2.1 sessions. The purpose of the homework activities

2.1 Review of related literature

Sydney(2012) 
 has done an investigation  a pilot mentoring course for classroom based
teachers mentoring a pre-service teacher. The professional development program
called  ‘Mentoring Certificate’ focused
specifically on mentoring practices and was not  specific. That is, there were no references to
program requirements or tasks that pre-service teachers were required to do on
their practicum. The mentoring certificate was designed with two objectives in
mind:

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

1.                 
To create opportunities for reflection on the
mentors own teaching practices so that pre-service teachers are mentored
effectively.

2.                       
To create opportunities for mentor teachers
to identify their own mentoring style and consider mentoring processes in order
to plan for mentoring.

           
The mentoring certificate was designed to be conducted through four
after school sessions. Each session was two hours in length and the sessions
occurred weekly. The course included topics that concerned the nature of
mentoring, roles in mentoring and approaches to mentoring. The course
utilized  researched based readings, a
mentoring framework and a personal mentoring plan template. The structure of
the course was designed so that participants had the opportunity to engage in
professional conversations and reflective activities, as well as to develop
knowledge of mentoring and apply the knowledge to their own context. The course
also included reflective homework activities for the participants to complete
between sessions. The purpose of the homework activities was to encourage
active application of learning. The professional development used the knowledge
transmission model for implementation. The knowledge transmission model is
described by Wang and Odell (2002) as facilitated professional development
whereby a presenter presents

         
Information  to  the participants (mentor teachers) who then
apply it in their own time and way. This model of implementation was chosen due
to time constraints and funding issues.

          Eleven teachers participated in the
professional development course. Nine of the teachers had been teaching for
more than fifteen years with two teachers having taught for less than five
years. The range of experience of mentoring amongst the participants correlates
to the number of years teaching. As such, the more experienced teachers had
mentored many pre-service teachers and the teachers with limited teaching
experience had only mentored one pre-service teacher previously.

              This research utilized  qualitative survey research. A short survey
was used to gather a variety of data about the professional development course
and the  learning  participants realized . This paper reports on
the questions that concerned changed understandings of mentoring and changed
practices of mentoring as a result of participating in the professional
development. The four questions asked are as follows.

1.      
What have you achieved from the course?

2.     
How did the course promote change how you
mentor pre-service teachers?

3.     
Briefly describe some of the processes you
use when mentoring a pre-service teacher

4.     
What were the changes in your mentoring
practices?

          
The survey was implemented three months after the completion of the
mentoring course.The responses to the questions were  analyzed 
qualitatively and were coded into themes.It is important to note that
this research did not collect data on mentoring practices prior to the
participants undertaking the course, therefore this research did not compare
mentoring practices before and after, nor did it measure changed practices by
way of a scale. This can be considered a limitation of the research as the
survey has only gathered data about perceived changes in mentoring
understandings and practices. A further limitation of the research is the small
sample size.

            Peter Hudson(2013) study explores
the mentoring of pre-service teachers in selecting and implementing teaching
strategies to meet students? learning needs. Two case studies involving 28
mentor teachers in a professional development program and a mentor-mentee
partnership during a four week practicum provided data about mentoring teaching
strategies for differentiated learning. Findings showed that contexts for
learning about differentiation occurred at the pre-action, in-action, and
post-action stages. Central to each stage were pedagogical knowledge practices
such as planning, preparation, classroom management, assessment, and problem
solving (reflection-in-action to present solutions to problems) as key to
in-action strategizing and the mentoring processes. Mentoring pre-service
teachers on how to devise teaching strategies for differentiated learning needs
to be researched with a wider range of mentors and pre-service teachers,
including those at different stages of development.

2.2 Data
collection methods and analysis

This interpretive study investigated
mentoring and pre-service teachers? pedagogical development for teaching
primary students. There were two case studies, viz: (1) 28 mentor teachers
involved in professional development mentoring pre-service teachers, and (2) a
final-year mentee and her mentor in a four-week practicum. University ethics
approval and consent from participants were gained before commencing this
qualitative study for which participants were given pseudonyms for anonymity.

