Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

How the Facilitation of Clinical Experiences for Early Childhood Education Candidates Impacts the Cooperating Teacher
by Land, Kelly, Ed.D., Piedmont College, 2015, 227; 10148445
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore how the facilitation of clinical experiences for early childhood education candidates impacts the cooperating teacher. The tenets of school reform initiatives often require longer and more frequent clinical experiences for pre-service teachers. The success of student teaching relies on the effectiveness of cooperating teachers; however, research has not addressed the development and sentiment hosts experience while facilitating this process.

Qualitative interviews and observations produced four single case studies and one cross-case comparative. All of the participants taught in Northeast Georgia and hosted student teachers prepared by a single school of education. Research themes included control and autonomy, personal and professional impacts, and the benefits or costs associated with hosting pre-service candidates.

Findings indicated that cooperating teachers had complete autonomy in the facilitation of the student teaching process but expressed a strong preference for collaboration. Self-preservation and student achievement influenced decision-making and were associated with minimal shifts in control. Professionally, host teachers felt their roles were ambiguous and evidence indicated key concepts were undefined. Participants did not experience an increase in professional capital although they did request professional development in several areas. These hosts described their experiences as intense and stressful yet personally rewarding. Future implications for practice include strengthening selection and pairing processes as well as training members of the student teaching triad to utilize collaborative methods. The study also exposed a need to research implementation errors in outcome-based evaluations of teacher education programs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McCollum, Patricia
Commitee: Gnecco, Don, Pease, Gene
School: Piedmont College
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Georgia
Source: DAI-A 78/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Early childhood education, Elementary education, Teacher education
Keywords: Autonomy, Clinical experience, Cooperating teacher, Outcome-based teacher evaluation, Student teaching, Teacher education programs
Publication Number: 10148445
ISBN: 978-1-369-03626-8
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