Mentoring trainee music teachers
This study analyses the relationships between Secondary school music trainee teachers and the mentors who are primarily responsible for training them to teach music. The methodology was an in-depth collective case study of a sample of trainee music teachers and their mentors, adopting primarily the methods of non-participant observations and interviews. The study is located within a review of pertinent theories of mentoring and an analysis of empirical research. This analysis compares studies of ITT mentoring in different contexts, and demonstrates that, despite the diversity of mentoring practice, research has produced findings which are consistent across two or more studies. The collective case study consists of five individual cases ofmentoring relationships, each of which is presented so as to preserve its individuality. The talk in meetings between trainees and their mentors is then analyzed drawing on Mercer's (1995) typology of classroom talk as exploratory, cumulative and disputational. The analysis shows that exploratory talk has an underlying structure which is missing in cumulative and disputational talk. Analysis ofthe talk also reveals three further types of conversation between mentors and their trainees which are characterised as solo conversations, short conversations and parallel monologues. The study has two major conclusions: first, that in mentoring conversations exploratory talk is more likely to promote productive reflection than other types of talk, and second, that the potential for exploratory talk to promote reflection may not be fully realised by music mentors.