Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Jackie M. Blount


In this volume, I examine some of the structures and beliefs embedded in a university-school partnership. I try to untangle the complex web of interests, ideologies, and information that participants bring to the project. This dissertation includes three research papers. In the first paper, "Integration of Theory with Practice: A Comparison of Two Science Methods Courses," I studied the work of students in two science methods courses. One class was a preservice cohort involved in an experimental program with significant levels of field experiences. Their work was compared to students in the regular program who have a modest field component. In this analysis, cohort students made many more references to field placements than students in the regular program. Cohort students also used peers as sources of information and authority. Students in the regular program used sources from university coursework to help them interpret field experiences. They rarely mentioned peers. These differences were interpreted in light of their meaning for efforts to improve teacher education. In the second paper, "Preservice Cohorts and their Implications for Mathematics and Science Education," I surveyed the literature on cohorts in preservice teacher education. I described the structure of three preservice programs at different universities that have mathematics- or science-focused preservice cohorts. While some progress is apparent, there are many areas which were unaffected by the new structure. There are also effects that may be undesirable. Both the literature and site visits highlighted the need for program developers in teacher education to attend to both design and purpose. In the final paper, "Interests, Ideology, Information, and Institutions in a University-School Partnership," I examined the programs from a broader perspective. I used a model of interests, ideology, information, and institution (the "4 I's,") to examine how university-school partnerships link two very complex institutions. I found that in order for the two institutions to work together, they must accommodate the interests, ideology, and information of the other. This accommodation allowed the two organizations to work together but prevents more fundamental change.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Christina Pickerell Ohana



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

159 pages