Author(s)khumalo, Nontobeko Prudence
Keywordsmentoring --student teachers
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to investigate the role of senior teachers in mentoring student teachers. The first aim was to investigate the perceptions of the mentors when mentoring student teachers. The second aim was to establish whether certain mentors’ characteristics influence their perceptions when mentoring student teachers. The third and final aim was to determine whether there is any association among ranks assigned by senior teachers to ten mentoring activities. A questionnaire was designed and administered to achieve these aims. It was validated by means of factor analysis (FA), and administered as a pilot to a sample of fifty mentors. Fifty-eight percent per cent (58%) of the educators were found to have positive perceptions towards mentoring student teachers. This leads to the conclusion that senior teachers like to mentor student teachers. The difference between those who hold positive (58%) and negative (42%) perceptions is statistically significant. Results also illustrated that the variables of gender, qualification and phase of specialisation have no influence on senior teachers' perceptions towards mentoring student teachers. Years of teaching experience of senior teachers were, however, found to have significant influence on their perceptions of mentoring. Teachers with more than 13 years of teaching experience were found to be more positive towards mentoring compared to those with fewer years of experience. The last aim was found to be significant after Kendall’s Wa Coefficient of Concordance was applied to establish the association. The agreement of the mentors with reference to the ranks assigned to mentoring practices suggests that there was a strong agreement among mentors regarding the relative importance of the ten mentoring practices. Finally, the findings were discussed in relation to relevant literature reviewed, and interpreted within the framework of mentoring in teacher education. Suggestions were made with regard to the need to train senior teachers in mentoring student teachers. More important is that teachers with more years of teaching experience can be used in evaluating student teachers because of their attitude and experience in the teaching profession. This could lessen the load on lecturers when it comes to travelling long distance to evaluate student teachers.
A mini dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Education in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Education in the Department of Educational Psychology and Special Needs at the University of Zululand, South Africa, 2014