A multiple case study to determine the distinctive characteristics of powerful workplace learning environments within primary teacher education. Nationally and internationally, educational competence-based models and so-called workplace learning environments are seen as promising alternatives in professional teacher education. The main objective of our research is to obtain a coherent representation of the characteristics of workplace learning environments for primary teacher education. This representation consists of a conceptual analytical framework. A second objective is to gain insight as to the characteristics that make learning how to teach in a workplace learning environment 'powerful'. A third objective is to gain insight into the (qualitative) structure and content of mentoring conversations within the workplace learning environment. Three research questions are formulated. 1. What are the characteristics of workplace learning environments for primary teacher education? 2. Which of these characteristics, in the opinion of the actors, define a 'powerful' workplace learning environment? 3. How do the mentors utilize their supervision in the conversations with the prospective teachers? A literature study was performed, followed by an empirical exploration, a multiple case study and a derived study on the quality of mentoring conversations. We were able to develop a coherent conceptual analytical framework based on seven components (educational activities, learning climate, professionalism, conditions, supervision, quality control and initial competence), 19 characteristics and 104 elements. A total of 4 of the 19 characteristics define the workplace learning environment as 'powerful': mentoring and coaching, competences, continuity and cooperation agreements. The conceptual analytical framework allows the user to not only analyze and describe existing workplace learning environments and to test them for completeness, but also to create new ones. The quality of mentoring conversations was examined as to the phases of the conversations, the main activities, and the taking of initiative. We conclude that there is no evidence of high-quality mentoring conversations. Mentoring has been designated as a potential 'powerful' characteristic of the workplace learning environment. The conclusion, however, also shows the vulnerability of this characteristic.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||8 Oct 2007|
|Place of Publication||Helmond|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|