Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Middle and Secondary Education

Committee Chair

McGatha, Maggie

Author's Keywords

Mentoring student teachers; Online mentoring; Standards-based instruction; University supervisor; Secondary mathematics student teachers


Mathematics teachers--Training of; Mentoring in education; Communication in education; Computer-assisted instruction


Student teaching is the fundamental field experience where pre-service teachers have the opportunity to conceive and develop standards-based instructional practices under the guidance of mentors. Yet, research reveals that mentoring for novice teachers is most often focused on providing technical and emotional support rather than supporting teachers learning to teach with standards-based instructional practices (Wang and Odell, 2002). In addition, university supervisors’ efforts to mentor mathematics student teachers toward standards-based instructional practices are hindered by their limited opportunities to meet with their assigned student teachers (Borko & Mayfield, 1995; Frykholm, 1996). Online social networking provides an opportunity for consistent communication between university supervisors and student teachers about student teachers’ daily experiences. This study investigated the potential of online social networking as a venue for a university supervisor to mentor secondary mathematics student teachers’ toward the following standards-based instructional practices: (a) elevating conceptual understanding and surfacing “big” mathematical ideas, (b) eliciting and attending to students’ mathematical thinking, (c) connecting mathematics to real-life contexts, (d) using and connecting a variety of representations, (e) facilitating active discovery and mathematical investigations, and (f) promoting student collaboration and mathematical discourse. The online mentoring conversations between a university supervisor and four secondary mathematics student teachers were analyzed for content related to standards-based instruction. Qualitative analysis of the online mentoring content revealed that online social networking was an effective venue for a university supervisor to mentor student teachers toward some aspects of standards-based instruction. In addition, online social networking proved to be a site for tracking and documenting student teacher’s developing conception and implementation of standards-based instruction.

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