Dinsmore & Wenger Relatiopnships in prservice teacher preparation: From cohorts to communities.

Dinsmore, J., & Wenger, K. (2006, Winter). Relatiopnships in prservice teacher preparation: From cohorts to communities. Teacher Education Quarterly, 57-74.


Summary: This study examined preservice teachers' perceptions about the role of relationships in supporting learning. They found that preservice teachers identified field experience relationships, peer relationships, and instructor relationships as instrumental in supporting their learning. It should be noted that the instructor relationships were not directed towards their supervisors but rather towards their methods course instructors from the main campus and their methods course instructors who also were their supervisors. The comments though were not directed to the experiences in the field or support that they received in the field.

Research Questions: How did preservice teachers characterize tehir cohort community as a vehicle for their own learning about teacher? How did this sense of community influence how new teachers taught thier first year in area schools?


Methodology: Not identified beyond a two year qualitative study

Methods: individual and group interviews, weekly email responses, four surveys, reflection statements, boservations, class discussions, field notes, written assignments, six formal student teaching observations, and information conversations

Data Analysis Technique: constant comparison

Participants: 12 preservice teachers

Key Quotes/Findings:

  • Three types of relationships emerged as critical to the preservice teachers' success. They were field experience relationships, peer relationships, and instructor relationships.
  • "Students stated that negative relationpships within the practicum actually hindered their preservice teachers' learning while positive relatiopnships enhanced it. This suggest that field experience itself may not be the most important contributing factor to preservice teacher learning but rather it is the positive relationpships within the experience which have a significant influence on learning" (p. 66).
  • "(The student) added that she didn't know if she would have been as successful in a different program without the sense of belonging and relatipnships she had with her peers" (p. 67).
  • "The data suggest that the social interactions and relationpships within the cohort need to foster a community spirit in order to enhance learning" (p. 68).
  • "According to these students, teh interaction with faculty members fostered learning and laid the foundation for strong collegial relationpships during the program and continued after the graduates began their first year of teaching" (p. 69).