December 21, 2022

Dr. Yvonne Cannon, Mayville State Assistant Professor of Education, and Dr. Pamela Beck, 1981 Mayville State graduate and current associate professor in the University of North Dakota Teaching Leadership and Professional Practices Department, have teamed up to author an article in United Voice, the official magazine of North Dakota United. The article titled “Perceptions of Pre-Service Teachers in the Transition from Theory to Practice,” gives an executive summary of research that points out stressors that impact pre-service teachers as they prepare to transition from coursework to fieldwork.

The research is prompted by the critical teacher shortages in North Dakota, as identified by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and the North Dakota Educational Standards and Practices Board. The objective is to identify strategies and practices that can be implemented to positively impact the availability of qualified teachers who are critically needed to fill a large number of open teaching positions resulting from increasing enrollments, fewer young people entering the profession, stresses caused by COVID-19, and more.  

In their article, Cannon and Beck summarized what was learned through the combination of a self-efficacy survey and semi-structured interviews with pre-service teachers from universities across North Dakota who were in their final semester of coursework before beginning their student teaching experiences.  

Cannon and Beck suggest that long-term collaborative mentorships between universities and PreK-12 schools may increase perceptions of self-efficacy, improve confidence levels, raise resilience, and assist in affirmation of teaching as a career choice for pre-service teachers, thus making a positive impact by increasing the availability of teachers to fill open positions.

“Qualified teachers of all kinds are badly needed to fulfill workforce needs in the state of North Dakota,” said Mayville State University President Dr. Brian Van Horn. “I’m very pleased that Dr. Yvonne Cannon, representing the Division of Education, and Mayville State graduate Dr. Pamela Beck have stepped forward to help find positive solutions. Mayville State was founded 133 years ago as an institution with a primary mission of educating teachers. While we have many other program opportunities available to students today, educating future teachers continues to be an extremely important objective for Mayville State, and we sincerely appreciate our innovative faculty who make it possible for working adults as well as traditional students to further their education. We are committed to helping our state fulfill critical workforce needs in the field of teaching, among others.”