Analysis of Exchanges between Novice and Cooperating Teachers during Internships Using the NCATE/NASPE Standards for Teacher Preparation in Physical Education as Guidelines

By Banville, Dominique | Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, June 2006 | Go to article overview
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Analysis of Exchanges between Novice and Cooperating Teachers during Internships Using the NCATE/NASPE Standards for Teacher Preparation in Physical Education as Guidelines


Banville, Dominique, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport


To be recognized as an accredited program, Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) programs in the country must abide by guidelines put forward by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), in collaboration with the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The guidelines are divided into nine standards and identify a number of outcomes (NASPE, 1998). The purpose of this study was to determine the nature of the exchanges between novice teachers (NTs) and cooperating teachers (CTs), when using the NASPE Standards (1998) as a reference point, and determine if the focus of the exchanges differed over time and according to data source. Six pairs of CTs and their NT participated in the study. Data were collected through recorded conversations between NTs and their CT as well as NTs' logs. Data showed that the majority of conversations focused on planning and instruction (Standard 6) and management and motivation (Standard 4), while few related to diverse learners (Standard 3), growth and development (Standard 2), and communication (Standard 5). The small amount of information shared by CTs in some standards indicates a need for PETE programs to share the guidelines with CTs to make them aware of the importance of offering a variety of topics to interns, because CTs are the primary source of information during this crucial experience.

Key words: adult learning, content analysis, student teaching.

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For over a decade Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) programs throughout the U.S. have had the opportunity to earn accreditation through the National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE) in collaboration with the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The review requires PETE programs to demonstrate that students enrolled in their program meet a set of outcomes grouped under a number of standards.

A few revisions have been made since the first edition of the NCATE/NASPE guidelines was published in 1987. The fourth edition published in 1998 "contains nine standards and reflects consensus among experienced physical educators at all levels as to what teachers need to know, believe, and be able to do" (NASPE, 1998, p. 3). A few differences found in

the new edition include Technology as a new standard and the evidence-based evaluation process now required of PETE programs. This study was performed during the accreditation process of the PETE program involved in the data collection. Because the fourth edition of the NASPE standards was used for the accreditation process, it will be the reference point for this study.

Standard 6 implies that the PETE program provides students with field experiences in order for them to apply, use, or implement planning and instructional skills. Expectations are high for these field experiences, especially the semester-long internship when students are to apply the knowledge learned during their training to develop or improve the skills necessary to become an effective teacher. To succeed in this endeavor, novice teachers (NTs) rely heavily on the supervision of their assigned cooperating teacher (CT).

Theoretical Framework

The importance of being mentored by a more experienced colleague is highlighted during various stages of a teacher's career; however, the support a mentor provides seems to be critical in the early career stage. Data show that between one third and half of all new teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years (Darling-Hammond & Sclan, 1996). For this reason, many schools have induction programs to help newly hired teachers cope with the reality of their new life (Wang & Odell, 2002). Steffy and Wolfe (2001) developed a model pertaining to teaching stages that is useful in understanding the support preservice and in-service teachers likely need regarding their teaching skills and emotional state.

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