oa Interim : Interdisciplinary Journal - The impact of leadership and management of host schools on the construction of professional identity of teacher trainees
The paper reports on the findings of a study that investigated the impact of leadership and management on the construction of professional identity of teacher trainees. The writer argues that the overall leadership and management of the host schools, where student teachers do experiential training (teaching practice), has an impact on the construction of their professional identity. The host schools provide different learning experiences (environment) which may either enhance or hinder the development of a positive professional identity. A questionnaire comprising of open-ended questions was administered to 40 teacher trainees at the School of Teacher Education, Central University of Technology, Free State. The students had just return from a six-month period of experiential training. The aim of the questionnaire was to examine their views on their experiences and expectations of the teaching practice, and whether or not the leadership and management of the school has had an impact on the construction of their professional identity. The findings revealed that a supportive and enabling environment within the host school provided a good learning experience and consequently enhanced the development of a positive professional identity whereas a non-welcoming and threatening environment had the opposite effect. Suggestions and recommendations for providing a supportive and enabling environment for all students are made.
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