Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Cheryl R. Ellerbrock, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Eugenia Vomvoridi-Ivanovic, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rebecca W. Burns, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Janet C. Richards, Ph.D.


clinical teacher preparation, cooperating/mentor teachers, early field experiences, grow your own educator preparation programs, middle school mathematics teacher preparation, school-based teacher educators


The purpose of this descriptive, exploratory, dual case study was to understand the ways two successful novice middle school mathematics teachers serving as first-year collaborating teachers (CTs) for preservice teachers (PSTs) from the same “Grow Your Own” (GYO) educator preparation program (EPP) where they received their initial preparation conceptualized and enacted their CT roles. The CTs’ perceived impact of being alumni of the same middle school mathematics EPP as their PSTs was also explored. Analysis of interview, observation, and document data collected throughout the PSTs’ initial field experience and the CTs’ first-ever mentoring experience resulted in several key assertions including: (1) both participants conceptualized their CT roles in the same four broad ways: (a) as creators of a comfortable learning environment, (b) as providers of appropriate supports, (c) as facilitators of teaching experiences, and (d) as developers of professional expertise; (2) both participants had specific ways of enacting each of their conceptualizations of their CT roles; (3) differences in contextual factors, teaching styles, and personal characteristics led the participants to enact their roles in different ways even though their conceptualizations of the CT role were similar; (4) both participants perceived being alumni of the same EPP as their PSTs improved their functioning in their CT roles and this led to an overall enhanced field experience for the PSTs. The assertions are discussed in relation to the theoretical frameworks and existing literature. Implications and recommendations for EPPs are discussed and suggestions are made for future research.