The University Supervisor and Post-Observation Conferences: Perceptions of Utility from Student Teaching Triads

Loftin, Katie, Curriculum and Instruction - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Mintz, Susan, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Virginia

Several factors have led to an increased focus on ways to improve teacher education in the United States, particularly with the student teaching experience. Few studies addressing this topic have looked deeply at the role of university supervisor and the perceived importance of supervision practices. The purpose of this study was to provide teacher educators with information about how university supervisors, student teaching triad conferences, and other practices of supervision are perceived by the student teachers, mentor teachers, and university supervisors that engage in them. This study was structured as a qualitative comparative multiple-case study of three student teaching triads and purposive convenience sampling was used to identify participants.
Findings based on interview, observation, and document analysis data are: (1) Positive relationships, viewed as central to providing effective supervision, can be built by conveying a sense that the triad is a central priority for all members. This is demonstrated through flexibility, availability, and engagement within supervision. Prolonged, cross-contextual relationships can contribute to more positive interactions; (2) Previous teaching experiences and level of experience within the triad role may affect supervision and how it is perceived by triad members. Supervisors should present themselves in a way that emphasizes the knowledge and experiences they bring to a triad; and (3) The student teaching experience should be perceived as formative in nature. Tools used in providing formative feedback must be used effectively in order to impact student teachers’ classroom decision-making.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
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