Preferred Name

Dara M. Hall

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

School of Strategic Leadership Studies

Advisor(s)

Karen A. Ford

Adam Vanhove

Michelle Hughes

Abstract

Mentorship programs have become increasingly prevalent in multiple organizations, particularly due to a large number of positive outcomes for the mentees such as improved performance, attitudes, and retention (e.g. Eby et al., 2013). Likewise, research suggests that there are potential benefits of training mentors to work with student teachers, leading many teacher preparation programs to devote human and financial resources to develop trained mentor teachers, known as clinical faculty, to provide pre-service support. Findings have shown that student teachers feel most supported when given concrete and meaningful feedback to improve their instructional practices (Sayeski & Paulsen, 2012), therefore, clinical faculty training prepares mentor teachers to provide this feedback. The purpose of this study was to establish evidence of effective mentorship in trained clinical faculty. The study reviewed data over a three-year period of student teaching experiences to better understand indicators of effective mentorship, and 13 themes related to effective mentorship were established. Student teacher evaluations of their mentor teachers indicated more effective mentorship with clinical faculty than untrained mentor teachers, particularly with regards to feedback. It was hypothesized that trained mentors provide feedback more often and of higher quality than untrained mentor teachers. Feedback on assessments of student teachers was reviewed. Quality of feedback was scored by adapting Hattie and Timperley’s (2007) model of feedback – self, task, process, and self-regulation, with the view that process and self-regulation feedback is the most effective feedback to improve practice. The hypotheses for higher quantity and quality were not supported; therefore, limitations of the current practices in training mentor teachers are discussed.

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