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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

JDP Graduate Wins Outstanding Dissertation of the Year

JDP Graduate
Her dissertation study looked at what teachers do and how that makes a difference in the experience student teachers have while preparing to lead their own classrooms.

Practices of Cooperating Teachers Contributing to a High Quality Field Experience won its author, Dr. Karen Lafferty, the Outstanding Dissertation of the Year from the California Council on Teacher Education.

“I'm excited about receiving the award because so many people and institutions affiliated with the California Council on Teacher Education participated in my study,” said Lafferty, a recent graduate of San Diego State University/Claremont Graduate University’s Joint Doctoral Program in Education (JDP). “It represents the truly collaborative nature of the organization.”

The California Council on Teacher Education established the Outstanding Dissertation of the Year award in 2012 to honor authors of outstanding doctoral dissertations in the field of teacher education. The awards are presented every fall.

For her study, Lafferty surveyed and interviewed teachers and student teachers at 10 university-based credentialing programs in California, including SDSU.

“My study found that guide teachers had the biggest impact on how student teachers rated the quality of their field experience,” said Lafferty. “What they did mattered more than factors like grade level, the resources available at school sites and the type of credentialing institution [public or private].”

Currently, Lafferty teaches a class at SDSU in the Liberal Studies program and supervises student teachers.

“It's a great opportunity to learn more about the field,” stated Lafferty, who would like to work in teacher education.

“Karen was one of those rare students who are outstanding in many capacities. While a student in the JDP, Karen excelled in both high school and university teaching, served the teacher education community on state level boards, and established an early career publication record,” said Associate Professor Dr. Marva Capello, Director of Graduate Reading Programs at the College of Education and Lafferty’s doctoral advisor. “I look forward to seeing Dr. Lafferty's contributions to our field in the years to come.”