Student-teachers? understanding of the role of theory in their practice

12 Sep 2017

In the current educational context there are calls worldwide for a shift from the perspective which treats theory separately from practice, to a more organically evolving, more grounded conception of theory which integrates campus-based courses with school teaching and learning. This study adopts a guided reflection conceptual framework in making sense of student teachers? understanding of the role of theory in their practice. A qualitative design is employed. The aim was to establish how student teachers think about theory in their teaching. Following a survey aimed at identifying a relevant sample for a guided reflection, a focus group interview was conducted with a sample of twelve 4th-year student teachers. Data analysis involved transcribing, coding and classification of the codes into themes. Findings indicate that contrary to popular notions of student-teachers not being sure of what is meant by ?theory? in the practice of teaching, they have very particular and nuanced understandings of the position and role of theory.