Student Teachers' Placement Experiences in a Familiar School Setting

Local community partnerships with a distance ITE program


  • Bill Ussher University of Waikato



initial teacher education, school-based experiences, distance learning, preservice teachers


Studying to be a teacher in their local community is not normal practice for student teachers in New Zealand initial teacher education (ITE) programs. This paper argues that student teachers in a distance ITE program who are familiar with the local school community can benefit from the experience. This qualitative study centred on a distance program, in which student teachers' stories were collected through written narratives, focus group conversations, and interviews with the associate teachers and lecturers, exploring the student teachers' experiences of being placed in their home district. For the student teachers the placements created positive opportunities through initial stability, agency, and a sense of belonging. It also provided the local communities with opportunities for capacity building. This paper offers useful insights for understanding student teachers' experiences of learning to become a teacher and the benefits they could gain by being involved in their local communities during their school-based placements.



10-05-2016 — Updated on 01-03-2016


How to Cite

Ussher, B. (2016). Student Teachers’ Placement Experiences in a Familiar School Setting: Local community partnerships with a distance ITE program. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 26(1), 3–16. (Original work published May 10, 2016)