Motivations and profiles of cooperating teachers: Who volunteers and why?

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University teacher education programs often struggle to attract cooperating teachers. Given this situation, it is obviously of interest to determine what factors may attract teachers to, or repel them from, the cooperating role. It is also of interest to determine, in general terms at least, what characteristics cooperating teachers share. This paper develops a profile of cooperating teachers who agreed to work with student teachers, and discusses factors that encourage or dissuade them from taking on their important role. Results suggest that teachers’ positive motivations to take practicum students revolve around a solid set of professional commitments to self, students, and the profession. However, the actual experience of working with student teachers can run counter to these positive motivations, and may dissuade teachers from continuing in their cooperating role. The findings have strong implications for developing a cohort of motivated, committed and capable school-based cooperating teachers to work with the future generation of teachers.

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Journal Article

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