Teacher candidates preparation for teaching and assessing reading: Performance and perceptions
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This qualitative research study investigated teacher candidates’ perceptions of readiness to teach and to assess reading as they progress through a semester where they tutored an elementary student. The purpose of the study was to understand how teacher education courses can better serve to prepare teacher candidates. Participants had the opportunity to discuss previous and current learning as it applied to a field placement experience by talking with peers and university instructors in person and online. In addition, participants put previous knowledge into practice by designing and implementing instruction for the elementary school student. Data collection included researcher observations and teacher candidate interviews and questionnaires. Additional data collected from the teacher candidates included lesson plan reflections and journal writings. Teacher candidates’ perceptions provided insights into the field experience semester by revealing the aspects of the course found to be most beneficial to the teacher candidate while at the same time revealing the candidates’ professional growth and development. The participants rated ability to utilize assessment to understand children’s achievement levels as crucial; it was the means to help a struggling reader. This accomplishment of the teacher candidate was an important basis for their professional growth.