Subject Mentoring in the Secondary School

Subject Mentoring in the Secondary School

Subject Mentoring in the Secondary School

Subject Mentoring in the Secondary School

Synopsis

With the role of the mentor taking on an increasingly important part in the training of teachers the subject mentor takes the process a step further. This study examines the phenomenon and its contribution to student teacher development.

Excerpt

Initial Teacher Education (ITE) has changed significantly over the past five years. the introduction of school-based courses founded upon partnerships between schools and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) has led to significant changes in the working practices of tutors and teachers involved in teacher education. a major facet of these changes has been the time to be spent by student teachers in school—for example, 120 days out of a 180-day course, some 66 per cent of a secondary pgce programme. Such a shift in course structure has meant that new systems and new ways of working have had to be developed. Perhaps the most far-reaching innovation in order to facilitate these new practices has been the creation of the role of ‘mentor’ in schools. the role of mentor has been well established in other areas of the working world, but it is relatively new to education. Even newer, perhaps, is the emergence of the ‘subject mentor’.

It is the aim of this book to contribute to the growing body of knowledge about how student teachers develop their knowledge, beliefs, understandings and skills while they are in school and how subject mentoring might most helpfully support their professional development. the main focus of this book, therefore, is upon subject mentoring rather than upon the subject mentor, for while we acknowledge that there are personal skills, qualities and attributes which might be identified as comprising, or indeed exemplifying, a good subject mentor and that positive professional relationships between student teacher and subject mentor are of significance, it is the processes of mentoring which we believe to be of most importance. By processes of mentoring, we do not mean the practices of mentoring (observing student teachers, collaborative teaching, giving feedback, and so on) but rather we refer to the underpinning and unifying approach in which all such activities might be conducted

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