Secondary Teacher Candidates' Lesson Planning Learning

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Teacher candidates (TCs) use clinical experiences to enact concepts taught in their university courses; therefore field experiences may be the most important component of teacher preparation (Hammerness et al., 2005). TCs require support and guidance as they learn to adapt curriculum materials for effective use in the classroom (Davis, 2006). They learn to lesson plan by negotiating the pros and cons of multiple methods while considering the needs of their students, their own knowledge, and their goals (Beyer & Davis, 2009). They tend to consider various ideas when planning (Davis, 2006), but these ideas are often narrow in focus (Beyer & Davis, 2009). Significant research has explored curricular planning by new and prospective teachers (Beyer & Davis, 2009; Courey, Tappe, Siker, & LePage, 2013; Davis, 2006; Jones et al., 2011). However, little research has investigated TCs' lesson planning through a concurrent focus on theories and concepts in a methods course and practices in a school-based context. This study challenges the misconception that methods courses and field experiences are dichotomous. The purpose of this study is to examine how secondary TCs in a general methods course and a school-based field experience learn lesson planning. It provides insight regarding the interactions of the TCs' methods course and first practicum experience. The general research question is, How do TCs' experiences in a concurrent practicum experience and methods course shape their lesson planning practices? The authors investigate the following: (1) How concurrent enrollment influences TC's planning to use teacher-centered and student centered methods; and (2) How university and school based contexts impact TCs' lesson planning choices.