Johnson, I. L., & Napper-Owen, G. (2011). The importance of role perceptions in the student teaching triad.
Johnson, I. L., & Napper-Owen, G. (2011). The importance of role perceptions in the student teaching triad. Physical Education, 68(1), 44-56.
Summary: This study examined two triads of physical education student teachers. The findings suggest that the university supervisor plays a pivotal role in supporting the relationships between cooperating teachers and student teachers, especially when that dyadic relationship is not strong. Time and regular contact are critical features in university supervisor’s ability to develop relationships. The assumption of expected roles for all members of the triad supports the development of relationships.
Research Question: Not identified, but “The purpose of this study was to examine the roles and role perceptions held by members of physical education student teaching triads while engaged in a seven-week elementary student teaching experience” (p. 44).
Methodology: Qualitative case study
Methods: observations, weekly interviews (18 total), video taped conference, field notes, and a focus group discussion
Participants: Two triads (n=6)
Data Analysis: analytic induction and constant comparison
- All members of triad agreed that the PST should be in the role of learner and that the cooperating teacher should be daily mentors providing guidance and feedback. What feedback looks like, how often it occurs, and how it is given was contested among the triad members.
- “The university supervisor was expected to act as a resource, mentor, and evaluator” (p. 50).
- “The student teachers had a variety of specific expectations of the university supervisor. They expected her to be at the schools regularly to help them by giving feedback and suggestions. They wanted Judy to fix any problems that might arise, and they expected her to know everything that was going on in their student teaching” (p. 50).
- “The cooperating teachers believed the university supervisor should link theory with practice and oversee certain requirements like paperwork and lesson plans” (p. 50). The preservice teacher was the university supervisor’s domain and that the university supervisor should be a resource for the cooperating teacher.
- Role perceptions impacted the quality of the experience.
- University supervisor needs to know when to intervene and support the relationship.
- Role of the university supervisor: “However, it would have been more positive and functional with better communication and a deeper understanding and agreement of each role within the triad” (p. 51).
- Time and regular contact are critical features in university supervisor’s ability to develop relationships. “When she was comfortable in her roles, she regarded her erratic engagement within the triads to have hindered the successful development of the triad and ultimately the learning opportunities afforded the remaining triad members” (p. 52).
- The student teacher’s and cooperating teacher’s perceptions of the university supervisor in a mentoring role and positioning their role as learner enabled them to develop a stronger relationship with the university supervisor.
- The university supervisor’s ability to facilitate group interaction is important is important in building relationships.
- When the university supervisor positioned herself in a position of power, it had mixed results for the triads.
- Relationships are stronger when perceived expectations of roles and responsibilities are being met.
- More communication is essential.
- Having an awareness of the preservice teacher and cooperating teacher relationship is important in building relationships with and among others.