ERG SES D 07, Professional Development and Education
Teachers are main factors determining the efficiency of the education system, quality of teaching influence student achievement the most. (OECD, 2005; Mourshed and Barber, 2007; Mourshed, Chijoke and Barber, 2010). Therefore it is important to deal with teacher education, within that the most important element, the practicum, which is a workplace learning activity under the guidance of a cooperating teacher. The cooperating teachers are in the focus of our research, because they play a very important role in student teachers preperation (Clarke, Triggs és Nielsen, 2014). Clarifying the role of the cooperating teacher is essential to the success of the practicum, without it they cannot fully support the student teachers (Knowles and Cole, 1996) and on the other hand student teachers cannot cope with the classroom situation without a cooperating teacher (Hodges, 1982).
In the English literature we can find the cooperative teacher name which is a historical name, although they were attempts to change it but without changeing the accompanied roles and responsibilites, the name cooperating teacher remained (Clarke, Triggs és Nielsen, 2014). In the Hungarian teacher education during the individual school practice the mentor teacher (leader of practicum) is defined by the 8/2013. (I. 30.) EMMI regulation on the common requirements of teacher preperation and the learning outcomes of certain teacher education programmes. It poses the tasks to know the school and the teacher complex educational tasks, the social and legal environment of the school within the following context: tasks related to teaching of disciplinary subjects, teaching tasks not related to the disciplinary subjects and the school as an organization and its support system. Interpreting teacher education as a continious professional development the cooperating teacher has a professional socialization role as well (Clarke, Triggs és Nielsen, 2014). The question arise wether or not the current term mentor in the Hungarian context actually covers the roles and responsibilites which it implies (and what is needed).
The are many studies on the cooperating teachers role, competencies, tasks, responsibilites, believes and functions but in the Hungarian context there are few empirical research. According to the literature review there are many responsibilites a cooperating teacher can (and must) assume differentiating according to the level of participation from the absentee landlord to the coach. These categories can be interpreted alongside different roles (Clarke, Triggs és Nielsen, 2014):
- Providers of Feedback (Clarke, Triggs és Nielsen, 2014)
- Gatekeepers of the Profession (Nolan és Hoover, 2008)
- Modelers of Practice (Calderhead és Robson, 1991)
- Supporters of Reflection (Schön, 1987)
- Purveyors of Context (White, Deegan és Allexsaht-Snider, 1997)
- Conveners of Relation (Clarke, Triggs és Nielsen, 2014)
- Agents of Socialization (Anderson, 2007)
- Advocates of the Practical (Wang és Odell, 2002)
- Gleaners of Knowledge (Clarke, 2006)
- Abiders of Change (Caruso, 1998)
- Teachers of Children (Feiman-Nemser, 2001)
The above mentioned roles are reflecting well to Hudson’s model (2004) where the personal attributes, system requirements, pedagogical knowledge, modelling and feedback are mentioned as the main tasks and competencies of a cooperating teacher. Based on this model Koc (2011) developed the Mentor Teacher Role Inventory which proved to be a valid and reliable tool to assess the roles and responsibilites of cooperating teachers in a Turkish sample.
Anderson, D. (2007): The role of cooperating teachers’ power in student teaching. Education, 128. 307–323. Calderhead, J. and Robson, M. (1991): Images of teaching: Student teachers’ early conceptions of classroom practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 7. 1–8. Caruso, J. J. (1998): What cooperating teacher case studies reveal about their phases of development as supervisors of student teachers. European Journal of Teacher Education, 21. 119–132. Clarke, A. (2006): The nature and substance of cooperating teacher reflection. Teaching and Teacher Education, 22. 910–921. Clarke, A., Triggs, V. and Nielsen W. (2014): Cooperating teacher participation in teacher education: a review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 84. 2. 163-202. Feiman-Nemser, S. (2001): Helping novices learn to teach: Lessons from an exemplary support teacher. Journal of Teacher Education, 52. 17–30. Hall, K. M., Smith, L. K., Draper, R.J., Bullough, R.V. and Sudweeks, R. (2005): Measuring the self-efficacy of mentor teachers. Academic Exchange Quarterly 9. 4. 188–192. Hodges, C. (1982): Implementing methods: If you can’t blame the cooperating teacher who can you blame? Journal of Teacher Education, 33. 6. 25–29. Hudson, P. (2004): Mentoring for effective primary science teaching. Doctoral Thesis. Knowles, G. J. and Cole, A. L. (1996): Developing practice through field experiences. In: Murray, F. B. (eds.): The teacher educator's handbook: Building a knowledge base for the preparation of teachers. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco. Koc, E. M. (2011): Development of mentor teacher role inventory. European Journal of Teacher Education, 34. 2. 193-208. Mourshed, M. and Barber, M. (2007): Mi áll a világ legsikeresebb iskolai rendszerei teljesítményének hátterében? McKinsey&Company. Mourshed, M., Chijoke, C. and Barber, M. (2010): How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better. McKinsey&Company. Nolan, J. and Hoover, L. (2008): Teacher supervision and evaluation: Theory into practice. Jossey Bass, New York. OECD (2005): Teachers Matter. Attracting, developing and retaining effective teachers. Schön, D. (1987): Educating the reflective practitioner. JosseyBass, San Francisco. Wang, J., and Odell, S. J. (2002): Mentored learning to teach according to standardsbased reform: A critical review. Review of Educational Research, 72. 481–546. White, C. S., Deegan, J. and Allexsaht-Snider, M. (1997): Changes in roles and relationships in a school-university partnership. Teacher Education Quarterly, 24. 1. 53–66. Zachary, L. J. (2000): The mentor’s guide: Facilitating effective learning relationships. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.
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