The impact of consistent supervision on elementary preservice teachers’ preparedness : an experimental convergent mixed methods study.


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As nearly 50% of new teachers are leaving the field of K–12 education within the first five years (Abitabile, 2020), addressing new teacher attrition is critical to stemming the widespread teacher shortage impacting public schools in the United States (Carothers et al., 2019). To ensure preservice teachers graduate prepared to enter and remain in the classroom, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (2022) asserts the necessity of improving clinical experiences. Nursing, clinical psychology, and medical education programs also utilize clinical experiences to promote students’ preparedness. Earlier research examining these professional education programs identified consistent supervision, defined as continuous supervision across multiple clinical experiences (Kilminster et al., 2007), as a requisite condition to facilitate student development (Gratrix & Barret, 2017; Hauer et al., 2012; Thyness et al., 2022). However, education research rarely considers the influence of consistent supervisory relationships on preservice teachers’ development. This experimental convergent mixed methods study examined the impact of consistent supervision on preservice teachers’ preparedness. After randomly placing 31 students enrolled in the third semester of a four-semester elementary teacher education program into a treatment (consistent supervision) or control (conventional supervision) group, preservice teachers participated in a year-long intervention. A pre-and postintervention evaluation examined the participants’ abilities to perform teaching dispositions, indicative of preparedness, included in the Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument (Danielson, 2013). The results indicated participants experiencing consistent supervision demonstrated a statistically significant acceleration in development and a statistically significant increase in postintervention evaluation scores that those experiencing conventional supervision did not display. Embedded within the intervention, the S-SRQ (Cliffe et al., 2016) ascertained each participant’s perceived satisfaction with their supervisory relationship(s) and the conditions of supervisory relationships they identified as essential for development. While data from this questionnaire failed to identify any meaningful differences between the treatment and control groups, the disparity between the findings indicated that neither perceived satisfaction nor conditions of the supervisory relationship could explain the increases demonstrated by the treatment group. Instead, the integrated findings suggested the consistency of the supervisory relationship as the primary factor promoting preservice teachers’ development and preparedness.