Learning to teach science well is a complex endeavor and student teaching provides a time for emerging teachers to learn how to reason in this uncertain landscape. Many pre-service teachers have rated student teaching as a very important part of their teacher education program (Koerner, Rust, & Baumgartner, 2002; Levine, 2006) and there is little doubt that this aspect of teacher preparation has a great impact (Wilson, Floden, Ferrinin-Mundy, 2001). It is surprising, therefore, that the interaction between the cooperating teacher and student teacher represents a gap in the literature (Cochran-Smith & Zeichner, 2005). In fact, little effort has been made in science education "to understand the contributions of cooperating teachers and teacher educators" (p. 322). Research is needed into not only how teacher preparation programs can help pre-service teachers make this transition from student teacher to effective teacher but also how the expertise of the cooperating teacher can be a better articulated part of the development of the student teacher. This instrumental case study examines the nature and substance of the cooperating teacher/student teacher conversations and the changes in those conversations over time. Using the theoretical framework of situated learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Lave, 1996) the movement of the student teacher from their position on the periphery of practice toward a more central role is examined. Three cooperating teacher/student teacher pairs provided insight into this important time with case data coming from pre and post interviews, baseline surveys, weekly update surveys, and recorded conversations from the pair during their time together. Four major themes emerged from the cases and from cross case comparisons with implications for student teachers regarding how they react to greater responsibility, cooperating teachers regarding how they give access to the community of practice, and the teacher preparation community regarding the role it plays in helping to facilitate this process.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2014. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisors: Gillian Roehrig and Mistilina Sato. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 191 pages, appendices A-C.
McDonald, Eric J..
Learning to teach as situated learning: an examination of student teachers as legitimate peripheral participants in cooperating teachers' classrooms.
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