Examining Interns� Perceptions of Their Mentor Teachers: by GOQ4Yt


									Examining Interns’ Perceptions
  of Their Mentor Teachers:
              A Critical Component of
               Development Schools

                    Sashelle Thomas-Alexander,
                     Cleveland State University
                            OCTEO Conference
                                     Fall, 2010
   Student teaching is the capstone experience for teacher
   Successful field experiences are established through
    careful planning between faculty, supervisors,
    mentors, and interns
   Turner (2008) suggested several strategies for
    providing successful experiences including:
    –   Selecting quality mentors
    –   Opportunities for faculty and mentors to work together
Professional Development
Schools (PDS)
   In response, teacher preparation programs began to
    explore district/school partnerships
   Concept of Professional Development Schools (PDS)
    is the brainchild of the Holmes Group (1990)-
    consortium of more than 100 U.S. research institutions
   PDS partnerships include a K-12 school paired with a
    university to develop and implement communities of
    learning for diverse students
Student teaching interns are expected to:
process  information
connect the theory to the practice
interpret school realities
internalize the field experience

Reported frustrations:
learningto teach
Incongruence between university theory and what is
 expected at the field site
Huang, S., & Waxman, H. (2009). The association of school environment to student teachers’
  satisfaction and teaching commitment. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 235-243.
Problem Continued
Multiple Truths
   Faculty accuse teachers of not being current on best practices
   Teachers accuse faculty of being too far removed from the
    classroom (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999)
   Some teacher preparation programs attempt to bridge this gap
    by adopting the PDS model
Quality Mentors
   The quality of the site is examined often ignoring the quality of
    the teachers’ abilities to be good mentors
Literature Review
Smith (2001)
   David Kolb’s experiential learning theory
   Adopted theory of many PDS
Knight, Wiseman, & Cooner (2000)
   Noted gains in students’ (K-12) achievement when the
    school participated in the PDS model
Hudson (2007)
 Found that primary teachers are not being poised to
  sufficiently mentor in all subject areas
Literature Review Cont.
Sands & Goodwin (2005)
   Mentors have high perceptions of themselves as mentors
    overall, but realize there is room for their professional
Grisham et al. (2004)
   Mentors benefit from working with interns: Students receive
    more individualized attention; mentors improve their own
Ferguson and Brink (2004)
   Mentors not wanting to host interns due to time
Literature Review Cont.
Davis & Waite (2007)
   Preservice participants indicated that the PDS experience
    positively impacted their experience as a novice teacher
   Respondents noted receiving support in: Developing
    relationships, content knowledge, attitudes, dispositions,
    and leadership skills
   Five participants responded negatively unanimously
    attributing the negative response to the poor
    relationships with mentor teachers
Research Questions
1. To what extent do interns’ ratings of their
    mentor teachers classroom management
    strategies, opportunities for reflection and
    rapport with mentor teachers significantly
    predict their overall satisfaction with their
    mentor teacher?

2. What is the best predictor of preservice
    teachers’ overall satisfaction with their
    mentor teacher?
   273 preservice interns from one university
Research Design
   Correlational (Survey Research)
   Overall Satisfaction Measure (Yusko & Moss, 2008)
   Students completing any field experience were invited to
    complete the 10-15 minute on-line evaluation
                                   Findings                                      Table 5
                                                                                 Model Summary

                             Model Summary
Model             R           R Square         Adjusted R Square         Std. Error of the Estimate

   1        0.934a 0.872                             0.870                       0.228
a.Predictors: (Constant), Classroom management, reflection and rapport

  Strong positive correlation between all variables and overall satisfaction,
  indicating a statistically significant linear relationship
  Standard linear multiple regression indicated that approximately 87% of
  the interns’ overall satisfaction with mentor teachers is predicted by their
  perceptions of their mentors’:
            - Classroom management       - Reflection      -Rapport
   Rapport between mentor and intern was the best predictor
     in determining interns’ overall satisfaction.
               Table 6 Coefficients

   Model             Unstandardized       Standardized      t      Sig.
                      Coefficients         Coefficients
                     B       Std. Error       Beta
1 (Constant)       .146        .124                       1.175    .241
Rapport            .101        .010          .535         10.219   .001
Reflection         .041        .010          .189         4.094    .001
Classroom          .054        .012          .220         4.398    .001
   One of the goals of teacher education programs is to prepare
    effective educators (Selwyn, 2007)
   PDS model is becoming more popular
   Mentoring component is one of the key components to a
    successful field experience
   Faculty should support mentors in areas strong areas, but also
    in areas in need of improvement
   Mentors must allow reflection opportunities (Mesler, 2004;
    Smith, 2001)
     Limitations and
   IVs were correlated; provides only suggestive evidence
   Positively skewed results
   Non-normal distribution of scores
   Response rate low (19%)

Recommendations for Future Research
   Triangulate data with supervisor’s/faculty evaluations (Clark & Creswell,
   Add a qualitative component to find out why interns assign specific
    ratings to mentors

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