Comparison of Teacher Training Internship in Farhangian University (Iran) with Harvard University and Missouri Southeast University (USA)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Science Education, Shahid Beheshti Higher Education Center, Farhangian University, Tehran ,Iran

2 M.Sc., Department of Biology Education, Shahid Beheshti Higher Education Center, Farhangian University, Tehran ,Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Sciences, Shahid Muftah Campus, Farhangian University, Tehran ,Iran


The purpose of study was to compare teacher training internship at Farhangian University of Iran with Southeast Missouri University and Harvard University in USA. The research method was comparative-analytical and data was collected and analyzed through documentary method and Bereday method respectively. The research population included all teacher training universities with internship courses in the world and the method of selecting universities was targeted sampling. Curricula of selected universities were extracted using checklists as well as executive documents of teacher training and internship courses. Comparison of the internship period in these three universities according to dimensions such as characteristics of teacher training and the internship program were carried out. The findings show that in terms of characteristics, length of teacher training course and educational content, Farhangian University is similar to Missouri University and different from Harvard University. Also, in terms of the length of internship period (hours and semester), the three universities differ from each other. There are similarities among three universities in terms of the characteristics of the professors and mentors and the evaluation method, but in terms of the topics of the internship, fundamental differences are evident. According to the findings, it is suggested to the decision-makers and planners of Iran's teacher education system, while increasing the supervision of the implementation of internship courses in Farhangian University provide the opportunity to hold teacher training courses in other universities of the country.




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Article Title [Persian]

مقایسه دوره کارآموزی تربیت معلم در دانشگاه فرهنگیان با دانشگاه هاروارد و دانشگاه جنوب شرقی میسوری ایالات متحده آمریکا

Authors [Persian]

  • محمدحسن بازوبندی 1
  • محمد دانش 2
  • ابوالفضل بختیاری 3
1 استادیار، گروه آموزش علوم، مرکز آموزش عالی شهید بهشتی، دانشگاه فرهنگیان، تهران، ایران
2 کارشناس ارشد، گروه آموزش زیست شناسی، مرکز آموزش عالی شهید بهشتی، دانشگاه فرهنگیان، تهران، ایران
3 استادیار، گروه علوم تربیتی، پردیس شهید مفتح، دانشگاه فرهنگیان، تهران، ایران
Abstract [Persian]

هدف این مطالعه، مقایسۀ دوره کارورزی در دانشگاه فرهنگیان ایران با دانشگاه‌های جنوب‌شرقی میسوری  و هاروارد ایالات متحده آمریکا است. روش پژوهش، تطبیقی ، روش جمع آوری داده‌ها اسنادی و برای تجزیه و تحلیل آنها از روش بردی استفاده شده‌است. جامعه پژوهش شامل کلیه دانشگاه‌های تربیت معلم دارای دوره‌های کارورزی بود که ازبین آنها ، نمونه پژوهش طریق روش نمونه‌گیری هدفمند انتخاب گردید. برنامه‌های درسی دانشگاه‌های منتخب با استفاده از چک لیست‌ از اسناد اجرایی تربیت معلم و کارورزی استخراج شده و روایی و پایایی داده توسط استادان کارورزی و برنامه‌ریزی‌درسی بررسی گردید. مقایسه کارورزی این سه دانشگاه در دو بعد " ویژگی‌های دوره کارورزی" و " برنامه درسی" انجام شده است. یافته‌ها نشان می‌دهد که در بعد ویژگی‌ها، طول دوره تربیت معلم و محتوی آموزشی آن در دانشگاه‌های فرهنگیان و جنوب شرقی میسوری مشابه بوده و با دانشگاه هاروارد متفاوت اند و از نظر طول دوره کارورزی (ساعت و ترم) با یکدیگر متفاوت هستند. در بعد برنامه‌درسی، از نظر افراد مشارکت کننده (استاد و معلم راهنما) و ارزشیابی، مشابه هستند ولی از نظر سرفصل‌های واحد کارورزی تفاوت‌های اساسی وجود دارد. با توجه به یافته‌های پژوهش، به تصمیم گیران و برنامه ریزان نظام تربیت معلم ایران پیشنهاد می شود ضمن افزایش نظارت بر اجرای دوره های کارورزی در دانشگاه فرهنگیان، امکان برگزاری دوره های تربیت معلم در سایر دانشگاه های کشور فراهم شود.

Keywords [Persian]

  • دانشگاه فرهنگیان
  • دانشگاه هاروارد
  • دانشگاه جنوب شرقی میسوری
  • کارورزی
  • تربیت معلم
  1. Introduction

              The comparison of teacher training methods in many advanced countries shows the existence of relatively different theoretical and practical courses, lessons and programs in the process of professional training of student-teachers. One of the most important programs is internship. The internship is a valuable part of teacher training programs during which student-teachers acquire the skills and capabilities needed for the teaching profession in a practical way. Internship is an activity through which student-teachers establish a link between theory and knowledge and get the necessary opportunity to develop their teaching skills, classroom management and familiarity with different cultures of students (Brown 2008). According to Bukaliya (2012), internship is the use of previous knowledge to improve skills in a professional environment. Salerni, Sposett & Szpuna (2013) consider internship as learning by doing and thinking while doing. Talkhabi and Faqiri (2014) believe that through internships, students gain valuable experience of their work environment and future job position and evaluate their talent and ability. According to Hosseini (2013), internship courses can fill the gap between theoretical courses and classrooms to acquire capabilities, skills and bring practical activities closer. Therefore, the internship period is a good opportunity for teachers-student to get acquainted with the real world of job, employment conditions and work challenges.

           Internship not only allows students to realize their abilities, desires, interests and tendencies in different subjects, but also strengthens and increases their practical capabilities to fulfill their professional duties and responsibilities in the future. Xiuli (2012) in a research entitled "Professional training of student- teachers in the internship course" by studying the four-month internship period, found that creating professional communities for exchanging information and rethinking teaching process with the guiding teacher has an important effect on increasing the qualifications of teaching activities in their classes. Choy, et al. (2014) in a research entitled "Practical experience: pre-service teachers' understanding of their professional development" indicated that internship courses helped the growth and development of student-teachers' professional competencies through benefit from the experiences of experienced teachers. Therefore, internship is a process that provides the possibility of applying the theoretical learning in the real environment and creates a relationship between academic environment and work environment.

            In Iran, the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution (2011) approved the "fundamental transformation document of Iran's education system". This document includes sections such as statement of values, mission, vision, macro goals, and strategies to achieve goals. Also, the process of creating transformation in the education system has been predicted and formulated in six subsystems of curriculum, teacher training & provision of human resources, leadership & management, provision & allocation of financial resources, provision of space, equipment & technology for research and evaluation. In the 11th grand strategy of this document, the role and importance of internship in the teacher training process is mentioned and emphasized:


  • Designing and promoting the system of professional training of teachers with an emphasis on maintaining the continuous interaction of students and teachers with schools during this period and providing the possibility of gaining real experiences from the classroom and educational environments,
  • Planning for student-teacher internships according to new theories of education (Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, 2011).


