Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Rebecca West Burns, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Jennifer Jacobs, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Hoppey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sara Flory, Ph.D.


High quality teacher preparation is essential for the future of education. Researchers have examined the connection of theory and practice as an imperative to prepare preservice teachers. Methods course instructors and university supervisors are key players in bridge theory and practice, but rarely does the same individual get to be both methods course instructor and university supervisor. While it is important for teacher education programs to consider how to connect theory and practice, it is equally important to understand how to support preservice teachers when the same person acts as methods course instructor and university supervisor. Using self-study, the purpose of this research is to understand how I supported preservice teacher learning by answering the question, “What are my beliefs about how preservice teachers learn?” My sub-questions included (1) what tensions do I experience as I teach coursework and supervise the same group of preservice teachers, (2) how do my beliefs and experienced tensions influence the decisions I make, and (3) how do I support preservice teacher learning in my dual role of classroom management methods instructor and university supervisor.

Data collection included autobiographical accounts, espoused platform, field notes, semi-structured interviews, and reflective journals. I found that I became more aware and meta-cognitive about my practice as a university supervisor and as a methods course instructor. I also found that self-study was a powerful vehicle for supporting my professional learning and development. Additionally, I found how my unique role of being a boundary-spanner enabled me to make valuable connections between the clinical context and my methods course. Finally, I found I listened to preservice teachers which influenced my instruction so that I could support their learning. My findings have implications for informing my personal growth as a boundary-spanner, other teacher educators, and teacher preparation programs.