An analysis of conditions and trends in student teaching in the United States
Arguably, the student teaching experience is the single most powerful learning experience in preservice teacher education in the United States. Although influenced by the current and past policy context, it is perhaps the oldest as well as the most common partnership between K-12 schools and teacher preparation programs. Despite the centrality of this experience to learning to teach, limited research has been conducted on the nature or characteristics of student teaching in our institutions of higher education or how it has changed over the years. This analysis examines two national samples assessing the status of student teaching experiences in the United States, taken 40 years apart. Its purpose was to analyze conditions and trends in student teaching partnerships. Results indicate that although the experience is now more uniform and intense, fewer supervisor visits are required. Based on the comparison of themes, additional recommendations for narrowing the research-to-practice gap in student teaching practices are proposed.
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