Supporting through Words and Gestures: A Comparison of Mentor and Student Teacher

By Cosimo Laneve, Chiara Gemma and Laura Agrati.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This research is aimed at catching a glimpse of the student teacher’s practical training throughout the apprenticeship for primary education teaching; in particular, it scrutinises the ongoing mentoring relationship between the experienced teacher and the trainee, focusing on that type of knowledge upheld by the experienced teacher to clarify the practice and the means of communication used in the process.
In such pursuit, we chose a survey method – called testimonial confrontation- through which the researcher ,respectively, asks the mentor to recreate the process by which he or she succeeded in explaining the difficulties encountered by the student during the latter’s training process (a), and asks the student teacher to reconstruct the process by which the mentor succeeded in clarifying the same difficulties (b). After introducing the stages of the aforementioned method and contemplating some of the reflection cues on a personalistic- orientated, educational communication, this article will then analyse the mentor’s ‘perspective’ pinpointing the reconstructions performed. On an initial analysis of the hermeneutical interviews transcripts as obtained from 4 mentors of the Science of Primary Education degree course (Diana – Montesperelli 2009), it appears that the mentor very often draws upon his or her repertory of professional, personal and illustrative cases (Gauthier, 1997) in order to explicate the student’s quandaries, resorting in most occasions to an unspecialised language. On the basis of these first impressions, it is possible to establish a link with the score-keeper construct, elaborated by R. Brandom, within a theoretical stage (Brandom, 1994).
The work will end with the introduction of the second stage of the method which, through the ‘student’s perspective’ (Gemma 2009), on the one hand, will bear repercussions on the type of knowledge reported by the mentor (what), and, on the other, will make it possible to understand his or her means of communication (how prosody – Silverman 1993; the register – Sombero and Miglietta, 2006; the non-verbal).

Keywords: Teacher Education, Practical Knowledge, Mentoring Relationship

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp.25-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.280MB).

Cosimo Laneve

University of Bari, Italy

Ordinary Professor in General Didactic;. Dead of Education - University of Bari, Italy. Teacher General didactic and Didactic of communication. Field of research: writing teacher education, analysis of practice, theory of didactic. Italian representative of ISATT (International Studies Association on Teacher and Teaching) and Réseau-OPEN (Observation des practiques enseignants). Series’ director: “Didactic research”, Editrice La Scuola; “Education and South”, PensaMultimedia. Editor of “Writings’ didactic review”, Carocci. Monographs: “Elementi di Didattica generale”, 1998; “Didattica tra teoria e pratica”, 2003; “Scrittura e pratica educativa”, 2009.

Chiara Gemma

University of Bari, Italy

Associated Professor in General Didactic; Coordinator of Teaching Training and Tutoring in the Primary Teaching Education - University of Bari, Italy. Teacher of Theory and practices of educational communication - University of Naples. Field of research: teacher education, analysis of practice, dialogic communications methods. Member of ISATT (International Studies Association on Teacher and Teaching) and Réseau-OPEN (Observation des practiques enseignants). Journal Committee Member: “Pedagogia Oggi”, Journal of SIPED – Italian Pedagogical Society. Monographs: “Il coordinatore-tutor. Un ruolo da interpretare”, 2001; “Il dottorato di ricerca”, 2003; “La vita come incontro”, 2008.

Dr. Laura Agrati

Doctor and Researcher, Departimento di Scienze Pedagogiche e Didattiche, University of Bari, Bari, Italy

Ph.D “Project and Evaluation of Educational Processes”, Assigned Researcher in “Analisys of Practice” – University of Bari, Italy. Member of ISATT (International Studies Association on Teacher and Teaching) and Réseau-OPEN (Observation des practiques enseignants). Monograph: Alla conquista del sapere pratico. Il laboratorio nella formazione degli insegnanti, 2008. Field of research: teacher education, analysis of practice, non-verbal communications methods.


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