Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la formation et la profession enseignante (CRIFPE)

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Meyer, S. J. (2016). Understanding field experiences in traditional teacher preparation programs in Missouri. Washington, DC. (U.S.A.) : U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Central.




Field experiences, which include student teaching and other teacher preparation activities, such as observing classes or tutoring, are a component of nearly all teacher preparation programs and a centerpiece of national and state standards related to teacher preparation. Members of Regional Educational Laboratory Central’s Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance, which includes state education agency and teacher preparation program administrators and faculty, have expressed a need for better information about the implementation and effectiveness of teacher preparation programs to guide policy and practice.

Researchers and practitioners have identified the quality of field experiences as an area needing particular attention. Concerns about inconsistent program quality and underpreparedness of new teachers have led institutions that offer teacher preparation to explore new models for field experiences and seek better information about programs and their impact. States are also developing new standards and evaluation models for teacher preparation programs that are designed to improve field experiences.

This study collected survey data in spring 2015 from first-year Missouri public school teachers who were trained in 1 of 36 state-approved institutions that offer traditional undergraduate teacher preparation programs. Teacher survey responses revealed the following:

• All first-year teachers had field experiences in their preparation programs, nearly all (95 percent) had student teaching experiences, and their experiences varied substantially in duration and diversity of settings.

• Teachers reported spending an average of 16 weeks and 39 hours per week student teaching for a total estimated average of 631 hours.

• Student teaching experiences aligned with first-year teachers’ career teaching plans and first teaching assignments. • Resources and support in field experience schools were perceived positively, and professional collaboration was frequent, though parent and community interaction during field experiences was less frequent.

• First-year teachers had positive perceptions of the knowledge, teaching skill, mentorship ability, feedback, and support provided by cooperating teachers (who oversee student teachers in the field experience school) and supervising faculty members (who oversee student teachers in their teacher preparation program). • Cooperating teachers frequently conducted observations and provided feedback, whereas supervising faculty members did so less frequently.

• Field experiences for most first-year teachers were aligned with content learned in teacher preparation program courses and were well timed with the instructional schedules of preK–12 schools.

• First-year teachers frequently used a variety of instructional activities during field experiences.

• Teacher perceptions of the quality of partnership between teacher preparation programs and preK–12 schools involved in field experiences were generally positive.

• Several aspects of field experiences varied across first-year teachers with different types of teaching certificates, including the duration and diversity of field experiences, alignment between student teaching and first teaching positions, observation during field experience, engagement with families and community members, and instructional activities. 

This report provides information about field experiences in traditional teacher preparation programs for state and teacher preparation program leaders, teacher preparation program faculty, and others with an interest in this topic. The findings may be useful for informing policy and practice discussions related to program design and implementation.


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Adresse civique

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
90, avenue Vincent d'Indy
Pavillon Marie-Victorin – C-536
Outremont (Québec) H2V 2S9

Adresse postale

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
CRIFPE – C-543
C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec) H3C 3J7