          According to the previous research, the implementation of internship courses in the teacher education system of Iran lacks the desired level compared to other countries. For example, Parishani, Khoroshi, & Ghorbani (2016) with the pathology of the internship course from the perspective of Farhangian University professors showed that the components of the curriculum, goals, content, teaching and learning strategies, evaluation method, time and space allocated to this course is not well explained. From the implementation aspect, among the problems of the internship program are the weak interaction of schools with Farhangian University, relative interaction and cooperation of school administrators and teachers with internship’s mentors, lack of common understanding regarding the internship period, the negative attitude of some university professors and the geographical distance between schools and university campuses. Asghari (2016) evaluated the quality of the implemented internship curriculum of Farhangian University from the perspective of student-teachers and showed that from the students' point of view, the internship program in terms of the supervisor's influence on the way of implementation, increasing teaching and classroom management skills, and encouraging student-teachers to solve educational problems through research are weak. Also, they have evaluated the role of the mentor in the effective implementation of this program and helping to increase the student's experiences as weak. In general, the effect of the implemented internship program in realization of educational goals and development of professional skills of student-teachers is at the average level. Ghahramanlu (2014) by comparing the current and desired state of the internship curriculum in the field of educational sciences from the point of view of the professors and students of Tabriz campus of Farhangian University states that internship programs should be prepared based on the goals of the academic subjects, job needs and must have a theoretical and practical dimension. Maleki et al. (2021) through evaluation of Farhangian University's internship program came to the conclusion that this program in some elements, especially time, goals & expectations, content, setting the role of the guidance teacher and evaluation does not respect the scientific implications. Rastegari, Salari Chineh, & Musaipour (2017) who have done a comparative study of the internship in Farhangian University with the clinical training program for student-teachers in the United States found that in both programs the implementation stage is operational and practical training are presented at the same time as theoretical lessons begins, but in USA goals such as development of student-teachers' reasoning skills and strengthening judgment. Hejazi & Bakhtiari (2021) with a comparative study of teacher training internship curriculum in Iran, Australia and Singapore show that there are similarities among these countries in terms of full-time internship courses. Also, the number of internships in Singapore and Iran are similar and different from Australia. In addition, there is a difference between the teacher education system of Singapore and Australia with Iran in matters such as the amount of internship credits and performance. In another study, Maleki et al. (2020) evaluated the internship program of Farhangian University from the perspective of global experiences and revealed that the internship programs of the three countries of Singapore, Canada and Australia - despite their cultural and geographical dispersion- are very similar in many elements and has a lot of differences with Iran's internship program (Falhangian University). These differences are very obvious in terms of goals, content, determining the role and responsibility of guidance teachers, time and evaluation. Koshi and Soltani (2018) through a comparative analysis of the curriculum elements of the teacher training centers of Iran and India highlighted that in Iran, less time has been allocated to the internship period - compared to other subjects - and curriculum have a great variety, but the amount of time for internship in India is longer and student-teacher presence in class and school is emphasized more. Molainejad & Zekavati (2008) investigated teacher education system in England, Japan, France, Malaysia and Iran and made it clear that these countries are trying to increase the length of internship periods and add quality to it. They are also looking to establish a closer relationship between schools and teacher training universities for the more effective implementation of this course, so that they can choose guidance teachers from among the most experienced teachers.

           One of the best methods to improve the current situation of the internship program in teacher education system of Iran is to use the experiences of other countries. Ernie Duncan (2009) the then Secretary of Education of the United States of America, emphasized the focus on reforming the methods of preparation of teacher education programs. He invited all teacher training colleges to challenge the methods of teacher education and asked them to implement significant reforms in their teaching methods in line with life in the 21st century. He believed that we should train student-teachers in such a way that they have the necessary preparation to prepare students for success in the future and in a competitive global economy. He believes that in order to solve the current challenges of the educational system, the new generation of teachers needs to be well trained and receive appropriate training to help the students' academic progress. Research conducted in USA led to the presentation and design of more than 30 models for teacher preparation (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, 2010). This council extensively investigated the situation of teacher training in 50 U.S states and invited the legislators and institutes & research centers to improve the teacher education system. Also, by attracting the attention of the media, this council caused the federal government to allocate millions of dollars to support research projects in the field of teacher education (Rastegari et al., 2017).

          In USA, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (2010) concluded that the education system needs fundamental reforms and the main mechanism for achieving this goal is greater collaboration between higher education centers and schools in providing practical experiences suitable for students and teachers. This means that by providing strong internship training, a suitable ground is created for more integration between theory, content and training with practical knowledge. This collaboration also provides a suitable environment for the professional growth and development of school teachers. One of these models prepared by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education for redesigning teacher education is the “professional development model”. In this model, schools are considered as large laboratories where student-teachers gain practical experiences in real classroom environments with the cooperation of university professors and support of an experienced teacher. With this method and by using teamwork, student-teachers can learn how to work in schools and understand growth and development of the curriculum, the challenges facing teacher and appropriate solutions to solve them and learn the scientific and practical knowledge of university professors (Rastegari et al., 2017). In 2011, with the establishment of Farhangian University, a fundamental change occurred in Iran's teacher education system. Teacher training curricula were revised and emphasis was placed on learning through internships. Despite the major changes of the last few years, there are still obstacles and challenges for teacher training and the internship programs. The main purpose of this research was the comparative study of teacher training internship in Farhangian University of Iran with Southeast Missouri and Harvard University in USA. Therefore, researchers seek to provide answers to the following questions:


  • What are the characteristics of the internship courses in Farhangian University, Harvard University and Southeastern Missouri University?
  • What are the similarities and differences between the internship program at Farhangian University with Harvard University and Southeast Missouri University?
  • According to the experiences of Southeastern Missouri University and Harvard University, what suggestions can be made to improve the internship courses at Farhangian University?


  1. Research Method


        The purpose of this research was to compare the internship curriculum at Farhangian University of Iran with Southeast Missouri and Harvard universities in the United States of America. To conduct the research, the comparative-analytical method and the four-step approach of George F. Bereday - including description, interpretation, juxtaposition and comparison - were used. The research population includes all teacher training universities that have internship courses. Since comparative research requires the existence of minimum similarity between the credits of analysis, the researchers chose the purposive sampling method to select the sample by considering the following criteria: a) the country that have made reforms in its teacher education system in the last few years and have applied their internship unit. b) The country that are among the leaders in education in the world; and c) Universities where access to their information is possible by referring to the internet. According to these criteria and report of the U.S. News & World Report (2021) that the United States was ranked first in the world in higher education, this country was selected for the study. Also, due to the differences in teacher training programs- especially the internship period - in different states of this country, the present researchers chose Harvard University from the state of Massachusetts and the University of Southeast Missouri from the state of Missouri. Data collection was done through document analysis and review of documents related to selected universities regarding how to plan and implement teacher training courses and internship programs. Then, based on a checklist, the data was obtained from sources such as executive documents of internship - from the homepage of two universities and the Department of Education of the selected states. Also, the data related to Farhangian University was collected through the review of upstream documents, scientific reports, articles and books related to the internship in Iran. In the next step, the data were compared with each other based on the objectives of the research from the two dimensions of the characteristics of the internship program and its curriculum planning in three universities. Validity and reliability of the data were confirmed by four experts - 2 internship professors at Farhangian University and 2 experts in curriculum planning and comparative education.


