Cooperating Teachers: Insight into Their Preparation, Beliefs, and Practices

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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Twenty-three physical education cooperating teachers were interviewed in order to examine their preparation for becoming supervisors and their supervisory beliefs and practices. Most cooperating teachers had no formal preparation for their supervisory roles and shared no common technical language. Instead, they applied Lortie’s (1975) apprenticeship of observation by acquiring supervisory knowledge and images of supervision primarily from memories of their own student teaching supervision and their experiences as teachers. These cooperating teachers assumed one of three supervisory styles with student teachers: (a) “do it your way,” (b) “do it my way,” and (c) “we’ll do it together.” The feedback ranged from very little feedback to providing both positive and negative feedback to student teachers. This study indicates an urgent need to establish a model of systematic, data-based supervision for all cooperating teacher. Suggestions for changes in physical education supervision are included.

G. Linda Rikard is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353. Mary Lou Veal is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27412-5001.

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