Vol. 20 (2013)

Improving Teacher Education Through a Self-study of Practicum Programmes: Conversations and Reflections of Two Teacher Educators

Deborah J. Conrad
State University of New York at Potsdam
Joyanne De Four-Babb
American University, Cairo


  • Trinidad and Tobago,
  • USA,
  • The University of Trinidad and Tobago,
  • Teacher Education Curriculum,
  • Teacher Education,
  • Practicums,
  • Curriculum Evaluation,
  • Comparative Analysis,
  • Self Study Research,
  • Research Methodology,
  • State University of New York Potsdam
  • ...More


Teacher educators are expected to compare, contrast, and explore field experiences from a holistic and global perspective. Yet, there is a paucity of comprehensive research examining the field experience, especially in the Caribbean. This paper uses collaborative self-study as a method for examining our practices of teacher education through a comparison of the practicum programme at a Caribbean university with that of an established American university. Our goals were to explore commonalities of each practicum programme and consider distinctive features that could be of benefit to each model. Perspectives are compared in terms of principles, structures, and other factors influencing the design and delivery of the practicum programmes that existed in these two institutions between September 2008 and April 2010. This exploration may be of interest to teacher educators in the Caribbean, where models of teacher education are being restructured in keeping with international trends. It may also be of interest to teacher edudators in the United States, where a national strategy to transform teacher education through clinical practice has been proposed by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).