The theory-practice divide has been a long-standing concern in the field of teacher preparation. One way to bridge the gap is to collaborate with K-12 school teachers because they can provide authentic teaching sites and real-world experiences. To optimize our pre-service teachers’ professional learning, we invited three junior high school teachers to collaborate with us in the course “Remedial Instruction” during the spring semester of 2017. The tasks accomplished by the first two teachers included giving lectures in class, sharing their remedial teaching materials on our web site, offering advice and comments on the lesson plans designed by our students, performing remedial teaching demonstrations at a near-by junior high school, as well as observing our students teach in a remedial class and providing feedback. The third teacher shared her remedial class with us, and allowed our students to teach in her class. Based on the questionnaires administered at the end of the course, our students indicated that they had learned a lot from the course including the following: (1) Understand more about remedial teaching in authentic contexts; (2) Acquire a variety of remedial teaching strategies and resources; (3) Put more concerns on the learner’s needs and characteristics; (4) Improve the abilities of designing lesson plans for diverse learners; and (5). Look up to these school teachers as good role models. Nevertheless, challenges were found related to time, cost, and institutionalization. Accordingly, relevant recommendations are provided at the end.
Proceedings of the 4th Symposium on Language and Sustainability in Asia (SELSA 2017)