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

ABSTRACT: Student teaching is often referenced as one of the most formational experiences for teacher preparation, yet cooperating teachers (mentoring teachers), university supervisors, and student teachers (the stakeholders) often have differing, unspoken expectations regarding the mentoring teachers role in this experience. When the expectations of these three stakeholders for the role of mentor are not aligned, strong and 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 Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) standards for the mastery of collaborative skills. Previous research has investigated cooperating teacher and student teacher expectations for collaboration. However, less information is available regarding the expectations for collaboration that university supervisors hold for the role of the cooperating teacher. This study examined the expectations of university supervisors regarding collaboration within the student teaching/mentoring experience. Based on a focus group and structured interviews, and utilizing InTASC competencies as the investigative framework, three themes incorporating a range of practices emerged from the participating supervisors expectations for collaboration: learning environments, professional dispositions, and assessment practices. This study offers a preliminary clarification of these three themes addressing the need to align expectations for collaboration and to cultivate practices that support collaboration within the student teacher experience. In doing so, the study suggests that young professionals need to work with mentoring teachers who have expertise in practices that support collaboration.

Conference Name

Mentoring Conference

Conference Location

Albuquerque, New Mexico

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