Teacher education is Ireland is currently undergoing significant structural and conceptual changes. School placement is at the centre of these reforms.
This article reports the findings of an all-Ireland study which investigates student teachers’ experiences of teaching geography during their school placements. Based on data collected from surveys and focus group interviews with one cohort of B.Ed. students, this study illustrates the emotional journey of school placement, emerging identities as teacher, the positive impact of initial teacher education, the problematic nature of messages from ‘third parties’ and conflicting conceptualisations of geography.
The findings of this study are important for student teachers and teacher educators as they illustrate the complexity of school placement and the importance of emotional as well as cognitive engagement.