  1. Findings


          This section contains data that has been examined in the four stages of description, interpretation, juxtaposition and comparison. First, in the stages of description and interpretation, the internship program of Farhangian, Harvard, and Southeast Missouri Universities was explained in terms of characteristics of the course and curriculum. Then, in the juxtaposition and comparison stages, three universities are compared in terms of course characteristics and internship curriculum elements:

Step 1 and 2: Description and Interpretation

  1. a) Internship at Farhangian University

          The history of teacher education in Iran is more than a hundred years, and in the last four decades, internship has been considered as one of the main curriculum credits. Since 2012 and at the same time as the establishment of Farhangian University, the teacher training program based on learning and teaching practical credits with an emphasis on internship and skill training took a new form. In this university, internship during 4 semesters and in the form of 8 credits (internship 1, 2, 3 and 4) and 512 hours exposes student-teachers to anticipated learning opportunities. Internship 1 consists of reflective observation and helping the teacher. In internship 2, student participation in teaching and learning activities begins. Internship 3 is the scene of experimental teaching and action research, and in internship 4, the necessary opportunity for independent teaching and action research is provided to the student. Also, 144 hours of undergraduate courses - such as research and professional development courses 1, 2 and 3 - are offered as internship prerequisite courses (JafariShafaq, Taadoli & Ghaffarian, 2020). In Farhangian University, internship is recognized not as a subject in the course schedule, but as a focal point of the curriculum and a basis for evaluating the acquired professional competencies of student-teachers. Internship is a space for measuring theoretical learning in practice. In fact, the curriculum of Farhangian University is based on the integrated competence approach with an emphasis on the importance of internship (Ismaili, 2019).

          Effective education requires that student-teachers be exposed to diverse and rich teaching-learning experiences during the internship period. They should be able to study, make decisions and evaluate the consequences of their decisions in complex educational and training situations. The internship program provides the necessary opportunity to establish and connect the theoretical learning with the real educational environments and deepen previous experiences. The internship course at Farhangian University adds to the richness of student-teacher learning by emphasizing reflective observation, narrative writing, and analysis of experiences as constructive/shaping elements of intellectual action, and through the three tools of action research, lesson study, and narrative self-analysis. The study of educational issues at the classroom and school level is the basis for the independent professional action of the student-teacher and gaining first-hand experiences (JafariShafaq et al, 2020).

            Internship program 1 and 2 is offered in the third year of the training course, and during one year, the student-teacher must attend a school for at least 256 hours. The presence of a student-teacher in an educational situation must be approved by the tutor and school principal. Also, the type of their activity according to the organized program under the supervisor's supervision - every day/training session - is registered and recorded in her/his academic file. Internship program 1 and 2 will be implemented simultaneously. In addition, the constant presence of the supervisor - during the implementation of the 1st and 2nd internship program - helps to guide and develop the student-teacher's career and achieve the goals at a higher level. The evaluation of the student-teacher is based on the time she/he was in the school and the documentation provided in their performance report (JafariShafaq et al, 2020, 156).

              The 3rd and 4th internship program is offered in the fourth year of study. Due to the integrated nature of scientific expertise with educational knowledge, the internship program is implemented by professors with interdisciplinary expertise. In the absence of interdisciplinary professors, the internship program is offered with the participation of two professors (one expert in educational sciences and one expert in the student's field of study) so that the student-teacher has the opportunity to plan, implement and evaluate her/his professional performance in practice based on curriculum standards. The attendance time of the student-teacher in the school for the 3rd and 4th internship is 256 hours during the academic year, which is reported by the school principal. Also, the student-teacher work program at the classroom and school level must be approved by the mentor, tutor and school principal. Providing documentation related to student-teacher performance is necessary to determine professional competencies at the end of the course under the supervision of the professional training group (JafariShafaq et al, 202, 157).



          Internship 1: Reflective Observation & Teacher-assistance Course


           The main focus of internship 1 program is reflective observation. In internship 1, the student-teacher, having acquired skills in applying reflective observation methods and techniques, studies educational and training situations at the school and classroom level and presents her/his findings in the form of narratives, perspectives and personal experiences. These findings from the school and classroom situation can be analyzed together with photos, videos and reports from different situations. The evaluation of the student in internship 1 takes place in the form of a final seminar, in which she/he must present her/his findings from the study of educational situations and defend them by citing scientific theories (learned in theoretical courses). This meeting is held with the tutor (JafariShafaq et al, 2020, 167).


              Internship 2: Participation in Teaching & Learning Activities


              In the Internship Program 2, the student-teacher, by being exposed to in-depth assignments, preliminarily acquires the ability to think in action - through participation in the individual teaching process, and small / large groups and independent implementation of learning. They are also active in the classroom and gain a correct understanding of what is happening in the classroom. Knowing about the decisions related to planning, implementation and evaluation - as a reflective process - will help to know the professional orientation, thinking and teaching style of the student-teacher. Final evaluation in the internship 2 based on the preparation of the activity plan at the class level, participation with the tutor in the implementation of learning activities, independent implementation of learning activities, participation in class seminars to present findings and transfer experiences to other student-teachers. In these seminars, student-teachers must present their findings from the study of educational situations and present and defend them by citing scientific findings (learned in theoretical courses) (JafariShafaq et al, 2020, 170).


Internship 3: Experimental Teaching & Individual Action Research


            In internship 3, the student-teacher directly takes the responsibility of teaching and managing the classroom - according to the environmental situations of learning - and prepares the lesson plan - to teach the specified scientific concepts/skills according to curriculum. In such a situation, the student-teacher needs to make a connection between the teaching and learning opportunities of the pupils and deeply connect with the real background of the students' lives. Evaluation in internship 3 takes place in the form of a final seminar in which student-teachers must present and defend their findings from the results of individual action research. This meeting can be held with the presence of tutors (JafariShafaq et al, 2020, 188).


Internship 4: Lesson Study & Independent Teaching


                In internship 4, the student-teacher is expected to be able to present herself/himself as a lesson planner (active implementer) through the experiences gained in the role of a teacher and while analyzing the prescribed curriculum, the learning unit to respond to design, produce and implement the learning needs/solutions of students' learning problems and evaluate its results in the process of acquiring the competencies in the curriculum. The final evaluation in the internship 4 is based on the designed learning unit and the final report in which the student-teachers must present the results of their performance and experiences gained in interaction with other teachers - in order to determine the level of effectiveness and its impact on learning. This meeting is held with the presence of tutors and professors of the internship group (JafariShafaq et al, 2020, 200).


Table 1: Farhangian University internship program




type of activities, goal



Internship 1

Acquiring the skill of analyzing the educational situation

Reflective observation

Observing and matching the tutor's teaching with theoretical topics.

Examining the capabilities of the tutor in the implementation of teaching skills and professional ethics.

Relying on self-knowledge and lived experiences through reflective observation and narrating situations and interaction

With the help of the mentor and tutor to identify issues in the educational situation

Narrative research report

Internship 2

Acquiring skills in identifying and providing solutions for specific educational issues and experimental implementation of some solutions

Research and reflection (with emphasis on learning sub-activities)

Design, implementation and evaluation of learning sub-activities, teaching techniques and skills & adherence to professional ethics indicators and finally at a higher level, semi-independent teaching.

