Student Teachers’ Changing Confidence in Teaching

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Research shows that student teachers find the mentor teacher and the student teaching experience itself the two most influential factors in their practicum experience. This study examined five student teachers and the two mentor teachers of each in elementary school settings within a metropolitan school district in North Texas. Lave and Wenger’s (1991, 2002) community of practice theory informed this study. Data sources included mentor teacher interviews, student teacher interviews, student teacher observations, student teacher/mentor teacher dialogue journals, and student teacher reflections. A collective case study approach was followed to gain a detailed understanding of the experiences of the five ... continued below

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viii, 187 pages : illustrations (some color)

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Stearns, Catherine L. May 2015.

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  • Stearns, Catherine L.

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Description

Research shows that student teachers find the mentor teacher and the student teaching experience itself the two most influential factors in their practicum experience. This study examined five student teachers and the two mentor teachers of each in elementary school settings within a metropolitan school district in North Texas. Lave and Wenger’s (1991, 2002) community of practice theory informed this study. Data sources included mentor teacher interviews, student teacher interviews, student teacher observations, student teacher/mentor teacher dialogue journals, and student teacher reflections. A collective case study approach was followed to gain a detailed understanding of the experiences of the five student teachers, looking specifically at their confidence in teaching and the factors associated with it. Findings indicated that the confidence in teaching of all five student teachers changed throughout their practicum experiences. Results suggested many factors influenced these changes. Student teachers shared that the student teaching experience, the grade level/subjects taught, their relationships with their students, and their relationships with their mentor teachers contributed to their confidence. The mentor teachers perceived that student teachers’ confidence could be influenced by consistency in classroom management and their interactions with their mentor teachers. Two areas of influence on student teacher confidence not uncovered by other researchers were the quest of student teachers for perfection while teaching and the need of mentor teachers for control of the content presented by the student teachers, especially during the months prior to state-mandated testing. Implications of the study included the need for university supervisors to mediate between student teachers and mentor teachers in promoting shared ownership of student learning within that community of practice enabled by student teaching.

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viii, 187 pages : illustrations (some color)

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  • May 2015

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  • Feb. 9, 2016, 4:37 p.m.

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  • March 30, 2017, 6:24 a.m.

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Stearns, Catherine L. Student Teachers’ Changing Confidence in Teaching, dissertation, May 2015; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc801883/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .