How Does Supervision Develop Students’ Professional Identity When Entering the Childcare Workforce? Applying a responsive evaluation approach to guide RUFDATA for the fieldwork placement evaluation of a tertiary early-childhood education programme in Hong Kong

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Tak-lai Cheng

Abstract

This paper aims to evaluate the fieldwork placement of a higher diploma programme in early childhood education at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE). In response to both academic and statutory requirements associated with education ordinances, students must take sufficient supervised fieldwork placement hours throughout the programme to learn to be a Qualified Kindergarten Teacher (QKT). In current institutional evaluative practices, the corresponding department evaluates fieldwork placement quality based on concerns about student and supervisor performance using questionnaires at the end of the semester. However, the evaluation might lose sight of unanticipated outcomes and its intrinsic value when it is too focused on the predetermined evaluation’s objectives. Guided by a responsive evaluation approach, this paper suggests a new form of evaluation concerning stakeholder perspectives on intrinsic value in the programme. Accordingly, it uses the practical tool RUFDATA to frame the evaluation practices under its key categories, namely, reason, use, focus, data, audience, timing and agency. By drawing empirical data from students who have just completed the programs’ fieldwork placement in spring 2017, this qualitative evaluation investigates how fieldwork supervision develops students’ professional identity to prepare them for entry into the childcare workforce in the last fieldwork placement in the programme.

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Original Research

References

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