The Effect of Mentor Teachers on Initial Teacher Training and Emergence as a Beginner Teacher
Since the 1990s there has been a strong movement towards mentoring induction programmes for both pre-service training and beginning teachers who are in their early years at a school. Despite the high uptake of this practice, the exact definition and nature of mentoring remains controversial. Several types of mentoring, with potentially contrasting goals exist and these can affect teacher outcomes, students and the positioning of teachers in society. Mentoring programmes also have effects on pedagogical practice, instructional effectiveness and the commitment beginning teachers feel towards teaching. Mentoring programmes are shaped by a number of interconnected issues, including dispositions of mentors and mentees, mentor training, the context in which mentoring occurs and societal expectations. Although the broad uptake of mentoring programmes appears to indicate that these programmes are beneficial, empirical evidence on the effect of mentoring is limited. The literature supports the assertion that mentoring helps reduce beginning teacher turnover, increase job satisfaction and raise student achievement. However these issues are not necessarily those novice teachers are most concerned with and few articles examine ways in which novice teachers can best utilise mentoring for their learning.
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