Structured communication: effects on teaching efficacy of student teachers and student teacher - cooperating teacher relationships
Teaching efficacy beliefs of agricultural science student teachers, and their relationship with their cooperating teachers during field experiences, are variables that may affect the number of student teachers entering the profession. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects implementing structured communication between student teachers and cooperating teachers would have on student teachers?????? self-perceived teaching efficacy, and the relationship between the student teacher and cooperating teacher during the student teaching experience. The learning environment of these field experiences must be more fully understood to explain why some student teachers enter the profession of agriculture science teaching, and others do not. A conceptual model guiding this study, based upon a thorough review of the literature, explains the role of constructivism, teaching efficacy, and communication theory. This study employed a quasi-experimental design with a non-random sample in a multiple time-series design. The average respondent in this study was a 23 year old white undergraduate female placed at a multiple placement cooperating center. Respondents in an environment where the amount and type of communication between student teachers and cooperating teachers was structured were less efficacious when compared to those respondents who were not in a structured communication setting. In addition, student teachers in a structured communication environment declined in their teaching efficacy measurements overall, whereas student teachers who were not involved in structured communication increased in their self-perceived teaching efficacy levels. Through contrast analysis, the age and academic standing of student teachers significantly affected their perception of the value cooperating teachers placed upon student teacher ?????? cooperating teacher relationships. Structured communication influences student teachers?????? beliefs regarding their ability to teach and their perception of their relationship with the cooperating teacher. In order to better understand the perceptions of student teachers regarding their teaching efficacy levels, and the student teacher ?????? cooperating teacher relationship, additional research should be conducted in these identified areas. In addition, further research should be conducted on these variables at other institutions of higher education with teacher preparation programs in agricultural education.