Supervision of student teachers: emerging models and innovative approaches in the USA

This article discusses the growing trend toward cooperative models of and new approaches to student teaching supervision in the United States. Although 78% of US teachers train in traditional 4-year programmes, new models are emerging to replace the traditional triad supervision format. The article explores these models through a study of some US university approaches to supervision, ways of enhancing partnerships between schools and universities, and ways of improving teacher supervision with an ancillary benefit of increasing recruitment. Teacher supervision and preparation approaches in the USA are growing toward more cooperative models between school districts and universities, with school districts offering their own in-house training and coaching models based on professional development schools. Research indicates that teacher preparation methods are slowly changing, as schools and universities realise that successful alternatives to traditional teacher preparation exist, especially in the light of the need for 2 million teachers in the United States over the next decade. Longitudinal studies and closer examinations of alternative teacher preparation will be required to assess practices and suggest improvements. While most teacher education programmes remain wedded to the traditional triad preparation and supervisory model, increasing numbers investigate ways to turn out quality teachers in record numbers. Cooperation, coaching and collaboration, along with sharing of resources, strategies and best practices represent the changing face of teacher supervision and training in the United States.