Caring relationships in the environment of changing teacher professional development

Despite the growing knowledge that the mentorship model of teacher education enhances the personal and socio-professional development of teacher-trainees, some mentors appear oblivious to this fact. This study examines the perceptions of undergraduates on internship about their mentors’ roles in mentoring them. These are teacher-trainees admitted from senior high schools and who are undergoing the initial teacher education and hence need to be fostered by skilled mentors. An open-ended questionnaire and an interview were used to evaluate 120 post-internship students’ impressions of their mentors. Three categories of mentors emerged: (1) absentee caregivers; (2) minimal caregivers and, (3) committed caregivers. The trainees perceived dialogue sessions; reflective moments; and mentors’ supervisory skills as beneficial. The results reveal that commitment of mentors as very important in selecting internship schools.

Keywords:                 skilled mentors; internship programmes; dialogue sessions; replacement teachers; internship schools

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