A Case Study Analysis Of The Relationship Between A University Supervisor And Student Teachers

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




The purpose of this study was to identify the role of a University supervisor as it related to the needs and problems of a specific group of teachers. The university supervisor-student teacher relationship was examined by several methods: participant observation with the collection of nonobtrusive data, formal interviews, and content analysis of written assignments.A detailed coding system, the Feedback Analysis System, was developed to monitor the content of the written comments of the university supervisor on the student teachers' weekly papers. An overall feedback pattern was determined, and differences among the students with respect to this pattern proved to be statistically significant. More than half the feedback was information-giving and more than half was supportive in nature. The changes in the way the student teachers wrote their last papers and the contents of those papers compared with their first papers indicated that the supervisor's feedback may have had an influencing affect on the student teachers behavior, if only their writing behavior.A simplified coding system, the Content Analysis System for Self-Image, for the content of first and final weekly reaction papers was also developed. The assignment for the first and final paper was the same, "Discuss your self-image as a classroom teacher including your strengths and areas in need of improvement." This simplified coding system for what the student teachers wrote showed the student teachers listing more strengths in the final set of papers than in the first set of papers. It also showed that the student teachers listed fewer human relation skills as needing improvement in the final set of papers than in the first set of papers. The supervisor's feedback showed significant change from the first set of papers to the last. The supervisor gave fewer directives, asked fewer questions, made fewer uncertain statements, and was less supportive than expected in the last set of papers. The content analysis of the student teachers' papers and the university supervisor's written feedback demonstrated measurable changes over the course of the student teaching experience.The student teachers displayed anxious behavior in the beginning of their student teaching and recognized this behavior in their poststudent teaching interview. They described their relationship with the university supervisor as significant, supportive, comfortable, and one where constructive criticism was given. They felt they had increased in self-confidence and personal growth. They also said that the seminar was an important aspect of their academic and personal growth.This study demonstrated that the university supervisor-student teacher relationship was an important factor in the student teaching experience and that the amount and type of feedback given to the students by the supervisor was important. The reduced anxiety, personal growth and increased confidence felt by the students seemed to be directly related to their interaction with the supervisor.


Education, Teacher Training

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