Mature ECEC Student Teachers’ Perceived Professional Agency during Work Placements
Ukkonen-Mikkola, Tuulikki (2018)
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research 17 7
The journal publishers the work under a Creative Commons NonCommercial and NonDerivative License (CC BY-NC-ND).
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
This study examines the professional agency (PA) of mature students during accelerated early childhood teacher training at a Finnish university, with a particular focus on how the students perceived PA during work placements. It further examines the supporting and preventing factors affecting the students’ sense of agency. Data were analysed using thematic content analysis. The findings show that PA was perceived to be greater during the third placement than during the first. After the third placement and in the practice at the end of their studies, the mature student teachers perceived PA in terms of daily pedagogical practices, community, and motivation. The factors supporting the mature student teachers’ sense of PA were earlier qualifications and work experience, a confidential relationship with mentors, guidance practices, and reflection. The findings suggest that while work placements are useful learning environments for promoting the students’ sense of PA, universities should nevertheless develop guidance practices and tools for mature students.
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