Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Ruthmae Sears, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Darlene DeMarie, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mile Krajcevski, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Laura Sabella, Ph.D.


Activity Theory, Collaboration, Equity, Key Practices, Practicum


Researchers have called for more empirical research exploring better ways to organize clinical practice around teacher candidate (TC) learning and the coursework-fieldwork gap. This study responds to their call by exploring secondary mathematics TC learning in early clinical placements that use co-teaching. Further, this study views co-teaching in clinical practice through the lens of an activity system. An activity system conceptualizes co-teaching in clinical practice as a complex learning environment or a learning ecology. This study uses a convergent mixed methods design. Findings reveal evidence of TC learning of eight key practices associated with co-teaching in their early clinical placements. Further, correlational analysis suggests a strong positive association between the number of instances of the key practice of Adaptive Teaching coded in TC reflections and observations and the MCOP2 construct of Student Engagement in observations of their teaching. Additionally, TCs who report more instances of the key practice of Adaptive Teaching also perceive their mentors as being more collaborative and feel more comfortable communicating their ideas to their mentors. This study illuminates TC learning of key practices in early clinical placements when TCs co-teach for only 60 hours. The implication of this study for teacher preparation programs is that by cultivating early learning of these key practices in a co-teaching practicum, teacher preparation programs may ensure TCs are collaborative-practice ready or co-teaching practice-ready for learning of these key practices in their final field or clinical internship.