Pas de deux: The complicated relationship between cooperating teachers and pre-service teachers



Teacher identity, teacher education, pre-service teachers, practicum, cooperating teachers, mentorship


The practicum experience is a crucial moment of learning for a pre-service teacher (PST). At the heart of the experience is the relationship PSTs have with their cooperating teachers (CTs). To examine how this relationship was negotiated during the practicum, this article applied Cortazzi’s analysis of narrative approach to stories told by 13 PSTs, stories that comprised part of a larger mixed-method study. Findings from analysis of the more than 200 narratives told by the 13 PSTs disclosed the several ways in which PSTs experienced support from their CTs, including planned introductions of the PST to the classroom students, the CT’s explicit support of PST decisions, and a negotiated withdrawal of the CT’s presence.

Author Biography

Philippa Parks, Université de Sherbrooke

is an assistant professor and program director for the Bachelor of Education in Teaching English as a Second Language (BEALS) degree in the Faculty of Education at the Université de Sherbrooke, Quebec. Her research looks at how language teachers form their professional identity during teacher education, particularly how they build self-efficacy and resilience, and how teacher education programs can help address teacher shortages across Canada.


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How to Cite

Parks, P. (2024). Pas de deux: The complicated relationship between cooperating teachers and pre-service teachers. McGill Journal of Education / Revue Des Sciences De l’éducation De McGill. Retrieved from