Relying on one's own knowledge and lived experiences through reflective observation, narrating situations and interacting with professors and guidance teachers to identify problems in the educational environment, presenting & experimentally implementing solutions

Narrative research report

Internship 3

Acquiring skills in teaching based on constructionism

Action research

Designing, implementing and evaluating 4 to 6, independent teaching and completing the self-evaluation cycle

Relying on one's own knowledge and lived experiences through reflective observation and narrating situations, paying attention to professional ethics indicators and interacting with professors and guidance teachers, and designing, implementing and evaluating experimental and independent teaching.

Narrative research report

Internship 4

Acquiring skills in designing a joint learning and teaching unit

Lesson study (group action research)

Collaborative teaching design and independent implementation of teaching and classroom management in 45 to 90 minutes and collaborative assessment

Relying on one's own knowledge and lived experiences through reflective observation and narrating situations, interacting with professors and guidance teachers and emphasizing professional ethics, designing, implementing and criticizing independent teaching and joint teaching with other teachers.

Narrative research report

Figure 1: Percentage and hours of internship at Farhangian University


Internship Mentor Activities

             In addition to activities such as interacting with the school and accompanying student-teachers to attend the class and school and hold briefing sessions, the following duties can be mentioned:

  • Interaction with the tutor in order to provide opportunities for student-teacher teaching,
  • Holding workshops related to internship topics,
  • Examining lesson plans and providing feedback, as well as monitoring evaluation and correction in briefing sessions,
  • Attending school and observing and evaluating student teaching,
  • Examining the student's teaching implementation report, providing feedback and also monitoring their analysis in in the department,
  • Conducting a workshop on the analysis of experiences and analysis and redesign.


           For the internship, two mentors have been appointed in each department - a specialized professor and an educational sciences professor. According to the specialization of the student-teacher and the conditions of the internship, the tasks are divided between the two mentors by agreement. It is obvious that the scientific content of the topics in lesson design and implementation must be approved by a specialized professor, and the teaching approach and the stages of design, implementation and class management must be approved by the educational sciences mentor (JafariShafaq et al, 2020, 79).





Duties of student-teacher during internship

              In addition to general activities including participation in introduction and briefing sessions, attending school on time and submitting reports at the designated time, the student-teacher is also responsible for performing the following duties:


  • Interaction with the supervisor and the tutor in order to prepare the teaching opportunity
  • Active participation in internship-related workshops;
  • Ideation to improve self-professional and effectiveness of teaching-learning process;
  • Setting the lesson plan.
  • Presenting lesson plan to the tutor and mentor and asking opinions of them and other professors;
  • Modifying and improving the lesson plan based on the suggested comments
  • Preparing media and facilities for teaching;
  • Implementation of teaching and reflection during operation;
  • Compilation of teaching implementation reports and feedback from students, tutors; mentor
  • Adjusting the plan of the next lessons and repeating implementation and evaluation cycle;
  • Preparing the final internship report (JafariShafaq et al, 2020, 80).


Table 2. Components and features of internship at Farhangian University



University admission method

High school diploma, participating in the national university entrance exam, obtaining a passing grade at Farhangian University, passing the face-to-face interview

Method of attending the internship program

Compulsory and full time

Course length

4 year

Duration of internship

4 semester

Duration of internship

512 hours

Educational content

Specialized courses, educational science courses, Islamic education and training, internship

Main Goal of teacher education system

Thoughtful teacher

Internship topics

Internship 1: reflective observation period and teacher-assistance; (128 hours)

Internship 2: participation in teaching and learning activities; (128 hours)

Internship 3: experimental teaching and action research (128 hours)

Internship 4: independent teaching and research (128 hours)


Supervisor: specialized supervisor and educational supervisor from among the mandatory or non-obligatory professors of the university

Tutor: There is no specific criteria, but this task is usually assigned to experienced school teachers

Internship evaluation criteria

Obtaining at least 70% of points of internship period (score 14 out of 20)


  1. b) Internship at Missouri Southeast University

          The state of Missouri is located in the west of the United States, and the University of Southeast Missouri is one of its most famous universities. Teacher education programs in the state of Missouri are offered by institutions approved by the Missouri State Board of Education. These institutions offer complete four-year undergraduate programs, and people are nominated to receive a teacher's certificate. These institutions also offer graduate programs for advanced teacher certification. For the conduct of teacher training courses by institutions approved by the Missouri State Board of Education and the Department of Education criteria have been prepared under the title “Missouri Standards for the Preparation of Educators (MoSPE)" (Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, 2020) in the form of a document as follows:


Standard 1: Educational topic (professional knowledge and skills and their application):


  • General Education: These include basic academic courses in the universities of the United States of America. General education prepares student-teachers for success and full lives - as educated people, active citizens and effective participants in the process of their prosperity and general well-being and interaction with the world.
  • Content Knowledge: This type of knowledge is provided in order to gain a complete understanding of the field of study. Candidates must be fully aware of the curriculum and standards of the specialized field that they will be teaching in the 12-year period of general education.
  • Professional Training: These trainings are related to pedagogical knowledge and teaching-learning process. Candidates for the teaching job, in addition to strong specialized and general knowledge, must be able to have teaching skills. Student-teachers should be able to create strong relationships with students that increase their interest, motivation and respect for learning.


Standard 2: Design and evaluation


               Institutions providing teacher education programs are required to use data from fair, valid and reliable assessments to measure the performance of student-teachers and teacher training programs - based on the standards related to the certification.


Standard 3: Program's commitment to quality and diversity


           Teacher education institutions provide resources to ensure that candidates have the necessary job preparation, ability to adapt to a variety of professional environments, and growth after completing the training course. Also, to ensure these results, teacher education institutions use a specific mechanism to continuously improve student-teachers’ performance in such a way that it collects data from various sources and determines their compliance with approved annual certification and to identify possible problems. These institutions also send the resulting data to the Department of Education annually for continuous accountability and public reporting.


Standard 4: Recruiting, training and retaining teaching profession candidates


            Candidates who are potentially capable of teaching profession are recruited by teacher education institutions and retained after training.


Standard 5: Field and clinical experiences


          Field and clinical experiences provided in collaboration with public education schools (PK-12) support the development of teachers. These experiences are necessary for training of student-teachers. Throughout this experience, the procedures, diversity of experiences and credentials of student-teachers are elements that must be monitored and controlled by teacher training institutions.


Practical activities (internship) of Southeast Missouri University teacher training programs


            The practical activities (internship) of the teacher training programs of that university are classified in the following three levels (Fridley & Griffin, 2019):


1) Early Level: The goal of this level is to expose student-teachers to current educational realities in public schools and classroom environments. While observing teaching-learning activities, student-teachers will have the necessary opportunity to reflect on the relationship between educational theory and practice. While the primary responsibilities of this level are observation and reflection, student-teachers may be given the opportunity to work with a pupil—or small groups of pupils—under the supervision of a tutor. Also, student-teachers may also help with classroom management in some cases. The length of this level is 30 hours of attendance in educational environments, which can be implemented in one or more schools (as determined by the director of the internship department). At this level, tutors must have a bachelor's degree and, in addition to having state certification, be introduced to the teacher training program by the school principal. The tutors must also have at least a master's degree in the field of educational sciences or related fields, and in addition to having at least three years of experience in public schools (PK-12), they must have the ability to interact, guide, and communicate with student-teachers and tutors.

