Effective mentoring during teaching practice plays a crucial role on student-teacher learning in order to achieve the required results and goals of higher institutions of learning. This dissertation builds upon how mentor-teachers provide mentoring in an effort to obtain the best possible learning experiences for student-teachers and it contributes to the body of knowledge in the field of mentoring during teaching practice. However, mentor-teachers may be unsure of their role of how-to mentor student-teachers. Thus, affecting the efficacy of such a relationship of mentoring.
Although a number of studies have examined the teaching practice programme, there is a considerable lack of literature on how mentor-teachers understand their role in supporting student-teachers during teaching practice. The purpose of this study was to investigate how mentor-teachers understand their role as mentors in order to develop student-teachers during teaching practice. The data for this qualitative study were collected through semi-structured individual interviews of eight mentor-teachers and six student-teachers.
The dissertation draws strongly on the work of Peter Hudson who developed the 5-factor mentoring model. The data collected from these interviews were analysed and presented as emerging themes. The study found that many mentor-teachers showed an understanding on what mentoring is, however, they were not sure of what is expected of them as mentors and that tertiary institutions need to do more in order to ensure that mentor-teachers are trained for their role in supporting student-teachers.