Examining the Importance of Student Teaching for Student and Teacher Outcomes
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This panel brings together four papers that build on this evidence base by considering aspects or interventions in student teaching not previously considered in the empirical literature. The first paper uses comprehensive student teaching data from Washington State to provide the first empirical evidence about the impact of student teachers on the outcomes of students they teach during their student teaching placement. This question is important given well-documented returns to teaching experience and the reality that student teachers have little to no prior teaching experience.
The next two papers focus on an aspect of student teaching that is currently understudied in the empirical literature: the cooperating teacher who supervises the student teaching assignment. Specifically, the second paper uses survey data of student teachers and cooperating teachers in Chicago Public Schools to explore the distribution of cooperating teacher credentials in the district and the relationship between these credentials and self-reported student teacher outcomes. The third paper uses statewide data on student teachers to explore the relationship between cooperating teacher characteristics and the future teacher effectiveness of student teachers they supervise.
The final paper reports results from an intervention in Spokane Public Schools in Washington State that provided increased structure around the student teaching process in the district by recruiting effective teachers to serve as mentors, centralizing the student teacher placement process, and using structured evaluations to provide feedback to student teachers. The paper examines the impact of this intervention on the composition of cooperating teachers in the district, and the relationship between the characteristics of these cooperating teachers and subsequent outcomes for their student teachers.
Each of the papers in this panel makes a significant contribution to the existing research base on student teaching. Results from the first paper will have important policy implications as districts weigh the costs and benefits of hosting student teachers. Likewise, findings from the other papers will inform efforts by districts and teacher education programs to place student teachers with cooperating teachers who will support their professional development.
The panel will benefit from comments from two expert discussants. First, Matt Lyons, the Chief Talent Officer in Chicago Public Schools, will discuss the implications of these papers for policies related to student teaching. Finally, Jim Wyckoff, who has authored several important papers about the relationship between teacher education experiences and future teacher and student outcomes, will discuss the implications of these papers for future research in this area.