An Examination of Pre-Service Teacher Preparedness: A Cooperating Teacher Perspective
The focus of this research paper is to examine the extent to which students in a senior Secondary Education Methods are prepared to transition into their teaching responsibilities as a future secondary school teacher. Specifically, this study aims to investigate cooperating teachers (CTs) perspective concerning the preparedness of secondary education pre-service teachers. The Secondary Education Methods course is usually taken during the senior year prior to the student teaching experience. The field experience is a fifty-five-hour clinical component of an Instructional Methods course. Using a Likert scale survey, cooperating teachers provided information concerning five dimensions of preparedness for pre-service teachers who are enrolled in this course. The dimensions that were examined are (1) The supervisory relationship between CTs and pre-service teachers; (2) The level of pre-service teachers’ preparedness in the area of instruction; (3) The extent to which pre-service teachers are prepared in non-instructional areas such as classroom management, professionalism, etc.; (4) The level of preparedness of pre-service teachers in their interaction with U-High students; and finally (5) CTs were provided with open-ended questions that focused on examining the overall preparedness of pre-service teachers to teach in a high school setting.
The information gathered by the questionnaire was reviewed and coded by the researcher. The data was then analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). In data analysis, percentages as well as means and standard deviations were tabulated. Independent-sample t-tests and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were conducted in order to see if there are differences in teaching preparedness based on methods of subject matter, age, years of experience, and gender. A chi-square test was used to assess the relationships in the demographic information of the cooperating teachers. The alpha level of .05 was established to indicate if relationships are statistically significant for all statistical tests.
Keywords: Teacher Preparedness, Secondary Education, Cooperating Teacher, Pre-service Teacher, Teacher Education
Dr. Adel Al-Bataineh
Associate Professor, Curriculum and Instruction