THE EFFECTS OF TEACHER PRACTICE COURSE ON PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF TEACHER CANDIDATES: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
In 1997, some changes were made in the teacher training programs in Turkey. One of these changes was made in the Teacher Practice Course. This course is composed of two parts: theory and practice. The time allocated for the practice of this course was increased in company with these changes. The purpose of these changes is to develop professional skills of teacher candidates. Teacher training programs were reviewed again in 2006. As a result, in many teacher training programs, two courses are included about teaching practice: School Experience and Teacher Practice Course. The main purpose of these courses is to provide working opportunity in real school environment to teacher candidates before they start their career. Practice teachers in these schools and faculty members who are engaged in consulting for teacher candidates have very important role in succeeding the expected benefits of two courses. The purpose of this study is to determine views of students about teacher practice courses and obtained professional acquisitions obtained in this process. In this research, on which descriptive survey method was conducted, research universe consisted of senior students at Marmara University, Atatürk Faculty of Education. The sample of the study was composed of 240 students from four teacher training programs. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered through three questionnaires which include close-ended and open-questions. Quantitative data were analysed in conformity with some statistical technique such as frequency, arithmetic mean, percentage, t test and variance analysis. Qualitative data were analysed in conformity with descriptive analysis to attain patterns related with students’ professional acquisitions. Findings were discussed in accordance with important role of teaching practice courses to prepare the teacher candidates for their profession.