Anderson, Derek
December 2007
Education;Winter2007, Vol. 128 Issue 2, p307
Academic Journal
The student teaching practicum is the capstone event of a new teacher's sequence of formal education and shapes the beginnings of one's foray into to the teaching profession. Vital to that experience is the influence of the cooperating teacher. This study sought a better understanding of that influence, particularly the various aspects of cooperating teachers' power. Through a mixed methods design, 56 student teachers and 48 cooperating teachers answered pre and post-practicum questionnaires. Furthermore, 12 student teachers and 12 cooperating teachers were interviewed. The data revealed that student teachers most commonly cited their cooperating teachers as having had an impact on their changes, and cooperating teachers were found to exercise power over their student teachers through their evaluations, rewards, distribution of knowledge, vested authority, and charisma. Student teachers and cooperating teachers alike should be made aware of the power differential, and the results of this study should aid teacher education programs develop training programs focused on effective mentorships.


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