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Abstract Scholars and researchers in education have considered student teaching as one of the most important areas of undergraduate

teacher preparation. It is in student teaching that pre-service teachers practice skills of teaching and learn to design and implement curricular activities, and to get along with students of varying physical abilities and cultural differences. A continuing concern for teacher educators is how to improve effectiveness of student teaching. Reflections on student teaching experiences are important to consider in trying to understand and improve student teaching practice. Thus, an interpretive perspective guided the study. The purpose of this study was to investigate pre-service teachers' reflections on student teaching experiences. A questionnaire was developed and pilot-tested with 10% of pre-service teachers the previous year. The subjects of the study were forty pre-service teachers in physical education at a northern state university. Data were analyzed with constant comparison and .90 reliability was reached with the authors. A finding of the study was that the majority of pre-service teachers (60.7% of total) learned class management and discipline techniques. In contrast, a small portion of the pre-service teachers (17.0% of total) developed teachingrelated skills. Another finding was that the pre-service teachers' field teaching experiences were not enough or lacking in their undergraduate program, which resulted in 'reality shock" and inadequacy in transition from possession of declarative knowledge to application of procedural knowledge in the field. The pre-service teachers suggested that, instead of the program focusing on the performance, the activity classes should focus on how to teach various specific sport skills. A concluding remark was that a wellsupervised and teaching-centered early field experience could provide pre-service teachers with an environment in which they could concentrate on developing actual skills of teaching and other aspects of teaching in public school physical education. ********** Student teaching is considered to be the most significant section of undergraduate teacher preparation programs (Brimfield & Leonard, 1983; Dodds, 1985, 1989; Haring & Nelson, 1980; Mitchell & Schwager, 1993; O'Sullivan, 1990; Paese, 1984a; Schempp, 1989). In physical education, student teaching provides pre-service teachers with opportunities and experiences to work with pupils, school faculty members, administrators and staff members in various school settings. Student teaching also provides pre-service teachers with opportunities to evaluate the extent to which they possess or lack teaching-related abilities and skills, and indicate the extent to which undergraduate preparation programs meet their needs (Alexander, 1982). In many instances during student teaching, pre-service teachers develop teaching related abilities and skills (Ojeme, 1984). These include planning lessons, communicating content information to students, developing class management and discipline techniques, learning new pedagogical skills and strategies, adapting instruction to meet different individual needs of students, and constructing ways to evaluate teaching and learning processes. In other situations, student teaching in physical education influences pre-service teachers to either confirm or question their career choices. While positive pupil reactions and positive feedback from cooperative teachers and other faculty members may confirm pre-service teachers' career choices, some factors, such as off-task student behavior, off-task class behavior, and non-motivated pupils during lessons, may cause pre-service teachers to question their professional careers (Jones, 1992). The focus of this study was to generate data about what student teachers consider when asked to reflect on their student teaching experiences. Thus, the purpose of the study was twofold. First was to document what student teachers learned from their student teaching experiences and second, to elicit suggestions for reforming Physical Education Teacher education (PETE) programs of similar background. Method The researcher-generated questionnaire was used as an instrument in the study. The questionnaire was designed to elicit responses from the participants regarding what they learned from their student teaching experiences and to solicit suggestions for improving their undergraduate program. The questionnaire was pilot tested with 10% (20 students) of the pre-service teachers the previous year. Following this, a final questionnaire was developed and this was used in the study. The following questions were used: (1) What skills have you developed while teaching at this level? (2) In what areas of your undergraduate preparation did you feel lacking? Any suggestions as to what can be done to improve the teacher education preparation program? (3) What advice do you have for those interested in student teaching? The participants of this study were 40 pre-service teachers in their fourth year and final semester in the physical education department at a medium-sized university in the northeastern part of the United States. The participants' field teaching experiences were limited to a four-week early field experience where the students taught at a suburban high school, as part of a secondary methods class. At the time of the data collection, the preservice teachers had just finished the first half (8 weeks) of their student teaching experience. Twenty-five of them spent the first 8 weeks at elementary schools and fifteen at the secondary level. The 40 pre-service teachers completed the informed consent forms and then they were given the questionnaire to complete. They were required to answer the questions based on their student teaching experiences at their assigned school levels. Consequently, twentyfive pre-service teachers responded to the questions based on their student teaching experiences at elementary schools. The other 15 answered the questions based on their teaching at the secondary school level. This question-answer requirement was intentionally designed with the attempt to elicit the possible different answers from the subjects at different school levels (elementary or secondary school). The data were analyzed with constant comparison (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). First, the data were organized alphabetically for each question. Then they were scanned for similarities and homogenous data were grouped into categories. Two investigators independently categorized the data and then a comparison was made between the two sets of categories. Agreement between the two investigators was set at 90 and if there were any discrepancies, discussions were held to make sure that the categories used emerged directly from the data.

