ERIC Number: EJ795211
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Reference Count: 13
Model versus Mentor: Defining the Necessary Qualities of the Effective Cooperating Teacher
Glenn, Wendy J.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v33 n1 p85-95 Win 2006
Student teaching is a key event in the lives of future educators; it can make or break their success in their own classrooms. The selection of qualified cooperating teachers with whom these students will work is accordingly imperative. Student teaching should provide students the opportunity to grow as educators--to learn from those who are more knowledgeable, to take risks, and to fail without becoming failures. Knowing the characteristics of an effective cooperating teacher can help ensure that pre-service teachers are placed in settings that will benefit and support them in their first real teaching endeavor. This qualitative research study explores these characteristics by examining what underlying traits cooperating teachers might possess that make them effective in meeting the needs of their assigned student teacher. The author gathered raw data in three forms: direct observation, interviews, and artifacts. Data from this study suggest that effective mentors maintain a balance of control in the amount of independence they allow the student teacher; they are neither too reluctant to hand their students over to the student teacher, nor too willing to allow the student teacher to assume full classroom responsibility before he/she is ready. Results indicate that effective mentors collaborate rather than dictate, relinquish an appropriate level of control, allow for personal relationships, share constructive feedback, and accept differences.
Descriptors: Student Teaching, Student Teachers, Cooperating Teachers, Mentors, Teacher Characteristics, Qualitative Research, Feedback (Response), Interpersonal Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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