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Department or Administrative Unit

Center for Teaching and Learning

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Although cooperating teachers design and implement model programs of inclusion and special instruction, the supervision of student teachers requires an entirely other "trunk full of unique tools." Successfully facilitating the student teacher's development requires not only good modeling, but also meaningful feedback that is honest and constructive. Such mentoring holds the most promise when the intern receives maximum experience with the tenets of a constructivist teaching philosophy and the implementation of best instructional and management practices. The cooperating teacher is ideally situated to interpret the contours of constructivist theory as it is manifested in daily classroom discourse and activity. Careful observation and "kid watching" give face and specificity to abstract tenets and bring the learning process into focus. Best practices depend on a systematic approach to instruction which takes into account six variables: structure, clarity, redundancy, enthusiasm, appropriate rate, and maximizing engagement. Engagement also relies on motivation which is a crucial factor in effective classroom management. The student teacher is required to participate in critical reflection about all of these variables under the watchful tutelage of the cooperating teacher and the university supervisor.


This article was originally published in Northwest Journal of Teacher Education. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


Northwest Journal of Teacher Education

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.