Converting Theory to Practice: University-School Collaboration on Devising Strategies for Mentoring Pedagogical Knowledge

By Peter Hudson and Suzanne Hudson.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

There appears no shortage of theorists for preservice teacher education; however many ideas are abandoned without practical applications. Indeed, it can take years for theories to materialise into practice, if they materialise at all. The quality of preservice teacher education is central for enhancing an education system, and mentors’ roles can assist to shape preservice teachers’ development within the school context. Yet mentoring can be haphazard without being underpinned by a theoretical framework. A mentoring model (personal attributes, system requirements, pedagogical knowledge, modelling, and feedback) has emerged from research and the literature to guide mentors’ practices. This qualitative study investigates mentors’ pedagogical knowledge as one factor crucial to the mentoring process. More specifically, this study involves a questionnaire and audio-recorded focus group meetings with experienced mentors (n=14) who deliberated on devising practical applications for mentoring pedagogical knowledge. Findings revealed that these experienced mentors pinpointed practical applications around a mentor’s role for providing pedagogical knowledge to the mentee. These strategies were varied and demonstrated that any one mentoring practice may be approached from a number of different angles. Nevertheless, there were core mentoring practices in pedagogical knowledge such as showing the mentee how to plan for teaching, articulating classroom management approaches, and talking about how to connect learning to assessment. Mentors may require education on current mentoring practices with practical strategies that are linked to theoretical underpinnings.

Keywords: Mentor, Mentoring, Preservice Teachers, Mentoring Programs, Theory to Practice

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp.319-330. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 765.412KB).

Prof. Peter Hudson

Senior Lecturer, TEDD Administrator, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Peter Hudson’s teaching career spans 33 years, including 10 years as a school principal and lecturing at two universities. Most of his doctoral students focus on educational leadership, mentoring and science education. Dr. Hudson was instrumental in devising and implementing new international courses (e.g., a new Bachelor of Education Studies Primary Science degree in Malaysia). His service includes work with the Australian Schools Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM) projects and the Australian Government Quality Teaching Program. Hudson’s mentoring model for mentors is at the forefront of his work in schools. He currently holds two Australian Research Council (ARC) grants and is project administrator for a large Department of Education, Employment and Work Relations grant.

Dr. Suzanne Hudson

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

Suzanne Hudson (MEd, TESOL, BEd, DipTeach) has been involved in teaching and teacher education preparation for the past 32 years. Research interests include teacher induction, mentoring, community engagement and the middle years of schooling. Currently, Suzanne is the Academic Coordinator for the Faculty of Education at Queensland University of Technology’s Caboolture campus, which is located one hour north of Brisbane, Australia. She is project leader for a large Department of Education, Employment and Work Relations grant and her PhD study has been submitted for examination.


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