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University-School partnerships for quality initial teacher education: Are pre-service teachers’ mentoring needs met?

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In this presentation, I describe the theoretical underpinnings of mentoring in teacher education (Kram 1985; Ganser 1996, 2002; Hudson &Hudson 2011; Mullen 2012), an area of teacher development research that is central in understanding and strengthening University–school partnerships for mentoring. I then present my research on mentoring in initial teacher education in Uganda, teacher education models and mentoring discourse. While pre-service teachers spend a total of sixteen weeks in secondary schools on school practice placement to receive mentoring support from practicing teachers and to learn from schools and classroom contexts, pre-service teacher graduates still present inadequacies in planning to teach, teaching, managing classroom situations and meeting the learning needs of learners in their classrooms. Little evidence exists regarding what form, nature and quality of mentoring support pre-service teachers receive from practicing teachers during their school practice. Eleven themes of pre-service teachers’ mentoring needs emerge. Conceptions of mentoring (i.e., minimal; developed and extended) are used to interpret the nature of mentoring support provided by practicing teachers and challenges encountered in accessing and providing mentoring support. Possibilities for improving the mentoring process are suggested.

Dr Rovincer Najjuma of Makerere University, Uganda is currently visiting Cambridge having been awarded a CAPREX Fellowship. Dr Najjuma is being hosted by the Centre for Commonwealth Education and is working with Dr. Elaine Wilson who is supporting her research on University-School Partnerships and Quality Initial Teacher Education: Closing the Theory-Practice Gap.

This talk is part of the Centre for Commonwealth Education (CCE) series.

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