Understanding Perspectives of Mentor Teachers and Teacher Candidates for Teacher Preparation Program Improvement
Event: Undergraduate Research Symposium
Date: May 18, 2019
Location: UCI Student Center
Presenters: Ella L. Rose, Dimple Manasalaxmi Ravuri
Mentors: Hosun Kang, Doron Zinger, Kris Houston, Elizabeth van Es, Virginia Panish, Jiwon Lee
Title: Understanding Perspectives of Mentor Teachers and Teacher Candidates for Teacher Preparation Program Improvement
The mentor teacher is an important individual that shape student teachers’ development and learning in clinical settings. Mentor programs can help support teachers and ease the transition to full time teaching. However, little is known about what aspects of mentor programs are the most effective in supporting pre-service teachers’ learning. The purpose of the study is to understand and examine the extent of alignment between mentor and student teachers’ experiences during student teaching and their understandings and use of equity in the classroom in order to better align and increase student teacher preparation and success in their careers. This study will employ mixed-methods approach to understand mentor teachers’ and candidates’ experiences of student teaching as well their understanding and use of equity in the classroom. Overall, there is high alignment between mentor and student teachers’ perception of feedback, autonomy, success, and pedagogical practice similarity. Student teachers rated their perceived success slightly lower than their mentor teachers. There were differences in the way the mentor teachers and student teachers described their understanding of equity. The student teachers, as a group, had similar understandings of equity while the mentor teachers had more variations in their responses. Differences were also found between the self-reported use of equitable practices and what was observed by the mentor and student teachers. The study has implications for the design of fieldwork arrangements and placements for the teacher education program.