Practice teaching occupies a key position in the programme of teacher education. It is a culminating experience in teacher preparation. It provides opportunity to beginning teachers to become socialized into the profession (Furlong et.al, 1988). Performance during practice teaching provides some basis for predicting the future success of the teacher. Outgoing popularity and centrality of practice teaching is an important contributing factor towards the quality of teacher education programme. During practice teaching working with students in schools provides a high degree of emotional involvement of a mostly positive nature. Student teachers feel themselves grow through experience and they begin to link to a culture of teaching. During practice teaching, they feel engaged, challenged and even empowered (Trowbridge and Bybee, 1994; sharafuddin, and Allison, 1969).
Definitions of Practice Teaching
A number of terms such as the practice teaching, student teaching, teaching practice, field studies, infield experience, school based experience or internship are used to refer to this activity (Taneja, 2000). The term practice teaching embraces all the learning experiences of student teachers in schools (Ashraf, 1999). The term practice teaching has three major connotations: the practicing of teaching skills and acquisition of the role of a teacher; the whole range of experiences that students go through in schools; and the practical aspects of the course as distinct from theoretical studies (Stones and morris, 1977).
Practice teaching is the name of the preparation of student teachers for teaching by practical training. It is the practical use of teaching methods, teaching strategies, teaching principles, teaching techniques and practical training and practice / exercise of different activities of daily school life.
Objectives of Practice Teaching
According to Akbar (2002) Following are the objectives of practice teaching:
- To provide the prospective teachers with an opportunity of establishing an appropriate teacher pupil relationship.
- To provide an opportunity for evaluating the student potential as a teacher and suitability for the teaching profession.
- To develop personal relationship with others: administrators, teachers, parents and students.
- To provide the future teacher with practical experience in school to overcome the problems of discipline and enable him / her to develop method of control.
- To provide with an opportunity to put theories into practice and to develop a deeper understanding of educational principles and their implication for learning.
- To enable the student teachers effectively to plan and prepare lessons.
- To develop skill in the use of fundamental procedures, techniques and methods of teaching.
- To develop desirable professional interests, attitudes and ideas relative to teaching profession.
- To enable student teachers to acquire desirable characteristics / traits of a teacher and to display appropriate behaviour.
- To provide student teachers with an opportunity to have teaching evaluated and to gain from the benefits of constructive criticism.
- To provide an opportunity for self evaluation and to discover own strengths and weaknesses.
- To develop skills in future teachers related to teaching like fluent speaking, meaningful reading, using blackboard and other teaching material.
- To provide an opportunity to liaise with school environment, its functioning and with community and its resources.
- To provide for the exchange of ideas and methods between practicing school and teacher training institution, by teacher training institutions’ staff and students, perceiving new ideas material and equipment in use in practicing schools and introducing new ideas, material and equipments into the school.