Relationships : A study of pre-service teachers’ interpretations of the relationships formed with supervising teachers in professional experience
Prof Doc Thesis
Lee, David. (2019). Relationships : A study of pre-service teachers’ interpretations of the relationships formed with supervising teachers in professional experience [Prof Doc Thesis]. Australian Catholic University School of Education https://doi.org/10.26199/acu.8vyqy
|Type||Prof Doc Thesis|
|Qualification name||Doctor of Education|
This research study was framed through reflection on the ongoing debates within the Australian educational community regarding the quality of teacher practice and initial teacher education. School-based professional experience within teacher education programs is regarded as an essential element of pre-service teacher education courses. Much of the focus of professional experience is related to the pre-service teacher’s performance of the teaching skills assessed against a predetermined set of evaluation criteria. However, at times an understated element of the professional experience is the influence of the range of relationships that the pre-service teacher experiences with the members of the school community. Key among these is the relationship that the pre-service teacher establishes with their supervising teacher, who is responsible for providing professional and affective support.
The aim of this study was to explore that relationship during the professional experience from the perspective of the pre-service teacher. As limited research has been developed with this focus, this investigation aimed to give voice to pre-service teachers. A study was developed into their perceptions and interpretations of their interactions in the relationship with their supervising teachers and how these influenced their professional learning.
To gain insight into these experiences, a qualitative case study was undertaken of two cohorts of undergraduate pre-service teachers participating in a 4-year Bachelor of Education Degree related to the Primary (elementary) years of schooling. The study used a Symbolic Interactionism theoretical framework as a lens through which to identify the perceptions developed and the interpretations made within the pre-service and supervising teacher relationship.
The data was analysed using the constant comparative method and axial coding to identify the key elements of the relationship. The results were read closely against the literature in a number of areas, including how relational aspects of the school based professional experience can influence the participants’ professional learning.
The study established that the relationship between the pre-service and supervising teacher is a fundamental and influential component of the professional experience. An important finding was the multi-layered structure of influence in this relationship. It comprised two overarching aspects: the Interpersonal Aspect and the Professional Mentorship Aspect. Within these aspects, four areas of significance emerged through a series of themes and sub-themes that revealed a more nuanced understanding of the relationship. These were: the influence of the interpersonal component relating to personal and emotional support; the influence of professional mentorship on the development of teaching competencies and expertise; the effect of the relationship on the development of teacher self-efficacy; and the impact of the relationship on emerging teacher identity and career confirmation.
The study clearly identified that the overarching interpersonal aspect was crucial in supporting a positive professional experience. When this aspect was not well developed in the initial stages, it negatively influenced the development of the professional mentorship aspect and subsequently affected the pre-service/supervising teacher relationship. The exploratory nature of the study also found that the degree to which the key influencing elements in both aspects interacted and were positively interrelated was important. This significantly supported and facilitated the pre-service teacher’s professional learning and also contributed to their overall levels of teacher efficacy and the formation of their teacher identity.
|Publisher||Australian Catholic University|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.26199/acu.8vyqy|
File Access Level
|07 Nov 2019|
|Online||29 Apr 2021|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||29 Apr 2021|
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