Perceptions of Pre-Service Teachers As They Relate to Professional Practice

Dr. Emily Williams
New Mexico Highlands University


Dr. Elissa Poel
New Mexico State University


Dr. Miguel Licona
New Mexico State University


Dr. Elsa Arroyos
New Mexico State University


Alma Meraz-Rodriguez
Las Cruces Public Schools


The purpose of this study was to explore the beliefs and concerns of pre-service teachers as they relate to professional practice during their practicum experience. This study took place in a minority-serving university in the Southwest. All activities were conducted during one academic semester and held during the weekly on-campus seminars. The participants were a convenience sample of 13 pre-service teachers enrolled in dual licensure programs (elementary/special education and secondary/special education). Pre/post surveys, interviews, and focus groups were used to triangulate the data. Responses to questions posed during focus groups, interviews, and questionnaires were explored thematically. The results indicated that pre-service teachers maintained a positive attitude toward their students, projected an understanding of their students and their disabilities, and recognized the challenges that students with disabilities face.

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