2) Intermediate Level: This level aims to bring the student-teacher closer to the special opportunities of working in school - interacting with individuals or groups of students in a classroom setting. The time for this level is 45 hours, which starts with classroom observation and moves towards more active participation of the student-teacher in the classroom with the help of the tutor. This level includes reflection on the relationship between educational theory and practice while implementing a variety of educational strategies. Student-teachers may also be asked to prepare syllabi, program credits and/or activities to present to the class or prepare materials for use in the class. At this level, tutors must have a bachelor's degree, state certification, at least 3 years of teaching experience in public schools (PK-12), and a letter of recommendation from the school principal. Mentors must have a master's degree in educational sciences or related fields, at least five years of experience in public education schools (PK-12) and the ability to interact, guide, and communicate with student-teachers and tutors.

3) Culminating Level: This level of internship places student-teachers in a classroom with an expert tutor over a 16-week period. Student-teachers are required to plan, teach, and implement lessons, evaluate student achievement, reflect on their performance, and participate in school activities. At this level, guide counselors must have a master's degree, at least 3 years of teaching experience in PK-12 schools, state certification, and a letter of recommendation from a school principal. Mentor teachers must have at least a master's degree in education or related fields, at least five years of experience in PK-12 schools and the ability to interact, guide, and communicate with students and tutors. At this level, in addition to having weekly communication with the tutor and student-teacher, every 2 or 3 weeks, the mentor must have a field visit to the school and a meeting with the student-teacher and tutor to review reports and provide formative feedback.


Figure 2: Internship hours at the Missouri Southeast State University, USA


              Mentor: mentors play an essential role in the education of student-teachers, guiding and supporting them (Oldham, 2020). They are also the primary role models for the student to enable him to become a highly confident beginning teacher (Russell & Russell, 2011; Cavanagh & Prescott, 2011; Butler & Cuenca, 2012). The duration of the guidance teacher's activity is 16 weeks, which is a significant time for the student-teacher to gain experience. During this period, it is the time when the guidance teacher can share his experience and expertise in the field of teaching with the student-teacher and it enhances his teaching ability (Tannebaum, 2016). During the internship period, mentor teachers guide student-teachers in areas such as lesson planning, evaluation, classroom management, interaction with parents and acquiring professional ethics. In terms of interactions, encouragement and daily support, the guidance teacher can be considered the most important person during the internship experience for the student-teacher.


           Tutor: In the Missouri State Teacher Training Program, a tutor must have certain characteristics and perform specific duties:

  • The tutor must be a full-time school teacher with at least five years of teaching experience in the field of student-teacher specialization. He must have at least one year of teaching experience in the current school.
  • The tutor must have state-approved certificates in the specialized field and have a good academic record.
  • The tutor should preferably have a master's degree. If she/he does not have a master's degree, the principal should discuss this with the head of department.
  • The tutor must accept the student-teacher voluntarily and be willing to carry out the necessary supervision and evaluation.
  • The tutor must be introduced and approved by the school principal. This introduction should be based on the acceptable level of her/his performance - in accordance with the Missouri State Teacher Education Laws - and effective personality traits in creating collective communication with student-teachers. Also, she/he should be accepted as an ethical and professional model among colleagues and student-teachers.
  • The tutor is expected to effectively monitor the behavior and performance of the student-teacher during the 70-day field experience (Oldham, 2020, p. 4).


             Field Supervisor: The field supervisor is the formal representative of the university and is responsible for direct supervision of the student-teacher. She/he works as a liaison between universities and schools and participates in field experience as a student-teacher guide. The specialized tutor may be a full-time faculty member whose only duty is to teach students; or she/he is a full-time faculty member of the university who teaches some courses but also supervises the performance of student-teachers on a part-time basis. Also, a tutor can be a part-time teaching faculty member who is hired to supervise teacher candidates. All field supervisors must have a higher than master's degree, at least five years of teaching experience in public schools and school management experience. In addition, they participate more than three times in each semester in professional development meetings - determined by the head of the internship group. Workshops and conferences are conducted as mandated by the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (Fridley & Griffin, 2019, 6). According to what was said, the following expectations are from the supervisor:


  • Field supervisor should make their first visit in the first two weeks of the semester to get to know the school principal, tutor and the classroom,
  • The supervisor calls the student-teacher every week to have a constructive dialogue and feedback with her/him,
  • She/He must visit the school at least seven times and evaluate the student's performance four times,
  • Each visit includes a meeting before and an after attending the class, which takes place together with the student-teacher and tutor.
  • The results of the visits are shared with the student-teachers immediately after the meeting.
  • The supervisor may conduct other visits/observations as needed.


Visiting Methods

          In general, university professors are asked to follow the visiting procedures as follows:

  • After entering the school, ask the principal about the presence and absence of the student-teacher,
  • Arrange an initial meeting in the first two weeks of the semester with the mentor teacher and student-teacher to review expectations and conditions that facilitate an effective working relationship,
  • In the initial meeting or before, the professor must:
  • Get contact information for the tutor,
  • Provide information about self-professional background,
  • Clarify her/his expectations regarding the curriculum and other responsibilities of the student- teacher
  • Explain about the methods of observation, feedback to the student-teacher and determining the time of the meeting;
  • Specify a schedule for subsequent visits.
  • In each visit, consider at least 45 minutes of observation of educational activities and about 20 minutes of meeting time with the tutor and student-teacher (in middle schools, the observation should include a full hours),
  • The time of attending school and observing the student's activities should be different,
  • Act to guide student-teachers in all aspects of the experience, including professional and interpersonal issues,
  • The time of at least the first two visits must be announced in advance to the tutor and student-teacher. At least 1 visit is not announced after the first two visits,
  • Resolve problems or concerns immediately through open dialogue with the student-teacher, supervisor or head of group,
  • In case of frequent problems such as personality conflict or unprofessional behavior of the student, report these cases to the group immediately,
  • To provide feedback to the student-teacher, one of her/his lectures can be filmed. The video must be destroyed before leaving the school unless the district education representative, tutor and student-teacher sign the appropriate forms,
  • The main responsibility of the university professor is to communicate frequently and clearly with the student-teacher, tutor and group manager and report any challenges to them.


           If visiting professors do not follow university policies and procedures or show poor results in continuous evaluations, their cooperation will be terminated by the director of the internship group. Full-time faculty members who do not follow university policies and procedures or who demonstrate poor results on continuous evaluations will not be selected by the Dean, Department of Education, and Director of Internships to monitor the performance of student-teachers (Oldham, 2020, 12).


Tripartite Meeting


             Before the beginning of the semester, the supervisor is expected to hold a tripartite meeting with the student-teachers and the tutors. In this meeting, the necessary information about the joint teaching method, student training, teacher evaluation system at the Missouri Southeast State University and also the existing educational expectations from the student-teacher will be informed to the members. Mentors are expected to separately train those tutors who are not able to attend the tripartite meeting. The contents of this meeting will be prepared by head of group.


Simultaneous Teaching

                In the Missouri Southeast State University internship program, teaching is done simultaneously. Co-teaching involves specific teaching strategies that allow the student-teacher and tutor to work as a team for pupils. If this process is done correctly, by the middle of the co-teaching experience, the pupils will view the tutor and the student-teacher alike. More information, including several helpful handouts on how to do co-teaching, will be given to the student-teacher at the tripartite meeting before the start of the semester.



