Bridging both worlds
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The student teaching experience is often considered a significant stage in preservice teacher development. In making the transition from university-based teacher education into school settings, the social and cultural differences between these two “worlds” of teacher education are often at odds with each other. The dissonance between the settings of teacher education has been widely identified in teacher education research as a “pitfall” of the student teaching experience. In order to overcome this pitfall, many teacher education programs conduct a student teaching seminar concurrent with the field experience, serving as a space that, in essence, bridges both worlds of teacher education. Despite the potential of the seminar to foster powerful learning experiences for student teachers, little research has explored the role of this space in learning to teach during the student teaching experience. Based on this gap in the research literature, this study will examine a secondary social studies student teaching seminar. Relying on theories of teacher learning and case study methodology, this research examines how a student teaching seminar shapes the student teaching experience for three preservice teachers.