In their Own Words: Using First-Year Teacher Blogs to Prepare Preservice Educators

Laura Reynolds
2015 International education research  
Teacher-preparation programs strive to bridge the gap between theory and practice, and to prepare preservice teachers for the challenges and realities of the classroom. As budgets tighten and the alternative and online preparation of teachers becomes more common, field experiences in classrooms are increasingly limited. Creatively bridging the gap between theory and practice using teacher-created blogs provides preservice teachers the opportunity to gain insight into the challenges and life of
more » ... eachers as well as the chance to reflect and make connections between coursework and their future profession. Although preservice teachers are often required to create blogs, little attention has been given the use of teacher blogs as a part of course readings and discussions, or as a supplement or replacement for field experiences. The purpose of the present study was to first explore the impact first-year teacher blogs had on pre-service teacher perceptions of the classroom, and then to determine if reading, analyzing and reflecting on the blogs impact how students perceive the applicability and utility of course content. Participants were 58 undergraduate preservice teachers seeking initial certification and enrolled in an educational psychology course at the regional campus of a public midwestern university in the United States. Results indicated that the teacher-created blogs impacted preservice teacher reflection and refinement of the realities of the classroom, and that reading teacher accounts via blogs facilitated realistic expectations of the challenges facing novice teachers. The finding may prove useful in that utilizing blogs may be helpful in situations when courses are on-line, or do not include the recommended opportunity for practical classroom interaction (Cheng & Tang, 2008) .
doi:10.12735/ier.v3i2p01 fatcat:slb6gpy53ng4nnrekd76nb5j7u