         Case study 1 included experienced mentor
teachers (n=28) from different public
schools who were involved in a two-day Mentoring for Effective Teaching (MET)
professional development program that focused on mentoring pre-service teachers
.They were audio-recorded within six focus groups
(approximately four to fiveparticipants in each group) and provided written
documents about effective teaching during this two-day period. During an hour
session, these participants discussed effective teaching strategies and
collated their responses on graphic organizers . They were asked to record
responses to questions about their favorite teaching strategy, and when, why
and how they use this strategy. To elicit open responses, differentiated
learning was not mentioned specifically for case study 1, for instance, they
were asked: What are the usual student outcomes when you use this teaching
strategy? The purpose was to formulate a bank of teaching strategies as a
reference point for mentoring pre-service teachers (see also Hudson, in press).

          
Case study 2 presented dialogues between an experienced mentor teacher
and a final-year pre-service teacher (mentee) within a field experience held in
a Year 1 public school. The mentor (Jenna,) and mentee (Rebecca) operated a
light-weight digital audio recorder around their necks, which allowed for ease
of talking during formal and informal discussions (e.g., walking on playground
duty or in a staff room). There were 45 audio-recorded dialogues (approx 3
minutes to 38 minutes in length) between the mentor and mentee during the
four-week practicum period. The mentor and mentee were not asked to focus on
teaching strategies or target students? differentiated learning for their
discussions. Instead, the dialogues in case study 2 were intended to be a
“natural” mentoring process where subsequent analysis of teaching strategies
and differentiation could occur. The purpose was to understand the mentoring of
pre-service teachers for selecting and implementing teaching strategies that
differentiate learning needs.

          
The fact that they had to use the digital audio recorders presented a
caveat that they knew they were being recorded. Nevertheless, 45 recordings
during the four weeks provided multiple opportunities for analyzing data and
the emergent issues pertinent to the classroom context. As a final-year
pre-service teacher, Rebecca had successfully completed all units assigned to a
Bachelor of Education (primary) degree with this practicum (used as data in
this study) and a final internship as the last two units to complete. A unit in
Australian universities is 12 credit points with four units (48 points)
constituting a full semester load for university students.

             
Data from case studies 1 (n=28)
and 2 (mentor-mentee) were transcribed by a research assistant with a PhD. For
case study 1, a constant-comparative method was used to collate data into
common themes (Yin, 2009), while in case study 2, dialogues between the mentor
and mentee were available to exemplify the mentoring of teaching strategies
used for differentiated learning. In this study, data were analyzed according
to the mentoring model framework (Hudson, 2010). Findings from the two case
studies about mentoring pre-service teachers will be presented and analyzed
with further consideration of the pre-action (before teaching), in-action
(teaching), and post-action (after teaching) stages to delineate broad time
periods.

 

 

 

2.3 The Current Study

             
Simons(2012) study, therefore, sought to harness the experience of
teachers’ currently teaching values education in schools by using their
knowledge to inform pre-service teacher education programs. As these teachers
have supervised pre-service teachers themselves, they also have some insight into
the ways in which pre-service teacher education programs prepare pre-service
teachers to teach with a values focus. Perhaps most importantly, the fact that
these teachers are currently teaching with a values focus in their classroom
every day means that they are aware of the skills needed, the challenges that
arise, and the benefits that come from teaching with a values focus. As such,
they are one very important source of knowledge when considering how to adapt
pre-service teaching degrees in order to skill our future teachers in values
education.

By listening to the stories of current
teachers teaching with a values focus, and applying the findings to pre-service
teaching degrees, they may be powerful agents for promoting change in
pre-service teacher education.

2.4 Method

Using a qualitative case study design, the
study investigated primary school teachers’ perceptions of teaching values
education in Australia and the skills pre-service teachers require to implement
a values-based pedagogy effectively. Case study is an exploration of a complex
phenomenon from multiple perspectives (Simons, 2009). One of the strengths of
the case study design is its foundation in real-life situations which results
in a rich and holistic account that can often play a vital role in advancing a
field’s knowledge base (Merriam, 1998; Simons, 2009).

