There's a lot to learn about being a drama teacher: Pre-service drama teachers' experience of stress and vulnerability during an extended practicum
School of Education
The practicum is widely considered an integral component of pre-service training and an influential induction into the teaching profession. Yet, the practicum is fraught with challenges and literature identifies it to be overwhelming and stressful for pre-service teachers. Building on the work of Gray, Wright, and Pascoe (2017), this article explores the stressful side of practicum, recognising the way that stress is debilitating, impacting on students' ability to engage, effectively participate in, and grow through the experience. Field study data reveals the vulnerability five pre-service teachers from a Western Australian university experienced during practicum and the consequential lack of belonging and inadequate preparation they reported. These two key features are made more salient in the field of drama teaching where there are strong performative elements including not only the teaching of performance, but performance of the self. This research is key to better understanding the issues and challenges of the practicum so as to improve pre-service drama teachers’ experience and induction into the profession, building both solid foundations for practice, and a commitment towards drama teaching as a rewarding career.