What If We Can't Apply What We Have Learned?: Reflections of an IB Science Teacher Candidate

What If We Can't Apply What We Have Learned?: Reflections of an IB Science Teacher Candidate

Lucila T. Rudge (University of Montana, Missoula, USA) and Althea M. Gyde (University of Montana, Missoula, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJTEPD.2019070102

Abstract

This study examines the experience of an IB science teacher candidate enrolled in the IB Educator Certificate Program, who completed her student teaching in an IB public school in the U.S. Using critical reflection as a method of inquiry, this study examines her expectations for student teaching, explore her assumptions as an IB teacher candidate, describes her experience, and discusses the implications of her student teaching experience. This study addresses the inconsistency of student teaching placements in IB schools.
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Introduction

Universities around the world are becoming increasingly interested in offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Certificate Program to educators, administrators, and researchers. There are currently 36 universities spread across ten countries offering the IB Educator Certificate in Teaching and Learning and the IB Certificate in Leadership Practice (IBO, 2017a). The IB Certificate in Leadership Practice is designed for educators and administrators who want to improve their leadership capabilities in an IB context. The IB Educator Certificate in Teaching and Learning is designed for teachers and pre-service teachers seeking qualification to teach in one of the three IB programs (Primary Years, Middle Years, or Diploma Programs). The IB Educator Certificate (IBEC) in teaching and learning is the most popular, with 33 universities offering the certificate (IBO, 2017a). Each IBEC program is uniquely designed based on the university’s profile and academic requirements. Some universities develop new courses to integrate the principles and practices of IB programs while others adapt existing courses to meet the IB requirements. One of the common features across most if not all IBEC programs is the requirement of clinical experience in IB schools. The clinical work is regarded as essential for teachers to develop practical knowledge about teaching in an IB context. In the case of teacher candidates, the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) often requires that they complete their student teaching in IB schools before being awarded the certificate. The goal is to provide pre-service teachers with apprenticeship experiences in IB classrooms where they can learn and practice how to put the ideas learned in coursework into action (Cuenca, 2011; Darling-Hammond, 2006). In this study, we examine the experience of a teacher candidate enrolled in the IBEC program who completed her student teaching in an IB public school in the U.S. We examine her expectations for student teaching, describe its outcome, and discuss the implications of her clinical experience.

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