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Mentors of preservice teachers: The relationships between mentoring approach, self-efficacy and effort

Eli Lejonberg (Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway)
Eyvind Elstad (Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway)
Lise Vikan Sandvik (Department of Teacher Education, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway)
Trond Solhaug (Department of Teacher Education, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway)
Knut-Andreas Christophersen (Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway)

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education

ISSN: 2046-6854

Article publication date: 28 August 2018

Issue publication date: 13 September 2018

532

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how different styles of mentoring in teacher education relate to mentor characteristics. Pre-service teachers often want practical advice. However, in Norway, school mentors have traditionally been encouraged to promote reflection rather than offering advice. This study seeks to explore the relationship between mentors’ support for reflection based and clear mentoring (a relatively direct approach to mentoring) and mentors’ self-efficacy and effort.

Design/methodology/approach

Using structural equation modelling of cross-sectional survey data (from 272 school mentors), the researchers in this study tested empirical interrelations between reflection-based mentoring, clear mentoring, mentor efficacy and effort. Clear mentoring was a reasonably consistent construct, while refection-based mentoring was a more elusive concept.

Findings

Effort was associated with support for reflection, while self-efficacy was moderately related to clear mentoring and reflection-based mentoring. The results illustrate that reflection-based methods are demanding for mentors. If direct approaches are more effective, additional evidence would be required to support mentor training that heavily emphasises reflection.

Research limitations/implications

Longitudinal and quasi-experimental studies are needed to support inferences about causality. Variable omission may have influenced the models. More research is needed to better understand the concept of reflection-based mentoring.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the mentoring field by examining mentors’ preference for reflection based and clear mentoring and how such preferences are related to self-efficacy and effort. It also contributes to general and theoretical discussions about the relationships between beliefs about mentoring and mentor characteristics.

Keywords

Citation

Lejonberg, E., Elstad, E., Sandvik, L.V., Solhaug, T. and Christophersen, K.-A. (2018), "Mentors of preservice teachers: The relationships between mentoring approach, self-efficacy and effort", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 261-279. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-12-2017-0076

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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