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Mentoring Student Teachers' Professional Thinking and Classroom Practice on an 11-18 Distance Learning PGCE: A Case Study of Post-16 Teaching and Challenge as a Mentor Strategy

Butcher, John Stephen (2001). Mentoring Student Teachers' Professional Thinking and Classroom Practice on an 11-18 Distance Learning PGCE: A Case Study of Post-16 Teaching and Challenge as a Mentor Strategy. EdD thesis The Open University.

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This research investigates the mentoring needs and experiences of students on a part-time distance learning secondary PGCE in England and Wales. A case study of post-16 teaching was conducted on a sample of English students and mentors over a six month period, during which challenge was problematised as a mentor strategy. five research instruments were developed and used iteratively to generate qualitative data revealing student perceptions about post-16 teaching and mentor responses.

The study reveals significant problems for student teachers as they learn to teach post-16, which were confirmed by mentors. First, that mentoring in relation to post-16 is inconsistent. What support is given varies greatly, and there is only limited evidence of challenge being used in a context which appears to warrant it as a training strategy. Second, and as a consequence, students feel underprepared at the end of the 11-18 PGCE for the demands of post-16 teaching. This is because mentors focus their training in areas other than post-16, reflecting the lack of attention to post-16 teaching in the Standards. Third, students invariably possess a false preconception of post-16 teaching, which mentors have not always been able to challenge. Little attention is given to effective post-16 teaching strategies in the lieterature, and mentors have shied away from discussing the contentions nature of the English canon post-16. fourth, students and mentors describe the demands of learning to teach post-16 differently to pre-16. the main issue is the need for students to be trained to differentiate their subject knowledge by effective teaching strategies, particularly in the divide between Year 11 and Year 12.

The results impact on my own professional practice as a teacher educator, and illuminate more effective models of post-16 mentoring. The study concludes that a shared discourse about learning to teach post-16 needs to be in place. Challenge could then be used by mentors to develop student teacher professional thinking and classroom practice post-16. If students were consistently trained to teach post-16 more effectively, it is possible that pupils would benefit, leading to improved results.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Copyright Holders: 2001 The Author
Keywords: mentoring in education; student teachers; teacher training
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Item ID: 42665
Depositing User: John Butcher
Date Deposited: 08 May 2015 08:47
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 12:33
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