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www.peoffice.co.uk Results The participants responded to each of the questions accordingly. Because of differences in the nature on each question, the number of responses yielded from each question varied, ranging form 112 to 41. The total number of responses from the three questions was 203. The results will be presented in the order of questions. Question 1: What have you learned while teaching at this level? This question produced 74 and 38 responses from pre-service teachers who taught at elementary and secondary levels respectively. These responses fell into five similar categories with almost identical percentages (Figure 1). Of the four categories, the first two (class management and discipline techniques) made up 55.4% and 71.1% of the total responses from the pre-service teachers at elementary and secondary levels respectively, which indicates that most of the respondents developed the skills in these two aspects of public school teaching. [FIGURE 1 OMITTED] Based on the pre-service teachers' responses, class management consisted of the following: keeping control of the class, managing time effectively, using various ways to group pupils in many different activities and drills, and utilizing effective transitional skills. In the section on discipline, the techniques used comprised of discipline tactics, and ways to handle and modify inappropriate behavior problems. In the teaching category, three sub-categories emerged. The first section consists of teaching skills and focus on ways to teach specific skills, to give clear and concise instructions, and to communicate key points and demonstrations. The next subcategory centers on teaching strategies. The pre-service teachers found that utilizing a variety of teaching styles, finding more than one way to teach any lesson, and adapting activities if they don't work as expected were critical skills to possess in student teaching. The third sub-category involves teaching students (motivation of students, maintaining students' interests, and having better sense of student learning). The last category, other, contains virtues related to successful student teaching and they include cooperation, patience, and understanding. Question 2: (a) In what areas of your undergraduate preparation did you feel lacking? and (b) do have any suggestions for improving the teacher preparation program? Altogether 50 responses (27 and 23 from elementary and secondary levels respectively) were received for question two. Although responses at the two school levels shared some similarities in category and priority, differences were evident. Figure 2 provides a descriptive statistics regarding categories of responses to the first part of question two. Field experience was most frequently considered lacking in the pre-service teachers' undergraduate preparation. To the pre-service students, field experience includes actual teaching opportunities, more observation of teaching in the real world, and more early field experiences. [FIGURE 2 OMITTED] For instance, the pre-service indicated the following: "I feel that more time is needed with the field experience. Not only more time but with a wider range experiences". "More practical experience in the field is needed. I personally feel my experience in the field is lacking". Pedagogical content knowledge, which consists mainly of teaching skills and strategies, was another aspect of teaching that the pre-service teachers considered lacking at both school levels. Accordingly, the pre-service teachers suggested that their undergraduate program needed to be adjusted to focus on how to teach rather on how to perform physical activities. For example, "We didn't do enough to prepare us to teach. It would be wise for our activity classes to be organized to prepare us to teach activities". The other two aspects of teaching mentioned by the pre-service teachers at both school levels were lesson plans and discipline techniques.

