Award Date

May 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Learning

First Committee Member

Jori Beck

Second Committee Member

Shaoan Zhang

Third Committee Member

Chyllis Scott

Fourth Committee Member

Margarita Huerta

Number of Pages



Teacher candidates’ development into novice teachers is a social process that depends on their teaching context as well as the mentors who help them through the process. Viewed through the lens of social identity development theory and mentoring theory, this study used an embedded, mixed methods design to understand how and to what extent six Alternative Route to Licensure teacher candidates’ beliefs and practices differed from preservice to inservice teaching. Mixed-methods data were collected using observation, semi-structured interviews, and partial interval recording. The six participants included secondary math, English, science, and social studies preservice-turned-novice teachers. In order to understand the extent to which novice teachers’ beliefs and practices changed from preservice to inservice teaching, a benchmark for their constructivist practices was established during a summer practicum program, and subsequently the novice teachers’ practices were observed during their first year as novice teachers. Teacher candidates in this study developed constructivist beliefs and practices in six domains: activating prior knowledge, generating cognitive dissonance, applying knowledge, feedback, reflecting on learning, and student-centered practices. Some aspects of activating prior knowledge, providing feedback, and generating cognitive dissonance remained constant from preservice to inservice teaching, but there were significant changes in the areas of reflection and student-centered teaching. This study suggests that authentic preservice experiences that focus on feedback and assessment are crucial for Alternative Route to Licensure teacher candidates. Preservice programs must provide mentorship for all field experiences, and research on the development of constructivist practices must consider the teaching context of the participants.


Alternative Route to Licensure; Constructivism; Identity Development; Novice Teachers; Preservice Teachers


Teacher Education and Professional Development

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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