University Of Education, Winneba: An Assessment of the One Semester Duration of the UEW Internship Program (Published)
Field internship is often suggested to be a strong tool in the process of preparing pre-service teachers for teaching profession. Debates remain, however, on whether;
- pre-service teachers are satisfactorily equipped with the pedagogical content knowledge required for teaching and learning with the one-semester duration field internship program;
- duration change has emotional impact on pre-service teachers’ preparation towards the teaching professional job; and
- first semester is pleasant for a one-semester duration field internship program.
A study conducted in the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) was designed to gain insight into the structure of the field internship program in the Centre of Teacher Development and Action Research (CETDAR). To report on the effect of changes made to the Student Internship Program (SIP), the study focused on the period and duration of the field internship. Data collected through observation and document analysis were analysed by means of the mixed method. By examining the characteristics of participants’ approaches in the changed duration, a study of the critical role that duration plays in constructing pedagogical content knowledge in students reveals that, the change has strictly weakened the competency of pre-service teachers towards the teaching and learning skills after training. Despite the fact that teaching vacancies exist for pre-service teachers in both semesters, the first semester was not found pleasant for the one semester duration field internship program. The need of the hour is to choose, for the field internship program, a vital period and duration that will help pre-service teachers acquire the pedagogical content knowledge required for teaching and learning adequately, before service. And making pre-service teachers’ acquisition of pedagogical content knowledge a ‘felt need’ of the field internship program, is a vital step in renovating the duration of field internship program.