A southeastern American university school of education has implemented a clinical faculty program to which interested K-12 teachers apply, and if accepted are trained how to mentor student teachers. At the time of this study there were not enough clinical faculty for every student teacher; therefore, some student teachers were placed with (untrained) cooperating teachers for their clinical experience. This study compared the experience student teachers had with cooperating teachers versus with clinical faculty to begin to determine if the implementation of the clinical faculty training has an effect on student teacher self-efficacy.
The clinical faculty training is based on the Santa Cruz New Teacher Center mentor training which uses Costa and Garmston's cognitive coaching concepts of formative assessment and language of support. This primarily qualitative study focused on three elementary education student teachers who each worked with a cooperating teacher for their first 8-week placement and a clinical faculty member for their second 8-week placement during their student teaching. A pre-, mid-, and post-survey for student teacher self-efficacy was administered, and follow-up interviews conducted.
Five characteristics that affected the interviewees' self-efficacy emerged from the follow-up interviews: a positive relationship, a high level of mutual trust, formal feedback, positive verbal support for the student teacher, and perceived effective performance. Even though each of the three student teachers had different experiences, overall it was apparent that the consistent use of formative assessment and language of support by the clinical faculty (key factors from the clinical faculty training) resulted in an increased growth in self-efficacy for the student teachers. However, no one factor worked alone to affect self-efficacy. Rather it's a complicated concept that schools of education should attend to as they reassess their teacher preparation programs. The implications for these results point to further research on specific mentoring factors that affect student teacher self-efficacy, including mentor training for cooperating teachers.
|Advisor:||Yagelski, Robert P.|
|Commitee:||Herzig, Abbe, Kouba, Vicki|
|School:||State University of New York at Albany|
|Department:||Educational Theory and Practice-Curriculum and Instruction|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/01, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Clinical faculty, Cognitive coaching, Formative assessment, Mentor, Self-efficacy, Student teachers|
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