Microteaching in Teacher Education through the Students’ Perspective

Microteaching in Teacher Education through the Students’ Perspective

Konstantinos D. Chatzidimou (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2122-0.ch053

Abstract

The present contribution examines microteaching as an instructional method and focuses on it as a vehicle of teacher training at the Department of Primary Education of the Democritus University of Thrace (Greece). In particular, 107 students of the department were asked to freely and anonymously submit their views on microteaching in a written text, after having been trained in this method for one semester. The content analysis of the produced texts indicated students’ approbation towards the procedure in question, verifying the findings of other similar studies. Their remarks regarding microteaching strengthen the plea for its incorporation in the curricula of university departments that train prospective teachers.
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Introduction

In the year 2013, exactly half a century will have passed since the first implementation of microteaching in teacher education. As is known, the attempt was pioneered by Stanford University in the early ’60s and was later disseminated and implemented in several countries and continents (Gall, 2007, p. 244). In Greece, the first school that included microteaching in its curriculum was the nowadays called School of Pedagogical and Technological Education (ASPETE) in the early ’70s (Chatzidimou, 2003, p. 47). Microteaching continued being applied at various university-level teacher education departments. One of the departments in which microteaching has been continuously applied for nearly twenty years now, after the initiative of Prof. Dr. Eleni Taratori, is the Department of Primary Education of the Democritus University of Thrace (DUTh). In this department, microteaching is a compulsory course for the students.

Microteaching in the department follows the model established by Prof. Dr. D. Chatzidimou at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh): Students are first informed of the aims of microteaching and are initiated in specific teaching skills, which they afterwards apply and exercise, as each student teaches in front of his or her fellow students a short instructional unit. Each microteaching lesson performed by the students is followed by a detailed analysis made by their fellow students, the supervisor and the trainee student himself or herself. This way, students are trained in specific pedagogical and teaching skills as: time management, lesson planning, selecting and formulating the objectives of the lesson, using various teaching media, learning how to start and end a lesson etc. At the end of the semester the overall course of microteaching is being discussed and evaluated (Chatzidimou, 2011, p. 307) (Table 1).

Table 1.
Structure of the microteaching course at the Department of Primary Education of the Democritus University of Thrace
StageContentDurationMain Role
1Initiation in the concept of microteaching and in specific teaching skills6 teaching hoursSupervisor
2Microteaching lessons by the students, analysis and feedback of every lesson24-27 teaching hoursMostly students
3Evaluation of the overall course3 teaching hoursBoth, mainly students

Key Terms in this Chapter

In-Service Teacher Training: The training teachers receive from their appointment until their retirement. This training may derive either from established training institutions or from the teachers’ self-motivation.

Teaching (Didactic) Skills: Developed and developing aptitudes and abilities of both a prospective and an in-service teacher concerning his or her teaching behaviour, which contribute decisively to the lesson’s effectiveness. In microteaching trainees could, among others, be trained to apply the technique of introducing and ending a lesson, to apply the lecturing-technique, the asking questions-technique and the discussion-technique, to use audiovisual aids, to be self-critical about their lesson, to select appropriate instructional objectives and to explicitly formulate them, etc.

Teacher Education: A discipline of School Pedagogy, which deals with matters concerning the training prospective teachers receive during their basic studies.

Content Analysis: A pedagogical research method, suitable for processing data deriving from oral or written texts. It gives the researcher the opportunity to conduct both a quantitative and a qualitative analysis of the produced texts.

Microteaching: A training method for prospective teachers as well as for in-service teachers, during which they practice a small amount of teaching skills by conducting a lesson, limited in size, time and in the number of instructional objectives to their fellow students. The teaching is usually videotaped so as to be watched and evaluated afterwards by the teacher trainee, his or her colleagues and the supervisor.

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