What Do Associate Teachers Do Anyway? A Comparison of Theoretical Conceptualizations in the Literature and Observed Practices in the Field
Sanders, M., Dowson, M. & Sinclair, C. (2005). What Do Associate Teachers Do Anyway? A Comparison of Theoretical Conceptualizations in the Literature and Observed Practices in the Field. Teachers College Record, 706-738. United States of America.
The degree of convergence (or divergence) between what associate teachers are said to do in the practicum literature and what they actually do during practicum formed the focus of the present research. This focus is important, in part, because divergence between the literature and actual practice may inhibit the ability of the literature to contribute to the enhancement of supervisory practices. The present research uses case study methodology to investigate associate (supervising) teachers' perceptions of their multiple roles during practicum. Four associate teachers and their preservice teaching students were observed for a total of 87 hr and interviewed for 4 hr. Results of the study indicated that the roles pursued by associate teachers (e.g., Planner, Evaluator, Modeler, Counselor), while not completely divergent from roles described in the literature, are nevertheless sufficiently divergent from these descriptions to indicate that modifications to the literature may be warranted. This applies to both the degree to which associate teachers pursued particular roles and the structure of these roles themselves. The research also found that coordinating multiple roles was a challenging experience for associate teachers and implied the need for more substantial support for associate teachers if they are to successfully coordinate these multiple roles.