The Impacts of Pre-service Supervised Field Experiences on Elementary Teachers Retention and Effectiveness in Mathematics
Effective Years: 2021-2024
In the pre-service preparation stage, future teachers gain critical skills and knowledge for teaching mathematics. Supervised field experiences, where student teachers apply their skills and knowledge in classrooms under the mentorship of cooperating teachers, have been shown to be particularly important in preparing effective future teachers. However, there is still much to be clarified about how supervised field experiences impact student achievement and important teacher outcomes such as career retention. In this study, the researchers will follow teaching candidates as they transition from the final stages of teacher preparation into the first years of elementary teaching and will investigate the impact of pre-service supervised field experiences on participants’ retention decisions and their students’ mathematics achievement. This work will inform how U.S. pre-service teacher preparation programs can better support pre-service teaching candidates they serve, with a specific focus on the components of supervised field experiences that have the most positive impacts on the outcomes of teachers and students. This project is funded by the EHR Core Research (ECR) program, which supports work that advances fundamental research on STEM learning and learning environments, broadening participation in STEM, and STEM workforce development.
The research team will follow approximately 1,200 teaching candidates longitudinally from their final year of pre-service preparation through their first two years of teaching. They will connect participants’ experiences in supervised field experiences to students’ mathematics achievement, attendance, and behavior, and teachers’ career retention once in the career. They will further explicate the relations between field experiences and teacher and student outcomes by exploring aspects of teachers’ entry into the profession, including their mathematical knowledge for teaching and self-efficacy, mathematics instructional quality, and well-being. By focusing on both the cognitive and psychological aspects of career preparation and entry, this research will inform the design and refinement of university-based teacher preparation programs with the goal of ensuring that new elementary teachers are not only equipped to provide students with instruction that supports mathematics achievement, but that teachers themselves are equipped to adjust to their careers successfully.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.