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ERIC Number: EJ926863
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
The Role of Legitimacy in Student Teaching: Learning to "Feel" Like a Teacher
Cuenca, Alexander
Teacher Education Quarterly, v38 n2 p117-130 Spr 2011
A key factor in learning to teach during student teaching is the cooperating teacher, who supports and mentors prospective teachers. In the apprenticeship that is student teaching, the cooperating teacher serves as a gatekeeper to the experiential learning of pre-service teachers. Although several studies indicate the significant influence cooperating teachers have on student teachers' beliefs about the teaching profession, professional norms, or what student teachers decide to teach, the focus of many of these studies equate mentorship with the direct transmission of teacher knowledge to student teachers. Often missing in the student teaching literature is the crucial role of the cooperating teacher in sanctioning the entrance of the student teacher into the community of teaching and providing access to the settings that contain the tools, artifacts, and message systems student teachers need to learn to teach from the activity of student teaching. Seeking to address this gap in the research literature, this study explores the following research question: how is access to the practice of teaching granted by cooperating teachers during the student teaching experience? In particular, the author examines how two student teachers saw their cooperating teachers conferring legitimacy on them during student teaching. Drawing on the work of Lave and Wenger (1991), who suggest that the social structure of any community of practice, such as teaching, defines the possibilities for learning, this study attempts to identify dimensions of legitimacy and access that can provide favorable conditions for learning during the student teaching experience. By providing a sociocultural perspective on the work of learning to teach during student teaching, this study builds on work that frames the role of the cooperating teacher as a socializing agent, and contributes another perspective on the social structures that constitute an effective student teaching experience.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A