Supporting Mentor Teachers in the Assessment of and Inquiry into High-Leverage Science Teaching Practices

While the scholarship examining the teaching of high leverage teaching practices in the context of pre-service teacher education is continuing to grow (Ball & Forzani, 2009; McDonald, Kazemi, & Kavanaugh, 2013; Windschitl, Thompson, Braaten & Stroupe, 2012), fewer teacher educators have been examining how to bring those who mentor pre-service teachers, sometimes called cooperating teachers or pre-service mentor teachers, into this effort. Our MAT program is working to focus some of the preparation of our new teachers on ambitious teaching in science, and we are pursuing a specific focus on a few ‘high leverage teaching’ practices that we feel most reflect our vision of good teaching, and we are simultaneously working to coordinate our work with mentors around that effort as well. To help inform and provide a conceptual undergirding to our work with mentor teachers, this paper specifically reviews the literature on mentor teachers’ learning in relationship to high leverage practices. It also summarizes existing research on mentoring and experienced teacher learning that might help inform the design of our model of mentor teachers’ learning. We describe some of the shifts we have made in our program to work with mentor teachers, in relationship to what we are learning from the literature; and try to identity some principles that may help us now, with additional decisions and shifts we could make to further reflect our growing learning from other efforts as well as our own.

Hammerness, K., Howes, E., Contino, J., Cooke-Nieves, N., Kinzler, R., Macdonald, M., & Trowbridge, C. (2017, April). Supporting mentor teachers in the assessment of and inquiry into high-leverage science teaching practices. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Antonio, TX.