To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

“First meetings”: constructive first encounters between pre-service teachers and their mentors

Steve Connolly (School of Teacher Education, Faculty of Education and Sport, University of Bedfordshire, Bedford, UK)
Gareth Bates (School of Teacher Education, Faculty of Education and Sport, University of Bedfordshire, Bedford, UK)
James Shea (School of Teacher Education, Faculty of Education and Sport, University of Bedfordshire, Bedford, UK)

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education

ISSN: 2046-6854

Article publication date: 30 July 2020

Issue publication date: 21 November 2020

Downloads
109

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the findings from an action research project in which the researchers sought to develop a set of questions for use by mentors (experienced teachers) and mentees (pre-service teachers) on a course of initial teacher education (ITE) when they first met – the “initial encounter”.

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers used an action research approach in order to address the lower retention rate of pre-service teachers from different backgrounds, such as Black and Minority ethnic (BAME) and the issues around mentoring which may exacerbate this problem. Discussions between the course team and participating mentors and mentees suggested that the initial encounter between mentor and mentee was significant, and an action research methodology would allow for developing questions that might structure such encounters.

Findings

The researchers found that a useful and effective set of questions could be developed and used by mentors and mentees. Additionally, this process gave researchers insights into the nature of the first encounters between mentors and mentees on an ITE course and how both groups see their roles. In several cycles of action research, the participants produced a number of iterations of such questions, which were refined across a two-year period.

Research limitations/implications

While it is too early to tell if the issues leading to the lower retention rate of pre-service teachers that prompted the project have been reduced in any significant way, the researchers suggest that thinking about these initial encounters can have an impact on the way mentors and mentees go on to build a relationship.

Originality/value

The authors found that there is very little research in the field of teacher education which looks at initial encounters between mentors and mentees, and thus make an original contribution to the mentoring literature.

Keywords

Citation

Connolly, S., Bates, G. and Shea, J. (2020), "“First meetings”: constructive first encounters between pre-service teachers and their mentors", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 411-426. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-10-2019-0096

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited