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Field-Based Internship Models for Alternative Certification of Science and Mathematics Teachers: Views of Interns, Mentors, and University Educators

Author(s): Fran Arbaugh, Sandra Abell, John Lannin, Mark Volkmann and William Boone

Journal: Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education
ISSN 1305-8223

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 191;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Alternative Certification | Field-based Internship Models | Mathematics Teacher Education | Science Teacher Education

In response to shortages of science and mathematics teachers in the U.S., many states have promoted alternative routes to certification in which individuals with non-education undergraduate degrees can become certificated in shorter timeframes than in traditional programs. One consideration in designing alternative programs is how to arrange field-based internships that help provide transformative pathways to non-traditional students in becoming a teacher. The purpose of this study was to understand the views of interns, their mentor teachers, and university personnel who participated in one alternative certification program regarding the best structures for field experiences. Through an analysis of artifacts collected in a meeting where we discussed the pros and cons of five different intership models as well as interviews with individuals in each stakeholder group, we were able to understand the various viewpoints. We found that, although perspectives were consistent within each group, they differed across the three groups. These differences were grounded in the personal needs and experiences of each group. Although our findings point to no “perfect” internship model to support the transformation of alternative certification students into teachers, they have implications for the design and enactment of field-based internships in such programs.
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