I'M Prepared for Anything Now”: Student Teacher and Cooperating Teacher Interaction as A Critical Factor in Determining the Preparation of “Quality” Elementary Reading Teachers

From Section:
Preservice Teachers
Jan. 26, 2009

Source: The Teacher Educator, Volume 44, Issue 1. January 2009. pages 40 - 55 (Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study is an examination of the interactions between 19 pairs of student teachers and cooperating teachers engaged in guided reading instruction in Grades 1 through 3.


The authors selected the cooperating teachers in this study based on recommendations from each of the seven school's principals of “quality” reading teachers in Grades 1 through 3 in their buildings. From the list of recommended teachers, The authors succeeded in recruiting 19 cooperating teachers and their respective 19 student teachers to participate in the study on a voluntary basis. The cooperating teachers (Anglo = 16; Hispanic = 3) were teaching in early elementary grades (i.e., Grades 1, 2, and 3) and ranged in age from 26 years to 54 years of age (female = 18; male = 1). The cooperating teachers ranged in years of teaching experience from 3 years to 24 years. Student teachers were all teacher candidates from a large state university located within the boundaries of the participating district. All of the student teachers were female (Anglo = 18; Hispanic = 1) and in an age range of early 20s to early 30s. 11 student teachers were in a second-grade setting, 6 student teachers were in a first-grade setting, and 2 student teachers were in a third-grade setting.

As the basis for the study, the authors analyzed interaction patterns through conducting content analysis (Van Sluys, Lewison, & Seely Flint, 2006) and discourse analysis (Gee, 2005) over semi-structured interviews (Seidman, 2006) focused around learning to teach reading. Through a theoretical lens of imitation, guidance, and scaffolding based on Granott's (1993) work, the authors analyzed the interview transcripts to identify perceptions of behavior patterns between the student teachers and cooperating teachers. The authors also conducted a cross-comparison analysis of the similarity in reporting between each partner to examine the extent to which the pairs corroborated one another's perceptions. Findings for the study include high levels of imitative interaction between cooperating teachers and student teachers in areas of reading assessment and grouping children for reading instruction. Interaction deemed to be guided and scaffolded in nature occurred less frequently overall.

Gee, J. P. (2005). An introduction to discourse analysis theory and method. Routledge , New York.

Granott, N. Wozniak, R. H. and Fisher, K. W. (eds) (1993). Patterns of interaction in the co-construction of knowledge: Separate minds, joint effort, and weird creatures. Development in context: Acting and thinking in specific environments. pp. 183-207. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates , Hillsdale, NJ

Seidman, I. (2006) Interviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers in education and the social sciences. Teachers College Press , New York

Van Sluys, K., Lewison, M. and Seely Flint, A. (2006) Researching critical literacy: A critical study of analysis of classroom discourse. Journal of Literacy Research. 38:2 , pp. 197-233.

Updated: Dec. 15, 2019
Cooperating teachers | Interaction | Reading instruction | Scaffolding (Teaching Technique) | Student teachers | Teacher collaboration