Mentor Teachers’ Work with Prospective Teachers in a Newly Formed Professional Development School: Two Illustrations
by Diane Yendol-Hoppey — 2007
Since a large gap exists between the rhetoric of reform-minded teacher education and what actually transpires in student teachers’ field experiences, this study sought to fill a gap in current scholarship which has yet to document how mentor teachers, conceptualized as school-based teacher educators, shape and conduct their own work with student teachers assuming the role of full-year undergraduate interns.
Focus of Study:
The purpose of this study was to explore how two successful mentor teachers enact their work with interns in a newly created inquiry-oriented professional development school.
This investigation uses case study methodology informed by both ethnographic and phenomenological perspectives. Using these lenses and data collected over an eighteen-month period, the stories of two mentor teachers are captured and analyzed.
Three themes emerged within each case that characterized the unique work of each mentor. The three themes that shape the work of the first mentor offer insight into a conceptual illustration represented by a gardening metaphor. The three themes of the second case suggest a mentor as co-inquirer’s approach to mentoring. A look across the cases augments our understanding of mentoring prospective teachers.
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