UNIVERSITY STUDENTS PEDAGOGICAL INTERNSHIP: ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES, IMPROVEMENT
Authors: Vincentas Lamanauskas, Vilhelmina Lukavičienė, Rita Makarskaitė-Petkevičienė
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Teacher preparation remains an urgent and significant part of education system. Changing socioeconomic, political, technological concrete country conditions require cons-tant changes in teacher preparation system. As never before, such a demand is even more strengthened by an occurring link between education and labour market. Teachers is an un-doubted integrating part of education policy and internship. The carried out scientific surveys show, that in Europe as well as in other countries teachers and schools encounter with similar pedagogue preparation problems: there are discussions on the selection of candidates to teacher’s profession, professional and subject teacher preparation, competence, preparation length, teachers’ professional self-consciousness, prestige, teacher educators’ partnerships and so on.
The research was carried out between January and February 2014, i. e., at the begin-ning of the second study semester. The research is based on the attitude, that students’ opi-nion and evaluation researches are important, because they allow establishing urgent pro-blems and clarifying the known ones. Referring to the respondent proposal analysis, one can suggest problem solution ways and evaluate possible consequences. Opinion researches is an effective means seeking to initiate the changes, in this case, to improve pedagogical intern-ship organisation.
Pedagogical internship, undoubtedly, remains a very significant element of pedagogi-cal study structure and process. Competence, practical experience acquisition, personal im-provement and all-round knowledge of educational institution are considered the most im-portant advantages of the internship. This is not only a certain future teacher’s self-examination in a real educational environment, but also a proper way to improve. On the other hand, internship organisation is not appropriate enough. A few very important things are obvious: a short pedagogical internship time, coherence with the studies at university, and not sufficiently purposefully defined internship activities (content aspect). Mentors’ work should be improved; however, this is not treated as a very important drawback. Also, two improvement spheres have been exposed: internship content/programme improvement (to concretise, optimise, and more clearly regulate the activities) and strengthening interac-tion effectiveness between university and basic practical schools. Pedagogical internship effectiveness (from the point of view of pedagogical ability consolidation, improvement) remains undoubted. On the other hand, certain requirements should be raised for the institu-tion, in which students would like and could perform pedagogical internship. Educational institution’s democracy and openness, technological supply, ecological friendli-ness/suitability are considered the most essential requirements. The existing pedagogical in-ternship model in Lithuania has to be improved in two main directions – process (internship length increasing, guaranteeing the acquaintance with the variety of pedagogical institutions, interaction with the internship leaders and mentors improvement) and content (activity opti-misation, innovativeness, variety increase) improvement.