Smith, Mark

Committee Member

Krause, Jennifer

Committee Member

Dauenhauer, Brian

Committee Member

Sileo, Nancy


School of Sport and Exercise Science: Sport Pedagogy


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



203 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


Cooperating teachers (CTs) have consented “to assume one of the most responsible, influential, and exciting roles in teacher education” (Henry & Weber, 2010, p. 2); therefore, it is imperative for teacher preparation programs to prepare and support them for this role. No evidence suggests ways in which CTs, specifically physical education cooperating teachers (PECTs), either do or do not participate as teacher educators during the student teaching experience. Clarke, Triggs, and Neilsen (2014) identified 11 teacher educator roles CTs engage in and suggest further exploration into the ways in which CTs identify and participate in these roles. It is unclear whether PECTs are even aware of these specified roles, if they are participating in these teacher educator roles, or if they believe these teacher educator roles are important. If physical education teacher education (PETE) programs are to provide and create professional development opportunities and/or training programs to better prepare and inform PECTs, they must first gain the knowledge and skills to be effective mentors and PECTs. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to identify PECTs’ participation in and beliefs about the importance of each of the 11 teacher educator roles throughout the student teaching experience. This study’s findings offered PETE programs an understanding of how to best prepare PECTs for their roles during the student teaching experience. This sequential explanatory design diagramed by Creswell (2013) employed quantitative research followed by qualitative research. A survey was disseminated to 118 PECTs in the United States. The results showed PECTs reported participating in all 11 teacher educator roles and believed PECTs should participate in all 11 teacher educator roles. Moreover, the results of this study also showed a relationship existed between PECTs’ beliefs and participation about the 11 identified roles. Additionally, the five PECTs interviewed in the study provided support and specific examples of participation in the 11 teacher educator roles and why they believed these roles were important for PECTs to participate in during the student teaching experience. Therefore, research on PECTs’ participation and beliefs about their role should be further explored from different perspectives and potentially used as a recruiting tool for PETE programs. Keywords: physical education cooperating teachers, student teaching experience, physical education teacher preparation


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