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ERIC Number: ED533989
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 153
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-9976-3
Examining Practicing Teachers' Understandings of Mentoring and the Student Teaching Field Experience
Swisher, Laurie N.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
The student teaching experience plays a significant role in teacher education programs by providing pre-service teachers with an opportunity to work directly with students in actual school settings. Recent reform movements in teacher education have emphasized mentoring and models of student teacher fieldwork such as partnerships and professional development schools. The role of the classroom teacher has shifted somewhat from that of a cooperating teacher opening her classroom as a site for practical experience to that of a mentor working in close collaboration with the student teacher's university. This collaborative relationship enhances the practicing mentor teacher's own professional development as well as improving the continued education of the student teacher (Hall, Draper, Smith, & Bullough, 2008). Teachers' understandings of their role as mentor and their perceptions of the mentoring experience have been a little studied area of the student teaching experience (Clift & Brady, 2005; Eeiman-Nemser, 1998; Hall, et al., 2008). The purpose of this qualitative, single case study was to examine practicing teachers' understandings of mentoring, including the relationship between the university and the school setting, and how these understandings affect decisions regarding the mentoring of student teachers. Literature on mentoring, field experiences, and university-school partnerships served as the framework for this interview study of twelve elementary school teachers that followed a practitioner inquiry approach informed by phenomenology. Findings from the study illuminate the teachers' perceived lack of connection between the local universities and their school as the student teaching setting. Collaboration was perceived to be non-existent with regard to the plan for the program that the universities expect to be carried out in the field setting. The findings also reveal important features of the climate of the elementary school studied. Based primarily on a misunderstanding regarding teacher interest in mentoring between the principal and the faculty of the school, the climate was viewed by the study participants as not welcoming to student teachers. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A