Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - ECU Access Only


Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education

First Supervisor

Christine Cunningham

Second Supervisor

Julia Morris

Third Supervisor

John O'Rourke


The supervision process in a teaching practicum setting is integral to effective teacher preparation in any teacher education programme. Although teaching practicum is considered crucial for effective teacher preparation in Bhutan, evidence gathered from the literature show that not many studies had been conducted to establish its efficacy. To address this gap, this doctoral study has adopted a qualitative study design, within the constructivist framework, to understand the views of student teachers (STs), mentors and supervising lecturers (SLs) on the efficacy of teaching practicum supervision in Bhutan. A need to explore the efficacy of supervision process from the vantage point of these three cohorts of participants were felt as they were primarily involved in the supervision process. Thus, interviews were conducted with twenty-five participants, consisting of 10 STs, 10 mentors and five SLs. In addition, document analysis was employed in this study to triangulate data collected through interviews. These documents provided an explicit picture of policies and guidelines surrounding teaching practicum supervision in Bhutan. Finally, a reflexive journal was maintained to record my previous experience as an SL in a practicum setting. My previous experience of supervising STs for three consecutive years had played a crucial role in understanding and relating my personal experience to the shared experience of my participants. It was useful in gaining an in depth understanding of our shared experiences and in providing rich description, achieving data triangulation and analysis from different perspectives.

For the data analysis, thematic analysis was employed to analyse data gathered through the interview which were then compared to my previous personal experience recorded in my reflexive journal. The common themes drawn from the individual interviews, focus group interviews, and the reflexive journal were used to provide an effective data triangulation. The findings of this study reveal that teaching practicum experience helped STs grow in their self-confidence, improve knowledge of the subject matter and enhance their teaching skills, although they faced considerable workload pressure caused by multiplicity of responsibilities and extensive documentations required. Mentors and SLs appeared to have executed most of their practicum roles in spite of facing overwhelming workload pressure. These overwhelming workload experiences adversely impacted the wellbeing of the participants. Thus, this research provides implications for preservice teacher education and offers guidelines for improving supervision process with a view to improve wellbeing of the STs, mentors and SLs. The study recommends stakeholders to minimise the workload burden, re-examine roles and responsibilities for practicum assessment, and provide professional learning for mentors. The study further suggests a need to ensure that resourcing is equitable and aligned with practicum requirements so that more attention is paid to the establishment of these facilities to improve practicum experience and wellbeing of the participants.