Indicator P.4.1. Collaboratively Develop and Enact Clinical Experiences
An effective mathematics teacher preparation program includes collaboration with school partners to enact a shared vision of effective mathematics teaching.
For candidates to be well prepared in the teaching of mathematics, their programs must provide consistency in what is being taught and modeled in methods courses and field experiences. Effective mathematics teacher preparation programs’ personnel work to establish a shared vision and support systems among faculty, supervisors, mentor teachers, and teacher candidates focused on enacting effective mathematics teaching practices (as described in Chapter 2). Through their collaboration, school and university partners develop shared language to discuss teaching and learning as well as co-create needed routines, tools, and norms necessary for achieving that vision.
Beyond being based on shared expectations, effective programs have reciprocal professional relationships among stakeholders (university faculty and supervisors, mentor teachers, and school-based personnel) that are integral to the design, implementation, and ongoing assessment of the preparation program. These relationships might include co-designing field-based assignments, co-teaching methods experiences, or both. In bi-directional partnerships, all aspects of clinical experiences are negotiated with schools and the program provider. For example, effective programs' personnel work collaboratively to select and develop mentor teachers who (a) model effective mathematics teaching and (b) articulate what they are doing and why, coaching the candidates to demonstrate effective teaching.
In a mutually beneficial partnership, clinical experiences are designed to support more than just the candidate or to provide extra classroom support for a teacher. The experience can become a system of simultaneous growth and renewal for the teacher candidate-mentor teacher-university supervisor team when they collaborate; all participants learn and lead while they work on behalf of students. Only when preparation programs purposefully engage with schools, not just in schools, will their clinical preparation become truly robust in ways that maximize candidates’ skill development and therefore their abilities to support the mathematics learning of students.