Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 34, p. 38-45. (July 2013)
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This study investigated the nature of relationships among student teachers, university supervisors, and cooperating teachers in one UAE teacher education program.
Specifically, this study attempted to identify the supervisory approach preferred by student teachers, the prevalent approaches to supervision used by cooperating teachers and university supervisors, and the significance of the chosen approaches to the development of teachers in one UAE university.
Student teachers completed a researcher-developed supervisory inventory and responded to a questionnaire of closed- and open-ended questions.
Cooperating teachers completed a questionnaire and university supervisors were interviewed.
The participants were 126 female student teachers in their exit spring and fall semesters at one government university in the United Arab Emirates.
The findings reveal that most student teachers preferred the collaborative approach to supervision.
The cooperating teachers most often used collaborative supervision with student teachers.
The cooperating teachers were more open in their relationships with students.
In contrast, the university supervisors used directive approach.
The university supervisors thought of themselves in the technical term of supervisors, rather than as facilitators of student teachers’ learning.
Therefore, the student teachers might not have been satisfied with the directive approach of their university supervisors.
They wished they could have more collaboration and autonomy.
Moreover, unlike cooperating teachers, university supervisors had negative opinions of the abilities of student teachers in this program.
The learning process during the practicum was hindered by the need to solve emergent problems observed by university supervisors during their visits.
This quick fix strategy contradicts the idea that student teaching is as an important phase for student teachers to experiment with ideas and learn from discussion with their supervisors.
The authors conclude that supervisors should use a developmental approach to supervision.