Mentoring in Physical Education: Issues and Insights

Mentoring in Physical Education: Issues and Insights

Mentoring in Physical Education: Issues and Insights

Mentoring in Physical Education: Issues and Insights


A detailed study of all aspects of mentoring in PE. The views of teachers in the UK, Australia and the USA are combined to discuss issues such as the need of PE mentors in schools, planning mentor training programmes and trainees' experiences of mentoring.


Mick Mawer

This is a undoubtedly a time of considerable change as far as teacher education in the uk is concerned, in fact, others have described this period as ‘a significant watershed in the history of teacher preparation’ (Tomlinson, 1995, p. viii) in which government interventions have ‘transformed initial teacher education in the UK’ (Furlong and Maynard, 1995, p. vii). Although many of these changes are also being felt in other countries it has been the speed of change that has characterized the uk context, as a rapid ‘stream’ of government circulars (DES 1984, 1989a and 1989b; dfe, 1992 and 1993) have transformed a largely higher education-based professional training into a school/ university ‘partnership’ enterprise with two-thirds of the trainees’ time being spent in school and the greater responsibility for training and assessment being vested in the practising teacher in school. What is now a largely school-based training for teaching has meant that the role of teachers acting as ‘mentors’ to trainees has developed in importance.

Many teachers taking on the new role of mentor to a trainee have been enthusiastic about the opportunities provided by a more school-based training, and have welcomed the prospect of not only becoming more involved in the preparation of new teachers, but also in contributing to what they see as a more relevant and effective professional training. However, there are also concerns and uncertainties about taking on the increased responsibility for teacher education without adequate time and funding for the job, and many are naturally a little apprehensive about what has to be achieved. in addition to this there appears to be a certain lack of clarity concerning the role of the mentor in initial teacher education (ITE), and even what ‘mentoring’ itself actually means. There are also those who believe that we cannot actually conceptualize the role of the mentor in ite until we understand more fully the processes involved in learning to teach (Furlong and Maynard, 1995). But the issue that is central to these concerns is that if student teachers are expected to develop appropriate forms of practical professional knowledge through a training course in which the bulk of the time is spent in schools, then it is essential that a carefully structured support system in schools is available, and at this point in time such a system is centred around the role of the teacher as mentor.

Most of the literature on mentoring in ite in the uk has concentrated on a generic view of mentoring in either primary or secondary schools, and very . . .

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