Navigating Tensions in Designing a Curriculum That Prepares Preservice Teachers for School-Based Learning




work-integrated learning, curriculum, teaching practicum, pedagogical reasoning, teacher education


A long-standing concern in teacher education is the variability in the quality of practicum experiences afforded to preservice teachers. Although some variability is due to their personal attributes, preservice teachers often find it difficult to connect theoretical insights to teachers’ classroom practices. These challenges can be exacerbated when teachers do not explain the reasoning for what they do and why. School closures during the pandemic provided South African teacher educators with an opportunity to address this concern. We participated in developing a national online module that prepares preservice teachers for school-based learning through guided lesson study. This article adopts a self-study approach to account for the curriculum choices in developing this module. Three tensions needed consideration: portraying teaching as an individualised pursuit and/or a social practice, focusing on generic and/or specialised pedagogies, and focusing on the tacit and/or explicit reasoning that teachers do. We account for how we worked within and between these tensions. A module of this nature potentially enhances school-based learning by making the reasoning of teachers explicit to preservice teachers. To achieve this potential and to advance work-integrated learning as a scholarship, the conceptual underpinnings of the module and its curriculum design must be open to reflection and scrutiny.


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How to Cite

Bertram, Carol, and Lee Rusznyak. 2024. “Navigating Tensions in Designing a Curriculum That Prepares Preservice Teachers for School-Based Learning”. Education As Change 28 (February):23 pages.



Received 2023-09-12
Accepted 2024-01-03
Published 2024-02-15