A study of associate teaching : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Education at Massey University

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Massey University
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This report covers a two-year study of associate teaching. Information was obtained from two main sources: (i) research reports and (ii) a descriptive case study of associate teaching in one region of New Zealand. The case study of associates, conducted in the Palmerston North area, depended upon information from a sample of paired associates and- trainees. Sixty associate teachers completed a questionnaire and many were observed in classrooms practising associate teaching. Some were interviewed. The trainees who were posted to the associates in the sample for a six-week teaching practice section in the first half of term two 1975 completed two questionnaires. In addition, trainees kept a diary of their section experiences, much as a participant observer carefully and systematically records his observations. Information from all questionnaires was processed by the Burroughs 6700 computer at Massey University. The principal outcomes of the study are tied to the four objectives discussed in Chapter 2; a summary of the literature on associate teaching (Chapters 3 and 4), a description of associate teaching (Chapter 5), a study of matching and mis-matching of associate and trainee (Chapter 6) and an attempt to formulate general statements about associate teaching (Chapter 7). Observations confirm that the tasks of the associate teacher are more demanding than is commonly recognised. His dual roles of classroom teacher and trainer of teachers can lead to conflicts of interest. Many of the findings appear to reflect a lack of systematic training for associates. Recommendations for changes in associate teaching practices based on the findings of this research are presented in Chapter 8. Frequently, this study reaffirms the importance of associate teachers in pre-service teacher education. Associates who bring to the task anything less than the necessary professional expertise, may doom the exercise to mediocrity. The inadequate associate will burden the trainee with his own conflicts and his own narrow perception of the nature of teaching and learning. At worst, an associate can do a great deal more harm to a trainee's image of teaching than he does good. At best, and it has been evidenced many times in this study, associates can transform teaching practice into a creative, co-operative enterprise.
Teaching, Training of New Zealand teachers