Mentor Educators’ Understandings of Mentoring Preservice Primary Teachers

By Peter Hudson and Suzanne Hudson.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

Mentors are significant in shaping a preservice teacher’s practices. Developing common understandings about effective mentoring practices can assist the mentoring process. What are mentor educators’ practical ideas towards implementing a mentoring program? This mixed-method study involves surveys, questionnaires, and audio-taped focus group meetings on 14 mentor educators’ views on mentoring preservice primary teachers. This research aims to understand mentor educators’ motivations for mentoring, their views about what makes a good mentor, benefits for mentors, and issues or concerns for mentors and the mentoring process. It also focuses on determining professional development for mentors and troubleshooting potential problems. Findings revealed that these mentor educators were motivated into developing mentoring programs as a way to: (1) influence the quality of preservice teacher education (2) provide personal and professional development in mentoring, and (3) support mentors and the mentoring process within school settings. Outlining what makes a good mentor and benefits for mentors were consistent with the literature. However, these expert mentors also provided potential solutions (e.g., university support and professional development ideas) on issues such as knowing the mentee’s level of development and expectations, building a professional relationship prior to placement and the mentor’s dual role as confidant and assessor.

Keywords: Mentor, Mentoring, Preservice Teachers, Mentoring Programs

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp.157-170. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 664.553KB).

Prof. Peter Hudson

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Caboolture, Queensland, Australia

My current work involves lecturing in science education, working with schools on federally-funded grants in science education, and working with international institutes. I currently have involvement with developing and implementing a new degree in Malaysia for Queensland University of Technology QUT), and have taught and/or coordinated various international programs (e.g., Jiangsu physics education, HKIEd PDGE program, Aoyama Gakuin University program). As the principal representative for the Primary Practicum Committee over a five-year period, I had represented all NSW North Coast schools for developing internship and field experience programs at Southern Cross University. My PhD was in mentoring in science education, and currently I a working with the Joint Council of the Queensland Teachers' Associations on a variety of mentoring programs across the state. My aim is to facilitate quality programs for the development of primary teachers.

Dr. Suzanne Hudson

Academic Coordinator, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Caboolture, Queensland, Australia

Suzanne Hudson has been involved in teaching and teacher education for 30 years, including classroom teacher, teacher of the arts, support teacher of children with learning difficulties and acting principal. She has an outstanding record of teaching practices at Southern Cross University where she had also coordinated multiple units including practicum across the four years of a BEd program. Suzanne is employed at QUT’s Caboolture campus as the Academic Coordinator since 2005. She has worked to form partnerships with schools and businesses in the area to create real-world learning opportunities for preservice teachers in the Bachelor of Education (primary) program. Her innovations have incorporated school-based learning experiences, the Ed Start program, Physical Education and Health in schools, literacy in schools, and computers for nervous beginners. She has over 18 refereed publications at national and international levels.

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