teachers’ reflection.

e)  Enables early detection and greater possibilities to find and examine underlying problems.

f)    Enables the involvement of student teachers with the other students and tutor.

g)   Provides informational and social support between the student teachers.

h)   Stimulates reflection on their teaching experiences.

13. Three main clusters of tutor intervention were discovered during the tele-guidance of student teachers, these covered: -

a)    The creation of a safe atmosphere to stimulate student teachers’ reflective processes.

b)    The stimulation of growth for the student teachers.

c)   The amount tutors direct or control the reflections of student teachers.

14. The activities of this project have lead to new plans for collaborative future research that contributes to the challenging developments in teacher training programmes in a digital educational future.

Key Recommendations

The study made the following recommendations in four main areas of study: -

1.   Consideration must be given to other theoretical frameworks, which either adopt holistic and non-linear approaches to learning or cover a more extensive number of attributes.

2.   Future research is urgently required that provides evidence of: -

a)     The advantages and disadvantages of telecommunication in teachers’ education with reference to:

        The influence of telematics on reflective skills

        Changes caused by telematics on the curricula of teacher training.

        The dramatic changes to the curriculum and the teaching /learning environment

b)     Student’s behaviour in classrooms, particularly the effect on day-to-day classroom practices.

c)      The role of tele-guidance in lifelong learning and the extent to which tele-guidance can encourage learning at work and in other learning settings.

d)  Changes in the tutors’ role, the new skills needed and ways of stimulating the professionalisation of tutors.

University of Barcelona

3.   Further research is required into the importance of the interactive process developed by exchanging messages between each student, the supervisor and the other participants i.e. tutor, other students.

University of Exeter

4.   The complexities in the nature and oral accounts of the video conferencing activity must be supported by more comprehensive data.

Utrecht University

5.    The instrument used to measure the reflective behaviours of the student teachers in this study was based on the ALACT-model, which delivered promising results but needs further development and testing.

6.   There is also a need to develop an instrument to measure the content and nature of reflection.

Further Information

Full title of study “Teacher training, reflective theories and tele guidance: prospectives and possibilities in teacher training in Europe” (1996)

Report – University of Exeter, Report - Utrecht University, Partner details

Contact Person

Prof. Dr Wim Veen
Delft University of Technology
Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management
EduTec (Education & Technology)
Jaffalaan 5, 2628 BX DELFT
P.O. Box 5015, 2600 GA DELFT
The Netherlands

Tel: +31 15 278 4108/4795
Fax: +31 15 278 4627

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Last updated 28 June 2007