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Title: Investigating perceptions of the role of cooperating teachers and their needs in the practicum in primary schools in Tobago
Author: Garcia, Trevor
ISNI:       0000 0004 7428 2733
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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This qualitative case study was designed to investigate how the roles of cooperating teachers who participate in the practicum programme of the Centre for Education Programmes University of Trinidad and Tobago (CEPUTT) are perceived by those involved. Semi-structured interviews were carried out and data collected from three sets of significant stakeholders regarding the perceptions of the role of the cooperating teacher. The participants included six cooperating teachers (classroom teachers who accommodate student teachers during practicum) from primary schools in Tobago, six student teachers (prospective teachers currently enrolled at the CEPUTT pursuing a Bachelor of Education to become qualified teachers), and three university supervisors or practicum advisors (instructors who teach content courses at the CEPUTT and are charged with the responsibility of supporting and assessing student teachers during practicum). The results of the data analysis and the emergent themes indicated that the cooperating teachers perceived their roles in relationship to the student teachers as: willing to accept student teachers, establishing good relationships, mentoring and modelling for student teachers, observing and evaluating and socializing student teachers into classroom practice. Cooperating teachers reported that they lacked training for these roles and relied on their own teaching experiences in dealing with student teachers. They identified training as a need. Cooperating teachers suggested better collaboration with practicum advisors and that they be provided with guidelines and expectations of what they are required to do to fulfill their roles as cooperating teachers. Student teachers perceived the roles of the cooperating teachers to be: keeping up current educational practices, establishing collegial relationships with the student teachers, giving student teachers feedback, and contributing a grade to the student teachers’ assessment. The practicum advisors suggested that the role of the cooperating teachers should be: to build student teacher confidence, socialize student ii teachers into school and classroom context, mentor student teachers and contribute to student teachers’ assessment grades. Results from the interviews suggest the need to include cooperating teachers in the practicum triad and recommendations included proper selection and training for them particularly in developing mentoring skills and assessment procedures to help in better preparation of student teachers entering the teaching profession.
Supervisor: Sikes, Pat Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available