          
While a small number of teachers contributed to the current study, they were  actively engaged in
the phenomenon under discussion (values education) and provided front line
insight into this area. The richness of qualitative data allows for an
intricate exploration of this data to delve into issues and identify themes.

2.5 Participants

Seven teachers (6 female; 1 male) with 3 to
28 years of teaching experience were drawn from three local primary schools in
the Brisbane Metropolitan area. Teachers employed in a primary school setting
teach students from Grades 1 to 7, with children aged between 4 and 13 years of
age.

2.6 Conclusion

In conclusion, the teachers in the present
study provided an insider’s perspective of what pre-service teachers need to
know in order to be effective at values-based education. These teachers suggest
that being a reflective practitioner is important for a number of reasons
including: the modeling  teachers express
in the classroom, consistency between spoken ideals and behavior, the ability
to respond sensitively and compassionately to their students and their ability
to engage students in meaningful and thought provoking learning experiences.

           
These findings support current literature that advocate pre-service
teachers becoming reflective practitioners. Furthermore, the present study
suggests skills such as questioning, active listening and recognizing and
supporting diverse student needs are essential if teachers are to teach
effectively with a values focus.

          
It does take time and experience to become an effective teacher of
values-based education. It requires knowledge about the content they teach,
their students, and how they might adapt curriculum materials to enhance
student learning outcomes. It would seem that more experienced teachers are in
an excellent position to mentor pre-service teachers as they strive to create a
democratic classroom. Pre-service teachers need to be exposed to skilled others
who can model the teaching ‘performance’ to a high standard
(Mergler&Tangen, 2010). As teachers beliefs about their ability to teach
effectively and form meaningful connections with their students are formed
early in their teaching career (Woolfolk Hoy, & Burke-Spero, 2005), it is
essential that they are mentored by experienced teachers in values education
early in their degrees. Mergler (2012) 
studied about The pre-service teachers in his study and  each experienced three different school
contexts during their practicum placements for their Bachelor of Education
Degree. The first part of this two stage study was reported in an earlier
paper, (Cattley, 2005), while this current commentary reports on the last part
of a project in which pre-service teachers wrote reflective statements in their
final practicum and at a follow-up stage five months later.

          
The practicum, as differs from many other studies, is an important point
in teacher formation upon which to focus exploration of professional identity.
While other researchers focus on reflective writing for the development of the
teaching skills of experienced teachers, fewer authors talk about professional
identity of pre-service teachers. Atkinson (2004), Sugrue, (2004) and Twiselton
(2004) are, however, some exceptions but these focused on reflective discourse
on practice whereas this current study focuses on the use of reflective writing
and its possible influence on the development of professional identity for
pre-service teachers.

            
Given the complexities of the nature of, and responsibilities involved
in teachers’ work (Connelly and Clandinin 1999; Valli,1997), the focus for
reflection in this present study was upon non-instructional aspects of
teaching. The importance of a wider focus for teacher development such as the
development of “self as teacher” is supported by writers such as Tickle (1999,
p.137) and Bjarnadottir, (2005). This is not to say however that competence in
teaching practice is not important. It is of course inextricably involved in
professional identity development but it is the notion of teaching as a
“relational profession” (Connelly and Clandinin, 1999, p.85) that behooves us
to focus on a broad range of school situations in which the pre-service
teachers find themselves. Their emotional responses to these, warrant attention
rather than the more common single focus on lesson delivery.

            The process for this part of the
study involved the eight participants writing reflective logs on at least four
occasions over their eight week practicum block. The participants were placed
in eight different school settings. A further question through email was posed
to participants five months  after  the final practicum. All participants
volunteered for this project, were female and in Bachelor of Education courses
ranging across all year levels of schooling from junior primary to secondary.
These pre-service teachers left school themselves from between 5 and 20 years
previously, thereby representing a range of ages and life experience

x

Hi!
I'm Shane!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out