Evaluating student teaching experiences at urban and suburban field sites: Relationship to teacher efficacy, preparedness, and commitment
AdvisorDuCette, Joseph P.
Committee memberDavis, James Earl, 1960-
Walker, Thomas J.
SubjectEducation, Teacher Training
Education, Educational Psychology
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/2285
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AbstractPreparedness, efficacy, and commitment to a teaching career are important products of the teacher preparation process. Yet research on how the context of field experiences influences the development of these products is limited. The purpose of this study is firstly to confirm the existence of hypothesized differences between urban and suburban field placements and secondly to investigate the relationship between individual components of these contextualized field experiences and the outcomes of preparedness, efficacy, and commitment. Field experiences are examined through the lens of Bandura's (1997) sources of teacher efficacy belief development (mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, emotional arousal) and their interactions with student teaching contextual influences. The results suggest that urban-based student teachers have a qualitatively different experience from their suburban-based counterparts. Although the study did not find significant differences in resultant teacher efficacy, or preparedness for assuming fulltime teaching responsibilities, urban-based teachers report less long-term teaching commitment, but are more likely to be seeking an initial placement in an urban school. Regression analyses were performed to identify those components of the field experience and individual student characteristics that predict preparedness, efficacy and commitment. Location and on-site school contextual variables (school climate, school poverty) play an integral role in prediction of teaching efficacy. While long-term teaching commitment was most strongly predicted by emotional interpretations of the experience (satisfaction, stress, confidence) together with feeling supported by the field supervisor, intentions regarding teaching location were more dependent on support and encouragement received from mentor teachers in those locations, and viewing the mentor as a good career model. The findings of this study have important implications for teacher training since the results confirm that student teachers have very different experiences based on field site location and that these experiences do contribute differentially to the development of preparedness, efficacy and commitment.
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