The teacher internship experiences of prospective high school mathematics teachers

Kathryn Rhoads, Iuliana Radu, Keith Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Nine prospective secondary mathematics teachers were interviewed about their teaching internship experience. The results of these interviews revealed that 7 of the 9 participants professed to value reform-oriented teaching and conceptual understanding in mathematics, yet all were paired with cooperating teachers who seemed to value traditional instruction and procedural understanding in mathematics. We explored the reasons that some of these student interns had positive experiences with their cooperating teachers and university supervisors while others had negative experiences. We found that the participants valued (a) critical feedback that was constructive and contained concrete recommendations for improvement, (b) freedom to use their own teaching methods, and (c) a friendly and supportive relationship with their mentors. The differing teaching philosophies of student teachers and their cooperating teachers contributed to negative experiences only when student teachers were not allowed freedom in their teaching methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1022
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Mathematics(all)


  • cooperating teacher
  • mathematics teacher education
  • student teaching
  • teaching internship
  • teaching principles
  • university supervisor


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