Veal & Rikard Cooperating Teachers' Perspectives on the Student Teaching Triad

Veal, M. & Rikard, L. (1998). Cooperating teachers' perspectives on the student teaching triad. Journal of Teacher Education 49(2), 108-119.

•    "Cooperating teachers are excluded from many decisions; university personnel typically influence decisions about the choice of cooperating teacher, the duration of student teaching, the requirements of planning and written work, and then final grading (Glickman & Bey, 1990) p. 108."

The Student Teaching Triad
•    Stressors between supervisors and cooperating teachers are well documented. Little is known about successful triads.

Triad Theory
•    Typically in a relationship, the introduction of a third party to a dyad results in conflict. A third party can create jealousy and a power struggle.
•    The dyad is the intern and the mentor because they work so closely on a daily basis. The PDA becomes the third member, causing a shift in power.

Q for reflection: What does the triad relationship look like in the PDS? Does it exhibit any of the triad theory presented? Does it break any boundaries?

This study explores the triad relationship from the mentor's point of view. Has it ever been explored from the PDA's point of view?

The authors define institutional triad as one containing the university supervisor and a functional triad as one without the supervisor. If the supervisor is absent, is it really a triad? Wouldn't it be a dyad? How can it be functional when one party is absent? P. 111 They include the students as part of the triad for the functional. I'm not sure that I understand why the students are included in one part and omitted in the other.

Hierarchies, Triads, and the Student Teaching Experience
•    When the supervisor enters the triad, a shift of power from the mentor teacher to the supervisor occurs. (Does that happen in PDS? I think it depends on whom you ask.)
•    Interns struggle with the shifting role of student and teacher. (I wonder if true supervision were to challenge that shift. In peer coaching, the teacher shifts in some sense even though they come to their own conclusions. In supervising interns, would the use of data as a neutral observer and engaging in true supervision challenge that notion of a shift in roles?)

The Institutional Triad
•    Cooperating teachers defer power to the supervisors. (I think PDS challenges that claim because we give mentors a voice in the decisions.)
•    Cooperating teachers often feel that supervisors are too harsh. (Is that true in my experience?) (Why is that?!?)
•    Cooperating teachers believe that supervisors are out of touch. (Is that true in PDS? Would PDS challenge that notion? What about the roles of doctoral student vs. faculty vs. hybrid teacher? Do those roles have different perceptions?)

The Functional Triad
•    Cooperating teachers sometimes feel that they are being assessed on the success or failure of the student teacher. (Would that be true of PDS?)
•    Cooperating teachers view the university preparation as behind the times. (Is that true here?) (How then does that statement jive with the previous claim that student teachers bring fresh ideas?)
•    One teacher claimed that anybody could teach college kids because college kids listen and pay attention. Is that a myth? Is it true? Is that all teaching is - getting students to listen and pay attention?
•    The authors suggest collaborative supervision, but they lack a clear definition of what collaborative supervision would look like in practice. (Would a PDS fit that mold?)

•    A recommendation is for supervisors to return to the field after a few years in order to stay grounded in practice. (Shouldn't theory inform practice? Does the PDS challenge this notion - hybrid teachers? Does our PDS have checks and balances that keep all of us hybrids, mentors, faculty, and doctoral students grounded in both theory and practice in that our work is deeply rooted in schools and our practice is absolutely collaborative?)

A Proposal for Shared Supervision
•    Student teachers place greater value on the cooperating teacher's suggestions as compared to the supervisors.
•    Student teachers should have an equal voice in the triad. (Does that happen in PDS? Should it happen?)

Creating a Context for Shared Supervision
•    Shared power involves student teachers in having ownership over structure and conferences.