Source: Teaching and Teacher Education 66 (2017) 117-126
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
The case study aimed to discover the influence of student teachers on student achievement in an elementary school and explore how teachers perceived the influence of student teachers on their students' growth and achievement.
The author conducted the study at a local elementary school.
The participants were seven teachers and the school principal. Three teachers were currently working with student teachers. Four teachers did not have student teacher that year.
The author conducted interviews with all participants.
The teachers and the principal believed that the positive influence that student teachers had on student achievement was tied directly to the teacher and student teacher working together.
The author suggests that this team work enables differentiating instruction, breaking students into small groups to meet diverse needs, and co-teaching that influenced the increase in test scores, as well as individual student achievement and growth. The author concludes that it was the team of two that created the positive influence on achievement.
Furthermore, the participants argued that student teachers needed to possess characteristics and qualities of highly effective teachers.
Although the teachers perceived their experience of working with student teachers as positive, they considered themselves to be an important factor in the equation for impacting student achievement. The teachers said that even when the student teacher was in control, the teacher was available to work with individual students as needed.
The author also found that despite their positive experience with student teachers, half of the teachers said that Senate Bill 10-191 and the new teacher evaluation tool would impact their decision in accepting student teachers in the future.
The author argues that the fact that change is on the horizon - an individual teachers will be held accountable for their students’ performance and that made half of the teachers reconsider accepting a student teacher in the fall.
The author emphasizes that the teachers feel that the new teacher evaluation tool puts pressure on them to demonstrate student growth and achievement. Hence, some teachers feel that taking the chance of having a student teacher who was not as effective was not worth the risk.
The author concludes that this case study contributes to the literature regarding student teachers, their influence on achievement, and teachers’ perspectives of working with student teachers.