Volume 43 - Number 3 - 2002 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2002.03072
The purposes of this study were to describe selected characteristics of student teachers and their cooperating student teaching centers and to identify student teachers' perceptions about important elements of the experience before and after its occurrence. Thirty-six student teachers (100%) who completed an 11-week field experience at 33 different cooperating centers during the 2000-01 academic year provided responses. Questionnaire items were divided into five "core" areas of the student teaching experience based on a review of literature. Thirty-four elements were identified by cooperating teachers as being "important." Student teachers rated these elements using a Likert-type rating scale ("5" = "High Importance,"... "1" = "No Importance"). Cronbach's coefficient alpha reliability estimates for the five core areas ranged from .72 to .95. The overall importance scale of 34 items yielded an estimate of .96. Students recognized the importance of the "Cooperating Teacher-Student Teacher Relationship" before and after the field experience component of student teaching. All scales were rated as important by student teachers, suggesting that their espoused theories of action were congruent with and led to their theories-in-use, except in the area of Supervised Agricultural Experiences, which was rated considerably lower after the field experience.