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Title: An inquiry into mentoring relationships between teachers and student teachers in the classroom : a critical constructivist perspective
Author: Aderibigbe, Semiyu Adejare
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 2705
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2012
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This study was conducted as part of the Scottish Teachers for a New Era project. It sets out to explore the perception of teachers and student teachers about mentoring in the classroom and the extent to which the mentoring relationships are collaborative. Literature review was done systematically to explore the state of research in mentoring as related to initial teacher education. Consequently, mentoring is described as a collaborative endeavour aimed at professional development of both supporter teachers and student teachers in the study. With the conception of mentoring as a collaborative endeavour between teachers and student teachers in the study, a critical constructivist theory was considered suitable to achieve the goals of collaborative mentoring in this study. A mixed methods approach involving quantitative and qualitative strategies was employed to collect and analyse data for the study. Questionnaires as quantitative instruments were used to collect data about mentoring experiences from B.Ed. 3 and B.Ed. 4 student teachers (n= 130) and their supporter teachers (n=145). Interviews and case studies were the main qualitative instruments used to understand and complement the quantitative results in this study. Interviews were conducted with the same cohorts of student teachers (n=7), their supporter teachers (n=6) and university tutors (n=6) involved in students’ placement supervision while case studies were conducted in 4 schools. Findings point to a range of mentoring situations, from apprenticeship to constructivist strands and that expectations of mentoring are also influenced by the apprenticeship and constructivist theories. From the data, it also became clear that the mentoring relationships enacted in this study are not entirely collaborative. Some of the challenges to collaborative mentoring include time, differences in teachers’ and tutors’ values, personality clashes inflexibility and difficulty with stepping back. However, the findings indicate that the challenges to collaborative mentoring are not insurmountable. Co-planning of lesson-ahead, active learning, better communication and reciprocal arrangements between university and schools and national policy among others, can facilitate the enactment of collaborative mentoring relationships in the classroom. Based on the findings, some implications for mentoring practice in the initial teacher education context are highlighted. For example, supporter teachers need to see mentoring as a process through which mutual learning can take place between them and student teachers for improvement in the professional practice. Also, student teachers need to be well-disposed to learning and internalising ideas from others either through feedback, co-planning or collaborative teaching with supporter teachers in the classroom. Key words: Collaborative mentoring, critical constructivism, mixed methods approach, supporter teachers and student teachers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mentoring in education