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How One Educator Preparation Program Reinvented Student Teaching

A Story of Transformation

Susan K. Brondyk and Nancy L. Cook

Changing people’s practice is difficult, shifting the culture of an organization even more so. This book is a description of how one education preparation program did both. This is the story of how they transformed their student teaching program, creating tools and structures that resulted in mentors and student teachers working together in new ways. At the heart of their model is an assessment tool—STAT, for short—used to track the growth and development of student teachers and guide conversations between the college supervisor, cooperating teacher and student teacher. Although this book describes Hope College’s new student teaching model it is really about change. This story takes the reader through the complex change process of one institution, examining the loosely coupled dynamic between leaders and individuals. It describes the natural tension between support and autonomy as program leaders walk alongside individuals as they enact a new practice. This book is intended for teacher educators interested in a developmental model of mentor support, but also for those faced with the daunting task of making changes in their own program. There are lessons learned, however, that go beyond teacher preparation and may serve as a catalyst for others as they engage in their own change process.