Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Earl Doughty


The period of student teaching is the most vital part of the pre-service training of a teacher, and the college supervisor and the cooperating teachers play important roles in the preparation program. Research studies indicate that many classroom teachers act as cooperating teachers with no preparation for the role. Because of the growing trend to provide more clinical experiences for student teachers, there is a need for an appropriate orientation in the form of instructional programs for the growing number of cooperating teachers. It was with this concern in mind that the present study was undertaken.

Since cooperating teacher education has never occupied an important place in the student teaching program of Sohnge Training College in Worcester, South Africa, this study was designed to survey the literature that has been produced on the subject, to set up a research proposal for determining the training needs of the cooperating teachers who supervise the student teachers of Sohnge Training College, and to design a training program based on cooperating teachers' needs.

For the purposes of this study it was assumed that the cooperating teachers had indicated that their greatest training needs were in the areas of orientation of student teachers; identifying the roles of the cooperating teacher, student teacher, and college supervisor; and evaluating student teachers' performance and progress. A training program has been set up to give cooperating teachers the opportunity to develop these skills. The six sessions of the in-service training program will be offered during school hours when student teachers can take over the classes for two sessions of three hours a week while cooperating teachers participate in the program. The instructors will use a variety of methods in attempting to meet the general goals of the program.

During the last session of the program, the cooperating teachers will give their personal thoughts and feelings concerning their learnings and experiences in the sequence of courses. The results of this pilot study will be tallied, analyzed, and will be used by the college supervisors to revise the curriculum for a replication study.

It is expected that the program will strengthen the cooperating teachers' own teaching and give them new ideas and suggestions for working with student teachers in their classrooms. Upon completion of the training, cooperating teachers will assign grades and make final recommendations regarding the students.

It is recommended that a program such as the one described in this paper be made an established part of the teacher education program at Sohnge Training College, in order to give cooperating teachers greater recognition and meaningful participation in the process by which new teachers enter the profession.