Although no pre-service teachers at the elementary school felt that they lacked content knowledge, more than seventeen percent of responses at secondary schools indicated a lack of knowledge in sport and game activities. The following are some of the examples: "Lack of knowledge in sport/game activities in our activity classes, we mostly played. I would like to have more activity classes into our degree". Those who taught at the secondary school level also suggested that they needed a class on critiquing of lessons as they felt unprepared: "My suggestion would be to have classes that deal with the critiquing of lessons". Apparently, content knowledge and critiquing of lessons seemed to be more demanded at the secondary school than at the elementary school. Question 3: What advice do you have for those interested in student teaching? Twenty-six and 15 responses were received from students at elementary and secondary school levels respectively (Figure 3). The biggest portion of responses at both school levels were concrete suggestions, which were dependent on different individual's unique experience in student teaching. As a result, these suggestions were diverse in content, from necessary modifications to planned lessons, development of appropriate ways to discipline, construction of supportive relationships with the faculty members, to establishing rules and expectations at the first class. Although diverse, these suggestions are all informative and useful. [FIGURE 3 OMITTED] The second frequent advice made regarding both school levels were attitude that future pre-service teachers should have about their student teaching. In fact, the advice for attitude and concrete suggestion usually occurred together. The following quote provides a combined example of these two categories. "Be positive and enthusiastic, keep things new, and observe as much as possible before you decide for sure". The encouragement that came mainly from the elementary level was, "Go for it! Even though it can be difficult at times it is an extremely enjoyable and rewarding experience", and "Never give up! Some days may seem to be very hard, stick with it and always give 100%". The next category is expectation for student teaching, which could be used to help future pre-service teachers understand different situations in student teaching and set their own expectations. The examples of expectation are "they (future student teachers) should go in not knowing what. to expect. Every experience is different", and "be prepared to be busy and it is a lot of work. But it is very rewarding". No matter what kind of advice the pre-service teachers provided, these forms of advice are the knowledge directly acquired from their student teaching experiences and could be very useful for future pre-service teachers. Discussion Examination of responses from the pre-service teachers' reflections on student teaching experiences indicated that they learned mostly skills of class management and techniques of discipline (55.4% and 71.1% elementary and secondary respectively). These results are consistent with the literature regarding physical education student teacher's priority in management and class control (Arrighi & Young, 1987; Book, Byers, & Freeman, 1983; Bell, Barrett, & Allison, 1985; Housner & Rink, 1983; Placek & Dodds, 1988; Schempp, 1985, 1988). In reference to this study, class management and control appears at the top of the concerns raised by the pre-service teachers. Apparently, class management and control is much more difficult in physical education class as students occupy and move around in big areas of study than in regular classroom where students sit largely in confined areas indoors. Without order in a physical education class, instruction and learning can not take place. Further, class rules and order should be established at the beginning stage of teaching or student behaviors (talking, reckless behavior in the gym, and failure to follow teacher's instructions) will increase and class climate will become chaotic (Soar & Soar, 1979). It is quite reasonable to infer that during the first eight weeks of their student teaching, the pre-service teachers put most of their energy on class management and control which is understandable as class management and control is the premise of instruction and student learning (Hollingsworth, 1989; Sebren, 1995). Consistent with pre-service teachers' ideas on field teaching, beginning teachers' also consider class management and control as chief factors in teaching. In a review of research on the perceived problems of beginning teachers by Veeneman (1984), classroom discipline was identified as the most serious and consistent problem among beginning teachers. Indeed, studies of teacher induction revealed beginning teachers' top concern to be class management (Bullough, Knowles, & Crow, 1989; Huberman, 1989). The preservice teachers' ability to control and manage classes has to be acquired not only through reading textbooks and attending lectures, but more importantly through several field teaching practices. In the context of this study, the pre-service teachers developed their classroom management and control abilities first before developing technical teaching skills and strategies. The preservice teachers mentioned little information on pupil or student learning as one of their top concerns or as an indicator of successful/non-successful class occurrence. School officials and scholars (Placek and Dodds, 1988) think that there should be tangible evidence on student learning, and that pre-service teachers should be taught to hold students accountable for their learning. However, the impact of teaching on pupils becomes evident and dominant at a later stage as stated by Fuller, Persons, and Watkin (1974) in their four-phase developmental theory of teacher concerns. The second purpose of the present study was to gather suggestions regarding improvement of undergraduate teacher preparation program and future student teachers based on the participants' student teaching experiences. The pre-service teachers considered

