Grounded in an ethnographic logic of inquiry utilizing the concept of languaculture, this study explores how cultural differences between a field-based team and the university supervisor led to unanticipated challenges and points of conflict in an early childhood teacher education program in Midwestern United States. By examining points of contact as points of cross-cultural interaction, researchers examine ways in which (a) cultural expectations proposed through the discourse-in-use of teacher candidates, mentor teacher, and university supervisory personnel made visible what counted as expected practices and (b) cultural differences in the inscriptions of the field-based actors and university program. Findings indicate that the field-based team (re)formulated and provided a rationale for what counted as appropriate ways of lesson planning and lead teaching. However, after providing extensive support for building the team, the university expectations returned to a static model, thus failing to accommodate to the needs of the team and mentor teacher. This study highlights how the roles and relationships among the triad need to become a focus particularly when new or innovation program designs are being undertaken. The results suggest that the dynamic roles and relationships among the triad need to become a focus particularly when new program designs are being undertaken. The study also calls for multiple angles of analysis of the demands and opportunities for different actors at points of contact across institutional boundaries.
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