Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

Collaboration and Teacher Preparation: The Role of the Mentor Teacher

Department

Leadership and Learning

College

College of Education

Disciplines

Education

Abstract

Student teaching is often referenced as one of the most formational experiences for teacher preparation, yet cooperating teachers, university field supervisors, and student teachers often have differing, unspoken expectations regarding the mentor role in this experience. When stakeholder expectations for the role of mentor are not aligned, strong productive relationships are more difficult to develop. Since the alignment of expectations provides the basis for collaboration, teacher preparation programs must foster this alignment of expectations in order to meet Interstate New Teacher Assessment Standards Consortium (InTASC) standards for the mastery of collaborative skills. Previous research has investigated cooperating teacher and student teacher expectations for collaboration, but less information is available regarding expectations for collaboration that university supervisors hold for the role of the cooperating teacher. This study examines the expectations of university supervisors regarding collaboration within the student teaching experience. Based on focus groups and structured interviews, and utilizing InTASC competencies as the investigative framework, three themes incorporating a range of practices emerged from the supervisor expectations for collaboration in the student teaching mentoring experience: learning environments; professional dispositions and assessment practices. The study begins to develop these three themes to address the need to align expectations for collaboration as well as cultivate practices that support collaboration within the student teacher experience. In doing so, the study acknowledges that young professionals need to observe effective practice and guidance before they can successfully master those skills themselves.

Conference Name

6th Annual Mentoring Institute Conference

Conference Location

Albuquerque, New Mexico

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