field experience as lacking in their undergraduate teacher education program. They indicated that they had limited early field teaching experiences. When they were exposed to actual teaching in clinical situations, some of them experienced "reality shock", as they found that the real world was somewhat different from what they thought. This reality shock included large class sizes, limited space for teaching, and short teaching time. The literature suggests that some kind of early field experience, which is quite different from student teaching in many aspects, could serve as effective instrument for instituting clinical situations for pre-service teacher to develop the techniques of teaching or procedural knowledge in physical education (Curtner-Smith, 1996; O'Sullivan & Tsangaridou, 1992). These early field experiences may be included in or combined with all the theoretical method courses that deal with physical education pedagogy. The teaching should be filled with enough feedback and reflection on instruction, and university supervisors should monitor each pre-service teacher closely. Under such condition, pre-service teachers are guided to focus not only on class management and control but also on instructional skills and student learning. Consequently, pre-service teachers maybe able to focus on achieving goals of lesson and student learning (O'Sullivan & Tsangaridou, 1992), and on teaching techniques related to student learning (Curtner-Smith, 1996). Pedagogical content knowledge is another main aspect of student teaching that needed to be improved upon in undergraduate teacher education program as indicated from the results of this study. An additional finding in the present study was that the content knowledge and critiquing of lessons were considered only by the secondary school student teachers in this study as lacking in their undergraduate program. The frustration experienced by the pre-service teachers in developing teaching skills and exerting impact on student learning resulted in the participants' reflection on inadequate pedagogical content knowledge that they learned during their undergraduate teacher education preparation. In this aspect, the pre-service teachers thought the activity classes included in their undergraduate teacher program needed to be adjusted. Instead of the program focusing on the performance, the activity classes should focus on how to teach various specific sport skills. This suggestion is consistent with Tinning's (1992) notion that there is little use if a teacher can only perform an activity but cannot articulate how it is done. Further, Tinning (1992) argued that the "essential knowledge for a physical education teacher is knowledge about (i.e., prepositional knowledge) how to perform a practical activity and the corresponding ways of organizing the graded progressive practices necessary to acquire the skill. Being able to also perform the skill might be a bonus but it is not a necessity" (p. 11). Since the pre-service teachers experienced limited early field experiences, that might have contributed to their lack of teaching skills and also may have made them to reason that they lacked pedagogical content knowledge. Concluding Remarks This study confirmed that during student teaching, pre-service teachers have opportunities to develop class management and control skills, but have less chances to enhance technical skills and strategies of teaching, and show less concern on student learning during the initial period of student teaching. Indeed, student teaching provided pre-service teachers with opportunities to experience the reality of teaching physical education in public schools and to develop allover teaching-related skills, especially skills of class management and control. It was apparent that the student teaching is more challenging in the secondary school than in the elementary school. This might be due to the current and pervading problems associated with secondary school physical education. Early field experiences are beneficial to pre-service teachers if they are included in undergraduate teacher education programs. A well-supervised and teaching-centered early field experience could provide pre-service teachers with an environment in which they could concentrate on developing actual skills of teaching. Whereas student teaching is a period in which student teachers explore almost every aspect of the real world of public school physical education teaching, experiencing the "reality shock" and developing overall teaching-related. abilities and strategies may best begin with early field teaching experiences in elementary and secondary schools. Indeed, shaping the future of the nation' s work force in physical education may start with not only early induction into teaching but also a longer student teaching period

Father of all mercies We ask that you would bless the youngest and littlest of learners, the most helpless and powerless of persons, with Your infinite and loving mercy, granting them the strength to learn, concentrate, and act appropriately towards their teachers and fellow students. We also ask that You would watch over them,

at home and at school and grant them proper direction so that they may learn of Your wonderful virtues. We ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen David Bennett