- Year 2019
- NSF Award #1758264
- Registration Current Noyce Scholar
- First Name Soo-Yean
- Last Name Shim
- Discipline Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geosciences, Math, Physics
- Institution University of Washington
Student teaching can be a productive journey with effective mentoring, but too often preservice teachers (PSTs) experience it without the support that makes it most meaningful. In this poster, we share our work across two Noyce projects to promote productive collaboration between mentors and PSTs during field placements (Study 1: DUE-1540678, 2015-18; Study 2: DUE-1758264, 2018-21). From examining experiences of 65 PSTs in their field placements, Study 1 showed inequities in how the PSTs were able to participate in planning, teaching, and assessment. For example, some PSTs took the lead in planning for lessons as early as December, while others had to wait until mid-February, and some never had this opportunity. Similarly, the duration of PSTs taking the lead in teaching ranged from more than five months to three weeks. By exploring the types and timing of opportunities that deepened the PSTs’ learning, we developed theories about what experiences and supports would benefit them throughout their student teaching. To reduce inequities and enhance PSTs’ opportunities to learn, Study 2 develops and implements a system of tools and resources to foster productive partnerships between PSTs and mentors, based on the findings and theories generated from Study 1. The system includes a website with mentoring resources (http://mentorteachers.org/), newsletters with timely tips and tools, short video guides and protocols for effective mentoring practices, trajectories for PSTs’ learning opportunities, and feedback tools. Through conducting surveys and interviews with mentors and PSTs, we are examining whether and how these resources can increase the frequency and quality of PSTs’ opportunities to learn. We have found that several of them can transform the ways that mentors and PSTs (dyads) interact with each other and with students. For example, many dyads said that the newsletters and trajectories helped them see what they were supposed to be doing throughout their time together. Additionally, some PSTs said that the newsletters helped them advocate for certain kinds of opportunities in planning or teaching lessons. Some other tools that the dyads reported as valuable include tools that supported conversations with each other (e.g., for building relationships, debriefing lessons, exchanging feedback) and helped develop knowledge of students. This ongoing research can contribute to conversations about how to promote productive collaboration between PSTs and mentors.