Preservice teacher perceptions of intensive field experiences and classroom teacher mentoring: a case study

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2004-01-01
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Ewell, Pamela
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Ann Thompson
Denise Schmidt
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Altmetrics
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Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract

This qualitative case study examined the experiences of three preservice teachers who enrolled in a teacher preparation program that was conceived and implemented through a collaborative effort between a college, a K--12 school, and a regional education agency. Specifically, this study uncovered the perceptions of the preservice teachers as they were mentored by a classroom teacher throughout the program's three-year extensive field experiences, and the perceptions of mentoring by the classroom teacher. The findings point to the strong benefits of extended and extensive field experiences in K--12 classrooms for preservice teachers. The extended field experiences provided a multi-tiered framework that allowed for peer mentoring and contextualized classroom experiences that contributed to an improved sense of self-efficacy as preservice teachers participated in hands-on teaching. The preservice teachers reported benefits of learning about teaching as well as learning to teach individual, small group, and large groups of elementary grade students. In addition, they reported the benefits of learning how to manage the classroom and communicate with students, teachers, and parents. Experiences such as these allowed the preservice teachers to gain more knowledge about the practice of teaching as well as their own development and understanding of these practices.;The classroom teacher played a significant role as a mentor in the developing professionalism of these three preservice teachers. The teacher served in the capacity as a mentor, advisor, role model, coach, and colleague. By developing personal and professional relationships with each, she was able to scaffold her mentoring to provide individual attention for each of their needs and teaching abilities. The findings indicate that the mentor teacher was influential in helping the preservice teachers improve their teaching skills, their knowledge about students, and their self-efficacy.;Data from the preservice teachers and mentor teacher suggest avenues for rethinking teacher education reform. The multi-tiered levels of the Academy program coupled with the extensive and intensive field experiences provided a continuous and authentic K--12 context for these preservice teachers. The benefits they describe from this context can be explained within a social constructivist framework.

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Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2004