A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Student Concerns in the Teaching Practicum
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There is general consensus in the literature that students consider the practicum to be a highly valued component of their teacher education degree. Nevertheless, there are wide ranging concerns reported by students related to their teaching practice. This paper reports on these concerns in the form of a cross-cultural comparison of an Australian and a Singaporean sample of students. Singaporean and Australian students completing their first practicum independently responded to a questionnaire based on the Survey of Practicum Stresses (D'Rozario & Wong, 1996). The psychometric properties of their 7-factor model were tested using the Australian data. This resulted in a 4-factor model, which was confirmed using structural equation procedures. Details of effective but under-employed analysis techniques are presented. This model was employed subsequently to provide cross-cultural comparisons of student concerns in the teaching practicum. Significant differences between the stresses experienced by Singaporean and Australian students point to the need to understand student stress within a cultural context.