Practicum is a key element of initial teacher education (ITE) programmes, designed to support the professional growth of student teachers. Practicum is also a key point of assessment, leading to a determination of the student’s professional growth and their readiness to teach and enter the teaching profession. This study sought to understand the way in which the assessment of practicum was enacted and experienced within New Zealand early childhood ITE programmes. Case study methodology was used to explore the experiences of practicum triads from four participating institutions. Data included recordings of triadic assessment meetings, post-assessment interviews with the student teachers, associate teachers and teacher educators, and examination of associated assessment documentation. In presenting key features of the four case studies it is argued that practicum assessment is complex and multi-faceted, enacted with institutional parameters, but highly individualised in practice.


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