Scoring scale

            The performance of teacher candidates is graded on a scale of 0-4 and is weighted and evaluated by both mentor and tutor. Mentor and tutor grades are equally reviewed and reported during the certification proposal process. Below are the scoring levels:


  • Not Evident: The student-teacher does not have the necessary knowledge; therefore, the standard is not evident or is incorrect in terms of her/his performance.
  • Emerging candidate: The student- teacher can express the necessary knowledge, but does not prove it in performance,
  • Developing candidate: The student-teacher can express the necessary knowledge and prove her/his performance successfully,
  • Skilled candidate: The student-teacher can express necessary knowledge and show her/his performance effectively. She/he is expected to teach personally at the end of the semester, and
  • Exceeding Candidate: The student-teacher, according to the teaching environment, gives students' answers well in the class. (To obtain this grade, the student-teacher must have met all the descriptions of the skilled candidate (paragraph 3) and have obtained one of the criteria for obtaining grade 4 - at least in one lesson.


Table 3. Components and characteristics of internship at Missouri Southeast University



University admission method

Enrollment in the undergraduate course of the university

Method of attending the internship program

Compulsory and full time

Course length

4 year

Duration of internship

3 semester

Duration of internship

200 hours

Educational content

Specialized courses, educational science courses, and internship

Main Goal of teacher education system

Education of future-oriented teachers

Internship topics

Basic level: observing teaching and learning activities, creating opportunities to reflect on the relationship between educational theory and educational practice (30 hours)

Intermediate level: reflection on educational theory and educational practice while implementing various educational strategies (45 hours)

Final level: Student-Teachers are required to plan, train and implement lessons, evaluate students' success, reflect on their performance and participate in school activities (128 hours).


Mentor: a full-time or part-time professor who has at least a master's degree and has at least 5 years of teaching experience in schools and school management experience.

Tutor: A full-time teacher who has at least 5 years of teaching experience and has obtained a state teaching certificate and can provide an acceptable level of performance.

Internship evaluation criteria

Evaluation on a scale (0-4) where a score of 3 indicates a skilled candidate and a score of 4 indicates an expert candidate.


  1. c) Internship at Harvard University

               Harvard is a university in the state of Massachusetts, USA. The framework of the teacher education programs in this university is based on the standards set by the “Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary education” (DESE). The educational goal and motto of this state is "to prepare all students for success in life". By setting goals such as strengthening the professional knowledge of teachers, strengthening professional standards for teaching practice, and preparing teachers in such a way that they have the ability to help all students; this department is trying to realize this slogan by training professional teachers. One of the most effective factors in achieving this goal is conducting internship courses in a principled and practical way. The Graduate School of Harvard University is considered one of the leading centers of education in the United States of America.

               Research reveals that about 50% of teachers leave teaching profession in the first 5 years of their work due to excessive work pressure on American teachers. Simultaneous, about 50% of teachers who studied at Harvard University remain in this job for at least 8 years (Anderson, 2007). Those interested in teaching in the state of Massachusetts must have at least a bachelor's degree and then complete a teacher education course at a college or university approved by their state's department of education. Among these universities, Harvard University Graduate School can be mentioned. The educational programs of this faculty are classified into two categories: Master degree and doctorate; we will only review the master's course of this faculty here.


Harvard Master degree in Teacher Education

          The Master's in Teacher Education program allows student-teachers to gain a rich set of experiences and pave their own path - tailored to their career goals and personal interests. Harvard University helps student-teachers to be effective in the long-term education process with the help of professional professors and teachers during the training program.


Teacher training program: The teacher training program, in a purposeful way and in the school environment, organizes internship sessions in order to create a deep relationship between the school and university, so that student-teachers learn how to turn a subject into a teaching unit and curriculum. Through this program, student-teachers acquire the skills to achieve professional standards and can grow and improve their abilities. In the teacher training program, student-teachers participate in an 11-month training course - by doing practical exercises as well as learning the principles of effective education - and in this way, they come face to face with extensive practical experiences and activities that complement the field (similar to an internship). The components of the teacher education program are designed to prepare student-teachers to serve diverse pupils with diverse needs. The following are the features of the Harvard University teacher training program:


1- Field work and internship: In the teacher training program, student-teachers spend 300 hours of internship and a total of approximately 850 hours of field work, which continues throughout the academic year. This program provides a framework for student-teacher professional development and classroom management.

2- Group & society: Each department in the teacher training program has special experience and expertise, but they all have common goals for training and educational justice. The views of the professors of each group are such that they often foster stable and professional relationships and increase each other's experiences.

3- Advisory structure: Student-teachers cooperate with an advisory professor - who has teaching experience in a specialized subject - in the following two ways:

  1. a) Observing and coaching in school: Consultant professors visit schools once a month in autumn and winter and every week in spring. As visits increase, the student-teachers' responsibility and ability to lead the classroom deepens. Counselors increase their observations and provide feedback so that student-teachers' ability to examine activities and learning is enhanced, and skills & habits of mind are improved.
  2. b) Advisory meetings: The advisor holds an advisory meeting once every two weeks during the academic year. During the consultation period, she/he shares her/his experiences with student-teachers, solves the ambiguities related to national measures in cooperation with student-teachers and proposes ideas to strengthen teaching and learning of pupils. Also, in these meetings, issues related to educational cultures, student learning, management and classroom feedback are also analyzed.


Headings of Harvard University Teacher Education Curriculum

              The main curriculum of the teacher training program includes the following courses that deal with the impact of life on the growth and development of adolescents, generation & power dynamics in classrooms and teaching, principles & strategies of teaching students, English language, and special subjects for students with special social needs. These mandatory courses cover the need for student-teachers to understand the relationship between theory and practice and field work. Student-teachers pass a total of 36 credits during the academic year and summer. Applicants for teaching jobs are committed to teaching in middle and high secondary public schools. They have deep knowledge about their specialized field, but at the same time they use their personal experiences in working with teenagers. These students are fully committed to equality, diversity and comprehensiveness of education. After completing the following training courses, they receive a teacher's qualification certificate:

  • Preliminary familiarization with the teaching process (English, history, mathematics or experimental sciences) in schools (2 credits)
  • Teaching methods (English, history, mathematics or science) (2 credits)
  • Investigations related to adolescents: understanding and supporting the development of urban youth (2 credits)
  • Power and pedagogy: self, society and transformation (4 credits)
  • Diversity elements: special education (2 credits)
  • policy and practice on important subjects in special education (2 credits)
  • Dimensions of diversity: English language learners (2 credits)
  • Pre- practicum (4 credits)
  • Practicum (4 credits)


Pre- practicum: is a series of 9 to 12 one-day training experiences in various fields of education that help student-teachers decide which type of school (primary, middle, high school, urban, rural) they would like to do an internship in. Pre- practicum hours can also include attendance at educational conferences with the approval of the Harvard Teacher Education School instructor. The pre- practicum should be 56 hours in total and should be accompanied by reports and feedback during the meetings. Completing pre- practicum hours is a prerequisite for starting an internship. An outline for the pre-practicum should be completed during the seminar. Also, during pre- practicum, student-teachers provide evidence of their experiences.

