The Paired-Placement of Student Teachers: An Alternative to Traditional Placements in Secondary Schools

Nov. 27, 2008

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 24, Issue 8, November 2008, P. 2168-2177

The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of the paired-placement of student teachers in secondary school settings. Would such placements foster the learning and development of student teachers and the learning of their pupils?
Participants were 23 student teachers who were placed as partners, their mentor teachers, and a sample of the pupils in their classes.

After 15 weeks of student teaching, the participants were interviewed about (a) the perceived strengths and weakness of paired-placements, and (b) the relationships that developed between the student teachers and with their mentor teacher.
The interviews were recorded and transcribed. Transcripts went through a process of open coding followed by the development of coding instruments, which were used to assess the level of collaboration of the student teachers during planning and teaching. In addition, the transcripts were used to conduct a cost benefit analysis of paired-placements.

Results indicated that pair-placed student teachers enjoyed a rich learning experience because of the tensions, dialog, and reflections that grew out of being placed with a peer. The secondary settings allowed for a combination of solo and team teaching. Results also suggested that pupil learning was facilitated by having two student teachers.

Updated: Jan. 21, 2009