Questions about the practicum within teacher education tend to focus on the amount of time allocated to it in programs. In this research, we were interested in the quality of the experience rather than assuming "more is better". To understand what is going on and where, this study focussed on the school and especially the departmental office or room as a site for workplace learning. Using qualitative methods we constructed narratives from the data provided by a cohort of four-year bachelor degree pre-service teachers during and following their final major (10 week) practicum experience. Using theories of spatiality to make sense of the data, we found that the narratives revealed stories of spaces where compliance, disappointment were the key features of the practicum, and where resistance through absence (from the departmental office) was an important strategy to manage the experience. This research challenges the "more is better" argument.
- departmental staffroom or office
- spatial theory
- workplace learning