Practicum: is the culmination of the knowledge and skills of student-teachers in education that they have acquired in different courses (such as 300 hours of internship experience at two levels of primary and secondary education). Practicum proposals must be submitted and approved within the first month of student-teacher teaching experience. Also, a practicum agreement with the school and a specialized teacher's questionnaire (student-teacher qualifications form that is completed by the supervisor) are required for every 150 hours of work.


Professional Internship Experiences

             The training hours required for practicum include 150 hours in both primary and secondary levels and a total of 300 hours. In these training courses, the following activities are of interest:

  • Viewing the types of classes and teachers and their teaching styles.
  • Co-teaching with a specific teacher and undertaking independent teaching in the class.
  • If necessary, participate in the meeting of the individual training program (I.E.P)
  • If necessary, participate in staff meetings.
  • Cooperating with the supervising expert professor in curriculum planning.
  • If necessary, participate in the meetings of parents, teachers and students.
  • Spending a day with the school principal (A one-day internship with the school principal).
  • Design and presentation of professional development workshop.
  • Writing a work report - feedback from all internship experiences - and presenting a final paper.


 Figure 3: Harvard University internship hours

           Classroom observations: The performance and behavior of student-teachers and tutors are observed by the supervisor at least twice during the semester. Before each observation, student-teachers must complete the classroom observation protocol. The program supervisor (head of group) writes an observation report after each visit. This observation includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the following: a brief description of the lesson, classroom atmosphere, appropriate use of instructional time, classroom management, appropriate actions for any student with special needs, and evaluation (during or after the lesson). A copy of the observation report is signed by the supervisor of the program and presented to the student-teacher and expert professor. In addition, a copy is kept in the student-teacher file.

              Pre-service Performance Assessment Forms (PPAF): In addition to observing and evaluating the class, it is expected that the student-teacher, mentor, and tutor meet three times during the semester to discuss the student's strengths and weaknesses, her/ his success in meeting professional standards and comments/suggestions for the future. In these meetings, a performance evaluation form is completed for every 150 hours of internship.

Professional development activities: During the internship, the student-teacher must organize a professional development workshop for teachers or principals in the school or district. The supervisor and student should cooperate with each other in choosing the topic and strategy of professional development.

              Internship evaluation and referral for licensing: Student-teachers receive a pass or fail grade for the internship course. The head of the group and the supervisor are responsible for determining the acceptance or rejection of the student-teacher in the internship period and the eligibility to receive a temporary certificate. The performance evaluation form and final internship score report are completed and presented by the internship program manager.


Table 4. Components and features of internship at Harvard University



University admission method

After obtaining a bachelor's degree and then enrolling in one of the state-approved universities for teacher training

Method of attending the internship program

Compulsory and full time

Course length

11 months

Duration of internship

2 semester

Duration of internship

350 hours

Educational content

Only Specialized and educational science courses

Main Goal of teacher education system

Teacher training with the aim of preparing all students for success in life

Internship topics

Pre-internship (4 credits): a set of 9 to 12 educational experiences in different educational fields (56 hours).

Internship (4 credits): Co-teaching with a specific instructor and eventually taking over a class, writing a work report - feedback on all internship experiences - and submitting a final paper (150 hours in both elementary and secondary courses, 300 in total the watch)

Field work of educational courses: 200 hours


Supervisor: full-time or part-time professor with a master's degree, at least 5 years of teaching experience in public schools and school management experience

Tutor: full-time teacher with at least 5 years of teaching experience, state certification and acceptable level of performance

Internship evaluation criteria

Score at least 240 out of 300


Step 3 and 4: Juxtaposition and Comparison

  1. Characteristics of the course

In the following section, the features of teacher training internship at Farhangian University (Iran) and Missouri Southeast State University and Harvard University (USA) are examined and compared.


Table 5: Comparison of teacher training internships’ characteristics at Farhangian University (Iran) and Missouri Southeast State University and Harvard University


Farhangian University

Missouri Southeast State University


Harvard University

Entering the teacher training course with a diploma




Compulsory and full-time attendance at the internship




Proportion of the number of internship units and the hours of its presentation




Attention to theoretical and practical components in the internship period




Existence of a goal in providing an internship program





             Admission to the university: Student-teacher admission at Farhangian University is different from Harvard and Missouri Southeast universities in terms of the selection method and entrance. At Farhangian University, candidates enter the university after passing the national university entrance exam and face-to-face interview, but in two American universities, student-teachers are registered without exam and interview. Farhangian University and Missouri Southeast University have similar conditions in terms of the type of academic degree candidates have at the time of admission. The requirements for entering Harvard University is to have at least a bachelor's degree, while in Farhangian and Missouri Southeast universities, having a high school diploma is sufficient.


           Attendance method in the teacher training course: The attendance method of student-teachers in all three universities is similar and is mandatory and full-time.


          Length of the teacher training course: Farhangian and Missouri Southeast universities have similar conditions in terms of the duration of the training course and are different from Harvard University. So teacher education period is 4 years in Farhangian and Missouri universities and 11 months in Harvard University.


Figure 4: Length of teacher training in Farhangian, Missouri Southeast and Harvard universities by month


           Duration of the internship period in terms of semesters and hours: these three universities have different conditions in terms of the duration of the internship period, such that in Farhangian University, the student-teacher must spend 512 hours of internship during 4 semesters. At the Missouri Southeast University students complete 200 hours of internship during 3 semesters, and at Harvard University, they complete 350 hours of internship during 2 semesters. Farhangian University and Missouri Southeast University start their practical training from the third year, but this is different in Harvard University; because the student teachers of this university continue their theoretical education along with practical work by attending the school. Among other differences, we can point out that the internship hours are fixed in Farhangian University and in all fields; meanwhile, in the other two universities, the hours allocated to internship may change according to the field of study and the needs of the student-teacher.




 Figure 5: Duration of internship at Farhangian, Missouri Southeast and Harvard universities in hours


            Content of the teacher training course: from educational content aspect, the three universities have similarities and differences with each other. While educational and internship courses are offered in all three universities, specialized courses are offered in Missouri Southeast University and Farhangian and Islamic studies only in Farhangian University.


                Main Goal of teacher education system: All 3 universities have ambitious goals for training the next generation of teachers. The goal of Farhangian University is to educate a thoughtful teacher, Southeastern Missouri University to educate future-oriented teacher, and Harvard University to educate teachers to prepare students for success in life.


2) Internship curriculum

            In this part, the status of Farhangian University, Southeast Missouri University and Harvard University is examined and compared in terms of internship curriculum.


