Revisiting the Relationship Between Clinical Mentor and Student Teacher Effectiveness

Mar 25, 2022 12:00 PM — 1:00 PM
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Recent research shows what has long been suspected: pre-service teachers (PSTs) who complete their clinical placements with more effective clinical mentors (CMs) go on to become more effective teachers than their peers. Other research found that the characteristics of field placement schools (FPSs) where PSTs complete their clinical preparation are related to PSTs’ performance; PSTs perform better when their employment schools more closely match their FPSs. Our work grew out of a community-university partnership between our team and a state department of education with the goal of improving teacher preparation outcomes in the state. To do this, we replicate prior work examining the relationship between the general instructional effectiveness of PSTs and CMs with an extension to most programs in the state and consider specific domains of the teacher evaluation rubric. We examine heterogeneity in the relationship between CM and PST instructional effectiveness across various dimensions of FPSs (e.g. school size, grades served). Consistent with prior work, PST ORs are positively associated with CM ORs (b=0.037, p<0.001); however, they are negatively correlated with CM VAMs (b=-0.045, p<0.05). PST VAMs are positively correlated with CM VAMs (b=0.051, p<0.01). PST VAMs are not significantly related to CM ORs, however there is a positive trend.

We also find that PST effectiveness in specific teaching domains tends to be correlated with their CM’s effectiveness in the same domains, suggesting that the relationship between CM and PST instructional effectiveness may be causal. There is a significant positive correlation between PST and CM ratings in the instruction (b=0.035, p<0.01) and planning domains (b=0.039, p<0.001). Heterogeneity by FPS characteristic analyses are ongoing. Preliminary findings suggest that these effects are heterogeneous for FPS school level (e.g., elementary vs. secondary) and PST endorsement area (e.g., secondary math vs. ELA).