The perceptions of novice teachers regarding a PDS program and the importance of collaborative, reflective and communicative skills
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] This study examined the perceptions of graduates of the University of Central Missouri's Professional Development School regarding the preparation received and the importance of specific skill sets in actual practice. The specific skill sets examined focused on reflective practices, communicative strategies and collaborative practices. The study was conducted in an effort to produce relevant data to inform the university faculty and other teacher preparation institutions. Data were collected through a mixed design employing both quantitative and qualitative methodology. The researcher created an on-line survey after study of relevant literature and discussion with the program's university faculty. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposefully sampled group of teachers to gather additional perceptions and comments. Data gathered from the study identified strengths of the university's PDS program and areas to consider for improvement. Statistically significant differences were found for all skills studied. The perceptions of PDS graduates regarding preparation received through the PDS program did not rise to the same level at which they perceive these skills to be important in current practice.
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