A study of mentoring in initial teacher education and induction : perceptions of new entrants and their mentors
2014-12-15T10:43:45Z (GMT) by
In recent years, a growing emphasis on the school-based elements of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and the implementation of an induction programme for Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) in England and Wales have led to the role of the mentor becoming increasingly important and complex. This research study focuses on the mentoring needs of new entrants (NEs) to primary teaching, exploring whether these needs are being met within the current climate of change and development. It investigates NE, mentor and headteacher perceptions of the amount and type of mentoring support received by and needed by two cohorts of NEs. In particular it explores changes in the mentoring support received by and perceived to be necessary for NEs across the period of their Initial Teacher Education (for the purposes of this research, a one-year Post Graduate Certificate in Education) and their first year as NQTs. Information is collected through case studies and questionnaire surveys, providing both qualitative and quantitative data. The study finds that there are significant changes in the mentoring needs of students and NQTs, particularly in terms of the roles their mentors fulfil and identifies personal and contextual factors that affect the success of the mentoring at different stages in an NE's professional development. Current provision of mentoring support, in particular the provision for NQTs, is found wanting, The study concludes that there is a need for the role of the mentor to be clarified in schools, in particular for NQTs, so that all involved in the mentoring process share an understanding that the mentor has a vital role to play in supporting the NE's continuing professional development.