Table 6: Comparison of internship curriculum at Farhangian University, Southeast Missouri University, and Harvard University


Farhangian University

Missouri Southeast State University

Harvard University

Allocating time (lesson) for reflective observations by student-teachers




Allocation of time (lesson) for teaching by student-teachers




The need to submit the final internship report




Attention to the component of experience and expertise in choosing a supervisor




Attention to the component of experience and expertise in choosing a guidance teacher




Determining the minimum score to pass internship units





            Headlines of the Internship Unit: In all three universities, the student-teachers are trying to gain the necessary self-confidence in the real teaching environment. Among the other similarities between these universities is importance of searching, re-searching and presenting reports, which through the student-teacher tries to explain and present the learnings, lived experiences and challenges encountered during the internship period. Of course, some differences are also observed. Student-teachers in Missouri Southeast and Harvard universities devote most of their time to experience and then write reports, while Farhangian University student-teachers try to present reports to their supervisors. Internship 1 of Farhangian University is almost equivalent to the initial level of clinical experience at Missouri Southeast University and the pre-internship unit at Harvard University. In internship 1, the student-teachers only have a reflective observation and finally pass this course by presenting a narrative report of their research; but at the initial level of the Missouri Southeast University, students have the opportunity to establish a relationship between educational theory and practice. Also, in Howard University's pre-internship, student-teachers spend 9 to 12 pre-designed experiences in different fields of education, while in Farhangian University; the frequency of educational experiences in the 1st internship stage is unclear. In addition, Student-teachers of Farhangian University prepare themselves for independent teaching in the last semester by completing internships 2 and 3, and students of Missouri Southeast University by completing the intermediate level of clinical experience. Also, both groups complete their internship with 128 hours of attendance at school and independent teaching - which is done under the supervision of the tutor and supervisor. These two phases of the internship at Harvard University are a total of 300 hours, and students complete the course in two 150-hour periods (in both primary and secondary levels) and under the supervision of a specific instructor - by taking charge of the classroom and presenting a final report.

            Participant: The participants in the implementation process of the internship program are similar in all three universities, where the supervisor and school teacher guide the student-teacher. Although this apparent similarity may even be visible in the guidelines and regulations of all 3 universities, but in the selection of supervisors and tutors in Harvard and Missouri Southeast universities, criteria such as teaching experience, level of education and having a teaching qualification certificate are criteria, while in Farhangian University, there is no specific and precise criteria for selecting these two groups.

           Evaluation: To evaluate the performance of student-teachers in all 3 universities, a minimum score has been determined. In Farhangian University, 14 out of 20, in Missouri Southeast University 3 out of 4 and in Harvard University 240 out of 300 are the minimum score that a student-teacher must get in the evaluations. It is stated in the guidelines for the evaluation of the student-teacher performance in the internship period in all 3 universities that the final grade is the result of the consensus of mentor, tutor and head of the school, while in the practical stage, it is observed that in Farhangian University, more evaluation is done by the supervisor and school teacher and principal are not asked much about the student's behavior and performance.


  1. Conclusion


          In the current study, the findings show that Missouri Southeast and Farhangian universities are similar in terms of how to enter the university and the length of the teacher training period. All three universities are similar in terms of student-teacher presence in the university which is mandatory and full-time. The length of the internship period in terms of hours and semesters is different in these universities, such that Farhangian University has 4 semesters and 512 hours, Missouri Southeast University has 3 semesters and 200 hours, and Harvard University has allocated 2 semesters and 350 hours for the implementation of the internship unit.

            All three universities have similar conditions in terms of participating people (supervisor and guide teacher), but in the practical stage, in many cases, this similarity does not exist, so that in Harvard and Missouri Southeast universities, the supervisor is obliged to spend part of their time in school with student-teachers or in some cases hold classes to put students in real situations of teaching and learning. But in Farhangian University, some supervisors do not accompany their students and sometimes do not visit the school even once during the semester. Also, guide teachers in schools in the states of Missouri and Massachusetts are selected from among the teachers who have been trained for the internship period and cooperation with the student-teacher, while in Iran’s schools, any school teacher can play the role of a guide for the student-teacher and there is not much supervision to determine their professional qualifications. In addition, in the two mentioned states, internship courses are implemented in schools that are affiliated with the university; but this issue is completely different in Iran, in such a way that school principals and guide teachers sometimes do not have much knowledge of the internship process and its instructions, and for this reason, they have incomplete cooperation with student-teachers. This challenge often discourages student-teachers or reduces their interest in the teaching profession. Among the reasons for the lack of effective collaboration between school principals and teachers with student-teachers are the lack of proper training of school principals and teachers, non-payment of fees for this cooperation, tight schedule of schools and lack of guide teacher’s time. Darling-Hammond (2014) considers it necessary for schools to have strong and knowledgeable clinical teachers (guide teachers) to help the professional growth and development of student-teachers and emphasizes that these people - as educators - need to become highly skilled to support the learning of future teachers and students. Findings of Sivakumaran et al (2011) also showed that the cooperation and interaction of faculty members of university and school teachers - in the form of a team - can create advanced, professional and strong schools so that they can transfer rich experiences to teacher candidates.

             Also, Farhangian University has differences with American universities in terms of topics of the internship period. While Farhangian University emphasizes more on increasing student-teacher report writing skills, two American universities insist more on the activity and effective presence of student-teachers and gaining real experiences. In this regard, Sivakumaran et al (2011) listed various activities such as individual teaching, working with small groups, teaching one or more short lessons, observing classes, discussing with the supervisor, team teaching & thinking that can be a better preparation to provide the growth of teacher volunteers. In terms of evaluation, all three universities have considered a minimum score to pass the internship units, but in Farhangian University, the way of student-teacher evaluation is in most cases a matter of taste, and sometimes a special criterion is not observed in its implementation. Menter and Holm (2012) believe that in order to ensure the professional growth of teacher candidates, guide teachers and university professors should jointly evaluate the student's abilities.

               The process of training teachers and human resources required by the Ministry of Education of Iran is carried out only through a single mechanism and exclusively by Farhangian University. This exclusivity in the training of manpower can perhaps be considered as one of the effective factors in the lack of fundamental transformation in Iran's educational system. Lack of competition and creating monopoly causes lack of progress. Farhangian University is no exception to this rule. Based on this, it would be better to create a competition between Farhangian University and other universities to provide the opportunity for more effective training of future teachers and better and richer implementation of internship courses same as USA experiences. The results of the research are in line with the findings of Parishani, Khoroshi & Ghorbani (2016), Asghari (2016), Ghahramanlu (2014), Rostagari et al. (2017), Maleki et al. (2020) and Koshi & Soltani (2018). These researchers have emphasized on making fundamental changes in the internship period in the following cases: duration of the internship, educational content, topics of the internship, role of the participant and determining the objective criteria for student-teacher evaluation.

Based on the findings, the following suggestions and solutions are presented to improve the quality of internship at Farhangian University:

  • Determining the exact framework for selecting supervisors,
  • Increasing the motivation of guide teachers through the implementation of educational plans and determination and description of their duties.
  • Determination of financial and professional benefits for guide teachers by Farhangian University and the Ministry of Education
  • Receiving alternate feedbacks from supervisors and student-teachers regarding the cooperation of guide teachers
  • Increasing the cooperation of specialized educational groups, the psychology & educational sciences department for the implementation of educational plans during the internship period
  • Determining and detailing the duties of supervisors and increasing supervision of their performance by receiving periodic feedback from school teachers and student-teachers.
  • Optimizing internship hours and increasing the role of student-teachers in classrooms
  • Examining the teaching quality of student-teachers in weekly meetings through cooperation and mutual understanding between supervisors and school teachers to teach creative teaching methods.
  • Efficient and effective evaluation of student-teacher performance according to regulations and accurate grading based on each candidate's qualifications
  • Changing the conditions for receiving a teacher's qualification certificate by holding an aptitude test and obtaining a minimum score before attending the classroom
  • Holding a compensatory training course to increase the preparation of weak students - teachers
  • Reviewing educational courses and increasing practical units instead of theory courses
  • Anticipating the necessary facilities to implement the internship curriculum and designating special schools to cooperate with Farhangian University and training personnel of school to implement internship courses.


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