Effective mentoring in Initial Teacher Education – what works and

Jones, Megan and Worrall, Leigh (2022). Effective mentoring in Initial Teacher Education – what works and
In: Teacher Education Advancement Network Conference (TEAN), 5 May - 6 May 2022, Virtual.


Effective mentoring in Initial Teacher Education – what works and why?

In response to feedback from mentors and students on the Open University in Wales PGCE, new mentor training materials on ‘Effective Mentoring’ for the partnership were created in collaboration with school-based partners in the summer of 2021.

Mentoring has always been crucial in the development of new teachers (Furlong and Maynard, 1995). This has been emphasised in reviews of Initial Teacher Education in Wales (Tabberer, 2013; Furlong, 2015). This round-table discussion explores the current work being undertaken with the partnership to identify effective mentoring approaches in ITE in Wales. This research involves student teachers, mentors, school coordinators and curriculum tutors all of whom contribute to the mentoring of new teachers. Further research into effective mentoring by evaluating current reflections (Smith, 2020; Parker, Zenkov, and Glaser, 2021) will ensure that the understanding, increased knowledge, and stronger relationships between the Open University, partner schools, mentors and student teachers continue to grow and have a positive impact on all stakeholders.

Supporting student teachers is one of the bedrocks of professionalism and ensures a high-quality teaching profession, that is well equipped and enthused to shape young learners as these learners embody the four purposes through the new Curriculum for Wales (Welsh Government, 2021). This idea was fundamental to Donaldson’s ‘Successful Futures’ (2015), and then formalised with the Welsh Government’s work with Pioneer Schools and later the publication of the new Curriculum for Wales in January 2020. The role of the Open University is to now manifest the research in its practice with mentors, therefore, to conduct further research in collaboration with all stakeholders.

There are distinct differences between the Open University Partnership PGCE and other ITE providers due to the online nature and blended learning of the Partnership, but also the fact that the PGCE programme was launched during the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, it is also important to draw on research that examines these aspects, such as graduate level mentoring during the crisis (Mullen, 2021). Comparing different mentoring approaches with the Open University Partnership mentoring approaches could provide valuable insight, which could lead to an improved understanding of all those involved and pave the way for greater collaboration in future.

This session will outline our research methodology, progress and findings with a view to establishing successful approaches and common trends, along with barriers to effective mentoring in ITE.


Donaldson, G. (2015). Successful Futures; An independent review of curriculum and assessment arrangements in Wales. Available at: https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2018-03/successful-futures.pdf (Accessed 18 October 2021).

Furlong, J. and Maynard, T. (1995) Mentoring Student Teachers: The Growth of Professional Knowledge. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Furlong, J. (2015). Teaching Tomorrow's Teachers: Options for the future of initial teacher education in Wales. Available at: https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2018-03/teaching-tomorrow%E2%80%99s-teachers.pdf (Accessed 18 October 2021).

Mullen, C.A. (2021) ‘Reimagining mentoring and coaching in a world crisis’, International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, 10(2), pp. 133-138.

Parker, A.K., Zenkov, K. and Glaser, H. (2021) ‘Preparing School-Based Teacher Educators: Mentor Teachers’ Perceptions of Mentoring and Mentor Training’, Peabody Journal of Education, 96(1), pp. 65-75.

Smith, T. (2020) The importance of training quality mentors for ITT and early career teachers. Available at: https://educationblog.buckingham.ac.uk/2020/12/07/the-importance-of-training-quality-mentors-for-itt-and-early-career-teachers-by-tracey-smith/ (Accessed 20 October 2021).

Tabberer, R. (2013). A review of Initial Teacher Training in Wales. Available at: https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2018-09/review-of-initial-teacher-training-2013.pdf (Accessed 18 October 2021).

Welsh Government (2021) Curriculum for Wales. Available at: https://hwb.gov.wales/curriculum-for-wales/ (Accessed 20 October 2021).

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