Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Margaret H. Berg

Second Advisor

David A. Rickels

Third Advisor

James A. Austin

Fourth Advisor

Austin Okigbo

Fifth Advisor

Daniel P. Liston


Mentoring dialogues are the discourse between the mentor, often referred to as the cooperating teacher, and the student teacher that may include feedback and reflection on practice (Hennissen, Crasborn, Brouwer, Korthagen, & Bergen, 2008; Tsui, Lopez-Real, Law, Tang, & Shum, 2001; Zeichner & Liston, 1985). While some researchers have closely examined mentoring dialogues (Fernandez & Erbilgin, 2009; Tsui et al., 2001; Zeichner & Liston, 1985), the focus has been primarily on how the student teacher learns to teach through participation in mentoring dialogues. Given the pivotal role the mentor teacher plays in the development of student teachers, research is needed on how the mentoring role is enacted during these dialogues and if the role changes over the course of a student teaching placement. Therefore, the purpose of this multiple case study (Stake, 1995) was to examine the mentoring dialogues between cooperating teachers and student teachers. Research questions addressed the factors that impact the mentoring role adopted during mentoring dialogues, the mentoring style observed during mentoring dialogues, and the cooperating teacher response to video-based reflection.

Four music cooperating teacher/student teacher pairs were selected for participation in this study. All four cooperating teachers were experienced middle school or high school instrumental music teachers who hosted a student teacher during an eight-week placement. Each pair video-recorded weekly mentoring dialogues and stimulated recall interviews were conducted with the cooperating teachers using the video-footage, during which the researcher invited the participants to recall their thinking during the conversation (Lyle, 2010). Additionally, two semi-structured interviews were conducted with each cooperating teacher and the student teacher.

Data were analyzed using the Mentor Roles in Dialogues Model (Hennison, et al., 2008). Cooperating teachers assumed an ‘encourager’ or ‘imperator’ role based on topics addressed, time factors, phases of the dialogue, and cooperating teacher style and input. Various factors impacted the mentoring role assumed during dialogues including aspects of the student teaching context, perceived role, personality of the cooperating teacher and the student teacher, and their relationship. Factors unique to the music ensemble class and student teaching placement timing were especially impactful on mentoring dialogues. Additionally, while challenging for some cooperating teachers, participation in video-based reflection resulted in self critique of their mentoring approach during dialogues.